Meditation- It's Not Really That Hard To Do- Or Is It?
As I sit at the end of a dock on a sweet little lake in Michigan I am reminded that I feel grateful this morning. Grateful that I can get away to this place- this piece of serenity. I am mindful of the soft waves slapping against the shore and I watch the new ducklings follow their mother along the edge of the sand. I watch the birds fly by on their way over to Lake Michigan and a couple of young teenagers out for an early morning canoe ride pass by. There is a soft breeze touching the skin on my arms and the sun is starting to glisten on the water. The setting, I decide, is perfect to begin my morning meditation. It is easy for me to feel more in the moment while I am here, but so often I miss the moment- what is right there in front of me because I am to busy with everything else. Too preoccupied to be in the present moment to be aware of what is really going on.
Is this Awareness Meditation? It can be. Dr. Jon Kabot Zinn, the developer of Mindfulness Meditation at The University of Massachusetts Medical School says we can only really participate in life fully by being in the present moment and we do this by cultivating an awareness. An awareness of what, you might ask? Well, I would suggest an awareness of your breath. If you are aware of your present breath then you are totaly in the present moment. Dr. Zinn says to "befriend your breathing" by "surfing on the waves of your own breathing." This has a natural, calming effect that centers one in the present moment.
Okay, this all sounds good, but how about when I get back home next week and I need to go back to work or someone cuts me off while I'm driving and, well, you get it, life happens. Should I try to ride the wave right over an angry or rude person's head by not taking things personal-maybe by being less judgemental of them in that moment? This could be tremendously freeing, but easier said than done. Many of us run away or anestisize ourselves with alcohol, drugs or food because of the stress and pain in our lives. We may spend entire days living in a "fog." Not really conscious of things going on around us, not paying attention to the pain or joy on others' faces. Maybe its time to be in the world with our eyes wide open but with an element of non-attachment by not really taking things so personal. Not fighting with everyone and everything even if its only in our thoughts.
The practice of Meditation helps us to become more mindful in our lives with those family and friends around us and within our jobs and communities. Meditation promotes a new way of being and fills one with compassion, awareness and well being. There are many ways to "practice" meditation such as centering prayer, breathwork, mindfulness, guided meditation, chanting and movement meditation. Meditation is referred to as a "practice" because its not about getting anywhere or "doing" anything, but is more about "being" in the moment where nothing else exists-except this place of perfect solitude. This place of perfect peace. As I said, we can get to this place of solitude or deep knowing within in many different ways.
Simple, but not easy, one of my meditation students once told me and she was right! The mind is a busy place filled with endless chatter and it seems overwhelming, at first, to quiet it. However, with practice, we begin to see less and less of all that gets in our way and more of the clarity and peace we desire. We begin to see situations more clearly and learn that we don't need to over-react to other people, places and things.
We become conscious of the beauty in the delightful new landscapes in our lives. And it all begins with the breath...becoming conscious of our breath. It calms us. It sustains us. It centers us. It gives us life. It is life.
Cathie Drumm, BCPP, RPE, Reiki Master Teacher, CHt., owner of The Mind Body Sanctuary, 15203 Detroit Rd, Lakewood, OH teaches classes in Meditation, Reiki and Acupressure. She is also a Polarity Therapist, Acupressure Therapist, Reiki Master and Transpersonal Hypnotherapist.
At The Mind Body Sanctuary we have recently moved to 15203 Detroit which is above the Verizon Store. We are a holistic center offering Polarity Therapy, Reiki, Hypnotherapy, Massage, Acupressure and Essential Oil therapies. We also offer classes/Seminars in Life Coaching, Meditation, Reiki certification and Acupressure for Self and Others, SEVA.