How to Meditate and Win (Joke)
I thought maybe I didn’t need to meditate any longer. I mean, could watering the garden every morning at 5:30 count? Contemplating life on my porch-swing evenings at dusk with my twenty-four year old cat has to render its own magic, right? Or what about reading ecstatic poetry as though it were my job? I used to meditate to tune into the collective frequency so I would give my students a better Bowspring class and since I am no longer teaching…
It was not a question of discipline. I have that. It was not even lack of desire. I have loved meditating for many years now. Recently I viewed my stats on the timer app I use. I have logged over 400 hours and only since I began using this particular app. Can you imagine? 400 hours sitting? I can’t.
I purposely avoided my cushion for thirty days to see if I noticed any difference and the answer arrived on Day 31. I cannot go without meditation! It has become more important than breakfast, than Tulsi tea with steamed goat milk, than exercise. See, suddenly I noticed “noise” in my head, a continual stream of circumstances, real and imagined, conversations from the past or projected into the future—a cerebral fullness that became uncomfortable and not easily purged. It felt like I had been reading Facebook posts for days on end, scrolling, scrolling, filling my head with the seemingly essential, and trivial alike. To empty my mind required three days sitting for thirty minutes—sometimes twice. When the stillness finally emerged, I wept. What a simple solution, really. I wanted to squeeze (they probably would not appreciate my gesture) those early practitioners of this natural art, for their insights. Meditation is not contemplation; is not chanting; is not praying, though there are elements of each contained within. For me it is a gentle reprieve from the forces of the world and those of us more sensitive to the currents, need it like we need breath.
I am grateful to be reacquainted with my practice after such respite. I thought I would share with you a few pointers that have worked for me. When I began the practice I was not a natural meditator. It was torture to keep my eyes closed for so long. I still fidget. Who cares?
Set the timer. I like 21 or 23 minutes. Don’t ask. Choose yours.
I sit on a cushion and try to find a comfortable posture for my pelvis/hips, then close my eyes and take a deep conscious breath in and out.
I ask three questions: Who am I? What do I want? What does the world need of me? After each I contemplate the briefest answer, the most true in that moment.
I begin silently chanting my mantra.
I go in and out of being aware, being present, being in my body.
I lose the mantra at times. I even lose the breath. I sometimes continue beyond the timer.
Just yesterday I added a new dimension to the end of my practice. I say sweet things about the people in my life, those who come immediately to mind, like blessings, I suppose. It feels so right somehow, and because I spend so much time alone it becomes my way of staying connected.
Try any of it. It will change your life, so beware. Often there is no other place on this earth I would rather be than in meditation; the silence the only salve for the fissures in my heart.
The Ayurvedic Cleanse starts October 1 at Vital. Join us!
My Astrology rates will increase September 1, 2016 so schedule a reading soon!
I will change out all the poetry on my website September 1, as well.
Thank you for reading.
Here’s a poem about the practice I mentioned above:
To be prayed for, to have a candle lit in the dark
with your name in the flame,
to be seen in the night by another’s heart eye.
Is there anything more to do?
Any more emollient light-salve for the aching essence
we all share?
In that concentrated plea, all become one,
the praying, the prayer, the one who prays,
and the one for whom we pray.
The weave of connection tightens into
No matter what happens,
your name has been mixed with heart sap and wax.
No matter what happens,
you have been held.