Everybody meditates nowadays, there are umpteen classes for it and millions of guided meditations on the net, but is that always the best thing, does it work in a class of twenty other people or through the medium of technology. It doesn’t for me that’s for sure, for me to really be in a mediative state it’s better if I’m alone.
Meditation isn’t about sitting crossed legged and reciting a mantra, even more so if you don’t cross your legs naturally and you’re aware of the discomfort in your legs. If I meditate sitting down it has to be in a high backed easy chair, a chair that I might take a nap in, not one in which I’d eat my dinner.
For me to meditate, I have to be alone, but saying that I could be doing anything which includes cooking and cleaning. When we are focussed on something like peeling and chopping vegetables it’s the ideal time to settle the mind. I have often brought a meal to the table and wondered where I’ve been to get it. You see, I loose myself in cooking, I go off somewhere else and in doing so I somehow find myself. Cooking and cleaning are good for me, because I watch what I’m doing, remaining focussed without letting my mind wonder. It’s not something I’ve practiced, just something I’ve come to realise.
Walking in nature is probably one of my favourite meditation techniques, just being, with mother nature around me, not as myself but part of everything. I love to be in the woods, parks or beautiful gardens and away from anyone else. The seashore too, watching the tide come in and flow out again, letting everything else fall away.
I’m not a fan of guided meditations, it might be something to do with my imagination, I have always walked down the steps, along the shore, looked at the sky or whatever it is before I am instructed to do so. This totally throws me off and brings me back into the room quicker than you like.
Daydreaming is different, allowing your imagination to take you, that is something I can do quite easily. I just send my mind off somewhere else and see what comes up, it’s like telling a story, but the interesting thing is the story often has a message I wouldn’t have found outside of my daydreaming.
People beat themselves up because they haven’t meditated and they should have, I used to, I felt terrible that I hadn’t practiced. Now I just live, I find time for myself, time to go deeper in all the things I do each day. The key I think is finding time for yourself outside of life, being at peace with yourself and the world and taking that deep breath.
So how do you meditate?