Cin’s Feb Challenge ” It’s a bit of self-love, inner child, and just all around fun things…..If you want to participate then all you have to do is read on and follow in any way you wish.”
The best challenges to me are such open-ended ones with easy rules, or no rules at all. Cin’s blog, Witchy Rambles, is one I stumbled upon in my typically random manner of stumbling upon things, and I’ve been a follower of her lovely, peaceful and inspiring posts ever since. She is one of this worlds beautiful people. I am happy to rise to her February challenge.
So what does it mean to me when I hear the word meditate?
I used to believe it meant serious contemplation, hard thinking, reflection on the past, intent for the future. Sit down, close your eyes, ponder, ruminate and contrive. And that’s why I never wanted to be bothered with it. All that stuff can give you a colossal headache. Often all that thinking doesn’t solve anything anyway, it just adds fuel to an already blazing fire.
Now in this much more mature and wise stage of my life I know meditation can mean the complete opposite of concentration. It’s a wonderful and freeing ‘letting go’ of all the mind blather that makes you the crazy person you were never meant to be.
I am certainly not an expert on this subject, but I think I’ve been practicing emptying my head my entire life. I can sit still without moving or speaking or fidgeting, taking laziness to a whole new level. To an outside observer (like some of my school teachers long ago and now my family, friends and co-workers) it probably looks like I am either totally focused on something drastically important or in some kind of a trance-like daydream. The truth is, if someone asks me during one of these episodes ‘what are you thinking’ I would have to say I’m not thinking about anything at all.
Yeah, kind of scary, I know.
Maybe this is something I should have taught my kids, but since no one taught it to me, I simply assumed it was a normal thing to be able to dump the noise and confusion and all the bad things around you for a few minutes until you can gather up the energy you need to face them again. Now I don’t wait to be pushed to the edge where I’m forced to get myself behind all the nonsense that’s cluttering up my world so that I won’t break down under the pressure of it all. I actually do this on purpose with clear intent as a preventative measure.
I think there are as many meditative methods and processes as there are yoga positions, but for whatever it’s worth, here’s mine.
1. Arrange yourself in a comfortable, stable posture, legs crossed, fingers touching – feel relaxed but not so relaxed that you nod off and fall over. Meditation is like a conscious form of sleep. Emphasis on staying conscious.
2. Be perfectly still – stop inner and outer chatter – relax, relax, relax.
3. Breathe, and observe the breath without consciously forcing yourself to breathe. Only witness your normal breathing. Inhale, exhale, inhale, exhale, relax, relax, relax. Did I already say relax? Really, you need to relax.
4. Empty your mind of thoughts, questions, images, emotions and everything else. When you do this you open yourself to receive cosmic energy, a drop of spirituality, some healing life force, inner peace.
5. flow with it, be with it…… let everything go….for as long as you can. The real world will intrude soon enough to jolt you and your mind back into it.
Simple, right? If you keep practicing this, you will end up relaxed, happy, healthy, stress free, with a calmed and tranquil mind, having a better memory, higher understanding, better interpersonal relationships, and a better life. Has all this happened to me?
Well, who knows, really. Like I said, I am no expert, but I do believe without my zoned out times my life would be a much less enjoyable experience.
So what does ‘meditate’ mean to you? Am I completely out to lunch? If I am, I like it – to me it’s a good life-nurturing kind of lunch to be out to.