Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Meditation, My Way

I recently read a post on meditation, and I thought I'd add my 37 cents on the topic.  Why?  Because when I started out I got so frustrated and upset that it was totally defeating the purpose of doing it at all.  I felt the situation was hopeless, that I couldn't do it, that I'd never be able to do it, that there was something wrong with me!  Then I figured out what worked (for me), and it just all came together.  You could say like magick, lol! 

I started out trying a few years ago by reading books and internet articles.  All of them said "THIS is how you do it," where THIS was their own particular formula of counting breaths (or not), staring at a flame (or a color, or not) and so on.  Also, apparently, you had to sit in as close as you could get to full lotus position on the floor in a totally silent room set up for meditation practice.

Perhaps needless to say, I, with no form of yoga training whatsoever, could get nowhere near full lotus position, or even partial lotus position.  Sitting on the floor for even the suggested beginning 10 minutes was awful on my back.  Total silence just made me notice every small sound in the background, amplified about 100x.  And preparing a room specifically for meditation?  The very idea of taking the time (and money) to do it was enough to send me into full procrastination mode.

Fast forward about a decade, and now I'm joining groups and taking classes that strongly encourage, if not actually require, one to meditate, even to do guided meditations.  Meditate?!  Not me!  I can't do that!  And I certainly can't take the next step and do a guided meditation!  That's downright scary!

But I really wanted to do these things--be a part of these groups and take these classes.  And there was now SUCH a buzz about how healthy meditating is, in so many different ways.  And I'd recently been introduced to the concept (through Wicca) of "do what feels right."  All these factors contributed to my decision to try again.

I started by trying out the old way again, but this time sitting in a comfortable chair.  Still not really working.  I moved to the sofa, lit a scented candle, and let the dog (Merly)  in to the room.  Closer.  I tried a guided meditation.  It was actually MUCH easier for me than trying to "empty my mind," but I still wasn't there.  Then, right there on the sofa, I tried an extremely relaxed lotus position.  It wasn't much more than crossing my legs up on the sofa and holding my hands in the correct position. 

BOOM!  I fell right into it!  It's was like I'd been doing it all my life!  It was freeing and balancing and mind-opening and WONDERFUL!  I saw things and relieved stress and learned things about myself and my relationship to everything and everyone around me--everyday life, the Divine, my Craft, the world at large--everything!

I still don't have a daily practice, but I'm getting closer.  Two huge puppies instead of one medium-sized older dog can be a bit of a challenge, but I'm learning (and they grow calmer everyday).  I've found that my posture is much more about my hand position than whatever I'm doing with my legs, so that's gotten even easier.  I don't usually pay attention to my breathing, or to trying to clear my mind.  I've also found that normal household noises or background noises don't interfere. I can now fall into meditation pretty much anywhere that I'm physically AND psychologically comfortable. (I have to be in a place where I feel safe closing my eyes and not paying attention to my surroundings, for example.)

And all by doing what feels right!


Sparrow said...

A beautiful testament to how doing what feels right with meditation is the way to go!

Thanks for linking back to my post and I look forward to reading more on your blog :)

CousinLinda said...

Thanks, Sparrow! Your post knocked me out of writer's block!