Friday, July 24, 2015

meditation woes


I am a person who meditates.

I've been meditating on and off for forty years. 
I can't believe I just said that - FORTY years!

Anyway, back in 1975, my boyfriend (now my husband) and I
went to a TM class, which stands for Transendental Meditation.

 The people giving the workshop at the local bank
seemed to be full of light and enlightenment.
They were happy and talked about all of the benefits of meditation;
how good it could make you feel, etc.

Just one thing - you had to have your own personal mantra
which is a sanskrit word picked just for you.
That's the word you are supposed to say or think while you are meditating.
They claimed that this word would be only for you and was your special word.
They seemed to imply that you couldn't meditate without that word.

Now, the only downside that I could see to this process
is that it cost MONEY to get that word.
Yep, you have to pay to get a made up word.

And back in 1975, we were young,
renting an apartment, and buying groceries was a big deal.
We didn't have x amount of dollars to pay for meditation. 

SO, I made up my own word.
Actually, I didn't even make it up.
It's already a word!
 I can't tell you what it is because then I would lose my enlightenment status.

Fast forward to 2015:
I still use the same word.
I've tried using other words but they just don't feel right. 

I haven't meditated for over three months.
The reasons? 
Lots of things; work, grandbabies, other things to do, etc.

But I really needed to get back to it, so I started this morning.

For those of you who have never meditated, I am going
to give you a crash course.
I'm going to show you how I meditate.
If you choose to follow this path - well, that's up to you.

Here goes.....
I wake up this morning and am still in my bathrobe.
I sit down in a comfy leather recliner in the corner of the living room.
I put a certain couch pillow behind my back to make me sit up straighter 
 but still be comfortable. It has to be THAT couch pillow.
Mo other pillow will do.
I set my meditation app on my phone for 35 minutes.
I start the timer and it has a nice "gong" ring sound to it.

I adjust my body, my hair, my feet, and start to concentrate on
my breathing. Just a little bit. In and out.
Then I notice a sound - tick-tock, tick-tock, tick-tock.
I realize that i have not removed the wall clock from the kitchen that
ticks like a TIME BOMB when I am trying to be silent.

I remove it, put it in the laundry room,
 and return to my chair and reset the timer.
The I realize something else.
I  started the laundry earlier, and man, is that washer LOUD.
I get up, stop the laundry, sit back down, and restart the timer.

Then, I see Bella, our needy little Lab, laying near the patio doors,
staring in at me, because she has not been fed her BREAKFAST.
Well, neither have I honey, so you're going to have to wait.

I set the timer again, and while I am breathing out,
I can feel a loose hair tickling my nose.
I try to blow it off my face without opening my eyes,
but it's not going anywhere.
I open my eyes. move all of my hair away from my face.
I readjust myself and set the timer. Again.

I start to notice my breathing, nice and slow.
I start thinking my word in my mind.
Over and over, softly. Relaxing.
My word is two syllables, so I think the first syllable on breathing in, and
the second one on breathing out.

Then thoughts begin to flood in - 
I have to get this painting done for this show.
I have to get ready for acupuncture as soon as I'm done.
I want to organize my closet this afternoon
Did I pay that bill?

Okay, I will admit this happens often, 
especially when you first start your meditation practice.
And it's okay to think all of those thoughts.
Just think them and then go back to your word.
Wet the tip of your finger and put it right between your eyes.
The wetness hits the air and cools you off right in that spot.
This actually helps you focus. 

So, that's basically it.
You just think your word, breathe, thoughts flood in,
think them, thoughts flood out, breathe....
And, soon, if you're consistent
 (no matter how hard that is - maybe 5-20 minutes is all you can handle),

You may realize that you hear sounds around you
but you are totally at peace and calm.
Your body feels like a living, breathing system of smoothly working parts.
Your beathe comes without effort and thought.
You are doing it!

Soon - maybe your blood pressure becomes lower.
Maybe you don't lose your temper as much.
Maybe you are more aware of the beauty of life that goes on around you.
I think I could easily meditate for an hour, maybe two, if I wanted to.
But life gets in the way and I will settle for 35 minutes a day.
Or ten minutes a day.
And some days - not at all. I just can't get to it.

But whether I do or I don't,
I need to remember to live in the moment, be present,
and tomorrow is another day. 

Happy Meditating!

P.S. There are many books on how to start a meditation 
practice at your local bookstore or places like