I don’t meditate to be cool. I don’t meditate to become more spiritual. I meditate because there is a window of about half a second between the moment I open my eyes and the crush of thoughts which descend upon my being like a plague of wasps.
They are jumbled and quick and fleeting and overwhelming.
Wearily, I grab some water, a stick of incense and maybe some pants, put the coffee on downstairs for when Tyrhone wakes up and I go someplace to sit in stillness for as long as I can manage it.
Sometimes it’s uncomfortable, but the longer I keep dragging myself out of bed and onto the floor or into a chair to sit, by myself, for myself, the less I identify with the discomfort of my racing thoughts and the more I know that I am the pure awareness within which exists in perfect peace and unshakeable stillness.
I’ve had amazing, life altering experiences via meditation. I have been overcome with a warm wash of love and felt my brain dial down into blissful nothingness so that I become the life giving energy pumping through my strong, soft heart.
I have been filled with the awareness of my divinity and the Oneness of life on this planet. I have had ego-dissolving moments of such pure bliss and an absolute absence of fear I thought would last forever.
They were amazing gifts, but the thing I have learned about my journey with meditation is that I have to keep showing up. A realization one day does not guarantee it for the next.
That one was a real bummer to learn.
The other reason I meditate is that in spite of all these consciousness raising experiences and internal transformations via a daily morning meditation practice, I am still ten types of crazy by 5pm.
I meditate because the thought of my mind state without it is scarey. No, scratch that, I meditate because I have experienced my mind state without it and it IS scarey.
I meditate because I choose not to medicate with booze or shopping or pretending anymore. I meditate because I really, really want to experience the truth and I truly, truly believe that truth is Peace and Joy.
I meditate because the longer I do, the more I am able to see through the false beliefs of society and see what a big bag of lies they tell to sell products to people who think they are lacking without them.
I meditate because I have come to see beyond my own opinions that I am not enough and have discovered that my greatness does not exist ‘out there’ but at the very core of my being, ready to be accessed any time I choose.
I meditate to take responsibility for the years I escaped myself via alcohol, drugs and people-pleasing; to make amends to my soul which I neglected and ignored for so long.
I meditate because I have realised that healing and happiness require a lot of work from me, to unlearn destructive thought processes and ingrained emotional patterns.
I meditate because it is the only practice which has ever filled me with the knowledge that I am not the tape which plays on automatic shuffle in my head, but the shimmering, eternal awareness within.
It’s taught me that I can choose to either listen to the tape on repeat or shift my focus to the miracle of my very existence via the breath which flows through me; a place from which I am grounded, transcendent, energetic and peaceful all at once.
I don’t meditate because I want to, because quite often I don’t. I meditate because I need to.
Meditation is one of those ‘things’ people talk about but don’t really tell you how to do. The reason for this, I think, is that there are so many different techniques. You can watch your breath, chant or use mantra, mentally scan the body, or even meditate while walking.
Sometimes I dance around wildly to expel energy from my body and disconnect from the thoughts in my head.
Is this meditation? Well, for me, yes. It’s also a hell of a lot of fun.
I think the hardest part of meditation is actually showing up. Many of us have not been brought up with rituals or practices like these (myself included) so it can feel weird and difficult to do.
Starting small with a mere five minutes per day for five days can be life changing. It is a short enough time to not be too daunting and ‘five for five’ is an attainable goal.
I’m including some links here to a wide range of techniques and talks about meditation. Basically, I think we are all trying to get to the same place of peace and contentment and meditation is not the only way, but it is a tool which has made a big difference in my life.
As always, take what you like and leave the rest!
A Beginners Guide To Meditation by Gabby Bernstein
Getting Started With Meditation by Osho
Guided Meditations from The Chopra Center