Thursday, August 14, 2014


Ever mediated?

Ever tried to learn how?

I have three good friends who are strongly into meditation. One friend is going to AA Mediation meetings; another is practicing "Mindful Meditation;" the third is browsing online trying to decide which course to take. 

I browsed and listened to some wise-sounding, impressively credited meditation teachers. On most of the websites, there was mesmerizing background music -- sort of celestial outer-space music that suggested what the picture at the top of this blog suggests. The courses were 2 to 6 weeks, 6 months, to a full year of study. Each explained, somewhat similarly, how meditation would help you feel better, be relaxed, sleep better, and function better.

Hey -- the word meditate means "thinking, pondering, focusing one's thoughts." The dictionary definition refers to "engage in mental exercise such as concentrating on your breathing, or repeating a mantra (a word or sound) for the purpose of reaching a heightened state of awareness."


I think the study courses that my friends are taking help them.  If you join a gym, it's a big help if you start with a trainer showing you how to use the machines. But sooner or later, if you want to exercise to maintain your body, you need to decide to go to the gym and use the yourself. And when you are paying for it, you continue doing it so you won't be wasting money. Similarly, enrolling in a meditation course is a decision that may help you learn to mediate.
I don't need to study meditation. For me, a task or routine that I like to do -- have done before, know how to do -- gets me focused, thinking, pondering. And yes, gives me a heightened awareness -- pleasure -- that good feeling you get when you are doing something that you enjoy doing. I go into my studio, turn on the tape recorder, do three minutes of a dance that I've been doing just about every day for fifteen years. It works. (Even if I'm  restless, bored, or stuck,  it works -- I feel better, I'm functioning again.)

I wasn't enjoying writing this, so I got up and danced a three minute section-- easy steps, not strenuous. My dance has a story -- I enter the room -- gradually discover the floor, wall, mirrors, chairs -- a Mom chair, Daddy chair, and a kitchen chair. The dance ends after one last pat/touch of what I've discovered, and I exit, backing out of the room into the hallway.

This sort of ritual could work for you: Pick a poem, a passage from the bible, or verses from a favorite song, and create a few gestures for it. Next time you say your poem, do the same positions  You don't need music, a studio or props. It could take a minute, or five minutes -- it's like a prayer or fingering a rosary. 
I know that people who mediate believe in it, and are selling you a study course. Here's the link to the video my wise friend liked. She enrolled in a course.

Click -- MINDFUL MEDITATION. Take a quick look -- I find it overly pedantic, but you can return and watch this 20 minute video later.

Try this link -- it's a fast-talking woman who reminds me a little of me. who explains how  MEDITATION CAN RESHAPE OUR BRAINS. She says mediation helped her run the marathon. (It's an 8 minute video).

While you are "mediating" about this subject, here's the video I found most helpful about how to mediate.


Carola said...

I tried meditating a few times a number of years ago. I could do it, but I didn't keep it up.

Unknown said...

Funny story. I once had an attack of gall stones. At the time I didn't know what was going on but I was in pain, major major, gut wrenching pain. So off I went to the ER. The doctor saw me, took my pulse, my Blood Pressure. Then told me, I wasn't in pain and to quite Bsing him and get out of the ER.
"what? what? what?"
"Your BP is low your pulse is low your breathing normally and not sweating. People in pain have elevated BP faster pulses sweat and breath faster. Your not in pain."
"Ok Dr, I know you don't believe in any Hippy horseshit, but, I have practiced yoga and meditation since practically befor I could walk. The practical upshot is that when I am in pain I automatically go into a meditative state, which lowers my Bp, my pulse my breathing and I guess my sweat. Right now I assure you I am in major freaking pain and the only reason I'm not ripping out your throat right now is my meditative state."
So meditation is a fine thing and great for many uses, but can get in the way of getting proper medical attention. lol

Linda Phillips said...

Hey what about meditation indeed? I have practiced meditation at various times in my life. I first took a course in it at a very reputable Yoga Institute. Not expensive at all. It was one that I had gone to for several years for other Yoga classes.

Later in life I learned a different form of meditation. It worked beautifully, but it was attached to a famous huckster named Mahiraji.

And once again at a different interval in my life, I would go to a different Yoga Ashram on a weekly basis. I also loved chanting in a large group at that same Ashram.

I can tell you that all of these experiences have been like Nirvana for me. I get so deeply into it. It is as though I have taken some very powerful, but wonderful drug. I feel like I am floating on a higher and different plane. To achieve that, you must devote at least a half hour to an hour and have no distractions.