March is meditation month. I’ve also heard that May is also meditation month. Knowing how much better life is with a daily meditation practice, I don’t think 2 months are a problem. Although, it would be better to break the year up in two to remind us of meditations great importance.
I have learned much about meditation from the cats I’ve known. They have the ability to easily slip into a deep meditative state at any given time. All they need is a blanket draped on a chair, a basket of clean laundry, a warm lap or even the simplicity of a sunspot on the floor. Try the sunspot some time, it is a kind gentle touch on your face.
For many people finding a place and time to meditate is difficult. Family life, work requirements or roommates can hinder even the smallest time blocked out for individual needs.
My goal with todays blog is to help you find ways to make space in your life to dedicate to your meditation practice.
It is much easier for one who lives alone. I wake up, put a pot of coffee on to brew. Then while the cat eats breakfast I sit quietly for a few minutes with the scent of coffee to pull me out of my meditation. On my non-job days I like to give myself a longer time, some times up to 50 or 60 minutes.
I have also found it helpful to take a few minutes in the car before leaving for my drive to work to take a few deep breaths. It helps bring some presence to my day before I join the world and my focus is clearer. Good for driving!
On my artist days, I find that a short meditation can help with a mental block, procrastination or a problem with a particular piece of art that I can’t get right. Just a few minutes can help my mind work out the solution or give me an idea for a new work or a whole new project.
This works well with most life problems. We only need to stop thinking so deeply on a situation and our brilliant minds will show us “The Way” to a solution. By the way, if you haven’t seen it yet, “The Way” is an excellent film on becoming aware and learning to let go.
For many years I have been thinking on writing a cook book. I have many years experience cooking as a professional and so the technical skills are far from a challenge, but I couldn’t find a way to write a book in a unique way. I didn’t want to simply write a book called “Soup” or “101 ways to cook…whatever”. To write a book that will stand out and make people who don’t know me want to buy it was completely illusive to my mind. So I stopped trying to work it out.
After a recent conversation with a new friend, the plan came back in to my thoughts. The next day after a productively calm meditation I was putzing around at home and the idea of how to write a cookbook and make it interesting and different just came into my mind. I think of it like a joyful pop or finger snap. Now I can begin the physical work!
If you are not blessed with a space of your own, there are still many ways to find time and a place to meditate.
You can try requesting the quiet time and privacy needed for your practice. If this doesn’t work well for you, try planning it around time when others are out or wear noise canceling headphones. There are also a large amount of guided meditations on line. Check out Youtube or search around on line for free guided meditations.
Walking meditation is a helpful way to practice outside. I recommend finding a flat surface to avoid trips and falls, or try it with a group of others. There is a particular method to do this but I find just walking with a focus on what is around me using all of my senses is greatly helpful.
Any quiet park is a good place to pull up a bench of place a blanket on the grass and quiet your mind. A wooded trail is a sacred place to work on your practice.
If you decide to make a meditation practice part of your very day life, I recommend a sturdy cushion. If you practice yoga, a large bolster works well or a stack of folded yoga blankets will do, but you will want something to cushion your base.
I wish for you a peaceful quiet mind.
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