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Ever feel as though you were born into the wrong family? Like you just don’t quite belong? … me, too. I am quite different from the rest of my family. I have different beliefs, different views; I handle things differently than all of them. One thing that has grown more important to me is my desire- almost a need at this point to meditate, to strengthen my mind, to see how far I can push it. And so begins my journey to Cosmic Consciousness.
It may just be me, but it seems like the whole meditating thing is really taking off in the Western world lately. Maybe it’s just since I’m getting into it, that I’m noticing more and more people learning, talking about and using meditation. I think it’s awesome!
I’ll start from the very beginning, assuming there will be at least a few people who will read this who are at the same place I am. I started thinking about meditation as a way to get a few minutes alone a day. I’m a mom of three, a step mom of three, I have animals, a husband, a full time job, friends who need attention, family who apparently cannot pick up the phone unless it rings… (always asking, “why haven’t you called?” I guess they don’t know they can call me anytime, as well…) It seemed like a legit way for me to [selfishly] get 10 minutes to myself. I didn’t even really know what meditation was. As I have discovered more about it, I have found it is actually simpler than I thought… and so much harder than I could have ever imagined! Sort of like yoga! (Which I will blog about on this site, as well!)
Meditating is actually only quieting the mind. I have been an insomniac most of my life because I could not quiet the chatter in my mind… as I’m lying there at midnight, comfy in bed, lights out, eyes closed, my mind starts reeling…
“let’s see, what all needs to be done tomorrow? I need to bathe the dogs… why do they keep scratching, I just spent like $70 on flea medicine for them… The dogs need new collars. What color collar would be pretty on Gracie? Pink? … That orange collar is cool on Salem since he’s black. He looks like Halloween…. I love Halloween… I want to decorate really cool for Halloween this year- orange lights on the back patio, candles, leaves… Leaves! It’s almost fall! … I love the fall… It is such a nice temperature outside in the fall… I can’t wait to go to the cabin this fall! … remember that movie ‘Cabin in the Woods’? … that was a scary movie… There aren’t any scary movies anymore, they are all so stupid these days… I should write a scary movie. I could write an awesome scary movie! Mine wouldn’t be so cheesy… Cheese! I love cheese. Especially Colby Jack… And shredded cheese! We’re out of shredded cheese… I need to buy cheese tomorrow… Let’s see, what all do I need to do tomorrow? ….” It’s a vicious horrible cycle in my head.
But, as I have learned how to quiet my mind through meditation, I use that at night to help me fall asleep. Breathing also helps with falling asleep. So, here goes my analysis of how to begin meditating.
I started out with guided meditation. It was easier for me to focus on the sound of the voice guiding me on what to think about and what to concentrate on. It helped me to keep my mind tamed. I started out with short guided videos (about 10 minutes) from Youtube. Here is the link to my most favorite morning video: CLICK HERE
I tried to focus on different things each day. One day I wanted to focus on gratitude. The next day I would focus on releasing anger and forgiveness. The next day I may focus on having a positive attitude. I found some great meditation videos on encouraging energy in the morning. There are tons of great subject matter out there to meditate on!
After I felt comfortable with keeping my mind quiet for 8-10 minutes by listening to a voice. I learned to concentrate on my heartbeat and breathing. Listen to your heartbeat. Feel your heartbeat. My body automatically starts to move back and forth now in tune with my heartbeat as I begin to meditate. That is part of me being in the “here and now”. I have learned to be “present”. That is a big step in this process! One great tip is to count your breaths – “one, two, three, four…” then start over. If you catch yourself mindlessly (robotically) counting to like 33 or something, just start over at one. One is home base. It is your reset button.
I have watched some really interesting videos on gratitude and I think that aspect is very important in meditating. My Sensei also instructed me from the beginning of my Genbukan to focus on gratitude when meditating. I have tried to incorporate that into my everyday lifestyle. I found this particular video regarding gratitude especially interesting and has stuck with me for a long time: CLICK HERE to watch this video.
I am finding that I can meditate for about 15-20 minutes in silence, almost continuously finding different things to be grateful for! I sit quietly, doing some deep breaths, close my eyes, draw myself inward and try to keep my mind clear for a few seconds, and then I begin thinking of each person, opportunity and item I am thankful for. I feel very rejuvenated and at peace when I am done. It’s how I start each day.
I will continue to blog about meditation as I learn more and find new tricks that work for me. I enjoy learning something new each day and sharing them. Namaste.