Welcome! Today‘s writing is about the practice of meditation. Personally I have been meditating for over forty years. It has been a rewarding practice for me and along the way I have gathered some thoughts about it. In 1972 my friend Julie told me about TM or Transcendental Meditation. I worked with a mantra, a prescribed sound. We were encouraged to meditate twice a day. My practice has evolved and I no longer practice TM but I do a morning meditation almost daily. I have had some breaks in my practice but I always go back to my routine. It keeps me centered. Also, through the years I have thought about meditation and what does that really mean?
How many times have you heard someone say they cannot meditate? Or you yourself could have said the same thing.
I am here to say maybe you are meditating and not recognizing the action. Often people think meditation is sitting quietly trying to have no thoughts in their head. As you may know this can become difficult. In my experience this willfulness of quiet can create more chatter and before you know it you head is so busy you forget to breathe. Not the desired outcome.
Breathing is essential part of meditation. It reminds us that we are alive and in our body. So what other types of activities can remind us that we are one with our bodies. Using sound can send a vibration through our whole body. Using smell through aromatherapy can also connect us with our bodies. Using visuals, such as my artwork above is another method.
My belief is meditation is really all about being with the body and has the mind follow. Can you think of all the times this might have happened? A hike, running, walking with nature, swimming, drumming, playing music, walking along an ocean beach, or even washing the dishes in the sink can all provide a rhythmic connection with body and mind.
How about sound? One of the most universal sounds is the sound of water. It could be a babbling brook, a raging river or gentle ocean waves. Sound can connect with the body on lots of different levels. As many of you might know the seven chakras, the spiral vortexes centered along the body, have a sound vibration associated with each of them. In Indian culture these sounds have words and people use the words to vibrate with their bodies. This is a form of chanting. Many cultures chant and this chanting can indeed connect with the mind, body and for many the soul. Western Culture is most familiar with the medieval practice of Gregorian chant.
A variety of aromatherapy essential oils can increase relaxation, and connect with a peaceful, loving vibration. Years ago I remember being in a classroom with a teacher. She demonstrated how each essential oil could create a change for the person. Many people are familiar with lavender and its soothing properties. Each essential oil has their own purpose.
As a visual artist I like to engage the viewer to take the time to really connect with the artwork. The art work above is about creativity and focuses on the sexual and creative second chakra. Further, not only is my work designed for meditative purpose but the doing for me is a form of meditation.
My challenge to you is to think about all the ways you might engage in a form of meditation in everyday life. Please leave your comments so others may benefit from your knowledge.