Let me just say that I love to move. I am constantly doing something. Always on the go. And I love life to be this way.
In yoga, we talk a lot about self-study and meditation as one of the key ways that we can better know ourselves and feel more connected with others and Spirit.
I’ll admit, I’m good at studying, since it requires me to actually DO something.
To date, its taken me 6 years, to settle on a meditation practice. And this practice is an evolving one. Meaning it changes often depending on my needs. Currently I spend most of my time in what is typically called “mindfulness” meditation. (Learn more about the different meditation styles in my FREE Meditation Mini-Course. Click here to get it!) So here are my meditation rules of engagement.
Rule #1 NO MANTRA
I love yoga so I naturally have gravitated to practicing many of the lifestyle lessons that traditional “yogis” practice. One of the things that the yoga tradition advocates is a mantra meditation.
A mantra is simply a word or short phrase that you repeat over and over again during meditation, or as you move through your day. Its an anchor. One that brings your mind back to a focal point and away from other thoughts that may not serve your highest good.
Wanna know a secret? Even though I was trained to practice and teach a mantra style of meditation, it doesn’t always work for me.
There is just something about me having to focus on a word or words that makes me feel like I’m, well….. doing something.
And I thought the point to meditation was to do nothing.
So when I meditate I often don’t use a mantra.
I simply sit and let my mind go wherever it goes. There are moments when I notice that I’m thinking something. There are times when I just simply watch the images that run through my mind like little movies on a screen.
I’ve noticed that most of my thoughts are images so it actually is “fun” to watch my mind meander along without my doing anything to it.
Rule # 2 NO LOTUS
The traditional seated posture for practicing meditation is the lotus pose or some variation of a seated crossed-legged posture. If you are unfamiliar with this pose it is the one where your legs are basically twisted into a pretzel.
Well I have been able to sit in this pose in the (distant) past, but now?….After about 5 seconds I’m uncomfortable imitating a lotus flower.
So I simply don’t sit that way.
I roll up a blanket and sit on that. I cross my legs, criss-cross-apple sauce style. And I just go from there. If I’m feeling really stiff or have an injury I sit on a chair.
Basically, when I meditate I sit however makes me comfortable.
Rule # 3 NOT ALWAYS IN THE MORNING
Again the yoga tradition recommends that you pray and meditate first thing in the morning. Like before the sun rises in the morning.
I’m not sure if any yogis who have small children have ever tried this, but getting up at 4 in the morning just doesn’t fit into that kind of mom life! When my kids were toddlers and infants I almost always meditated at night after I put them to bed.
Now I can often secure a quite 25 minutes after they have gone off to school. Are you starting to see why my meditation practice is an evolving one?
The point here is that you have to do what is practical and pragmatic for you and your family.
No it doesn’t have to be in any particular way using any particular system. It’s fine to learn from other people how they do things and what works for them. But ultimately you have to try it for yourself and see how it fits into your life. You can learn more about what meditation is and isn’t in this meditation Mini-Course. Get it here!
Last night I had one of the most enjoyable meditation experiences I’ve ever had. It lasted only about 10 minutes. I didn’t mantra or lotus or rise at 4 in the morning.
It was simply lovely! And once you find the “lovely” in your spiritual practices it makes you want to go back and do it over and over again.
Here’s toa meditative week mama!