“It (meditation) is the direct means of freeing the attention from life’s distractions, stilling the turbulent and restless thoughts that keep us from knowing our real Self — the wondrous divine being that we really are. Through the discipline of meditation, we learn to concentrate within, discovering our center of unshakable peace and joy.” ~Self Realization Fellowship Center
Lately I feel as though I’ve been walking a fine line between laughing and crying. It’s an odd feeling, typically I have been 100% in control of my emotions and found it difficult to enter into a “feeling” state.
It all started with doing nothing. As part of Martha Beck’s book The Joy Diet, the first step is to meditate for at least fifteen minutes a day. Before reading this book, I’ve tried meditating many times and have felt some peace from the experience. Yet I never made meditation a part of my routine. Truth be told, I didn’t really understand what I was supposed to feel.
Last week I decided to do something about this debacle of needing to meditate, yet not knowing what I was supposed to feel. This brought me to the Cincinnati Meditation Circle of Self Realization Fellowship.
I walked into the church that housed the Circle and was greeted by one of the calmest beings I’ve ever met. This calm man gave me a quick 5 minute instruction on how to follow along in the hour and half meditation and then we were off to join the other folks.
The setting for the mediation was simple and inspiring. A small room, with an altar including pictures of saints, sages, wonderful smelling candles and soft lighting, contained the area where we would all free ourselves of distraction and collectively mediate and pray for the world’s healing.
For a while I sat there and thought about the other people, the car ride, if Ryan turned off the crockpot….etc. Then I finally let go and lost myself in the mantra provided. Along the way I felt a heaviness, then a numbness and then felt like laughing—weird… I was sitting there with a well-established group of meditators and I had this ridiculous smile on my face.
The session continued along with a series of songs and intentions and I couldn’t help but feel amazed at how out of my own problems I felt while there. I had always believed that I could meditate on my own and find just as many benefits as in a group, but this experience changed me.
Following the meditation last week, there were several times when I would be talking with a friend or reading a book that I wanted to either cry or get so excited about something I could barely sleep. The deepness of the emotions I felt and the joy of everyday opportunities was quite literally overwhelming me.
I felt connected to a new found hope and strength about being able to create the business I want, despite the anxiety I have about it on the surface level. Needless to say, it was a productive use of 90 minutes and I will definitely be attending it each week.
Meditation is one of those mysterious, yet simple things to add to your routine to connect to something you may not quite understand. It takes time to find a process that works for you, at first it may just be a means to relax, but with practice it can be a way to find guidance and answers to long standing issues.
I share my meditation story as a practical example of how changing an element of your practice can really transform the outcome. I didn’t believe that meditation was as powerful as touted, yet when I gathered with others to do it—miraculous things happened.
This week I encourage you to give stillness a chance:). If sitting in a chair meditating doesn’t work for you, take a long walk or do another form of exercise, but when you do so, think of a peaceful mantra whenever thoughts jump into your head. For me, “all is well” works—but feel free to come up with your own mantra that instills peace. By giving stillness a chance, you just may find that answer you’ve been looking for.