Meditation, 11h November 2021
The book “The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Mindfulness” a contemplative approach to living in the moment written by US authors, Anne Innenstadt and Carolyn Flynn. (Alpha Publishing, 2009) is a resource I have dipped into over the years particularly when I’m constantly focussed on what’s next rather than being in the now. The authors write that there is wholeness and serenity in dwelling in the awareness of the present moment and that meditation complimented with everyday acts of mindfulness is a way to live in the present moment, meeting your mind with open eyes and open arms.
I’m often told by new meditators, and indeed this was my early experience, that when you first begin meditating, it can be pretty miserable much of the time. I didn’t feel like I was really doing anything other than noticing how busy my mind was. I would spend my entire meditation time caught up in thought, trying to extricate myself and come back to concentrating on my breath, but a few seconds later I’d go back to planning what next I had to do or even thinking of songs that I enjoyed. But I persevered, spoke with other more experienced meditators, read books and visited meditation centres so that after a while I began to notice subtle changes in the way I looked at the world and how I saw myself. I was for a time distracted by self-congratulatory thoughts such as, “I’m pretty good at this meditation lark, I think I’ve made it!” I soon realised that this is counter- productive because such thoughts transported me to the future- the reward, the big pay -off for my effort. I was not ‘in the moment’. I should have been here in the now, not as it will be, but as it is.
The fruits of meditation and mindfulness practice can be subtle and take a long time, but in time and as your practice deepens and you travel this path you will begin to see and your heart will open to the joy that surrounds you.
Now let’s meditate in the way in which we are most comfortable always conscious that we meditate for others as well as ourselves.
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