This is our 41st week of On-Line Meditation!
In this challenging time there have been a number of interesting articles on-line, in newspapers and magazines that have encouraged us to cultivate mindful practices that will equip us to live in the moment and therefore adjust to the limitations imposed by the lockdowns.
Kimberly Gillan writing in The Age, 10 Jan’21, wrote a piece called “Don’t Let Mindfulness Stress You Out” where she was basically saying, ‘stay in the present moment but do so without judgment.’ I’m reminded of the pious Jew who confided in his Rabbi that praying made him anxious. The Rabbi suggested that if his friend stopped going to synagogue for a while and stopped nagging God his anxiety would gradually go.
Sometimes I’m concerned that no sooner have I settled into meditation that my mind has other ideas and my thoughts go galloping anywhere but in the present moment. I’ll be planning, throwing around ideas in my head, thinking of anything except the ‘now’. And, yes I often wrist-slap myself for lacking attention. As Kimberly Gillan writes, ‘the more my mind wanders, the more I fret and it seems the harder I try to be mindful, the less present I am.’
There are two parts to mindfulness, the first is coming back to the present moment and the second is not judging. With meditation it is being in the present moment but also acknowledging our limitations and therefore not judging whether our meditation is a success or failure. Practice makes presence and mindfulness is not unlike our biceps – if we flex and work the muscle, it gets stronger. It’s a practice that we develop when we’re not stressed so that we can use it when we are.
So dear friends with our meditation and mindfulness we might have to cut ourselves some slack particularly if you are like me and have a frantic, wandering mind.
And now let’s meditate in the way we are accustomed. You may wish to dedicate this meditation practice to those affected by the pandemic or you might have some other worthy intention.
(Meditate for up to 20 minutes.)
As we go about our daily activities I hope that by our attention, our awareness in the present, our wakefulness ….we will find joy in the midst of the losses brought about during these challenging days..