This is our 44th week of On-Line Meditation!
Sitting in meditation has been accepted as a path to spiritual emancipation for thousands of years. Through the power of concentration during our meditation practice we can achieve a unification and tranquillity of the mind, and eventually, if our aspiration is pure, come to that peaceful realisation of being in the present, of living our life in the now. It’s simple; we just sit, regulate our breathing and concentrate our mind. This is the experiential way to cultivate inner meaning and purpose in our life.
In these times when many of us are time-poor and life is governed by consumerism there can easily arise within ourselves a lack of faith or even scepticism about meditation; about living a mindful and meditative life. Most of us need a map before we move ahead with confidence, a map or plan we can trust to help us chart our spiritual journey,. That map might well be meditation.
Our practice can begin, and most of us are always beginners, with counting the inhalations and exhalations of our breath. This can be the first step in the process of stilling our body, quieting discursive thought, and strengthening concentration. It is often the first step because in counting the in and out breaths, in natural rhythm and without strain, the mind has a scaffolding to support it. Gradually the counting fades and our concentration is on the rising and the falling of the breath. It’s at this point that we can experience inner harmony, serenity and a happiness which fills us with peace.
When distractions come, and they do constantly, I find it useful to say to myself ‘thinking, thinking, thinking ‘until my thoughts are gone and again I’m concentrating on the breath. Should a fellow-meditator cough I might say to myself, ‘coughing, coughing, and coughing’ again, until I return to concentrating on the breath.
Meditation is a precious gift which we must guard, cherish and cultivate by practice. It is a path to happiness.
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..