I love meditation. I began a deepening your meditation class several years ago and since then have really learned how to sit with the process of going deeper into my body and of learning how to sit still. Many of the first times I meditated, it was hard to sit with the discomfort showing up in my body and stay with it. Not moving my leg or back but just noticing how it felt was very challenging. Soon after I started my meditation practice, I attended a longer meditation day retreat – 8 hours – in total, not all of it was sitting meditation, we also did movement, had lunch and listened to some interesting guided discussion. But I was agitated and also irritated throughout this long day because I was cold while I was trying to meditate.
I read a book soon into my practice called Meditation for Beginners by Jack Kornfield and I began to understand that certain experiences are all part of the process. The quieting and calming of the mind will kick up things whether real or created to distract and deter you and part of what you are working on each day is the “being” part. The noticing and accepting of these distractions. I was noticing but hadn’t gone deeper just to be with it, I was trying to make it go away. It’s interesting to me what this “being” part can help you during the rest of your life but of course the point isn’t to be meditating all the time but rather bring what we learn while we are meditating to our lives, to our day to day existence and help it guide us through the irritations and distractions we have throughout our day.
More recently, I have incorporated the metta practice, or the practice for loving kindness into my weekly meditation. During this loving kindness meditation we offer a wish or a blessing to some one we love, to a familiar stranger, to ourselves and to someone we have a difficult relationship. The phrase I repeat for these four people as I am saying this meditation is: May I be safe, May I be happy, May I be healthy, May I live with ease. A few weeks ago, I got permission to do a short Loving Kindness meditation for a large government all staff event where I was keynoting. It was incredible to witness 350 people eyes closed, grounded and leaning into a few minutes of loving kindness meditation. I heard afterwards that people enjoyed that brief touch with meditation even in a public setting.
I think there is definitely an incorrect stereotype of who meditates, what they look like, how it has to be done and where etc. Meditation can be incorporated anytime, anywhere and has such incredible benefits not the least of which is just acknowledging your breath, noticing a moment in time and being more present in your life. I am enjoying so much, having permission to share this new love of meditation in my professional work. If you are interested in learning more about loving kindness for your company or association I’d love to share what I know.