Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Meditation

What is meditation?   Is it sitting in a specific posture, with the eyes closed and the mind still?   Have you ever attempted to stop the thoughts running through your mind, just by sitting still?   We live in a culture, in a world where everything is happening so fast, and I know my thoughts move so fast sometimes I could get dizzy.  It has taken me a lot of practice to just be able to sit still and pay attention to my breath, to be present in one moment.   Right now that is what meditation is to me, to be present in the moment.  To notice my breath, to really feel how a simple breath fills all the different parts of my body, to notice the areas it moves into easily and to notice the areas that don't recieve well.  

My definition of meditation and my understanding of it has changed a lot in the last couple of years.  My first impression of meditation was that it was the absence of thought, that people who meditated knew how to shut off the thoughts, and just basked in silence.  So I got frustrated, because the more I thought I about turning off my thoughts the more they seemed to race.  The more I focused on not moving in a posture the more I wanted to move, the more it hurt.   

My teachers helped me understand the importance of shifting the focus to what you want.   So if sitting completely still and rigid hurts, don't do it.   One thing to focus on is breath, so I started laying down, with my spine long and my back supported, breathing was easy in that postion for me.  I didn't have to force my breath, I could simply observe it.   

The more I practiced the more I was able to find that peaceful state, that stillness I was looking for.  I was able to find that state throughout my day.   I was able to find stillness in movement.  I was also able to find the movement in stillness, the balance that my body is capbable of achieving. Even if I just observed it for a microsecond, this wasn't about holding a state, I first had to find what that state felt like to me.  

I was in a class the other way, playing with balancing.  The photo below, finding that place is all about balance.  Finding the activation in the feet, not flipping over, trusting the arms and hands to hold you, it is finding that perfect spot where the position is comfortable and the mind relaxes, it lets go.   I trust my arms to hold me, I allow my nervous system to find the balance point and I feel my body.  I have found when I am really in touch with my senses, when I trust in my ability to find stability, my mind doesn't race.

Question to consider: What is your experience with meditation?  How do you define that state?


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