On Meditation

Here is an excerpt from my manuscript,Journal of a Move: One Woman's Voyage Into a New Life

Morning sitting in the stillness of my home is a healing time. This particular morning I am thinking about my meditation classes. Inwardly I begin to run through my instruction. Sit tall with your spine aligned upright without any straining. Gently close your eyes or cast them downward with a soft gaze. Let your mind be drawn to your breath, watching, feeling your breath travel in and out of your body. Slowly begin to bring your attention to your body, beginning at the crown of your head. Look for any place within you that feels tight or constricted. Do this throughout your body, traveling downward, looking for tension. If you find any, let your attention remain at that place for a few breaths. Using your breath, imagine releasing any tension or constriction as you exhale. Allow yourself as much time as you need to take a full inventory within, releasing any tension that you are able to release. When you have completed this, let your attention be drawn back to your breath and once again let your consciousness stay with your breath. Feel it, feel your body expanding and contracting. Let your breath sink more deeply into your belly as you relax, feeling your breath deepen as you deepen into your calm state. Allow yourself to watch any thoughts that arise as you sit quietly. Do not force them away but rather name them and then allow your attention to return to your breath rather than to give it over to your mind process. Perhaps if your mind will not let go of your thoughts, you can name a little more about the story or activity or drama. Perhaps with this naming some feelings, some emotion will arise within and you may become emotional, you may cry or laugh. Allow it. Do not resist it. If it will not pass or the emotions become too intense, you may need to have an emotional release. Perhaps journal about what you are experiencing so that you may more deeply release and make peace. The essential part is that you learn to stay with yourself. Do not resist what is coming up but rather take an accepting and loving stance with yourself, learn to tolerate and be with whatever is occurring internally. In this way, you will become more powerful to yourself, no longer hiding what is within but learning to accept it all, just as it is. Over time you have the potential to dissolve it all, any emotion or feeling that troubles you. It may seem hard to believe but this is the reality of it. It does not own you. It only resides in you as long as you allow it or invite it. No matter how the session or sitting evolves, try to remember to finish your session with conscious breathing and thank yourself for taking the time and offering yourself the gift of your undivided attention. Do this as often as you would like. You cannot do it too often. It is like a psychotherapy session. It won’t necessarily replace therapy, but over time it might. At times it is important to receive feedback or to have someone receive our experience. But much can be done with our own good attention. If you want to hear your own best wisdom, to have magical and mysterious experiences of deep knowing, you will have to go through periods of staying completely with yourself. You must cultivate the ability to attune to your deeper wisdom, to that inner voice with it’s own special quality and answers for you about your concerns and questions. People often tell me that they hear all kinds of voices and directives within. They want to know how they will know when they hear the voice of wisdom that they can trust. You may not know this answer until you can cultivate peace within and stay with yourself. You cannot avoid the time it will take to do this. How long? I do not know. Sorry. You must give, in order to receive; it is the natural circle of life.