After teaching meditation for 20 years, I have heard a lot of reasons why people don’t keep up with their traditional meditation practice. Even though I teach it myself, I find it hard to sit for meditation every day. There are so many “shoulds and should nots.” You should sit the same time every day. You should sit with your back straight. You should not scratch your nose when it itches. And my favorite myth: You should not have thoughts!
I don’t know about you, but when someone starts telling me what I should and should not do, I tend to stop listening! I still don’t have the patience to sit still for a half hour a day, or even 15 minutes. Yet I want the positive results found in mediation and its accompanying relaxation. They have been shown to physically decrease pulse rate, blood pressure, respiration rate, oxygen consumption and muscle tension. Mentally it produces an alpha brain wave (an even deeper waves) that heightens cognitive ability.
I wanted those results, but like most people, I had a busy day and not a lot of “me” time to spend on meditating. I found myself looking for ways to get the peace and stillness while I was experiencing life instead of stopping life to have an experience! My first discovery was at the doctor’s office when I was waiting for the nurse to come in and take my blood pressure. Starting with a few deep breaths, I simply focused my attention on the sensation of my breath coming in and out of my nose. It is a simple meditation I teach in my beginner’s meditation class. In just thirty seconds, I found my shoulders already relaxing, my mind start to calm, and my blood pressure ended up being nice and low!
I started to look for more ways to add mini meditation moments into my day. I found another opportunity while doing the dishes. We had no dishwasher, so while I would wash each dish I would make sure my focus was on the temperature of the water on my hands, the feel of the soap, and the water rinsing the dish. When a thought would interrupt my focus, I didn’t worry about having the thought; I simply didn’t put my focus on it. I knew that I would get to it was when I was done with washing the dishes. After a while, I found washing the dishes to be a great way to let go of obsessing thoughts and worries.
Taking a shower is another way I have found to add slightly longer meditations into my day. I can surround and wash myself with golden light, adding a protective and loving energy around me throughout the day. I can do a chakra balancing meditation or focus on washing my body, like I did during dish washing! Turning a phone ringing or getting into the car into a “bell” to remind me to check my attitude and energy is another way I have found to add meditation into my day.
All of these eventually became the backbone to my book on meditation called Soul Soothers: Mini Meditations for Busy Lives. When writing out the meditations, I realized that there were reasons to use each of the meditations; it wasn’t just relaxation and stress release. Although these are great reasons for meditating, there is also the spiritual growth and intuitive connection that comes from any form of mindfulness and meditation.
After spending months reading the Mystics from various traditions for my Master’s thesis, I found that some of the key foundations of any spiritual practice are meditation, mindfulness, and contemplation. Almost each mystic I researched recommend meditation and its companions to the spiritual seekers looking for spiritual maturity.
I found many spiritual lessons that could be taught through meditation and wrote one lesson for each meditation in Soul Soothers. For example: The Review Meditation, where you review your actions for the day and rerun the things you did well in your mind while redoing the situations you would of liked to have handled better to reflect your improvements, brought up the lesson of Karma. Karma is not a punishment; it is a balance. Karma helps move you to the right if you have gone too far to the left and to the left if you have journeyed too far to the right.
The spiritual lesson that goes along with the “Bell” meditation is Discernment vs. Judgment. You can look at a situation and know that it is in alignment with your journey or not with out judging it good or bad. Take the ice cream cone. It is not good or bad on its own. It simply is an ice cream cone. Yet if you eat a super sized cone, you may find that your body first speeds up with the sugar rush and then crashes and you cannot get through the day without a nap. Yet a small cone simply gives a slight rush and you can finish all you have on your to-do list without a glitch. Eating the super sized cone may not align with your chore list, so you may discern that it is not the best choice for you today. It doesn’t mean ice cream is bad. As a matter of fact, there might be a day when you can share that super sized cone with someone you love and it will have a fond place in your heart!
When you fully understand the spiritual, mental, and physical benefits of meditation and are able to add up to a half hour of meditation into your day without sitting for a traditional practice, it becomes easy to start your meditation practice as soon as you put down this article. Simply sense the breath coming in and out of your body as you breathe! You have to breathe anyway, so give it a try. Don’t worry if you do it right or wrong, there is no judgment or should’s here!
For a free glimpse into the first chapter or two of Soul Soothers, click here!
Cindy also offers Psychic Readings. Find out more at PsychicSupport.com
To see Cindy’s Author Introduction Video: Soul Soothers Author Introduction