Sunday, October 30, 2011

Silence really is golden

Zen

Yesterday I spent the majority of my day not speaking. No it wasn't a silent treatment directed at my husband, but a series of exercises in pure blissful stillness. I am rounding out my 8th and final week of a Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction class based on John Cabit Zinn's curriculum and approach to meditation. The class has been an eye opening experience on how many of us (myself very much included) get skillfully good at going through our days on auto-pilot. Everything from the way we eat to the way we drive can become incredibly zoned out. The exercises I participated in yesterday were something I did not ever envision myself sitting through so peacefully. Which led me to the realization that I am behind in checking off one item on my life list: Learn the Art of Meditation.

Here is what I now know to be true about meditation:

You don't "learn" to meditate. Meditation is not a destination. It is a practice. It is not a skill, it just is what it is.

Meditation is about being gentle with yourself and what you can do in this moment. There are no "shoulds."

Taking a walk through the woods listening to the sound of the wind in the trees and noticing the color of the grass is a meditation.

Sitting quietly in your car focusing on one breath, then another.....and then another before stepping out into your busy day is a meditation. 

Placing your attention on your toes and breathing with that tiny part of your body is a meditation. 

Eating your food one slow bite at a time, tasting, feeling, smelling and seeing is a meditation.

Meditation is not about thinking about absolutely nothing, but instead an opportunity to compassionately reel yourself back in as your mind slips away.

You see, what I've learned over this past year is that I do in fact already have everything inside of me I need to know to practice meditation. Every day life is a meditation if you allow it to be. If you practice noticing, sensing, feeling then you are practicing a form of meditation. Something I was not aware of when I was plunking down wishes on my life list. I realize now it isn't a skill that can be learned but an artful practice that occurs moment to moment to moment every day of our lives. 

Namaste~

8 comments:

  1. "You see, what I've learned over this past year is that I do in fact already have everything inside of me I need to know to practice meditation. Every day life is a meditation if you allow it to be."

    beautiful words...and so true
    meditation and prayer have lost their true meanings along the way...it is so good to find ourselves back to the truth

    thanks for coming for a visit
    the time with my sister went well... all is well when we are well : )

    love and light

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  2. Beautifully said. It is a practice worth committing to, every day, every breath, as best we can. Wishing you a moment-by-moment week. xo

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  3. Love your reflections on meditation. You are inspiring me to get back on my bench--it's sat alone for over 2 years...xoxo

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  4. good reminder! i need to get more in tune with this. i know i need it. thx as always for sharing this part of your path. wishing you many beautiful moments today!!

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  5. i linked up to this in my latest post here:
    http://loveandlight-cat.blogspot.com/2011/11/storytelling.html

    ps doing a weekend silent retreat this month...looking forward to it
    love and light

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  6. Beautiful. We all need to be reminded constantly to stop trying to get to the end and that everything is not a means to the so called end, but that the true pleasure (and living) is found in the path and the steps we take along it. wishing I could be there with you walking in the woods.
    many blessings xoxo

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  7. wise beautiful words. and such truth. thank you.

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  8. Beautifully said Celina! Anger, frustration, anxiety, impatience, et al, does not exist in the Blissful Present. Enjoy and cherish the infinite wonders and ineffable beauty within each and every moment as you experience your newly found Path with Heart.

    Thank you for Blessing me with your wonderful post and have a lovely, mindful day filled with joy!

    Peace and Love...
    Namaste'

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