Meditation Class: Week 6

                                     brenda pic for mailLast Week of Class & Beyond

By now the last class is a blur in my memory.  I remember thinking at the time that there was nothing significant that occurred to write about that was different from the previous classes. Then I was off the next day to a restful and relaxing vacation in sunny Mexico for twelve days.  In Mexico I did not do any formal type of meditation practice.  Instead, I chose to be mindful of being mindful as often as I could.

Now that I’m back home and meditating each day, here’s my report regarding the value I’ve gained from practicing up until now: 1) It’s ever present on my mind to be aware of what’s happening in the present moment;  and 2) I’m becoming better at working the process of detaching from being sucked into being my emotional state.  For example: when I feel sad, I can more easily detach myself from the feeling by recognizing that I feel sad, let my thoughts, including judgments about the feeling float away, and then simply be in the present moment  Then sadness becomes a word with no energetic charge. I realize that I was not sad; I was merely thinking thoughts that caused the emotion of sadness to arise in me.  I find it helps to change my language to I had thoughts that made me feel sad  instead of  I am sad.  [This process of detaching from any emotion requires – first of all - that I desire to feel better. I’ve learned that there’s a part of me that likes the sadness, as melancholy as it might be. Soooo, part of why I have the experience of sadness at all is that, at some level, I enjoy it.]

Meditation Class: Week 4

Metta, or Loving-kindness meditation was introduced into our practice last Monday. It’s about developing compassion, which is meant to bring balance to being mindful (aware). During my half hour of practice each day there’s no doubt that the time I spend with the Metta is my favorite.  I like it because my mind gets to focus on words that have meaning instead of me just focusing on the rise and fall of my belly. Also, there’s the fact that compassion is a quality of life that brings me more in touch with my humanity and the humanness of others; I have room for more of that, for sure.

The best thing I can say about the rest of my practice time is that I’m able to relax, observe, and allow; these are the three parts of the intention I set each day before I begin.  The allow part is my greatest accomplishment to date.  I no longer beat myself up for not meditating right, or yap about how ineffective I think I‘m being.

As of now, I don’t look forward to meditating for any reason other than it’s on my checklist as something I’ve committed to, and it must be done. The good news is I have less doubt than before that a time will come when I look forward to meditation for the insight and peace it brings me.

Meditation Class: Week 3

Busy Mind versus Quiet Mind

Voice Dialogue has taught me that there are many parts of myself (I refer to them as Selves) –most on a continuum of opposites.  Up until the middle of last week, part of my preparation for meditation practice was to reason with the Self I call Busy Mind – the part of me that thinks, thinks, thinks, and has no idea about what is the here and now.  I asked it to give me just a half hour to spend with Quiet Mind; I promised Busy Mind that I would not forget it, and would give it the rest of the day. But Busy Mind – being afraid to give up its control – was having none of it.  As a result, the five hindrances to being mindful (desire, aversion, boredom, restlessness, and doubt) reigned supreme most of my practice time. 

Late in the week I had a session with my Voice Dialogue facilitator to get better acquainted with my Busy Mind. In that visit I learned that my Busy Mind does not exist apart from the many Selves that use it. My Creative Self, Planner Self, Problem Solver, Worrier, and Reminiscing Self are just some of the parts of me that need Busy Mind to exist. When I’m thinking, it’s for sure that one of these parts of me is thinking.  Now I have the ability to converse with which ever Self that’s active at the time, “What do you need from me?  Can it wait until after this practice session? I promise to give you time then.” 

It’s only been a few days since my Voice Dialogue session, and I’m feeling excited and happier than before.  Letting these parts (especially Creative Self) express themselves afforded me a lot of clarity that I know will prove to be valuable in my meditation practice, and my whole life.  It’s always so fascinating to me how one process begets another as I, and all of us seeking more clarity, journey through life.