For today's meditation, we turn to an EarthRain subscriber,
Kathy W, who shares some helpful insights and techniques:
Chet, I have a suggestion...
Some people, like me, need transition. Going
from many thoughts to no thoughts except the
breath is too big of a step.
So, knowing myself, and knowing I needed
transition, I created my own beginning
meditation practice when I started. Here's
what I did:
For the first week, I sat with a list of
4-5 things to think about. It included my
favorite place to be (my happy place), my
favorite song, my special friend -- good,
peaceful, happy things. Whenever my mind
wandered, I would open my eyes for a moment,
look at my list and refocus. In between each
subject, I made a point to concentrate on 5
breaths, in and out.
The second week, I focused on connecting with
the rhythms of nature as I meditated. Wind,
water, day and night, the ocean tide. I
realized how "slow" nature is and how cyclic.
and how it seems in its season to almost stop
for a period of time. This helped me to
connect with the need to slow down, the
pleasantness of slowing down. Again, when
it came to mind in between thinking about
water and wind, etc., I would notice breath,
this week 8-10 breaths if I could.
The third week, I made the switch. I focused
on breath. And when the old feelings of
boring slowness would creep in, I would allow
myself to bring back my special friend, or
wind for a short time ... and then refocus
So, the point is, I gradually transitioned
from many thoughts to thoughts that were more
akin to breath to fewer thoughts to breath and
by six weeks, I could sit for 20 minutes
noticing nothing but breath. That was three
years ago and now - 30 minutes 4-5 times/week
is my regular meditation regimen.
I really admire people who can make the
switch cold turkey, but I couldn't. And
rather than beat myself up over it, I chose
to do it differently, gradually.
Thanks to Kathy W for sharing with us her excellent
approach to learning to meditate.
Until next time,
Editor, EarthRain Meditations
Maybe this is not exactly the method for you but it can give you a starting point or some new ideas for your own meditation, relaxation method.
Sometimes I simply turn on an old movie for relaxation .... usually puts me right to sleep ..... OK, some do not put me to sleep right away ... some I save scenes for painting references.
oil on canvas panel 8x10