Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Returning to a forgotten practice

I have been thinking a lot about meditation these days. Everytime I read a blog post or an article about meditation my Spirit stirs. It's telling me that its time to begin again. It's letting me know that communing with the Divine everday is, well, divine.

There was a time about 3 years ago when I had a meditation practice every morning. It was something I did because the sponsor I had in a certain 12-step program I belonged to, told me to do it every morning. It looked like me sitting in a chair with my eyes closed and my mind racing here and there and then I would eventually just fall asleep. There was no connection with the Divine. There couldn't be. My heart was cold then and my Spirit was in captivity. I couldn't hear what my Spirit wanted because I couldn't find my Spirit. I gave up that meditation practice a little over a year ago and never tried again.

I have had brief periods of time when I would attempt to meditate to help center myself. Each time would be the same results. Mind racing, no concentration, frustration and eventually I would just give up.

Recently, however, I have been listening to my Spirit. It longs to be quiet and connect with the Divine. I even tried some of those powerful meditations that I have come across. I loved the way that I felt after each meditation, but I still struggled to turn it into a daily practice. I needed to make my own meditation practice. A meditation that I knew was tailored specifically to me. So I have created one based on what I feel the most connected to.

Here's my perfect, just for Jill, meditation practice. I get up at day break and wander outside to sit on a blanket in the woods under the biggest, oldest tree I can find. My back rests at the trunk of this wise old tree and I close my eyes and let Tree Energy connect me to the most Divine. I can feel myself becoming one with the tree, one with nature, one with Light. My Spirit and I hang out there together long enough to be filled with the energy of the Divine. Just enough energy to get me through the day, until the next day when the whole thing starts over. Perfection.

There's only one problem with this perfect meditation. I live in MN and it's freezing at day break, and I don't live in the woods. I live in town with neighbors who would love to talk about the crazy lady sitting under the tree every morning. So it appears that my perfect meditation will remain perfect if only in my mind.

Now here's how my "real" meditation looks like. I rise at 6 am and wander into the living room. Put on my meditation CD of music inspired by nature, Native American tradition and the sound of the Far East. I sit comfortably in my big comfy chair and close my eyes. I guide myself out into the woods at day break, sitting on a blanket under the biggest, oldest tree I can find. I've written about this tree here. My back is resting at the trunk of this wise old tree and I close my eyes and ask the tree to connect me to the most Divine. I can feel myself becoming one with the tree, one with nature, one with Light. My Spirit and I hang out there together long enough to be filled with the energy of the Divine. Just enough energy to get me through the day, until the next day when the whole thing starts over. Perfection.

I love my new meditation made just for me. It is just what I need to start my day off. (I used to think it was coffee that I needed) I connected with Tree Energy today without even leaving my warm home. I connected with Spirit and the Divine and I still feel connected 7 hours later.

Do you have a meditation practice? Please share if you do.

If you would like one, but struggle with knowing what to do, I would suggest you visit Janice Lynne Lundy's blog, Awake is Good. You can find her blog here. She has Meditation Mondays and I have gotten some very good meditation wisdom from her.

Happy meditating!!

Just my thoughts.


Joy said...

I love the visual aspect you describe--can just picture you sitting under "your tree". I haven't been good at sitting to meditate--I run laps at my comfort beach by the ocean, and that is my meditation. I like to be in the elements, feel the wind in my face and blowing my hair, look out to my backyard islands, run exactly at the place the water laps the beach, exhilirating. I usually set an intention for my run, and by the end I am facing the hills and giving lots of praise. If I have time, I walk the rocks at the jetty and find a big one to stretch out and lay in the sun and listen to the ocean/watch the clouds. My soul sings.

shiny mamaof6 said...

Joy - What a beautiful meditation practice. You prove that you don't need to sit to meditate. Thank you for sharing it here.

Megan "JoyGirl!" Bord said...

You know what's funny, Jill? I think more and more of us are being asked to go back to meditation right now. I, like you, had a more regular practice years ago. Now it's sporadic. I try to sit five days a week, but usually only for 12 minutes at a time, and I know I need more. Why am I so distracted? Why do I resist quiet introspection? I think I'll write about that in the upcoming weeks, as a friend illuminated something for me last night.

In any case, I love the meditation you've concocted for yourself, and you've inspired me to do the same. I love the ocean - the New England coast, especially. I can go there in spirit each day. I also may buy a CD of flute music from Michael Searching Bear (incredible Native American living flute player... wow!).

Thanks for writing this today, and nudging me yet again to take more time for meditation. No more excuses! Just do it for longer durations. I'll be glad I did.

shiny mamaof6 said...

Megan - I only meditate for about 12 minutes right now. I do that because I know that if I go much longer I also become distracted. I don't know if there is a magical amount of time one must meditate. If I can connect with the Divine in 12 minutes than why should I expect to "last" longer.

I know that I will increase this amount of time. Babysteps. The New England coast sounds like a beautiful place to guide your Spirit to.

Thanks for the CD idea. Love, love Native American flutes.

Caroline said...

It's been so ling since I have meditated. I love your visualization though. I love guided meditation....and love to visualize myself in a vast field with the energy of the earth grounding me and the sun empowering me. Your post was just what I needed...perhaps a sign for me to get back into my practice.

shiny mamaof6 said...

Practice away Caroline. I love the thought of sitting in a big field spending time with Sun. Very powerful.

mermaid said...

Thank you for creating your practice, and making space for its sacrednes. You are sacred, special, and you are beginning to nurture this spirit. Good for you.

I practice Vipassana (mindfulness), compassion practice, and a Feeding your demons meditation. Together they are healing me more than any Eastern or Western treatment ever could.

May you be that tree and know that you are strong and loved.

septembermom said...

You give me such encouragement to pursue meditation. I do try to practice yoga once in a while. The little ones seem to break me out of "yoga zone" pretty quickly :) I want to start spending time on my deck and just allowing my breath to take over my thoughts. I need to release. Thank you!

shiny mamaof6 said...

Mermaid - Thank you for recognizing the sacred in me. I do feel that I am really beginning to nurture my Spirit and I finally feel this sacredness. I would love to hear more about the Feeding your demons meditation. Sounds like something I could benefit from. Please feel free to share it here or email me if you prefer.

Septembermom - I have been trying to start Yoga also, but that is not as easy to do. I also get distracted by Littles and my body doesn't move very well first thing in the morning when they are asleep. So meditation was my next idea. I strongly encourage you to step out and spend that time on the deck. I would welcome you with open arms.

Zeenat said...

Oh JIll I am so happy youve found your meditation rhythm again. The connection thats felt in that very moment is just wondrous to say the least. :)
I could just see you all at peace and meditating under your beautiful tree.
MY meditation practice is more with natures voices...i personally dont like i sit quietly and just root myself to the ground I am sitting on..the rest takes care of itself...the rooting for me is very that my mind doesnt start roaming around in la la land :)

shiny mamaof6 said...

Zeenat - Thank you for sharing your meditation. I would love to be able to meditate outside. Someday it will be. I love the idea of using nature's voices.

suZen said...

Hi Jill!
Your tree spot - whether real or imagined - is delightful! I can do outdoor meditation at the lake house but here in suburbia not so much!

I'm a fan of meditation type music just to get me to settle down and breathe. I think I automatically tune it out when I'm really deeply into it - at least I'm not aware of it. Funny you should mention 12 minutes - that would be a good day for me! Altho I've been known to go from meditating smack into a nap too! I don't have a "routine" per se - I'll do it daily but when and where varies a lot. Sorry if this isn't helpful. I think we all need to do whatever we are most comfortable with, don't you? As long as we do it! :)

Jan said...

Thank you for the kind reference. Awww...I am so glad that Meditation Mondays are helping. Your new meditation practice sounds perfect and very YOU. I agree, I would much rather be outside on my porch in my rocker, overlooking the garden, but because I live in the north country like you do, it is just not possible. So I do like you do, warm blanket, soft music, candle and gaze out over the Bay...Meditation comes. Enjoy, enjoy!

shiny mamaof6 said...

SuZen - I absolutely believe we all need to do what we are comfortable with. I always struggled when I tried to perform a certain meditation. It didn't feel real until I became part of the meditation. Thanks for sharing here.

Jan - I am always honored to be able to mention your blog here. Yours has been so helpful to me. It helped me to see that I needed to find something that felt natural. This meditation found me. Or rather was presented to me through Spirit. Thank you again.

Jay Schryer said...

I have a similar thing where I visualize myself at the beach, watching the sun sink slowly into the sea. The ocean brings me such peace, and I haven't been able to get there for so long. It hurts, being away, but meditation helps ease the pain, and connects me with the Goddess. Thank you for sharing your meditation practice with us.

Tess The Bold Life said...

Yeah for you and meditation. My husband and I started meditating 7 months ago. It works miracles if you want my opion;)

shiny mamaof6 said...

Jay - I know that you will be with the ocean again someday and what a great way to connect with that peaceful energy right now. Thanks for sharing.

Tess - I love the idea of meditating with a spouse. I might have to work on Mr. Man, but I won't hold my breath. And, yes, it does work miracles.