One of the misconceptions about meditation is that the mind becomes a void, which seems impossible as Nature hates a void. Every gardener knows this truth because if you leave the ground empty, a weed volunteers to fill the space. Define meditation as having a steady mind, a peaceful mind, a willingness to open up the mind to be aware and in the moment.
When we feel unbalanced, as so often occurs when our daily activities seem frustrating or tiring, we seem to black out a bit, become disoriented. Our thoughts may start to turn to worry, anxiety and our bodies suffer a diminishment. We start to sag, stoop; we hold tension and begin to hurt. Being able to concentrate is like adjusting a camera lens into crystal clear focus.
The root of the word "spirit" is the same as respiration, so by focusing on our breathing we naturally allow the body to find its own connection to peace. Notice that in times when you're in overdrive and doing too much, you feel like you can't catch your breath.
Learning to meditate is simple and for any Joe or Jane in Novato:
1. Sit upright and relaxed; it's important to be comfortable.
2. Allow your breath to move freely and appreciate its steadiness.
3. Connect to the present moment, be aware of where your body feels closed and relaxed.
4. As you sit, imagine that you are sitting on a throne with dignity.
5. Reflect on the heart and let any waves of thought come and disappear.
6. Sit for at least 10 minutes, then stand with the same sense of dignity and awareness.
As you move through the rest of you day, check your posture and breathing. As the old year passes and the new one unfolds, reflect on making meditation a part of your daily life.