|(image courtesy of Wikimedia)|
First of all - what does it mean to meditate? Well, the Oxford dictionary has the definition:
focus one’s mind for a period of time, in silence or with the aid of chanting, for religious or spiritual purposes or as a method of relaxation:
So, essentially it is a method of relaxation, and we all need to relax!! Now, how TO relax - should the meditation be guided or non-guided???
My biggest peeve is when I am reading a meditation and the first thing they say is "Close your eyes" - umm, hello - if I close my eyes how am I going to read the next part of the mediation and although I'm pretty good at remembering things ........ committing a meditation to memory in five minutes is beyond me....
Guided meditations here I come .... and this brings me to my second peeve .... knowing how, where, which ones to download, which are free and which are just tasters ....
Anyway, we finally have our meditation, we are plugged in - we are in a comfortable position and we have made sure we are not to be disturbed and it starts - the gentle voice speaks to us and tells us to concentrate on our breathing ............and then,................NOOOOOOOOOOOO!! please don't try to breath for me - I'm 44 I've been breathing on my own for a long time I don't need to hear you 'fake' breathing while I'm trying to relax .......
Breathe In .....................*snore sound* .............. breathe out .................*snore sound* ......
Nothing, and I mean nothing riles me more than this - so, now I'm totally unrelaxed, I'm fighting the urge to rip the headphones off of my head and throw them across the floor - if I want to hear snoring I'll get hubby to have a nap!!!
So, how to relax and successfully meditate ........... well, everyone is different, not everyone will be able to have a visually stunning meditation guided or not - in fact, whenever I speak to someone who does use guided meditations then they are normally a step or three ahead of the speaker and normally see something completely different ....My visual of Herne the Hunter is completely different to most 'images' of Him... but I digress!
Meditations are personal, they are coloured by how you feel, what is going on in your life and your relationship with the Divine at that point. Many times I've heard people say they couldn't meditate because the 'mind monkey' wouldn't let them relax ..... what if that thought, that image, that phrase you saw that you dismissed as 'mind monkey' IS the message that the Divine sent you???
There will be times that the mind won't still, and there will be others that you find yourself in the 'zone' and wont want to leave ........ Meditation is called a practise for a reason!!
Personally, I like the meditations that leave much of the journey to you the meditator, the ones that give you a brief overview but leave the little details for the Divine and you to fill in ....
And how do I get relaxed and into the 'zone', sometimes it's sitting in my chair and focussing on a candle, sometimes it's lying on my bed just 'drifting' to the sound of my own breathing (no snores here thankyouverymuch!)... again it very much depends on my mood!
Why this blog - well, someone set me the challenge to write my own meditations and it got me thinking, and when I think I ramble and when I ramble I blog !!! (and yes the meditation is written.... it's here if anyone is interested....... )