I always knew that taking time to calm down, reflect, clear my mind and be open to the deeper thoughts buried within my brain would be of benefit to me. I knew these things and I had absolutely no idea where to start.
Did I read a book, join a group, listen to a singing bowl, hit a gong with a mallet, figure out a mantra???
My mind spins so fast and travels so far and constantly keeps me going over the same self-judgement (usually negative) that I spend most of my time living in confusion of my own creation.
I have had brief moments in my life when I have experienced a meditative episode. I spent time at a Taize workshop out of town with my sister. It drove her crazy. The workshop assisted my calmness tremendously. I completed the day feeling rested and at peace. My sister not so much.
I joined a meditation group at church. We would meet once a week and spend 20 to 30 minutes in meditation. Sometimes it was guided, sometimes music was used, sometimes we used a singing bowl. After a period of time, I found that when I came into contact with this small group, my mind cleared and I was ready to practice reflection.
I noticed that when I entered the small chapel where we joined together in meditation, my breathing slowed, my confusion calmed, my body said yes, this is the right thing to do. I always left the chapel feeling refreshed and calm.
Similarly, I noticed this feeling when I would swim reflectively. I would raise my head and breathe in, face in the water and breathe out. Stretch my body and glide and start again. Relax stretch and stroke. After 20 to 30 minutes of this, I felt revitalized and refreshed.
I think I learned that the place to start is where you are. Relax, clear your mind, stop the confusing thoughts, and repeat. With practice, the mind and body know what to do. No formal training is needed unless that’s where you are.
Now Judy, just do it!!
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