“I am a traveller on a sacred journey through this one shining day.” Richard Wagamese
Over the last few weeks I have been trying different meditation tools to assess them and try to find one that might be best for me. Why meditation? I ask myself that question too. I like the idea of it, but I’ve never been able to stick with meditation. It’s likely my personality, my need to move, do, and make stuff happen. On the other hand, it could simply be my unruly mind. Whether you’ve known me casually or forever, you’ve likely deduced that I tend towards being a bit manic. Stop laughing.
Of late, I have felt even more out of control. I can blame a busy schedule, a ton of things going on, and too many worries, but this is true for everyone. Life is hectic. I am not unique. Typically when I’m stressed, I keep going, blindly hoping everything will sort itself out. I add more things onto my plate, perhaps thinking that these new tasks will take my mind off the other ones I’ve been obsessing about. I know I’m not making much sense (do I ever), but here I go again, adding meditation to the schedule. I’ve convinced myself that this is something completely different.
So I’ve meditated each morning and stopped during the day to read a meditation from Richard Wagamese’s book of meditations, Embers. The result: I have written more in the last few weeks. I’ve had more restful sleeps overall. I’ve also had all sorts of feelings of resentment crop up and I’ve explored some of the causes. It’s interesting what you find when you actually look at yourself. There’s no bad guy here though. Well, maybe one. Me. I say yes to many things. It’s a blessing and a curse, but for sure more the former than the latter.
The latest app I’ve been trying is Headspace. The meditations start in the same way, focusing on the breath. If thoughts veer you away from the breath, you are instructed to gently nudge your mind back to the breath. At the beginning of the meditation, I’m usually wrestling with all the things I have to do that day. But slowly I refocus on the breath. I think I’m getting better at it, but then again, I might be deluding myself. Who knows?
Midway through the meditation the instructor encourages you to let the mind wander wherever it needs to go. The instruction is not to control it in any way. It’s strange to me that when I get to this part, my mind is not interested in wandering.
Will I continue with meditation? It’s too soon to know. I like it. I like making time just to be. It isn’t who I am naturally, but who knows maybe I’ll discover something about myself I didn’t know.
For now, I want to highly recommend Embers. Richard Wagamese was a generous man in life, giving of himself to students, readers and fellow writers. In death, he left us this precious gift. As the back cover notes: Bring these words into your life. Feel them. Sit with them. Use them.
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