Tuesday, March 3, 2015

The Power of a Daily Meditation Practice

For me, just sitting quietly is the most nourishing gift to and from my inner world.
 It is also a gift to the larger world.
-Russell Delman

Meditation is the best and also the most important thing I do each day.  It is the ground on which the rest of my life is built.  It has changed my life more than anything else.  I cannot put into words how grateful I am for my practice or for the people and events which have helped put my practice in place.  Everything I have wanted has come from that place of stillness and presence that meditation connects me with.  Everything.  If I could offer one tool to help people live a better life it would not be diet or exercise or even education.  It would be the power of a daily practice.

 I am not a meditation master by any means.  I have only been meditating for about two and a half years.  For almost the first three decades of my life I had no concept of meditation whatsoever.  It was completely foreign to the way in which I lived my life.  Making time and space for meditation has taught me to value being over doing.

Usually I meditate in the morning after I’ve had my coffee.  I use various recordings or just follow my breath in silence.  Mostly I sit in a traditional posture, but some days I lie down.  I meditate at night or in classes as I am able to.  I try to find moments of my work day where I can also sit still or teach my students to sit still.  I skip days here and there.  Some mornings I end up finishing my coffee on my cushion and petting Boo for the duration.  It counts.  It works.  After meditating I will set an intention for my day or offer a prayer or goodwill for those in my life.  My prayers usually involve letting go of my personal will and opening up to the ground of being (also known as reality).  Meditation has helped me trust that reality is infinitely kind, loving, and supportive of us.

I don’t know how or why meditation works, but I know without a doubt that it does.  It unravels the knots we have tied around ourselves.  Through sitting I have been able to cultivate kindness towards myself and an ability to welcome and inhabit more aspects of my life.  I have been able to cultivate kindness towards others and forgive grudges I was carrying.  Meditation has brought a peace, presence, and stability to my life that I deeply long for.  It helps me see more clearly what my priorities are and it helps manifest those priorities in my outer life.  It puts me in touch with our inherent nature which is noble, wise, and good.  It is the single best gift I have ever given or received.

I would like to close with a blessing taught to me by Erin Geesaman Rabke in her Embodied Women class which I offer you.

Through the power and the truth of our simple practice

May we and all beings have happiness and the causes of happiness.

May we and all beings be free from sorrow and any causes of sorrow.

May we and all beings live in equanimity without
 too much attachment or too much aversion

May we and all beings live recognizing and honoring the equality of all that lives.

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