Monday, January 4, 2010

How Meditation has helped Me

I have tried meditation for many years, with varying degrees of success. The meditation class that Carrie Solano at 2succeed teaches has been particularly helpful to me.

We begin by spending about fifteen minutes talking and reading special cards, something similar to fortune-telling cards. We have angel cards and native-American cards. Those who wish to, shuffle the deck, and pull out one to read. The cards are intended to provide personal insight and guidance.
I rarely use the cards, myself, but have been amazed once or twice by how well they relate to my current situation.

Reading the cards is a good exercise to begin with, because it tends to get us to focus, and to make us feel that we are connecting to a spiritual or inner part of ourselves.

We then lower the lights, and Carrie puts on a meditation CD, which usually is a type of very relaxing music. Often the CDs have sounds of nature, or gentle-sounding instruments, like flutes, which I find helps to relax me deeply.

Carrie then instructs us to get comfortable, loosen tight clothing if desired, put both feet flat on the floor, and take three deep, cleansing breathes. We then begin the meditation, in which we try to gently quiet our minds, and reduce or eliminate the constant chatter that most of us have going through our minds all the time.

I often have difficulty persuading my mind to become quiet, as I believe most people do. If I can get it to quiet for several seconds, or maybe even a minute or so, I find that I become much more relaxed, both in my mind and body. I find that things don’t bother me as much. My body starts to feel a little bit better, and some of my aches and pains lessen. Sometimes, I don’t even feel the need to scratch an itch, but just let it be until it goes away by itself.

We meditate for about twenty minutes, and then Carrie lets us know that it is time to come out of it. We each open our eyes when we are ready, and then the lights are gradually turned back on. While we are meditating, there are several candles burning, as well as a type of incense coming out of a misting-type device. It is never completely dark in the room, but just a nice low light.

I’m always a little disappointed when the meditation is over, because it never seems quite long enough for me. I am always much more relaxed when it is over, though.

Even though I meditate at home from time to time, I have noticed that doing it in a group helps a great deal to keep my mind from wandering, and to help me stay focused. Maybe there is even some sort of group energy that helps to make the meditation more effective.

Afterwards, we all have tea, herbal tea or whatever we want. It’s a nice way of coming back to the “real world”. We often talk at that time about what we experienced while meditating, or about other spiritual or mystical things. Often the discussion is very interesting.

I personally feel that the meditation and the card reading, and the discussion afterward is completely compatible with any and all religious or spiritual beliefs, or with the lack of such beliefs. We all have the need to relax and quiet our noisy minds, and connect with that special something that is inside of our minds.

Todd Thorne

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