To love again I have to love myself, right?
Something I’m spending a lot of time on is getting comfortable with myself, particularly with being alone. embracing solitude.
Going on my solo road trip last week was part of this development, and biking has played a big part of it because of all the time spent alone out on the road.
There are other things I’m doing to work on myself and a whole list of other things I want to do. I did one of those things this weekend (and checked another item off my 2011 summer to do list).
I don’t remember when I discovered Spirit Rock Meditation Center and decided I wanted to try my hand at meditation but one thing lead to another and I found myself in the beginning insight meditation retreat this weekend.
Over the course of the 7 hour retreat about 50 other participants and I learned the basics of meditation. While the principles and goals of meditation seem pretty universal I think meditation can mean different things to different people.
For me, meditation is about embracing the now. It’s about using silence and solitude as a way to forget about what has happened and what is coming up, block out all the distractions and be mindful of the present moment.
Because when you’re able to forget about everything going on, you can actually clear your mind. And once you clear your mind and are mindful of what is currently going on around you, you are able to appreciate, focus, enjoy, find peace and work out the brain.
But it’s not easy. Especially if you have a lot going on in your life and you feel like your mind is always racing. I found it hard to keep a clear mind for more than 2 or 3 minutes without some distraction popping in. To help, we learned a handful of tricks and tips for staying in the now (like focusing on breathing or consciously scanning the body from toe to head to toe). We learned to meditate alone, we were led through a love and compassion meditation by our instructor and we were given a dharma talk on the principles of Buddhism.
Similar to activities like yoga and tai chi, meditation requires a lot of practice and discipline. I can’t say I’m going to be a meditation master anytime soon but I’m hoping to continue exploring the practice.
Have you ever tried meditation? How does meditation help you?