May 28, 2008
Our latest podcast episode is about trust in life and trust in oneself. It’s about a very fundamental kind of trust. It doesn’t have to do with trusting people or things, but with a basic sense that everything is all right just as it is in each moment. Most importantly, it has to do with the sense that we are alright, just as we are. This trust allows us to relax into the flow of life and living, rather than resisting what is happening.
We can learn this kind of trust in meditation as we learn to relax into whatever comes up in our experience. You may notice that at times you resist what is happening. You may feel your mind shouldn’t be filled with thoughts, and a resistance comes up. Or you might try to push out a particular emotion. You may also find there are times when you try to be a certain way. Often people feel that since they are meditating, they should feel peaceful. There can be an attempt to try to feel peaceful. A kind of struggle comes up, a struggle with ourselves and with life. This struggle comes from a lack of trust.
Everything that we experience is an expression of the natural flow of life. The energy of life flows as thoughts, emotions, sensations in the body, sounds around us. As we meditate, we can learn to let that flow happen without interference. We can develop a basic sense of trust in life as we learn to trust what happens within ourselves.
February 22, 2007
I’m quoting naturalhigh‘s comment on my last post. I just love the sense of trust she has in her own process. She has obviously felt a freedom in her journey to try lots of meditation styles, do what works for her and develop her own ways of meditating. Here’s what she said:
“I use meditation to let go of tension, worry, doubt, fear, all the stuff that keeps me stuck and unable to be fully present. I use many different forms of meditation – not the same one for months on end. Sometimes a walking meditation or Sufi dancing can release emotions best. Sometimes getting deeply into my pottery work. Throwing pots is a great meditation. So my best tip is to continually learn and grow and expand your awareness of techniques, and after awhile, develop your own.”
It took me many years to find that kind of freedom and trust in myself, and I suppose that’s why when I lead a guided meditation I try to do it in a way that someone can flow with their own unique process and eventually develop their own style.
I also like naturalhigh’s reference to throwing pots as a meditation. Any activity can be a meditation. Although I still sometimes sit specifically for meditation, I now see my whole life as meditation. If I need to get grounded, I can close my eyes and do a grounding visualization, or I can walk barefoot outside paying attention to the feel of the earth. The possibilities are limitless!
I’d love to hear more comments on peoples’ experiences with meditation.
January 26, 2007
From my point of view, there is no wrong way to meditate. I didn’t really give voice to this viewpoint until I received an email from someone who is enjoying our podcasts. She said she liked them for a number of reasons — “There are a few aspects of the meditations that stand out for me. One I like, is that they don’t seem to have an agenda. Another is that you stress that there is no wrong way. The open endedness is lovely.”
When I received this email it reminded me of the name a woman in my local meditation group suggested for my meditations — she called them “meditations without borders”. Hearing this same sentiment again caused me to reflect on the meditations I lead and how they may differ from others.
My goal, if there is one, is to create a space for people to have their own meditative experience. I trust in the natural capacity of the mind to shift into a more simple, relaxed mode given the chance. I trust in each individual’s process and how their unique spiritual path unfolds. “Open endedness” is such a lovely way to describe it. While all meditation styles are suitable for some people, those which require concentration and effort do not allow us to relax into a spontaneous and natural way of being. What I hope to create is an atmosphere where one can relax into the natural flow of life and living. I hope to encourage trust in life as it is unfolding in each moment, and trust in oneself.
I’ve been enjoying receiving emails and feedback from people listening to the podcasts. I hope this blog can become a place for a lively exchange and encourage you to leave your comments!