I know. You don’t have time to meditate. I don’t have time to meditate either. No one has time to meditate and yet we all have all the time we are ever going to have. We strive for peace, beauty and happiness, but our hours, days, weeks and then years seem to slip away and we are just as behind on our “to do” lists as we ever were. While we are busy, it seems we are making things happen, being productive and that we are with purpose. Resting and calming are considered luxuries that we simply can’t afford.
Our failure to rest makes us prone to panic, anxiety and depression. Our unhappiness creates mental chaos and we find that even small decisions are hard to make with clarity. Our sleep is elusive and of poor quality and we can’t remember our last dream. Our health is “ok”, but we suffer headaches, digestive problems, chronic low back ache, exhaustion and most of the time we can function, but it always feels like just getting by. Barely. At times, our little aches and pains tip the scale towards illness and unease that makes us miss work, school and the activities we enjoy.
Why are we so willing to invest time and energy in creating conditions of unhappiness? We are terrified of what would happen if we tried to sit for five, ten or even fifteen minutes a day and check in with our bodies, ask our hearts their desire and to feel the breath moving in and out. Maybe you tried to meditate once and became overwhelmed by the flood of thoughts, ideas and fantasies that came to mind in a powerful and uncontrollable flow? Maybe you would like to meditate but you don’t know how and you have imagined that you need to sit somewhere quiet for an hour and “clear your mind” and you know that’s impossible for you?
Meditation is available to you and bringing acts of awareness and compassion into your daily life is a radical and transformative act. You don’t need special clothing, to be able to sit on the floor or to be able to “empty” your mind. All you need is what you have if you are reading this—your body and your breath. You don’t need to sit for an hour (wouldn’t THAT be nice!). You need to make a commitment to practice and there are infinite ways to practice.
I offer an online course called A Mindful Month that invites students to use their senses of taste, balance, touch, and smell to create a sensual state of mindfulness through the day. The course gives written guidance for twelve 5-minute meditations, four 10-minute audio guides that you can download as MP3 recordings and a bonus 20-minute audio guided deep relaxation. You can enroll here for INSTANT ACCESS. The benefits of meditation have been proven, but you must practice to receive those benefits. This is a perfect introduction to meditation or a lovely inspiration to re-inspire a dedicated meditation practice.
Written by Sharon Fennimore, a birth doula and yoga and meditation instructor based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Her Registered Yoga School (RYS™), Yoga Matrika, offers a variety of online yoga teacher training programs. Private sessions are available on SKYPE wherever you are in the world or in-person in Pittsburgh.