Quiet is the one thing we don’t seem to be able to achieve on our list of “to dos” for the day. In our techno, fast-moving society we are constantly bombarded by noise from: traffic, barking dogs, assorted beeping machines alerting someone to do something NOW and listening to one-sided conversations as people chat on their cell phones. When all of these noisy distractions are added to the own noise in our heads, it becomes too much. It’s a wonder we don’t just spin out of control.
To avoid that happening, for your sake and the world’s, consider beginning a daily practice of meditation, a gift of relaxation and peace of mind, better tools to help you take on the world.
If you hear the word “meditation” and images of Cat Stevens sitting on a mountain top in Nepal pop into your head, you couldn’t be further from the truth. Like so many things in life, meditation can be as simple as you want it to be -- and as effectual.
Before you begin, find a spot in your home or outdoors where you feel comfortable (and no one is around to interrupt you.) Allow yourself this quiet time and reap the rewards in your life.
Here’s the way Gina Mazza Hillier describes meditation in her book, Everything Matters, Nothing Matters. Simple enough for anyone to do:
Sit straight, close your eyes, follow your breath, allow thoughts to come as they may, release them one by one, continue to follow your breath and say bye-bye to thoughts until there are no thoughts and your mind is a clean slate.
It is simple, but it may take you awhile to get the hang of it. It’s not rocket science; it’s more important than that. As Gina says, “nothing can ‘go wrong’ when you meditate. You cannot do it wrong. If you find that your busy everyday thoughts (brain noise) keep intruding upon your silence, just breath, in, out; in, out; in, out.
If you are expecting a hallelujah moment when you are done with your session, it may not happen. But over time you will notice that you have more clarity in your thinking and that you are more relaxed. “. . .most benefits will be recognized over time in the higher quality of your daily life,” Gina says, not a bad result for a little quiet.
By Teresa K. Flatley