Why Do I Meditate?

A friend asked me my opinion the video, Meditation Techniques Demonstrated by Deepak Chopra. I had several reactions, including:

  • Hmmm, sounds like Wayne Dyer’s Meditations for Manifesting : Morning and Evening Meditations to Literally Create Your Heart’s Desire – which is an interesting approach to meditation that I’ve had some success with but have dropped.
  • Darn, he’s making meditation too complicated, which surprised me because I remember the struggle I used to have trying to meditate, partly by making it too complicated.
  • I’ve never had any luck relieving a migraine for any length of time with that technique, or any other except sumatriptan.
  • Sigh. I’m full of doubts about meditating for stuff, money, even healing – largely because even though I’ve used Dyer’s technique with a bit of success I tend to do those from fear and fear just doesn’t work for me.

Having passed judgement (!) I began to wonder why I meditate and these ideas came to me:

  • Now, meditation makes me feel better – not all at once or all the time, but in general.
  • Regular meditation, and these days I practice Zen in the style of Thich Nhat Hanh, answers my desire to follow a spiritual path.

Okay, so what to I mean by a spiritual path? It changes, even from day to day, but in this moment I mean opening up to what Carl Jung called the “numinous other.” That sense that there is something more, larger, bigger than just us. It’s that feeling many of us have on a starry night or when looking at a new born.

Sometimes I’m happy to call that ‘other’ God or Goddess, but when I use those terms I tend to get caught up in pictures from Sunday School and the media and none of those are what I sense.

So I sit, watching my breath, in and out until my mind drifts, which it always does. When I notice, I come back to my breath. Over and over again – when I’m bored, when I’m angry, when I’d rather be doing almost anything else. Except, of course those times when I don’t sit. But mostly these days I do. Usually about 25 minutes each morning.

Why 25? Because 20 just doesn’t seem long enough to me anymore. There was, however, when three minutes was all I could do – I suspect the actual number of minutes has nothing to do with it other than as a discipline.

I’m glad after years and years I’ve been able to settle into a practice. There does seem to be something, if not magic, darn close.

Tell us about your spiritual path – or the lack of one.

Love and blessings,

Anne Wayman: When Grandmother Speaks

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