As I continue to personally evolve and align my life to purpose, I examine aspects of my life that I need to release and what new ideas or concepts I should regularly include in my life. Somewhere in June 2013, I knew meditation was missing from my life; daily mindful spirituality to center myself. I was not a stranger to meditation, but I was certainly not consistent. In July 2013, I was excited when I heard about the Oprah and Deepak Chopra 21 Day Meditation Challenge. It was an opportunity to re-engage daily structured meditation.
Of course days before the challenge I considered what were the reasons I could not sustain daily meditation in the past:
The Oprah and Deepak Chopra 21 Day Meditation Challenge was a wonderful experience. Deepak’s voice was comforting and the serene music made it agreeable to be still and refreshing to connect with myself in peace (except for the one cat that wanted to share the experience -- he learned the rules quickly and often laid quietly at my side or in my lap).
After the twenty-one day challenge, I was a bit lost. I chose serene music from my own library and purchased some new pieces, but I missed the structure provided in the challenge; Deepak’s relaxing voice and soothing chimes that started and ended each session. It only took a couple of days for me realize three things. First, I must be gentle with myself and not judge myself about any meditation session. Second, although it was bit harder in the beginning, silent meditation would become my preference. Third, I miss the sense of community that was provided in the challenge and through a connection on Twitter (@dclectic) I found an international meditation community called Insight Timer (website: https://insighttimer.com; app Insight Timer). Additional benefits of Insight Timer are customizable features such as synchronizing bowl tones to begin and end meditations.
The benefits of my meditation practice have been seconds of clarity, inspiration and creativity which are borne out of the calmness and serenity that is the result of connection to “Cosmic Consciousness.” I will not expound on the specifics of what occurs during my meditation experiences. I hold to a truth my father taught me years ago, that it is better not to speak of the experience since everyone’s experience will be different. He would say, “What happens in meditation is for you.”
If you are interested in how to get started there are many books and internet resources. If you enter the “How to Meditate” in the search feature of any book website you’ll be amazed how many books there are on the subject. Of course I always encourage those searching for any book to read a few pages in the preview to see if the author’s writing style is agreeable, read through the table of contents and look at the book review section. The same is true if you enter “How to Meditate” in a web search engine. You can also visit the Chopra center online (http://www.chopra.com/community/online-library/guided-meditations) if you’d like to learn more about its meditation resources and purchase guided meditations to begin your practice.
If you decide to delve into a meditation practice, try not to inundate yourself. Another piece of advice my father gave me when I started meditating twenty years ago was “do not get ‘mentally constipated’ about the practice.” Be loving and patient with yourself; let the experience unfold naturally. The benefits will be self evident.
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