Last time, we talked about starting to
meditate, about placing your bum on the couch for the first time.
If that worked for you, and you didn’t
run screaming to your TV or your fridge, your computer or your iPhone apps (in which
case you just met your ego in a head on-collision), let’s take
There is a growing body of evidence to support the fact that meditation affects blood pressure, inflammation, chronic pain, depression, diabetes, anxiety, asthma, heart disease, memory, irritable bowel syndrome, and ADD, among others. Twenty years in chiropractic taught me that the HUGE majority of health-care complaints are stress-related. If health care made sense, meditation would be covered the way yoga classes would be covered.
If you have personal experience with anxiety or heart disease, the evidence may be enough to motivate you. The rest of us need a reason just as personal.
Here’s one of mine: Something deeper than alleviation of complaints happens with meditation, with becoming present with what is in front of our faces. Ekhart Tolle, author of A New Earth and The Power of Now, describes the look on our faces when we’re unable to be present and still. He says the look is that of someone who would rather not be here. There is a deadness to that look, he says, a kind of veil of distraction over the eyes.
I know that look. I see it in the mirror when meditation isn’t a part of my practice and life is demanding. I hear that look when I’m on the phone with my lovely man while scanning my email. I have done entire yoga classes with my monkey brain running commentary (Oh, god, I’ll never make it to the end! Oh, man, what happened to my hamstrings? I think we’re running late, I’ll be all sweaty when I get back to the office, etc., etc., etc.).
By contrast, we all know the look of someone who is fully with us and fully alive. It’s radiant.
Our monkey brains may be agile, clever, and useful, when they’re not running the show, but they will never be radiant.
If any of this captures your attention, practice. Practice by sitting your bum down for another 10 seconds today. If you haven’t found a method you like better, listen to your breath for those 10 seconds. Then congratulate yourself. You’re doing it.
If you have any initial impressions, victories, or difficulties, send them this way. If you’re experienced, send your enthusiasm. Next time we’ll do a Top 10 Reasons to Meditate.
Thanks to yoga for all its paths. Thanks to quiet minds, and thanks to you for the conversation,