Meditation, My Life Jacket

MeditationI’m a meditation fan. I first came across meditation by chance at the age of eleven or twelve. I am spiritual but not religious however like many of us in Ireland I was brought up a Catholic. I say this because the first time I ever heard about meditation was in a little booklet that I found in my local Church bookshop. I was completely fascinated by the cover, which I now know was a mandala. On this occasion I judged the book by its enticing cover and so I was led into the pages to discover a description of how to meditate. I tried it, I liked it, I grew to love it. It helped me map my way through the fall out of my parents break up.

Just knowing that I have meditation at my side feels like an anchor and strength whenever I find myself facing into turmoil. I throw on my meditative ‘life jacket’, buckle up, take hold of the oars and guide my boat through the storm, riding the waves and I keep on going. I can even enjoy the storm, the view can be quite spectacular, there are always things to make me laugh and smile, stormy skies are beautiful.

I have found that I need to practice meditation regularly for it to maintain effectiveness. Roughly fifteen minutes a day of meditation seems to do the trick, though of course I miss a day here and there, sometimes a week or two. It’s a bit like keeping fit, if you don’t exercise you begin to loose condition. It’s also like riding a bike and once you get back into practice its easy to find where you left off.

My advice would be, if you think meditation is worth a go, do it every day for at least three weeks. If possible start now, don’t wait for a crisis to arise before learning to do it. Have your meditation foundations set and your practice embedded in your life as a habit. That way you are fully equipped to stay calm and clear when a crisis, or as I prefer to call it, ‘a challenge’, arrives with your next set of life lessons.

They say the best time to plant a tree is twenty years ago. Similarly, the best time to learn to meditate is before a crisis hits. Have your lifejacket stowed under your seat before the storm hits and you’ll have a great chance of sailing through it.

Try out my two minute guided meditation. Sit comfortably cross legged on the floor or on a seat upright and feet flat on the floor. Let me know how you get on with this in the comments below.

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