Today I received a thoughtful email from a reader who, in response to my spirituality tribulations, rightly advised me that those who want a “true” spiritual experience meditate. He went on to say that what a person concentrates on during meditation decides which spiritual plane and what kind of experience they will have. He then encouraged me to explore various teachings.
The trouble is, I’ve been doing that for a long time. Probably around 10 years. I’m quite well versed in meditation. But as I thought about his email, I just realised, I’m more confused about meditation than spirituality!
Spiritually, I know what I believe in regarding matters related to God, the universe, and creation. But as far as meditation is concerned, the following phrase comes to mind, “Jack of all trades, master of none”. The extent of my explorations is worth a chuckle actually, because as varied as it is, it’s yet to result in any dedicated practice (something that MUST change and SOON).
So far, what I’ve tried over the years includes:
- A 10 day silent Vipassana meditation retreat (this is a Buddhist style of meditation that focuses on observing the changing sensations in the body. The aim is to develop detachment and recognise that all feelings are impermanent).
- The Art of Living (the practice taught is a type of pranayama/breathing that invigorates the body. It was excellent in giving me energy and confidence).
- Yoga Nidra using this guided CD (the English translation is “Yogic Sleep”. I must admit, I still don’t know much about it. It’s supposed to bring about deep relaxation).
- Bramha Kumaris (I attended a meditation session with my sister-in-law, but am yet to return to do their course. Regardless, I liked their bhajans so much, I bought two CDs).
- Meditating on a specially selected Tarot card, appropriate for me, from a Tarot workshop I attended.
But, that’s not all. Since coming back from my “pilgrimage” I’ve commenced a new self-devised meditation practice. One that I find incredibly relaxing and centering. It involves focusing my mind on the chant “Aum”. To facilitate it, I light some incense, sit in front of the Aum and Saraswati shown in the photo (purchased in Haridwar and Rishikesh, respectively) and listen to a CD of chants called In the OM Zone 2.0 by Steven Halpern.
I’m aware that I really need to settle on a specific practice and not keep dabbling. But, like religion, I find that each practice has something of benefit to offer. How can I devote myself to just one? I guess I should decide on what I want to achieve the most, and then proceed accordingly. Apparently, the ideal is to just keep the mind blank.
I’d love to hear about your experiences with meditation. What practices have you tried, or do you follow?
© 2011, Diary of a White Indian Housewife. All rights reserved. Do not copy and reproduce text or images without permission.
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