Annabel Beerel

Meditation: It is not what you think!

Many people are hesitant and even afraid of engaging in meditation. They wonder what they will do just sitting. They rationalize that it is a waste of time. They tell themselves they cannot do it because their minds are too active. Well-known writer Anne Lamott once said; “My mind is like a dangerous neighborhood. I am afraid to go their alone!” Maybe many of us feel like this.

Some people rationalize and say: “I jog and get in the zone,” or “I go for walks in my neighborhood.” Now all of these are wonderfully healthy pursuits and good for all of us. However, there is nothing to beat paying ourselves a visit; in solitude; in silence; where we can just be where we are.

Our soul longs for connection – not only with others – but most of all with ourselves. Many of us spend our days tied up in appointments and meetings that keep our minds and bodies busy in all kinds of motion. We are busy doing, doing, without realizing that our beings are neglected.

Meditation is keeping an appointment with yourself. It is a time to get to know and nourish your being. It is a time of non-doing. It is not one more thing to do, on the contrary it is a letting go, a putting everything down, a dropping into oneself, a time to just be and get to learn who you are.

In meditation there is no right or wrong. You can never fail unless you do not show up. Every time you show up, you are a success no matter where your monkey mind took you!

Meditation is the essential basis for mindfulness. It is the practice that trains us to have greater focus and sustained attention. It is a practice that is enormously healthy for our bodies and our minds. It reduces stress, lowers our levels of anxiety and gives us a poise and dignity that we forget so readily as we run around frenetically trying to look as if we are in control. Meditation also trains us in open-heartedness, non-judgment and compassion. Who would not want a little more of that?

Just five minutes of silent, gentle meditation each morning and each evening, will change your life. As one person commented: “Since I have been meditating, I have changed my relationship with my mind. We still live together, but I am no longer co-dependent!”