Meditation: What It Is and What It Isn’t, In My Opinion

We hear hundreds of people everyday telling others take time for themselves. Connect with your inner self. “Meditate on it” has become a common catch phrase. Even the medical community encourages this practice of finding oneself and connecting.
Let me start by saying as a child I took a Karate class. At the end of every class we were to sit quietly and meditate for what seemed like forever, it was probably 10 minutes. Picture this a hyper 5 year old child being asked to sit on her knees with her eyes closed and not move. She kneels, she closes her eyes and giggles. Who knows what wonderful things popped into her head. It didn’t matter, at least not to the Sensei. After the third time he had to shush her she is released from meditation.

This was my first experience with this all powerful, leading you to enlightenment exercise. Basically I was told if I couldn’t do it as I was told I shouldn’t try and let go on my merry way.

This to me is why so many people give up on meditation. Their minds don’t stop when their bodies do. They absolutely cannot, for whatever reason, stop moving and stop their minds.
Over the years I have become lucky enough to be able to learn how to deep breath, calm my body, and calm my mind. However, it took years. This was frustrating beyond words. I wanted to connect with myself, with the greater Universal consciousness but my mind would not shut down. I can help calm others minds, but my own, this seemed to be a lost cause.

Enter a new understanding of what mediation can be. I am a self taught crafter, some would say artist. I wrap stones, burn pictures into wood, create various jewelry, and many more things. I love it. During a very turbulent time in my life I picked up stone wrapping. Now as a child I was an avid crafter, I did bead work, pottery, anything I could think of. I’ve always been drawn to it, and now I realize why. In those moments when I am creating, although I am sure I am thinking on some level, I’m not. My mind is quiet. I can feel myself breathing, and realize when I am frustrated I breathe deeper. I can feel the project taking life in my hands, feel the movement of my fingers, every ache and pain, and yet I don’t. I feel an overwhelming peace, a connection with the creative forces of the universe that I cannot explain. I cease to be me and become part of it all, it’s amazing, spiritually uplifting, and when I’m finished I feel a renewal in my soul that is both empowering and calming.

I have found that hunting for four leaf clovers, a favorite pastime, does this for me also. It centers me, it allows me to focus my energy, connect with myself and the universe and come away feeling renewed. Isn’t that what meditation is all about?

So what is meditation? It’s a way to connect with yourself, and the universe. A way to become more aware of yourself, your feelings, and the energy that surrounds you. It’s about learning how to control the flow of your energy, and block out the unwanted energies. It’s a way to self renew. This is what meditation is about. It doesn’t matter if you find this by doing an art or craft, reading a book, journaling, sitting quietly and breathing, or cleaning. Simply put meditation can be anything you choose it to be. The goal is self awareness, connection with inner self and the universe. If this can be done through physical activity, then by George you’ve got it! Meditation is not a dictated way of acting in order to achieve this connection.

Here’s the thing to remember in your life: it’s your path, no one else, let no one define how you walk it, how you practice your faith, or how you meditate.
This is your life go out and make the best of it!

Bright Blessings to all~ Brie

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