inspiration! 5 reasons not to meditate, or, carving your own path


This week's inspiration comes from the article 5 Reasons Not to Meditate by JC Peters.  It's one of those clever ones that gives you 5 reasons not to do something that are really reasons why you should do something, but they bring out why it's hard to do.  
"In conclusion, don't meditate. It could change your life"
-JC Peters
It's well written and I like it, but what struck me most was the method of meditation Peters describes doing: lying on her back, breathing, and feeling her feelings.  The five reasons to not meditate (that are really reasons to meditate) are great and true, but it was this meditation technique that grabbed me.

See, I'm all into the world of yoga and meditation.  Well, I'm all into yoga and working on the meditation thing.  I've taken my yoga teacher training, gone on a meditation retreat, and tried lots of different meditation techniques on my own, and always butted up against the philosophy of classical yoga that meditation is all about leaving this physical prison behind and transcending to a higher plane.  I'm all for transcending, but I don't see physical life as a horrid prison, and I don't want to.  I think life is a gift (not kidding here, I actually do), and that we should be appreciating it, not trying to wriggle out of its shackles.  Sitting cross-legged for a long time is also pretty physically demanding, and while I get that there's a stamina to be created there, it's dang hard for me.

Plus, kinda boring.

So I sort of inadvertently (or "advertently") created my own form of meditative prayer.  Usually lying down in some sort of restorative or yin yoga pose, I like to read a verse from some kind of scripture or say a brief prayer or mantra, let the words nestle into my brain/heart/breath, and then just sort of …. be.  Breathe.  Try to be open.  Allow myself to feel what I'm feeling, physically and emotionally (because pretending I'm not feeling all my unhappy emotions is sort of a default for me).  Listen.

Sometimes I use visualizations from various meditation classes I've taken.  One of my favourites is imagining my skull is totally empty.  Most people hate it, it's kind of macabre, but it feels fresh and open to me, like a breeze blowing through my brain.  Another one I like is imagining that my body is slowly burning and disintegrating, from the toe up (painlessly, of course, it's sort of metaphorical.)

I like it.  It's still hard.  My mind still wanders, I still wind up clinging to a thought or feeling for too long.  I forget I'm breathing.  I leave the moment behind and live in another one.  But not forever.  Not as much as with other techniques.  I also feel like it connects me more with myself/my source/God/life more than other techniques.

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