I took Kate’s idea and decided that for Lent I will take on meditation. I have been reading this book called Education and the Soul by John P. Miller about how to teach future teachers to nurture their soul, so they in turn, can nurture the souls of their students. This is dissertation reading, but because of the nature of my dissertation topic, I frequently can use whatever I am reading for work as a personal tool and apply it to myself. I’ve been thinking of meditating for quite some time now and Kate’s suggestions reminded me of how I can bring everything together. Her suggestion was very synchronistic actually, quite obvious too, I wonder why I did not see it before.
I started meditating this morning. In the book, Miller says he asks his students to meditate for 30 mins a day for 6 weeks. I figure, having never done it before I’d start with 10 mins and build on from there. So there I sat, crossed legs, clossed eyes, hands on knees, palms up, pushing every thought which came into my mind quickly aside. It wasn’t easy, but after a while I started listening deeper, I could hear the clock on the wall, the buzzling of the cars outside and even some of the wooden furniture crack a bit. The thoughts continued to come and go. Thoughts about my day, what I needed to do next, the supermarket, cleaning, a book I’m reading, the dream I woke up to, but I managed to push them all aside and concentrate on my breathing.
Miller, explains lots of different types of meditation and breath meditation is one of them. You breath in and out deeply while counting each breath until you get to 10. Then you start over again until you have covered the time you set out to meditate, 10 minutes in my case. The counting helped me push the thoughts away; while I concentrated on my breaths and counted them, it seemed I had plenty on plate to also entertain other thoughts, so out they went.
After a while I started feeling my body more. The pain in my neck, the friction on my feet from the rug, the heaviness on my shoulders. I started moving a bit to try and liberate some of the pressure and pain, but figured moving wasn’t part of this kind of meditation. Fortunately, my 10 minutes were up, so I opened my eyes and was allowed to get up and go about my day.
This first try wasn’t easy. I figure I’ll get better at it as days go by, and as I am able to extend the time I’m at it. But baby steps are steps too, and meditation for Lent has been started. I’m actually quite excited about it. Finally, I’m meditating!