I've wanted to write this piece for a long time, but I never seemed to get around to opening the computer file. So for months it gathered virtual dust in my ‘Draft’ folder... I guess it’s difficult to write an essay about meditation if one isn’t meditating.
Over the summer I discovered two short videos that changed that reality. They reminded me how simple meditation can be, and just like that I started meditating again... and was able to finish this essay.
I breathe in... I breathe out.... once... twice. I feel the muscles in my shoulders relax. A calm begins to surround me like a favorite song.
I'm meditating again. I've started and stopped many times. I would read a book and dive in, inspired by the staggering list of health benefits, not to mention spiritual and creative bonuses. It seems meditation re-wires our brains and rejuvenates our bodies. But even with all the bliss promised by gurus, after about a week of trying to quiet my mind, frustration rather than peace would engulf me, prompting me to wonder if meditation was right for me. Sometimes, and this is embarrassing to admit, my mind would wander so far, I'd forget I was even meditating, get up and do some activity that had popped into my mind.
Thankfully now I'm discovering meditation is more about self acceptance and compassion, than clearing one's mind of thoughts. Instead of giving up or berating myself over my inability to quiet my mind, meditation is an opportunity to try again.
In practice, when I realize my mind has wandered, gone off for a walk along mental trails, thoughts meandering and tumbling over each other like pebbles by the roadside... add quinoa to grocery list or remember in high school we used to... when I realize my mind has strayed... I gently return my attention to my breath. I breathe in... I breathe out...
And if my mind should run off again, foreseeing possibilities for the day or looking back at failures or even if I just start daydreaming about whatever... when I realize my mind has strayed... I gently return my attention to my breath. I breathe in... I breathe out...
And if my mind should feel frisky, jumping cartwheels in the street, chattering about this and that or even if... when I realize my mind has strayed... I gently turn my attention to my breath... I breathe in... I breathe out....
It's been a few months now, and I don't know if it's my imagination, but it seems like I have a bit more time and energy to do the things I've always wanted to do... those activities that bring me joy and peace.
And little convenient coincidences seem to be occurring rather more frequently, almost like little divine helping hands guiding me along this path.
Best of all, when I find myself in less than desirable situations, I notice my attention naturally turning to my breath... I breathe in... I breathe out... once... twice. I feel the muscles in my shoulders relax... and a calm begins to surround me like a favorite song.
from Nhojj Poetry Vol. 1,
track released November 25, 2017
Written & performed by Nhojj
Contains sample of "Let Life Flow Meditation" by Nhojj