Sunday, September 23, 2012

Meditation Marathon Day 7 - What is this? and a specific way to meditate

So it has been a week since the meditation marathon has started and what a great week it has been!  I am truly inspired by all of the yes' on Facebook to practicing meditation and the face to face conversations that have taken place in the last 7 days.  Some of you have had questions on how to meditate and when or for how long.  There has been some discussion as to why call it a marathon.  Some want to know how I "plan" what I write and so on. 

I put a short explanation of the meditation marathon on the Facebook event page, but maybe I will expand more here.  Basically, earlier this year I did my own meditation marathon as I came to the realization that for the last 3 - 4 months of my schooling and ministerial licensing that I needed a constant, steady and focused spiritual practice to keep me grounded as I approached the end of schooling and moved closer to the question "Now what?".  I finished school successfully and passed my panels for licensing with ease and grace.  I have landed a wonderful new job and continue to explore how my life as a minister, spiritual counselor and teacher can continue to expand.  However in the past month, I noticed myself feeling a bit unsettled, anxious and grumpy.  I then came to the realization that I needed another constant, steady and focused spiritual practice full of intention to ground me again.  So I decided to do another meditation marathon.  I intentionally call it a marathon because I am committing to this practice not for a week or a month even but until the end of the year.  The practice will for sure go on longer than that, but when I got the idea to ask friends and family to join me in this I thought it would be a good idea to give it some sort of book end and the end of the year felt right.  I like the word marathon because it implies distance and endurance. 

I don't think meditation needs to be hard, however, to continue to meditate everyday regardless of what is going on in our lives, to me, mimics the focus and determination required in training and the actual running of a race (no I haven't done a full marathon, but I did run a half marathon and trust is no joke! grin).  So I don't want to scare or intimidate anyone from joining this practice, but I also want folks to know that this is a powerful journey to commit to.  There is no wrong way to do it, there is no one watching and counting how many days you do or don't meditate.  The reason I invited folks to do this with me, was it is always easier to do things in groups I have found.  AND one of the things I absolutely love is community and I thought "you know there really is a powerful community of folks on Facebook, wouldn't it be fun to see how many people would want to do this and share this experience?"  And low and behold there is a resounding yes, literally friends all over the country and world are meditating and joining in this collective meditation wherever you are know you aren't alone, if you feel alone simply post something on the event page and I guarantee you will feel the connection.

As for "how" to meditate or for how long, that is strictly up to you.  Obviously there is no actual place for us to meet and do this together, so the practice is on your own, at work, home, on the bus wherever, however I highly recommend a space that is special to you.  You can meditate for 5 minutes or 50 minutes, the length right now is not important, rather the daily practice is.  So as for length, do what feels comfortable and that which allows you to be successful everyday.  As for how, I will sprinkle different techniques throughout the marathon, for now simply sit in the silence or with some light music. 

The "type" of meditation I suggest for this week is called contemplative meditation.  This generally means taking some sort of short inspirational/thought provoking reading and sitting with it, reading it over a few times and then closing your eyes and asking yourself, "what does this reading have to say to me today?" and let your heart, mind and soul take it from there.

Let this quote from Joel S. Goldsmith's Practicing the Presence inspire what you might read:  "Every person who has known dissatisfaction, incompleteness, and frustration will some day learn that there is only on missing link in his entire plan of harmonious living.  That is the practice of the presence of God(use another word if God pushes a button, try Spirit, Love, Wisdom, Wholeness or Grace)--consciously, daily and hourly, abiding in some great spiritual truth of scripture, and it makes no difference which scripture: Christian, Hebrew, Hindu, Buddhist, Taoist or Muslim.  The Word of God, given to man through inspired saints, sages, seers, or revelators--this is what we need, in any language, from any country, just as long as it is a universal truth".

Have a great week all.  Meditate and contemplate well!

Love, Light & Laughter,


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