The older I get, the more I realize how necessary meditation is. I also realize that meditation is very natural.
I personally love beginning yoga class by starting out with a few moments of meditation. I ask my students to find a comfortable seated position, drawing up a tall spine, rolling the shoulders away from the ears, closing the eyes, relaxing the jaw and the tongue, and tucking in the chin slightly. I then ask my students to tell themselves, that for the next hour or so, they are letting go of the past and letting go of the future.
Sometimes there is a palpable relief in the air when people are given permission to tune in to the present and let everything else go.
Then, we focus on the breath, and relaxation becomes deeper. As the mind is given permission to focus on the breath, it begins to relax, and when the mind relaxes, the body relaxes. As we relax into our postures and check in with ourselves and our breath, yoga itself becomes a form of meditation.
It is true! Meditation is very good for the body and the mind. When we can let go of stress, even for five minutes, our lives become better.
So, I love sitting in meditation—but I do find it difficult to begin when I am alone. There is something about a group setting that makes sitting in meditation way easier for me. The collective intention of meditation really helps me to actually do it.
I very much like visualizing when I am in sitting meditation. I like guided meditation—or practicing creative visualization. I like creating, so it suits my personality.
My favorite form of meditation is bicycling. I call it moving meditation. I feel so incredibly free on a bicycle! I let my mind travel with my body—it’s like floating. And if I have a problem, by the time I reach my destination (or just finish a ride around the park), I feel relaxed, calm and centered, knowing that life is good—and (bonus), I’ve usually discovered a solution to my problem. If I haven’t found a solution, I either realize it’s not a problem or that the solution will come without much effort.
Also, when I ride, I get ideas for art, poetry, music, and recipes—and of course—painting, writing, singing, and cooking can all be other forms of meditation! (I suppose this is a very Western way of looking at meditation, and/or, perhaps, meditation is linked to creativity . . . )
So, what is your favorite form of meditation?