There are a couple quotes about meditation that I really enjoy. I will include them below. However meditation can be such a challenging habit to add into our lives. We think we need to do what that man is doing in the picture above. Sit very still and maybe light some incense. I have learned differently in the last 20 years of having a on and off meditation practice. When I was in m 20’s I read a book and the author was at a retreat and he was struggling with a sitting meditation. Then someone suggested a walking meditation. My world was blown apart! In come the labyrinths that I still do till this day. Another really valued meditation practice I have still is that I meditate when taking a shower and bath. It have become a ritual with candles and incense. The water helps ground and center my mind. Yes I waste a bit more water than I should, but I conserve water in other areas of my life to balance it out. If you want to give walking meditation a try, my favorite two labyrinth in this area are:
Then in my 30’s when reading a handful of books by Thich That Nanh on meditation I learn everything we do can be meditation as long as we are in the present moment. Even doing the dishes. I also learned about myself that I don’t want to be present when I’m doing the dishes because I do not enjoy doing the dishes. However, gardening I now do as a meditation. The first hour I will not listen to anything and be present. And just like a sitting meditation if you get distracted just pull yourself back to your present moment. The book Celestine prophecy awakened a plant meditation that I enjoy. Or you can just hug a tree! There are people who find cleaning meditative. Sometimes I will make cooking a meditative practice. Especially if I am working with medicinal herbs. So I can infuse my food with an intention.
“When you pray you talk to God, when you meditate you listen to God “Joey Reiman
Speaking of working with intention. Massage is also a meditative practice. A portion of massage in intention. Yes we need to know anatomy and palpation for the physical aspect of a massage. Yet having a caring touch with intention is also important. It is why when a therapist is having a bad day or in pain the massage just isn’t as good. It requires both the therapist and client stay present in the session including goals, any physical sensations, and don’t get distracted. That is very challenging for me. To meditate for 45 to 90 minutes on and off all day. It is something I constantly strive to be better at. Interesting I am noticing the more I meditate outside the massage room, the easier it is to stay centered in the massage room.
“You should meditate for 20 minutes every day- unless you are too busy. Then you should meditate for an hour”Old Zen Adage
So what are some tools that help me with meditation? The Tibetan singing bowls are wonderful way to help you with your meditation. This weekend I am going with my mom to a gong meditation at soderworld. She told me it’s the only way she can meditate.
I personally love incense. The secret door which is a local company makes some great blends. I notice it is so much easier to get into a meditate state with them! Plus I light candles and play meditative music. My favorite is drumming.
Journaling is also a wonderful practice that can lead to an easier meditation. Once you get all those thought out of your head and onto paper it can be easier to center yourself in the moment.
The last tool I find helpful is water. It can be a stream, waterfall, a fountain, or even a tub. I love sitting on my patio just listening to the fountain. And ever since I was young I would find a stream to sit next to. Ultimately for me it is about the four elements. Fire is a candle or an outdoor fire, incense is air, a Tibetan bowl is metal ( an element in Traditional Chinese Medicine), water is from the bath, and earth can be represented from crystals, a plant, or even salt. Below is a video on what I use in my bath.