This simple word used to inspire a form of dread in me, which lead to procrastination that was all encompassing… SO many other things were suddenly more important... invoicing, website maintenance, do a stocktake, and, because I work from home… the importance of household chores became paramount – anyone who knows me understands I must be really avoiding something if household chores become a priority!
Then I was introduced to sensory depravation meditation… and rather than being as it sounds… like some new age torment, it has become my saviour in maintaining both my meditation practice and my focus.
I have discovered the ridiculously simple joy of slipping earmuffs on (yes, the shut-the-noise-out variety that builders use) and relaxing into a calm and quiet space. Eyes closed and you can be anywhere. For people who have busy minds, and/ or are easily distracted this really helps to minimise the distractions… yes my mind still whirs away merrily on its bizarre tumble of information and threads of story… but somehow with everything so quiet its easier to let the thoughts slip on by and fall into the calm mellowness of my inner world, a place where just breathing and feeling is enough.
Going to that place with meditation may not have given me sudden miraculous insights into how to help change the world but it has given me acceptance and a real feeling of connection to my true self and beliefs. I understand more simply that I am exactly where I am supposed to be and my life is unfolding right on schedule… my life grows, develops and changes as I do.
Just like training your physical body, this takes time and dedication to get results, and no meditation is the same, just as no day or person is the same… during some sessions I really struggle with not attaching to my thoughts and feel grumpy or out of sorts and other days it is easy and the time just slips past. But the reality is that even with the ‘off’ days I feel better; calmer and far more connected.
To give you a better spin on this I love this quote:
Buddha was asked, “What have you gained from meditation?”
He replied “Nothing! However let me tell you what I have lost; anger, anxiety, depression, insecurity, fear of old age and death.”
So without the constants of fear and worry and what-ifs banging around in my head, competing for my time and attention I have found that meditation has given me more ability to observe those thoughts and feeling for exactly what they are ... and what they are not! They are not helpful, or inspiring and nor do they help me change or live the life I want … they just make me feel scared and small.
So for 30-40 minutes a day I settle down with my earmuffs and I shut the world out and I connect with me… and it’s actually great!
So my challenge for you for October is to try it ... even start at 10mins a day and build it up to 40mins over time.
And if you need some special silence dig out the earmuffs!!!!
Peace + stillness