I’ve been meditating off and on for the last couple of years —definitely, more off than on. Making the time for it has always been my excuse.
As I experienced during my week spent in Maya Tulum, I need a daily meditation practice (breakthrough #3). In order to actively listen to myself and others, I need to slow my mind down. I need to un-clutter (am I making up a word?) my mind. I need to create space in my head in order to manage and react appropriately to the opportunities my journey in life holds.
Meditation is an invaluable tool to help “cease the fluctuations of the mind” (Pantanjali’s second Yoga Sutra). Fluctuations can take many forms — memories, worries about the future, constant chatter/dialogue we have with ourselves and false impressions. Even when we sleep, our mind wanders. The list of fluctuations is really endless but the Yoga Sutras identifies 5 kinds fluctuations (vrittis). If you haven’t read this thought-provoking book on yoga philosophy, please do. It’s an indispensable guide to many themes you’ll hear and experience throughout your yoga exploration.
Back to meditation. In order to reap the benefits meditation has to offer, you have to do it. I have to do it. I have to practice it regularly. Before Maya Tulum, meditation was easier to talk about than to do. Now I crave it.
Even when it’s only 5 minutes in the morning and 5 minutes in the evening, I feel how those few minutes add up to a lot of trust within. Those few minutes offer a lot of clarity to my thoughts and actions throughout my day. My listening skills are sharper. Best of all, when I come out of my meditation practice I am able to see what’s really important on my “to do” list in life.
And just in the last few weeks, it’s powerful to observe how I can more easily drop into a meditation practice than say, 6 months ago. Of course, my mind still wanders as I sit with my eyes shut and focus on my simple mantra. The cool thing is I catch my mind drifting sooner rather than later. Even cooler is how I am finding it easier to bring my wandering mind back to the present.
My final thoughts on meditation. Who doesn’t just want to sit and be? It’s such a wonderful privilege to sit in a healthy posture, breath and be alive. Meditation is freeing and until you honestly do it, you have no idea how much freedom it can bring. It can be the best 5 minutes you spend out of your busy day. You may even start to crave it as much as I do J