When I last posted I mentioned that I had picked up a book titled Staying Put: Making a home in a restless world by Scott Russell Sanders. While I am only into the second chapter I will tell you right now that this book is a gem. It is a book to read slowly and savor because it will get into your head and linger there. Mr. Sanders writes beautifully addressing the struggles many of us have as we navigate through our lives. It is a book about putting down roots and creating a sense of place. The book, while written in 1993, has even greater relevance today. Our world has become even more restless and now, sadly, much more violent. This book is a comfort and a call to commitment in our lives. I have no hesitation in telling you that this book will help you to discover your own sense of home, place, and what matters in your life. Also, be sure and check out the author’s website at http://www.scottrussellsanders.com. Please take some time to look at his website. His writing is thoughtful and engaging and I was delighted to find he has authored many books over the years. If you can’t find the book locally, you can get it new or used on Amazon. Let me know what you think. I will share some of my favorite passages in a later post.
Speaking of restlessness, I want to put yes another plug in for meditation and some resources to help you. It seems that meditative things have been appearing often in my life lately and I have been trying to pay attention to that. As I have mentioned before, just the word meditation brings up and expectation for most of us; one that I sometimes think scares us off before we even get started. There are many formalized practices of meditation and they all have their benefits and I am in no way discouraging you from learning or practicing them. But sometimes it is better to ease into some disciplines that we may stay with them and flourish slowly.
A friend mentioned that even just doing a few seconds of meditation is helpful for her in situations like driving. Taking a few breaths and quieting the mind briefly can be immensely helpful. Try it when you get flustered or feel overwhelmed with things that need to get done. It might be just the little break you need.
One of the churches close to me sits on a large piece of land and they have created a walking meditation labyrinth. I believe walking can be meditative, but walking through this labyrinth has been a wonderful experience and has often helped me settle my mind and mysteriously provided clarity. While you many not have access to a formal labyrinth, perhaps there is a circular path nearby or a space in your yard to create a repetitive walking path.
Another plug for my favorite beginning meditation and mindfulness book. Mindfulness in Plain English by Ghante Henepola Gunaratana will eases you into the meditative process step by step. I read parts of this book everyday and I never fail to learn something new.
And lastly, a resource that has been very helpful to me and good for those who like guided meditations. Deepak Chopra and Oprah Winfrey to their 21 day meditation events several times a year. The last one was all about getting unstuck and has been one of the most helpful and insightful series have done. They cover a variety of issues in our lives and are a good combination of helpful words, a daily thought and meditation; easy session lasting around 20 minutes. They are also free with the option to purchase the session once it is done. Here is the link: http://www.chopracentermeditation.com
So what are you waiting for. Mediation and mindfulness are what you make it. You don’t need special clothes or music. Just a comfortable place to sit. Give it a try today. Start slowly. If you are just wanting to do a sitting meditation start with 5 minutes and gradually build up. It will be worth it I promise!