Earlier this week I introduced you to the whirling dervishes.
That's how I think about the flurry of thoughts racing through my mind every time -- every single time -- that I sit down to meditate. There's no escaping them, so I suggest that we make friends with them instead. See that they're there, acknowledge them, and even appreciate the interesting and beautiful ideas that they bring.
Let the dervishes whirl. Acknowledge them, but don't follow them. Because sooner or later, they're going to whirl so much that they tucker out.
That's the part worth waiting for.
That's where the quiet comes in, and maybe a little more space between thoughts. A little time to pause. A little hang time, so to speak. Eventually, with practice, we can take that "hang time" outside of the meditation space too, so that we aren't reacting to every distraction that comes our way. The pace of life around us is still the same, but our responses to it have slowed down.
That's one of the biggest gifts that meditation practice brings.
Another gift that I find through meditation is a sense of relief.
“Relief” probably sounds strange in the context of meditation, but it really is that. It’s a relief when I come back to my seat (of meditation) because it’s a steady, consistent, safe part of my life, no matter what else is going on or no matter where in the world I am.
The regularity and the practice of it is a relief. It’s a relief to turn inward, to shift focus from all of what’s out there [insert waving arms here] to the defined space of what’s in here [imagine hands on heart]. It’s a relief to sit in the middle of myself again.
And it’s a relief, I’m not sorry to say, that for these moments it’s just about what's going on inside of me. There will be the whole rest of the day for everyone else, with the long lists of things to do and people to help. So I'm okay with taking these moments -- these disproportionate few moments of time -- at the start of the day to turn inward.
It's a relief to come back to myself. It's a relief, once I'm there, to say, There you are. And, I remember you.
It's probably obvious why this is a good idea for personal reasons.
Meditation is also a good idea for professional reasons too because, in my experience, meditation opens up space. Space in my lungs. Space in my spine. Space in my mind.
Which means space to create.
Those are the three biggest reasons why I meditate:
- To slow down my response time to distractions
- The sense of relief when I come back to myself, and
- Opening up space to create.
It's worth giving it a try, don't you think?
Please do, and let us know how it goes.
PS The blog of this series is up over on Beck's website, for your convenience and to revisit at your own pace. Enjoy!