Sunday, April 4, 2010

Meditation and You

Around a year ago, while I was perusing used books at one of those thrift stores my wife loves and occasionally drags me to, I found a book that asserted the virtues of meditation, Zen meditation, to be more precise. I added it to the handful of tomes I was lucky enough to discover, all for the cost of less than a few gallons of gasoline, and toted them home with the same hopes I always greet new books: to add to my always burgeoning collection, with a vow to read them all, whenever I found the time, but especially those that I felt merited special consideration…those, of course, would be put in the front of my queue of books-that-must-be-read-at-once.

For some reason, the Zen book called to me. It was during a time in my life where I needed some change, something different to help me get to my next stage of being, from where I was (unrest and burnout at my current job, uptight and in need of relaxation from a nagging shoulder injury, and fatigue and exhaustion from too many long hours at this keyboard) to where I needed to be.

While I had often considered mediation as a form of relaxation, renewal, focus, and, if possible, enlightenment, I never really tried it. That is, until I read the aforementioned book about Zen and gave it a shot.

Several other books, and hundreds of hours sitting, later, I can now say that I am an experienced and fulfilled practitioner of meditation. I meditate as often as I can, sometimes even when I am not sitting. I have learned that I can meditate while walking. Really. Don’t believe me? Watch this:


So, you may be asking yourself, how does one meditate? It’s not as difficult as you may think. Here are some simple tips to help get you started:

* sit with your legs crossed in a semi-comfortable position on the floor
* back straight, shoulders back, head slightly tilted downward
* take two deep breaths to relax yourself
* close your eyes half-way
* focus on nothing
* allow your mind to relax, be free
* count your breaths
* when an outside thought enters your mind, gently push it aside and focus on the moment
* try to be in the moment
* stay in the moment
* embrace whatever is occurring in the moment
* and continue to focus, embrace, live in the moment
* while gently acknowledging outside distractions
* and, again, pushing them aside
* and returning to the moment

I also produced this video that may help you get started:


Meditating daily has helped me focus on the moment, the here and now, not only while sitting, but during my day-to-day activities. Zen masters call this true enlightenment: the ability to exist in the moment, while doing the simplest of tasks-- walking, eating, cooking, working, living life. That is what enlightenment is really about.

What began with the serendipitous discovery of one book in a thrift shop, has grown into a daily ritual that has helped change my life for the better. Meditation has added to my spiritual growth, which is an important focus of mine in my continued pursuit of managing my triade of balance. I highly suggest giving it a try.

Until next time…




Jacqueline said...

Thank you for this wonderful post, Mike. I can sense that you have really embraced this practice. Since it seems my life will not be slowing down soon, I will manually slow it down with meditation.

Bonnie Zieman, M.Ed. said...

I have maintained a similar practice for a long time. Your written instructions and video will surely prove a help and inspiration for those yet to discover this means to transcend ego stresses and concerns. Thank you.

Dwacon said...


Unknown said...

jacqueline: sometimes to find the time we think we need to wait until we have it...but when we are the busiest is when we need it the most...

bonnie: my air is for anyone who would like to try mediation to be able to give it a shot...

dwacon: ommmmmm....


Dorothy Rimson said...


Rod said...

Great blog and vid as usual Mike, I think more than ever in today's world we need to make and find some ways to recharge our batteries.

Unknown said...

dorothy: thanks for stopping by...

rod: so true; when those batteries run low, we are not at our best...meditation certainly helps me...



Kamagra said...

This post is awesome.A number of my friends believe in Meditation.Now i believe why people say so many good words about meditation.

Robin Easton said...

Dear Mike, I just love the walking meditation. When I am tired and feeling like I don't want to walk or am too tired to walk. I have found that if I ONLY focus on the sounds around me, or at least start out that way that all thought not only vanishes, BUT that all of a sudden I have walk a few miles and totally lost myself to it. AND my energy has increased and I am now walking with ease. It really is beautiful.

I've missed being here due to work. It's just been 7 days a week right now. Walking is one of the things that keep me also in balance and helps me blow off the stress of my work day.

I just love the spontaneity of your videos, love the meditation one as well. Hugs, Robin

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Trueman said...

I've tried meditation a few times but it didn't work for me. I sat with legs crossed, closed my eyes, and tried to think of waterfalls or some other calm setting. Any suggestions?

Electronic Medical Records said...

Meditation is a great therapy for the body and the mind.It6 is an ancient practice and has a lot of science in it.