I find one of the easiest ways to achieve openness is by meditation and so today I thought I would share my particular brand of meditation.
When I first began meditating I bought a book. I cannot now remember the title but I carried that book around with me everywhere. I was trying to “learn” the art (which I perceived as complex and elusive) of meditation. My next foray was in fact another book. This time it was daily meditations. There was a short reading followed by a statement that I would repeat to myself throughout the day.
I learned my lesson well because from then on I did not require any more books (at least I have not chosen a book again but that is not to say that I will not in the future – remember open to all possibilities is a key to success). What I had discovered was that meditation is available in many different forms and that all I need do was to find ones that I enjoyed and use them when I wanted. I learned the valuable lesson that I always have choice.
I now practice three types of meditation. I have made up these categories for myself; use them or lose them. They are all simple and I can explain them here in one paragraph and you can start using them immediately. I call them: waking, widening and walking.
Let’s start with waking. In this type of meditation I am usually sitting. I repeat something (usually one word sometimes a phrase not just a single word). I can have music in the background (new age gentle music or sounds like a bubbling brook) or be in silence. Let’s say I am using the word peace. I simply close my eyes and start saying the word. I often start out loud and eventually move to saying it inside my mind and not out loud. From the repetition I find myself eventually entering a state of waking dreams. I am aware of everything but not tied to anything. For example I might hear traffic but not be bothered by the sound. I am in a place of peaceful acceptance of everything.
The next is widening. This is more akin to what you may have seen when a group meditates together. I use a sound not a word (so there is no questioning of what the word means which is the benefit of waking meditation). The sound sets up a resonance within our head. We tune the sound until it is the perfect tone for us. The concentration on the sound quiets the mind of words. I find this type of meditation is the fastest. Sometimes I use prerecorded music like singing bowls to help me with the tone.
The third is the walking meditation. This is the one I use the most and it can be done alone or with other people at the same time. I become consciously aware of my 5 senses. I often pick a flower or pine needle for smelling to begin my meditation. I deeply inhale and allow the full experience of smell. I then start to actively listen to the sounds around me. I isolate them and listen to each one separately. I do the same with taste in my mouth. I might choose some gum or simply taste the flavor of my tongue at that moment. Then I might let my hand feel the trees or buildings or whatever is within reach. Finally I open my eyes in wonderment at everything around me. In each case I become consciously aware of my senses. I isolate and pay attention to each one separately recognizing the miracle that I have them and can use them.
So that is it. Start today, do not delay, ruminate on this today.