For the last month I’ve begun a meditation practice. It was inspired by
and involved a simple two minute meditation on a daily basis. I have to admit, though I did meditate daily, I often meditated to music and did so while lying in bed at night. Not, perhaps, the most effective way to meditate.
However, it was a start, and now, now that I am experienced by a month I am trying to change into a solid practice of daily meditation. Five minutes.
In meditation in the past I’ve found that there is a strong correlation between the practice and my ability to focus during the day. I know mindfulness is one of the major non-pharmaceutical treatments for many mental health illnesses. I have found, what little experience I have, that it is helpful.
Mindfulness, for those who do not know, is the act of being present in the now. Rather than focusing on the past and regretting decisions, or obsessing about the future, it is the technique for being in the now, now. And yes, that’s the second time I’ve used now twice in a row.
So mindfulness. The best way, or so I understand, to reach mindfulness practice is to start with meditation. The latter allows the mind to focus on nothing, or some simple gatha, or verse, during the allotted period of time for the meditation. This creates the beginnings of mindfulness.
Reading Thich Nhat Hanh, there are other ways to increase mindfulness and to meditate, like walking meditation, a slower, more deliberate method of walking that focuses the mind on the sensations and feelings of the present, and creates a mindfulness while walking. It can be practised in short spurts as when one walks from the car to the store, or on longer walks. But that’s talk for another time.
I’m just beginning the path to mindfulness, and the practice of meditation is where I begin. For November I did a lackadaisical two minutes a day, and so far, I’ve only missed one day in November–not good odds considering there are only three of them so far–but hey, that’s fun.
And yes, I have begun on a Buddhist, non-theistic, path to joy and peace. I found the Christian faiths too full of guilt and sorrow for my liking. Buddhism believes in a world where guilt and sorrow can be altered by practice and by becoming compassionate and joyful. These are much healthier aspects of life than the guilt of sin and the fear of an angry god.
So that’s it for this week’s joy practice on The Chase Chance Project.