6th April 2018
by Radio Presenter Naomi Kent
I listen to Surya’s Monday morning meditation on Facebook as he guides us to, “Drop into the body”. And it feels like a drop. I’m off to Krakow this summer and a friend recommended I go to some underground caves, which involves a dabble in pot-holing to get there. So now I don’t meditate as often, coming into the body feels like delving into the depths of a cave, with a hint of trepidation at what might be lurking around the next corner. After the initial drop, I’m fine – which I imagine is similar to the actual cave experience – but I’m definitely more tentative when it’s time to ‘come home to the body’ compared to when I was regularly practising throughout my course.
Realistically I meditate two to three times a week. Before I did the course I thought meditation would fix me. Fix my anxious thoughts, my whirling mind, my inability to relax. It hasn’t fixed me, because it isn’t a fix. It has helped me, and I’ve learned to see meditation as a way of being kind to myself, understanding myself and accepting myself. Which means I don’t require this feeling of being fixed now, or not often at least. Meditation and mindfulness are the reassuring Motherly arm around my shoulder reminding me, it’s okay. Feelings aren’t scary, they’re okay. Which might sound silly to someone who’s totally down with their feelings, but are any of us really?
Mindful behaviour is something I find easier to make a part of my life. I pause more. I step out of the bedlam of my mind & watch what I’m doing and saying to myself. Sometimes I’m there a little late after a mini-meltdown about something mundane – the boyfriend can vouch for that. Poor him! – but the fact I even think to do it at all is a bonus compared to me before meditation. Before it was a case of ‘Keep going, keep going, keep going,’ always busy, always away from my head, so as not to feel the feelings I wasn’t so keen on. So it’s very nice not to be there! I do a yoga practice every day to force myself to make a clean break from the busy day and focus on breathing and moving mindfully. I listen to podcasts of inspiring and interesting spiritual people as a reminder to why loving and taking care of me is as important as loving and taking care of others.
I’m not sure why I seek a reminder, because daily meditations are a wonderful way of turning down the volume on mind, or at least being more at ease with its occasional manic nature. But it’s not easy. A year into practising I still sometimes feel nervous to sit. Normally the nerves come at times I’ve been avoiding sitting because life has been stressful, and I know my brain is running away from me, which is actually the time I should be looking in. But hindsight is a constant critic!
It’s all a learning experience. Does anyone ever feel they’ve entirely mastered meditation? -Surya??? – Or is it not something to be mastered and something we all continue to learn and grow with? The body is throwing up different feelings with different emotions for different scenarios all the time, so I don’t suppose you ever truly can master it. I’m a seeker of completion and stability in life, so I wasn’t naturally built for the unknown of myself and the continued practise of meditation. I’d like it to be done and ordered and ticked off a list. But that’s also exactly why I need meditation and persist with something that isn’t always easy, because it’s worth it.
So I’ll see you on Facebook on Monday morning Surya, to help guide me on my way.
Maintaining mindfulness was written by Naomi Kent
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