By Judith Michaels Safford
Meditation can be as short as seconds. Simply stopping and being in the present moment is a type of meditation that leads to more mindfulness. I'm in my body. I'm seeing the trees. I'm breathing in. I am here. There are guided meditations or you can simply set aside a time of silence, letting the breath be your guide. There is no right way.
Meditation calms and cleanses my mind. It places me in the posture of “not knowing,” which opens up the willingness to be shown. Meditation gives me guidance that reveals where darkness, tension, pain, resentment, uncomfortable thoughts and emotions are still lingering. It offers the opportunity to name, locate and accept what feels real, but what may not necessarily be true. Meditation transforms self-doubt or critical voices into love and self-compassion.
Recently, I slipped into the darkness of blaming. Feeling ignored and disrespected, I nursed it into a tantrum, as I seemed to believe that anger and blame were necessary to motivate self-care. But I remembered my meditation practice as a way to reconnect to my true needs. During meditation that evening, I did not know the answer or even the real question. I chose to sit by and pause, knowing the answer would be given. With the next morning came clarity.
My journal entry from that morning reads:
This morning, I am grateful for irritation that leads me to truth.
Today, I will not ignore myself.
Today, I will respect myself.
Today, I will choose self-care out of love.
Open my eyes that have been closed to my brother.
May the beauty of innocence be seen.
May we witness the disappearance of separation and behold the mystery of ONE.
May our separate selves melt into sacred ONENESS.
If you’re looking to start a meditation practice, the free guided meditation on the Hale Pule website is my favorite. I enjoy feeling the tug of anchoring to the center of the earth and the energy descending from the heavens and often see memories that are ready to exit my life and in the upper right sits the worries and fears awaiting release. While imagining the aura surrounding me, I fill all the holes or spikes where energy leaks. My ending rose is the color of a pale pink pearl. I smile.