Archive for October, 2007

Welcome to my meditation journal.

I began meditating regularly a little more than a month ago, after meeting a wondeful shiatsu practitioner who reminded me that “meditation is the best medicine.” Her intensity toward my own commitment to meditation just triggered something in me, and it stuck. I’ve been sitting daily ever since.

I knew (and know for that matter) very little about meditation. I had attended some free local meditation classes, which introduced me to a mantra based meditation. The class’ leader would begin by reading us a list of mantras, which she repeated three times each. She told us to just to choose whichever one we were drawn to, whatever resonated. At my first class I immediately chose “om namah shivaya,” having no idea that it is one of the most well-known, commonly chanted — an initiation mantra of sorts. Whatever the case, it worked for me.

Since then I have experimented with a few different mantras, in addition to trying out a shambhala approach to meditation as explained by Pema Chodron in the lineage of Chögyam Trungpa.

The idea for this blog simply came out of the fact that often when I’m meditating and my mind does its wandering, I find myself reflecting on the act of meditation itself and almost composing blog-like entries in my head. Language is my living, so “writing” in my head is common for me. Still, as I let those thoughts go and return to my breath, the feeling of wanting to write them down remains. I figure that if I maybe start recording them, I’ll let them go more easily. Also, I am just easily entertained by some of the things the mind does while meditating, and thought the mind’s antics would make for good blog material. Here is today’s example:
I’m in the middle of “om namah shivaya-ing” when suddenly I am thinking how important it is to carve out the time to do this. “Carve” is the exact word that my mind uses to describe the act of making time for myself and my practice. This leads my mind to think of the billboard on the side of the highway with a Dunkin’ Donuts advertisement that reads, “Carve out some time for a pumpkin muffin.” I always read that ad, and with the accompanying picture of the latte and robust pumpkin muffin, it works on some level. Yes, I think, that looks inviting (though I LOVE pumpkin muffins, I hate Dunkin’ Donuts, but that, after all, is the magic of advertising). Anyhow, I NEVER made the connection between the word choice “carve” and “pumpkin.” (Did I say I do language for a living??). In fact, I often marveled at the simplicity of the ad and wondered why that statement exactly? Suddenly, today during my meditation, the wonder of Dunkin’ Donuts’ billboard advertising became remarkably clear. And I felt silly. And I had to just laugh at myself.

In addition to serving the purpose of recording the wildly diverse wanderings of a meditating mind, this blog is also an attempt to find out if I am alone in these random (and sometimes confusing and sometimes wonderful) meditation sessions. It’s to get me reading other material out there and interacting with others who are starting on this path and hopefully some who are futher along it and can share advice and insight. It’s also to help me keep track of the resources that are out there — linking to valuable site, retreat information, classes, and so on.

Please share your own experiences, leave a link to your own writings or resources on meditation, or comment on my various entries.

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