Meditation

Turning off the noise

I’m learning something that people have known forever and I’m just now getting.  Meditation is AMAZING!  And – it doesn’t have to be what you probably think it is.  I’ve tried meditation lots of times over the course of my life.  And it never worked.  I couldn’t shut my brain off.  I couldn’t just sit still doing nothing.  I couldn’t chant like a Buddhist monk.  I just couldn’t do it.  Now I know why I couldn’t do it.  I was trying to do it like everyone else did and that just wasn’t for me.  I’m not a Buddhist monk.  I’m me.  I found out there is no right way or wrong way – you do what works for you.  Amazing!  So the how isn’t nearly as important as the why.  Why meditate?

Meditation is just a word used to mean quieting your mind.  Trying to turn off all that noise that constantly runs through your head.  Why do we need to turn off the noise?  Lots of reasons.  It calms you down.  It relaxes you.  It helps you to focus.  It helps you to find answers to questions you have.  It helps you to love people more.  It helps you to receive more love from other people.  It helps you to enjoy your life more.  The list goes on and on and on.  But what it all boils down to is…. when you get past everything else to the very bottom, root thing that meditating does…. It connects you with God.  WOW!!!  Sign me up!

Here’s something that I’m trying to wrap my brain around.  God is inside of me.  We all hear that.  Right?  God is inside of me.  But, I never felt that.  It never felt like I was walking around with someone inside of me (except when I was lugging around a 10 lb baby).  It’s always been very abstract to me.  It still is, but it’s getting a little clearer.  All of the love and wisdom that is God – is somewhere in my soul.  It’s squished in there between all of the thoughts that run through my head.  If I can clear out some of those thoughts, there’s more room for that Spirit to hang out.  It grows!  I just have to clear out all of the thoughts in my head.  Easier said than done.

Here’s another mind blower.  Those thoughts that we have about paying the bills and what to make for supper and what scares us and who made us mad and what we have to do at work – aren’t the real us.  They’re the outside us, not the inside us.  The Molly with all of those thoughts running through her head all day long is the Molly that people see, but it’s not the real and true Molly.  The real and true Molly is the quiet Spirit that is chock full of God’s love and wisdom.  Jeesh, I want to meet her!  I don’t even know her.  I just know the outside Molly that’s thinking about everything she has to do.  All of those things are important because I have responsibilities to my family and friends and work.  But I also have a responsibility to my inside Molly.  I have a responsibility to get to know her.  I need to get to know her.  I need to get to know her, because I need to remember how to feel God.  I need to feel Him in me.  I need to really and truly feel Him.  I just have to unbury Him and dust Him off.  I need to dust off God!  Oh, I crack myself up.

I had a crazy thought the other day, and I’m not sure if it’s right or just my nuttiness.  Adam and Eve weren’t really running around literally naked and then they ate the apple and suddenly put clothes on.  I think what that story might mean is, God created us as His image so we (our soul) is perfect love.  The problem is, we sin.  And I think that sin is anything we do that pulls us further away from our true Spirit.  It’s not about the degrees of how wrong something is or even if it’s right or wrong.  It’s all about whether we’re going towards our Spirit or moving away from it.  So, if we tell a little white lie, we take a little, teeny piece of gauze and cover up our true self, our Spirit, the Spirit of God.  If we lose patience with somebody, we take a little, teeny piece of gauze and cover up our true Spirit.  If we purposefully hurt somebody, we put a great big quilt over our true Spirit.  Now, I know somebody is going to say “We all lose our patience.  It’s not a sin to lose your patience.”  Yep.  I lose my patience all the time.  And that’s not a sin in the traditional sense of the word.  It’s not a matter of losing your patience being right or wrong.  It’s a matter of pulling us further from our Spirit.  So, for me, every time I choose to pull away from Spirit, I’m sinning.  That to me is what sin is.  It’s not doing some terrible thing.  It’s pulling away from my Spirit.  I do it all day long and I don’t beat myself up about it because it’s just what humans do.  But, I’m working on taking some of the layers off of my Spirit so I can get closer.  That’s the goal.  To get a little bit closer.  When we cover up our Spirit, we’re putting clothes on it.  Get it?  We clothe our Spirit by covering it up every time we pull away from it.  I think (could be wrong here) that’s what the bible means when it says that Adam and Eve were clothed after eating the apple.  So, we need to start taking the clothes off our Spirit by not pulling away from it and by getting closer.  We need to bring our outside selves closer to our inside selves.  To do that, we have to turn off the noise in our head.  This pushes out all the outside thoughts and thinking.  It blocks out our outside self so we can get to know our inside selves, which is the Spirit of God.  Meditating can bring us to God.  Huh.  Ok.  How do we do that?  It ain’t easy.  Let me tell ya.

I said before there is no right or wrong way to meditate and that’s both right and wrong.  Could I confuse you more?  There’s not a right or wrong method to use, but you need to focus on your Spirit while you do it.  You need to really visualize and try to see God’s Spirit inside of you while you’re meditating.  This is actually hanging out with God.  You know how when a little kid is telling you all about their day (I mean every single detail) and you pretend to listen, but you’re really thinking about a million other things?  You’re only sort of listening to them.  You aren’t focused on them.  You can do this with meditation too.  You can sort of meditate.  You can sit in a quiet room and use your meditation beads or visualize or chant or whatever method you decide to use, but you aren’t really trying to push out the thoughts that pop into your head.  We all have thoughts pop up, it’s normal.  But when you’re really meditating you’ll push those thoughts out and bring your attention back to being with God.  When you’re sort of meditating, you’ll focus more on those other than thoughts.  So, it’s ok to have thoughts pop up, but you need to push them back out.  The more you do it, the easier it gets.  You need to work at just being with God.  Make sense?  Try to feel Him.  Try to just be with Him for a few minutes.  When you do that, it is sooooo relaxing.  It is sooooo calming.  It is soooooo good.

To start out, it helps to be in a quiet place.  After you practice it a lot, you can do it anywhere.  But, I still prefer a quiet room.  I do this all day long.  In the morning when I first wake up, in the afternoon, and in the evening and anytime I have a few minutes of nothing to do.  Instead of hopping on facebook, just do and think about nothing (still kinda like being on facebook).

I still haven’t told you how I meditate.  When I first started, I would close my eyes and start doing deep breathing – in through the nose for a count of 4, hold it for a count of 2 and out through the mouth for a count of 6.  Then I would visualize myself in my happy place.  For me that’s a mountain meadow.  I would really try to see that meadow.  I would hear the birds and smell the flowers.  I would feel the warm sun on me.  I have a whole little routine that I do in my meadow and I end up laying on a warm rock.  That’s when I would move on to visualize what I think God looks like.  I usually see Him as a bright, warm glowing light.  Now, when I meditate, I usually just jump right to this visualization.  If I’m upset about something, I’ll visualize Him sitting in a chair with me sitting curled in His lap.  He holds me and protects me.  Weird, I know, but it really makes you feel protected and loved.  So, as I meditate, I picture this glowing light all around me and I visualize myself being completely at peace.  When a thought jumps into my head, I just gently picture it going up into the sky and poof, disappearing.  Thoughts always pop in our heads, but they get fewer and further between as you do this a lot.  To start out, you probably will only do this for about 5 minutes, but it will keep growing and building.

When I’m going about my day or I’m at work where it’s nosier, I’ll do a different kind of meditation that uses words.  You would think that using words to meditate would be the complete opposite of what you want to do.  I mean, aren’t you thinking about something when you use the words.  Yep.  But because you just keep repeating the same words, you go on autopilot.  It gives you brain something to do so the thoughts don’t pop in as much.  It also helps to put you “in the zone”.  I have a meditation bracelet that I made to use for this and I’m thinking of making a meditation “belt”.  I’m going to try to make up a bunch of these, so if you want one, just send me a comment to this post and I’ll try to get you one.  If you don’t want the world to know that you commented, just tell me and it won’t get posted.  The bracelet’s nothing fancy.  It’s just a stretchy bracelet with round beads.  One bead is bigger than the others.  I start with the first little bead after that big bead and I say the same words (out loud if I can) for every bead until I get back to the big bead.  Then I say a different line.  I have 3 lines of words that I use.  So for me it goes like this:

1st round start with small bead and say: “Guide me to Your Spirit in my soul”

I say this for every bead until I reach the bigger bead.

I visualize: A warm, glowing light surrounding me / or if I’m upset, I visualize

myself sitting on God’s lap while He just holds me.

Bigger transition bead I say: “With gratitude for all things, I humbly pray”

2nd round say: “Help me to see Your Spirit in the souls of others”                                                            I visualize: A bright light coming out of me and connecting to a bright

light that comes out of lots of other people around me.

Bigger transition bead I say: “With gratitude for all things, I humbly pray”

3d  round say: “Help me to know and release my fears”

I visualize: My fears floating up and away

Bigger transition bead I say: “With gratitude for all things, I humbly pray”

I try to do this set of 3 lines for at least 3 rounds.  So, I go around the bracelet once with the first line, then I go around for the second line and the third line and I repeat that for at least 3 times.  Sometimes I just do it until it feels right to stop.  Sometimes I don’t use the beads, I just do the visualization.  Whatever works for you is fine.  It’s amazing how much calmer and more at peace you’ll feel after doing this.  Remember it’s not what you do, it’s why you’re doing it.  To hang out with God.

You can change these words to whatever makes sense and works for you.  You can change the visualization to whatever works for you.  This just works for me.  The point is not what words you use or what visualization you see – the point is to really try to feel God’s presence inside of you.  It’s to feel the Spirit of God in you and just be.  Just be.  Don’t do, just be.

There are about a million different ways to do this and you should research them to see what works for you.  You could use a guided meditation like head space or you could do it on your own.  Again…. whatever works for you.  But no matter what style you like to use, thoughts are going to pop into your head.  In the beginning they’ll pop in a lot.  There are lots of things you could do with those thoughts.  You could just picture them floating away.  You could say to yourself, “It’s just a thought” and erase it.  You could say to yourself “quiet” and push it out.  Whatever works.  The point is, you need to sit in quiet and push the thoughts that make up the outside you, out of your head while you try to dust off God and find Him.  He’s there hanging out with the real you in your soul.  He’s just been covered up by all the stuff that clutters up your head.  We keep burying Him under clothes.  Meditating is not easy.  It’s not for lightweights.  It takes practice and work and persistence, but you WILL get better at it.  You WILL get rewards for it.  Great big huge rewards.  Giant rewards.  Really, really, really great rewards.  Get the picture?  It’s worth it.

I find that if you take a few minutes every day, as many times a day as you can, to stop what you’re doing and focus on the inside you – the you that is pure love; the you that you’re meant to be; the you that is in God’s image; the you that is your spirit and soul.  I really believe that we all meet back up with the inside us when we die, but wouldn’t it be cool to meet up before then?  Wouldn’t it be cool to connect with God before we die?  Wouldn’t it be cool if we could hang out with Him now?  You can.  That’s what meditation is.  Meditation is hanging out with God.  How incredible!  Happy meditating!!

 

Wishing both the outside you and the inside you, all the peace in the world,

Molly