Every human should have some alone time each day. For many of us the idea seems daunting and/or eerily unattainable. From housework to homework, a lack of time or a lack of funds...both "career woman" and homemaker alike barely have enough energy at the end of the day for anything reluctantly close to meditation besides sleep. I used to think that my issue was economic; that if only I had this,or that...if only I had this kind of pillow then I could sit longer, if only I had that kind of house I would be more inspired. But as a predominantly-stay-at-home mom and a parttime teaching artist on a fixed income, I quickly realized that I pretty much do and find a way to get the things that I really want. So why couldn't I seem to find more time to meditate? My problem was more of internal confusion than external lack. In fact, I was chasing my own tail. I was constantly searching for creative solitude yet I was blind to the wealth of opportunity before me to attain it. In retrospect, how inexplicable was it that I found time for community engagements, chill time with the girls, business meetings, talking on the phone and shopping, but I could not say to myself, "Self, you cannot partake because you NEED to spend time with self?" To tell my friends I decline talking because I just need to be alone almost seems rude and even implies that something is wrong or strange. What does it say about our society that one has to foster excuses for practicing silence? My quiet times are among the most relevant times of my life; the only times I am able to be completely present in my own head. Just as the Artist must be alone to birth his creation and the writer alone to unearth his thoughts, I must be alone at times to renew my mind and relax my spirit. In the midst of a quiet spirit, we can find that single strand in the middle of the web...that axis in the center of the wheel. As a wombman, for example, in my quiet space I find the middle ground between my relationships, my craft and my numerous obligations. Once we find that comfortable quiet room in the black of our minds, the next step is learning to still the spirit in the midst of our hectic lives. The work we do within directly affects our quality of life without. Join Me:
Meditation for Busy People
"By meditation upon light and upon radiance,
knowledge of the spirit can be reached
and peace can be achieved."
- Change into loose,comfy clothing so that your sitting is not restricted in any way
- Find a quiet place where you will not be disturbed
- Sit comfy on the ground, with your legs outstretched or crossed
- Close your eyes and concentrate on relaxing each part of your body
- Begin at the tips of your toes and envision the blood flowing throughout your body to the top of your head, the Crown Chakra (Sanskrit) or your Ori (Yoruba).
- Once you are focused on your blood flow, tune in to your breathing pattern.
- Breathe in through your nose (if possible) and out through your mouth, making an "Ohhh"or "Ahhh"sound as you exhale.
- Once your breathing is regulated, channel your attention towards your thoughts and feelings. Let them roam free for a while in your mind, 1 to 2 minutes.
- Next, capture your thoughts and move them to the outer space of your mind. This is called "Clear Your Canvas" meditation.
- Expeditiously push all thoughts that race for the center of your mind to the outer edges, far left/far right,etc.
- Try to focus on your clear canvas, that is, the pure space in the center of your mind, entertaining no thoughts that try to invade that space.
- Keeping calm and still, continue this exercise daily until it becomes easier to reach your clear canvas. When you can sit amidst your clear canvas for 5 minutes or more, you are ready for guided meditation. ("Clear Your Canvas & Guided Meditations" tutorials coming soon.)
- Advanced Students: If you are already able to clear your canvas within a minute and sit within your clear canvas for at least 5 minutes, then choose a color for your canvas and create something in the ethereal space. Here, I often create my "To do" list for the week, "research" my next creative project, write a song/poem,or simply hold my peace for up to 15 to 20 minutes in the quiet.