Practice your daily OM
You would think meditation is simple. After all, all you have to do is sit, close your eyes and be still, right? If only! Is it just me, or does setting aside time to sit still just make you want to get up, run around and do all the chores you would regularly procrastinate over?
When I first started really looking into natural healing methods I read a book called You Can Conquer Cancer by Ian Gawler. Ian’s story is amazing, but it’s also pretty long and complex so I’ll tell the short version. At 23, Ian was diagnosed with bone cancer in his right leg. He had his leg amputated at the hip but after a while the cancer returned in his body. It got pretty bad and at his lowest ebb he was given two weeks to live. Ian did absolutely everything he could to beat the disease – using both conventional and alternative treatments. He took on the diet, juicing, enemas and even flew to the Philippines to seek help from psychic surgeons. But the number one factor Ian credits to his survival is meditation. He meditated for five hours a day! I am slowly working myself up to three.
In the beginning, Ian practiced a method called Mindfulness Meditation. Mindfulness simply means to be aware of what is happening in the present moment. This seemed easy enough, but after weeks of trying it out on my own I found myself getting less relaxed and more frustrated. As I sat crossed-legged on my fancy new pink meditation cushion the only thing I could focus on was my numb legs, how much time had passed and the mental foot in my head tapping me back into consciousness. Every unimportant thought I could possibly think would make its way into my mind. It was hopeless. So, to resurrect the situation I decided to go straight to the source. My boyfriend and I signed up for a 10-day retreat at the Gawler Foundation in Melbourne. Here, we learned all about healing, nutrition and most importantly, meditation. The method of meditation taught there is a called Mindfulness-based Stillness Meditation and, put simply, it goes a little like this:
1. Adjust your position so that it is symmetrical, upright and open, and a little uncomfortable (if you’re too comfy you could fall asleep).
2. Close your eyes and gently focus your attention on the space in front of them, between your eyebrows.
3. Concentrate on and listen to your breathing. Notice the rise and fall of the abdomen on each inhalation and exhalation.
4. Open your awareness to include the sounds around you – outside and inside the room.
5. You’ll find your mind will tend to wander. That’s ok. When it does, just bring your attention back to your breathing and the sounds you hear.
6. Try to sit and keep your mind calm for as long as you can. Anywhere over half and hour is a good effort. The more you practice, the longer you will be able to hold this mental focus. If you’re using meditation to beat cancer, it’s recommended you meditate for three hours a day to gain the best results.
Tip: If you find meditating on your own too difficult, try listening to a guided meditation CD.
Some days are good and I’m able to sit in peace on my little meditation stool (which I bought to solve the problem of numb legs) for up to an hour. Other days my mind won’t settle at all. I now realise that this is all normal. You can’t try to block out the thoughts, as this will only make them worse. The other day my yoga teacher said that a thought will only last six seconds unless you apply an emotion to it. A good metaphor is to think of your thoughts as clouds passing through a clear blue sky. Let them come and go as they’re ready without contributing to them. If you have any other meditation tips, please pass them on.
Positive affirmation for the day: No matter how busy I am today, I will begin and end my day with quiet time. I look forward to that time when I stop all outward activity, rest and look within for my peace and truth. (Ruth Fishel)
join the tribe
Join the green mo revolution! Subscribe to get Jess's updates & Green Mo Revolution e-book FREE with over 80 green smoothie recipes!