a Telephone Meditation Group!
Ah, the need for a pause in the midst of the rush of daily activities…but it takes too much time to go to my meditation group and I can't seem to keep motivated all by myself…
I used to sit with a roommate each morning and her dog—Tich--- “the meditating dog!”—the dog sat in her lap as we meditated for 20 minutes. When she moved out across town, we got the idea to still make daily connection because we recognized the value of regular meditation practice and support. It gives a deep sense of inner perspective and calm that allows wise choices to be made in response to life's challenges.
So, each morning I would call her up, briefly check in about how our lives were going, set our motivation (our reason for meditation is to benefit ourselves and all other people)---and then, put the landline phone down and meditate for 20 minutes. (If you use a cell phone, you can disconnect and have the person call you back.) When finished, we would dedicate the merit (the calm and sense of peace and connection with our inner selves and everyone else) and wish that everybody could be healed of any dis-ease, and feel contented and peaceful. It was so wonderful!
If I would just sit alone, it was too easy to stop after a few minutes or not to meditate at all, but with the commitment to sit with someone else, it made it easy! No extra time to drive somewhere, it didn’t matter about the weather, what I looked like --- all excuses were quieted. And the results were a profound calm, centeredness in the midst of our busy, rushed day. Ah-h. After about one year, she moved out of the area, so we had to stop.
Several years ago, after a meditation retreat, I mentioned the idea to a friend named Kathleen. She said that it sounded like a terrific idea; so, a couple of weeks later, we set up our first time to start our telephone group. We set a time at least one day per week (usually three per week) and mark it on the calendar. We make a date with each other to meditate or do spiritual prayer practices! Recently I have started to also sit with another lady at 7 AM on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday mornings.
We sit 20 - 30 minutes at a time and really work to honor the time in the same way we would if we were in a formal setting. Taking this time in the midst of our busy schedule feels like an island of peace and calm in the midst of a rushing storm. Ah-h.
We obtain the value of meditation if we practice, so any way that helps us to be consistent at it helps bring the results we want. Quite often, TIME is the main challenge, so any amount of time—even three minutes spent meditating---sets the stage for the meditation habit to be cultivated.
A terrific book that helps with this is called The Three Minute Meditator by David Harp. It mentions 30 simple ways to unwind your mind and help it be more fit—like strength training for the mind!
So, try out the telephone meditation support group and three-minute quick meditation pauses and see for yourself the wonderful benefits!
Check out also: For a PDF printable version of the globe meditation GLOBE MEDITATION WEBSITE.pdf
The Beginner’s Guide To Insight Meditation, by Arinna Weisman and Jean Smith, (2001), Bell Tower, New York. Arinna's book is wonderful! Provides terrific wisdom and insight into our sufferings, and shares the path to transform ineffective patterns into more wholesome ones. I love Arinna's ability to nurture hope in us when at times we might feel "hopeless."
Seeking The Heart Of Wisdom, by Joseph Goldstein & Jack Kornfield, (1987), Shambhala Publishers A classic! Shares deep insights about the difficulties and hindrances of meditating and the transformative value of understanding cause and effect. One unique and helpful section is how to integrate practice into our daily lives and how to develop an integrated awareness of all dimensions of our being, making our body, our actions, our feelings, our relationships, our work, and our play, all part of our meditation.
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