Meditation is an activity that is close to my heart, I'd like to tell you a little about meditation. It's not an exhaustive coverage of the subject, there are much cleverer people than me for that.
In studies it has been shown that after 6 weeks doing some form of meditation for 10 minutes a day people reduce their levels of stress, they improve their sleep and they cope with their daily schedule better.
So what's meditation?
Here's a clue:
I walk up my garden, I notice it's not a big garden but it's nice and has things that I like in it. I hear my flip flops clacking against the soles of my feet as I walk. The flipflops are so light that I don't really feel them when compared to the weight of my body. I sit down on the step by the shed, the sun is shining and the seat where I normally sit is in shade and I don't want that this morning.
I close my eyes and notice that the sun's glare still comes through my eyelids but the sun feels nice warming my face, body and legs. I hear the grumble of a lorry on the nearby road and the low rumble of other traffic. I hear the cooing of a wood pidgeon, it could be a collared dove but it sounds deep enough to be a wood pidgeon. I hear the screeching of a sparrow in the guttering of the house next door and the calling of some gulls as they pass on by.
I feel the gentle breeze and it's not cold, it just brushes against the hairs on my arms. The breeze is moving the fan palm which scratches its fans together above and to the left of me, it's a sound that I like.
Life feels nice. Nice is an odd word but nice it is and it's nice right now regardless of what happens in the rest of the day. I feel the tickle of a fly and move to brush it off but it's too fast and is gone before my hand gets near it. It feels nice in the sun. I feel calm. I become aware of the calm and I know that I'm ready to get on with my day.
This is an extract from one of my summer morning meditations in the garden. I don't do them all the time, so many people say that I should. It's a simple pleasure to be aware of yourself in your surroundings in the here and now. People refer to it as mindfulness. It's a time to be mindful of what is happening around you right now, not in half an hour and not yesterday but right now. It's calming because it fills your mind with now for a while.
I know that if I spend 10 minutes a day doing that, or more because it's really addictive then I become calmer overall. It doesn't have to be a garden it can be in your house, car, or office.
All you have to do is to close your eyes and explore your senses. What light can you still perceive, what can you smell, what can you hear, what can you feel. Explore your breathing and your heartbeat and your feelings.
Don't waste time analysing, just notice how things are right now.
There are other meditations but this one is simple, draws no attention to you and you can do it anywhere. It makes a little space in your life, and it gives you a while to be just you. It's about meditation, it's about your meditation.