Do you feel awkward when it is too quiet?
As one who makes a living talking, it’s pretty hard to be quiet. I suspect that is true for a lot of people, though. When silence falls into a conversation we rush to fill the uncomfortable quiet – even if it’s with non-essential banter.
Noticing this about myself, I have had a slight interest in learning about meditation. When I say slight, I mean slight. While I had plenty of respect for the enlightened few who practiced it, I was not entirely convinced it was for me.
Still, a tiny gnawing kept making me feel like it would be a good thing to do for my body and my mind. Be still, calm, quiet, peaceful, introspective.
I don’t recall how I ended up on Pamela Thrift’s email list, but I kept getting notifications about upcoming mediation classes. A six week class seemed a bit much for me – a pre-beginner. I called to see if I could just take a one-time class. Pamela gently discouraged me, stating one-time would not teach you the process that you need to know.
When the stars lined up and the moon was full, I decided to take the plunge and sign up for the group meditation workshop. On the day of the first session (scheduled from 1-3 in the afternoon), I was noticeably worried. The thought of being still and quiet for 2 hours was a little more that I thought I could bear.
Nonetheless, off we go and I learn that there are many, many different types of meditation and that everything is not for everyone and that that’s okay. Pamela exposes us to as many techiques as she can in our time together. Some seem very odd to me and others are quite predictable. Each person seems to latch on to one or two techniques that fit for them. Even me. Candles, mirrors, music, rocks, chants, and visualizations are some examples of what was taught.
Fast forward a few months and I meet mediation master, Pragito Dove. Practicing in California, trained in India, and the author of numerous books, including the one I have that’s called, Laughter, Tears and Silence, Pragito teaches something called “expressive meditation.” The idea here being you do something active, then follow it by silence.
Her book is full of easy to follow directions and explanations of four-minute meditations – even you can find four minutes, if you want to.
Pragito says there are three essentials to any meditation technique: relaxation, nonjudgement and witnessing. Meditation, she says, is about living in the here and now, being aware and not allowing your mind to take you into the future. This, both women assure me, gets easier with practice!
So, if you have even the slightest inkling of interest about meditation, if you are even slightly curious if this useful tool might be of service to you, I encourage you to explore some beginner classes in your area and/or pick a a book on the subject.
For more information about my teachers, you can contact Pragito via www.Discovermeditation.com or order her book online. If you are in Manitoba, you can get yourself on the list of Pamela_Thrift@hotmail.com to be keep abreast of upcoming local courses. My thanks to both ladies for being my guests on the Your Life, Unlimited radio show and for sharing their knowledge and passion.
If you have some insight on how meditation has worked for you or ideas to share, please commment.