Here’s a picture of Mahatma Gandhi. I took it while I was in London and shared it to Pixabay, the photo sharing service. You’re free to download it from here if you’d like to. Mr Gandhi sits in a typical meditation pose that’s different from my own. I tend to be at the pillow end of my bed with my back supported by the headboard, legs slightly bent. In the olden days I used a slightly sloped meditation stool but poorly knees put pay to that! I sold it on Ebay and hope it’s being put to good use by its purchaser. I’m okay with getting rid of it. For meditation practice evolves.
I reckon that I’ve been meditating for a good fifteen years on and off, starting with an eight week Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) course run by my employer. It took a bit of commitment and effort but was truly worth it. I’d totally recommend a face to face course but recognise that these can be pricy, inaccessible or inconvenient for some people. So I’ve done a little Google Search and found a totally free online course by Palouse Mindfulness just in case anyone is interested. There’s an online student community so that you wouldn’t have to be left completely without support.
My practice was very rigid for a time. I sat in a prescribed place, at the same time of day for forty five minutes. Every so often it would tail off. Like other people these periods of absence from practice helped me to identify its worth. I felt more resilient and calm when a period of daily meditation was integrated into my life.
I’ve moved away from MBSR over the years and tried all sorts. I’ve meditated to the sound of a fan and theta waves, listened to the ‘I am that I am’ meditation by the late Dr Wayne Dyer, used the excellent Headspace app because it was made freely available to NHS employees during the COVID-19 crisis. Until recently I settled on sitting in silence for 30 minutes with just a timer. I’ve now shed that too.
I now practice early in the morning for as long as I feel inclined. No timer, nothing! Instead of watching those thoughts that pass through my head with judgment I’m much more accepting of them. But the major breakthrough is that I want to meditate. For years it was a bit of a chore. It isn’t anymore.