For those in recovery from drug and alcohol abuse, meditation can help us to navigate life's challenges. The practice helps us accept life on life's terms and to be at peace in our own skin.
We All Belong
If it is true that our deepest longing is to belong, the practice of meditation is our pathway home. We don’t need to go searching for belonging, because already we belong.
In the present moment, we are all connected. What’s absent is our awareness. Each of us breathes the same air. All living beings are all connected with every breath we take. We have nothing to attain or learn.
Meditation – Waking Up and Seeing the Truth
We practice meditation in order to be awake. To be conscious and intentional about our lives. We practice meditation by coming into stillness and simply breathing. The Buddha says, “Be awake.” In fact, “Buddha” in Sanskrit means, “I am awake.”
Meditation is a gift in experiencing the here and now of our lives. The purpose of meditation is not to get anywhere, but to simply be present in the moment.
We western people are goal-oriented consumers, and we can’t imagine doing anything that won’t get us something or somewhere. In meditation, we practice embracing the fact that our exploration is not an effort to get anywhere. Because we’re already exactly where we need to be.
When we practice being still, we can begin to see deeply. Seeing deeply is the ability to see the world and reality as it really is. It is about seeing the truth.
JUST HOW DO WE MEDITATE?
There is no right or wrong way to meditate. It is simply a means of showing up and sitting. It is essential to give up the idea of being good at this.
Meditation is not a performance or a goal to be achieved. It is the journey of being with ourselves and breathing. All that is required is to show up, be present, and continue the practice to reap the cumulative reward.
Noticing Our Thoughts
Meditation is the practice of being less immersed in our thoughts, and knowing the difference between our thinking and being lost in thought. When we can’t discern the difference, we live in the stories in our heads and project our feelings and actions accordingly.
Our thoughts can sabotage us. Simply noticing our thoughts when they arise allows us to see that we are not our thoughts. We begin to see the world as it is, rather than through the veil of our skin-encapsulated ego.
The goal is not to stop our thinking or even clear our minds. In fact, that is impossible. In the same way our hearts beat, our minds think. It is the mind’s job to think. We let them come – and we let them go.
It can helpful to see our thoughts as clouds in the sky. We just let them float through the sky of our minds. This practice allows us to see just how impermanent our thoughts are. Seeing them floating in and floating out enables us to reduce their power to rule our lives.
Often, we tell ourselves that we don’t have the time to meditate. For most of us, we can’t afford NOT to take the time – even if it’s for 5 minutes.
BENEFITS OF MEDITATION
Science has revealed that meditation benefits the physical body and nervous system. Stress lodges in our tissues and organs. Breathing and sitting in stillness reduces stress on the body.
Moreover, meditation renews the mind and places us in a better mental and spiritual space from which to move and flow. For many of us, meditation is the soul of our life journey. Our practice enables us to strengthen and free the body so that we may use it to be of service to the world. When we are of service, the heart becomes free and joy-filled.
Healing and transformation happen in our moment-to-moment willingness to drop whatever story we are telling ourselves and open our fearful heart. Sitting and staying with the present moment takes some effort, but our commitment toward seeing the truth encourages us to sit.
WHAT DOES MEDITATION LOOK LIKE?
There are many different styles of meditation. Whole Families Intervention & Services teaches a simple awareness-based style, where the goal is not to tune out the world around us, but to wake up to it.
The basic technique is to stay present and aware of the body, the breath, and our surroundings. When thoughts arise, which they invariably will, Whole Families Intervention and Services, encourages you to simply notice them and let them go. Always coming back to your awareness of your body, your breath, and your surroundings.
Sometimes the benefits are not immediately visible, but over time we will notice a calmness, a sense of clarity and balance that we didn’t have before. We will begin to notice subtle shifts in the mind, our perceptions, and in our lives.
IF NOT NOW, WHEN?
Many of us know how powerful meditation can be, but few of us practice it consistently. The illusion is that one day we’ll be ready for it. The truth is that our hearts are always ready.
If we’re waiting for the day when both our mind and ego are ready, we may be waiting a long time. The mind tends to disbelieve it can be quiet or still on its own. The mind will resist at first, but the key is to do it anyway. If not now, when?
When we resist and struggle against our natural peace – when we react, get angry, hold resentments, and worry – we reject the source of light, divine breath, within.
Whole Families Is Here To Guide and Support You
Whole Families Intervention & Services, Inc., is here to guide and support you in beginning and maintaining a healing meditation practice.
We’ve found it hugely helpful to set aside a certain amount of time in the day, write it into your schedule and commit to doing it. If you respect your commitment to it, you’ll show up for yourself. We can always find ways to carve out time if we really want it. We at Whole Families are here to walk beside you.
In meditation, we let thoughts, feelings, and emotions arise without attaching to them. As we experience a thought or emotion, we allow ourselves to feel it, and then let it pass.
When we come into stillness, we see and know the truth, intimately. The experience of that truth sets us free. Whole Families & Intervention Services, Inc. is here to help you set yourself free.
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