Meditation and Family Stress

Bas Relief, Suknothan Thailand depicting walking meditation

Bas rellief in Suknothan Thailand depicting monks during walking meditation

Courtesy Wikimedia Commons

I can’t think of a way to honor this ghastly anniversary. The world is neither safer nor kinder so I’ll just mention stress. I’m grateful for my family, health, and life. I live in two places, I’m preparing a memoir for publication, and I blog. But like many writers it’s a struggle to find peace and quiet.

I’ve joined a meditation group. Every Wednesday night we gather in a circle, play soft music, and empty our minds for an hour. It is amazing how it refreshes. With practice you do learn.  Our leader turns on the soft music as she aligns us with the universe, the planets and the stars. I’m not sure about those alignments, so since I’m getting a little deaf, I start emptying my cares as soon as I enter the room.  A  year of meditation practice has enabled me to tune out for brief periods of self renewal.

Meditation practice takes many forms—transcendental, several Buddhist varieties, also mindfulness and walking meditations where you try to focus on the present moment. Christian centering prayer removes us from personal cares.

I’ve even bought a meditative Zen alarm clock. How I hate the harsh jangle of any alarm that jolts me out of a dreamy sleep. For those of you who understand the “Golden Mean” the clock follows this.  The alarm features ten minutes of “temple bells.” First a soft bell tone. Three minutes later, another one. A minute and a half until the next. Then a series of tones. If you don’t hear the first, you’ll hear the last. Supposedly you have time to record your dreams. Anyway, it’s a gradual, gentle wake up.

My husband hates it. “Whang, whang, whang, over and over,” he says.

Different strokes for different folks.

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