3 by Marion Thornley 3

What is meditation and why do we do it, or should we do it? As with most things in life, concerning the subject of meditation there are more questions than answers.

The ancient yogic texts promise us wonderful rewards if we can but just spend a few moments each day in meditation. The classical path of yoga tells us that we have to prepare our distracted minds for meditation. Most of us need to strengthen and cleanse our bodies with physical postures, then move on to breathing practices to calm the mind, and so on, until we are ready to meditate. All this seems to suggest that meditation is a complex practice, yet it is also the simplest thing in the world.

I came across something on Facebook a couple of weeks ago, written by a friend who lives nearby and attends yoga classes. Caroline was writing about her morning walk, done in a spirit of mindfulness. The freshness and honesty of her inspiring account has stayed with me and she has kindly allowed me to reproduce part of it here:

“I walked up the garden with enormous appreciation for the daffodils and hyacinths that were all along my path. I really took them in blue and yellow and thanked myself for planting them in the autumn.

I drove a few minutes, got out and appreciated what a lovely day it was and how lucky I was to live here. Yesterday was windy and unpleasent but today the sky was blue and clear, and there was no wind. I felt my feet. As I walked I spent moments on the wild flowers, delicate and so pretty, lush grass and the snow-topped Canigou, moments in my body and moments in the here and now. Wow, what a walk that was.

I feel more energy now to combat the rest of the day. Above all I have began to feel truly alive and I have enjoyed being alive.”

Cultivating this ability to remain in the here and now that Caroline was writing about leads to a quietness of mind, and in that silence, meditation happens.

Caroline’s account put me in mind of the journal written by the philosopher Krishnamurti, and I will leave you with a few of his words on the subject:

“Dawn was slow in coming; the stars were still brilliant and the trees were still withdrawn; no bird was calling, not even the small owls that rattled through the night from tree to tree. It was strangely quiet except for the roar of the sea. The earth was waiting for the dawn and the coming day; there was expectation, patience and a strange stillness. Meditation went on with that stillness, and that stillness was love.”

[(Marian teaches yoga in Ceret and is particularly interested in the use of yoga as a tool for health and healing. For more information contact Marian on [> ] or see her website at [>])]

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