“I said to my soul, be still and wait without hope, for hope would be hope for the wrong thing; wait without love, for love would be love of the wrong thing; there is yet faith, but the faith and the love are all in the waiting. Wait without thought, for you are not ready for thought: So the darkness shall be the light, and the stillness the dancing.” ~ T.S. Eliot
I don’t have the patience to meditate. I’m sure one day I’ll work on myself enough to be able to sit in this kind of way, but meditating makes me feel antsy and impatient. But that doesn’t mean that I don’t seek out the wonders of a meditative mind elsewhere in my life.
In fact, I spend a lot of time doing things that will center me, and bring me to a higher meditative state. Everyone can find their “meditations” in different places, but here are a few of mine that I find to be particularly helpful in creating a meditative lifestyle.
In order to be truly grateful for what you receive (or don’t receive) in life, requires a sort of meditative mind. One can only be grateful for everything when they get past their ego that wants instant gratification and open miracles.
To practice being thankful, even when you’re down, is to truly be grateful for a universe that is guiding you where you need to go, whether you can see the good in every moment or not.
Being thankful for the good things that you clearly see in your life takes practice as well. Take a few minutes a day to think of all the things you are grateful for and see how quickly your day changes into one of bliss, as you clearly see your blessings unfolding before you.
Praying does not need to be linked with any religion. Praying is to acknowledge that you are not alone in the world, and that you are definitely not the one running it. Although we have power over our lives and the energies we put out, we are also not in control, and this means that we need to practice letting go of the illusion that we are.
This can mean sitting and asking the universe to help us through hard times and decisions. This can mean letting go and asking the universe to guide you. This can also mean, like I said above, to express gratitude at the goodness that is given to you every day.
Make your own rituals, whether you use a rug, a prayer book, a religious figure, or the open sky; make it your own, so that no two prayers ever look the same.
Spending Time in Nature
To spend time in nature is one of the best ways to connect to yourself, your God, and the universe and all the creatures that inhabit it with you. You can go for a walk, just sit and ponder, or bring your sketchbook out into the sunlight. Some people need to connect to nature more than others, for some it is a necessity to go between city and nature in order to feel centered in their daily life.
But regardless if this holds true for you, everyone can benefit from spending time in the great outdoors. Whether you use this time for inspiration, or merely clearing your mind and body from the city smog, the beautiful world will make you feel renewed every time.
Spending Time in Silence
Silence is the most dreaded part of meditation. In silence is where we find the deepest parts of ourselves, and if we have deep fears or issues waiting to surface, this is when they will most likely make themselves known.
To dive into our deep inner world, and come out with jewels, whether they be insights or fears, takes courage. Spend some time just sitting and letting your mind wander, without focusing on one specific thing.
Put on calming music, get comfortable, do it in nature…whatever suits you. When you find that your mind keeps coming back to something specific, pull it out and examine it thoroughly and objectively, or write it down to deal with it at a later time.
Pull out your insights and do something with them, whether it’s the start of a new project, or a solution to a problem, implement it as soon as possible. If it’s a fear, sit with it, and though this might sound paradoxical, do not fear your fears. Take it in your hand, accept whatever it may be, and work on how to fix or dissolve this fear.
Everyone has something they do that makes them feel still and calm inside. If you find that you don’t have a hobby or an activity that does this for you, then it’s time to start searching for one. For me, it’s writing. When I resurface from my notebook or laptop after writing, I feel cleansed, accomplished, and renewed.
I’ve felt that after painting, singing, or reading as well. Some people feel this after they go for a run, or attend a yoga class. Some people get this feeling by baking, sewing, or playing baseball.
Whatever it is for you, find it, and keep it as a loved one in your life. Even if it changes from week to week, or year to year, know and treat it as something precious.