Last weekend I attended the Catch the Sacred Breath workshop facilitated by Bob Sima and Shannon Plummer in Fairfax, Virginia. Sima combined a spiritual message, Practical BreathWork, and original music. His soulful voice and guitar created a sacred atmosphere that was heart opening.
Many of his songs are inspiring, but there’s one in particular I can’t seem to get out of my head: “Meditation Is the Medication (that cures the illusion of separation).” What fantastic lyrics! Meditation opens the inner door that no one else can open for me. The good news is there are many ways to meditate or just get quiet and be the observer of what is.
But I have too much to do. I don’t have enough time. I don’t have a private, quiet place. I can’t quiet my mind. These are some of the excuses I’ve heard. And, yes, I’ve used them, too. However, that was before getting into the habit of just getting quiet for a few moments at least once per day. If you find the word meditation distasteful, just change it to giving yourself some quiet time. Once this habit was formed I would no sooner go without meditating than without bathing.
The beauty of observing what is from a place of neutrality is that nothing needs to be a certain way. I start with sitting up straight, inviting spiritual assistance, relaxing my body and telling the mind to focus on my breath as I slow down and deepen my breathing. What if I feel pain or tension in the body? Just notice and breathe into it until the muscles relax and refocus on the breath. What if there’s noise from traffic, construction, children, etc. Just notice and refocus on the breath. What if a thought pops in about what I need to do later in the day? Just notice and refocus on the breath. On the other hand, an inspiring thought may pop in. When this happens, I like to write it down. There’s no right or wrong—only experience.
I enjoy incorporating the natural environment whenever possible. (This photo is of a cactus flower on our deck last summer.) Of course, there are other ways to meditate, visualize, contemplate, etc., with or without movement. Find what works for you. Other medically acknowledged benefits of a regular meditation practice include reduced blood pressure, an improved immune system, and emotional stability. See “Scientific Benefits of Meditation—76 Things You Might Be Missing Out On.”
I found that Sima’s Practical BreathWork strengthens the diaphragm, the main muscle of respiration, and helps to achieve greater oxygenation for a heightened feeling of awareness in the present moment. Less fear of separation and more inner peace works for me!
Did you take your “medicine” today?