Meditation: Just Breathe

Image by Alex Bozic

By Alex Bozic

When I meditate I sit down with myself and make a commitment to my mind, body and spirit.  Quietly and comfortably I relax into a position that is pleasing to my limbs.  It doesn’t matter how long I choose to meditate, it could be five minutes, it could be a half hour; any time is better than no time.  I close my eyes or sometimes I leave them softly open and I settle in.  I breathe a normal breath, in and out.  The breath is my anchor, my home, where I always return home to regain strength.  My mind is my movie screen and I see my thoughts with curiosity, sometimes my mind starts out smooth as still waters and often times it is as tangled as vines in the deep jungle.  I notice my mind, without judging my thoughts, even if they are quite dark, I knowingly label them.  Joyous, frightful, aggressive, happy, excited, anxious, sad, fantasy.  From my meditation cushion I see the condition of my mental operating system, and I observe.

What thoughts are serving my soul’s purpose?  Are there some thought patterns that I would like to let go?  What about anxiety, uncertainty, anger, depression, panic?  I see those quite a lot, but the view from my meditation cushion I can see if I want to engage these emotions today?  Is that really me?  The most gold and glittery, my truest highest self?  When my mind starts to rush away with the thoughts and patterns, I see a wild horse galloping across plains.  I go back to my breath, my anchor, and I lasso that galloping horse into calm.   I focus on the breath for as long as I can, but it’s not too long before the horse gallops again, and again I go back to the breath.

There are many different ways to practice meditation.  By no means am I an expert on meditation, but I can tell you, that the friend who introduced the practice to me gave me one of the greatest gifts.  In my life I have been anxious, frantic, totally neurotic even at times.  I used to thrive on face pace, anxious energy, cigarettes, venti red eyes, and then downers at the end of the day to knock me out.  This was my cycle almost every day.

My meditation practice changed my life. Simply put.  It is the single most thing I can recommend for better living.  My anxiety, which almost ate me alive, panic, fear, and even depression come much less often, and when these little monsters pop up it’s manageable, because I now know my true inner self.  I know that these feelings are not my true soul’s desire or really part of my higher self at all.  I have much less of an urge to engage these emotions.  It has become less habitual I could say.   I quit smoking, the venti red eyes, and other neurotic behaviors like constant picking at my cuticles.  I don’t get mad anymore when the train is late, or when the guy standing in front of me at the bodega can’t seem to dig his cash out to pay in a timely manner.  I handle my personal relationships with more grace, and most of all I found a way to connect and love my inner highest self, the most beautiful part of me.



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