I’ve come to realize that one of my passions in life is to get everyone to realize that meditation and some kind of spirituality, any kind of spirituality is of value in our lives. I want to start to dispel some common myths that get in the way of starting off on a spiritual journey. Today’s myth that I’d like to dispel is how you look when you meditate. Now, I know that might sound absolutely stupid. It shouldn’t matter how you look when you meditate. But, darn it, in the beginning I was very concerned. Every article or book I ever read on the subject had some kind of image like this:
|The ethereal nature meditation|
|Look how flexible and Zen-like she is!|
And I am guilty of supplying you, the reader with similar images. It gives the false notion that when you sit down for meditation you must straighten your spine broomstick straight, fold one of your feet into your crotch (how do they do that?) and immediately drop into a state of bliss. The truth of the matter is, meditation is often not as pretty as this. And I will tell you the truth.
Sometimes I meditate in my underwear.
Most often, when I am motivated to meditate, I will get out of bed, and go to our extra bedroom which is mostly jam packed full of stuff that we don’t want other people to see. It’s like a huge storage closet. I have all of my craft stuff, most of my clothes, a couple of bookshelves and dressers and all of the other junk I’ve collected over the last 12 years. On the floor I keep the meditation pillow that I made out of military fatigue material that has been collapsed by the weight of my butt over time. It is pretty flat. So, I’ll get out of bed, grab my phone with timer, and sit on the pillow. Sometimes I’m smart and remember a blanket, which is awesome, but I’m not much of a thinker at 6am. I put the pillow in front of my dresser, and get comfortable. Sometimes I start with my legs crossed, but in a million years I’m pretty sure I’ll never be able to assume the foot-in-crotch standard meditation position. Sometimes I just sit with my legs bent. I could sit in a chair, but I like the novelty of sitting pretty much on the floor. I do my best with my slouchy spine and prop it up on the dresser so that I don’t think about how slouchy I am at minute 8 of a 10 minute meditation. I set my timer to whatever I feel like, 5, 10, sometimes 20 minutes. And there I sit. I can usually sit still for about 4 minutes. Then my foot will start to tingle or fall asleep, so I shift to the legs bent position. I will shift my body so my spine is a little straighter again. I stretch my back a little. Sometimes I peak at my timer. Sometimes my little dog joins me and sits by my feet or on my lap and I scratch him, because meditation is great, but I can’t resist being distracted by my doggies.
So there it is. This is the glorious, magical image of how I meditate. It is not pretty. But it is functional. And I decided a long time ago that if I was going to get spiritual, I was going to have to do it on my terms. And fancy that! I meditate a lot now! I actually enjoy it. Some days it’s hard for me to get my Zen on, but there are mornings where it makes it so worth it and I go on a mini spiritual retreat in the comfort of my own over-size storage closet on my flattened meditation pillow. In my underwear.