Observing Clouds: An Invitation to Meditation, Finding Yourself & Living in the Moment by Kathy Koenig
I remember when the concept of meditation was considered "woo woo" or New Age. Now it's mainstream. Thank goodness for that. I don't need to hide my secret as a meditator any longer. I never actually hid it, I just didn't talk about it around some friends, family or colleagues.
I was particularly excited when I was invited to speak to my daughter's comparative religion class at her Catholic high school several years ago. I researched how meditation was a common technique taught in many traditions. The Catholic rosary is one such method of mantra meditation.
I've learned and experimented with several methods over the years. I know that there's no goal in meditation, no way to do it wrong and no right method. What works for you, works for you.
Recently, I've been experimenting with becoming more aware of the present moment. It's tough because like so many others, I'm often straddling the past and the future. My experiment involves imagining a fairly clear blue sky. I remember as a child laying down in the grass and watching the sky and trying to find forms in the clouds. I use this same metaphor with my thoughts as the clouds. When I do this, I find myself more easily able to observe the thought and like most clouds, it moves on and dissipates. Some days have a little more sky activity than others.
What's interesting is that I find I'm not interested in the cloud that just left, or clouds that were there yesterday, or clouds that might arrive. I'm more interested in this moment. There aren't many times I can say this occurs. It's also pretty easy for me to practice this method. There's no mantra to remember, no beads to count and I can do it in many places.
I love that meditation has come out into the mainstream and it's so accessible in so many mediums. When I drop my expectations, I find myself calmer and freer. You might experiment with this yourself. See if it creates a shift in mood, ability to respond differently or you find another lovely aspect of yourself.
The invitation is always there.
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