Widening the practice of meditation to a practice of living mindfully

I have been meditating for a couple of years, but only in the last year, 2012, did it become a daily practice. At the beginning of last year, I decided to commit myself to daily breathing meditation. I know that there are many different types of meditation practice but I limit my practice this first year to breathing meditation. It has been one of the best decisions I have ever made and I plan to continue daily meditation for the rest of my life.

I understood meditation to be a training of the mind to live mindfully in the present, and to train ourselves to be aware of the present moment, which is different than my normal “monkey mind” scattered mind. I learned just how much the ego wants to focus on the past or the future and how much of a challenge it is to change our thinking patterns to be mindful of my present. The challenge stems from the familiarity in the patterns my mind has tended to occupy and the natural ease to which my mind returns to those patterns. So while I can say that it is wonderful to practice daily meditation, I can also say that it has been real work to try to expand that practice to the way that I naturally live, which is the goal of sitting daily in meditation.

This year I intend to expand my daily practice. While breathing meditation is fundamental to arriving at a calm awareness, there are other modes of meditative practice that take you from there towards the goal of harmony and mindful living, toward enlightenment. So I hope to gradually expand my practice to begin to include some of those other methods.

I started by purchasing an E-Book of guided meditations from Jack Kornfield, whose writing and teaching style are new to me. I must say that I am really enjoying learning from him and appreciating the way he leads me into meditation through this e-book. In his breathing meditation, he calmly speaks of “this breath, this very moment,” as he is leading the listener to return from wandering thoughts. I have used these words many times recently to take a moment in my day, whether at work, or driving, or even as I lay down at night and slide off into slumber, to pause and to orient and return my awarness into the present moment. Even small moves like this are helping me to expand this meditative practice into mindful living. I look foward to continuing this journey in 2013 and in as many years as I have in this life.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s