I know it’s difficult to even imagine any sense of peace or serenity during the COVID-19 Pandemic. Besides your usual daily stresses and concerns, this seems like an extra burden, one that is ongoing. Your sense of belonging and connection to other people has been cruelly disconnected. You find it difficult to smile with your eyes, even breath with the mask covering the lower half of your face.
Social distancing is the new norm in your life, impinging cruelly and creating emotional distancing. Perhaps inevitable. But – let me stop there! You’re all aware of these divisions, some more than others. Let’s try to find a way out even if for a few hours, but hopefully you will make it a daily habit. This is a challenge I’m throwing out to you. Leap up and grab it and run with it to the winning line.
We feed our bodies on a daily basis. We also need to feed our minds and discover that inner place of deep serenity, hone our inner essence. How often have you felt distracted and uneasy without knowing why? You try to shake it off, or work it off in the gym, or take a walk in the fresh air. Perhaps you take a less salubrious route and try to blank it out with alcohol or drugs. They are all temporary measures, the latter bringing more grief rather than sustenance.
Find a comfortable place to sit. You don’t need to sit in a yogi-like pose unless it’s familiar and you’re comfortable with it. Just ensure your back is straight which should help you to stay awake. Keep a small throw nearby in case you get cold. Are you comfortable? Good. Now, focus on a point in the centre of your forehead. I have a habit of rubbing the area I wish to focus from and then I rest my hands on my knees, ensuring my attention is on that central point.
Clear your mind. Sounds easy? Not necessarily. Your mind is full of shopping lists and chores and family conversations and social media and stuff you feel you must do. Stop! This is not the time to deal with any of that. Today and now – right at this moment you’re going to focus on your spiritual essence and allow it to flow. Let’s get started.
TIME TO FOCUS
You are now seated comfortably and relaxed. Ensure your attention is at the centre of your forehead. Now mentally repeat a favourite phrase or saying, or perhaps you have a mantra. Continue and allow the words to calm your mind and draw you inwards. The meaning is not important. The repetition will help you concentrate and focus. Ignore the mind’s attempts to distract you. Not easy but you can do it. You are doing it. Start with 5 or 10 minutes and build it up for as long as you like.
If you are a musician, an artist, an avid reader, a writer, or have some other hobby in which you become absorbed, then you know how you become totally focused on whatever you are working on. Be it at the piano, easel, laptop or trawling through social media, you forget your surroundings. Your focus is completely on the task in hand. At its completion you are initially disorientated, realizing that you are cold, or have a dead leg, or your stomach is grumbling for food. Wouldn’t it be lovely to reproduce that feeling of forgetfulness ten times over and more, capture that essence of being ‘out of this world’? You can. Daily meditation will achieve that and more.
Imagine – early morning birdsong. Wind teasing the leaves on the trees. Nature’s quiet symphonies. Listen – to your favourite piece of classical music. Can you hear the sound of the flute, the purity of its notes? Listen – to meditation music. Listen – to the sound emanating from a Tibetan singing bowl. Rhythmic vibrations repeated over and over again. Allow yourself to become one with that sound.
Your chosen mantra will bring you to that inner place of serenity. If you’re struggling to find a mantra that works for you, use the Tibetan word ‘Om’. Drawn out into its entirety, it’s a sound that will echo in your mind helping you to clear out unnecessary daily thoughts.
Serenity flows like the waves on the shore,
Gently breaking over the sand and the stones,
Serenity flows like the rivers and streams,
Washing away our fears and our woes,
Serenity flows like the rays from the sun,
Warming our spirits,
Our hearts and our souls,
Serenity flows like the stillness of night,
Embracing the world in its dark velvet cloak,
Serenity flows with every sunrise and sunset,
Lighting our pathway with glorious light,
Serenity flows when we still our minds,
And sit quietly,
To be –
THE IRISH ROSARY
Many of my readers will be familiar with the rosary a tradition dating back to the 9th
century. It’s an inner reflection and repetition of particular prayers. I remember visiting my grandparents on a Sunday and before we left everyone knelt by a chair and answered the prayers as they were repeated over and over again. Not easy for a child and often giggles erupted when Dado’s (Irish for grandfather) words were drawn out. It was more than a ritual. It was a song of inner music. I relish the times my concentration was focused on those repetitions, and feelings I didn’t understand made me feel weightless and unaware of my physical body.
Attending Sunday mass was also a revelation in more ways than one. Until the early 60’s the mass was read in Latin and thereafter in the Irish language. My memories are of murmurs and a steady cadence that enveloped me with a cloak of inner peace. There was an intensity in the repetitions that went beyond mere words.
TIME TO MEDITATE
Your attention is at the eye centre as you repeat your personal mantra. Allow the words to calm your mind and draw you inwards. Allow your inner self to become one with the vibration. Concentrate and focus. Hear the pure sounds of inner music.
Feed your inner hunger. Feed your inner thirst. Feed your inner being.
THE GIFT OF TIME
Today I will give myself the gift of time
I will set aside all worries and cares
And sit quietly
With You the day
I will empty my mind
Of all worldly thoughts and think only
I will then lovingly wrap this precious gift of time
And carry it with throughout the day
Read my blog – FREE YOUR INNER GRACE AND SOAR
I have written two novels available on Amazon