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Every Now and Zen: Meditation

Often times I have a conversation with someone about meditation because that is typically what most people can relate my work to. Meditation is important as it does free us from being ever so mentally consumed. It is refreshing and typically can rejuvenate the body or at least bring clarity.
But when asked, most people find it very difficult to get to that meditative state. My first memory of a successful meditation came when I was in college. I invited my mother to come along with me as it was actually an after hours event being held on campus and I felt she would enjoy doing it with me.
When we walked into the room there were rows of straight back chairs with no arm rests. We were asked to sit close together and were given a phrase to repeat over and over again. I remember feeling uncomfortable at first to have to “chant” the words, but soon fell into line with everyone else. If I was going to be there, I might as well make it my best.
I soon noticed that as I was chanting I was shedding tears. I was not crying, but tears were streaming down involuntarily.
I remember walking out saying to my mom that “I felt like I just had a spiritual shower!” I wanted more, I loved the feeling so much.

Now, when people ask for my advice on how to begin meditating, I almost always suggest chanting. You can choose to use a favorite word or phrase, or you can do a web search for chanting music and see what resonates with you. People are so “mind-full” these days that the idea of tuning out and into ourselves is challenging. I have also suggested using essential oils during meditation for those who really find it difficult. Our sense of smell is our most powerful sense, using a scent that calms or shifts our mood can induce a nice meditative state all on its own and even more so, in combination with music.
When I first started mediating I wasn’t quite sure I was actually meditating. What I saw when I first began, oftentimes felt like still life images, like when movies first were invented. I was always wondering if I was getting “true” information or if I was “forcing” the meditation. Now as I meditate, I not only see images that are fluid, I hear or feel things that support what is being communicated.
I hadn’t had the experience of shedding tears after that first chanting meditation until a few years ago. My husband’s father passed and I found the Kundalini Meditation Music CD in the library and brought it home and began listening to it. When I heard Snatam Kaur sing Heal (Ra Ma Da Sa) I began to cry, and if my husband was around when I played it, even he shed tears. It was the perfect song to heal from that loss.

My son loves hearing Ma from that CD. During those restless nights when his brain is overactive, listening to that chant oftentimes helps him fall asleep.