Thursday, 5 May 2011


I sit cross-legged, hands lightly placed on knees and eyes closed. Inhale and exhale – puffs of air escaping from my mouth and nose. “Ommmmmmm”, I gently chant. Calming my thoughts, going within. Does it work? Not always. Thoughts rippling to the surface whenever I dare to close my eyes. Momentary flashes of inspiration I have to scribble down. Mind operating faster than I can write. SLOW DOWN I instruct myself, mind overriding this command. Thinking, analyzing, contemplating, details considered from every angle... Switching off my problem since birth. Worrying, the general term.

Meditation, the new-age answer to control the mind and so I try, combined with yoga and pilates too. The latter giving me flexibility and core strength. Relaxation bliss, but meditation a work-in-progress. A practice not easy to achieve. Rules for meditation often too rigidly applied. I find I cannot meditate as described above, preferring to lie, or sit in my comfy Ikea chair. 5-15 minutes grabbed here and there, before leaving for work or on a quick break. Mantras and chants not for me. Closing my eyes, blocking the outside world from view. Where should I focus my attention? On conscious thoughts now bubbling away? Or should I let these fade? Is this even meditation I ask myself? In truth, I have no idea.

Right or wrong an everyday concern. Why should this be so? Some practices best left out of this approach. Meditation one. If it feels right for you, no need to argue the case. My best ideas the outcome of this solitude, conceived from this not so silent inner void. Affirmations, a ploy used to detach. Inwardly repeated, beginning with “I am...”, aligning the mind to all I want to be. The essence of who I am. These my “oms”, my “it is” or “will be”. What I will become. The energy guiding us and all around.

I used to pooh-pooh all of the above, not realizing my contemplation throughout the years was a form of being still. An only child, being lost in thought was a natural sin. Buried deep in thinking or nose in a good book, chapters read aloud to the family dog. Little has changed from then to the present interval - the mind ceaselessly whirring away. Meditation, now my tool to quiet this cognitive beast, bringing calmness to my day. Initially, I shied away, thinking meditation was cliché. It belonged to yoga and those following the way. I disliked the automatic link to my veggie life. Society believing this to be true – if I'm veggie, then I'm bound to be a hippy and a nut. Spiritual pursuits seeming to further ridicule my choice in the eyes of others.

Does vegetarianism and meditation go hand in hand? That I do not know. Nowadays I mind this association not so much, knowing I can pick and choose. Practicing what feels right, leaving what does not suit. Om connecting me to my inner core. I am the one gaining more.