Don't Say You Don't Have Timeabracad, · Categories: meditation, self help, spirituality, stress, depression, anxiety
A great paradox of the technological era is that despite each wondrous new invention the demands on our time become ever greater and the promise of a leisure society seems further away than ever.
Take for instance the ubiquitous cell phone; before these little marvels appeared, being out of the office meant being off duty, nowadays we are on call 24/7. Or the Internet, the truly fantastic global computer network that places a world of knowledge at our fingertips; the trouble is we're now so overloaded with information we often can't begin to sift the (little) meaningful content from the (mass of) dross.
As humans we face the formidable challenge of simultaneously inhabiting two worlds - namely the material plane in which we are temporarily incarnate, and the Spiritual source of which we are eternally part. Unsurprisingly it's the material realm that places by far the greater demands upon our attention, given the purpose of our current existence is the adventure of the flesh.
Ten Minutes a Day
However, to give perspective to earthly experiences and maximize fulfillment, we need to allow our Spiritual side a little time and space to express itself too. This "offline" time not only aids our Spiritual development but also our material life, by allowing us to step back and "see the wood from the trees".
Many people begin the quest of re-connecting with their Spiritual side with the very best of intentions, but are over-ambitious in their self-expectations. The key is to keep it simple, otherwise you won't do it. It is better to meditate for ten, or even five, minutes a day, four days a week than to not meditate for an hour or two every day.
Despite monopolizing 99% of our resources, the external, physical, plane it is greedy and will demand even the additional 1% we try to allocate to our inner, Spiritual, dimension. The less we take from the demands of the physical, the more likely we are to find the discipline to maintain the regime.
There are many ways of allowing our inner/Spiritual self to express itself, and the right one(s) for you will become apparent with practice. Whatever method you employ, be selfish and make sure this is truly "me" time. Choose the most appropriate time and place, take the phone off the hook, switch your cell off, and put a "do not disturb sign" on your door.
"Meditation" (in the broadest sense) takes many forms, from sitting cross-legged in some remote place, to chilling in a city center coffee shop engulfed in the inner-plane, or contemplative walking. You might try:
- deep breathing, while allowing your mind to go where it will. This can be both physically and mentally beneficial.
- emptying your mind. Harder than it sounds, but when the inevitable thoughts arise give them neither attention nor try to expel them; just accept them and let them go.
- repeating some word or phrase over and over, this might be a mantra (some particularly meaningful word, in whatever language) or an affirmation (statement of something you wish to achieve or bring about).
- visualization, ie seeing with your mind's eye, maybe a simple color or shape, re-creating a real place in as much detail as possible, or perhaps "seeing" your idealized future.
- concentration, eg performing mental exercises such as counting backwards in different multiples can detach you from the concerns of the moment, but vary the challenge lest it become automatic and thus cease to be an effective distraction.
- prayer, holding a personal dialog God (by whatever name you know this power) expressing your concerns and hopes both for yourself and the wider world.
- staring at some fixed point in space, and allowing the mind to go where it will.
For some, background sound can aid the process. Choose gentle, almost monotonous instrumentals (lyrics will demand your attention) such as the new age genre, or appropriate classical. Alternatively, choose an appropriate inspirational message, for some of your sessions.
Your Spiritual time doesn't even have to be spent physically passive. You might find yourself better able to detach by walking, preferably in nature, possibly accompanied by your iPod. At least there's less chance you'll be disturbed, and the sheer grandeur of our planet can provide perspective to your inner musings.
The physical plane is greedy, demanding everything you will give it. But your Spiritual self is also worthy of just a little attention, say 5-10 minutes a day. If your schedule is really so full you can't spare that, you have a problem that needs urgently addressing. Don't say you don't have time - you do!
I had so much to accomplish, that I had to take time to pray. Grace L. Naessens
Filed in: meditation, self help, spirituality, stress, depression, anxiety