By Laura Mills
A question non-yogis often ask me upon learning I teach yoga is: “Do you meditate?” And when I answer yes, they seem either impressed or scared. I guess much like asana practice, or even the yogic lifestyle itself, many non-yogis maintain a preconceived notion of what meditation is or involves. Since as many definitions of meditation, techniques for meditation, and opinions of meditation exist as there are meditating people out there, just for the record here’s my current take on it….
When I sit to meditate, I sit comfortably in a peaceful place—not necessarily a quiet place—with my eyes closed. I slow my breathing. I focus my attention on the place between my eyebrows. When I walk to meditate, I focus my attention on each step, the feeling of the earth beneath my feet.
And that’s it.
More often than not, staying focused challenges me, especially if I’m rattled, afraid, or even excited about something. And at those times—if I even notice my attention has strayed in the first place—I keep encouraging my attention back. Happily, practice over time has brought me more ease in staying focused. And with focus, the sensation is one of having put my “busy brain” on a shelf. It’s a relief.
I don’t meditate every day. I intend to, all the time, but I admit it’s one of those practices I move aside as my days fill with other things. Making the time to meditate is, I think, just as much a practice as meditation itself, and something I need to continue to work on.
My take on meditation may change tomorrow, or next year, or never. But at this moment, here I am.