Now and Zen: Timeless Meditation
Every morning growing up I had to tiptoe passed my mom’s frosted-glass yoga-room doors while she sat inside, cross-legged, and in total silence. Sometimes I would cuff my hands around my eyes and peak through. If I was quiet enough, she wouldn’t notice, but even if I bumped the glass with my nose and the wooden frame would creak, she remained still and centered. “I need 30-minutes of silence,” she would tell me. Thirty minutes?
You know how many shoes I could buy and chocolate kisses I could pop in my mouth and songs I could listen to and magazines pages I can skim and texts I could send and thoughts I could think in thirty minutes? How on earth did she do it? After sneaking down the hall, I’d walk into the bathroom half asleep with the fuzzy rope of my untied robe dragging behind me. I’d cave into my shoulders and pull an ‘eek’face every time I’d open the toilet-bowl lid and it would clank loudly against the tank when I let go.
While slowly pulling back my hand as if that’d miraculously take the disruption away, I’d notice a little card lying on the counter that read, “let all thoughts pass like gas”. Although a bit crude, it was the answer I was looking for- the key to unlock the meditation code . How my mom would spend thirty minutes every morning and positively change the course of her day. So here’s how it goes…
Instead of dismissing the idea of meditation because you’re certain an absent mind is further from you then the North Pole, allow your awareness to drift. We live in a busy world and it’s only natural to acknowledge the thoughts, sounds, smells and sensations going on around us. The trick is to let it pass. Imagine your thoughts being a photograph on your iPad,observe it, and then swipe it away.
Focusing on your breath is a helpful way to draw your attention back inwards. Sit or lie comfortably in a quiet space, free of distractions, and allow your body to relax. Unless you are a pro like my mom, take the pressure off yourself and start with just a few minutes at a time. Even a beginner meditate-or with an overflowing schedule can benefit from a couple moments a day. From that point, you can gradually extend your meditation time until you find yourself in your Zen zone for hours and hours on end.
By building up a meditation practice, you are gifting yourself the benefits of feeling calm, focused, relaxed and rejuvenated . Meditating also lowers stress levels and eliminates anxiety,allowing your days to become more productive and enjoyable. Think of it as a simple and effective way to become an overall happier and healthier you!
Pen Up Girl: A fresh imagery-driven perspective and a knack for storytelling, Los Angeles-based writer Elana Kluner has been creating internationally since 2008 for magazines, newspapers, blogs, websites,advertisements, fashion labels and beauty brands. As a dancer and choreographer, her words have an engaging rhythm and her audience coins her voice as being humorous, witty, lighthearted and relatable. Her work has been published in the likes of M2 Women Magazine, Kreativ Mindz Magazine, DANZ Quarterly, Central Leader, Western Leader, The Other Duck and Spa Violet. Elana studied Journalism and Creative Writing at the Auckland University of Technology in New Zealand and Fashion Design at The Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in California.