Thursday, February 10, 2011
Meditating on Opposites
My "Can I Do It" challenge this year was to commit to an exercise program. Using The Kaizen Way, I asked myself what I could do that I wouldn't resist.
I signed up for two yoga classes, one beginning and one more advanced, and a meditation class. This was a lot of commitment, but I have stuck with it. The beginning class starts my week off with gentle exercise, and the advanced class pushes me.
The meditation class, though, has been the one I love the most. We have learned many forms of meditation - guided, counting, breathing, walking, chanting. Most of them I was familiar with, but last night we tried something new for me.
We were to start out with a word that might have negative connotations for us and then think of its opposite. Breathe a few times on each of them. Sit with them. Then move on. Naturally, with all that has gone on with me lately, the first word that came to my mind was "death". So I then thought, "Life". Next because of my dad, my cancer, and my friend's cancer, I thought, "Sickness," and of course, "health" came to mind.
But the last one didn't go exactly as one would have thought. The word "sorrow" popped into my head. And as I breathed into the word, "gratitude" arose big and important. And for the rest of the meditation time, I breathed into the fullness of how gratitude could be the opposite of sorrow.
In practicing that form of meditation, I experienced a situation where my rational mind wasn't in control anymore. I felt peaceful at the end of the meditation, and again gave thanks for where I am with all that has happened in the last few months.