A meditative piece
In the dead of night when the whole house has settled into taking the soft, gentle breaths of repose, I have lain awake and listened. It has become a mediation of sorts, this listening. Everything recedes into the soft, dark blurriness of night and I can hear myself, my blood coursing, my muscles releasing their hold on the day, my thoughts being put in order. I listen and feel. A certain loneliness is attached to my act of meditation because it is, by necessity, done in solitude, a solitary practice in which my secret self obliterates my public self and the multi-act plays I perform for the world. It is in that space—with my body stilled, my heart beats slowed—that I listen. I listen to recognize terror so that I can release it and not have to relive it in my dreams. I listen to recognize beauty, so that I can grab it with both hands and hold it close. In the end like a miracle, I am recreated.
Major Eastern religions, such as Hinduism and Buddhism, are not the only ones practicing meditation. Other major religions—Judaism, Christianity, and Islam—also practice meditation.
For example, Christians who meditate use meditation prayer in four different ways—
Devotional: includes listening for a response from God
Contemplation: includes reflection on intention
Concentration: includes repeating a mantra—a word or very short verse of scripture
Heart state: includes meditating on an emotion like joy, or gratitude, or forgiveness
No matter what religion you practice or not practice, even five minutes of mindful meditation may allow you to reduce stress and anxiety, increase focus, sleep better, enhance self confidence, and improve your mind’s clarity.
Here is one of many guided meditation videos—with audio versions—you can find on the internet.
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