I tried my first “Mindful Meditation” today. I liked it. I liked it a lot! The gentle voice, the quiet moments, the guided imagery were all a good start to my day.
I always believed meditation to be similar to the scene in “What About Bob” when he is walking down the street, trying to reassure himself that all the world’s chaos and dirt won’t affect him. Over and over he repeats the phrase, “I feel good. I feel great. I feel wonderful. I feel good. I feel great. I feel wonderful.” His tension rises, despite the self-talk. Rather than convincing himself of his own security, the phrase reveals his true anxiety and high level of insecurity.
To my surprise, today’s meditation was nothing like the movie. It was less about me and the process of easing my tensions and anxiety, and more about others and their well-being. I was guided to think about someone for whom I have warm, tender and compassionate feelings. Immediately, my wife’s smiling face appeared in my mind’s eye. The guided meditation led me to repeat four phrases to my loved one throughout the fifteen minute session:
1. May you feel safe.
2. May you feel happy.
3. May you feel healthy.
4. May you live in ease.
While the meditation asked me to extend these feelings to the other, “like a golden ribbon unfurling”, I really saw it more as a prayer, lifted to heaven for my wife, and then to my friend Dave, and finally to all those I know and love.
I thought this was wonderful. After all, isn’t it our greatest desire that those in our lives might feel safe…and more importantly, BE safe? Don’t we desire that they will feel and be happy? Don’t we hope that each and every one will both feel and be healthy? Of course we do.
But I kept landing on that last phrase. May my wife live in ease. I’m sure this doesn’t mean a life of wealth surrounded by footmen and maids. It has nothing to do with power or possession. It has everything to do with living with a heart filled with peace; each day a burden-free step along the journey of life.
And when my time was over, I really did hope these things for my loved ones. I really did wish that each person would find safety, happiness, health and ease during their days. I prayed that their hearts would be light, their souls free of care, their minds clear and filled with purpose.
At the end of the fifteen minutes, I opened my eyes and determined that, as much as it is in my power, I would continue to make these desires come true in their lives.
And oddly enough, when it was over, I did feel good. I did feel great. In fact, I felt wonderful.