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Be Gentle With Yourself


Lately, the gap between where I am and where I think I should be has been making it hard to get up in the morning.  Then, yesterday when I did, I heard my neighbor and friend knocking on my door, asking me to come down for a minute.  She shared that she has been having a very tough couple of weeks, complete with panic attacks.  We spoke for some time, encouraging each other.  Boy am I glad I have a friend who can do that for me!

Anxiety does seem to be running rampant in our society~  this week my Dad invited me to join him at a guided meditation workshop being held at the library.  Well.  This is quite a thing, because he is an engineer and if you know any engineers, then you know that they don’t typically go in for that sort of thing.  I was intrigued and was happy to go along.  I wondered whether anyone would be there and was surprised when the room filled up. The leader turned out to be the genuine article.  A man from India, he spent 40 years working as an electrical engineer before retiring and turning to meditation.  He called himself a PhonyDr., to much amusement.

I have read a bit about guided meditation, and was nervous because I can never seem to do it right.  The whole, “picture yourself walking through a wood to a clearing with a bench and someone comes to you who is your spirit guide” has never worked for me.

Therefore, I was just delighted with this leader.  By the way, did I mention his first name is “Om”?…

ANYWAY…he talked very quietly and calmly about the benefits of being present and aware.  He had us close our eyes and listen to music, explaining that if you are listening you aren’t thinking and it is thoughts that can make us feel anxious.  There is a bit more to it than that, but really, it is quite simple.  Try it…it can be the birds outside your window, a wordless piece of music, or even “the sound of one clapping hand”.

Others, who had also been reading up on meditation, had questions for him.  ” Do you breath in through your nose and out through your mouth, or the other way around?” was one anxious question.  He chuckled and replied that as far as he was aware, the nose is for breathing but that there really aren’t any rules about this.

After about an hour of this, I really did feel a deep sense of peace settle into me.  Mostly his message was, “be gentle with yourself”.  This is what I wanted to share with all of you today.  And I expect that if we start with that, a lot of other things will naturally fall into place.