Don’t wait – meditate now
When Maria (not her real name) asked me to guide her through some meditation practices that would help her cope with her breast cancer diagnosis and subsequent treatment, she connected easily with the concepts.
She practised the new meditations several times daily and these helped her in the lead-up to surgery, during the chemotherapy treatment that also involved wearing an icy cold cap and in dealing with some of the side-effects of treatment.
However, what was most beneficial for Maria was that years earlier she had started incorporating meditation into her life.
Maria had a daily meditation practice that ranged from longer meditations when time allowed to brief snatches of meditative moments when life was more hectic. She also liked the group energy and atmosphere of our weekly classes.
Now, despite all that was happening with her cancer diagnosis, she could still reach and snuggle into the quiet inner space that brought her feelings of peace and acceptance. She was familiar with creative visualisation and liked the ideas presented of being filled with love, having courage and inner strength, and drawing upon her inner wisdom. She understood about directing healing and loving energy into her body.
She also incorporated some sound into her practice to express how she felt and she was surprised how this created calmness and eased pain – the concept of sound and healing was used extensively by the late Dr Mitchell Gaynor, a New York oncologist.
In his book, Sounds of Healing, Dr Gaynor indicates that every illness has an emotional basis and sound – a combination of toning, chanting and the sounds of the crystal singing bowls – takes you ‘beyond the immediate experience of physical pain and emotional suffering’, and connects you with your authentic self.
He was also convinced that ‘when my patients use sound and meditation to achieve a sense of peace and spiritual ease, they also strengthen their physical body, which enables them to handle the side-effects of whatever medical treatment they are undergoing and advance the process of healing – emotional and immunological – that is as essential to their recovery as any drug or therapy I might offer them.’
When it comes to meditation, the reality is that many people are crisis meditators – they decide to learn meditation when they want to cope better with a major life issue or they have completed a meditation course but do not have a daily practice.
After a crisis passes, the typical response is to discard the meditation practice and return to the usual pattern of life – until the next drama emerges.
Unless you meditate regularly, it is easy to slip back into old habits and become overwhelmed by the stress and challenges of life. When this happens, your body reacts in numerous ways, for instance, shallow breathing, increased tension in the body, and a rise in heart and blood pressure. Such physical changes also compromises your immune system, and mental and emotional health.
When you meditate regularly, you deepen your connection with yourself on all levels – physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually.
And like Maria, having an established meditation practice enables you to easily incorporate new concepts to better manage major life happenings and promote healing.
You can start or continue your meditation journey at our following classes..
Mindfulness meditation: casual sessions every Sunday, 10.30m
Meditation for Beginners Course: starts Tuesday 16 October, 7.30pm
Intermediate Meditation Course: starts Monday 15 October, 10.30am OR Monday 29 October, 7.45pm