Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Minute Meditations

I had a brief Twitter exchange with tweep @Playdoughpoem who mentioned that (as a recent deconvert) she missed praying. I suggested "minute meditations", which are something I've done on-and-off since the '70s.

It started in an attempt to calm myself and relieve stress in my twenties. I had been having panic attacks since my early teens (subsequently resolved with thyroid supplements). I tried yoga and "relaxation tapes" - somewhere between the two I developed a habit of calming meditation in the morning, which grew into applying it in little slices throughout the day. Being able to relax all of your body parts, becoming comfortable physically, then calming your mind and either banishing all thought, or focusing on one or several mantras, affirmations, reinforcements was soon something I could do at my desk, or while walking across the parking lot. Very helpful.

I was a non-believer by then, but I still recognized that prayer had been good for me when I was a believer. I adopted both minute meditations and longer, more serious meditating as replacements for prayer, and I've never looked back. In fact, I still say a few words of thanks to the "objects that be" occasionally before I fall asleep.

Critics of prayer slam it as nothing more than talking to yourself. I agree, and in this example, that's the whole point. Talking to yourself with a purpose can be beneficial, so why not take advantage of it?

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