I’ve never been one for meditation, at least not in the sense that most people imagine it. I don’t take a specific, regular time every day to find a quiet place and consciously clear or focus my thoughts. I don’t practice yoga that teaches me to relax my body and calm my mind. Even when I go to bed at night, my brain is usually spinning with thoughts until I fall asleep. The rare quiet time I do find is filled with prayer, which is a form of meditation, but it’s not exactly clearing my mind of thought.
But every now and then, I do escape from the busyness of my external and internal worlds. Sometimes it’s snuggling in my bed, listening to the rain on the roof. Sometimes it’s soaking in a hot bathtub full of bubbles. Sometimes it’s in front of a crackling fireplace. Sometimes it’s sitting on the porch, watching the sun rise or set. Sometimes it’s relaxing next to (or in) the pool. But wherever and whenever it is, it is my chance to relax my body, and then to relax my mind. And I think that perhaps I benefit from it all the more because it is rare, and therefore treasured.
In our busy worlds, I think that too few of us (myself included) don’t take the time to meditate. We don’t give our minds a chance to rest, a chance to escape from our own hectic thoughts. We rarely focus our thoughts on only one thing, and most of our thoughts are focused on externals – things that we need to get done, problems that we need to fix, issues that we are charged with solving. We rarely give ourselves a mental breather. But our minds need a break, too.
So for the remainder of Lent, I am going to try to find at least a few minutes every day to close myself away from the external, to clear my thoughts, to give my mind a rest, to relax and to focus. To meditate.