Meditation

"Thou hast made me endless, such is thy pleasure. This frail vessel thou emptiest again and again, and fillest it ever with fresh life."-- Rabindranath TagoreBuddhists teach that emptiness is

"Thou hast made me endless, such is thy pleasure. This frail vessel thou emptiest again and again, and fillest it ever with fresh life."

— Rabindranath Tagore

Buddhists teach that emptiness is the experience of nonseparation when our thoughts, focused on our lives, are released. In those moments of release, we can experience a sense of being part of a "whole" where nothing is separate. Jack Kornfield, noted teacher of meditation and author of A Path with Heart, says that it's in this emptiness when healing comes.

Researcher Itzhak Bentov found unique changes occurred in heart and brainwave activity during deep states of meditation. His research also found that meditation caused lasting changes in brain and bodily functions.

Many people would love to know how to meditate but don't know where to begin. The Transcendental Meditation Program is one approach (see www.tm.org). The Siddah Yoga Meditation Center in Mount Adams offers instruction. There are many tapes and programs available at area bookstores. Meditation isn't complicated, but it takes practice.

To practice a simple healing meditation, sit comfortably in a quiet place where you won't be disturbed. Breathe gently. Allow your body to relax. Begin to notice the places in your body asking for attention. Bring a loving attention to those places. Hold your attention to those areas as if you were comforting a child.

Don't resist any uncomfortable feeling. Notice any fears or negative thoughts and allow them to pass. Notice any emotions you feel and comfort these areas. Stay with it, breathing gently, until you feel peaceful.

It's important to incorporate meditation into your life daily. Start with 10 minutes once or twice a day. Know that at first it might feel uncomfortable. Don't worry that you might not be "getting it right." You are getting it right, and you will begin to notice the moments of pure relaxation and peace that will carry beyond the period of meditation.

As you practice, meditation will come more easily. So be easy with yourself as you "empty your vessel and fill it with fresh life."

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