Travel Memories: Practicing Meditation in France

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I loved India so much, but the inability to walk for hours in peace was strongly lacking for me and so I deliberately chose a place where I could spend three months walking for hours singing at the top of my lungs and breathing fresh clean air. I’ll admit that it’s nice to come home after a long walk and have a lovely glass of wine and a tasty steak.

The most important thing I brought back from India is what the spiritualists call a ‘practice.’ A practice is something you commit to doing regularly. It is an investment of yourself in your Self. Your practice can be yoga, meditation, pranayama and prayer. But it can also be t’ai chi, African dance, shadow work and tarot card reading. The important thing is that you make a realistic goal and do it. Don’t say you’re going to meditate for 60 minutes in the morning and 60 minutes in the evening if you can only sit for 20 minutes without getting distracted. Your practice is a vibrant, living thing that grows with you. It’s not how long you sit or pray, it’s that you commit to your Self and be in integrity with You. So choose a reasonable goal and practice that, when you feel ready for more than expand. Imagine if you gave yourself just five minutes of deep breathing and focusing on something positive every morning. Five minutes will charge your cells and help you release life affirming hormones into your system.

The problem is that most people will focus on the outcome of a practice instead of allowing the practice to simply be the practice. They meditate to help them get clarity on a subject or they do yoga to be flexible or lose weight. Those things are really helpful and are good incentive to start a practice, but the benefits of a practice are subtle. You may or may not observe the RESULTS. Some days you will feel amazing when you are practicing and others you might feel disconnected. Experienced practitioners know that the outcome is not the goal, but rather the moment of being in devotion to your Self in the best way you can. Some days I sit there thinking about cupcakes and sex. Other days, I am as silent as any Zen monk. Your practice, though, becomes your Rock of Gibraltar with time. It becomes as satisfying as a cigarette, as delicious as blueberry pie, and as healthful as vitamin C. (I did just compare meditation to smoking a cigarette. If you ever enjoyed a delicious Benson and Hedges Ultra Light Menthol, you will know exactly what I am talking about. My practice is THAT GOOD! )

A little word of advice, if you have never had a practice before, consider doing the research right now for what you want it to be. I mean, consider what elements you want to use. Do you want to meditate or do yoga or simply talk to God every day? Do you want to light a candle and use incense, or do you want to keep it very simple and just sit up in bed and start talking. Give your practice a tiny bit of structure if you want. Mercury is retrograde and during this time it is highly encouraged to research and lightly plan, not start things brand new. Consider starting your practice with the New Moon. Mercury will be retrograde still, but I feel like this Solar eclipse and New Moon combination will be dynamite for going deeper into yourself. If you had a practice before, you can re-start your practice now, but recharge it a little while Mercury is retrograde. You know, spruce it up a little bit. Revisit your elements and see if it is exciting and reflective of who you are right now. Mercury will be very supportive for you right now because you are re-working a strategy.

Alright! Drop me a line if you have any questions about starting a practice and I am happy to help in any way I can.

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