Ever bought a book just so you could look at the title on your shelf because the title said it all? Try these two. Terry Cole Whittaker's "What You Think of Me Is None of My Business" is a goodie. Wrap your head around that notion and you'll see you have no control over what others think of you, and why should you care? Here's another -- one of my all-time favorites -- a Sylvia book by Nicole Hollander, "My Weight Is Always Perfect for My Height -- Which Varies." Gotta love that one.
In a recent issue of The New York Times, there was an article titled "Well: How Meditation May Change the Brain." I'll be honest, I didn't read the article, I skimmed it, but only after my first reaction -- which was Duh.
Actually, duh, duh, duh. And what do you mean -- May? May?! Of course it changes the brain. That's one of the reasons we who meditate do it.
I've been meditating for almost 30 years. Sometimes I'm more diligent about it than others, but for the most part, I meditate because I need to meditate. The world seems to be moving faster and faster. Already one-twelfth of 2011 is gone!
Meditation slows things down. Meditation fosters interior quietude, as Teresa of Avila would say. Meditation makes our choices more conscious and less prone to error. Meditation may change the brain?
No, my friend, meditation does change the brain. It makes the brain more holistic. It makes the brain quieter. It makes the brain more productive. It makes the brain more inspired. It makes the brain into a better brain.
Meditation doesn't have to be a complicated, woo-woo ritual either. It can be as simple as a hot bath or a hot cup of tea after work. It can be a walk in nature or on concrete. It can be a time-out. The purpose of meditation is revealed in its etymology. From the Latin root mederi, it means to cure.
To cure can be to heal, to solve a problem, to put something to rest, to let go, to get energized. It will mean whatever the meditator needs at the time. Sometimes the best thing to do is to meditate on nothing, for no purpose.
In 30 years of meditation, I have learned that I rarely get answers in meditation itself, but if I will pose a "problem," "issue," "question" in meditation, later -- when I least expect it -- I am presented with the solution. Meditation accesses my interior knowing. And I'm not special. We all have interior knowing. What few of us have is the discipline to access it.
That requires quiet, slowness, stillness and willingness to listen to ourselves. Meditation cures a whole lot. Try it.