More and more mothers are finding meditation to be an effective way to avoid burnout and exhaustion. Rather than taking time out for a coffee, many moms are squeezing in a few minutes of meditation while the baby is napping or before heading home from work.
Meditation is especially important for mothers because kids are sensitive to their mothers' stress. Studies show that when a mother is overworked, anxious or depressed, her children have higher stress, too.
If you're a single mom, working mom, or a mother at home, meditation can be an indispensable tool to relieve stress, improve self-esteem and achieve inner happiness. It makes time for itself because of the added efficiency and energy it gives to life.
Although it's easy to meditate on your own, increasing numbers of women are getting together to meditate -- and making it a social event.
Women's Meditation Meet-Up
It's a Saturday afternoon and women are gathering at the Transcendental Meditation Center here in Asheville, N.C., where I teach. Most are moms, some are grandmothers, and some who are not actual mothers (like myself) consider themselves mothers at heart.
A few children have tagged along with their moms, equipped with coloring books and crayons to occupy themselves while mom meditates.
The center is lively with conversation and laughter, until it's time for group meditation. Then the room falls silent -- it's a palpable silence that draws you in. You hardly hear a breath. Each woman is transcending, going beyond thought to contact her own deep universality. Frets and worries melt away. Awareness of body and surroundings seems to fall into the background.
As the meditation ends, no one wants to speak yet because the peaceful silence is so sublime. Their eyes sparkle and they have that familiar meditative glow.
Now, today's topic of discussion: "The power of transcendence for getting things done." These moms can relate.
"When I meditate, I drop everything, forget about everything," says a mother of two. "But after meditation, I can focus better on what I need to get done, and it gets done much easier."
"Meditation anchors me," says another mom. "It steadies me as I dash off to pick up my 5-year-old at school and drop off my-12-year old at football practice."
Scientists, Yogis or Moms?
The discussion goes deeper, into the nature of consciousness and how it relates to brain functioning and the unified field. Are these scientists, yogis or moms? In a sense, they are all three. These meditating moms report experiences that sound identical to those recorded by sages and saints of old, in such texts as the Upanishads or Yoga Sutras. They are directly experiencing that fundamental level of consciousness where everything is interconnected. They feel at home with concepts of quantum physics that express the order and symmetry underlying all of nature.
Getting enlightened is as natural and dharmic for them as changing diapers or helping their kids with homework.
Intuition, patience, wisdom, love -- all the divine qualities associated with motherhood often depend on how rested we are, how aligned we are with our own inner voice and deepest source of nourishment. With regular meditation, we directly experience our spiritual essence, and the happiness and energy that results not only replenishes our depleted reserves but creates vibrant consciousness and a naturally relaxed, more stress-resilient physiology.
WATCH: Oprah Winfrey on Transcendental Meditation
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