Thursday, April 2, 2015

The Silent Self

Meditation practice isn't about trying to
throw ourselves away and become something
better. It's about befriending who we are,


~ Pema Chodron

Have you tried meditation?

I know, I know.  Who has time to sit and do



For some time the word meditation kept 
crossing my radar; on TV, at doctor's
offices, at yoga, in newspaper articles and
even on a magnet I saw at a gift shop.

Alright, alright, I finally told myself.

I'm listening!

Much evidence exists praising the benefits
of meditation:  increasing grey matter in
the brain; increasing immune function and
life satisfaction; decreasing pain and
inflammation in the body; increasing memory,
attention and focus; and improving empathy,
compassion and resilience, to name 
just a few.

I'd dabbled in guided meditation before, with
apps that play mellow music and include the
voice of a soothing instructor who takes 
you through the process of letting go while
you are stretched out on a bed or mat.

Those are very relaxing and the meditation
generally ends with me falling asleep.  While
this sounds ideal, I don't usually have
that kind of time, especially during
working hours : )

I'm sure you don't, either.

Recently I read about an introduction to
meditation called 5-5-5.  You sit comfortably
in a chair or on the floor and set a timer
for five minutes. {For me, this is key.}
Closing your eyes, you inhale slowly to the
count of five and then exhale to the
count of five.

The idea is to focus on your breathing, and
let all other thoughts, worries or
preoccupations simply float away.
Once you've mastered 5-5-5, you work 
 your way up to 5-5-10.

Surely we can all give our best friend 
{ourself!}five minutes of undivided
attention that can lead to so many 
 rich enhancements in our daily life.

I have a brain that is difficult to quiet,
but I'm finding that the more I practice 
5-5-5, the easier it is to calmly coexist
with and befriend my silent self. 

I can't control worldwide terrorism,
airline pilots who purposely crash their
planes, or the trajectory of the economy,
but I can take five minutes to befriend
my spirit, making it a little bit 
easier to cope with the dramas unfolding
on a planet spinning blissfully
unaware of any of them.

Your silent self, like mine, craves
quality time with its best friend. 

Will you answer the call?

With peace and love,


{All pictures my own,
taken on spring break in 
Palm Desert, California.}


Rambling Tart said...

"befriending who we are, already" I love that so much, and will hang onto that thought today. xo

Lisa @ Shine Your Light said...

I too have heard a lot about meditation lately. Two ladies in particular I know who practice it are very self aware and have a peace about them that I so admire. I pray frequently....pretty much all throughout the day :) but I think meditation must be very calming. I will look into the 5-5-5 method you mentioned and try it today!

The enchanted home said...

Feeling like it was meant for me to rad this, this morning. I had a rough day yesterday a day when the 5-5-5 could have come in handy.I am surely devote 5 minutes a day to myself and nothing else, and I had no idea of all the benefits that you listed....thank you Suzanne!

Deb said...

I have a brain that will not shut down, for many reasons. I have started doing the meditative breathing and it does work. At least for those 5 minutes, I can relax. I'm going to start doing it in the morning and evening, as I want to see if that will help even more.
Have a wonderful Easter.

Anonymous said...

What a beautiful quote, Suzanne! While practicing Hatha Yoga, I could always feel the positive benefits of meditation. It has been much more difficult to continue meditation on my own. Thank you so much for sharing 5-5-5 meditation, Suzanne! I will begin today. We must be on the same path. Just last week, I gathered my meditation books and joined a Mindfulness group. My One Little Word for this year is 'present.' Although it's not easy to still the mind and be in the moment, it's so very important. Your lovely words and images are a wonderful reminder!
Namaste. ♡Dawn

Claudia said...

Sounds like a very practical way to start meditating. Otherwise, it can be overwhelming, I think! Thanks.


Leslie said...

So interesting Suzanne. I had no idea that meditation had this many benefits. My personal time is usually spent at the gym doing high impact classes ;\ not exactly calming.. Years ago I did practice abdominal deep breathing and I should at the very least, be doing that. It's tough to shut everything out and to be silent and still.

Enjoy your weekend and happy Easter. xxL

Low Tide High Style said...

I am trying very hard to incorporate meditation into my everyday routine. I will have to look into your 5-5-5 concept since I find it hard to calm my mind. Your photos are beautiful!

Xoxo Kat

Low Tide High Style said...

I am trying very hard to incorporate meditation into my everyday routine. I will have to look into your 5-5-5 concept since I find it hard to calm my mind. Your photos are beautiful!

Xoxo Kat

Lisa Ancona-Roach said...

Yes! I've meditated here and there in various forms, but the 5-5-5 sounds like a great way to develop a true habit. Going to have to give this a try.

Jeanie said...

I have tried meditation and do it periodically -- not a daily practice. I love the guided visualization meditations in particular. I think it's a wonderful way to help one find their center.

michele said...

believe it or not, your frequently angsty blog friend is quite good at meditation. been doing it for almost 30 years. mainly when i open my eyes in the morning or with a broom in my hand. sweeping. simple as that. i touch the broom and sort of begin to empty myself out. the emptiness is not nothingness, btw. then God fills that space with just what i need. when i am overly anxious or depressed, i develop complete amnesia for the broomstick and the value of the emptying. so there is this cycling i am always hoping to manage better. thank you for sharing this deep topic. preparing for a move, i have not had time to blog for quite some time. my posts were drafted weeks ago and run on autopilot. i am not even sure i will be motivated to post when i'm settled--being this busy and vulnerable is changing me. peace to you right where you are, creator of beauty.

Joanna said...

Love the quote, so very true.

5-5-5 sounds totally achievable and, as a fellow 'noisy brain' friend, I will be giving it a go.

There is so much we cannot control or even start to understand, that 5 minutes of calm is a daily guilt-free gift we can give ourselves.


Linda @ Itsy Bits And Pieces said...

Calming my brain is often difficult, but the counting helped me to focus my thoughts. At first, I was very aware of any sound around me, but then I was able to tune it out. I'm going to try to give my brain a break more often.
Really looking forward to seeing you! xoxo