Michele Clark, MEd, MA's blog
As it turns out, if you meditate long enough the devils of self-criticism and fear may decide to make an appearance. In my reading about meditation I had come across allusions to this but I didn't pay attention, in part because I couldn't imagine it. Meditation had either offered me some gifts of clarity or it seemed absolutely innocuous. Most mornings when I meditate nothing much happens. My mind races - I forget to focus - I return to focus - I forget, I return. The bell rings, my to-do list is ready, the day begins. Devils, schmevils what could go wrong?
Several readers of this blog were excited by the idea of installing the good and said they were going to try it. Their responses then excited me and their remarks pushed me to think further about outcomes and purposes.
"Mother Nature wants us to be afraid," says Rick Hanson, the author of Buddha's Brain. Survival of the most cheerful is not, after all, what counts over the millennia. Survival of the alertest does.
And she answers: Probably not.
Meditation has something to offer I decided after a workshop on meditation surprised me with a gift of extra energy, the kind protein bars promise but don't deliver. I talked about this in my second post for this series, you can go back and read it if you'd like. But one year passed, then another. I was busy raising children and earning a living. Also, I was wary.
As a lifelong knitter but only a recent (four years) but dedicated (every day if I can, several seven-day retreats) meditator, here is a short list of similarities between the two activities which I thought might apply to many other kinds of learning processes as well:
Below are brief descriptions of my current three favorite books on meditation. Each one is written by psychologists who have been practicing psychotherapists and meditators for more than 25 years. I use them for reference, inspiration and companionship. I reread them and refer them to clients, friends, students and colleagues.