Posted in after the diagnosis, coping with chronic illness, coping with life threatening illness, living with chronic illness, Living with Illness

Magic of Meditation

How do we meditate in a world as chaotic as ours?  Maybe the real question is how can we not meditate in a world as crazy as ours.  One of the interesting things about meditation is that it’s not religion specific, in fact it’s not even religious unless you want it to be.  If you’re like me you when you meditate you do one of two things, get really antsy and so distracted by the meditation that it increases your irritation or you get so relaxed that you fall asleep (one of my greatest meditation accomplishments).

I’ve started thinking more about meditation as my family faces some difficult issues for one of my nieces who like many of us has in some fundamental ways divorced her own body.  If meditation is one avenue to getting reacquainted with the body then it’s something to search out deeper.  When facing a chronic of life-threatening illness how or when did you serve your body divorce papers?  If the goal of any treatment is reconciliation, how do you go into relationship counseling with your own body?  I’m beginning to think that the rejoining process is facilitated by meditation. 

If you’ve ever gone to The Cloisters in New York or any other Benedictine monastery they are designed in the same manner.  It’s convenient to believe that the monastery is designed for religious purposes, but maybe our humanity supersedes religion and religion merely enhances our humanity.  In the current issue of Spirituality and Health, Clair McPherson wrote an article titled “A Perfect Place to Live: the genius of Benedictine monasteries is that they can awaken us to contemplation”.  I’ve been caught by the following sentence, “Because the Benedictine-style monastic comppound is deliberately designed not to be a ‘house of prayer’ but a haven for meditation.  The monks are Western Catholic Christians, but their spirituality is non-faith-specific.  You do not even have to believe in God to meditate; the capacity is part of being human.’

Those are some big ideas in a few sentences.  It really tries to be inclusive of all as it related to our humanity and the need for unity between mind, body and spirit.  It accentuates the need for us to be human first and then individuate by our devotions or religion.  The primary goal in all is to know thyself.  Become familiar with not only the physical body you can see, but the emotional and spiritual body that is hidden by our skin.  Isn’t it time to begin going deep, below the surface and understand that there is more to us as humans than meets the eye.  Can we afford not to be reunited with our love, our bodies?

Do you meditate?  If so, what have you found to be the greatest benefits towards your own healing?  What type(s) of meditation have you found to be particularly helpful?


I've lived my life in service to others. I'm focused on mental health and how it impacts our relationships, culture, and society. Through creative expression and narrative I believe we can impact change.

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