I never felt like I was a good meditator. I first tried meditation when I was a college student and one of my room mates was a follower of an Indian Guru woman. My roommate would light candles, get out pillows for the floor,pull the blinds and settle in to repeat the OM mantra over and over and over.
At first, it was driving me crazy! Before too long every one in the house was sitting repeating OM together on a regular basis. I wasn't good at it though, my mind wouldn't still and I would fidget and fuss and stretch.I would sit still for a moment and then have to move again.
Finally it became apparent that I was not only disturbing myself, but my fellow meditators, all who seemed to be perfectly still and silent the whole time. I was frustrated, my friends were frustrated, and I decided to let them be. I dropped out of the meditation circle. I figured I was just a Type A personality who couldn't focus on "stillness" and "peace".
Years later I had a friend who was a meditation master, energy healer and yoga practitioner. She told me she had the key to learning to still my mind. By doing yoga first to stretch my body and make it comfortable, she was sure I would be able to sit quietly long enough to really still my mind.
She recommended that I sit and meditate with out chanting a mantra. I was to just sit and stare at a candle flame. She taught me to focus on my breath and count in and out, in and out over and over. I counted and counted but I still got jumpy and couldn’t sit still, even when my body was all stretched out.
Last year, A Buddhist Lama gave me a mantra to use in meditation. He told me it was time for me to practice and that the mantra would help. I had my doubts but sat down to meditate anyway. The mantra rolled off my tongue easy enough, just like it was made for me. I closed my eyes and chanted and chanted. I got fidgety. I opened my eyes and found it had only been a few minutes and already I was moving around. I was disappointed that I couldn’t sit still.
I was recently telling my devote Catholic friend about this and she told me what I needed was a rosary to say my chant with. She gifted me with a beautiful rosary. I was taken aback and reminded her I was chanting a Buddhist Mantra. She told me God wouldn’t mind, and neither would the Holy Mother.
She explained that she had been reading about the development of rosary beads and their use and recent studies on people using them. Apparently that hand movement as you count the beads really does help to still your body, so you can still your mind. All I know is it worked for me. I’m still as a statue now and going on 30 minutes at a time. That is amazing for me!
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