WEEK 2: Practice in this new way three times this week. Begin as in week 1. Continue to maintain your state of one-pointedness while observing any thoughts that may enter. Along with your thoughts, you may now become aware of any feelings that emerge. Often people are afraid to sit still because some feelings they have been running from for ages come into awareness. This is possible. The great thing about this is that, if you allow yourself to feel the feelings for a few minutes, way into the depths of them, rather than ignore them, they will diminish in intensity and begin to ripple way. A new-found peace will be in their place. That is not to say that if you feel the feelings they will never return. It does mean, however, that we are always in a state of change and that, rather than running from what we might be afraid to feel (which in itself is exhausting, unsettling, debilitating, and immune suppressing), it is easier to face the feelings whenever they emerge, thus reaping the repeated benefit of the ensuing peace. There are ever-greater possibilities in this process: The hope of utter silence within, bliss, a deepening sense of oneness with the universe, and a feeling of boundless delight. A new dimension of the self can present a reality more comfortable and peaceful than any on this plane. It is a chance to dance into the infinite with the absolute. Once our fears surface, we can deal with them; in many cases, they go away altogether. Fears come and go as the undulations of your belly in labor, as the rhythmic risings of your uterus.
Meditation is simply a quieting of the mind, with no attachment to the outcome. There are different ways of meditating. What I have chosen to explain here is specifically to prepare you for the meditation of labor and birth. I thought I was going to be learning hypnobirthing, not meditation birthing, you say? You’ve been duped – or are you learning both, and what is the difference? First, let’s look at what hypnobirthing and hypnosis are and what they are not.
Hypnobirthing is done to you from the outside, with your participation and your active permission. You listen to a tape or to someone saying the hypnotic suggestions aloud to you, or you say the hypnotic procedure aloud or silently to yourself. Even if you are not saying the words, you are following the words to be led into a state of relaxation in which you let go of certain thoughts. In meditation, you simply observe. You do not have a script for yourself, nor do you systematically contract and release your muscle groups as you do in hypnosis.
But what can you do through meditation? As you know, we experience life through our five senses – sight, sound, touch, taste and smell – and through our sixth sense, our thought. In order to be still and to be present in the now – not aware of the past, not trying to be aware of the future, but just aware of the present – it is helpful to observe the processes of our senses.
To me, the most crucial aspect of meditation, especially for mothers-to-be, is the quieting of body and mind and the letting go of the outcome, even thought the result is often an approach of the absolute and a healing of mind, body and spirit. It is also a letting go of our long search for satisfaction and an entering into the light beyond the mind.
People who practice some Christian religions believe that meditation goes against their religion, that meditation is a religion in and of itself, or that it is a New Age fad. Those who believe in God and who practice religions that do not promote meditation or are even against it, however, might keep in mind that a sincere meditation practice can improve your conscious contact with the infinite. How can that go against religion
Those who do not believe in God and do believe that meditation is a form of a religion or a theist practice of some sort should remember that meditation brings you in touch with your own peace and freedom and can improve your conscious contact with the grandeur of the infinite blackness. This to me sounds like a connection to the omnipresent now and a deep stillness. Perhaps some of the goals are the same as those of religion, but meditation itself is certainly not a dogma or a religion.
EXERCISE: LEARNING TO MEDITATE
If you follow these simple steps for the next few weeks, you will find yourself falling into your own habits of letting go and relaxing or, if you prefer, meditating. That’s really all meditation is: Sitting and letting your mind/body balance.
WEEK 1: To begin meditation, sit in a chair with your spine straight and feet flat on the floor, hands resting in your lap. You may also rest on your side with a pillow to help support your body, your belly, or anything else that needs to be supported. Turn the telephone off.
Settle yourself in your position, or just sit or lie for one to two minutes before you begin. The purpose of meditation is to still your mind. An easy way to do this is to focus your attention on some point in front of you or above you and then to concentrate on this focal point. If you are like most people, thoughts will continually enter your consciousness. No problem. Just observe the thoughts as you would a balloon floating up into the sky. Do not try to push the thoughts away, and don’t try to hold on to them. Just continue to observe them without judgment. Do this for about five minutes, three times the first week.
Hypnofertility, hypnobirthing, babymoon, mind/body wellness and mindfulness. Is there a pathway that connects one person to another and that facilitates greater understanding and compassion?
Could it be that meditation can inspire your mental and physical health and add to the peace and serenity of those in your immediate environment?
What are your thoughts on this and are you willing to try a simple experiment to test the effectiveness of meditation?