Friday, April 15, 2011

Meditation - the abcedaria of a writer

Meditation - I return to the paramitas with 'M'. If you are new to this site, the paramitas are a way of working with one's mind and actions. The six paramitas are sometimes called 'the perfections'. The word 'paramita' is a Sanskrit word that means "that which has reached the other shore". They are the means by which we move out of our sleepy self-absorbed state into one which sees the conectivity of all. From selfish to compassionate, from asleep to awake - the worthy boats we take from one shore to the other are these six ways of being. The six paramitas are Generosity, Discipline, Patience, Exertion, Meditation and Prajna or descriminating awareness wisdom.
The fifth paramita is meditation. One way to think of meditation is that it is a sometimes slow, but always sure way to befriend oneself. To sit quietly with our thoughts arising and our discipline bringing us back gently, again and again to our breath, is to realize that our notions of self are fairly insubstantial.  We are insubstantial, and that after we ride the fear of that, we get the liberation of it. The gift of meditation is the ordinary magic of being all right with what is.
If I can carry that into my writing I can be fearless. I can let go of the feelings of not doing enough, or not doing the right thing, or not being worthy of even trying anything. I can breathe and rest in what is and then my writing can reflect that basic sanity. This, for me, is the most difficult of paramitas to explain - it is beyond explanation. It has to be experienced. Giving you a recipe for bread does not nurture you - you must make the bread yourself. So if you have a meditation practice or any time that is a quiet self-reflective time - you will nourish your writing.
As this is Friday here is your Challenge!
Take a few minutes - I suggest fifteen. Find a quiet spot indoors or out and let your mind settle. Don't fret about this if you don't usually meditate. It isn't like lifting weights. Just let your mind's busy chatter settle down and notice what is around you with your senses. The colours, the movement of clouds, the sound of birds or your computer, or the fridge's hum, the taste in your mouth, your hands resting softly on your thighs.  No big deal, just you and your senses in the moment.

11 comments:

sue said...

Thankyou again Jan. It had never occurred to me to meld meditation with writing "the gift of meditation is the ordinary magic of being all right with what is" - I also touched on meditation today, but sometimes I can't see for looking, or as happened today, I was looking in a different direction. Sue@JumpingAground (Alliteration & drabbles)
Sue@traverselife(Workplace bullying)

welcome to my world of poetry said...

Very interesting to observe, Thank you,

Yvonne,

Tara Tyler said...

I need to meditate - I just might drift off too.

Tara Tyler said...

oh, happy m day!

Ann said...

I think you explained it very well. Nourish your writing. I walk on the strand, watch the waves roll in and out, smell the salt air and listen. That is my favorite meditation.

K.C. Woolf said...

Wonderful and timely post. Thank you so much!

Rae said...

I meditate quite a lot. It helps me get a vision of my goals and my writing. But sometimes it turns into a nap! Rats!
I loved the part about the recipe for bread! Great!

fredamans said...

Makes me want to OM!

Great post!

nutschell said...

great post! i tried meditation awhile back but I just couldn't sit still for more than two minutes. I kept thinking of food. :)
nutschell
www.thewritingnut.com

doreen said...

I have just started meditating seriously about a month ago. The last week or so I have really noticed a change in myself. A calm has come over me and It was a bit frightening at first but I am now embracing my calm self.
Have a great weekend!

Jerri said...

Without meditation I would have no writing ideas. I feel best when I can get up very, very early to meditate.