Dearest readers! I had no intention of writing a post today, honest. But just finished morning meditation and wanted to share it with you here. Just in case any of you might feel like playing.
Do you sometimes have trouble meditating? Or, if you don’t meditate–stilling yourself long enough to sink deep within? Do you sometimes careen outward into the day without pausing on your couch or easy chair to check in with the heart of you?
Here is the question that I have been pondering daily lately: What’s true for me right now?
What is really really truly TRUE? Not: what is true with the world? Not: what is happening with my family? Not: what am I going to do today?
What is TRUE right now?
Of course this is the biggest question possible and pretty hard to answer logically or precisely. Therefore I have made up a meditative game (which perhaps you’ve already played in your own world).
Find a piece of paper. Any piece will do! Lined notebook paper. Sketch paper. Computer paper. Just make sure it’s big enough. 8 1/2 X 11 should do. Just in case *lots* of things are true for you.
Colored pens, a regular old treasured pen, a sturdy pencil or delightful markers may come in handy. Corral up whatever instrument(s) feel good.
Make yourself comfy. Coffee or tea might be warming and delightful. Or not. Whatever feels true for you in this moment.
Now you are prepared to “meditate”.
Your assignment should you choose to accept it? Write down in two, three, four or eight words what is happening now in your world.
This morning I wrote first: Furnace humming.
Pause the pen. Look around the room, listen, watch, see, observe. You might ask yourself the question again: What is true for me right now?
Next I wrote: Indecision about brewing another cup of coffee.
Pause that tool of expression and wait. Look around the room. Breathe (if that’s true for you). Feel your weight on the couch (if that’s true for you). Write those words if it feels right. Draw or doodle some art if that sings.
You can put these words anywhere on the page. Not necessarily in sentences. I kinda put mine this morning in a grid. Paragraphs seemed absolutely inappropriate. (Which I would show you, except some of what I wrote is too personal and my inner little ones are too protective to share.) Maybe circles will work for you. Just create some space between your words.
Pause between observations. Let the pen sit comfortably on the page if you want. Wait until the next thought or sensation or feeling arises.
I wrote: Feet, bare, under covers.
I wrote: Low-level running software program “I don’t know what to do, don’t know how to relax”.
Wrote: Cloudy, dark, cool, dismal, gray.
Always pausing between words. Silence began stretching longer and longer. I wrote: Silence.
Suddenly a whole sentence popped up: Don’t try to fit me in, hem me in, tie me up, change me for your opinions.
(This is what is true, what is coming forth, don’t stop any legitimate expression arising. Even if thoughts say, “I hate so-and-so”. Write it down. Let it loose. Let it come up on the paper and express itself.)
I also did not write down noticings twice. For example–if I noticed “breathing” I wrote it down once. If, five minutes later, I noticed breathing again–did not re-write it. Unless, for some reason, it insisted upon a secondary writing.
I drew a picture of a hanged man. A stick figure, yes. With A,B,C beneath it like the game Hangman. These words came up: None of the above. All of the above.
Keep letting your subconscious rise to the surface. Keep pausing between whatever the subconscious wants to say. Notice that something within stays very alert as it waits. Something else feels sooooo deeply relaxed that it is expressing so clearly What Is True for Me in the moment. And it can be anything.
No judgment to what what is coming up. (And if judgment is arising: Hello judgment! Write that down too without judgment.)
I wrote: A fun meditation practice. I boxed that in by drawing a funny hat around it.
Notice that two things are happening simultaneously. Thoughts, observations and noticings AND silence, relaxation, witnessing, spaciousness.
Suddenly these words arose: Buddha on the Page, Jesus in the Rafters.
Really? I dropped the notebook and pen and sprinted toward the computer to share this with you.
This feels like such a precious meditation. A different kind of meditation.
Does this sound like fun? Let me know if you try it and if it feels *joyful* and *lovely* for you, too! (Creativity feels like an antidote now to so much suffering in the world. At least that’s what’s true for me right now.)
Late edit: If you have 20 minutes, that is a perfect time to relax into this exercise. I have noticed that it often takes 15-20 minutes before the body says “ahhhhh…..” and really lets go.
Love this, and yes, I will accept your invitation to try it. Thank you. ❤
Robin, I added a couple of edits after you read this. One: If I had an observation twice or a dozen times such as “I want coffee” I decided only to write it down once, unless it felt important to write it more times. Second: Stayed with the exercise at least 20 minutes because it so often feels it takes 15-20 minutes before the body goes ahhhhhh.
Glad someone else was inspired to do this!
I’m definitely going to try this tonight.
What was true for me this morning is that I made up a song called “Everybody Needs To Shut Up” and sang it to myself while I went for my usual walk. By the time I got home, I was singing something more peaceful and I felt a lot better.
I think I need to stay off Facebook for a while!
I hope you don’t mind–I had to read Barry your comment. (Of course, then, I had to tell him that I wrote a blog, and what it was about.) We both chuckled. Love your song. “Everybody Needs to Shut Up.” Still grinning!
I don’t mind at all. I don’t even mind if you or Barry want to sing the song. It’s really easy. The only words are “Everybody needs to shut up.” I make the tune up as I go along, and sing until I’m finished. (I never said it was a *good* song!)
I am still chuckling!
oooo, I like this, Kath! Definitely will “play.” The kids inside me are chiming loudly about getting the different writing tools NOW (especially colored ones). This creative idea, practice of yours sparks delight and bursts of joyful energy. Thank you!
Susan, I hope your inner kids love this. (One of my inner kids is now afraid that no one will really like the exercise, but I am trying to reassure her that it doesn’t matter because we thought it was fun! And we had so much joy sharing it with everyone here.) *Big smile*
I will play. Thank you for the game!
If you’ve ever done Morning Pages, Terri, it’s kinda like that but with more doodling. It really seems to help develop a sense of Presence, just sitting in the moment and being aware of everything. So very nice to see you today!
Very interesting. I’ve never tried to meditate. I can’t imagine getting my brain to slow, breathing either for that matter…though I do try that most days. This might be fun, I’ll let you know. And I smiled at that last image. My mom had the exact same carving, it sat on her windowsill over the sink in our kitchen for as long as I can remember.
Dawn, that’s what is fun about this exercise. You don’t have to slow down your brain. You just write what your brain notices on paper, and things seem to slow down when you take the time to wonder what’s true and just notice. Sometimes the meditation practices that point toward stilling the mind can just seem to make the thoughts bigger. This includes the thoughts in the process while (hopefully) accomplishing the same slowing down.
This is definitely something to think about. Not sure whether I’ll do it – time will tell. I don’t know that I’ve ever meditated, but I have taken to sitting in my big comfy chair with TV off, nothing to read in hand, in the dark except for my LED candles flickering on shelves in front of me, just quietly, letting my mind go where it chooses to, for about half an hour before I go to bed. I seem to need that time to dim the lights shining on our world so I can sleep.
Carol, I think you’ve perfectly described the same meditative quality that you can get in an exercise like this with your sit-in-the-dark time. Perhaps the main difference in this (which you could also try in your chair) is that you keep returning your mind to the question “What is true for me right now?” and then sitting quietly and looking and naming. This gap sometimes keeps us (me at least) from getting lost in thoughts. This keeps things opening up to a larger spaciousness.
What a lovely post, Kathy. I meditate/pray daily because it helps. A friend told me that meditation is not necessarily a clearing of all thoughts from the mind. Here is the analogy she gave me: Meditation is a pasture where cows (thoughts) are grazing. It’s ok to let the cows graze in your pasture. Just don’t let them crap in it. ❤
Stacy, I am so glad to hear that your time of meditation/prayer helps. And I so agree with your friend about thoughts. I used to think the point was to get rid of thoughts. Later I learned that was impossible. The only difference in this meditation is that the cows can crap in the pasture. You let ’em crap on your paper. Then you return to the mantra, “What is true for me in this moment?” That provides a space, a respite, a Presence, an opening. You don’t step in the crap because you’ve moved on to something else, either another bit of crap or an amazing rainbow. And you keep noticing what is larger than the crap or rainbow. I am going to quit typing now, lol.
Well that makes perfect sense. XOXO
I may have a go at it tomorrow morning when I do my usually morning pages… sometimes they work the way you expressed usually more journal like…
Jeff, I suspect the Morning Pages have opened you up to your creative inner veins for many years. I used to do Morning Pages, too. But never really meditating on a single question like “What is really true for me right now?” even though I was writing what was true. The value in this practice seems to be the gap after you ask the question. A stillness, a Presence, an opening can develop in between the noticings. Please let me know if you try it and if it sparks anything different for you.
I meditate first thing when I get up (well, actually, the order is thus: say, out loud, as my feet touch the floor, “this is going to be a great day,” tell each of the dogs “good morning,” turn on the coffee pot on the way into the bathroom, pee, wash hands, brush teeth, get a glass of water, take pills, light a candle, THEN sit in silence), and I REALLY struggle with quieting my mind. I’ve tried tapes and many other things. To date, the most helpful has been saying, “Yes, please,” as a mantra with every breath. I’m going to try this idea! Thank you!
Cindy, thank you for sharing your morning routine. I like how you light a candle–a lot of folks really enjoy setting the space like that. It sounds like centering/meditating is really important to you as a way to start your day. What I like about this technique is that you actually embrace the mind and kind of “fool it” into quieting because you’re honoring what comes up but also pausing and noticing and waiting in the spaces afterwards to look around and actually be fully present to what is arising. And isn’t that really the essence of meditation? Just to be with what is.
This sounds like a delightful meditation exercise, Kathy! Playful and profound. A clever way of engaging the thinking mind as well as accessing the silent presence within. I am going to do this too!
Reggie, I certainly DID have so much fun doing it! Because it spontaneously illuminated both the Presence of noticing AND the silent presence within. I am wondering how you liked doing it…if it uplifted you in the same way?
This is a wonderful thought upon which to meditate and muse and pray. I like any exercise that brings some clarity to my mind and some peace to my soul. Thanks for sharing this here.
So glad to share, Ally Bean. If it helps any of us with clarity and peace–then it’s worth it.
I like the idea of a prompt to work from rather than the free form format of morning pages. I do a daily doodle meditation in the extra space on my day planner. Each day I pick a simple shape and draw from that and see what comes up. The results always surprise me. I will have to experiment with your game now. Thanks for sharing!
Yes, Alanna, that prompt can be so helpful. Sometimes the overwhelming “emptiness” of the moment or the “fullness” of thoughts can stop us in our creative tracks. I liked hearing about your doodle meditation and how it opens into surprise. Sometimes surprise is the gift of the morning! Thank YOU for your enthusiasm.
That’s so cool! I meditate, but never heard of this idea. Sounds neat and I’ll try it. Thanks for sharing!
I hope you enjoy it, too, Venturehobbit!
Hi,I have just 2 blog posts ,started 3rd of June. Loved reading your meditation game..am from India,W.Bengal.
Hope you enjoy the blogging world. Glad you like this meditation game. Hope all is well for you and your family in India.
This does sound like fun. I meditate early every morning and then at night before I start dinner. I love to meditate. But I use a guided meditation app that helps. Your exercise is fantastic. I will admit-that when I write my flash stories and just let myself go, in many ways I feel like I’m doing the same thing as what you described here. 🙏❤️
Good morning, my friend! How fun that your flash stories are birthed from a process similar to this one. Actually, my meditation these days is very similar to this. It mostly involves returning to the present moment of what’s happening now over and over again. Without noosing thoughts. Just letting everything be…and noticing the larger “something” that surrounds all this forever and ever more. xoxoxo
This has been the first post I encountered on my return to WordPress after many failed attempts at blogging (I intend for it to stick this time), and the first I have thoroughly enjoyed. Refreshing, like a glass of lemonade. Thank you.
Anna Ford, your comment is refreshing like–a cup of mint tea! Thank you for stopping by and sipping refreshment-words with me. I hope your blogging becomes really fun for you this time. (I actually have started and stopped many times on this blog. Sometimes I go away for long periods of time. It actually feels like listening to an inner rhythm lately that says: now you blog, now you rest, now you blog, now you rest. That’s what’s true right now. May be different tomorrow! Blessings!