What do you think of when you hear the word meditation? It has all sorts of associations for me: Qigon, Tai Chi, various sitting meditations, relaxation tapes and guided imagery, Herbert Benson’s relaxation response, Jon Kabat Zinn’s Full Catastrophe Living, Heart Math’s Freeze-Frame, Mark Thornton’s Meditation in a New York Minute and many others. There are a wealth of possibilities, and people meditate for various reasons — from trying to achieve spiritual enlightenment to being more effective and aware in their everyday lives.
I started meditating when I was in high school and read about Emerson and the transcendentalists in New England. In one form or another it’s been an important part of my life ever since. My two main techniques now are (1) remembering to get calm, centered, creative and constructive when I have to deal with challenges that arise in my life and (2) playing with Photoshop.
When I got my first PC years ago I started playing Free Cell solitaire and noticed what a calming, centering effect the game had on me. I moved the cards intuitively rather than trying to reason things out and it did quiet my mind and relax my body. It just goes to show, we have to find out what works for us.
When I changed to the Mac I gave up the game because the colors weren’t right — apparently the bright colors had been an important part of the experience. So instead I started playing with Photoshop — I can spend hours playing with shapes and colors, experimenting with different techniques and seeing what happens, getting immersed in the experience. Again, not your conventional meditation but it works for me.
Have you ever meditated? If so what forms have you tried? What effect did they have on you?