Meditation and YOU

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Meditation, Meditating and the Art of Mindful Communication

I am somewhat of a latecomer to the art of meditation, but better late than never is what they say. I came to it through a rather round-about way. By unexpectedly landing a job working with homeless people I was confronted with my age old problem of not being a good listener. Off to the bookstore I went and purchased a book. The Five Keys to Mindful Communication by Susan Gillis Chapman is what I found. She starts off her communication remedies with a recipe for meditation on page 12:

“Suggestions for maintaining a (meditation) practice:

  • Find a place that feels right to you and create an environment that reflects dignity, warmth, and openness.
  • Choose a time of day when you feel alert.
  • Turn off phones and other distractions.
  • Decide on a length of time and stick with it, using a timer or a piece of incense.”

As someone who has not been in the habit of practicing meditation, I find it very hard to actually do. The effort of making meditation a high priority in my daily life, where it has to compete with other major functions like eating and sleeping is quite big. So the most natural thing is to turn to YouTube for some inspiration and help. I came across any number of guided meditation sessions that last from ten minutes up to over eight hours. A guru like Alan Watts would argue that meditation for any purpose is a sham, but I found the different themes like meditation for clear mind, or healing the body very useful.

Ultimately, what I have learned over the last three weeks of practicing different styles of meditation is that it is a method that puts things in perspective. How then can this be useful in communication? It is like the author Susan Gillis Chapman says: “The point of open-minded meditation isn’t to try to get rid of thoughts. The point is merely to relax, unfreeze the mind, and allow the thoughts to flow instead of getting tangled up in them.” In a conversation this helps to not take yourself or the other person too seriously, or to get carried away into over-reacting.

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This article originally posted on http://www.car-insurance-south-africa.co.za/ and reposted here with permission.