What is meditation?
Al-Anon is a 12-step program for those who have loved ones who struggle with addiction. It is a wonderful program of self-discovery and self-care--all within a supportive group--and I can’t recommend it enough. Courage to Change is the title of one of their books with daily readings, and here’s one about how each of us can arrive at our own sense of what it means to meditate:
“What is meditation? Al-Anon leaves that question open for each of us to answer in our own way. Drawing upon the experiences of other Al-Anon members can help us to find our own path. Here are only a few of the ways members of the fellowship have shared:
“To me, meditation is a higher spiritual awareness. I practice remembering that every action can serve a spiritual purpose.
“I go to a quiet place, close my eyes, and repeat the words of the Serenity Prayer to myself in a gentle voice.
“I need to get beyond my thoughts, so I concentrate on my breathing, counting from one to ten over and over as I breathe in and out.
“I simply step back and watch my thoughts as if I were watching a play.
“I try to keep my attention on the present day only, leaving the past and the future alone.
“I focus on a flower. When my thoughts stray, I accept that my mind is just doing its job—thinking—and then gently return to my subject.
“In my mind, I picture my Higher Power’s hands. One by one, I place my problems and worries, my joy and my gratitude, into those hands, and finally, I climb in too.”