Friday, February 18, 2011

Meditating and Beaching It

I need to switch gears, so today I went to our local library to get an armful of books. My harried lifestyle these past months (years) has too often kept me from reading, my absolute favourite pastime. I thought I would pick up a good book or two on stress and burnout, but there weren't any on the shelf. Perplexing, since I searched the catalogue a few days ago and there appeared to be plenty available. I really wish whoever signed them all out, the very best of luck. I thought about taking out something on anxiety or depression, but just the thought of doing that made me anxious.

Not wanting to leave empty handed, I grabbed a book on meditation and a novel. The novel is a "beach book," Jane Green's Dune Road. I mean seriously, if a "beach book" by a New York Times bestselling author can't slow me down and cheer me up, nothing can.

The book on meditation is by Clark Strand, and is called Meditation without Gurus: A Guide to the Heart of Practice. Strand's goal in the book is to simplify meditation. Simple works for me. I especially like his philosophy on meditation, in that he cautions readers against trying to become "expert" at meditation. Not becoming expert at something right now works for me. Says Strand, "Meditation ought to decrease the drivenness of our lives, not make it worse." He goes on to explain:

"The person who meditateswhether for five minutes or five hours a daywants to keep one area of his or her life that is not driven, that does not draw them ceaselessly away from the fundamental enoughness, sanity, and beauty of the world. The person who truly meditates, and is not caught up in some neurotic game, knows that peace, love, happiness, contentmenteverything happens right now." (8-9)

Love it. And I'm going to love the beach book too. Right now.

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