In a world that is quickly shifting, how do we adapt to change? When reading the news or watching television, the topic of change is ever-present. Whether its related to technology, the weather, politics, the economy or relationships, it’s obvious that things are always in flux. Just about everyone is very much aware of this, yet how many people are okay with it? While change is always happening, there are many ways to avoid thinking or dealing with it! From my experience, I’d say that accepting change is one of the most challenging aspects of my meditation practice.
From shopping to going out - from eating fancy dinners to movies, there are so many distractions from this fundamentally important life issue. Then suddenly something can happen such as the loss of a loved one or major life transition. If not previously prepared, this can be sometimes devastating. Since change sometimes has a bad reputation, especially aging, I’d like to try to put a new spin on it. Perhaps change can be a good thing? After all, I think that’s why we celebrate New Year’s and Easter. It’s a way to begin again and realize that life continues on and on. When there’s acceptance about it, change can be a beautiful and powerful thing! For those interested in integrating a recognition of change in their meditation practice, here’s a meditation exercise. This suggestion comes from a Buddhist practice associated with the Four Thoughts That Turn the Mind.
Meditation Exercise: Sit in an upright comfortable posture, keep your spine straight. Begin by focusing on your breath. As you breathe in, you can say in your mind, “breathing in” and when you breathe out, say to yourself, “breathing out.” Then after 2-3 minutes turn to the Impermanence contemplation by thinking as each breathe is going in and out that each breathe is unique. Each heart beat is unique. And that as you are breathing in and out, think that everything is always changing. The universe is changing with each breath. After contemplating this for 2-3 minutes, go back to just focusing on your breath. Throughout the duration of the meditation, alternate focusing on your breath and contemplating Impermanence. Finish the meditation by focusing on your breath for 1-2 minutes.
Posted by Kate Dutton on September 24, 2018.