Wouldn’t it be awesome to have this kind of serenity during meditation? After forty-three years of practice, I’m not there yet. However, the small moments of peace I do achieve, when the mind silences, keep me meditating regularly.
I was initiated into Transcendental Meditation in 1976. Mantra meditation is what I still do, though the mantra changed when I met my guru in 1989. There are many approaches to meditation. Sometimes I attach the mantra to regulated breathing when I’m very unsettled.
For a lot of people, meditation can feel like this:
I’ve been there, too. One thing I’ve learned, though, is to let the anger and the self-criticism go. The mind is a very busy monkey. Just come back to the mantra.
My most frequent personal distractions are fidgeting, planning, and writing my books in my head. I get some great story ideas, but that’s not meditation.
A friend and long-time meditator told me that his guru said that meditation can be difficult in our present times, called the Kali Yuga in Hindu tradition. The guru said to turn to chanting instead. Chanting is another way to calm and focus the mind. It can be less stressful than trying to meditate when one is agitated. Chanting engages the whole body and all the senses, with ears, breath, voice, posture, vibration.
One of my favorite singers of kirtan (Hindu chants) is Krishna Das. I like the warmth and ease of his voice.
There are lots of recording of chants available on YouTube. Some other singers I enjoy are Deva Premal, Snatam Kaur Khalsa, and Ty Berhoe.