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1000 words On Meditation

I can’t pretend to speak from any place of authority on meditation, I’ve never been on a retreat, I’m not a buddhist, in fact I’ve never been south of the equator, let alone to the jungle temples of Thailand, but I can speak as someone who was taught simple meditation techniques at a young age by a caring (if slightly desperate) father.

I was, at times, an anxious child. I was full of energy, my brain worked at 100mph and much to my parents dismay, I woke up very early. I was reguarly up before the dawn, full of beans and ready to take on the world, even if the world was still asleep.

There were mornings (and I use the word ‘morning’ loosely) where Mum would drive me around Richmond Park slowly so we could watch the rabbits in the sunrise.

All these early mornings meant that by bedtime I was a little, as they say, “overtired”. My busy brain would take my final waking moments as an opportunity to flip the nitrous oxide switch and speed off like Vin Deisel in a Dodge Charger.

Up and down the stairs I would trot, “I can’t sleep…”, “why are oranges round?”, “why, when I press my tummy button really hard, does my bum hurt?” were among the many essential enquiries that needed answers, and one night, out of I don’t know what, my Dad* took me back up to bed, told me to lie down and talked me through what is now called a body scan meditation.

We started at my toes, giving them all my focus and moved slowly up my body considering each part, I’m still a little confused as to where the arms and fingers fit in (was that up or down?), but by that point the meditation had started to work it’s magic, my mind had slowed and the tension had dissipated.

Another one I remember well, and I’m a very visual thinker, was useful when all I could see in my minds eye was a swirling mass of images, he told me to breath slowly and just look at it, not try to understand it, then imagine a black ring around the confusion.

With each breath, he said, I should make the blackness bigger and the pictures smaller until all I could see was a pin point of light in the dark. I loved it, it gave me a feeling of control over the “madness”, as I considered it, and again sleep followed quickly.

I think it was about the time of Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintainance, I remember him using the word Zen alot at the time, and there were more techniques along the way, but I practiced the two mentioned above as I lay awake in bed long into my twenties.

The gift he gave me, all those years ago, the simple act of focussing on breathing and bringing awareness to my body or mind was a powerful one and I thank him for that.

To this day, I’m an early riser and I regret nothing. The house before everyone wakes is peaceful and quiet.

There are no demands, just time to sip a decaf coffee, think and plan (yep, decaf 🙄).

It would be a perfect time to meditate, but I have been taught what you might call “functional meditation”, a mindful practice with a purpose, so the idea of sitting with myself for half an hour as a ritual doesn’t appeal.

However I do now take some time (about 10 minutes), before I do something important, to breath, focus and visualise.

Perhaps because of my childhood experience, my preference is a guided meditation, and thanks to youtube there are a million videos available to guide you towards wherever you want to go.

A quick caveat, it’s important to be picky with your video, they might have a voice you find annoying or the content might not match your ethos, e.g. I was recently invited to visualise someone I hate!? Why would anyone meditate on that? I don’t hate anyone! *closes tab*.

One of my favourites that I use before I give a coaching session, invites me to surrender my ego to the universe, I find it invaluable for allowing me to be the curious mirror I need to be for my clients.

To paraphrase: we start with some breathing, then some scene setting and a walk in a forest where I meet a “me” made out of light, that’s the me who’s part of the universe, but there’s a cord holding me back from them and as I cut the cord, light beams out of the me-me towards the light-me and we merge. Then there’s some lovely affirmations and we come back to the me-me bringing that light and I’m back in the room.

The voice is a bit “movie trailer guy” but the message is perfect, and if you don’t mind “yoga” music, it’s really good.

I’ve also found one which helps to open the mind to a world of possibilities, so if you’re heading into a coaching session soon, why not take 10 minutes, breath slowly and listen, it might just chuck some nitro into your next session.

Ego Meditation

Possibilities Meditation


* He was a spiritual man, who searched for a long time, and in many places, for a higher power. Eventually finding it in the United Reformed version of God, he achieved a lifelong goal of a degree from Oxford and became a Vicar. Shortly after this his cancer returned, the greatest shame of which is how short he was able to enjoy his ecclesiatical career and share his unique take on spirituality with others.



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