Meditation is an ancient practice, first noted in writing in the Hindu tradition around 1500 BC. Judaism, Sufism, Taoism and Buddhism have also developed forms of meditation, with Buddhism heavily influencing contemporary North American meditation practices. Many Unitarian Universalist congregations offer meditation groups led by members involved with Buddhism. As UUs, we understand meditation as a way to calm and centre in a busy world, a way to re-connect with one’s self and the larger whole. To meditate creates the space to step back from an endless forward momentum and take time to simply be. It encourages us to be more aware of life, and in being so aware, offers hope in the beauty of living. Given the stresses of the holiday season, December seems like a good month to explore some basic meditation practices, starting with mindful meditation.
Mindful meditation – focusing on breathing or the body – helps focus the mind and develop our ability to pay attention and be present in the moment. By scanning the body, the intention is to nurture a curiosity about these sensations your body is experiencing, not to explain them away but to simply be aware of them. Today we’ll use an body scan meditation to learn some basic meditation skills. Don’t worry if your mind keeps wandering – that is normal! Meditation is a practice which takes time to learn.
This is a very simple introduction to meditation. Many more detailed introductions, such as Tara Branch’s video introduction, are available for those interested in going further with this practice.
Wear comfortable clothes and find a quiet place to listen to this short audio piece from Calm.com.
Please note: there will only be 3 posted practices for the month of December.