Before our daughter was born, I meditated for at least 30 minutes per day. My wife and I would often follow a guided meditation including a few hand motions and about 20 minutes of calm background music. The meditation would then include the five Reiki precepts:
Just for today, I am free from anger. I am free from worry.
I am humble. I am honest. I am compassionate toward myself and others.
Now that practice has been reduced to about 30 minutes per week. I have chosen to title this post ‘applied’ meditation because I have found that I am still practicing components of meditation each day.
Applying The Reiki Precepts
As I am calming Madelyn before bed time, when she is fussy, or when she just seems interested in hearing me speak, I often state the quote to her. It usually helps calm her, and I feel like it also helps me remain calm. This is especially true during more challenging situations of parenting. The following table summarizes the meaning behind each statement, and these summarize the goals I have for each day:
- My negative feelings are identified before they evolve into anger. Although I accept the immediate emotion of anger, I do not cognitively reproduce or reconstruct feelings of anger into my rational thoughts. I am free from anger.
- Perceiving all of my emotions is important to me, and I choose to accept challenges which are presented to me. I follow the drive of my spiritual self and accept the present moment. I am free from worry.
- Consistently, I remind myself to be thankful. I am not possessive of anything I have or anything I have done. The present moment is important to me, and I do my best to remain in that space. I am humble.
- My innermost thoughts and feelings are valuable and present to me. As I accept those thoughts and feelings, I learn more about myself, and I often share my thoughts and feelings with those who would benefit from them. I am honest.
- My goal is to share my love with the people around me. I value and care for all aspects of myself. I pursue the complete awareness of who I am, and this allows me to pursue a genuine awareness of the people around me. With this fully encompassing awareness I strive to share an open-minded acceptance in all situations. I am compassionate toward myself and others.
How Meditation Can Evolve Over Time
For me, meditation started about 5 years ago. From the start, I felt like meditation allowed me to be a more peaceful individual. I know meditation is a journey that cannot be fully mastered. However, I was starting to feel very comfortable with my habits and the corresponding peace which had entered my life. Now that Madelyn is here, my meditation habits have changed. I am surprised that the quotes I had repeated for years within my meditation practice have started to synchronize with my daily activities more clearly. This experience has truly opened my eyes to the direct application potentials of meditation.
The experience of silent meditation in a quiet place certainly has its advantages. It is easier to disconnect from the human self and find a place of peace. As the mind starts to wander back into the scene, it is possible to refocus on background rhythm, meditation posture, or a place of peace and drift back to a pure nothingness. The clear mind is certainly a valuable experience. There is a new connection between the mind and the body. In addition, there is a disconnection between the mind and the thought within it.
Meditation with My Daughter
Applied meditation with my daughter certainly has its differences. I am usually holding her. However, there are times that I start the meditation at random. In those situations the focus is no longer directly on me. Rather than fully clearing my mind, I am starting with the repeated meditation quote. Examples of times I say the quote include holding her, laying next to her, or feeding her. During those times, I remain fully aware of her physical presence as well as my own. However, the thought within my own mind does eventually disconnect. I simply become present in the room with her.
Both meditation practices allow the experience of pure nothingness. However, the applied meditation practice allows me to remain connected with the people around me. Each day I am grateful for the opportunity to experience each moment. Each day I am grateful for the opportunity to share peace with others.