Transformation you say? How?

Butterfly and chrysalis. How does meditation create transformation?

Transformation you say? How?

How does meditation create transformation?

Meditation teaches you how to be in the present moment. That’s the point.

Why the present moment?

The present moment is the only reality, the only thing actually happening. The future has not yet occurred. The past is over. Only in this moment do we have the opportunity to find peace, offer forgiveness, change, and grow. Now is the only moment over which we have any control: right here, right now.

Aren’t we right here all the time? What’s the difference?

The difference is what you do with your mind.

Let’s say you are ice skating. It’s crisp, but you’re layered. As you glide around the rink, the motion warms your body. This is the perfect opportunity for movement meditation. As you skate, you notice pleasant body sensations: the sway of your body, the sound of each blade against the ice, the heat generated by your moving limbs. Positive thoughts may also arise: I am graceful, dancing, alive. You hone your attention on the thoughts and body sensations of skating.

Those thoughts and body sensations bring you right into the moment, fully absorbed. Instead of daydreaming or comparing yourself to the skater at the other end of the rink, your meditation skills keep your mind where your body is. You become curious about how it feels to skate, experiencing your body sensations all the way through, learning from what you find. The struggle with your mind stops. You become the motion, opening to it and relaxing around it. While your thoughts may wander to what’s for lunch or that big work project, you gently bring your attention back to the present, to your moving body.

All of this is right here. Right now.

A couple of important things are at work here.

First, you’ll experience the mind-body connection as the separation between your mind and your body begins to disappear.

Second, you’ll experience pleasure both from the focus you are developing and from the movements. Because you enjoy these, you continue to meditate and move and feel better physically and emotionally.

Third, that pleasure also helps you overcome any resistance or negativity you may have, at first around movement and eventually around other daily things as well.

Fourth, as the negativity begins to drop away, you’ll be less reactive to and gentler with yourself and others.

Finally, it can lead to insight into how pushing and pulling on reality causes suffering, not just yours, but everyone else’s as well. As you skate or run or dance or jump or pitch or hit or throw, you’ll see the habits of mind, heart, and body that cause us all such agony.

This excerpt is from Make Every Move a Meditation by Nita Sweeney which is available now through Amazon and Mango Media.