12 May Meditation 101…
Meditation is an ancient art practiced for thousands and thousands of years. In the Yoga Sutras, the sage Patanjali defines meditation as the progressive quieting of the fluctuations of the mind. I like to think of meditation as an “awareness” tool available within me at all times. This tool helps me to relax and connect to the present moment where my point of power resides. On a spiritual level, meditation has enabled me to connect to my spiritual heart – my soul – my True Self – Atman – the God within. In this space I have touched peace, love, compassion, and deep contentment. I have found joy, wisdom, forgiveness, creativity and intuition.
Meditation requires no previous experience. You can start exactly where you are. There is no need for any special equipment. There are numerous paths and many routes. Each experience varies from person to person and meditation to meditation. In devotional meditation (prayer) you may find yourself filled with love or great pain due to separation or loss. If you meditate sitting in silence using the breath as the object of your attention, you may at first experience restlessness and then quieting and then a connection to deep stillness. You may experience awareness of your thoughts, physical sensations in your body or sounds in your environment. You may even fall asleep. In meditation we surrender and let go of judgment. We take our body, our mind and our feelings just as they are. We practice self- compassion.
Each day we find ourselves in constant activity barraged with distractions. Very few moments in our lives go by in stillness and silence. Very few moments are lived in the present moment. We seem to be uncomfortable in the stillness and the silence. Even when we are given a chance to be in stillness and silence we find ourselves reaching for our smart phones, turning the radio on while we are driving, surfing the Internet, sending or reading emails, sending or reading texts, watching TV, watching videos or checking Facebook and or Instagram.
Meditation is about putting down all our juggling balls and embracing “monotasking”. It is a time “in”. Meditation is a practice to help us slow down and become more comfortable with what is happening right here right now in this precious scared moment.
About Colleen Marie Doumeng
Colleen discovered the life-altering practice of meditation after 10 years as co-owner and business manager of a fine jewelry business on Long Island, preceded by 25 years serving as executive assistant to a host of C-suite media executives and NYPD Commissioner William Bratton.
Meditation has helped Colleen better navigate the stresses of daily life, deepen her connections to everyone and everything, experience gratitude for everyday miracles and cultivate a stillness within that once seemed out of reach. She lectures regularly, conducts workshops and guided meditation sessions, and provides private coaching to people of all ages and walks of life. She also works with patients currently undergoing chemotherapy and radiation treatment at Mondays at Racine, the award-winning cancer care facility in Islip, NY.
She lives on the North Shore of Long Island, where she and her husband regularly host and enjoy their five children, spouses, and eight grandchildren.