Top Skills Thursday: Meditate on a passage

There are some misconceptions about meditation in Western society. It doesn’t mean sitting with your eyes closed and legs folded until your backside goes numb. It doesn’t require special chants or being part of a specific religion.

Meditation has many forms. There is deep breathing meditation, where you time your breaths in, and pay attention to the physical feeling of air entering and exiting your body. There is meditation to music, where you listen to a song and allow your emotions to respond without judgement. You can even meditate on a phrase or poem.

One of my favorite meditations is to meditate on a poem. I’ll pull out a copy of Desiderata or The Prophet and find a line that speaks to me. Then, I simply make myself comfortable and think on what that line means to me where I am right now. Most of the time, I’ll find myself uplifted and encouraged by this, and sometimes I even get a little catharsis going.

You can use a religious text, or really anything that speaks to you for this type of meditation. The general idea is that you focus your thoughts on the words, their meaning, their relevance in your life, and the guidance they offer.

A passage that comes to mind often in recent days is “Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.” (From Desiderata)

I have plans I’m working on. It’s easy to forget how far I’ve come. Four years ago I didn’t have a degree, and now I do. I also didn’t have any published books, but now I have three. One year ago I thought my life would never recover. I couldn’t walk across a room without risking a severe fall. Now I walk almost 2 miles a day.

My plans are great, but I can’t forget to applaud the steps I’ve taken that have put me in a position to pursue my goals.

Find a poem or other work that speaks to you on a deeper level, meditate on it. Go line by line. Let it uplift you and give you courage and strength.

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