Welcome to the 2nd in a series of interviews with people who meditate! I hope you’ll find something here that resonates or even encourages you to give meditation a try.
When and why did you start meditating?
I started meditating after the loss of my son when nothing made sense and only the silence supported me. Eventually, his spirit became my guide in my meditations–but not right away!! Meditation is a very natural state of being. Trying to force it into a certain process is fatal.
How did you learn about meditation? (From a group, book, video, other practitioner?)
I learned about meditation in my yoga class, and started with Deepak Chopra’s tapes. I moved on to a more feminine based experience.
What type of meditation works best for you?
I do not like a prescribed form of meditation. I have created 2 CDs of meditations that accompany my books, and I always tell people that my words are suggestions, and if they go off on a tangent, it’s right for them. I like to include visualization in my meditations because it works for me, especially in healing work.
Is your meditation connected to a spiritual, religious, or philosophic tradition?
I think all meditation is spiritual, but mine is a personal spirituality–unconnected to “religion”–except that certain Saints and writers inform my thoughts and work their way into my meditations. For example: Hildegard of Bingen.
There is no “doing it.” It is a matter of sitting quietly, breathing deeply and allowing. Sometimes nothing comes. Sometimes the cat sits in your lap and you feel the beauty of that connection. And sometimes a loving presence infuses your moment. It’s a matter of simply being in a receiving mode–making yourself ready for whatever comes. Some people use ritual to prepare, others a certain time and place, others an altar, sage, or prayer. It is so very personal.
What does your meditation practice do for you? That is, what are some of the specific benefits or consequences you experience, long or short-term?
Short term, I go into a peaceful place, my heart rate slows, my brain turns itself down. If that’s all that happens, I am blessed. Other times I go to a time and space where I actually receive guidance about a book I’m working on, a person I’m concerned about, or my health. Years ago I had been diagnosed with a growth in my breast. I asked the doctor for a few weeks to simply breathe into that space and see it dispersing. He, being a huge skeptic, turned me over to his nurse practitioner who said I could do that if I would have sonograms on a regular basis. Each film showed the growth blending into my body, like the moon sort of disappearing into the mist. Until it was gone. I would encourage everyone to try simply following their breath for a few minutes, then visualizing their body breathing. Every day add to the time spent doing that by a minute or two and see what happens. I recommend a specific time of day and a specific place, when practical.
Therese is a Certified HeartMath Trainer, grief counselor, life coach and author of six books on women, spirituality and grief. She is a mother and grandmother and lives in Florida. Her passion is to teach her clients the beauty and use of energy, both personal and universal. Poetry and meditation keep her sane when all else fails.