My former student and beautiful writer, Taryn, on meditation in her life. Enjoy!
When and why did you start meditating?
– I didn’t start meditating earnestly until I was probably in college, although it took me years to get to a point where I could initiate meditation and not feel as though I’d immediately sabotage myself with concentration issues. I took to meditating as a way to ground myself in the midst of anxiety (an ever-present follower in my life). I wanted to deal with my anxiety as deeply and naturally as possible, as I did not want to resort to prescription medication.
How did you learn about meditation? (From a group, book, video, other practitioner?)
– I learned some specifics from you, Katie! I remember talking to you back at Oswego, or shortly after, regarding it. Meditation books didn’t help me much, as I am very much a literal learner and need to be shown. Guided meditation videos and general meditation music videos on YouTube have really been my teacher.
What type of meditation works best for you?
– I enjoy popping in my earbuds and listening to either a guided meditation or meditation music. Then I can go at my own pace. I also like doing guided meditations in groups, as it forces me to be very accountable to myself and stay in the present moment! Labyrinths are also a favorite of mine, as I enjoy mindful movement that still evokes that sense of meditation.
Is your meditation connected to a spiritual, religious, or philosophic tradition?
– Usually my meditation practices are to ground myself emotionally and spiritually. In my Spiritualist church, we use meditation to connect more deeply with spirit so we can be more open in our mediumship. I practice with both purposes, although the calm and unshakable groundedness after an earnest session is always my main goal.
What would you say to someone who expresses interest in meditation, but claims to be “unable” to do it?
– I’d tell them that meditation doesn’t always mean sitting silently with your eyes closed. Meditation can come in the form of taking a mindful walk in the forest, getting lost in one’s writing or in joyfully playing an instrument. Meditation can be blissfully zoning out while you methodically brush your horse. (So healing, too!) Meditation comes in many forms, and once someone realizes that, they don’t get as stuck on the idea that it’s one attainable thing. It will always be a growing and learning experience, and it’s more flexible than some people think.
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?
– I usually feel calmer and more prepared to tackle things that overwhelm me. I often don’t take people’s negativity so personally, and can more actively leave behind energy that does not serve me with the highest and best purpose.
Taryn Prescott is a writer and English/Special Education teacher from Rochester, NY. She is currently writing her third historical fiction novel and thrives on historical research and folklore of Western New York. She rounds out this soul work with her adventures in motorcycling and horseback riding. An avid fiddler, she uses music and writing as a form of meditation.