Beginning A Meditation Practice At Midlife

If learning to meditate was a school, I definitely have flunked out, many times. Not for the lack of trying because I’ve spent years flirting with all the big name techniques. it’s just that I have always felt that I kind of sucked at it. Sitting still for even a few minutes would often have me bored out of my gourd. I’d always wanted that thing that serious meditators seemed to ooze: inner peace, contentment, special meditating club membership. But I just couldn’t swing it and the humiliation of not feeling like I was getting anywhere always kept me from seriously committing.

But recently, something clicked. I don’t know if it’s being at a physical place – the midlife thing – where my body and mind are ready to finally latch on to it and in fact, I’m not even going to question it. And in this week’s podcast I share with you what I’m doing right now and why it’s as close to a “real meditation” practice than I’ve ever experienced. The funny thing is there’s nothing at all mystical about it. There is no chanting or gazing. All you need is to be comfortable and have a timer – I use my iPhone.

As promised, I want to invite you to join me and have four options for sitting in silence : A “1 minute practice” from a video that I made a while back and a “5”, “10” and “15 minute sitting practice”. Listen to the podcast before though so you have an understanding of what’s going on. The sitting videos are as boring as watching paint dry, but if you like the idea of having someone to do it with, sit with me, I’ll fire up the timer and the alarm will go off when we’re done so you don’t have to do a thing.

 

One Minute Silence

 

 

Five Minute Sitting Practice 
 
 
 

 

Ten Minute Sitting Practice
 

 

Fifteen Minute Sitting Practice

 

I mentioned that this week Jai Uttal’s has been on high rotation at my house this week. Jai takes traditional mantras and kirtans and turns them into things of laid back, groovy beauty. Here he is, singing an acoustic version of the song I sampled in the podcast. It’s called, “Guru Brahma” and is from his album Shiva Station.

 

And watching rock goddess Tina Turner chant the classic Nam Myoho Renge Kyo kinda blew my mind. Check it out:

 

 

Other resources I mentioned in this episode:

Transcendental Meditation

Vipassana Meditation

Nam Myoho Renge Kyo explanation 

Krishna Das

Roshi Joan Halifax

Nancy Cooke de Herrera’s book All You Need Is Love: An Eyewitness Account of When Spirituality Was Brought To The West. (Note, in the podcast I couldn’t recall her name and thought it was Nancy O’hare. Close but not close enough..)

Free Lift Meditation App : This is the app that has a built in meditation accountability club in it.

Also, here are links to online friends who have recently inspired me

Brookyln Hudson – a best selling author and mom to Willow the Squirrel. Find out more here: http://www.brooklynhudson.com/

Dawn Schultz – Dawn is filming her journey to “Russian Blonde”. Watch her story here: http://youtu.be/l2hi_1tH34Q

Pamela Conley – Pamela is a mental health professional based in Billings, Montana. You can read her blog here: http://freedancersvoice.blogspot.com.au/

 


Need some advice about a midlife issues? Want me to research something you’re confused about? Ask me! All you have to do is leave a message – keep it to about one minute maximum – and if possible, I will include it in an upcoming episode. You have the choice to leave an email address and if you do and your question is used in the podcast, I’ll send you a digital copy of my book Be Your Own Change Guru: The Ultimate Women’s Guide For Thriving At Midlife.

So, with that in mind – got a question? What is on your mind and how can I help you? Record your message now.

Podcast – TCG 2.0

The Change Guru 2.0 is a new weekly podcast on iTunes dedicated to all things over 40. These are candid, unscripted chats, often solo, sometimes with guests, where I share what’s on my mind. Every episode is loaded with tips and inspiration to make your life rock.

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Did you enjoy this week’s podcast? Did it make you want to try meditating or are you already in the club? Share your experience here.

5 thoughts on “Beginning A Meditation Practice At Midlife

  1. What a cool and relaxing story telling that was ! Thank you…

    I listened to this podcast while smudging my apartment, as I last night I found out that there had been a burglar in the house a few days ago (while I was the only one in the building), and I decided not to let fear and insecurity win the best pieces of life from me.. Haha, so I went around with burning sage, and during that time your story about meditation was spreading its good vibes, wisdomettes and friendly presence.

    Yes, do try the Vipassana initiation if you feel so inclined! It took me 13 years before I found the guts to do so, and a lot of ‘letting go’ and trusting from my part, and I must admit it has become a part of my daily life ever since.

    Good night!
    xoxo
    Marlene

    • Gal – Taking to the sage smudge, gal that is some impressive higher level thinking- You seriously have got it going on and I’m so happy that I was able to provide a soundtrack to the cleanse. Yay!

      That is so cool re Vipassana and I think it’s about the same amount of time for me tossing it around. I keep on waiting for the right time and I know it’s one of those things where the idea of a “right time” is a fantasy. Now there are no kids to look after so that makes the decision a lot easier. I think also that I need the structure of it before I get to deep doing my own thing so that compels me more. Isn’t it funny when you tell people about it and they’re like “There’s no way I could do that….” We are so attached to all our comms and noise…… I’ll have more questions for you before I do it so hold this thought.

      Big hugs and here’s to a new clean start and good energy in your home xxx Sue

      • hello dear ! 🙂

        About the Vipassana initiation and practice I realized after about one year that the less you “know” about it, the better it is. This because when you take the first step, you’ll need to unlearn everything people told you about it, in order to be ready for YOUR story.

        People’s experiences are their experiences. That is why it all happens in silence – so that you can be like a clean slate. I regretted having read personal stories about it on the interweb beforehand, as they clogged up my mind at first by taking up too much space and energy with comparing, fearing, remembering… So I decided not to talk too much about my experience, and I notice that my meditation friends don’t say much about it either 😉

        But I am sure you know exactly what to ask and where the more intimate and mystical zone starts! So any questions: sure, avec plaisir!

        EnJOY the weekend and hugs from Bruxelles avec Aunty Flo 😀
        xxo
        M

        ps: What I also used to practice was Zen meditation (in a dojo, with a kimono), and that sounds more like what you seem to do right now? In any case, meditation for me has changed so much ever since the Vip retreat – no comparison with the things one can do here and there.

        • Hey superstar M,

          I totally agree about the idea of less you know, the better so that you don’t have to unlearn.

          I’m not sure if I’m doing zen, I’m just sitting and using outside sound as an anchor to stay present. But haaaa, doing it in a dojo and a kimono sounds wayyyyy cool!

          You’ve got me all excited for vipassana – I’ll know my schedule for the coming year in December so can’t wait to play with dates!

          xx
          s

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