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Stumped by Meditation?

About 36 years ago my life was totally unmanageable. As a little girl I'd had an experience with God but never felt up to the task; so I put God on the back my mind. I was not good enough. Later, maybe high school, I decided God was too boring, too conservative, too much like my parents. I'd try other things, so I did

Around age 38 my life became impossible. My husband was blacking out every weekend, doing crazy, scary things. My sons were acting out. I decided to give God another try. I got into church. I became a Catholic, regular church goer, making the whole family go. I spent the next two years learning about Catholicism. We moved to Biloxi and I got very involved in the church there. I went to a Catholic retreat and then met regularly with a group of women after that and we would study God.

During that time I would meditate. My experience with meditation as I remember it was: I did nothing but close my eyes and I was overcome by a presence. I just sat that way until the presence left.

When we left Biloxi and moved to Alabama that kind of experience stopped. I would sit and close my eyes and ... nothing. It was as if, I had called but now no one answered. I "needed" God! I kept trying and began researching meditation. I began reading the "masters", (Penninton, Keating, Rohr) on the how to's. I hadn't needed them before. Nothing worked. I did not feel the presence but I kept trying. At some point it became clear to me that in spite of God's silence my days went better when I meditated so I began a daily practice. It was hard and disappointing to have deadness on the other end but I had read that one should continue in spite of the silence. It was important to continue. I would get up at 7 am but so did my kids. I tried 6 am, they would get up then too. I tried 5 am. I got mad at God; wasn't I trying hard enough? Couldn't He help a little? I guess I had to want it bad again.

My life continued to improve. Meditation became a daily habit. Now somedays I feel more connected than others but rarely do I go without some meditation.

Today I wish I did meditation more than once a day. When I meditate, I always go from negative thinking to positive and hopeful. When I meditate I experience peace, love, joy and compassion...I want that ! Lately, when I have been experiencing an onslaught of of stinking thinking usually it is when I don't meditate.

Today, I set a timer for 30 minutes (my goal), sit cross-legged, palms up and with eyes closed. I go from head to toe trying to relax each part. I attempt to focus on a word, quiet my thoughts and be still. My brain is usually quietly active but a sense of inner peace is always present and obvious in spite of the noise. Sometimes I make it to 30 minutes.

I am no expert but I know that by practicing every day not only the time I spend in meditation is better but also the rest of my day also gets better.

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