Meditative Breakthroughs

I often hear friends and family relating that they can’t meditate. For many years I felt the same way, but sensed there had to be something to it and so kept at it, accepting there’s a reason that meditation is called a practice.

As I practiced a traditional form of sitting and focusing on the breath, three counts in and then five counts out, over time the frustration of unwanted thoughts continually creeping in came to be expected. This in turn allowed me to gently acknowledge them and let them go by returning to the breath each time. Once I understood there’s no right or wrong way to meditate and that even skilled meditators encounter intrusive thoughts, it became exponentially easier to allow myself to release expectations and just get on with it.

Recently, a whole new world of meditation opened up for me during an eight-week meditation class that enabled participants to explore a variety of styles including guided imagery, color and tone, breathing, writing, movement, mantra, chanting and big-mind meditation. Each week, a different participant was responsible for creating a meditation based on that week’s style, which added extra fun and variety to the exploration.

I was surprised that even after all these years of being exposed to a broad scope of healing modalities through Natural Awakenings, I still have so much to learn. My understanding now is that almost anything we do can be considered a form of meditation through finding a point of focus and becoming lost in that singular focus. From driving to doing dishes to creating a piece of art to sitting in nature…anything we do with mindfulness benefits our well-being, whether we know it consciously or not.

My absolute favorite week of training focused on chanting. We watched the documentary film, One Track Heart: the Story of Krishna Das, and ever since then I’ve been exploring as much of his work as can reasonably fit into my day, and now he’s coming to town!

Krishna Das will be in Boston with a Kirtan event at Arlington Street Church on June 9 followed by a workshop with Sharon Salzberg and Lama Surya Das on June 10 at Newton South High School. Learn more at, or

Another form of meditation I’ve learned about that’s coming to Boston this month is Evolutionary Mystic Meditation. It combines meditation and tapping for what its creator, Alan Davidson, terms a “full-on enlightening experience.” Read more on page 19 and join Davidson and transformational leader Lori Leyden as they co-facilitate a weekend workshop at the Warren Conference Center and Inn, in Ashland, Massachusetts, June 15 to 17.

To quietude and a peaceful mind amid illusions of chaos.

Grateful for the riches,

Maisie Raftery, Publisher

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