Can Meditation Be Sexy?
- Ed and Deb Shapiro
From Madonna to Christy Turlington, from Sting to Richard Gere, meditation is what’s happening. We use the term “sexy” because meditation is now the IN thing, with more and more people, both young and old, chilling out by doing it. At the same time, cross-legged yogis and monks can be seen in television and magazine ads selling everything from cars to herbal teas.
You do not have to be a hippie or on a spiritual quest to meditate. We have taught housewives, athletes, musicians, and therapists, in yoga centers and town halls, high school gymnasiums, on ski slopes, and on television. We were invited to teach meditation in Thailand to corporate CEO’s, as more businesses are incorporating stress-release and meditation techniques.
But if meditation is so available and as well-known as it appears to be, why is it not already an integral part of everyone’s lives? If health reports are saying how good it is as a way to cope with stress, heart conditions, and psychological issues, why do we ignore it or find excuses not to do it? Why do we think of something as a waste of time when all the research tells us it is of such immense value?
Perhaps it is because meditation just doesn’t seem that sexy! The mind seeks constant entertainment and much prefers being distracted than facing the endless dramas racing around inside it. The idea of sitting still and watching our breath can appear boring, meaningless, even a time-waster, and not at all fun, challenging, or creative.
Yet meditation is all of this and much more. It is about discovering our authenticity and the magic of being alive. It is sexy because it feels great and there is nothing more joyful.
Meditation is simply about being fully present in this moment, no matter what we are doing. If you are washing the dishes, then let any thoughts and distractions dissolve into the soap bubbles; if you are ironing, then become one with the rhythm of the movement; when you are eating, be aware of every bite, the tastes and textures. In this way, everything can be an awakening experience.
Sit comfortably with a straight back. Spend a few moments watching the natural flow of your breath.
Now begin to feel a deep appreciation and gratitude for the cushion or chair you are sitting on, and for the building around you, appreciating the space they provide in which you can meditate. Silently thank those who made the building, and the work that was put into its construction.
Then extend that appreciation to the world around you, to this earth that sustains all life, for the tress, plants, animals, birds, the oceans and fish, the sun and the rain.
Now extend your gratitude to your body, appreciating how it cares for and nourishes you, how it is connected to the food you eat and the water you drink, how it is within this body that you experience love, joy and happiness.
Now bring your appreciation and gratitude to your breath. Become aware of the flow of your breath entering and leaving your body. Spend a few moments appreciating your breath and the life it brings you. Then take that appreciation with you into your day.