Meditation…

I am aware I need to meditate more.

I am also aware that sometimes the classic meditation style simply doesn’t work for me and it often doesn’t work for a lot of people. My husband and I (now don’t that sound grand and almost royal!) used to teach meditation and I also used to hold meditation groups in our home, but mine were a bit different…and I was very careful who I asked along.

What people often complain about is the mind wandering, while trying to meditate, or unwanted thoughts popping in or even simply falling asleep. I’m not going to go into the ways round these issues, as it would take too long, so I’m just going to introduce my way of getting my head straight enough to get into a deep meditation when my “bee in a bottle” is going ballistic.

I drum.

Simple, really. I have a collection of frame drums(there’s a pic of some of them in my archive here, I think) and I start out with a steady rhythm, and focus on keeping the beat steady. Then I vary the rhythm. In the end I have a beat that matches my heart rate, and that’s when some peace comes.

It’s one of the oldest methods of brain entrainment in the world and it has beneficial effects I can’t even begin to explain here. Sound therapists use drum beats to help heal.

The only snag is the fact that you can’t do it at three in the morning  (unless you live alone and have NO neighbours) and you can’t do it at work or on the train. But you can buy some excellent drum recordings to put on an mp3 player; I have several now on mine and that can really help on a stress filled day or an overseas trip.

If anyone is interested, please let me know and I can put a list of some of the CDs I use, plus suppliers of decent drums.

Just don’t tell the neighbours I told you to do it!

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12 thoughts on “Meditation…

  1. Pingback: Meditation…

  2. there are many approaches to meditation … and they can serve different purposes. Some meditate purely to go into deep trance, to lose the sense of the here and now; others meditate to piece the veil of the inner self, and withdraw some seeds of insight to apply to the waking life. Meditation also for peace, and general balance, goodwill. Mnay funcitons, many purposes. Up to you to find the most fitting approach 🙂

    • Exactly. But people often try only one method, one function and when that fails or doesn’t suit, give up or dismiss meditation as a whole or even their ability to do it at all. It’s a shame, but there you go! A walking or running meditation is very good for those who find sitting still difficult or impossible.

  3. I have come to realise i need to do this more often and actually find a way that works for me. I have also experienced the issues you mentioned about my mind wandering or simply falling to sleep.

    I love your approach and can relate to how eventually your rythm/beat ends up matching your heart rate.

    It also remminded me of the fact that I have some audio files which are just generally binaural beats (some with nature sounds as well) and they did used to work for me (not sure why I have forgotten about these)

    I really want to try the drumming approach but until i get hold of a drum I may have to find an alternative. Not sure my neighbours would appreciate me using a saucepan but either way I promise not to reveal where the idea came from!!

    • A quieter but just as effective way is to use a rattle. I’ve made a fair few, either from hollow gourds or by shaping wet rawhide and forming a rattle head that way. You can buy rattles too, made by native American craftspeople. I’ll find my link for you.

  4. Thank you Viv,

    I think my neighbours may prefer that alternative, although I prefer the idea of the drum.
    I have had a look at their site (Thank you for the link) and the rattle does seem like a good starting point.

    I have also realised (or rather remembered) that playing the didgeridoo seems to get me into a more peaceful state, maybe the breathing involved has something to do with it.

    • I nearly passed out the one time I had go with a digj!!
      I love my drums; if you choose your time and don’t go mental with the beater, you can drum at a reasonable volume. My neighbours can’t complain really as they’re always shouting at their four kids, each other or the dog, and he plays electric guitar, badly, too. It can be a challenge to play a drum at a low volume, beating softly while you hold it close to your chest.
      My reindeer hide drum was made by the guy who runs Sacred Hoop magazine; he makes awesome drums for a good price. But that said, a good Irish Bodhran is a cheap but effective option!

  5. I didn’t quite pass out and I did eventually learn circular breathing. I did, however, pretty much clear a caravan park in Alice Springs trying to learn it!!

    My neighbours can be pretty noisy as well and as a result I am not too fussed if I make some noise.

    Maybe you can teach me the drum properly one day and I could endeavour to teach you the didg without you nearly passing out!!

    • Sounds like fun! Drumming is actually fairly easy, well, the style I do is anyway. I use a single headed shamanic frame drum and just do simple rhythms- one two three FOUR one two three FOUR or one two THREE one two THREE.
      I couldn’t master circular breathing at all; I just kept forgetting to breathe at all. When everything started going fuzzy I stopped!!!

  6. I don’t meditate anymore. I don’t know why I stopped either. I began with classical meditation techniques almost forty years ago and tried Transcendental Meditation in the early 1970s. Somewhere along the way life took over and meditation fell off the tracks of my life. Today, long walks of six to fifteen kilometres are my my meditative moments.

    • I tend to meditate when I walk; I need a good three or four miles a day to keep my mind and body in sync.
      I really appreciate your comments here,by the way.

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