Monday Meditation: Memories and Meditation

There are five primary areas of practice to the Writer Wellness plan. Every other week I will post an idea for relaxation (Monday Meditation,) creative play (Tuesday Tickle,) fitness and exercise (Wednesday Workout,) journaling and misc. (Thursday Thought,) and nutrition (Friday Feast.)

As I sat on the meditation cushion one day last week counting breaths and truthfully minding my own business, a memory from my childhood popped up out of nowhere. I was around eleven years old and my precious Grandma Joy was staying with us as she did on a regular basis. Many of us have a “traveling granny” who lives out of a suitcase from house to house checking in on her children and grandchildren. In this memory, grandma was angry with my father for some reason. I don’t remember why or if I ever knew. I witnessed them exchange sharp words for the first time in my life and watched my dad leave the kitchen by way of the sliding screen door onto the back porch. My grandma picked up an unopened bag of sugar from the counter and hurled it at my dad just as he closed the screen. The bag bounced off the screen and splattered sugar all over the floor. I swept it up while marveling at grandma’s arm, and she got her suitcase to the front porch to wait on my aunt to pick her up. This scene replayed itself in vivid detail during my meditation and needless to say, I lost my train of relaxed consciousness and ended the sitting with a deep breath and a “Namaste” immediately. But the long, and I thought lost, memory contained a message for me. This isn’t an unusual circumstance. Meditation is often a time of revisiting memories and not all of them are pleasant.

Like dreaming, meditation allows our brains to soften and it sometimes takes the opportunity to “clean house”, do some necessary filing of information collected recently, or present us with a memory that gives us the chance to understand something  presently going on in our lives. After several days of thinking and wondering why my brain chose this particular memory to replay at this particular time in my life, I have decided it was meant to remind me that my father was a stern man and set in his ways. And he was seriously outnumbered by estrogen in the family dynamic. Lots of strong women in my family on both sides. Poor guys have trouble sometimes getting a word in edgewise. My father died four years ago and lately I’ve been trying to come to terms with the way some people have differing opinions about him. It’s a long, long, long, long story, but not everyone remembers my father like I do. None of us are perfect. And that is what I think the memory, as unsettling as it was, meant to remind me about. Love is not dependent on the perfection of self or others. It’s about acceptance as difficult as that may sometimes be.

What do you do when a memory bubbles up to the surface while meditating? Allow it to happen but above all simply witness the memory. Don’t get embroiled in old dramas. Just let it flow by. Thinking about it later is possible but not necessary. Most important, don’t allow memories to keep you away from the meditation cushion. Be brave.

Have you ever experienced a memory during meditation practice? What happened?

Meanwhile, remember to look for a digital or print copy of Writer Wellness, A Writer’s Path to Health and Creativity at Who Dares Wins Publishing,

And check out these great blogs for ideas to keep your writing and publishing healthy and prosperous. Bob Mayer Jenni Holbrook Kristen Lamb Inspiration for Writers, Inc. Natalie Markey

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Be well, write well.