My name is Vicky. Welcome to my new blog on Centering Meditation. My inspiration is to relate this blog to Centering Meditation and veterans and veterans who suffer or who have suffered from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Military Sexual Trauma (MST)and or Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) as well as other war related disorders. Any civilians who have been affected by these melodies are encouraged to read along as well.
What is Centering Meditation? It is sitting quietly in silence. If you are new to Centering Meditation, then starting with a few minutes daily and gradually increasing the time to spend in silence. I personally do Centering on a daily basis, yet others might start with once a week, then increase the practice over time.
A fine visual example of Centering Meditation comes from ‘Open Mind, Open Heart’ by Thomas Keating. Keating says to visualize a wide river. On the river is an assortment of boats and flotsam of different shapes and sizes. There are many people sitting and standing, talking and doing various activities on the boats. The flotsam includes furniture and other objects floating gently down the river. If you can imagine that the objects on the river are the day to day situations, experiences and places in our lives. The river which is carrying us along is often ignored or only given a casual glance – just enough so we don’t get stuck on a sandbar or hit hidden rocks or debris. Yet the river is a constant immense reality and always the same. It is always murmuring of her discoveries if only we will listen. Centering Meditation offers to create an awareness of the interior space beneath the hub bub of what’s happening in life.
How do you do Centering Meditation?
- Find a quiet place where you won’t be distracted or disturbed.
- Sit comfortably with eyes shut or if that doesn’t work, focus on an object in the room
- Have a bell or watch handy so you can keep time. There are free apps on meditation bells that are easy to download, otherwise a watch or clock will be sufficient.
- Next chose a sacred word or phrase. There are a number of sources to help select your chosen word or phrase.
- As the mind wonders and you have other thoughts crowding in, then slowly bring your thoughts back to the sacred word or phrase.
The intention of Centering Meditation is to develop a deep sense of awareness first to our interior silence even if it is only for a number of minutes daily. The first step to centering is the intention to make the effort. As a friend mentioned to me the other day as we discussed meditation, she said that her partner David ‘created space’ for meditation. I was impressed with that saying and liked the idea that we create space in our often busy schedule. This thought had me thinking that I can create space for centering, as well as the idea to ‘create space’ for other writing projects, my businesses, and attention to my family and friends. It could even be applied to physical exercise and other areas of life that we choose and are passionate about. I can go on and on and burrow into the subject but will leave it there for now. There will be many more thoughts and observations that I want to share as we sojourn along the winding path of centering.
Future posts will cover such questions as:
- How does Centering heal or enhance the healing of PTSD, MST of TBI
- Is Centering Meditation faith driven, or solely a process, or both faith and a process?
- What does it look like?
- How does it compare to other meditations?
There are a slew of other questions. It’s an exciting journey for me as I’ve practiced Centering for over five years.
I can honestly say that you might not see any outward signs that I have changed so much. One thing I can say is that I have a rich source of internal life, a peace and strength derived from my times of centering, coupled with my reading of scripture and prayer. As I have mentioned at a workshop I attended last year, centering becomes a “lifestyle.” Not that everything is peaches and cream, far from it because normal ups and downs happens in my household as it does in everybody else’s. But there is a source, ‘the river’ which we give attention to, even if it’s for a short time, that becomes the tangible and constant source. Is Centering Meditation effective for the traumas of life and war? A number of studies say yes. That’s a subject for the future.
So welcome to ‘VNRC Centering Meditative’ blog! Please feel free to comment and join in the conversation. I do have the right to approve any comments before allowing them to be published so please be respectful and stay on the subject with the spirit of curiosity and openness to learn. My intention is to have many more people join with me and the community of those who do Centering Meditation.