When there’s something we do out of habit or as part of our daily routine, sometimes it’s nice to be reminded why we do it and to be re-inspired. Consider the habit of brushing your teeth. A while back, I had a tooth extracted and replaced with an implant. It reminded me how precious our nature-given teeth are and it inspired me to revamp my dental care to hopefully keep my remaining teeth healthy.
Recently I had an experience that reminded why I meditate. One of my favorite podcasts is On Being with Krista Tippett. And one of the interviews I occasionally revisit in that collection is with the late John O’Donohue, The Inner Landscape of Beauty. O’Donohue was an Irish intellectual, theologian, philosopher, poet, writer, exuberant conversationalist, and more.
In the podcast, O’Donohue quotes the German mystic Meister Eckhart and offers his interpretation of the quote. Here’s what O’Donohue says:
. . . Meister Eckhart, the 14th-century mystic . . . said, “There is a place in the soul that neither time nor space nor no created thing can touch.” . . . What it means is . . . there is a place in you where you have never been wounded, where there is still a sureness in you, where there’s a seamlessness in you, and where there is a confidence and tranquility in you. And I think the intention of prayer and spirituality and love is, now and again, to visit that inner kind of sanctuary.
That reminded me what is at the heart of my meditation practice; a belief, or at the very least a hope, that in stillness the world I create with my thoughts will temporarily fade into the background so I can connect with a deeper part of myself and recharge from that source. And as a result, maybe I'll be a better person today than I was yesterday.
After listening to the podcast, I decided to write out in longhand one of O’Donohue’s blessings called "A Morning Offering," from his book To Bless the Space Between Us. I posted it on the wall next to my bed and each morning, before I get out of bed, I read it as a starting point for my morning meditation. While I aspire to do a daily meditation practice, it doesn’t always work out that way. That's why I keep looking for inspiration again and again.
What inspires you to meditate? Or maybe meditation is not the right fit for you but there are other contemplative practices you do. Yoga is an example of a contemplative and meditation practice combined. Here’s a link to the Tree of Contemplative Practices I discovered years ago. It’s a great visual and resource for anyone seeking a practice that is mindful but not a traditional meditation.
Whatever practice you choose, may you find inspiration to keep returning to that “place in you where you have never been wounded, where there is still a sureness in you, where there’s a seamlessness in you, and where there is a confidence and tranquility in you.”
My upcoming offerings
Movement, Meditation, & Conversations on Healthy Aging, at Bloom Yoga Studio, a 5-week workshop, Saturdays, 1:30 - 3:30pm, 4/15 - 5/13
The Joys and Challenges of Healthy Aging Book Club, at Bloom Yoga Studio, May 25. The book is, Independence Day: What I Learned About Retirement From Some Who’ve Done it and Some Who Never Will, by Steve Lopez
Bloom at Beachwalk Retreat, August 17-20. I’m thrilled to partner with Bloom Yoga Studio to offer a summer retreat, at Beachwalk, IN, on the beautiful shores of Lake Michigan.