I love to read. Really, that’s putting it lightly. It’s an addiction that cycles between in control and out of control. When I am reading a book, I can well and truly escape into another world. I mean it. Like, I won’t hear you talking to me kind of escape. It’s a beautiful problem. A good historical fiction or period fiction is my fav, and throw in a love story/romance on the side and you have me hook, line and sinker. But lately I have been devouring books on self love, meditation, yoga, and living true to your soul. They are inspiring and I love the little nuggets of knowledge and wisdom that come from them.
So I am throwing up a new segment on the blog titled, WHITNEE READS. It will be me sharing the latest book I’ve read and what I loved from the book. If you are a sucker for books, you’ll love this, and I promise to only share the ones that are goodies!
And first up is……
How To Meditate: A Practical Guide to Making Friends With Your Mind By: Pema Chodron
I loved this book because it was very accessible to all levels of meditators. Even someone new to meditation could easily grasp the ideas and concepts without getting bogged down by uber spiritual mumbo jumbo, but there was also some deep concepts for those intellectuals and thinkers.
“If we can train ourselves through meditation to be more open and more accepting toward the wild arc of our experience, if we can lean into the difficulties of life and the ride of our minds, we can become more settled and relaxed amid whatever life brings us.”
One of the ideas that spoke to me the loudest was that we have to relax our struggle against our thoughts and emotions. When we meditate, we train ourselves in this. We meditate with our thoughts and emotions, we can’t try to repress, smother or run away from what we are going through. Through meditation we learn to relax into the present moment, the good and the bad. She calls this “holding the experience.
We can separate our thoughts and stories from the emotions and you are left with just the emotion, which is energy. Then you can allow yourself to really feel that energy. Once you have allowed that, you begin to realize there is an openness and space for it, it doesn’t have to tear you apart.
“I promise you that when you allow yourself to truly experience the rawness of your emotions, a whole new way of seeing the world will be revealed to you.”
Meditation can often be a difficult experience. It’s not always rainbows and sunshine and walking away in a state of pure bliss. Even the best meditators still have moods and feelings. The question she asks is what do we do with them? Do we allow them to consume us and tear us apart or do we create space for them?
She also talked about how meditation brings understanding of others. It brings emotional honesty and we can truly see ourselves. It’s then that we begin to see what others are up against as well, and that’s where true compassion arises.
There a quite a few meditations exercises as well. So if you are wondering how to begin bringing these ideas into your life, you can do these guided meditations to get you started. I would highly recommend this book to anyone looking to start a meditation practice or anyone wanting to make sense of their thought-ridden mind!