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I would like to share with you a method of meditation that worked for me this week. From my previous posts, I have made it clear that meditation is not easy for me. I am currently up to only 7 minutes with sitting meditation, which has taken a big effort.

This Monday, I had a terrible morning. I could not focus and I could not accomplish one thing. I sat down to work (at home, luckily) and my brain would not engage. It was frightening. I was completely frazzled for no reason and I almost had to call someone. I sat down to meditate, and I couldn't. It was at that point when I remembered a drawing lesson I had in college called blind contour drawing. You draw the outline and details of an object without looking at your paper. The drawing ends up looking like an unrecognizable mess of squiggly lines. Here is a description of it: http://drawsketch.about.com/cs/drawingl ... rblind.htm (you can google blind contour drawing if this doesn't explain it well enough).

I drew a set of cushions that were on the floor. I detailed every fold and line for about 15 minutes. Well, this did the trick, I was calmed and focused after this. I still am not having a great week, but this really has been helping this week.

I know there are a few people out there having a hard time with meditating, so I thought I would offer another method. You need no artistic ability to do this technique. In fact, if you do it enough, you might be surprised that you are teaching yourself to see and draw!

have a good weekend!
This sounds really interesting, just shows you the many different guises that meditation can take!

I did this exercise over the weekend!! I am currently reading "The new Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain" by Betty Edwards and it takes you through this exercise. Betty Edwards explains in her book that artists are able to switch over to their right side of their brain very easily - when you do this exercise, this is what you are doing (switching to the right side of the brain) and she says when you are in this mode, "your mind will become quiet... this mental chatter will cease". That's Mediation in a nutshell!!!

It seems to be a good book and hopefully by the time I reach the end of it I will be drawing! Fingers crossed!

With respect to mediation - its not easy to conquer. For me, I just couldn't simply turn off from a busy day and mediate. However going to a yoga class helps you prepare for mediation and I believe this is the key to being able to mediate. A typical yoga class should start off with asanas then pranayama and then mediation.

Asanas, which everyone tends to think are exercises, are not exercises, they are movements to assist both your mind and your body to remain steady, calm, quiet and comfortable, physically and mentally. Asanas gently stretch the muscles, massage the internal organs and tone the nerves throughout the body. You then move into pranayama which are like breathing exercises but much more - they control the energy in one's body which thereby induces physical and mental stability. Finally you complete the class with some mediation and believe me after you have done your asanas and pranayama, mediation comes much easier than you could ever imagine!

My yoga classes go for an hour and a half. They are not physical. They are calming and relaxing. If I attend my yoga classes regularly I am in a much better frame of mind - the chatter never enters my mind and if it does, I can switch it off, I sleep well at night and I tend to be a much more relaxed person and I can practise my mediation at home. However if I don't attend my yoga classes regularly the chatter returns and mediation becomes hard.

All the best
Christine, that's exactly the book I have! What a coincidence. Actually, I have the old one and the new one. I have taught drawing classes based upon this book and I think it's one of the best.

I have been doing drawings all week. It's been a rough one. I think it's the heat. We have battles with the air conditioning in our house - I just need a little and my husband hates it.

I know I need to try yoga again. I just like to do it privately without a class full of people - too distracting to me.

Let me know how the drawing lessons are coming along!
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