In these times of Covid 19, we all have our special moments of what composer Ned Rorem called “The Icks”. It may be a fleeting moment of panic when getting too close to others at the supermarket, the bus or subway, or on the street. Or perhaps you have an overriding sense of doom, especially with the election coming in just days. A short meditation practice, done regularly, can help you quiet the nattering mind and allow you to experience your inner peace.
You may have tried meditation, but you just can’t seem to get the mind to stop! Here is an easy way to quiet the mind. First choose a mantra, a short pithy uplifting phrase, or simply the word LOVE, or PEACE. Once you’ve chosen your words of focus, take a comfortble, steady posture, sitting on a chair, pillow or folded blanket. Close the eyes and begin repeating your chosen word(s) out loud. If you’re really agitated, you can say them quite loudly! After a minute or so, turn down your volume and make your repetitions softer. After another minute or so, whisper your word. After a short time, begin to repeat it by simply moving the lips. Follow that with silent repetition. It’s amazing how quickly the mind will calm down , but if you’re still struggling, go back to the previous method of repetition. If that doesn’t work, go back even farther. Experiment with whatever seems to bring the most peaceful feeling.
Words have power! If you’d like to try an authentic Sanskrit mantra, or sound formula, try “OM SHANTI”. It not only means peace, but it actually manifests peace within you. Try this meditation practice for 10-15 minutes every day and notice if “The Icks” don’t come around so often. Even better is to do this twice a day. During Covid 19, everyone needs to take time to engage in self-care, and meditation will give you a sense of calm that is healing for you and the ones you love.