By Susan (Shuchi Kramer)
Prayer, meditation, and study of virtues are useful in finding peace and abiding love within. These spiritual practices are a foundation for becoming caring teens and adults.
We learn from a very young age about our innate spirituality underlying all religious practices from the examples around us: family, friends, in community gatherings, in worship services.
Giving thanks in prayer and meditation becomes a lifelong habit when begun early. Giving thanks can be in the form of prayers from religion, uplifting verses, or spontaneously formed in the moment.
Prayer and meditation are ways to generate feelings of appreciation.
When we feel appreciative we are feeling happy and peaceful in that moment. In times of stress, taking time to remember one thing we do have, with appreciation, helps us see the light at the end of the tunnel.
Daily life has moments of ups and downs; the downs more easily transformed from lemons to lemonade with the sweetness of an appreciation or uplifting verse or thankful thought.
Take time for a restful timeout in meditation whenever you need it. When you are swamped with homework, or when you’ve had an argument, take time to find the place of rest within yourself, as you deeply relax your body.
To begin, lie on your back on your bed or on a carpet, or in warm sand at the beach, or a lush meadow. Let your body go as limp as a wet spaghetti noodle, while you try some even breathing:
Breathe in count 1; breathe out count 2; breathe in count 1; breathe out count 2; and continue on with the even breaths while resting and being very still.
The breath is a tie between the body and mind. When feeling stressed a few rounds of even breathing can calm both your body and mind.
Meditation, with a relaxed body and beautiful thoughts is a natural way to make space for problem solving and moving in the right direction. So, while you are lying there still and relaxed think of at least one good deed you can do for your family or friends. Just the thought of being kind is enough to lift you into a positive mood.
Make time for meditation while growing up, it is a habit you can practice your whole life to restore calm, peace and joy.
At the end of your meditation take a deep breath in and slowly release it, stretch out and go on with your day. If some problem solving ideas have come to you during meditation, record them in a notebook or journal to refer back to occasionally.
Keep in mind that you have tools to help restore peace of mind, harmony and balance in your life. Those tools include meditation, even breathing, adopting a positive attitude, resolving issues so everyone benefits, being appreciative for what you have and for family and friends.
From calm body and mind
Being in harmony
Just in time.
Susan Helene Kramer (Shuchi) has been a devotee of Sri Gurudev Swami Satchidananda and a Yoga practitioner since 1976. She is the mother of 5 and writes on practical spirituality, dance, family and social issues. Her books are listed at her web site: SusanKramer.com
(photo of young women in front of the LOTUS by Sraddha Van Dyke)