I’ve written before about my difficulties with a daily meditation practice, but since I’m increasingly convinced of the benefits of mindfulness meditation and other forms of mind training on health and overall well-being, I was particularly pleased to come across a short meditation recently that’s both easy and effective.
It’s also a great coaching tool.
I spent five days on a wonderful retreat at the Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health last month, learning about the neuroscience of Buddhism and yoga. Jim Hopper, a psychologist and neuroscientist who teaches at Harvard Medical School and co-led the retreat, introduced us to a simple but powerful practice. It’s perfect for those of us who sometimes feel we’ve veered off track from what we really care about, and need some help re-focusing on what that is — or what it may have become over time — and how to incorporate more of it into our lives.
Adding a slight twist to a popular quote from the 13th century Persian poet, Rumi, Hopper turned it into the following meditation: “May I be silently drawn by the stronger pull of what I really love.”
Simple. Yet I found that when I sat and quieted my mind, then spent some time focusing on that one line, something happened. What I really love came to mind: people, places, passions. And I felt sincerely motivated to make them a more central part of my life.
I’ve returned to this meditation repeatedly since then, and have just allowed it to have its effect. It’s not pushing or forcing anything, just allowing whatever comes up. And I’ve found it not only motivating, but strangely soothing.