If the World is Making You Lose Your Sh#t, Try These Meditations
Today, I spent three hours staring at this screen. Every sentence I wrote was promptly deleted. I wanted to write about David McAtee and George Floyd and Ahmaud Arbery and the list of names and lives before and between them. I wanted to talk about white supremacist capitalist patriarchy and how we internalize it. I wanted to share the essential Anti-Racist booklist. I wanted to talk about the Kafala system. Blackface in TV Comedy. The way anti-Black racism appears in the Shade-ism we see with Whiteness always being closer to civilization and sophistication and indeed God and darkness closer to the ground. The dirt. The borders we wish we could push people across.
I wanted to talk about the Black Lebanese, the descent of ‘dark’ Syrian faces on Hamra’s streets, the Palestinian ‘shadow’ that lurks. I wanted to talk about the shame. And the suffering. And the grief. But I couldn’t do it today. So I meditated. And then I made a list of 5 meditations just for you.
These are for the days when there are too many words, not enough words, or the wrong words. These are for the days when sentences hurt. And these are for just any day too.
Meditation helps you bear pain and vulnerability. It helps you find clarity in the chaos and deep connection in the void. It allows you to be hopeful and despairing in the same breath. Grieving and rejoicing too. So without further adieu:
1. Guided Morning Meditation (10 Minutes to Kick Start Your Day) by Jenny from The Lotus Room Yoga Centre
I don’t know who Jenny from The Lotus Room Yoga Centre is. She doesn’t have a range of accolades like some others on this list too. But her voice sounds like sunshine, the background music is enlivening, and it never fails to get me in a good morning mindframe. If you want to ‘begin the day centered, focused, and empowered to flow peacefully throughout the day’, this is a solid choice for you.
2. Waking Up With Sam Harris- Looking for the Self Meditation
This meditation is a magnificent guide into the falling away of the self. It helps you be intensely but comfortably present for 26 minutes (a feat in itself). And it’s a sample from Waking Up: A Meditation Course by Sam Harris. Have you heard of Sam Harris? He’s a neuroscientist, moral philosopher, best-selling author, and meditation practitioner of 30 years. People have a lot of opinions about him, because, well, he has a lot of opinions (a few of which I disagree with strongly). But, he is a kind man who will give you access to his $100 meditation app course for free if you email him saying you can’t afford it. And he creates amazing meditations.
3. A Guided Meditation on the Body, Space, and Awareness with Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche
First, Tibetan Buddhist monk Master Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche has a mischievous sparkly sense of humor that you feel emanating off him while you listen to this and pretty much anything else he records or writes. He makes everything feel both very relatable and very profound- weaving modern science in the ancient practice of meditation. Listening to this you feel yourself becoming intensely present in the moment, and yet melting away from everything too. And somehow you don’t feel any existential terror while it happens. Good for those days when holding it together and calming the mental racehorse feels impossible. Curious about Master Rinpoche or interested in taking a free meditation course during Covid19?
Here you go: http://www.tergar.org
4. Guided Meditation for Detachment from Social Media (Clearing Negativity and Anxiety Sleep Hypnosis) by Michael Sealey.
If you are feeling deeply overwhelmed by your social media, the news, or indeed, realities in general, this pleasantly mind-numbing British monotone will lull you into a very deep slumber with some lovely language and subliminal messaging. As Sealey states:
“This guided meditation combines aspects of body scan relaxation, guided imagery and visualization, mindful awareness, and deep mind affirmations for feeling safe and secure, for clearing subconscious negativity, for reducing overthinking, for relieving anxiety, and for encouraging a positive day or a restful, deep sleep.”
Seems like a tall order, but it delivers!
5. Forgiveness and Heart Chakra Meditation by The Healing Sanctuary 444
Monique Mercer, from Laurel, Maryland, is owner of The Healing Sanctuary and firm believer in the ethos “You have to take care of yourself in order to take care of others.” Her knowledge of a variety of healing techniques feels very present in this meditation, and so does an abundance of warmth, and depth, and joy. Cultivating forgiveness right now can be the hardest of things, but Mercer can help you to do it.
Hope this helps you the way it helped me folks. But before you go:
To support Anti-Racist action in Lebanon, get involved with or donate to ARM: https://www.armlebanon.org/
Photo by Oluremi Adebayo from Pexels