Monday, December 14, 2015


I make no secret of the fact that I am a person in recovery from substance-use disorders, or that I suffer from anxiety (and, more recently, depression). Recently, The Excellent Wife (TEW) has been suggesting that I return to my practice of meditation, which I've adhered to and fallen away from for decades.

It's apparently a source of chagrin to some of my acquaintances that I am stringent in my definition of meditation: there are things that are meditation, and things that look like meditation but aren't. I've been using the techniques from Lawrence LeShan's* How to Meditate, one of which I've modified for my own use (he has you focus your vision; instead, I focus on a piece of music: usually either Sheep May Safely Graze at a much slower speed than it's usually performed, or an endlessly-repeating tune of my own devising).

*(LeShan is a bit of a woo-woo on the topic of the paranormal, but he's right on it with this stuff, and he's a leader in cancer support.)

I know from my own experience over the years that there's no use in starting meditation if the anxiety is already on me; meditation at that point only makes the anxiety worse (I don't have the strength of will to keep returning to the practice when other thoughts come up). But if I'm in the practice of meditation, the anxiety isn't as bad when it comes.

I seem to be in a state of mind today where things are reasonably stable (as I have not recently been), so I started to take TEW's advice (she'll be skeptical when she reads THAT, I'm sure), and I started this morning. I have morning time to meditate and a place to do it.

I don't know how long I'll stick to it, but it's a practice that has worked, so it's worth a try.

(Part of the reason I put it out here is that if I make it public, perhaps I'll stick to the commitment. That's also worth a try.)

Here's hoping your minds are friendlier places than mine has been, recently.

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