Meditation means something different to each person who engages in it. For some, it is a brief reprieve from the buzzy-busy business of life, for others a disciplined spiritual practice. In this easy to absorb, thorough guidebook, called Everyday Meditation: 100 Daily Meditations for Health, Stress Relief and Everyday Joy, author and long time meditator, Tobin Blake offers ideas and inspiration to create a practice that best serves the one who contemplates using it to enhance his or her life. What prepared him to write this book is, as it says in his bio on his website:
“He received his formal training in meditation through Self Realization Fellowship, which is an international organization with more than 500 temples and centers worldwide, founded by the great Paramhansa Yogananda. He was initiated in Kriya Yoga – SRF’s highest meditation technique – in 1995.” Tobin is also a student of A Course In Miracles.
I have to admit, that I read parts of this book while sitting in a chair at a nail salon, my feet immersed in warm soothing water, in anticipation of a pedicure. A Jackie Chan film was playing on the tv to my right and I found myself being distracted by his antics. The lovely woman offering nurturing for my footsies and the butterfly blouse wearing client to my left, laughed as they watched me go back and forth, head down in my book and up to chuckle with Jackie and his co-star Jennifer Love Hewitt as they did flips and kicks and turns to defeat the villians in the movie. So often it is with people who meditate. So many things call for our attention and we remind ourselves over and over to bring our focus back and ever back.
Tobin views meditation as “mystical moments that infuse life with meaning and a renewed sense of purpose.” and adds that “meditation is the practice of actively making yourself open to this experience and the far more compelling states that can follow.”
As chapter by chapter unfolds, he introduces the reader to three concepts:
Daily practice in which the 100 day shared journey will allow the experience to be that much richer the more it is experienced. Like any exercise, we become stronger and more flexible and the process that much easier and beneficial.
Understand and deal with the resistance. What often arises is the ‘I don’t wanna.’ reasons for not engaging, all the stuff that can come to the surface that we would choose to push back down.
Reprogram the waterfall refers to the endless flow of thought and monkey mind chatter that entice us away from our meditation.
The book then opens the door to the practices themselves as on Day 1 Tobin begins simply with sitting meditation (zazen) and breathing. Day by day, the experience deepens as the focus shifts to themes such as the chakras (wheels of energy in the body, each with its own color and resonance and purpose), the present moment (Day 31), the law of reciprocity (Day 60), forgiveness (Day 65), freedom (Day 83).
What it all seems to come down to is that each of us is our own best teacher and that folks like him, are guides who have traversed the path ahead of us, scattering lotus petals of wisdom like those that embellish the cover of the book, but it is up to us to scoop them up and use them as they best serve to bring us to a sense of samadhi.