Chapter 8: Married to Amazement
1. At the beginning of Chapter 8, author Geneen Roth shares the different forms of meditation she has tried and why it's important for you to incorporate meditation into your life. Have you ever tried to meditate? Are you resistant to the idea of mediation, or do you have a preconceived notion of what it's supposed to do? What do you think you might discover about yourself?
Yes, Hard for me to quiet my mind. Hope to see who is on the inside.
2. Geneen writes: "After decades of meditating, my mind, left to its default position, does not soar like a hawk. And for the first ten years of my practice I was bitterly disappointed by my shocking lack of progress. I thought I was meditating to smooth out the rough edges, to transform my anger, to, uh, become a different person. Someone like Meryl Streep's character in Defending Your Life who ran into burning buildings to save sick people and children. But it turns out that it's hopeless. The mind, as Catherine Ingram says, is mad. And this is very good news. Because once you accept the madness, you stop trying to reform what cannot be reformed, you can pay attention to what isn't mad. Which, in my opinion, is one of the main purposes of meditation."
When you read that "the mind is mad," how do you react? Have you ever tried to watch each thought you've had? What happened?Kind of not suprised. I can't, the harder I try, the worse it gets.
3. During Geneen's retreats, many women reveal they believe their mind is the most interesting thing about themselves. They've spent years cultivating and expanding their minds. Do you depend on your mind to guide your inner life? Have you ever questioned what your mind is telling you? Are you able to separate yourself from the madness of the mind to find the place inside where you are just you—free from madness, whole and lovely?I have let my mind control me too much, I need to quiet it. Have not been able to separate myself yet.
4. When it comes to eating, are you at the mercy of your every thought, every desire, every wave of emotion?
5. Spend some time watching your mind this week. Notice the familiar patterns, the ways your mind tries to convince you that it has all the answers, the way your mind jump-starts your emotions and leaves you feeling unworthy and hungry. Begin to notice the stillness apart from this confusion to see the part of you that exists outside of your mind's hysteria. See if you can, as Geneen writes: "Begin to love that which is not caught up in the hysteria. Love the stillness. Love the spaciousness. Love the peace. Meditation helps you discover what you love that you didn't know you loved because you were so caught up in your mind that you didn't realize there was anything else there. The value of meditation is that it helps you first discover—and then bring yourself back to—what you love."I will do this.
6. What does it mean to you to be married to amazement?Living in the NOW, appreciating NOW
7. On page 113, Geneen writes: "The belly is located in the center of our bodies and is in fact the center of our grounding. (Eastern mystics believe the belly is the center of our spirit and that our souls reside there.) Sensing it from the inside—whether it's pulsing or tingling or vibrating, whether it's warm or cold or numb—helps us become undeniably and viscerally aware we are alive. We sense the actual physical presence of our life force (by sensing our belly.) When you ignore your belly, you become homeless. You spend your life trying to erase your own existence. Apologizing for yourself. Feeling like a ghost. Eating to take up space, eating to give yourself the feeling that you have weight here, you belong here, you are allowed to be yourself—but never quite believing it because you don't sense yourself directly."
Do you feel that you aren't allowed to take up space in your life? Do you apologize for yourself? Do you feel like you belong here or are you uneasy about taking up space in your body? When you have needs, for instance, do you give yourself permission to express them?
Alot in the past. I still do.
Not anymore,-feeling better-getting braver about my needs.
8. Take a few minutes right now to become aware of the sensations in your belly, whatever you may be experiencing. Now, every time your mind wanders away, begin to count your breaths so that you can anchor your concentration back on the belly. Start with the number one and say it to yourself on the out breath. Continue this until the number seven and begin again. If you are able to stay concentrated on the sensations in your belly, then you don't need to use counting as the anchor. Note what happens.
Do this every day for seven days. Allow yourself the luxury of returning again and again to your body, to yourself, to your life.
Kama is ready to take it all the way!
| December Minutes: 0