Last weekend I sat down to join a meditation group for a morning of quiet centering and instruction. Meditation, the facilitator confirmed, requires effort. It asks that we change the automatic reflexes of our lively minds. That takes practice, discipline, and commitment. So why do we do it?
We do it because we wish to make a change, she suggested. We wish to silence the mental buzz and swirl that can make us feel crazy, tired, even sick. We wish to find a place of quiet centering where we feel stable and balanced. A place where tension slides gently from our cells. Perhaps a place where we connect with something larger than ourselves.
That wish, whatever it is, she said, offers the key to successful meditation or mindfulness practices. The wish reminds us of the goal, the desire, the intention. The wish gives meaning to the work that follows—the work of returning the mind again and again to a process of being present.
A sense of liberation flooded my body almost immediately. It was that feeling of being touched by a truth. Gone were the “shoulds” and “struggles” of mindfulness—replaced by the wish to restore clarity, spaciousness, creativity. Desire replacing duty!
I’ve been acknowledging the power of a wish all week. I find it slipping into my daily routine. Why go through the chores of laundry? It comes back to a wish for clean clothes to wear. A wish for the fragrance of fresh sheets on the bed. Why adhere to a ritual of daily exercise? Ah, it’s a wish for sustained health, strong muscles, clear mental processes, fresh air, revitalization. A wish to age actively and well.
At the curb, I pull my focus to my breath—In, Out, In, Out. In-2-3-4, Out-2-3-4. It’s a familiar and well-established practice. Still, the prods of thoughts poke insistently through my focus. I find myself rerouted into a writing project, or scheduling an oil change for the car. This week, I’ve responded by reconnecting with the wish that got me out the door: the wish to find clarity and balance and expansion. The wish to burn off last night’s pear tart.
The wish reaffirms my intention. The wish redefines the work.
So go ahead, Make a Wish! Then, reconnect, and let your wish take the lead.
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