No! Not That One.

“You must do the thing you think you cannot do.”

~ Elenor Roosevelt

I am an amateur meditator at best, and while I know that I am a better person when I do it, I always feel like I could “do” it better. That I’m never doing it quite right. This leads me to try different ways of meditating, which leads to practicing each approach just long enough to know that I’m still not doing it right. Which leads me to try more ways, which leads to… well… you get the picture.

This was a topic of discussion with Dane Anthony my Spiritual Director. In his wonderful way, he quietly wondered with me if perhaps I could give myself a break and just do it, rather than trying to do it right. He suggested that I pick one way of practicing, and stick with it.

To help me get started, he sent me a page of five possible Breathing Prayers, mantras in which you say a few words as you inhale, and a few more on the exhale.  Choose just one, and then stay with my choice. Period. 

Here are the five he sent, from which I had to choose one:

  1. Breath in - “Yah”; Breath out - “weh”

  2. Breath in - "God is here.” Breath out - “I am here.”

  3. Breath in - “In God we move, Breath out - and have our being”

  4. Breath in - “Teach me about letting go… Breath out - “ surrender and trust.”

  5. Breath in - “Into your hands…” Breath out - “I commit my spirit.”

Now I don’t know about you, but there is one on that list that would never be my first choice, or my second, third or fourth for that matter. In fact, it would always fall dead last of any number of prayers/mantras/chants that I could choose.

Which of course means…

Deep breath in - I choose…. Deep breath out - Breathing Prayer #4

“Teach me about letting go…

surrender and trust.”

I’m not holding my breath about getting any better at meditating.

But then, I guess that’s not the point.


Photo: Robin Carlisle