The Calmness of my Days


I've been doing a bit of reading and research about meditation.  I've never dipped my toes into Zen meditation, maybe I will.  However, upon further reflections, I find that I do indeed embrace meditation but differently.

When I pray my Catholic prayers, I enter a calmer sense of being.  The older I get the more I appreciate all of those Catholic school days and how they are valuable to me on so many levels. On my daily walks as I place one foot in front of the other, a cadence is developed and soon I let go of tiny worries.  Sometimes I think about the birds I hear or the deer I see and sometimes I'm not thinking about anything in particular. Those nothing moments are treasured.


When I sit down and pick up my knitting!  My, I love how each and every stitch I create lulls me into a state of happiness, quietness deep down inside.  I have knit through joyous times and in trying times.  If I am actively worrying about something, I'll pick up my knitting even if I don't feel like knitting and give the activity a solid half hour.  Thirty minutes later, I'm less anxious and I have something to show for my time.

When Frodo sits beside me for warmth, gives me the "look" which means either pet him or put his blanket on and we are together.  I think he is an expert at meditation, I could learn from him.

I continue to do my meditation research, practicing breathing and counting.  I like to try new techniques and hopefully I'll incorporate them into my days.


Do you meditate?  What activities give you a sense of calmness?

Have a wonderful weekend!!

Comments

  1. I do meditate Karen, often in the morning, sometimes in the middle of the night. I have found that when I am outside, often walking at a steady, but kind of slow pace, I am my most at ease, a calm hugs me and I feel such a sense of peace....nature...you knew? :)
    Enjoy a great spring weekend.

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  2. I work at staying calm, usually through knitting, reading, or walking. Having a pet would give me a sense of peace, but it's not in my near future to add one to our family. Frodo is such a dear. Give him a hug and pet from me.

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  3. Knitting. SInce I was 6 years old- it has got me thru the hardet and most stressful times of my life.
    Have awonderful weekend under these beutiful blue skies.

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  4. I really like the Jesus prayer - "Lord Jesus Christ have mercy on me" - or a slightly longer version - "Lord Jesus Christ Son of God have mercy on me a sinner" - or in-between length - "Lord Jesus Christ have mercy on me a sinner." while in Orthodoxy there is some breathing techniques I've read enough to understand not to do these without training form a proper guide (or being at the low level I am at in my journey as a Christian!). You may like Fredrica Matthewes-Green book on the Jesus Prayer; very accessible and beautiful. http://www.paracletepress.com/the-jesus-prayer-the-ancient-desert-prayer-that-tunes-the-heart-to-god.html ... I find that prayer walks are really good and crossing oneself a real way to do a 'quick calm down' as it were :)

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  5. I find that a craft activity helps me to relax and unwind, as does a herbal tea.

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  6. Knitting has been my meditation companion. As the fabric is being created it allows me to meditate, mull over things, and sometimes just "be".

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  7. I loved this post! I feel just like you do about walking and knitting. But also like you, I have been wanting to add to the things in my life that are meditative, and to develop a better sense of mindfulness. I would love to hear more about what you are reading in this area.

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    1. I've just been Internet searching so far. Next time I'm in the library or bookstore I might peruse the shelves and see what's available.

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  8. Knitting usually gets me very Zen! Not last night. I was working on too tiny stitches and a new pick up.
    Watching people go up to communion at church puts me in a transe

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  9. Interesting post, Karen. Just recently I read somewhere that a couple of psychologists have determined that knitting relieves stress and anxiety. Several teacher friends have taught their classes to knit believing that knitting helps a person to focus and concentrate. Don't you think most knitters would agree? BTW, I've been meaning to tell you how much I love your dogwood header!

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  10. Time outside, a long walk or knitting if the weather is terrible always works for me.

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  11. Knitting is very meditative for me-I struggle with stillness, but the rhythm is very soothing.

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  12. THis may sound crazy. But when I feel stressed,,, I clean. From looking at my house right now, I'm cool as a cucumber! :)
    As I clean I talk to God... I'm sure that is what really quiets me down.

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  13. I have done some meditation in my yoga classes but for me it is mostly in my prayer time that I try to calm my breathing and my mind

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  14. Knitting helps me so much. I find whenever I start to freak out about something - get anxious, etc.... if I pick up those needles and yarn, my mind just starts to unfurl and I relax... Walking...just watching my feet take each step - that soothes me - quiets my brain....

    Linda in VA

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  15. A simple knitting project definitely helps me clear my thoughts.

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  16. I do meditate, in the morning, after my exercise and some yoga poses. I find it the perfect way to center and ground myself before my day starts. But I also believe, like you, that many times throughout the day are perfect for meditation...walks, doing the dishes, hanging laundry, knitting. For me meditation isn't always about laying or sitting still, it is about finding an awareness in the moment I am in, focusing on my breath and on what I am doing. It is about being there, present in the particular moment.

    Good luck as you research some more. Happy weekend!

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  17. Deep diaphragm breathing works for me and stretching my arms out wide. I get in a very meditative state while working in the garden. When I walk I often have an audio tape on. Quilting is my craft zone out - knitting I'm not the best at yet so have to concentrate too much. .Pema Chodron has a good audio book called How to Mediate she is Buddhist but this book of hers is appropriate for all faiths, her other books maybe not so. I recommended knitting in one of my naturopathy case studies as follows
    Knitting has been proven to reduce stress.
    http://edition.cnn.com/2014/03/25/health/brain-crafting-benefits/index.html
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/might-crafts-such-as-knitting-offer-long-term-health-benefits/2014/04/21/d05a8d40-c3ef-11e3-b574-f8748871856a_story.html

    Love Leanne

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  18. Definitely knitting has helped to bring calm to stressful times for me Karen.I often find there's that like worry beads there's a zen like peace that comes with the circular repetitive motion of the needles and walking especially surrounded by nature. Baking too, the slow process of kneading bread. Oh and there may soon be a new activity to add too. I just bought a drop spindle! I can't wait to use it and hope that will prove to be similarly calming.
    Have a peaceful weekend.
    debx

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  19. Your first photo has me thinking your trees are letting off a little bit of steam. Lovely.

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  20. A lovely post, Karen. So nice to read about the things that help you focus and calm worries. Music always helps me to calm worries and focussing on a craft project too. I have also been deep breathing since Michelle's demo in 28 moments, which really does the trick. Have a wonderful weekend. Frodo is just adorable xx

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  21. I believe simple repetitive tasks (knitting, crochet, walking and running) are moving meditations... they have calmed me many, many times. =) I think we could learn from Frodo, too. ;) blessings ~ tanna

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  22. isn't there a book somewhere about all the best in life i've learned from my dog? Freddy is the best meditator I know....or maybe that's the best napper? He's got 'relaxation' nailed in either case!!! Something to strive for!

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  23. i do meditate...my favourite way of calming and centering my mind and body is knitting while listening to meditation lecture audio tapes. I could do this for hours and come out of it elated !!! Have a great weekend Karen

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  24. My friend has a bumper sticker that says " I knit so I don't kill people" -- I think it is also a form of meditation for her!! And me too!

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  25. I try to spend 20 minutes of quiet time, usually after evening prayer, each day. I like to use the Jesus Prayer for meditation, but will sometimes meditate on one of the Psalms. Sometimes my knitting is like praying a Rosary. Your dog is cute!

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    1. I agree with you on the knitting is like a rosary, so true!!

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  26. I never tried meditation very seriously, although I do enjoy the meditative breathing exercises at the end of a yoga session. But in the end I think knitting most puts me in a meditative state.

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  27. Meditation can do wonders and I try to do this at least 10 minutes a day. Frodo is such a sweetheart, what a ham!

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  28. I meditate, and have done for years. Among other things I use meditation to manage the pain that comes with chronic ill health. And my daughter has been using meditation to manage the pain of a broken heart after a relationship ended. I've been trying to persuade her to learn to knit for similar reasons.

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    1. I've been thinking of your daughter these past days and hoping that she is feeling better day by day.

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  29. I love this so much! And I loved your post on the rosary book:) I came back to my Catholic faith as an adult, and I am always so wonderfully surprised by how deeply calming and peace-generating it is for me. It feels like home. It's always a great thing to try new things, though, so I hope you are enjoying the meditation. We have so much to learn from all traditions.

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  30. I find myself meditating every moment of everyday. At first, I used to need a quiet place, quiet, no interruptions... but as I started cultivating Tao, I started trying to find that peace inside of me. I started meditating to sounds of my everyday life. My mom use to laugh at me because I would tap my foot on the floor as I was doing dishes. There was something relaxing about having my hands in warm water, the texture of the cups and dishes. I do still enjoy a good "close your eyes and breathe" meditation, but this finding of peace at any moment is a true gift from my Tao teachers. I've found the most calm in it.

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