Overall, I have discovered that all the contemplative practices have provided some benefit one way or another as they are intended to develop psychospiritual development for one to tame and control his or her mind, extend and expand mental control, then finally stabilize calmness and stillness to reach awareness and unity consciousness (Dacher, 2006). However, the two practices I chose helped me to gain a sense of calmness, peace, and balance within myself as I discovered a beneficial way to purify my mind, heart, and thoughts. At times, emotional thoughts flood my mind, but I am usually able to detach and let them go as I find myself in a place of stillness and harmony.
For starters, the Rainbow Meditation happens to be one of my favorite practices because it requires focusing on the breath and visualizing images with guided prompts; which adds to the overall relaxation process and calming effect. I am able to clearly “see” the colors of the rainbow in my mind’s eye; and saying the suggested phrases also helps me to feel centered, loved, balanced, and connected, and so on. I don’t know if it’s because of the visualization of light and colors that help me to experience a warm sensation of healing energy; but this guided meditation is the one I return to time and time again when I need to unwind from stress or sit quietly in peace without having to rush mindlessly to the next thing that needs to be done. As such, this practice allows me to slow down and become more aware of my thoughts, emotions, and actions, and I feel at peace and balanced knowing that I have done something positive for me that will be a benefit in the long run.
Likewise, Meeting Asclepius requires visualizing a wise, loving person to foster feelings of peace, wisdom, love, joy, and connection. This exercise calls for reflection of positive qualities that can help purify one’s thoughts, feelings, and images as they visualize a transference of healing energy from their visual image to the crown of their head, their throat, and finally to their heart. After this practice, I feel a sense of connection to others as my mind, thoughts, and heart are purified with loving-kindness, compassion, wisdom, and peace.
At times, this practice can be quite emotional, but is effective for healing. Likewise, it can also be frustrating, especially when intrusive and distracting thoughts wander in and out of the mind. I have even found that sometimes I am not able to visualize someone who is wise and/or loving, and this discourages me as I am surrounded by many loving people who seem to have a hard time being wise. Perhaps, there are some issues that are still unresolved; I probably have to practice some more forgiveness and loving-kindness in order to release of grudges or grievances that are attached to my mind and heart. On the other hand, if I refrain from focusing too much on disturbing emotions, thoughts, and images that just seem to cling and would not go away; I have found that I should instead focus on slowing down my restless mind with deep, rhythmic breathing. Also, focusing on positive thoughts and images somehow help me to find stillness and peace; and the negative emotions and thoughts vanish as I allow myself to experience the healing and transformation.
These practices can be practiced on a daily basis as they do not require an extensive amount of time and can even be broken down into smaller sessions during the day. I prefer to practice them in the morning while things are still quiet and peaceful; this helps to jumpstart my mornings in a positive manner. However, some mornings require other obligations, so I have to practice them after my workouts, which seals in all the hard work and allows me to thoroughly cool down. With each practice, I am learning to gradually release of negative emotions that create conflicts and undesirable reactions that do not promote peace or wellness. As such, I still need to work on controlling impulsive thoughts and reactions to diminish mental suffering and pain; so that I attain clarity, wisdom and peace of mind. Inasmuch, these practices will help me to develop better skills, expand my consciousness, decrease stress, and enhance my interpersonal relationships as I progress toward a path of health, happiness, and wholeness. Meanwhile, I am disciplining myself to commit to these practices into my life on a daily basis as I realize that they require patience, dedication, perseverance, and effort so that I can attain human flourishing.
Dacher, E. (2006). Integral health: The path of human flourishing. Laguna Beach, CA: Basic Health Publications, Inc.