About thirty years ago I attended a 10-day sit at the Vipassana Meditation Center in Shelburne Falls, MA. I remember worrying before-hand because I couldn’t sit in the lotus position. I discovered there were others like me; we sat in chairs.
I sat for many hours during the day without moving. It was the hardest thing I had ever done at that time of my life. As the days passed and I swept my awareness over my body I realized I became calmer and more at peace. At the end of the sit we were told to try to meditate at least an hour in the morning and an hour in the evening. I worked full-time then and the most I could do was 20 minutes in the morning. After some months I gave up the practice.
A few years later I went on a retreat led by a fellow from the Findhorn Center in Scotland. He gave me a “mantra” to repeat over and over, “I am.” He said it would nourish me and help to become more centered. If I remember correctly he told us to try to meditate at least twenty-minutes a day.
Throughout the years I have continued to use the “I am” mantra. I have gone as long as forty-five minutes at a time and as short as ten minutes. Once again, the practice fell by the wayside of busyness.
Since retiring I have once again attempted to get back into mantra practice. It’s difficult but the results are amazing… a feeling of peacefulness and connectedness. Certainly worth an attempt by anyone wanting to rid themselves of anxiety.