The mind is a very busy place, something like a jungle full of wild beasts. We have given our mind the position of Supreme Ruler of our lives and allowed it to dictate our sense of self. The mind, for the most part, was formed when we were young and unable to filter or discern right from wrong, or true from false. It was formed when we were unable to recognize that peace is more powerful than war, that forgiveness is more powerful than anger, that deep inside we all know what is right and true. We just have to get quiet to find that place, to hear that small voice that resides within.
Here is how I suggest that you begin:
- Find a quiet place where you can sit with your spine erect, perhaps with your back against a wall. You want to be comfortable and supported without getting so comfortable that you will fall asleep.
- With eyes closed begin to focus on your inner world.
- Tell your mind that you are going to give it a rest for the next few minutes. This will not be easy, because the mind is a thought-making machine and it must be retrained to be still so that you can do more listening.
- Focus on your breath. It is that simple. If you can just focus on your breath for twenty minutes a day you will be rewarded in ways that you will never guess. Focusing on your breath takes your attention away from the mind and helps to create the inner peace that you are after.
- As your breath slows down your whole nervous system will begin to unwind. This is where new habits of mind can be formed.
- No matter what happens during your Quiet Time, do not judge yourself, or what happens. The fact that you are sitting quietly and you hold the intention of creating inner peace makes you a hero. No one can take that away from you. Once you learn to stop judging yourself, you will eventually stop judging others. Your compassion toward yourself will grow. You can’t be loving and compassionate toward others until you are loving and compassionate toward yourself.
In future articles I will discuss each of these steps in more detail. For now, I think this is sufficient to get you started. I invite your comments and your questions and pray for your success if you should decide to join the next Winter Feast for the Soul.
About the Author: Valerie Skonie is a retired business executive. She founded the Winter Feast for the Soul and continues to direct its growth and expansion from her home in Hailey Idaho. Her passion is to help people establish a daily spiritual practice in their lives. She embraces a daily meditation practice and honors it as a key to her success in her own life.
About the Feast for the Soul: Everyone is invited to join in this worldwide movement, no matter what your religious preference might be, and no matter where you live.
Written By: Valerie Skonie, Founder, Feast for the Soul
Valerie Skonie is a retired businesswoman and interdenominational meditation teacher living in Hailey Idaho. She directs the third annual Winter Feast from her home with the help of a small group of volunteers.