Meditation as a Do-Over

Aug 18, 2015

Meditation As A Do-Over |

We’ve all heard about the benefits of starting and maintaining a regular meditation practice. Sitting, breathing, and trying the best you can to still your busy mind has been shown to decrease stress, improve sleep and even impact physiological outcomes like blood pressure and heart rate. But one of the most powerful effects of meditating, for me, involves none of these things. Meditation is an important practice to me because I am terrible at it.

Calling your time sitting cross legged with your eyes closed a practice is key, because whether you just started meditating yesterday or are a yoga guru, you’ll never perfect meditation. In fact, the whole concept of noticing when your thoughts wander and bringing yourself back to the present moment, which is truly the essence of meditation, is a process in allowing yourself to be imperfect, and getting into the extremely regular habit of gently and non-judgementally placing yourself back on the path you intended.

Can you see how this exercise can deeply impact your life and the way you see yourself? Every day, you get a chance, in the microcosm of a meditation practice, to start over, to try again, and again and again and again, with no expectation that you will ever achieve perfection. Or achieve anything, for that matter, other than the chance to practice patience and self-compassion in the quiet moments of meditation, knowing that each day you do, it will become easier to practice these things in your day-to-day life.

Do you have a meditation practice?  How has it influenced your life?


The Becoming Podcast has been on a short hiatus while I focus on writing my book, but oh what a comeback episode I have for you!

This month, I spoke to Toko-pa Turner, who many of you may know as the unofficial patron saint of many of my circles and gatherings because of the sheer number of times I’ve quoted from the wisdom of her book, Belonging.

Toko-pa is a Canadian author, teacher, and dreamworker. Blending the mystical teachings of Sufism in which she was raised with a Jungian approach to dreams, she founded The Dream School in 2001, from which thousands of students have graduated. She is the author of the award-winning book, Belonging: Remembering Ourselves Home, which explores the themes of exile and belonging through the lens of dreams, mythology, and nature. This book has resonated for readers worldwide, and has been translated into 10 different languages so far. Her work focuses on the relationship between psyche and nature, and how to follow our inner wisdom to meet with the social, psychological, and ecological challenges of our time.

Here’s some of what Toko-pa and I talk about in this episode:

> The dream that changed Toko-pa’s life, causing her to question her career and, ultimately, her identity

> How we can court our dreams to support us during times of radical transformation – and the reasons so many of us have a hard time remembering and working with what shows up in our dreamscape

> Toko-pa’s perspective on the message of Belonging after the divisiveness our society has experienced in the years since it was published

> What happened for both Toko-pa and I when we fell out of belonging from the ideologies of the “wellness world”

> How to build community when you’re under-resourced

> “The Big Lie” when it comes to belonging, and how we can reclaim a sense of belonging to the greater family of things, as Mary Oliver so famously wrote

Listen to the episode on iTunes


Show Notes

Toko-pa’s Website

Belonging:  Remembering Ourselves Home, Toko-pa’s book

The David Abram video about animism mentioned in the interview

Toko-pa’s self-guided program, Dream Drops

Companion, the program that accompanies Belonging


Also, while you’re at it, if you enjoy The Becoming Podcast, I would be so grateful if you would rate and review, and even subscribe to it on iTunes.  That goes a long way to helping more and more people find and benefit from hearing these interviews!  Thank you so much!