In the third of his One Minute series, Simon Parke examines Meditation, and asks the question, What is it? And is it possible in a minute?
The word ‘meditation’ can be confusing because everyone has a different definition. Like the word ‘sport’, it describes some pretty varied activities.
Parke’s definition is this: meditation is putting our mind to work for our psychological and spiritual well-being. It’s taking your mind for some invigorating and life-giving exercise. And we can do this over a nine-day retreat …or in sixty seconds, as we sit on a train, wait for our doctor’s appointment or sit in the park during our lunch break. I prefer it sitting in my front room. But we’ll each have our place and a special place helps.
And it’s the one-minute possibilities that the author focuses on in this book. Parke explains; Meditation must cease to be a foreign currency to us, something exotic, with its own language and supposed experts; something we travel somewhere to do.
Instead, let us make it our own currency, something normal, understood and used every day, almost without noticing. I’m on the train or taking a coffee break: so why not take a minute to meditate, to Pause. Read. Live? We set aside time to clean our teeth every day; we set aside time to meditate every day. Why wouldn’t we look after our minds and our hearts in this manner? We’d be mad not to.
Our meditation might become something else. When the meditation leaves our mind, and fills our being, it has become contemplation. This may happen if we’re prepared to offer more than a minute of our time, and it speaks to deeper places inside us. So don’t be afraid to allow your minute to extend once or twice a week.
There are around 150 meditations offered here. Some will soothe, some might disturb, others encourage…hopefully all will stimulate you towards hope, resilience, freedom, clarity and happiness.
Parke’s suggestion is that you use just one meditation a day; but that you use it more than once - perhaps twice or three times. It will grow on you and grow in you, like water soaking deep into the soil. But start out simply with a pattern that suits your day; start with the possible not the impossible.
This minute may not appear to change the world; but it will change your moment… and that will change the world.
About the author
Simon Parke was a priest in the Church of England for 20 years and is now a freelance writer. His most recent books are The One-Minute Mystic, Shelf Life, and The Enneagram: A Private Session with the World’s Greatest Psychologist. He is also the author of The Beautiful Life. and The One Minute Mystic. Simon runs, leads retreats, meets with people looking for a new way in their life, and follows the beautiful game.
Publisher: White Crow Books
Published January, 2014
Size: 229 x 152 mm