Having dabbled with the idea of meditating for a while, I’ve never really done it properly, so I was interested to read this little book, Inspiration Meditation, written by my friend Orna Ross, an author, poet and teacher of creative thinking. (She’s also the founder and director the Alliance of Independent Authors, the global organisation whose author advice blog I run – more about ALLi here.) Just looking at its beautiful, sinuous cover made me feel calmer, which boded well for what lay inside.
For some reason that I can’t fathom, I keep accidentally typing this book’s title as “Inspiration Medication” – ironic when the practice it’s proposing is quite the opposite: non-medical balm to the world-weary soul. Meditation promises many benefits, including, of special interest to writers like me, unleashing creative energies that may otherwise lie untapped, masked by our busy daily lives. (I get my own best ideas when enjoying a very long shower – the closest I’ve ever got to a meditative state before, I suppose.)
While Orna is a longstanding practitioner of meditation herself, she’s empathised in this book with those who are coming new to it, and are perhaps scared or suspicious of the idea. Though she clearly has evangelical enthusiasm to share the experience that has changed her life for the better, there’s never any pressure to do it her way, just gentle persuasion that is nonetheless hard to resist.
Having read this book yesterday evening (it’s a quick read), I sat down this morning to give it a try, after packing my daughter off on the school run, and while my husband was still asleep and the house was peaceful. The perfect opportunity to nurture some inner calm, I thought.
Sitting comfortably, breathing as instructed, I realised that actually I was surrounded by a barrage of sounds: the odd passing car, the crackle of the log fire, the hum of the fish tank oxygenator, the dishwasher and washing machine churning away. But the next ten minutes passed in seconds, leaving me calm and focused. I immediately sat down at my desk and wrote a complete short story, capitalising on my thoughtful mood before it was dispersed by the hubbub of the day.
While it’s obviously too early to say whether this is something I’ll do every morning, and with the same effect, or to speculate on other benefits, I have to say “so far, so good”. Already I’ve gained a heightened awareness of why I need to focus on injecting restorative calm and silence into my daily life.
I’d recommend this book for anyone who feels that their life needs calming down, who wants to tap into their inner energies and creativity, or who would appreciate a free and easy way to gift themselves some quality me-time.
You can find out more about Orna Ross, her “Go Creative” books, her novels, poetry, and other activities on her website: www.ornaross.com. It’s worth following her blog, too – always a source of calm and wisdom.