by Dr. Sid Jordan
We have been nurturing a meditation or contemplative practice for our entire life span. As babies we started with repeating sounds in a singsong fashion. In a recent NPR interview on Krista Tippet’s On Being program Alice Parker, a renowned chorale leader, commented on singing- “It’s one of the things that we’re born with. And it’s the great international, inter-everything language because it’s dealing with our inner emotional life. It’s as if singing is the language of the emotions. And it’s our intuitive life as opposed to our rational life. And we live in a society that has glorified rationality.”
We might view singing and solitary play of childhood as our first contemplative practices. As we grow older we benefit from contemplative moments in the shower, walking in nature, engaged in a sport, gardening, knitting, etc. What we mean by contemplation or meditation is a relaxed and focused awareness that gives us a break from the usual preoccupations of the mind. This is like a moment of stillness and silence that is a rich incubator of peace of mind and intuitive insights. It is a basic human need to withdraw from excessively responding to life’s demands internally and externally in order to rejuvenate our body, mind and our spirit of intuitive wisdom.
A structured practice of meditation is a more intentionally focused activity that is rehearsal for performing contemplation of “living in the present” throughout the day. At the silent meditation retreat, we will experience sitting, walking and eating meditations. This takes meditation from a sitting posture to meditation in action where we become more mindful of what we are experiencing in the moment, like being aided by a good writer who enlivens scenes with awareness of all of our senses along with awe and wonder of both our miraculous and beautifully ordinary lives. Come join us for a rejuvenating silent meditation weekend at Prama to re-own your birthright of meditation.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Dr. Sid Jordan
As a clinical psychologist, Dr. Sid Jordan taught psychotherapy and directed mental health, alcohol and drug services while in the Department of Psychiatry at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston, SC. from 1969-1993. He began his practices of yoga and meditation in 1971 pursuing the integration of yoga and psychology in his teaching and clinical practices. In 1997 he trained as a yoga and meditation teacher in India applying the tantric yoga teachings of Shrii Shrii Anandamurti the preceptor of Ananda Marga.
Currently he is Director of the Prama Institute where he teaches yoga psychology and spiritual practices. At the Prama Wellness Center he offers yoga therapy and stress management to individuals and groups. He continues to offer his 40 years of experience and teaching of yoga psychology, philosophy and practices to audiences worldwide.