May 31, 2013

Meditation for Recovery: YouTube as Teacher.

Photo: Patrick Dinkfeld —Model: V Nixie

Week 7: Share My Path Series.

When Lucia wrote to me that she’d “started to learn meditation through an app on her phone,” I was intrigued and figured readers of the Share My Path project would be too.

It’s easy for those of us in more supporting environments to think that a yoga class or meditation center can be found in a stone’s throw. When in actuality, for many, this is not the case.

Lucia came to mediation through recovery. Both her AA and NA support groups recommended it. Committed to coming clean, she began as most of us have, seeking direction.

Northwest Florida, along the Alabama border, Lucia told me, doesn’t have a lot to offer. So she did what we all do, now, when we need an answer: ask the almighty inter-web.

Sidenote: Lucia was quite kind and open in offering the web sites and apps she frequently visits and/or uses; ones that I will confirm have come up in other conversations. But for reasons I’ve yet to figure out how to articulate I’m choosing not to name and/or link the sites here. I hope you understand.

Lucia is fairly new to the practice but she’s already experienced some positive changes. “I’m a much calmer person,” she tells me, “not as anxious.”

In just a few months of practice Lucia tells me that she’s been able to “separate herself out,” to “not act on her emotions.” This effect has proven paramount in smoothing her relationship with her child.

When she entered recovery she was also faced with sending her child off to a special school. Letting go “wasn’t easy,” she tells me. But through her daily practice Lucia had come to understand that she’s “not in charge.”

This assuaged the tension that existed between the two of them. “I relaxed” she says, “and this caused my son to relax.”

“It’s not easy,” she shared. I didn’t ask what, but this led to a glimpse into the difficulties she faces with apps and web sites as teachers.

Many of them, the apps and websites, offer free trials or downloads but these become quickly repetitious, she tells me. “And repetition is a killer.”

With little spare money, Lucia finds it difficult to afford the variety offered after the free trials. She’s begun scavenging YouTube, trying out the myriad guided meditations found there.

“I read somewhere recently that we each have to find whatever works for us,” she tells me as our conversation comes to a close. “I guess that’s what I’m doing.”

Lucia, it sounds to me like you’re finding your path. I, and I’m confident the rest of the elephant journal family, wish you luck in your continued practice and path of recovery.


Share My Path would love to feature your path! e-mail

Share My Path is an archival experiment seeking to build a repository of the paths taken by practitioners of meditation and is hosted here at elephant journal. If you’d like to have your path featured and made part of the archive please e-mail or find us here for more information. Your time will be rewarded in knowing you’ve shared with others and perhaps helped someone find their path.

Last weeks installment of Share My Path: Can the Journey Be the Path?

A list of all previous weeks: Share My Path

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Ed: Brianna Bemel

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