Sunday, September 12, 2010
Adventures in Meditation: Handwriting, Part 2
In contrast, the non-mind, yantra, and mantra forms of meditation were either too difficult for me or too boring. They were hard because I could not sit still long enough to gain the benefits from any of them. Furthermore, these meditations were boring to do, since I kept falling asleep whenever I did them.
I did enjoy the sleep meditation, but it seemed to me to be a way to have a good night’s sleep. I prefer something more active that I can feel a part of. The cord meditation did engage me, but it was too difficult to do one handedly. Perhaps when my brain heals, I will be able to do it more smoothly.
The form of active meditation I like the most is hand-writing since it engages and relaxes me. After reading “Soul Development through Handwriting” by Jennifer Grebbin, I became amazed that there were so many benefits in practicing individual letters. Writing for Waldorf students, the author explains that, “Because when we write we not only express through the forms of the letters how we see ourselves and the world, but we also reinforce it. The Palmer method most often used by teachers, which was first developed in 1895, reflects all the values of that materialistic time. However, when we teach children the Vimala Alphabet, we help them preserve their connection to their inner spiritual wisdom.” I have found this to be true in my life, when I practice the Vimala Alphabet.
For regular meditation, practicing the Vimala “Z” enhances the benefits gained from the mantra style of meditation. While a page of writing “Z’s”, I am put into a receptive peaceful state. Ms. Grebbin writes, “This is the letter of being at peace with the world and ourselves. The letter ‘Z’ can help us stop worrying and realize the perfection in everything all unfolding perfectly in its own time.” Rudolph Steiner writes in “Eurythmy as Visible Speech”, “There is a certain lightness in the experience of the Z.” The physical act of writing “Z” releases my worry and puts me into a more receptive and quiet mood.
I am reminded of the old method that teachers used in disciplining students, which is having them write five hundred times, “I will not disrupt the class.” I now see this as a method to physically imprint the mental message. Of course, writing a page of “I embrace grace and beauty in my life” is more uplifting and useful. For me, the physical aspects of writing transfer my mental energy into a form of wonderful meditation.
Writing “Z” or another letter over and over frees my mind and calms it. It gives my mind a gentle focus, and allows for quiet pondering. This to me is the goal of meditation to expel worry and replace it with wholesome serenity. To that end, I will continue writing the Vimala letters and their affirmations.
Grebbin, Jennifer, “Soul Development Through Handwriting”, SteinerBooks, Great Barrington MA, 2007.
Rogers, Vimala, “The International Institute of Handwriting Studies”, 2008, <http://www.iihs.com/>, (17 July 2010).
------, “Transform Your Life through Handwriting”, Sounds True, Boulder CO, 2009.
Steiner, Rudolf, “Eurythmy as Visible Speech”, Anastasi, UK, 2005.