Meditation for Peace of
By Nancy Jackson
Here’s the challenge. I
am laying on the couch or on my
bed. My vision is blurry, my ears are ringing and my body aches. I’m too tired to read or watch TV. I’m
twitchy as if I’ve had lots of caffeine. I need to do something.
I can think about things I may
be able to do during the odd hour of energy. I can review past events. I can worry about things beyond
my control. Or I can lie calmly with my mind cleared of thought and body relaxed. That is what meditation
does—it puts you at peace with yourself.
Techniques to relax
The state of meditation
is considered the “fourth state,” beyond the waking, dreaming and deep sleep states. It is like a waking
sleep. Thoughts no longer dominate. With your eyes closed, you begin to develop an enhanced awareness
of your own body and your experience of being part of the universe. This can work wonders for persons
with CFIDS (PWCs), who often have nothing to concentrate on other than how their bodies are failing them.
is surprisingly simple and incredibly difficult at the same time. All you need to do is turn off your
thoughts. It’s true that it can take a while to become proficient, but PWCs have plenty of time to practice—before
taking a nap or going to sleep, waiting at the doctor’s office or just lying on the couch.
is not necessary to sit in a certain posture. What is most important is to give it your full concentration.
One proven meditation technique is to say a word silently, which helps keep your mind occupied with the
task at hand and not with what is going on around you.
You can use two words from the Indian tradition
of meditation, hum-sa, which are what I use. Saying hum-sa helps regulate your breathing. Repeat
“hum” as you breathe in and “sa” as you breathe out. Another phrase is om-namah-shivaya (om-na-ma-shee-va-ya).
Both of these mantras have been passed down for many generations and essentially mean “I am one with the
Another technique is to just focus on breathing. Relax by focusing on the gentle flow
of your breath or by inhaling for a count of seven or twelve (whatever you are comfortable with), then
releasing it slowly for an equal count.
To develop awareness of the differences between your inner
world and outer world, lie quietly with your eyes shut, focusing just on sounds. If your mind begins to
on being, not thinking.
Occupying your thoughts
to empty your mind during meditation, thoughts often take over, which you can turn to your advantage.
My mind loves to be “fed” and have time to digest through meditation. Sometimes before I meditate I will
read interesting books (if I’m able to focus) or listen to soothing music to help get my mind ready to
While meditating, I have learned quite a bit about my own thought patterns. Instead of
focusing on the outside world, I am more inclined to notice my misconceptions and tendencies. For instance,
reflecting on things I “should” have done or referring to myself as “you dummy.”
I like to think
of these thought patterns as audio tapes. When I begin to play that “I’m not good enough” tape, I stop
it. I imagine taking the tape out of my head and throwing it away, breaking my own pattern.
though I’m tired and sick, I know that my personal consciousness is not limited to my body. I can use
my mind to travel anywhere during meditation and experience anything. I use it as a vehicle to transcend
self-imposed limitations and understand myself and my situation more fully. With meditation, I have the
ability to be at peace.
Nancy Jackson is a freelance
writer living in Los