I choose to see muscular dystrophy as a blessing. The fact that I must rest lying on my back for about four hours a day benefits me in two ways. First, it is easy to schedule time to meditate. Of course, being a bit resistant, it took me many years to learn that I had to set my alarm for 25 minutes for the maximum benefit.
The second benefit is that I was forced to develop my own rules for posture. I began with the classic pose, sitting with my back straight, legs crossed, hands on knees with my thumb and finger together. I did that for several months and realized that I was using my precious limited sit up time, when it would be more efficient to meditate lying down.
This led me to be more flexible, period. I now use different meditation techniques depending on my needs each day. Maybe some of these ideas will help you in your own practice:
- Guided meditations – When you have a lot on your mind or when excited about an upcoming event and you know you may have trouble clearing your mind, a guided meditation comes in handy. There are lots to choose from on YouTube. On a really bad day when I feel hyper and don’t really want to lie down, I do a guided, full body relaxation.
- Blue Sky Meditation – imagine the sky on a clear, sunny day. Your thoughts then become clouds which drift away.
- Garden Meditation – imagine a beautiful flower garden that smells of you favorite scent. Sometimes it helps to spray the scent or burn a favorite scented candle. Thoughts can be clouds drifting away in the sky or butterflies that fly away.
- Cosmos Meditation – imagine a clear, dark, starry sky. You are moving through it, like the Star Ship Enterprise or the beginning of a Star Wars movie. Thoughts become whisps of clouds which you move through to the clear sky.
- Ocean Meditation – imagine myself looking at the ocean. Let your thoughts remain on the beach with the last wave. Or imagine the horizon and thoughts become clouds that drift away, sea gulls that fly away, or jumping dolphins that return to the ocean
- Winter Sky Meditation – imagine yourself looking through the tree branches to the gray sky. Focus on your breath, imagining that you are taking in and exhaling the air from the sky an infinite number of miles away. Thoughts become birds that fly away.
Music plays a big role in my practice. I put on my headphones to block out sounds in the house and outside and pick a favorite from YouTube. Most are bamboo flutes and Tibetan bowls. I focus on the notes that are held the longest. This helps me to clear all my thoughts away.