Meditation, Skiing, and the Art of Being Present
Meditation is like skiing. It takes a day to learn and a lifetime to practice. My introduction to meditation began through the Physicians Leadership Academy.
We started our first meeting of the PLA with an introduction to meditation and each month after, our sessions began with this practice led by Janice Glowski, Ph.D., the PLA’s meditation instructor. We are introduced to different aspects of meditation each month and reminded that meditation is about coming back to the present and cultivating a clear and stable mind, much like skiing.
I have been skiing for years with years of practice and when I am skiing, my thoughts are focused on the trail. Other thoughts come and go, but they are not the focus of my mind. When I ski, I must be present in the moment. I am focused on the pattern of turning, adjusting technique and body position. My thoughts return again and again to the present moment. This an activity of movement that if I my thoughts are not on what I am doing presently, I may falter and get hurt. Skiing is something that I will continue to become familiar with, and that will never have an endpoint of mastery.
Skiing is being present with movement, while mediation is coming back to the presence through stillness. Other PLA Fellows have done meditation in the past, and yet, they also have expressed their wonder if they are doing the practice correctly. It helps to have a formal teacher to explore these types of questions, to reflect on feelings that come up, and to discover insights about myself through meditation and what other Fellows share.
Meditation is best learned from a qualified meditation instructor and with a community. That’s why the PLA has been especially helpful for my developing a meditation practice. There also are several meditation centers or groups in Columbus, such as the Shambhala Center and the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Program through Ohio Health.
Meditation is part of the PLA because the program is about taking care of ourselves and our well-being. It reduces stress and helps me to be more present for my patients, my colleagues, and my family. Without meditation, I find myself looking to the future or to the past. With meditation, I find myself increasingly in the present and available to myself and others.
I now practice meditation at our monthly sessions and at home in between sessions. It’s an ongoing learning process. Just like skiing, I will continue to practice meditation. I have been given my lessons and a good foundation in mediation now that I will have a lifetime to deepen in.
Learn more about the PLA at the next info session on May 7, 2019 from 5:30 p.m – 7:00 p.m.