Meditation and Healthy Aging: The Inner Journey

As I have travelled the path my life has taken me, I have discovered that what we believe to be true about ourselves becomes our reality. What people know – and learn about us – comes from this belief. Belief in oneself is a very powerful aspect of living a life of integrity, fulfillment, joy and peace. I have learned that as I have become increasingly conscious of my thoughts and feelings – and my evolving authentic self – I can envision a life of greatness, accomplishment, abundance and peace. This is what dreams are made of and how they manifest in our lives depends on this knowledge of who we ARE – on the inside – and is not dependent on “what others think about us”.

The search for inner peace is an important aspect of healthy aging and if we can become authentic in our day-to-day dealings with the world around us – our health and in fact – our journey – will represent the best version of ourselves that we can be. This is my goal every day: To become the best version of myself that I can be and reflect that “self” into the world around me. Meditation and prayer play an important role in my life: they enable and empower me to “connect my mind, body and spirit” as I prepare to make the choices that can change not only my life – but also the lives of others.

How I acknowledged my spiritual needs

I didn’t get to the spiritual side of my life until I was at the lowest point of my life – in my late 30s. In 1985, I attended a Church of Religious Science in Huntington Beach and found that I had been missing a whole side of life that had never registered in my consciousness at all. I had grown up with no particular set of spiritual values and by my late 30s I was feeling empty and lost. I found that by opening up my thinking to new ideas about reality and life itself, I could start to regain some measure of faith not only in my life – but my worth as a person as a well.

The minister was a wonderful woman called Peggy Bassett who was living her life in honesty and integrity – from a place “of knowing” I had never personally experienced. She touched my heart that first day and from then on I could not learn fast enough about the “inner journey” and how we can formulate a life of peace, joy, harmony and abundance. This was at least ONE answer I could commit to going forward.

Part of the process as identified by the church was meditation and affirmative prayer work. Affirmative prayer was not about “asking” for something but recognizing the gifts that we ARE and ACCEPTING the blessings we already have. Living in the present and encouraging a consciousness of gratitude and forgiveness were also a part of the practice. As I continued to attend services and learned the spiritual principles taught by Peggy, I began to want to turn these lessons into my “new reality” and this is where I started addressing my own consciousness.

I began attending services in the evening (before the regular service on Sundays) that were dedicated to prayer and meditation exclusively. This is where I started to learn how to use guided meditation as taught by the practitioners (a form of spiritual advisor) as a way of entering into that “space” between mind and body – and spirit. These are the same principles I use to this day and that keep me “grounded” in a place of truth and peace. I cannot imagine a day without taking time “to go within and close the door” so that I can be “in the silence of my own being”. This is the clear point of meditation and prayer work as I understand this discipline – and practice.

The “thoughts” below are the ACTUAL examples I use most every day in my prayer work and meditation practice. I share them with you ONLY as examples of ONE way of being on this inner journey. It is up to each of you to decide what it is important to you and develop your own practice. I CAN say that without “inner health” there can be NO “outer health”. This is my Affirmative Prayer (borrowed from Robert H. Schuller 20 years ago):

Thank you spirit for coming into my life.
Thank you for cleaning out all signs of ill will and anger from my life and for renewing my spirit.
Thank you for loving people through me.
I believe you have come into my life in the form of God-filled ideas and I am sharing these ideas through relationships of love and goodwill.
I have enormous energy and am grateful for the blessings that come from vitality and wonderful health.
Thank you for living within me and do good works through me, helping me to make life more full of love and hope. Amen

My Consciousness Statements

I consciously unify myself with God and his wonderful creation. The father and I are one. I am not separated from any part of life. I am one with all of life and life is one with me. My mind adjusts to new conditions easily and harmoniously. I am at peace with the world. I am one with all of life in its various forms. The peace of God is my peace for the father and I are one. And so it is.

These are some examples of affirmations I appreciate – and use even though there are many more that I use throughout the year:

Today I know that I am in my perfect place. I rejoice and celebrate the awareness of the divine presence in, around and through me. I trust infinite wisdom to direct and guide me on my path. The fine art of getting there is being present in each precious moment of my life.

Today I am standing on the threshold of a new experience.
Possibilities extend before me and I accept their magnificence.
Through my spoken and accepted word I co-create with divine intelligence the plan for my life.
Here and now I am open to the greatness yet to come and I am ready for a miracle.

Today I accept that the light of God’s love is in, through and around me.
I feel its presence in everything that I do.
I experience clarity in all things as this light guides my way into the unknown.

Today I acknowledge the Creative Power within me.
I direct my thoughts into ever evolving and creative pathways.
Beauty, peace and prosperity unfold before me.
Fully aware of my divine nature, I see in my actions the miracle unfolding.

Conclusive thoughts

At the end of every service, an affirmation was read by the congregation in unison – and then we sang the Peace Song. I felt at one with everyone in the congregation – no separation – but surrounded by a love and acceptance I had never known. Peggy passed away years ago leaving me with a legacy of love, hope and a belief in myself that I had never known before. This belief in myself was tested many times in the ensuing years, but I knew that when I needed to resolve a conflict within myself or expand my consciousness in order to address a challenge I needed to face that the answers I was searching for were within me. Developing the discipline to go “within” and be silent with my thoughts – and listen for guidance through my meditation and prayer work, brought me to a place where I “knew” what to do – and how to think going forward. This is how I have lived for over 3 decades and I can’t picture any other way to grow into becoming the “best version of myself that I can be”.

I have lived a relatively solitary life (by choice after my marriage ended in 1988), challenging myself and training clients until a few years ago. I am either going to contribute on a greater scale – or I won’t. My work as a writer is the beginning of what I hope will create a path that will bring me more growth and fulfillment than I ever could imagine. The power of meditation and prayer as taught to me all those years ago by some very loving people enabled me to build the foundation from which I am writing to you today. Creativity and inspiration follow where careful thought has been. I hope on your own journey through life you will find the power within you that I am re-discovering each day through my own meditation and prayer work.

Meditation is for everybody and includes ALL paths. There is no set formula or method for “going within”. All that is required is a desire to silence your distractions and quiet your mind. However you arrive at this point is up to you. My desire always includes peaceful music and listening to my heart. I love feeling the beating of my heart– it centers my attention on my body and then I allow my words to open my mind (prayer, affirmations etc.). You too can do this. All it requires is a little effort and a desire to listen. That’s it – nothing more – and you get to find out something about YOU – your thoughts, feelings, fears – or whatever may surface. Give yourself the gift of quiet and that’s it. You may take as little or more from the experience as you wish. I know that a little time spent in quiet meditation yields so much more – insight, calm, and an opening to yourself. Isn’t that a wonderful gift to give yourself? It is free and takes little energy and whatever time you want to invest and from this effort comes love and a sense of acceptance that I wouldn’t trade for anything! Travel well.