There Is No Right Way to Meditate and Other Lessons by Yumi Sakugawa
Google “meditation health benefits” pretty much any time and you’ll always get news articles just a few hours old touting improved mind/body results. We’ve all seen the headlines, heard about the latest reports, and yet SOME of us remain stubbornly resistant, especially those concerned about ‘doing it right.’
Here’s the perfect guide for those sort of type-A, overachieving, shoot-themselves-in-their-own-foot sort of people (who, me??!!). Just this title alone should have you hooked already!
For Yumi Sakugawa – my favorite imaginative messenger of simple clarity in the midst of all-out chaos! – “[m]aking comics about meditation and mindfulness is my own way of anchoring myself deeper into my own practice.” For the rest of us, “[s]ometimes it’s okay if the only thing you did today was breathe,” oh yes! Because “breathing lets your loved ones know that you are still alive.” Beyond assuring others, you’re also helping yourself: “every time you breathe in, a new idea is born and every time you breathe out, an old grievance is released.” Yes, listen to guru Sakugawa … it really can be that simple.
Sakugawa offers “10 Ways to Get Rid of Your Bad Mood” (7. Get lost in the woods so your bad mood doesn’t know where to find you”); “How to Avoid the Negative Energy of Other People,” (“2. Every jerk monster has a sad human being inside. Remember that”); “Seven Simple Ways to Practice Peace” (“Read a new book about peace,” of course!); “Why Meditation Is Good for You” (“2. You don’t freak out as much to life’s inconveniences and detours”), and so much more.
As you take in Sakugawa’s reassuring text, her fluid, humorous, resonating, off-the-wall illustrations will gently lead you to next steps, whether guided by turning the page, or your moving on to your own next thought. Yes, indeedy – “there is no right way to meditate, contrary to what you may have heard” or read or been told or told yourself (ahem). “There isn’t just one perfect, correct, pure way to meditate,” no way no how. The possible single rule? “Do what you are most comfortable with.”
Who doesn’t have 30 seconds to pay “extra attention to the color of the leaves … while walking from the post office to your car”? Or the single minute to “focus on your breathing … while waiting for your appointment”? Yup, that’s meditating – every which right way!
Today, I watched the snow. A bit. I held my sick kitty. A lot. And I breathed. The most.
Because “no matter how busy you are … squeeze a little meditation into your everyday schedule, and every day, your capacity for peace, joy, and compassion grows by just a little bit.” Amen to that!
Readers: Middle Grade, Young Adult, Adult