The Writing Mamas Daily Blog

Each day on the Writing Mamas Daily Blog, a different member will write about mothering.

If you're a mom then you've said these words, you've made these observations and you've lived these situations - 24/7.

And for that, you are a goddess.

Sunday, March 02, 2008



When I was 16 a group of friends and I decided we would learn to meditate. I wanted to do it, but was a bit hesitant. There was a pair of Frye boots that cost the same as learning to practice Transcendental Meditation, the hottest new thing.

I let the choice simmer, deciding that the boots would last two seasons at most. Meditation a lifetime.

We had to bring flowers, an offering. I took some from my mother’s garden. My friends and I each went into a room and young man who could have been my parents’ accountant, smiled beatifically. I bit my lower lip so I wouldn't laugh as he chanted, something I had never heard before.

Maybe I should have gotten those Frye Boots.

“Ima,” he said. “Repeat. Im-ma.”

“Ima,” I said tentatively.

“This is your mantra. Yours alone. You must not share it with anyone,” he said solemnly. He rang a gong, we got it on (not really -- just an old T-Rex song) and it was over.

I went home, closed the door and tried to meditate. The idea was as a thought came into my mind, I was gently supposed to push it away. I practiced saying my mantra out loud over and over until I could do it silently in my hyperactive mind.

At first I could only sit still for five minutes, soon it became ten and eventually the required twenty. It was supposed to be done twice a day but that was too stressful. I meditated once daily.

Soon something shifted. I felt a calmness inward; an awareness outward.

My girlfriends and I were at my best friend, Amy’s house, when she asked us what our mantras were.

Andy, an artist and one of the more serious among us, was aghast. “You CANNOT tell anybody else your mantra.” She couldn’t believe Amy would ask such a thing.

“Ima,” Amy quickly said with an enormous smile. “Ima! Ima!” she shouted with joy.

“Ima!” I joined in.

“Dawn,” admonished Andy.

“Well, mine’s Ima, too,” said Bonnie.

“I’m Ima,” added Jane.

Andy was all deep sighs and shaking head. She didn’t have to meditate because now she had the ability to telegraph her feelings: disgust.

“Sacred what?” Amy asked. “It’s a sound.”

It was more.

There was something profound that at such a young age we were seeking something deeper, searching within, yet still acting our ages, skipping school, getting stoned.

It’s some 30 years later and after a few years of stopping my practice, I have recently resumed meditating. I do it after I drop my daughter off at school in the morning.

The last two years have been difficult. I’m trying to get back to the place I was before a medical journey I had no desire to take overtook me.

I want my groove back.

I sit on my couch, stare at Mt. Tam and the guardian angel tree in our backyard, the one that has a chronic disease much like me, and sit with my legs folded, my hands resting on my knees, pray for protection for my loved ones, and I, internally, repeat, “Ohm.” I have found over the years that the singular sound, rather than a double consonant works more comfortably and quickly.

During a recent meditation, at the top and bottom of my mind was darkness. Black. In the middle were what appeared to be white teacups sitting one atop the other. I started to push this thought away when I realized I was being shown something.

The darkness represented the muck that I sometimes feel stuck in when I’m overwhelmed, tired and unwell. The white teacups? A lotus flower. Despite the dark, light is growing within. I felt refreshed, renewed and filled with remembrances of the power of meditation.

Not long ago I saw a pair of Frye Boots in the store. Maybe now I will buy them. They're back in style.

By Dawn Yun


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