Is 2015 the year you are interested in making a stronger commitment to learn more about how silent meditation can lower stress and help you find more of the peace and fulfillment you are looking for in this life?
If you already have an established daily practice, is this the year you will have fresh willingness to work through the issues and stuck points you have identified as areas to focus on?
Generally, I think what is important is to establish realistic goals given the realities of your present life and obligations. If you have a house and a family and significant financial obligations and challenges, you probably will not have as much time as you would like for meditation and yoga and the like. But, maybe you can find some time.
If you are living with significant challenges such as depression or anxiety or some other form of mental or physical health issue, it is reasonable to expect that the practice of meditation will be more difficult than it is for those with more favorable conditions. But please be open to the possibility that meditation can be an important support to whatever work you are doing with counselling or medication.
Being frustrated with organized religion, or having serious doubts about what you believe, are other challenges that need to be taken into account. But please know there are others who are working with such issues with honor, skill, and integrity. Sharing experiences with like-minded others can be of real help as you seek to chart the way forward.
In each of these cases, the work remains to be the same. Do what you can and be as consistent as possible with mindfulness practice both in the times of silence and stillness you do have and in the active hours of your life.
Finding a group of other mature people is a good idea, but unless you are in one of the established meditation cultures such as Catholic, Greek Orthodox, Buddhist, Hindu, or Sufi, it will probably be difficult to find a group that is a good match.
What I have tried to do, over the past few years since I wrote “The Simple Path of Holiness,” is to create a group experience that works for both traditional and progressive believers, as well as committed atheists, and those who are just plain confused.
We meet in the Worcester Mass area on the Second Sunday of the month at 3pm during the colder months. We sit for half an hour and then have a discussion about various common challenges that people face their practice. The discussion is followed by tea or coffee and light refreshments.
If you live in the Worcester area, and wish to come please call or email. I can give you the basics of this interfaith approach to meditation to see if it seems like it may work for you.
If you do not live in the Worcester area, please feel free to call or email anyway. I may know of meditation groups in your state as I have some good lists from across the country and one of those groups might be something to look into. I can also give you some good suggestions about how to start a small meditation group where you are.
And, once again I am just as glad to speak with you whether you have a traditional religious practice or a progressive faith affiliation or whether you are a committed atheist or just plain confused as I often am.
If these subjects are of interest to you, do please reach out.
Will Raymond Author of “The Simple Path of Holiness,” and host of Meditationpractice.com
will at meditation practice dot com ( Spelled out to limit spam)