Review of Meditation Secrets for Women: Discovering your Passion, Pleasure, and Inner Peace
by Camille Maurine & Lorin Roche, Ph.D.
Playful and sensual - not words that you'd typically associate with meditation! But Camille Maurine and Lorin Roche, Ph.D. opened my eyes to different, more sensory and flexible ways to meditate and enjoy it. Meditation Secrets for Women is full of accessible meditations and practical ideas about how to incorporate meditation and a meditative state of mind into your daily life.
Both women and men can benefit from this book (don't let the title limit you!). Women are designed somewhat differently from men and will likely appreciate learning about meditation from a perspective written for women that openly acknowledges and adapts to the way women tend to "be" in the world. Also, men may find this approach refreshing, as both men and women may feel that their inner feminine self is stifled by meditation driven by the masculine model. When we think of meditation, we tend to think of celibate monks who shut out sensory pleasure and "human" enjoyment of life (part of the masculine model). Meditating under this model has some limitations, and may feel impractical and/or restrictive to both genders.
Meditation at it's best is about being open to all experiences - to all emotions, sensations, thoughts - and taking an observant, curious, nonjudgmental approach with yourself. Meditation Secrets for Women is structured in a way that guides you through this process and facilitates presence with self in a loving way. It encourages you to use all of your experience - including distraction - in the meditative process.
The Sanctuary of Your Personal Space
One of my favorite meditations from this book is "The Sanctuary of Your Personal Space." I appreciate how it gets the meditator out of her head and into her body by focusing on different movements with the hands. It's a great way to engage the sense of movement and befriend your personal space or aura.
In preparation for this practice, set aside about 10 minutes of your time. You can do this meditation while seated in a chair or on the ground. Be sure to give yourself some space to extend your arms fully and stretch out a bit.
After this practice, you may want to set aside some time to journal or reflect on what the practice was like for you.
- What did you notice?
- Did any unexpected emotions or sensations arise?
- Were you able to be with yourself compassionately? Did any judgments arise?
- How do you take sanctuary in or protect your personal space on a regular basis?