Breathe in, breath out, breath in, breath out. I have to keep reminding myself to do this as my heart is palpitating and there is tightness in my chest. I can’t sleep, can hardly eat, and am generally fraught. My third novel, Seven Days One Summer is coming out on the 7th July. There is part of me that wants to hide, right now, in a hotel bedroom. I would lock the door, lie on the bed, and spend the day reading, writing and meditating. I have always been an incompetent sleeper, someone who can’t sleep during a full moon, or after too much caffeine and so when my friend Rebecca told me about Acem Meditation a couple of years ago, I went along for a weekend course.
Acem has been developed in Scandinavia over the last thirty years. It is claimed that if you practice this form of meditation you will be more relaxed and have increased energy and that your immune system will be strengthened. Acem is non religious and non profit making which appealed to me and the course was inexpensive. A group of us learnt the method of repeating a selection of meaningless sounds, returning to the sound whenever thoughts got in the way. By doing this repeatedly the body relaxes. One woman shared that she had managed to solve a nagging problem while meditating. I found that I did relax deeply and its true that you do feel more energized afterwards.
Dr Svend Davanger, Associate Professor at the Centre for Molecular Biology and Neuroscience at the University of Oslo, co-authored the book Fighting stress. Reviews of meditation research. He explains, “We all go through ….stressful situations every day. Meditation seems to be very powerful in resolving the tensions that are left behind in your mind and body… Meditation shifts the balance towards spontaneous resolution of tension and worrying thoughts, making room for rest and sleep”
This method of mediation is so much easier to practice than the method I tried before which was based on ancient geometry and was really hard to remember how to do. The difficult part is committing to actually doing it. Acem suggest either one session of 45 minutes a day or two of twenty five minute sessions. At first I found that it was best for me first thing in the morning. I was sleeping well almost immediately.
I no longer practice every day and often when I do, I fall asleep for a ten minute nap, but always feel better afterwards. I never manage to do 45 minutes a day or even two lots of twenty minutes but it doesn’t seem to matter. Breath in, breath out. Writing this post has made me realise I need to meditate right away.