To each their own

Meditation isn’t new to me.

Over the years, I’ve had quite a number of experiences with various models of meditation and I’ve discovered the activity can be very calming.

When events around me get a bit frenetic, I have a meditation practice that helps me relax. It involves taking a series of very deep measured breaths, listening to and feeling the flow of air as it passes in and out of my lungs. For some reason, hearing the air go in and out of my lungs relaxes me.

However, there are those types of meditation that are beyond my comfort zone. There’s the traditional sitting yoga pose — nope, definitely not my thing because I feel funny sitting in that posture. Then there’s the method that includes monotone humming — distracting/really uncomfortable and I can’t carry a tune no matter how monotone it’s supposed to sound. And there’s the type of meditation that spawned a rather harsh behavior from a lady.

I was leading a spiritual exercises class that included a segment focusing on living in the present. This state of mind was to be accomplished by clearing your mind of as much “mental noise” as possible — in other words, try to empty your mind and don’t think about anything. This clearing of your thoughts process was to allow you to relax. However, a lady in the class took great exception to the emptying experience.

The lady rebelled because and to use her words: “If you empty your mind of all thoughts, the devil will fill it.”

Well, to each their own.

I firmly believe there is value to meditation but one must find their own calming experience that is comfortable and compatible for them. Perhaps we can relate the same idea when it comes to choosing a bottle of wine. The chosen wine must be comfortable and compatible to you or it becomes distracting and definitely not your drink.

I’ve had the good fortune to taste some very good wines and, in the spirit of helping you find a meditatively comfortable bottle of wine for yourself, I offer these relaxing wines.

Some excellent wines come from the Lodi region of California and Federalist Vineyards produces a wonderful Zinfandel under its The Federalist label. This is a very dry wine but it still carries the great spiciness and fruity aromas and tastes you desire from a Zinfandel. I find this dry red wine goes very well with a good hot bowl of chili — very comforting.

The Italians continue to make some of the best wines in the world and La Quercia Estates in the Abruzzo area makes an outstanding red called Montepulciano D’Abruzzo. If you are a Chianti lover, it will completely satisfy you with its soft fruity aroma and cherry tastes. This medium bodied wine will pair nicely with your pasta dish and amazingly well with a roasted chicken.

If during your meditation you desire a white wine to help you concentrate, Belleruche produces a very nice Cotes Du Rhone — a dry wine that has a lemon/lime aroma and similar tastes. Served chilled, I find this wine very comforting at any time of the year.

For those of us who are more drawn to a sweet wine, Stella Rosa’s Black is a must try. With aromas of blackberry and a nice full bodied raspberry taste and, because of its very low alcohol content (5 percent), you’ll find you can meditate for a long time as you sip this wine.

And believe it or not, there are numerous venues that combine meditation exercises with wine tasting. Can you imagine entering into a meditative state and than stopping to sip a glass of wine? I’ll have to try it one day but until then, sipping wine (which to me is a meditative exercise in and of itself) seems incompatible with another type of meditation.

I know a fellow who likes to sit under a tree and simply listen to the wind blow through the leaves of the tree. Tried it, didn’t work for me. To each, their own…

Maybe it all boils down to this — whatever type of relaxing exercise you like, do it. And, whatever type of wine you like, drink it and smile.

Just don’t empty your mind because the devil will enter — sorry, just couldn’t resist that one!

Next week, what goes?

As always, eat and drink in moderation but laugh with reckless abandon!