Meditation is a simple practice available to Us. Here, I will offer two exercises that I love. This is a brief introduction into how I got started on a path towards greater peace, acceptance and joy. I hope you enjoy,
Take a deep breath, and get ready to relax.
Even just a few minutes a day can make a big difference.
- Take a seat. Find a place to sit that feels calm and peaceful to you. It can be anywhere. ( I created a special space in my living room and bedroom for when I have company that is absolutely perfect to me. Floor cushions, a scent that I absolutely love and a blanket to keep me focused.)
- Set a time limit. If you’re just beginning, it can help to choose a short time, such as 5 or 10 minutes. ( I try to incorporate 30 minutes per day. It is not easy at first. , I used to listen to soft beautiful music or when I go really long an inspirational podcast which I can record for you if needed.)
- Pay attention to your body…Whether you feel relaxed or tense, restless or invigorated, pause before concluding. Take a moment of stillness, and then, with intention, choose to be present. (For me its sitting with my legs crossed and hands placed in my lap) Slowly begin to pay attention to your body AND THINK GRACIOUS THOUGHTS. I appreciate my… I love my… Start at the top of your head. Slowly and deliberately, bring your attention to the surface of your skin, one inch at a time. See if you can feel your scalp, your ears, your eyelids and your nose. Continue in this manner, moving across the face, over the ears, down the neck and shoulders and all the way down to your toes.At first, it might seem as if you don’t feel anything at all. But as you progress, you might begin to notice a whole world of new sensations. Some of the feelings might be pleasant, a gentle warmth, a comfortable weight. Some feelings might be neutral — tingling or itching. And some might be unpleasant. Your feet might feel soreness somewhere.Whatever the sensation is, just note it. If you need to move to relieve real pain, do so. But try not to react — labeling the experience good or bad — even if it’s unpleasant. Instead, just acknowledge what it is you’re feeling, and continue with the body scan. And of course, if you realize your mind has wandered, simply note the thought, and return your attention to the body.
- Begin to Feel your breath. … Breath in and out slowly.With mindfulness, the only intention is to attend to the moment as best you can. You aren’t striving to transcend anything, get anywhere, or block out anything out. There’s not even a goal of relaxation. That often happens, but you can’t force yourself into feeling it.You also cannot be good or bad at meditation. You’ll never fix unwavering attention on your breath. Some days meditation allows you a few moments of peace; other days your mind will remain busy. If you’re distracted almost the entire time and still come back to one breath, that’s perfect. And if you practice, you’ll find yourself focusing more often on life with less effort.
- Notice when your mind has wandered. … this is common an it happens. Please refrain from beating yourself up about it. DO smile and gently let your mind wander back to your breath. Close your eyes if you like, or leave them open and gaze downward toward the floor.
- Draw attention to the physical sensation of breathing, notice the rising and falling of your abdomen or chest, or perhaps the air moving in and out through your nose or mouth. With each breath, bring attention to these sensations. If you like, mentally note, “Breathing in… Breathing out.”
chant : “May you be happy. May you be healthy. May you feel safe. May you live your life with ease.”
MINDFULNESS GUIDES THAT CAN BE USED THROUGHOUT THE DAY. Now, these are my absolute favorite and the above I do on Sunday when I have an entire day to myself.
I have a cute postcard reminder that I can make and send to you.
- Yawn and stretch for 10 seconds every hour.
Do a fake yawn if you have to. That will trigger real ones. Say “ahh” as you exhale. Notice how a yawn interrupts your thoughts and feelings. This brings you into the present.Then stretch really, really slowly for at least 10 seconds. Notice any tightness and say “ease” or just say hello to that place (being mindful — noticing without judgment). Take another 20 seconds to notice and then get back to what you were doing.
- Stroke your hands.
Lower or close your eyes. Take the index finger of your right hand and slowly move it up and down on the outside of your fingers. Once you have mindfully stroked your left hand, swap and let your left hand stroke the fingers of your right hand.
- Clench your fist and breathe into your fingers.
Position your fingers and thumbs facing down. Now clench your fist tightly. Turn your hand over so your fingers and thumbs are facing up and breathe into your fist. Notice what happens.
Stand up and breathe. Feel your connection to the earth.
Tune in to your body. Lower your gaze. Scan your body and notice physical sensations or emotions. Discharge any unpleasant sensations, emotions or feelings on the out breath. Notice any pleasant ones and let them fill you up on the in breath.
Observe. Lift your eyes and take in your surroundings. Observe something in your environment that is pleasant and be grateful for it and its beauty.
Possibility. Ask yourself what is possible or what is new or what is a forward step.If you find yourself being reactive, try the following steps:
Pause and take one to three big breaths.
Say “step back.” ( You don’t have to physically step back, you can just do it in your mind.)
Say “clear head.”
Say “calm body.”
Breathe again. Say “relax,” “melt” or “ease.”
- Mindful breathing for one minute.
Lower your eyes and notice where you feel your breath. That might be the air going in and out at your nostrils or the rise and fall of your chest or stomach. If you can’t feel anything, place your hand on your stomach and notice how your hand gently rises and falls with your breath. If you like, you can just lengthen the in breath and the out breath or just breathe naturally. Your body knows how to breathe.Focus on your breath. When your mind wanders, as it will do, just bring your attention back to your breath. You might like to say ‘thinking’ when you notice your thoughts and just gently shepherd your attention back to your breath.This can be done for longer than one minute. However, even for one minute it will allow you to pause and be in the moment. Or you might just like to breathe out stress on the out breath and breathe in peace on the in breath.
- Loving-kindness meditation.
For one minute, repeat ‘May I be happy, may I be well, may I be filled with kindness and peace.’ You can substitute “you” for “I” and think of someone you know and like, or just send love to all people.
- An aspiration.
Decide on an aspiration. Just ask yourself this question: What is my heart’s aspiration? Pause for about 20 seconds. Do this a second or third time and write down what comes. Perhaps it is to come from love, or to be kind to yourself or others or to be patient.Once you decide which aspiration you like best, say that at the beginning of the day. This will set you up for your day and your interactions with others (and even with yourself).
THANK YOU FOR VISITING
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