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This morning I cut back from 10 minutes to 5. I focused on breath and the candle glow through my eyelids.¬† Again, not as easy as it has been, but once I caught myself struggling with outside thoughts, I released the fight and actually felt my face relax. It happened more than once but each time I was able to release them. I call that progress ūüôā

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It has been a few days since I last meditated. This morning I rose with the intention of doing so, and got caught up in the workings of starting the day.  These include kissing my husband who has been up for at least an hour and going over our dreams etc, delightful greetings to the pets and making sure they have food and water, coffee or tea and making the bed together.

Then I sat down to meditate. I was already so stimulated from the morning goings on that I found it difficult to concentrate. My mind was on the day ahead, my husband’s day, my new free yoga pants from twitter (fun!) and I really struggled to clear my mind.

It was a struggle and there is a good lesson. I forgot to let the thoughts flow in and out rather than fight them. Last, at least initially, I think it is best to try to meditate first thing, before the pets and the chats and maybe, gulp, even  before coffee.

This morning I practiced the “energy healing” meditation. With my head cold still hanging on, I thought this was a good idea. Breathing healing light in through my solar plexus, and out to my general sinus area.

I didn’t realize that is where the healing light should go until probably halfway through the meditation. Until that point I imagined exhaling healing light throughout my body. A nourishing experience overall. This meditation did last for about 10 minutes, as I am gradually increasing my sitting time.

This went quickly! This time I set the timer for 7 minutes. I settled in and began breathing consciously. Light ujjayi¬†breaths. Trying to clear my mind, I realize how hard it is to¬†accomplish. My back hurts (it’s early and cold and I am a bit stiff.) I think of a stadium chair I can bring into the room, then gently acknowledge I have drifted. Back to the breath. But I am struggling here. My head cold is making breathing hard. Wait, that is the incense. A little goes a long way in this converted bedroom. Okay, I can deal. Well, not really. Maybe I should put it out.

It always takes a few moments for me to warm into the meditation. I think perhaps it is time to take it to 10 minutes.

Eventually I put the incense out. It interferes with my breathing to an uncomfortable point.  Just briefly opening my eyes and then settling back in.

The 7 minutes flew. Almost as soon as I settled back, the timer went off.Tomorrow, I think I will try a suggested mediation from¬†Alyson’s Teacher Training manual. A bit more direction might be helpful. I will also increase the time to 10 minutes. For now, it is time to get ready for the day.

Miss Kylie
 Candlelight flickers, dances
I watch through my eyelids
 Mind wanders today
Kylie the cat meows through the door
No colors appearing, that’s different
I try to envision a white ball of light
Focus the mind
That works for a little while
Kylie meows again, her morning discourse
Breath flows in and out
But I am not the driver of the breath
It comes and goes without my direction
Filling my ears, my brain
My body is waking up
Kylie, ready to play, again through the door
Meow
5 minutes? The timer will go off
Stay focused, discipline
And then, Purple
A Kalidescope
Kylie meows, again
I realize it might be time
Opening my eyes, a deep inhale
Timer stopped- 5 minutes passed 5 minutes ago
Or more
Peace and joy
Ready for the day
Good Morning Kylie

This morning marks my return to work after 2 weeks off! What a whirlwind. I was sure I would meditate every morning, practice yoga daily and generally catapult my practice to a new level.

Well, let’s just say that didn’t exactly happen :). This idea of carving out time for your practice, for meditation, etc is a reality. In some ways, work is an excuse to tune out of our bodies, out of ourselves, and throw our beings into the modern cacophony. These last two weeks, however, holidays, family, etc took the place of work as reasons to¬†skip practice or jump into the day rather than ease into it with a morning meditation…

These are just excuses. Development of that internal dialogue requires discipline.

I type this after completing my third seated meditation. Using Ujjayi breathing to focus my thoughts, I sat for 7 minutes. We have devoted a bedroom in the house to yoga now, and with the door closed, no animals and a candle burning, it was a bit easier now. I could still hear NPR in the kitchen, my husband and I are addicted, and I practiced dis-attachment to the sound. For the most part it worked. Tomorrow I will remember to turn it off before :).

The breathing definitely helped focus my thoughts, and towards the end I discovered I could let the sound fill my ears and truly tune in. This is what I will focus on tomorrow. For today, practicing compassion and kindness at work will be my focus.

I realize it has been a while since I meditated. I have lead myself in Savasana several times, but sitting up, exclusively focused on the abscence of thought, this has been hard to work in over the holidays.
So I take 5 minutes and sit outside. Here at my parents’ house, it is the only place to really be alone. Sitting in the grass, the sun warming my face, my eyelids close.
Dixie will come out and let me know when 5 minutes are up. I hope she doesn’t forget.
A few deep breaths and I tune into my body. And the fact that I am sitting on the ground in running shorts. Itch. Itch. Itch.
Focus. Life is such a learning experience. No mediation on the ground in running shorts anymore.
Breathing in and out, focusing on the inhale and exhale. The wind moves over my skin, I hear the birds, and let them go. Itch.
Darn
I hope to try this again, maybe tomorrow. After presents.
No that won’t work.
Wait stop! Focus, breath. Sun. Ahhhhh
The door opens.
“Has it been 5 minutes?”

As per the assignment last weekend, I attempted my first meditation this morning. Setting the timer I went to the Christmas Tree and put my pillow on the floor and sat. I thought it would be a great spot because it just feels so warm and inviting. So did my cat. And my dog. It is becoming obvious that I need to create a spot in the house to dedicate to yoga. Ideally this spot would have a door :).

Getting back to the meditation, I simply concentrated on my breathing. When outside distractions or thoughts presented themselves, I let them go. This was a great opportunity to practice unattatchment.

The act of carving out a specific time and space, even though it was just five minutes, set an intention for my morning. I got right on and blogged, and am clearer about my priorities today.

We are supposed to meditate and journal once a week for the next several weeks. I may try to begin all my weekday mornings with a meditation, 5 minutes, and see how that affects my week.

Jack and Jill went down the hill, their water¬†buckets ready to fill. Jill’s was empty, Jack’s half full,¬†and he had water to drink on the way. In no time Jack was ready to start¬†back up, while Jill took¬†twice as long. In fact, she got tired of the work and stopped halfway. Jack told her she wouldn’t have enough for the journey, but she liked not having a bucket so heavy and started back up anyway.

In this clumsy story, the buckets symbolize our souls and the water our spiritual resources.¬† When¬†we don’t take time to nourish our spirit, we will draw on it¬†and use it up.¬†Then it becomes very hard to DO anything that will serve to¬†rebuild our being.¬†Also, we¬†turn into a bunch of¬†lightweights, having gotten used to a diminished capacity for energy and spirituality. we become satisfied with a lesser¬†engagement with life.

This all occurred to me in Savasana, or corpse pose last night: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Savasana

A time for complete stillness, obviously my mind was roaming.

Bottom line, we must take time to nourish our spirit. This may be yoga, church or meditiation.  But the harder it is to make time for it and actually do it, the more we probably need it.

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