Archive for the ‘Meditation’ Category

Meditating with Delight

Written by Kate • August 17, 2011 •
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My view one morning this summer visiting a lake

As anyone who’s tried to meditate knows, meditating can be quite difficult at times. I know it’s taken me a good long year or more to finally realize there is no “right” way to meditate.  When I first began, I actually had the hardest time just setting aside the time. I resisted even the thought of meditating.  And then after a month or more, I would be able to sit for just 5 minutes until I had to lunge up off the cushion. And then I wouldn’t be able to bring myself to meditate for a few days. But gradually it took. First 5 minutes,  then 8, then 10, then 13, then 15, then 19 and so on. Now, I feel edgy and unsettled if I don’t start my day with just a 10 minute meditation [which seems really short to me now!]

Even so, some days my monkey mind is an entity that won’t be tamed. Some days I’ve gone on a long trail of unconscious thinking and it’s seems like I’ve been gone thinking for most of my session before I’ve caught myself. Some days 15 minutes feels like an eternity. But then I return to the moment, to my intentions, and the remaining 10 minutes seem to speed by.

I follow my breathe some times. I say a mantra other times. Still other times, I try to engage my third eye and “experience divinity”.  They all work sometimes and sometimes they don’t. And many days, the 25 or so minutes that I meditate seem like some of the best of my life.

I also have found that adding 15 minutes of stillness to my day adds a great deal to my meditation practice. 15 minutes of stillness is not 15 minutes of meditating, figuring out what’s next, what I forgot to do, or really doing anything. Instead, I take a few minutes in the early afternoon and enjoy 15 minutes in my sunroom, looking out on the hills that surround my house. I don’t meditate. I don’t try to do anything.  At first, in those 15 minutes of not doing anything, I would fall asleep. But now I just sit and allow my mind to be quiet. Sometimes it takes off but now my mind seems to know this is our quiet time to just be.

Tonight, I did another round of meditation just because it felt like the right thing to do. And it was magical and I can’t tell you how grateful I am to have heeded the call. It was 15 minutes of pure delight, that welled in my belly and rose up through my whole body. I found myself laughing with the delight and savored every moment. It was the easiest meditation session I’ve had in ages. I didn’t want it to end.

I went into this meditation with the intention to be open to God, to be guided, and to just trust how things unfold. And I was able to spend the next 15 minutes meditating in pure delight.

If you’d like to try it, don’t stress out about the length of time. 5 minutes is a wonderful start!  Take some time to set your intention about what you’d like your session to help you with. Then set your timer and let whatever happens unfold. It may not be magical every time, but the delight that awaits you- it’s worth your time and energy!

What are some of your best meditation techniques? Anything you’d recommend?

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Are you experiencing compassion?

Written by Kate • June 28, 2011 •
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Image thanks to helovesus

In my post last week in working on the Root Chakra, I suggested that you set aside 10 minutes a day for some meditation designed to center and ground you. Beginning at the lowest chakra is the best place to start when you’re working with your chakras and most of them are imbalanced.

Loving-Kindness Meditations

I suggested a few minutes of loving-kindness meditations as follows:

After your 5 minutes of imperfect meditation, say the following loving-kindness affirmations to yourself -three times. This should take less than 1 minute. But put your heart into it and really bless yourself with these loving affirmations.

  • May I be well.
  • May I know peace.
  • May I be free from suffering

Here is another way to practice loving-kindness meditations.

Implementing These Affirmations

I implemented my daily meditation practice several months ago and I regularly meditate at least 30 minutes each day. It was a slowish evolution to go from 5 minutes to 30 minutes of meditation in one sitting and I really resisted meditation in the beginning. Now it seems my day is scattered and incomplete if I don’t get my meditation in first thing.

Sunday, I dedicated my meditation practice to these loving-kindness meditations. I repeated the above affirmations over and over again. However, with some sort of internal inspiration, I added in “May I know compassion”.

Instant Suffusion of Love

After I said this affirmation, I felt an incredible suffusion of love and peace encompass my body. It was simple yet transformative. I felt, at the same time, lit up inside and at a deep peace. For a time, without my volition, the compassion was directed at myself and it was a beautiful moment. And then it moved on to those in my life and I felt such profound love for them that any residual judgments or criticism I may have been harboring seemed to just melt away. And that was an even more beautiful moment.

And from there, my compassion moved to the world – to the Middle East, the subcontinent of Asia, China, and beyond. It ended full circle to come back and rest with me. What grace!

It was so moving that I practiced the same affirmations again Monday during meditation.  I realized that I sometimes feel sorry for myself and I often feel compassion for others but I rarely feel compassion for myself. It created a sense of forgiveness, of love, of space so that I can accomplish more in this life without the harsh judgement of the internal critic.

It’s at the heart of Byron Katie‘s work and by practicing it, I see its power.

How Often Do You Feel Compassion for Yourself?

How often do you feel compassion for yourself? Or do you hear your internal critic so often that you’ve identified with all that you can’t do well or the mistakes you’ve made in the past?

Given yourself the compassion that you would give your friend. Accord yourself the same level of love and acceptance that you give to everyone else.

Try It Yourself

Take a few minutes to get into a calm place. This can be a few minutes of meditation or a series of breathing in for a count of 4, holding it for a count of 4, and breathing out for a count of 8. Do the breathing cycle three times. Then do the loving kindness meditation as follows and put your heart into it and really bless yourself with these loving affirmations.

  • May I be well.
  • May I know peace.
  • May I know compassion.

You may well find that the more compassion you feel for yourself will magnify the compassion you feel towards others. It’s a virtuous cycle – the very opposite of a downward cycle.

Let me know how it goes. Did something shift in you? Can you feel the light and the love?

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Meditation

Written by Kate • August 5, 2010 •
2 comments

I’ve been feeling the need for more stillness in my life, to go deeper, in less of a rush, with more purpose. I’ve been meditating each night just before I go to bed using the Meditation Podcast series. And while I love several of their podcasts, it hasn’t feel like I am meditating the “right” way for what I need now. I want a meditation practice with no distractions, no voice interrupting me from my meditation.  So today, after reading another great post by Steve Pavlina, I was inspired to to meditate for 6 minutes in my office.

Normally meditating is difficult for me as my mind wonders incessantly. Today, I focused my practice on just being present and being one with Source/Presence.  Immediately I felt this core of love and wonder in the center of my being and it was indescribably beautiful. And then I thought, “This is wonderful. What a great feeling”.  Of course, through thinking and trying to describe how I was feeling, I lost the feeling.  Over the course of the next 5 minutes, I focused on just being, without describing or thinking about what I was going through.  It was the easiest 5 minutes of meditation I’ve done since….ever.

It was so magical, I decided to go for another 6 minutes after the original 6 minutes were up. It took me a while to get back to that place but once I did, it was another wonderful long moment of mediation.  I came out of it much more centered, much more loving, and looking forward to another session this evening.

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