Monday, November 28, 2011

Week 5

Principle #5
Let Go and Be Patient

    Most of us have become really used to holding onto the layers of our experience.  We have work, family, relationships, bills, dramas, and these things become our reality.  But they aren't. When you strip away all of these layers, there is just you.  The exercise of letting go is not an easy one, but necessary to avoid losing the true essence of who we are in the wilderness of daily life.  When you are finally able to let go of the layers that bind you,  you have gained the opportunity to only add back the ones that enrich your life, and let the ones that detract from your life slide away.

    Be patient with yourself as you learn to let go.  Meditation is fluid and changing.  Some days you will be able to sit easily other days it will be a struggle.  Some days your mind may be quiet, other days it may jump from thought to thought.  You can't be "bad" at meditation.  Even on the days when your mind wanders, that is a step on the path towards letting go.

The Breath
This week we will practice rhythmic breathing.  This technique purifies the lungs, blood and cells of the body.  It helps to strengthen the heart and regulate the heart beat.  It also aids in creating internal balance and harmony.
1. Sit comfortably and close your eyes
2. Breathe in through the nostrils 2 breaths in, then 2 breaths out.
3.Continue this pattern of 2 breaths in and 2 breaths out, maintaining a steady rhythm, like a metronome, for 2-3 minutes.
4. Stop the rhythmic breathing, and sit quietly, breathing naturally for a few moments.

We will continue to meditate twice per day for 5 to 10 minutes.  In the spirit of letting go, we will work through a visualization where we will begin to let go of our layers.
1.Sit comfortably and set your alarm
3.Begin to let go.  Visualize work, stress, chores, drama, those that caused the drama and anything else that does not serve you.  Visualize these things as bubbles.  In your mind's eye, see your finger popping these bubbles, and the stressors falling away.  Continue going from bubble to bubble, until each one is gone.  Release this visualization, and let go.  Let go of your body, life, and all the physical trappings of life.  If it helps, keeping your eyes closed, bring your focus to the third eye, or the space behind the forehead. Keep your focus here until your alarm sounds.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Deepak Chopra- Part three of Introduction to Meditation

 I'm really loving this Introduction to Meditation series!  Enjoy:-)

Sunday, November 13, 2011

60 Day Meditation~ Week 3

60 Day Meditation Challenge
Week 3
I hope everyone has been enjoying their meditations!  Hopefully you’ve been able to carve out some time at least a few times per week for your meditation sessions!  Remember, you can join us at Asana Yoga + Dance in Middletown, NJ for 30 minute meditation on Mondays at 6:45.

Principle of Mediation #3: Relax Your Body
                Meditating is more than just relaxing the muscles and bones.  You’re allowing a whole process to happen in the nervous system and emotional body.  This week, before meditating, we will do a part by part scan of the body to help relax, and identify and areas that are holding onto tension.  Sit quietly with the eyes closed, and take a moment to notice the body as it is.  Notice if you feel tension anywhere in the body.  Now, starting with the head and the face, we’ll work through each area of the body, bringing our attention and breath to each in turn.  It might help to envision each body part melting away before moving on to the next.  From the head and face, move your awareness to the shoulders and arms, then to the upper back.  Continue this way until you reach the feet.  Then bring your awareness beneath the skin, envisioning the muscles relaxing to the bones.  Now move on to the breathing technique.

“Always first draw fresh breath after outbursts of vanity and complacency.”
Franz Kafka
                This week we will practice “The Complete Breath”.  It is simply fully expanding and filling the lungs as you inhale and completely emptying them when you exhale.  This technique relaxes the mind and body and prepares the mind for mediation.
-Begin by sitting tall, taking a few deep breaths and relaxing.
-Slowly inhale through the nostrils allowing oxygen into the three chambers of the lungs.  Expand the belly.  Expand the ribcage. Expand the upper chest and shoulders.
-Slowly exhale, completely emptying the lungs.
-Continue breathing like this for 2-3 minutes.

“One realizes through meditation that one is a necessary, intimate and important part of the universe.  One starts to relate deeply to everything that exists.  There are no longer separate entities.  You are THAT.  This is a mystical state of meditation.” 
Swami Satyananda Saraswati
                This week we will continue to meditate once per day for ten minutes, or twice per day for 5 minutes.  For this week’s meditation, you will choose a visualization of something or someone that supports you, or helps you to feel grounded and balanced.  It can be anything!  A favorite place, cherished friend or family member, an object with sentimental value.  Prior to mediation, gaze at a picture, or other representation of your visualization.  To begin meditating, bring your awareness to the third eye, or the space behind the forehead. (Your eyes are closed for this)  Breathe naturally and begin visualizing the image you’ve chosen.  Continue this for 5-10 minutes.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Introduction to Meditation 2

For everyone participating in the 60 Day Meditation Challenge, and even for those who are not.  Here is video number two in Deepak Chopra's Introduction to Meditation series.  Enjoy!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

60 Day Meditation Challenge-Week 2

60 Day Meditation Challenge
Week 2
Principle of Meditation #2: Get Comfortable
                Traditionally, the vision we have of someone deep in meditation is the meditator sitting in lotus position, with a super straight spine and a serene look on their face.  In reality, this position is very hard to maintain for any length of time, and almost impossible to relax in.  You can sit anywhere, in any position you’d like, so long as you’re comfortable.  If, during meditation you become uncomfortable, it’s okay to move.  We’re meditating, not playing statue!  Some things you may want to have to make meditation more comfortable are: blankets, pillows, or a rolled up yoga mat or towel.  You can use any of these props as necessary to support your position.  If you’re sitting on the floor, support the spine by sitting up against a wall or piece of furniture and sitting on the blanket or roll up mat or towel.  Your legs can be straight, but if you are sitting cross legged, you can place the pillows under your knees.  If sitting in a chair or sofa, make sure your feet are supported by placing blocks or books underneath them.  You can also sit criss cross, with your legs up, however you need to sit to be comfortable.  Finally, you can also lie down to meditate.  I would avoid your bed, but laying on the floor with your legs up a wall is a nice restorative position.
A human being is only breath and shadow.
This week we will focus on lengthening and deepening the breath.  For one to two minutes, count each inhale and each exhale.  Fully inhale until you can no longer inhale counting the length of the inhale slowly and evenly.  Don’t aim for a specific number, just see what happens naturally.  Then do the same for the exhale.  So with each inhale, you are fully saturating the lungs with oxygen, and with each exhale you are completely emptying the lungs.  Maybe you can start to carry this deep breathing into your daily life.  As you deepen the breath, you are building the energy to create change and growth.
“Meditation brings wisdom; lack of mediation leaves ignorance. Know well what leads you forward and what holds you back, and choose the path that leads to wisdom.”
~ Buddha
                To begin your meditation, let your breathing return to normal.  This week we will meditate on a mantra.  A mantra is a sound or phrase designed to help the mind focus.  Our mantra this week is “So Hum Namah”.  In Sanskrit, “So” means true, “Hum” means self, and “Namah” means turning back to.  So this phrase roughly translates to “Turning back to my true self.”  During your meditations this week, repeat to yourself, “So Hum Namah”.  If you find the mind chatter and life noise creeping in, just return to the repetition of your mantra.
Our goal this week will be to add a second 5 minute meditation session to the day, or continue to meditate once per day for 10 minutes, which ever fits into your schedule better.
Enjoy, and let me know if you have any comments or questions.  Also, our in studio meditation will begin on Monday, November 7th at 6:45pm at Asana Yoga + Dance in Middletown, NJ.  If you’d like to join us in person, all are welcome!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Introduction to Meditation

For those of you doing the 60 Day Mediation Challenge, and even for those of you who are not, here is a video by Deepak Chopra.  He provides a brief discussion of what meditation is.  Enjoy!