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!