A month of meditation

Green-Buddha

 

My taster series of meditation has been going smoothly, although it’s a little different than I thought it would be.  I kinda thought the book would explain a little bit about different types of meditation, I would try them for a week and then switch to the next type.  For example: “regular” meditation, mantra meditation, transcendental meditation, using music, guided visualization or any of the other forms of mediation I don’t know anything about.  Instead, each chapter/ week has had a slightly different way of addressing the stream of consciousness parade (so far).  I was initially disappointed, but I have grown to really like this approach and in the beginning, the less distractions during meditation the better!

The weeks thus far have been:

1.) getting started and focusing on breathing

2.) noticing sounds and then letting them go

3.) noticing body sensations

4.) labeling incoming thoughts as being in the past or the future, and focusing on staying in the present

5.) THIS WEEK!  saying “no thanks” to your thoughts when they appear and demand your attention.

 

I have been doing my meditating first thing in the morning and find that it does settle my brain.  It’s been a really nice way to start the day off. I tried meditating at night when my schedule changed this past week, but I found it much harder.  My thought parade is going twice as fast and one time I even fell asleep!  I have really liked this project and I am going to finish out the chapters over the next month.  It’s pretty easy to find the time now when my schedule is reasonably consistent and I am at home, I hope I can keep it going during the summer touring months!

 

Any noticeable differences?

Why, I’m so glad you asked 😉  …and YES there have been!  I wouldn’t say it’s completely changed my life, but here are a few of the basic pros I have noticed:

  • It has created much more order in my morning. As the start of my day I find my self getting going faster and easier after meditating.
  • It has helped me control my parade of thoughts when I am not meditating.  Well control is a strong word, but it has helped me notice what’s happening and stop it before I get too far off track.  You know how you walk into a room and forget why you’re there… I don’t do that as much anymore.
  • During training when I benefit a lot from a quiet brain, I have been able to “control” my thought parade in much the same way.  This helps me concentrate on my handstand much longer than before.
  • It has made multi-tasking more uncomfortable… which for me is a good thing.  I’m not sure why, but for the first time in my life I don’t enjoy having the TV on while trying to do computer work or other paperwork.  I am now more comfortable focusing on one thing at a time.

This post brought to you by:  Pink Flamingo Tea (DavidsTea)

a citrusy and delicious herbal tea

Davids Tea Pink Flamingo

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Beginning Meditation

meditation

I’m now into the second week of the book’s mediatation course.

SO far I like it.  8 mins is really no time at all so I don’t feel like it’s taking too much time out of my day.  It’s kinda amazing how long 8 mins can feel though, especially the first few times I was trying to meditate.  Or as the book (and yoda) would say, ” there is no try, you do or do not meditate”.  Which is another way of saying stop judging yourself immediately and just start the process.

Here’s how a typical meditation session goes.

Deep breath, deep breath, focus on breathing, focus on breathing

deep breath, (hear an airplane), envision an airplane, remember my last flight, think about how much luggage fees annoy me, feel annoyed

oh no I forgot about my breath, oh good it’s still there, deep breath, deep breath, focus on breathing, focus on breathing

repeat, repeat, repeat until 8 mins are up.

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As I understand it so far, the practice of mediation is learning to just allow these thoughts to happen and try to catch yourself falling down the rabbit hole of thoughts as soon as possible.  In essence, you are not trying to stop having thought parades, you are trying to recognize that a parade it happening and let it pass rather than get caught up and join in the parade.

Balloons are paraded down 7th avenue during the 83rd Macy's Thanksgiving day parade in New YorkThis is how my mind can feel sometimes

So far the book keeps coming back to these two principles to keep in mind while meditating:

“Allow … allow … allow.  Allow whatever comes up. And exclude nothing. Emotions, thoughts, images – they’re all treated equally. The more you completely accept them, the more present you are and the more fluid your meditation.”

“Catch and release.  When you realize that you’ve hooked onto a thought gently unhook and release it.  Over time, you’ll become much more skillful at noticing when you’ve “hooked” something.  After a while, releasing will become easier and more automatic.”

As a complete novice this book is perfect for me, it feels a little like the cliff notes to Shakespeare.  Cliff notes can be a great place to start when Shakespeare seems intimidating, but you know you are missing out on something.  However, my interest is piqued and I have actively started meditating!

 

This post brought to you by Blueberry merlot tea, which I am absolutely loving!blueberry tea

 

Meditation and tea

wellness-and-meditationPeople think meditation is a huge undertaking. Don’t think of it like that.

~ Deepak Chopra

I don’t know a lot about mediation, but I am looking for a way to quiet my brain. Lately I feel all over the place and it’s exhausting! I have been curious about mediation for awhile now, but I really don’t know anything about it and it always sounded like an overwhelming commitment to get into. I just know that I hate silence and down time… it’s not just  that I hate it, I’m scared of it.  I always fill it.  I want to look into that.

To ease into mediation I bought the book, 8 minute mediation

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At first I have to admit it was the “8 mins” part that caught my attention.  But the book also seems pretty highly reviewed especially for people just starting to look into mediation (hey that’s me!).  Basically he guides you on a 8 week journey of different mediation styles ( 1 week per style) so you can see what you like and and what doesn’t suit you so much.  Also it’s only 8 mins a day… I mean everyone can find 8 mins. I’m only part way through the first week so I don’t have much to report on yet, but I am optomistic about how it will go 🙂

big-tiny-buddha-headerThis little Buddha believes it will go well!

As for tea…. I have been a coffee girl for quite awhile now.  But I have a lot of tea and I do really like tea.  So I’m going to drink it this month, figure out my favorites and empty that tea cupboard!  First up since it’s midnight already: sleeptime tea!image001

So one month to delve into two things I know very little about!