Breath touches awareness

    Awareness touches Breath

Meditation is found in the act of quietly tending to yourself. It is ‘the mind that is present.’  You are where you are, embodied. You are feeling and breathing the very moment in time that you are inhabiting. You are harnessing all the natural energies of you to engage in this very moment.

Private Meditation Trainings:

Meditation training is support and guidance for your meditation practice. It is conversation about meditation specific to you, along with instruction to specifically benefit your practice. We will explore your reasons for seeking meditation, the practices that suit your goals, your lifestyle, your habits, your body, the various approaches to meditation and meditation traditions that you may be drawn toward or may wish to learn about.  

There are so many ways to meditate that truly increase your health, your emotional balance, your peace of well as opening you up to sensing your world more clearly, being able to listen to your well as simply being present and dropping all goals, all ideas, for the unfolding of your life. Many points of view..many techniques of posture, breath, mantra..etc.

If you are wanting to engage in private meditation training, please do write to me, or call, and we can discuss the process together. Thank you.

And please read on for more information and for a simple beginners practice that is wonderful!

on meditation...

 Meditation practices have a filtration action, a clarifying action, not only on our brain activity, but on our physiology, our cell structure and biological communication… and ultimately on our sense of ‘heart.’ This is the deep heart: the heart of emotions and the energetic spiritual heart that radiates.. The heart of the heart of the heart of your being.. This is where the journey of meditation leads you, over and over again.. as often as you need.

One way to speak of meditation is that it is a release from the fluctuations of your mind into a state of conscious communion with all that is. (Yogas citta vrtti nirodhah -from the Yoga Sutras v 1.2 )

It is to be freed from the incessant chatter of your mind.  Your brain still does what it needs to do for living, but you are not so mindlessly enslaved to the upward, downward and everywhere-ward forces of unending repetitive thoughts.

There is something most effective about living your life just as it is, choosing to relax a bit with the way things are and relaxing with the changes that come and go…and with this, slowly building discipline and dedication toward any meditation practices you feel drawn.

Meditation is a bit like opening the front door of the house of your mind, stepping inside where all the guests are waiting, all the work is calling, all the worries are tugging, all the unwanted ego weight is dragging… and throwing open the windows and the back door, and then even with all the chaos and hubbub, simply sitting down… and breathing… you don’t change anything… you rest into your body a bit, right in the center of it all…and let it be… and breathe. You let the sounds reverberate, the demands shout, the winds blow, the guests come and go, the dust fly, the animals enter and leave, the worries whine.. And you just sit, and rest into your body…and breathe…

So, what is the practice?  How do you bring this into your life in an everyday sort of way? Well there are many ways to go about it, so here is a basic beginning:
  1. Find a way to sit comfortably in a place of no distraction:  A comfortable chair, or propped up against a wall on a cushion that supports your hips and back, or something similar. Lessen distractions: close a door, turn off your phone (even leave it outside the space), turn off all digital devices, perhaps place a light shawl or cloth over your head or just your shoulders, make sure you’re warm and comfortable in your clothes, create more or less light according to your comfort, set a timer if you need to so that you do not have to look at a clock. Let there be some measure of silence and let go of what you can’t control in the way of space or sound.
  2. As you sit, gently lift and broaden your chest, relax your shoulders, bow your head just slightly. Imagine the space between your shoulder blades is softening into the front of your chest just a bit. Your spine reaches upward out of your lower back. You can cup your hands into each other in your lap with palms upward and the tips of your thumbs touching. Relax your legs and sitting bones into the ground or chair. Relax your belly.
  3. Begin to welcome a breath that has a steady and peaceful rhythm that feels comfortable to you. More than the breath of sleep. Less than the breath of great action.
  4. Begin to count your breaths. You simply say ‘one’ at the beginning of the inhale, and then ‘one’ at the beginning of the exhale. You say the number and then feel yourself present for the remainder of the inhale or exhale.  Then go on to ‘two.’ ‘Two’ Up to ‘ten’ then begin again. When you lose track you simply come back to ‘one.’ No problem. You could do the whole thing on ‘one’ if it came to that.
  5. As you sit quietly and count, thoughts will come and go.  Sitting and breathing, you just let them come and go. But sometimes they will grab your attention and you will forget to count or breathe.  You will forget to be present and you will be caught in a room of your mind in some issue or emotion. When this happens, as it does for everyone, we smile as soon as we notice.  And as soon as we remember that we were counting and trying to meditate, we go back to counting. In the most friendly manner, with great kindness to yourself, come back to ‘one’ and this breath..and feeling your breath, and ‘one’….  It is this simple. No problem.
  6. When beginning, simply do this for 2 minutes, or 5 perhaps, with your timer set. Keep it small and do-able. And go to your meditation place twice a day.  It will grow organically if you can set it up in a welcoming easy way for yourself.
  7. Sometimes people’s lives are such that their meditation place is the car. In such instances, let the shawl or something like it, be your physical cue and support for focused meditation time. Park in a safe place and create the sanctuary of meditation space in the relative privacy of your car.
  8. A Next Step… As you count, you can notice the feelings that come and go in association with the thoughts that come and go.  Don’t DO anything about them.  JUST NOTICE the feelings that come and go. Practice relaxing with the feelings, even the uncomfortable ones. Relax and feel into your heart space, in your chest.  A feeling of relaxing in your chest can awaken the loving center of your body.  You begin to soften the edges of your emotional heart and in this way you allow your heart to resonate with the relationships and events of your life, with what is real to you.  This heart center of you is very wise. This is your meditative filtration process with attention to the heart. Clearing the mind, easing the mind, strengthens the heart. It is a process.
  9. Choosing to inwardly relax: Sometimes we forget that we can choose to relax; we can value our body relaxation as a primary choice, as a way to live in the world, if we practice remembering it. Breathing deeper, choosing a relaxing moment… Inner relaxation moves you through the first veil of resistance to what is. This frees a great deal of your personal energy and helps you to become aware. You dive in or skirt around your psyche and emotions, or whatever you need to do on all the subtle levels, sometimes fully aware and sometimes not, while just choosing to inwardly relax a bit. Consciously choosing to relax.. In this way, you breathe into greater internal space for all your feelings, and face what’s happening inside yourself instead of fracturing yourself constantly into pieces of unconscious avoidance.  You truly become more alive.
  10. Ending your time: your alarm goes off. You welcome one more deep breath andyou thank yourself for taking the time to practice.You thank yourself, no matter what happened in your meditation. .no matter how distracted you matter how judgmental your were or what emotions matter if you were totally frustrated.. You thank yourself, appreciate your efforts and prepare to return to your practice soon. It is a practice, that is all. Progress comes over time and incrementally. It can be difficult to see improvement for a while. But things are happening inside of you most certainly. Please be encouraged by those who have gone before you and who know that it’s a long, yet infinitely rewarding gift to your life, to your relationship with yourself, to your loved spend time with yourself in this way. To get to know yourself. To find out who you are on the the silence..who you have been..who you wish to be. Meditation is an embrace, of you, as you, in that very moment of pure attention.

Meditation grows from the seed of one-pointed focus

that then dissolves

into interconnectedness with all points of existence.

To realize our profound interconnectedness is one very great part of the gift of meditation.