Quote of the month:
Every breath we take, every step we make,
can be filled with peace, joy, and serenity.
We need only to be awake, alive in the present moment.
- Thich Nhat Hanh
This first issue, will focus on meditation.....but not so much on the traditional form of sitting and chanting. That has its place, but in order to introduce oneself to the idea of meditation, the first thing is just to become aware of one's thoughts. We all have a "mental CD" going in our heads nearly all of the time.... I used to call it a tape, but that dates me too much, so now it is a CD! : ) [Now it has been brought to my attention that I need to further update to an I-pod! See future posts...!]
The idea of meditation is to first become aware that the CD exists....and then to simply push the pause button on the CD player once in a while. Even if only for a few seconds at first. It is actually quite important NOT to be upset when the CD becomes "un-paused" and the thoughts return, because they will!
Also, do not try to push the thoughts out of your head....as that will only make them more persistent. The traditional description is to envision the thoughts as clouds in the sky and merely observe them, without judgement, as they float by. At this point, just noticing that the CD has come un-paused is sufficient. You may wish to pause again...or repeat it later.
There is ample information available on the benefits of meditation....stress reduction, less anxiety and depression, greater enjoyment and appreciation of life, relaxation, sense of balance in your life, insight, calmness, empathy, and awareness to name a few.
I will suggest a few simple ways to get started....without any complicated procedures or equipment.
- Right now, become aware of breathing in and out. As you breath in, think "in" and as you breath out, think "out". Repeat.
- The next time you are waiting in line for something and becoming impatient....use the time to become aware of the "complaining version" of your CD and focus your attention on your breath.
- Use any sort of repetitive habit or behavior, such as brushing your teeth or picking up your car keys to take a moment to become aware of the CD and press the pause button as you complete that behavior.
Initially, I am not going to suggest any time frame....any amount of time is a start. I will suggest that even 17 focused seconds is enough to shift your vibration, your mood, your energy..... and EVERYONE has 17 seconds!
- A simple way to focus for 17 seconds is to count your breaths up to 17. You can count "1" on the in breath and "2" on the out breath and so forth.
- You may want to count one full in and out breath as "1".... you may get all the way to 34 seconds! : )
- When you get to the end of the "out" breath, take just a moment to notice the space between the out breath and the start of the next "in" breath.
- Another method would be to use a focusing tool, such as a strand of beads or a rosary to focus your attention more deeply on the breath and less on the counting. Either way, the CD is paused.
- There is a picture of a lotus bloom at the end of the newsletter, you may wish to focus your attention on the picture while you breath.
Simply Spirituality or for the next post, please click the following link....
Until next month....
Here's hoping you keep your spirituality simple!