Day Twenty

We’ve arrived.

Today is the last formal day of our Journey. I plan to check in with you here and there to see how things are going…for all of us, and I’m starting with a little bonus meditation tomorrow. I couldn’t go this far with you and just drop off the page.

Going forward, I hope to bring you a range of “here and now” meditations from different places. Each one will be some number of minutes between one and 20 (though mostly 5 to 10 minutes) so that we can share meditation together when and where you need, or would like to have it.

Things to remember:

  1. Be kind to yourself
  2. Observe your breath, whatever it is just notice (you will develop the awareness to do this outside of meditation too).
  3. There is nothing to achieve or do, just allow yourself to be.

Thank you for joining, for meditating with me, for supporting this sharing of what has been until this point a very private practice for me. Know that I intend to keep this 20 Day Journey on this site, so you can go back to the beginning anytime to start again. Or meditate for any number of minutes by going to the video of the corresponding number day in “Meditation Journey” under “Categories” on the right side of the page.

Please post your questions and comments below.

Day Nineteen

Allowing the process

Every day is different. I understand that I am not alone in finding that bringing meditation into my daily life is a process. Participating each day in active meditation, or not, it needn’t be a source of frustration or “should.” With kindness and regard for myself, I am allowing and watching it unfold day by day. This, too, is something to accept without judgment.

When I meditate, I ge2016DMJnerally have a journal beside me so that after meditation, when I am moved to, I can write or draw thoughts and impressions. I am looking forward to using this delightful “Daily Musings Journal,” from Mountain Mermaid Studios, as a record for 2016 meditations. There are still a limited number available if you are interested in something like this for your meditations…or other journalations.

I look forward to joining you tomorrow for the last formal day of our 20 day journey. How ever you have participated in this journey, you are moving forward on your meditation path and there is so much there/here to be grateful for.

How are you feeling about your meditation journey? I would love to hear from you below.

Day Eighteen

When feelings bubble up ~

It is completely natural to have times when feelings bubble up during meditation, including unpleasant ones, after all we are paying attention.

In my experience, that paying attention helps uncover the very things that need addressing—and it wouldn’t feel right to cover them up again.

Many times, for me, the awareness of how to care for those unpleasant feelings arises too. Sometimes it has meant doting a bit on certain parts of me, breathing into those spaces; my stomach, bones, joints, or heart, giving them kindness and love, and listening to them—really. Sometimes this has meant seeking the help of professionals.

For all of us, caring for ourselves is the kindest thing we can do: it affects our whole being, how we relate to others, and our world.

Do you have any thoughts to share? I would love to hear from you below.

I’ll see you tomorrow ~

Day Seventeen

Two opportunities today

And I’m going to say, if you can only do one, do the other one—you can always come back to this one.

Today, a special live-streaming, online meditation with Jon Kabat-Zinn takes place at 4pm Central Time, 2pm Pacific, to wind up The Mindfulness Summit. You can sign up here for the free event.

I will be doing both our meditation and The Mindfulness Summit meditation. Join me for one or both.

Please add your comments below. I would love to hear from you.

I’ll see you tomorrow ~

Day Fifteen

Releasing anxiousness and stress

One of the biggest things I notice when I miss meditation is a feeling of anxiousness. It has become my personal nudge to stop, (even for a few moments if that is all I can manage) check in with my body, breathe into my center forehead, (my preferred breathing focus) and allow some calm to wash over me. I know it’s there, I’ve spent a lot of time with that calm so it doesn’t take long to find it. But to truly feel the calm embedded, I need to stick with regular meditation.

Along with all of the benefits mentioned on Day Eight of our journey, many studies show what meditators feel: that meditation increases circulation, lowers blood pressure, reduces the stress response, and improves overall health.

Taking note of our body, part by part at the start of meditation, helps us develop a deeper awareness of our body. As we build the connection, we may notice the source of discomfort, tension, and pain in our bodies. We can breathe into those spaces, listen to and care for our body and the emotional connections held there; letting judgement fall away, and returning to the breath.

Please add your comments below. I would love to hear from you.

I’ll see you tomorrow ~

Day Fourteen

Two weeks in ~ creating the habit

Our practice is not made in having a peak experience every session, but in showing up, being present, letting judgement pass. Being. And, if it is not working for us today, if we just cannot sit, allowing ourselves to get up and come back tomorrow.

While often associated with buddhism, meditation is not exclusive to any religion or culture, it is practiced by all of the major religions and by those who align with no religion. As meditators, we are part of a growing community of people who are looking to meditation, among other reasons, to reduce stress, gain clarity, understanding, and promote brain health. “Shamatha,” the ancient Sanskrit word for meditation, means “peaceful abiding.”

I hope that you are finding this to be a place that is welcoming—that it invites you to explore meditation with curiosity and acceptance. In this context, I would like for us to grow on our path to know our true self and hear our own wise voice. In this short time my own meditation practice has strengthened and stretched. I am grateful for your presence along the way.

Thank you for abiding peacefully with me.

Please share your comments below. I would love to hear from you.

I’ll see you tomorrow ~

Day Nine

Expanding

It might be the last warm day here in Minnesota. (The warm weather has lingered.) I brought the meditation outside today, where I can breathe in the outdoors and the neighborhood can be heard all around. Birds, dogs, airplanes, and kids playing.

In the same way my range of hearing expands outdoors to sounds from a much broader area, my breath and being expand in meditation. I am no longer closed in by my perception of myself and what I am doing. In meditation, by going within, focusing on my breath, my experience opens up. I can let go of thoughts, allow what is next to unfold in front of me; relax expectation, observe, and be.

The dogs barking, or the kids playing may be thoughts trying to enter my mind, but I can let them pass and breathe.

Please add your comments below. I would love to hear from you.

I’ll see you tomorrow ~

Day Seven

One week in—how is your meditation going?

I have to be honest, while I’ve been filming the meditation videos, my meditation has been a little different. A part of my mind has had awareness of what is happening around me, taking it in for the sake of the video outcome. Generally I slide more easily “inside” and am more able to stay there. I am okay with having a different experience and am valuing it.

How have you felt after meditating?

After meditation, I have experienced a variety of feelings. Sometimes acceptance of what is; finding some peace in a difficult situation. Sometimes a vast feeling of being loved. Sometimes just being. I am almost always grateful for an increased sense of awareness around something. I almost always come away feeling a part of all things. There are some consistencies in the feelings that I come out of meditation with, but I think they took some time to develop or at least see a pattern in.

I am wondering what you have experienced and what you are noticing. Please share in the comments.

I’ll see you tomorrow ~