Here Now

Today is the first day of the rest of our meditation practice. I will be practicing mostly daily. As I start my meditation, I will be thinking about all of you meditating too—whatever that practice shapes up to be for you.

I will bring you these Here Now meditations periodically, so that we can continue our practice together and check in with each other from time to time. I plan to do a variety of lengths so that you can play a video that fits the amount of time you would like to practice with me on any particular day. Today’s meditation is 10 minutes.

Let me know what you think below in the comments.

I will see you next time~

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 Sixteen

Meditation notes

We saw our first snowflakes in Minnesota Wednesday. I bundled up to meditate outside today.

When something strikes me in meditation—a different environment, or a wisdom I leave meditation with, I like to write it down. Look in today’s email for these two printable pages I’ve drawn up. Use them as you wish to capture or log your thoughts, keep track of your meditation time, or anything that strikes you.

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If you aren’t signed up for the meditation email notices, you can sign up here: http://eepurl.com/bwAoIz

There will be another journaling option to share in a day or two ~ stay tuned.

Today’s meditation ~

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 Thirteen

Expansion

At the beginning of meditation, noticing body, noticing breath, is grounding and brings the focus inside.

Moving deeper into meditation, I begin to feel the breath expanding through my whole body, then moving and flowing just beyond what feels like my physical body: it feels like my breath expands beyond me. Like dipping into the ocean, I become part of a larger, continuous rhythm. There are times too, when this doesn’t happen and I notice what may be holding my breath.

After meditation, when breath has flowed easily, and when my body has eased and I’ve met acceptance and allowed myself to let go of the unnecessary, time expands. I imagine it is likely not time that has changed, but me. I have released what I don’t need to hold on to. I have untied myself. There is more room to move about the day.

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

I’ll see you tomorrow ~

Day Twelve

Puzzle drop

How are you doing with letting thoughts go?

Teachers of meditation and mindfulness say that learning to let your thoughts go during meditation is much like exercising a muscle. Being distracted by thoughts, noticing your distraction, and bringing your self back to meditation is “working the muscle” and is part of the practice.

Something that helps me going into meditation is to imagine that all the mental stuff I am carrying around drops to the floor, scattering about like puzzle pieces. I know they are there and I don’t have to worry about them because they aren’t going anywhere. After meditation, the pieces come back together in a more orderly fashion than I began.

Sometimes a thought clings. I’ve taken to looking at the nature of those thoughts to see why they are sticking around. Generally this is an aspect of my life that needs addressing. Clingers can be helpful little messengers that flag me to notice the things that warrant attention, or to notice that I am giving too much energy to something that doesn’t require it.

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

I’ll see you tomorrow ~