Monday, September 3, 2012

Meditation Practice


Find a quiet place where you can sit for 10 or more minutes. Use a timer for your practice. There are many apps available. You can find me on Insight Timer.

You may sit on a chair with the feet flat on the floor or if you can sit cross-legged on the floor comfortably then try that. It is important to make sure you're not struggling to sit comfortably. Zafu meditation cushions are great to have, sitting on firm pillow or thick sturdy blankets like you find in yoga studios are all good options. When sitting cross-legged, you want to be able to sit up tall, upright but not uptight. The knees slope down from the hips and the hands rest on the thighs with palms up or down. Imagine their is a string in your spine that is being drawn up towards the ceiling lifting the whole spine up. Check to see that you didn't take your shoulders up with you. Allow them to slide down your back on an exhale.  

Now that you have taken your seat, check in with your mind. Ask yourself how you are doing in the present moment. Try not to dig too deeply here. You are seeing what the flavor of your mind feels like and leave it at that eg: I am tired, excited, anxious, OK, etc. Spend a few breaths with the flavor of the mind. Next spend some time going through your body noticing the placement of the legs, the feet, socks on or off, the sits bones rooting into the cushion, the spine lifting up from the pelvis. Breath. Relax the shoulders. Notice the expression on your face. Relax the forehead. Breathe. Slow down and breath. Begin the contemplative practice of gratitude. Spend a couple of minutes with each suggested contemplation.  
Reflections to contemplate:
1) What place am I grateful for? This could be your home, your bed, a mountain, an ocean. When choosing a place see it's colors and sounds.   
2)Who has been kind to me? Think of one person who has been kind to you and you are grateful for. 
3) What personal attribute about me am I grateful for? This could be something physical like your hands or a quality about yourself that you like eg: patience or courage 
4) The phrase "I am grateful for my beautiful life" or "I am grateful for my precious life" 

Notice how you feel after these contemplations before ending your practice. 

Generating gratitude towards others and self opens our hearts and minds. You may not feel anything and you may feel strong emotions. If strong emotions arise, bring awareness to where you feel the emotion in your body and breath with it. When it passes, and it will, allow the mind to rest with your breath, following inhale and exhale, feeling the breath in your body. Maybe in your abdomen or the tip of the nose. When the timer rings you may want to acknowledge your practice by placing the hands together at the heart and bowing to self and your teachers. This is an option and an offering for your practice.  Meditation is recommended as a daily practice. You have the time.   

For more teachings and pod casts on meditation, please check out The  
For establishing a daily practice Sharon Salzberg has written the insightful gift of Real Happiness The Power of Meditation.   

No comments:

Post a Comment