Managing and Thinking
Learning how to focus through the toughest of challenges IS the learning. There is no right or wrong way to meditate. There are so many styles and ways in which to focus your mind and, like a chattering monkey, they can truly never fully be silenced.
So give yourself a break. Take your time. Relate your thoughts to what is happening right here and right now. Often we are already in meditation and don't even know it. When we are focusing on a task of cooking, cleaning, jogging, cycling, even working can be a meditation. The trick is to notice when we are being distracted from the focus that can break the meditative quality of the moment.
We are not in meditation when we are distracted by doing more than one thing at a time. Multi-tasking is "not-you-friend", nor should it be given the high regard that many employers and companies do. When you do something, give it 100% of your attention and it will unfold even better than you might have thought possible. That can even include exercising and physical activity, or driving, or having a conversation with someone right in front of you.
How often are you focusing on other things
rather than how your body is feeling the curl or the thrust or the rest?
By being open to learning about different styles of meditation and focusing awareness and you might just increase your productivity, your joy, your appreciation for what ever you are doing in the moment.
be aware of your body;
release all tension
in your body.
This is an act
of love directed
toward your body."
Thich Nhat Hanh
Lean in Completely
Yoga Nidra, known as yogic sleep, is a guided meditation and relaxation practice that is intended to induce physical, mental, and emotional relaxation and aid in the subconscious healing aspects of the mind. One hour of Yoga Nidra can be as restorative as four hours of regular sleep.
Aside from being relaxing, restorative and restful, Yoga Nidra can also ease insomnia, decrease anxiety, alleviate stress, heighten awareness and focus, and create feelings of peace, calm and clarity.
There are many different ways of teaching and practicing Yoga Nidra. Most practices include guiding the participant through different stages of: intention, body awareness, breath awareness, emotional awareness, visualization and re-integration to relax the body, mind and emotions.
Each step is intended to take you deeper into an altered state of conscious and subconscious mind, the state between consciousness and deep sleep. This is where your mind is absorbing and hearing the words and voice of the teacher, even though you might feel like you are drifting off into sleep.
This process allows your brain to shift into deeper levels of relaxation and healing. Through study of the different brainwave patterns with Yoga Nidra, we can visually see at what levels the brain is shifting through as we practice this type of meditation.
"With every breath, the old moment is lost;
a new moment arrives.
We exhale and we let go of the old moment.
It is lost to us. In doing so,
we let go of the person we used to be.
We inhale and breathe
in the moment that is becoming.
In doing so, we welcome
the person we are becoming.
We repeat the process. This is meditation.
This is renewal. This is life."
Lama Surya Das
In This Moment
PRACTICE: Coffee Meditation
( 3-5 mins )
Here is a simple practice you can do anytime you desire to offer some focus in your life. By utilizing a warm beverage, coffee, tea, Matcha, hot chocolate, etc.
Sit comfortably in a safe and relatively quiet space, close your eyes and hold your beverage between your hands. Making sure that it is not too hot to hold or drink. Feel the warmth of the container being held in your hands. Take a few moments ...no rushing... notice the warmth and feeling of the container you are holding. The curvature, the texture of the cardboard sleeve, or the bare ceramic. Focus every aspect of touch and contact with your hands to the surface of the container.
Raising the container up to your nose, using your nose to breathe in the smell of the beverage you're holding. Pause for a few moments here just smelling and breathing in the aromas, the humidity, letting the quality of smell permeate completely through your body. Take your time.
Ensuring that the fluid is warm enough to safely take a sip, take a sip of your beverage. Keep it in your mouth, roll it around with your tongue. Let the texture of the liquid slowly surround every space in your mouth. Then... swallow.
Take a moment.
Notice the warmth as the liquid rolls down the back of your throat and through your body. Then take another sip, repeating the movement of your tongue and the space in your mouth. When you're ready, swallow and feel the sensation of the second wave of warmth moving through your body. Allowing, not just your mouth, but your whole body tasting the warmth of the beverage you are experiencing in this moment.
Holding your cup in front of you. Take a breath.
As you still have your eyes closed, relax your body, feeling the warmth of the container still in your hands ...and listen.
Reach your auditory / hearing senses out to the world around you. Letting go of judgement, try not to judge the sounds or criticize them, let them float through your sense of hearing and notice what each one is. You might name them, or listen to the tones they are vibrating through you. The sounds of traffic, birds, people talking, a child's laughter or cry, machinery. Just notice the sounds and let them flow through and around you.
Slowly open your eyes. Allow your vision to be soft and unfocused and letting it take in and adjust to the light and objects around you. You might just be looking forward and letting your periphery vision be what you are seeing, and not the object directly in your direct line-of-sight. Noticing the colours, the shapes, the hues and tones and vibrancy of the world around you in this moment. Notice what you are feeling. Be with that for a few moments before you return to your routines of life.
Om shanti shanti shanti
( An invocation of peace. In Buddhist and Hindu traditions
you chant shanti three times to represent peace in body, speech, and mind. )