90 Days of Daily Meditation -check in -week 2

If you have not already joined our 90 day meditation adventure, I hope you will still do so. Here is how the last week went for me.

Experiences during the week: This week’s meditation has been a struggle for me. I am disappointed in my meditation performance. I allowed my business of life to get in the way of my daily practice and there were even several nights when I laid down at the end of the day just to realize I had not meditated. When I would attempt to do so, while laying there, I would drift off to sleep. Though I did have one very profound meditation during the week. It happened when I meditated first thing in the morning. During my meditation I received a couple of great inspirations. One, was to rename a class I’m offering with a catchier name, occurred to me during the time I quieted my brain.

What I have learned: I have learned I need to schedule a time to start my meditation or I will try to do it at the end of the day when I lay down before I fall asleep.

My weight: I am still on the road and have no mechanism to measure if my weight has changed. I do not sense a change in how my clothing is fitting me.

How I feel: I feel motivated to do better this next week. I feel a need to put myself first again. My travels this week brought me from the eastern time zone to the pacific. Which I will be reversing tomorrow and then back the following week. Because these switches can be a bit challenging I will need the meditation more than ever, to help keep myself calm and centered.

How it is affecting my life: On the days I meditated early in the day, I found the meditation profound and a blessing to start my day. On the days I did it at the end of the day while laying in bed, I found it induced good sleep. I was exceptionally tired this week due to a demanding schedule and travels that took me to or through 9 different states from Thursday to Monday. Even though I had high hopes for more profound meditation experiences, in reflecting, I see that the meditation experiences I had were the ones I needed.

Thank you for reading my blog today! I am proud of you for the things you are doing and/or wanting to do to take care of yourself. Even baby steps count! I wish you a lifetime of meditations that are exactly what you need. Blessings!

Previous meditation blogs by the Adventure Sisters: Join Us on This AdventureMeditate the weight away?9 ways to improve meditation, Meditation contemplations, There’s an App for That: A review of meditation Apps7 Common Meditation Myths11 Types of Meditation 

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7 Reasons to Smile is

1 It makes others feel good when you smile at them. Have you ever had a stranger smile at you. It’s just a nice feeling.

2 It makes you feel good to smile too. It helps your body release those feel good hormones.

3 Fake it, till you make it – when you smile (even when you do not feel like it) it helps to elevate your mood.

4 One smile can lead to many more – when you smile at someone, then they smile and the next person and so on. So that one smile can become blossom into many smiles very quickly!

5 It connects us. Walking down the street and you catch someone’s eyes and smile and for the briefest of moments, the two of you are connected, even if you never see them again.

6 It raises your vibration! The higher your vibration, the better you feel but not just you, those around you will feel the difference too.

7 You look nice when you smile. Think about someone making a grumpy face vs. a happy face… who do you feel more drawn to? The smile of course!

Keep smiling friends! Thank you for reading my blog today! I wish you a lifetime of reason to smile.

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Daily Meditation – week 1 check in

Here is my check in from my first week of daily meditation practice. With the first 7 days, of the 90 days of daily meditation behind me, I am excited to share my experiences with you.

Experiences during the week: My first week of daily meditation was full of business. The first few days I was trying the various apps but as the weekend approached, I had to pause, as I had a gathering and Mother’s Day to prepare for. When I meditated at first, it seemed that it was one more thing on my to do list that had to be taken care of. However, once I took the time to do it, I felt better. Even calmer and more centered. There were a couple of days where I laid down at night, only to realize I had not yet sat in peaceful meditation for that day. One those days I tried meditating in bed while laying down. I made a discovery; when I meditate laying down, I fall asleep! Probably not my best plan. Over the course of the week I tried the apps with their instructional meditation. I listened to several guided meditations and I also sat in quiet mindfulness meditation. I found I personally prefer the silent meditation. Although guided meditations can be quite powerful, at times I found them distracting. 

What I learned: My favorite time of day to meditate was first thing in the morning. I especially enjoyed it when I could do it near an open window, so the sound of birds and the wind chimes in the backyard would float in on the cool morning breeze. 

My weight: I am on the road for the next four weeks, so I do not have access to my scale. I will be unable to share a number with any weight changes as a result of this. After the first week, though,  I do not sense any changes in how my clothing is fitting. 

How I feel: As I write this morning, I feel calm. The to do list of tasks to get taken care of doesn’t seem to be pressing down on me the way it does some days. I feel hopeful in all situations (which would be a great mantra to meditate with). 

How it’s affected my life: On the morning of Mother’s Day, my husband and I went outside to discover that our fire-pit patio table had been stolen. Although it is  disappointing and frustrating, I felt as though I was able to maintain calm and sent out a plea that everyone send love and healing to the thief. People who have healthy balanced lives do not hurt others. This act is a reflection of pain and poor self-esteem of the perpetrator. When I have experienced previous violations like this, although I still sent loving kindness to the violator, I also had a fair amount of anger. On this occasion I had no anger. Is this a result of my daily meditation practice? I think so. 

Thank you for reading my blog today. How was week one for you? Please share your experiences with us. As I go forward I will stick with these same five areas. Are there any other areas you would like to see me include in my upcoming weekly check-ins? If so, let me know. I wish you a lifetime of hopefulness in all situations. 

Previous meditation blogs by the Adventure Sisters: Join Us on This AdventureMeditate the weight away?9 ways to improve meditation, Meditation contemplations, There’s an App for That: A review of meditation Apps7 Common Meditation Myths11 Types of Meditation 

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11 Types of Meditation

There are many types of meditation that are available for someone who is looking to start a daily meditation practice. Have you decided to join us for our 90 days of daily meditation? If you are having trouble finding your way to that peaceful meditative state, it may not be that you are not cut out for meditation, but rather that you have not found the type of meditation that works best for you. If you read my Adventure Sister Emy’s blog, she found that she had to change the way she meditated so that it work for her and her current lifestyle. Check out her blog.

Hong Sau – When I first was learning to meditate, I was having trouble understanding the practice and feeling like I was doing it correctly. Lucky, I have a network of wise friends and I reached out to my friend Patrick, who taught me the Hong Sau meditation method. Here you focus in on the mantra. It helps relieve the worry that you are “doing it right.” You focus on the words or sounds so your mind is not busy assessing your practice. It was a great way to get started. When you do this type of meditation, you say the words silently in your head. “Hong” on the inhale and “Sau” on the exhale. 

Mindfulness or Zen – These techniques are similar. Although a devoted student of either of these types of Meditation could quickly explain the differences. They both come from Buddhist traditions.  This is the type of meditation that is done in silence, focusing on something like your breath. When the mind wanders, it is gently brought back to the breath or area of focus. These are the types of meditation where you see someone sitting on the floor with their hands in their lap and their eyes closed. It can also be done in a chair, if sitting on the floor is not accessible or comfortable for you. There are many Buddhist centers that will welcome you to join their meditation sessions. 

Kundalini yoga meditation  – As a Kundalini Yoga teacher, this type of meditation is near and dear to my heart. There are many different Kundalini Yoga meditations. Some with silent mantras and others with mantras chanted out loud. Some take place in stillness and others have movement associated with them. If you would like to experience this type of meditation, videos can be found on You Tube or you can attend a Kundalini Yoga Class in your area. Meditation is typically a part of the classes. I have had amazing experiences in Kundalini Yoga classes during the meditation portion. There is something about the group energy that cannot be duplicated in solitary practice. If you are interested in learning more about Kundalini Yoga, stay tuned for a future blog, I intend to write one explaining Kundalini Yoga more. 

Tai Chi or Qigong – This is a practice of meditation in motion. Think of the images of people making the slow uniformed movements together. I have only had the opportunity to experience Tai Chi once, It was at morning prayer at a retreat center I went to, but it was an incredible experience. It is something I intend to experience more of in the future. 

Transcendental – This is the only type of meditation listed here that I have not experienced before. This type of meditation became popular in the 60s. For this type of meditation a Guru of the school of TM (Transcendental Meditation) gives you a mantra. This is a personal mantra and is kept in confidence between you and the Guru. If this is a type of meditation that is interesting to you, reach out to a TM Center to find a Guru to work with. 

Mantra – We have talked about a couple types of mantra meditations already but it doesn’t have to be limited to Hong Sau or Kundalini Mantra Meditations. There are the seed mantras, which are powerful sounds that resinate with the universe, like OM. Additionally, anything can become a mantra. The name of your favorite Saint, an intention you are working on (i.e. Peace, Joy, Love, weight loss), or even just a word like “breath.” I was raised Catholic and I very much see praying the Rosary as a form of mantra meditation. 

Loving Kindness – Loving Kindness is another type of meditation that has become popular with all the stress in the world today. This can be done with visualization or mantra. The focus is, you guessed it: loving kindness for yourself, others, and the greater world or universe. 

Walking – In walking meditation, mantra may or may not be used. Breath work is often a part of it. Your focus is internal, despite the fact that you are moving. Breathwalk: Breathing Your Way to a Revitalized Body, Mind and Spirit is a book full of walking meditations. I had the opportunity to experience a walking meditation led by one of the authors of this book. I fell in love with walking meditations. This is a particularly nice type of meditation for people who have a hard time sitting still. 

Focused – This was one of the first ever meditation practices I learned. The woman who taught me about it explained that it is a practice of sitting with your eyes open and gaze soft. You focus your vision on something in your space. A candle flame is a nice option for your gaze. Other options, for focus, could be the pattern in a fabric or the veins in a leaf. Either of which could be traced with your sight. The purpose of this is to keep your mind in the present. 

Guided – These are a great thing for beginners. There are lots of them on YouTube and available in Apps for your phone. See my previous blog Theres An App for That: A Review Of Meditation Apps. The nice thing about a guided meditation is that a facilitator helps you stay present. There are guided meditations for almost anything you could possible want. They can help you have very powerful experiences. Plus better learn how to meditate and what you should expect as you progress in your meditation skills. 

Healing Gong – These are events that are offered by yoga studios sometimes. The gong is the sound of creation. Lying on a mat, completely relaxed, while the sound of the gong vibrates over you can be a transformative experience. These are typically a special occasional event rather than a type of meditation practiced regularly. If you get a chance to experience this I would recommend it.

Learning to meditate can be a practice of trialing different types of meditation in order to find what’s a good fit for you. Even if you are an experienced meditator, you may find that what worked for you at one time, is no longer a good fit. You may need to try a new type of meditation that gets you to a deeper or more fulfilling experience. 

Please share in the comments if you have any experiences you would like the rest of the group to know about. If you have more or different information you would like to share, please do so in the comments. This is how we can help and learn from each other. We are a community. 

Thank you for reading my blog today. I wish for you a meditation practice that is fulfilling and that you find the type of meditation that is just right for you in this moment and every moment. I love you. 

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7 Common Meditation Myths 

When I was talking about the 90 day meditation to release weight challenge, people mentioned things to me that were just not true about meditation. So I thought maybe I should showcase some of the these myths to help dispel them. What is important to know is meditation is accessible to everyone of every fitness level, from the very young to the very old. Here are some of the myths that I have heard of.

1. You have to sit Criss Cross Apple Sauce! – Many people do meditate in the Lotus position or Easy Pose, but is is not necessary. You can meditate sitting in a chair or on the couch. Even while laying in the bed it is possible to meditate. I met a lovely woman in India who would meditate while she was doing the dishes. 

2. You have to have a lot of free time – Meditation can be done in quick 3 minute intervals. There are longer meditations if you have time for it, but a quick 3 -5 minute meditation while you are in your car waiting to pick up your child or before a job interview, can be very beneficial. Just as people come in all kinds of shapes and sizes, so does meditation. 

3. There is only one “right” way to meditate – There are many different ways and types of meditation. Some include chanting a mantra or phrase while some are silent. There are sitting mediations as well as walking meditations. You can meditate with your eyes open or  closed. Watch for a upcoming blog, I intend to write, highlighting several different types of meditation. 

4. You have to be able to quiet your mind – Our minds are not by nature quiet. Our monkey minds jump all around, from planning what we will eat for our next meal to thinking about what we still need to do at work. What meditation does is help you be more present and learn to bring the mind back when it wonders off. 

5. It is religious – Mediation is not about any particular religion. It is about being in relationship with yourself. 

6. It is something only “hippies” do  – Anyone can meditate. Athletes, celebrities, spiritual leaders, children, and everyday people turn to mediation for stress relief and to improve their life. 

7. It takes years to receive benefit – There are so many different ways to meditate. There is no one right or wrong way. There is better or more improved meditation, which comes with practice but even if you are new to meditation and your mind is very busy, you can still receive benefit from the practice of it. 

You are the perfect person to receive benefit from meditation. Give it a try. Join us on our 90 days of daily meditation. We would be glad have you join us. 

Thank you for reading my blog today. I love you. I wish you a lifetime of beneficial meditation to help you get to the next level with your goals. 

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