Meditation “Practice”

For years I have been attempting to perfect my meditation practice. I have tried several different types of mediation: Buddhist, Kundalini, walking, guided, yoga Nidra, etc. After all of these I have still felt like an amateur when I sit on my cushion. This morning I realized, it is “practice”. I don’t have to be perfect at it. There are days when I sit on my cushion and the 20 minutes passes easily with myself in the zone. There are other days when I check my timer, twice, sure I must have forgotten to start it. Some days I sit and spend the whole 20 minute thinking. Other days I am listening to the sounds in the house. It does not have to be perfect to be beneficial. I just have to keep practicing.

Some of the helpful things I have learned about mediation are:

  • We only get upset at noises we think we should be able to control. We don’t get upset at birds or wind, but family members or our pets, we think should stay quiet for us. Meditation is about being able to still quiet our mind despite someone doing the dishes, watching TV, or barking at the delivery driver.
  • The mind will think, that is what it does. It is not my job to stop it from thinking but rather to notice that it is thinking. Meditation helps us be aware of how our mind works and to notice what it is doing. By practicing with it, in a calm environment, we better understand it and can notice what it is doing in stressful situations.
  • Giving the mind something to do can help you meditate. Kundalini meditations, involve chanting mantras and sometimes performing certain movements. This can be very helpful because the mind is busy focusing on the mantra and/or the movement. It allows you to get to the mediative space.
  • No one is good at mediation when they first start doing it. It takes practice and commitment. “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.”
  • For all the imperfect meditations I have, the ones that work are worth all the ones that don’t.
  • You have to find the mediation that is right for you. I have had amazing experiences with many different types of mediation but my favorite is sitting silent mediation. It is not necessarily the easiest but it is the one that I have the riches experiences with.
  • There are many layers to your mind. I have identified a thinker, a narrater (who thinks they have to tell me what I am doing and what I am thinking like I am not there experiencing it), there is a watcher, a judge (who scold when it thinks I am not doing it right), and back behind all these other layers, somewhere deep within, is me.
  • Making a nonnegotiable habit makes it much easier. I get up in the morning and I mediate for 20 minutes every day. There is no option to do it later. When I get up, it is time. I go and sit.
  • I feel more ground, connected, and at peace now that I have established a meditative practice.
  • Meditating daily helps with other commitments. I know that a temptation will pass and am better able to stick to my other self-care initiatives.

If you have ever considered doing mediation, do it! It is worth it. Be gentle with yourself. Practice is practice. Anything else you were practicing you would not expect yourself to be perfect. Let meditation have the same grace. Notice that the mind is thinking and come back to your breath, your mantra, or focusing on the flicker of a candle flame. Be willing to experiment with different types of mediation till you find the one that works for you. Wether you have a deep experience during mediation, you find it easier to pass on the candy bowl, or you notice how you are reacting in a stressful situation, you will know that the effort of your practice has been worth it.

Thank you for reading my blog today. May you find the perfect way to make meditation a beautiful part of your self-care practices. You are worth it.

Other blogs on Meditation:

9 Ways to Improve Mediation

Mediations: A Beautiful Experience

7 Mediation Myths

11 Types of Meditation

There is an App for That: A review of Mediation Apps

Hope For the Future

Today, I had an amazing opportunity. I got to go and talk with a bunch of high school kids about Reiki energy healing and the Chakra system. I was so impressed that high schools are starting to teach alternative healing classes. What a gift for these amazing young people to get a taste that there are other options out there other than just a pill to help you when you are not feeling well.

The 22 students I met with were warm and engaging. They asked great questions and participated with all of the activities we tried. They were open but questioning. I really appreciated that they did not just take it as fact but rather asked smart questions. They thought about the principles that were being taught and then, very respectfully challenged, what was being told to them. I also appreciated their wise teacher who allowed the topic to adapt in order to address their questions. How I wish I could have spent more time with them.

When I first started my holistic healing practice people didn’t really “get it”. They really didn’t understand about our body’s innate ability to heal itself. They couldn’t understand how I might have been able to help them. They flocked to the massage therapists, but they just couldn’t really picture what I would do for them. When I think about it, why would they. most people back then had not experienced holistic healing. They couldn’t understand how armed with a gong, a deck of tarot cards, and a fist full of certifications, I could truly help them out. But I could see it.  I could see how I would be able to do an assessment, find the underlying emotion or cause of their health concern and work on that, instead of masking it with medications.

If I would have had more time with this dynamic group, of soon to be adults, I would have loved to teach them so many more things. I would have taught them about the underlying issues (often emotional) that sit just beneath the surface, causing other things to pop up in our health. I would have taught them about the gift of forgiveness and how it can free you more than the person you are forgiving. I would have taught them that they are enough; that we all have special gifts and talents. Which are usually not the same. I would have taught them some simple energy healing techniques. I could go on and on there is so much they could learn. In the future I hope to be invited to do other events like this with teens. These bright young people are our future and they give me so much hope.

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Coon Dee What Eee Yoga? ~ A short description of Kundalini Yoga

Have you heard of Kundalini Yoga? It is very different from other yoga you may have tried. I recommend that you give it a shot even if you think you don’t like yoga. I stumbled upon it many years ago and took my first class in the teacher’s backyard with one other student. I was hooked immediately. I have since continued to practice it off and on and even became a certified teacher.  I love it that much!

Kundalini Yoga started in the 60’s when a Guru named Yogi Bhajan saw the kids using psychedelics. He started teaching, this yoga, that could give them the same experiences without the danger and bad effects of drugs. There is still a striving Kundalini Yoga community of really remarkable people. There is even research studies done on the positive and healing effects of Kundalini Yoga.

Things are different when you step into a Kundalini yoga class. First off, the teacher will likely be dressed in all white and have their head covered in some way. We dress in all white to expand our radiance. I always feel radiant in my Kundalini whites and I love wearing them. The head cover is to protect us from all the energies. There is no need for students to wear white or cover their head but, of course, you can if you so choose.

The class has six main parts

1. Tuning In – This is a chant that connects us into the Kundalini ancestry. It is short and you are     welcome to just listen if you are not comfortable with it at first.

2. Warm up – This gets your blood and muscles moving.

3. The Kryia – This is the yoga set. Kundalini yoga is often a lot of movement during the Kryia. Each Kryia is unique in how many exercises and how long they last. Some are done completely while sitting. Each one is different and for different reasons. They are all purposeful!

4. Relaxation – During this part you lay on your back. Often a gong is used and the sound of creation washes over you while you lay peacefully. I love the gong. It is a powerful part of the class. Sometime the relaxation maybe done without the gong.

5. Mediation – Each mediation is different. Some are quiet and some are chanting. Some are still while others include movement. All are powerful. I have had entire children’s books download into my consciousness while in Kundalini Meditation.

6. The Long Time Sunshine Song – is sung. It is either sung 2-3 times through. It is short but powerful. I especially enjoy doing it three times through; with the first time being to yourself, the second sent to someone you love and the third sent out to the world.

Now that you know the basis of what to expect in a Kundalini class, I hope that you will give it a try. The purpose is to move the Kundalini energy up your spine and connect you to your source or God. It is not a religion but a spiritual practice. When I do it I feel calmer, more centered and inspired. It helps me be the best version of myself.

Thank you for reading my blog today. I wish for you a lifetime of finding your own centering practice that helps you feel your best today and always. I love you!