Meditation Monday Day #43: Who Knew Meditation Was So Sneaky?

Screen Shot 2013-01-27 at 3.43.18 PMI’m 99.999 % sure that my reaction to losing my blue folder was a direct result of meditation practice. I am baffled and tickled that I found out that way. I had no idea how sneaky this practice is; working on me with my permission but beyond my knowledge. It’s like finding out that the money you’ve been putting in the bank has been secretly paying your mortgage while doubling in interest.

Several things happened that day that would not have happened months ago:

  • From the moment the folder left my hand to when I started picking up the pieces, it probably took 1 minute tops, but it I experienced it slowly. My breathing barely changed. Whoa. No panic?
  • I instantaneously let go of wanting it to be any other way, and this gave me the chance to choose what to do next. There was zero confusion.
  • Deciding to rescue what I could, not knowing if that was even possible, felt “right” and I didn’t question it. There was a distinct lack of chatter.
  • I could really see and acknowledge each person who helped me.

Ask me right now and I’ll confess that I still have no idea how to meditate. I’m tempted to tell you that I have been able to sense deep changes in me all along, it would make me look so wise, but I haven’t. All I know is that I continue to keep showing up because I made that commitment up there at the top of the post.

Sit, breathe, and count on.

Talk to me. How’s it going for you?

Have you noticed that it’s so much better when other people tackle a disciplined practice along with you?  It would be fantastic if you were doing it too. We can share stories – or not. You can just read, lurk about and observe – your call.

Want to ask a private question? email: judy@moveintochange.com

Photo credit:
  • photo detail from Breathing by Anne Lindberg at the Daum Museum of Contemporary Art

If you like what you read here, please share it with a friend or two. You might want to check out moveintochange.com. That’s where there’s info about coaching and coaching with me.

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Meditation Monday: Day #15

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100 Breaths for 100 Days, that’s the commitment.

Updating you on what’s happened since last Monday.

General Observations from the Week: Grabbing and Grasping

  • I seem to need about the first 15 breaths to relax my body while maintaining an alert spine. I’ll show you how I do this below.
  • Mostly I just can’t tell the difference. between controlling each breath and merely counting.
  • I worry that I won’t have anything to write to you about- that I won’t remember the sensations and thoughts I experience. Like a hawk circling above a tasty meal, I hover looking to dive,  snatch, and keep one.   I never noticed this vigilance before.
  • When I grab an observation, it morphs into an image and before I know it I’ve followed a train of thought, one that tickles me (hello ego), and I see that I’ve left the breath. Again.
  • Thought I am not giving myself a hard time about getting distracted – this is already different than how it would have been a  few years ago – there’s a sense of p-p-ull-ling myself back to the breath that’s definitely tense.
  • Day 13 I meditate, but I take no notes.

What it was like today:

Cross-legged, I close my eyes. I find my sitz bones (the ones under your butt) on the floor. Then I tune into the right side of my body. I’m imagining it softening and widening beginning at my legs and moving up to my face. Then I repeat on the other side.

At first, this leads to pleasant sensations until my spine starts to droop. Next, I imagine the meeting place between the two sides of my body filled with flowing water. Now my spine is awake enough without too much muscular effort.

My breath has been coming and going more slowly and at 40 I really notice it. For the first time, I know that I’m watching at the same time that I’m watching. Is this  the “witness?”  The part of me that’s watching me breathe feels big and loving; that heart cracking sweetness of watching my babies sleep.

Oops, I’m gone again, lost in memory. My babies. I bring my attention back to my body. Where was I?

How’s it going for you? What have you noticed?

I think it’s  so much better when other people tackle a disciplined practice along with me. There’s something even more  than support, encouragement, and empathy that happens between us, even online.  I’m perfectly willing to go solo  but it would be fantastic if you were doing it too. We can share stories – or not.  You can just read, lurk about and observe – your call.

Want to ask a private question? email: judy@moveintochange.com

Related articles & photo credit:

You might want to check out moveintochange.com too. That’s where there’s info about coaching, Focusing, free stuff. Go… and then go forth and tell your friends.

Meditation Monday: Day #8

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100 Breaths for 100 Days, that’s the commitment.

After a whole week ( a whole week!) of sitting Mindfulness Meditation I’m playing  with how I’ll tell you about it. Here goes.

General Observations from the Week:

  • Chucked the cushion, it distracted me.
  • Had to decide where I’d put my hands . Right now I’m opting for in my lap with fingertips almost touching.
  • I avoided sitting on Day 5- but finally did it.
  • Avoided it again on Day 6 – this time didn’t do it.
  • Knowing I was going to tell you about not practicing actually helped me let myself off the hook, “it’s all part of the experiment,” and that led me to wondering if it I could try meditating right after yoga.
  • My mind wants to use mental images to help me bring my concentration to breathing. One day it’s seeing a train conductor playing the harmonica to calm a scared child on the train, and another day it’s finding the very center of my skull. When I sensed the middle of my skull, I felt my spine elongate. My eyes (even though they were closed) shifted in their sockets. Oddly, this made it easier to  breathe.

What it was like today:

Getting started felt like easing  instead of reminding. I attribute this to being super relaxed during Shivasana (Corpse Pose) at the end of yoga. I just sat up slowly and got to it. (Makes sense, Hatha Yoga was designed to get the body ready for meditation- and it makes sense too that I’d have to experience it to get it.)

At about 60 breaths there was a rush of heat (no, not a hot flash) and I welcome it. Then I’m feeling impatient. By 80 breaths I want to stay forever. And at 90 I feel a subtle circling deep in my ribcage. It kind of snakes up to my shoulders and neck as I watch it. Then I have a powerful urge to turn my head all the way to the left, and a voice inside asks, “Are you supposed to move during sitting meditation?”

Then I think, “I don’t know the answer to that, I  haven’t a clue what I’m doing. And since I don’t, it doesn’t matter what I choose right now.” It occurs to me that I can file away this urge for further investigation at a later time. I don’t have to act on it but I can if I want. Now, it seems right to just watch and stay still. Of course, I’ve lost count several times, and am only vaguely aware that I’m breathing at all. 99…100.

How’s it going for you?

Have you noticed that it’s so much better when other people tackle a disciplined practice along with you? There’s something even more  than support, encouragement, and empathy that happens between us, even online.  I’m perfectly willing to go solo on this, but it would be fantastic if you were doing it too. We can share stories – or not.  You can just read, lurk about and observe – your call.

Want to ask a private question? email: judy@moveintochange.com

Related articles & photo credit:

You might want to check out moveintochange.com too. That’s where there info about coaching, Focusing, free stuff … go… and then go forth and tell your friends.

Meditation Monday: Day #1

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100 Breaths for 100 Days, that’s the commitment.

If I’m going to stick with this meditation thing, it’s going to be important to stay in experimentation mode. The spirit of experimentation, containing qualities like curiosity, gentleness, non-judgement and detailed observation (and lots of notes) is what’s needed now. Because, already I can see myself getting tripped up by decisions; the kind of decisions I don’t really like, such as, Where will I meditate? When? What kind of meditation will I do?

I’ve read a bunch of “rules” for meditating. They say to pick a quiet spot (makes sense not to be easily interrupted), to meditate at the same time everyday preferably very early in the morning (not going to happen) and to pick a method and stick to it (hmm).

Right about now, I need a permission slip to not play by all the rules, and to trust that I can or at least will, at some point, discern which rules will support my practice and which will undermine this sweet little project of mine.

Decided: meditation in the bedroom, probably in the morning, with cushion. Sounds like a game of Clue. It is a game of Clue -looking for clues about my stuff and ways to practice interacting with it- meditation being one way.

Okay, phew, on to the menu of meditation choices. Below are a few you’ve probably heard of but don’t worry, I’m not going to describe them, you’ve got Google for that.

  • Mindfulness, Zazen, Metta, Heart Rhythm, Guided Visualization and Qigong Visualization.

I’m going with MIndfulness. I will observe my breaths and count them.  I sit and begin to breathe. I’m all over the place. I wonder if I’m breathing right. There’s a cacophony of body sensations and I lose count. I worry about getting through 100 breaths. It’s a struggle. Then I remember the one meditation class I took with my friend Theodore (hi, Theodore!) where we used finger-tip touch to keep count. Yes. This physical reminder helps. With thumb to fingertip at the completion of each breath I still lose count here and there, but I have a way to return.

Have you noticed that it’s so much better when other people tackle a disciplined practice along with you? There’s something even more  than support, encouragement, and empathy that happens between us, even online.  I’m perfectly willing to go solo on this, but it would be fantastic if you did it too. We can share stories – or not.  You can just read, lurk about and observe – your call.

Want to ask a private question? email: judy@moveintochange.com

Related articles & photo credit:

You might want to check out moveintochange.com too.

Meditation Monday: The Plan

 image002 100 Breaths for 100 Days,that’s the commitment.

I figure it would be deadly to take you through 100 actual days of meditation practice. So here’s the plan; I will journal everyday but check in with you only on Mondays (unless you have questions, and you can email me anytime- see below). That way, we’ll be able to reflect on a whole week.

Have you noticed that it’s so much better when other people tackle a disciplined practice along with you? There’s something even more  than support, encouragement, and empathy that happens between us, even online.  I’m perfectly willing to go solo on this, but it would be fantastic if you did it too. We can share stories – or not.  You can just read, lurk about and observe – your call.

Leave a comment here or email me: judy@moveintochange.com