Mindful Meditation- Meditation Monday Eves and a Guided Meditation For You
Beginning Monday October 2nd, I open my office to share mindful meditation with you. Whether you are a beginner seeking to bring meditation and true mindfulness into your life or a regular meditator seeking support in your practice, you are welcome. Meditation begins at 5:30. Wear comfortable clothes, bring a water bottle, take off your shoes and come in and join us. We will meditate the first 30 minutes and follow with a time of sharing and learning about meditation and living soulfully and present to the moment . We will close the evening mindfully meditating. Suggested donation $15 to $20. Meditation Mondays will continue the first Monday of each month at 5:30 in my office at 750 Warm Springs Ave, Suite A3. Please shoot me a text or email that you plan to attend.
Reap the Benefits of Practicing Mindful Meditation
Within the most difficult of circumstances a human being can be at peace. In our modern stressful society, many are experiencing anxiety, depression, loneliness and isolation and the failing of their physical and mental health. They are yearning to find a calmer, healthier and more fulfilling life. The practice of Mindful Meditation can help each and all find peace within, greater health and well being and the ability to cope more effectively with life, no matter how difficult the circumstances.
Bhante Henepola Gunaratana, in his book, Beyond Mindfulness in Plain English, says, “Our mind, when we go into meditation, is like a cup of muddy water. When the cup is held still for a period of time, the sediment sinks to the bottom and the water in the cup is clear” (McGlauflin). In the conscious clarity of mindful meditation lies powerful healing potential; a person’s energy field present and clear, becomes receptive to the powerful healing energy of the universe.
In mindful meditation, the meditator comes into the present moment and focuses on the breath within. An essential aspect of Mindful Meditation is the suspension of judgment. The mind learns how to be in the present moment and to accept without judgment whatever is. The meditator brings this skill into daily life becoming present to each moment and able to cope calmly and effectively with the circumstances within it. In this state of presence, clarity and acceptance, the energy field of the meditator becomes free and clear and receptive to the healing energy of the universe.
Research is showing that meditation lowers blood pressure and inflammatory markers and that it changes the structure of the brain, lowering anxiety and depression and increasing memory and concentration. In San Francisco schools once overwhelmed with at risk students, violence and rising dropout rates, “quiet time”, mindful meditation, added to the school day, is not only keeping kids in school, it is raising their academic performance, their self-esteem and their happiness.
Kerry's Guided Mindful Meditation:
You can make a recording of this guided meditation by reading it into a recording app on your phone. Read it slowly and gently. Hope you enjoy your meditation experience and the benefits!
Find a quiet and comfortable place to be. It can be a room or even a corner where you feel good and where there is little activity or noise. Wear comfortable clothes that allow you take a deep tummy expanding breath without constriction. Sit on the floor, a pillow or a chair, whatever is comfortable. If you are sitting in a chair uncross your legs and set your feet flat on the floor. If on the floor cross your legs comfortably. You may want to light a candle or put on soft meditative music, but neither is necessary. Close your eyes, or open them gently with your gaze downward. Relax your arms. Let your hands fall open on your knees, preferably with palms up.
Take a deep breath, in through your nose if possible, or both your nose and mouth is fine. Let the air you take in expand your tummy fully. Exhale gently and slowly.
Relax, inhale and bring your awareness to the top of your head, your scalp, your forehead, the back of your head, your third eye. As you exhale let this area let go, relax and rest.
With your next breath bring your awareness to your face, the bottom of the back of your head and your jaw and chin. As you exhale let this area let go, relax and rest.
As you inhale again bring your awareness to your neck and throat and as you exhale let your neck and throat let go, relax and rest.
With the next breath, focus on your shoulders, your upper back and your chest and as you exhale, let this area that so often carries tensions and stress, let go, relax and rest.
Continue this relaxation exercise down to your toes. When you are bringing your awareness to an area that carries much tension and discomfort in your body you may want to take an extra breath or two to relax the area more deeply. Once you have relaxed down to your toes, take two to three breaths to allow your exhalations to move through your body and bring further relaxation from head to toe.
Now bring your awareness to any sensations that are in your body right now. Simply notice them and return to your breath. When sensations are strong, allow your awareness of them to continue. Acknowledge them and name them. For instance, a pain in your lower back, you may name, “strain, discomfort” or your heavy eyelids and fatigue, you may name, “tired, sleepy.” Now, return to your breath. What sensations remain let float within you, making room for them, allowing their presence to simply be with you. Return to your breath.
Remember to breath in deeply so that your tummy expands with each inhalation. Bring your awareness to your breath, to its natural, spontaneous flow of air, in and out. Simply be with the breath. As you focus on your breath your mind will begin its natural antics. It will bring forward into your awareness its plans, its worries and its memories. It may even solve a problem you’ve been working on or come up with a great idea. (You may want to meditate with a notebook near, so that when your mind does solve a problem or create a brilliant idea you can jot it down and return to your breath.) Bring your awareness to each thought stream, watch it. If it doesn’t just pass through your mind, acknowledge it and name it, for instance, “remembering”, “planning”, or “worrying”, then return to your breath. I suggest seeing your mind as an active and curious child. If you look at your thoughts with interest, amusement and a sense of humor you will more easily suspend judgement.
As your mind does what is natural, creating thought, you will become aware of not only these thoughts but of feelings and emotions too. Sometimes a thought will bring with it a feeling. Sometimes you will become aware of a feeling without a thought. Simply notice the emotion and where it is residing in your body. Return your awareness to your breath. When the feeling continues bring your awareness to the feeling and its location, acknowledge it, name it. Be with it as you inhale and exhale the breath of life. Return to your breath. If the feeling continues simply be aware of it, allow it to be, make room for it.
Sometimes a feeling or a thought becomes overwhelming and seems to refuse to quiet or to let go or to float along gently with you. It demands attention and makes it hard to focus on the breath or anything else. When this happens, you can wrap this thought or feeling or both together as they often come in a bubble or balloon. Envision it floating, first up and out of your body, then up and out of your energy body into the hands of the universe, to be safely held for you until after meditation when you can pay attention to it.
Return to your breath. Stay in your awareness of what is within you. Suspend judgment, bring in interest and amusement. Return to your breath. Simply be aware of what is. Return to your breath.
When you’ve been meditating awhile and find yourself in the peace and clarity that meditation brings, you can be in the energy of gratitude to the universe for the love and grace that fills and surrounds you. If you’d like you can envision this love and grace filling and surrounding your loved ones, your community and your world. Return to your breath.
With this universal energy, you can bring your awareness to each energy center within your body, each chakra, simply be aware and allow each to open and rotate as it will. Starting with awareness of your root chakra, make your way up your chakras, one breath at a time, to your crown and if you’d like to the chakras beyond. Notice how you feel with your energy open in the presence of universal energy. Sense the energy flowing through your being. Return to your breath.
Return to the breath and to what is within you, thoughts, feelings, physical and energetic sensations. Simply be aware of what is, letting go of any judgment that enters until your time in mediation is complete.
When your meditation time is finished, take a deep tummy breath and give thanks to yourself for your commitment to meditation and to your highest self, your spiritual guidance and to the universe for being with you. You have exercised your mind and honored your whole being, body, mind and spirit.