You may sometimes find yourself longing to sit and do nothing, yet when the opportunity presents itself, you may not know how to enjoy it.
That’s largely because our society is very goal-oriented. We tend to always be going in a certain direction and having a particular aim in mind. Buddhism, on the other hand, has a certain respect for enlightened “aimlessness.” That teaching says you don’t have to put something in front of you and run after it, because everything is already there inside you. The same is true with sitting.
Don’t sit in order to attain a goal. Each moment of sitting meditation brings you back to life. Whatever you are doing, whether it’s watering the garden, brushing your teeth, or doing the dishes, see if you can do it in a way that is “aimless.”
– Thich Nhat Hanh
15 practical steps Thich Nhat Hanh says we can take to bring mindfulness to our work:
- 1. Start your day with 10 minutes of sitting in meditation.
- 2. Take the time to sit down and enjoy eating breakfast at home.
- 3. Remind yourself every day of your gratitude for being alive and having 24 brand-new hours to live.
- 4. Try not to divide your time into “my time” and “work.” All time can be your own time if you stay in the present moment and keep in touch with what’s happening in your body and mind. There’s no reason why your time at work should be any less pleasant than your time anywhere else.
- 5. Resist the urge to make calls on your cell phone while on your way to and from work, or on your way to appointments. Allow yourself this time to just be with yourself, with nature and with the world around you.
- 6. Arrange a breathing area at work where you can go to calm down, stop and have a rest. Take regular breathing breaks to come back to your body and to bring your thoughts back to the present.
- 7. At lunchtime, eat only your food and not your fears or worries. Don’t eat lunch at your desk. Change environments. Go for a walk.
- 8. Make a ritual out of drinking your tea. Stop work and look deeply into your tea to see everything that went into making it: the clouds and the rain, the tea plantations and the workers harvesting the tea.
- 9. Before going to a meeting, visualize someone very peaceful, mindful and skillful being with you. Take refuge in this person to help stay calm and peaceful.
- 10. If you feel anger or irritation, refrain from saying or doing anything straight away. Come back to your breathing and follow your in- and out-breath until you’ve calmed down.
- 11. Practice looking at your boss, your superiors, your colleagues or your subordinates as your allies and not as your enemies. Recognize that working collaboratively brings more satisfaction and joy than working alone. Know that the success and happiness of everyone is your own success.
- 12. Express your gratitude and appreciation to your colleagues regularly for their positive qualities. This will transform the whole work environment, making it much more harmonious and pleasant for everyone.
- 13. Try to relax and restore yourself before going home so you don’t bring accumulated negative energy or frustration home with you.
- 14. Take some time to relax and come back to yourself when you get home before starting on household chores. Recognize that multitasking means you’re never fully present for any one thing. Do one thing at a time and give it your full attention.
- 15. At the end of the day, keep a journal of all the good things that happened in your day. Water your seeds of joy and gratitude regularly so they can grow.
– Thich Nhat Hanh
This is my favorite mantra to awaken Shakti, or the manifesting energy of the Universe, to stoke the fire of transformation within. I teach this mantra in classes, I sing it while driving in Los Angeles traffic and I have shared with with friends, family and students around the world because it’s easy and uplifting with the potential for great results.
According to the Buddhist Handbook, mantras are “highly compressed, power-packed formulas, usually of Sanskrit origin, which are charged with deep meaning and magical potency.” A mantra can be a word, sound or phrase which elevates or modifies consciousness through its meaning, sound, rhythm, tone and reflexology of the tongue against the palate of the mouth.
This particular mantra is “Om Gam Ganapataye Namaha,” which can be loosely translated to “Yo! Wake up Root Chakra energy of transformation so I can move through any obstacles in my life. Hooray!” Most importantly, we are calling upon the powerful energy of Ganesh, the elephant headed deity, who is widely revered as the Remover of Obstacles and the Lord of Beginnings.
According to Kundalini yoga, Ganesh, also referred to as Ganapataye, resides in the first chakra, called Muladhara (muladhara). Mula means “original,” and adhara means “foundation.” The muladhara chakra is the principal origin from which the manifesting energy of Shakti resides within each of us. When we awaken that energy, it helps us move through the Chakras with ease to activate a strong sense of self, express Divine love, communicate clearly and connect with our intuition.
This particular mantra is important because not only is it fun and catchy, but it also represents a willingness to release and move past the perceived obstacles in our lives. We can all make excuses for ourselves about why we cannot achieve our dreams, but you will have an easier time succeeding when you choose to focus on your goals rather than your challenges. So when you make the choice to chant this mantra, you are aligning yourself with your desired outcome and moving towards it with conviction.
I suggest you use this mantra when you want to clear the Chitta Vritti, or the anxious chatter of the mind. You can repeat this Mantra 108 times on your Mala beads or follow along with a video for a minute of chanting. You’ll find a bunch of them on YouTube. Most importantly, make it your own, find your voice and have fun. Remember, this is your life. Don’t let anything hold you back because you deserve the best.
From Mind Body Green
There is no real translation for this mantra. It is concerned with energy, breath, and the placement of consciousness. It is one of the simplest and yet most powerful mantras for permanently altering your state of consciousness. It balances the masculine and feminine energies and focuses their combined force.
(While breathing in say, Om Huhm, and exhaling say, Soh Huhm)
Source: Tara May’s Blog
Night is tremendously beautiful. It is a good time for meditation. It helps you release the tensions of the day easily and effortlessly. This particular meditation will increase your connection to the Magickal Energy inherent in darkness, starlight, and moonlight.
Here’s a very simple, very effective meditation:
Before you go to bed at night, alone or with a partner, sit silently, look into the darkness. Become one with the dark, disappear into it. Look at the stars — feel the distance, the silence, the emptiness, and use night for your meditation.
Sitting on your bed, or on your balcony, or in your garden, doing nothing…just feeling, just being there. The day is worldly, the night is more spiritual. Over time you will feel tremendously in tune with night. The world is asleep. Everything stops, traffic, noises, the mundane world is quiet. People, their unconsciousness, bad attitudes, have all disappeared into sleep. The atmosphere is clean with no jarring note.
As you start enjoying the beauty of the night, you will feel it more and more. As you absorb the tranquility, serenity, and comfort night offers, your sleep will then carry a meditational and in the morning you feel refreshed in a whole new way.
Source: Pragito Dove
From the space of stillness, something beautiful can flower. Life can be a song, a dance.. from that space of stillness… Where you become magnet of abundance at all levels.
How to attain that stillpoint? Concentrate the energy on the Hara, the point two inches below the navel.
That is the center from where one enters life and that is the center from where one dies and goes out of life. So that is the contact center between the body and the soul. If you feel a sort of wavering left and right and you don’t know where your center is, that simply shows that you are no longer in contact with your Hara, so you have to create that contact.
- When: In the night, when you go to sleep and first thing in the morning.
- Duration: 10 – 15 minutes.
Step 1: Locate the Hara
Lie down on the bed and put both your hands two inches below the navel and press a little.
Step 2: Take a Deep Breath!
Start breathing, deep breathing. You will feel that center coming up and down with the breathing. Feel your whole energy there as if you are shrinking and shrinking and shrinking and you are just existing there as a small center, very concentrated energy.
Step 3: Center While U Sleep!
Fall asleep doing it – that will be helpful. Then the whole night that centering persists. Again and again the unconscious goes and center is there. So the whole night without your knowing, you will be coming in many ways in deep contact with the center.
Step 4: Reconnect with the Hara
In the morning, the moment that you feel that sleep has gone, don’t open your eyes first. Again put your hands there, push a little, start breathing; again feel the Hara. Do this for 10 – 15 minutes and then get up.
Do this every night, every morning.
Within three months you will start feeling centered.
It is very essential to have a centering otherwise one feels fragmentary; then one is not together. One is just like a jigsaw – all fragments and not a whole. It is a bad shape, because without a center a man can drag but cannot love.
Without a center you can go on doing routine things in your life, but you can never be creative. You will live the minimum. The maximum will not be possible for you. Only by centering does one live at the maximum, at the zenith, at the peak, at the climax, and that is the only living, a real life. For example, there will be less thinking because energy will not move to the head, it will go to the Hara.
The more you think of the Hara, the more you concentrate there, the more you will find a discipline arising in you. That comes naturally, it has not to be forced. The more you are aware of the Hara, the less you will become afraid of life and death because that is the center of life and death.
Once you become attuned to the Hara center, you can live courageously. Courage arises out of it: less thinking, more silence, less uncontrolled moments,natural discipline, courage and rootedness, a groundedness.
Found at Inner Cosmos Meditation
A meditative awareness comes like a whisper, not a shout, with noiseless footsteps. If you are full of occupations, busyness and noise it might come and wait, but then it will leave.
Set aside some time — 3, 5, 10, 15 minutes or longer — preferably every day, for sitting in silence. It doesn’t matter where you are, just sit, close your eyes, and wait. Don’t do anything, just sit in great waiting with an open, trusting heart. Then if something is to “happen” you will be ready to receive it. If nothing happens, at least you’ve had this “down time” to do nothing. No matter what, after sitting silently for a while you will feel more in touch with yourself, more peaceful.
When and Where:
Most people find that it works best to do this at the same time every day. It doesn’t matter what time you choose, but setting aside a set time, say as a mid-morning break or during your lunch hour, helps make it part of your daily routine. When the inner consciousness knows that the outer consciousness is waiting for it, there is a greater possibility of a meeting.
As you practice doing nothing, by and by an understanding will start to arise between you and the meditative state. As this understanding grows you will start to feel a subtle quality of relaxation, of serenity woven into the texture of your whole day.
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