At sunrise, sit facing the sun. Meditate on light, on the dawning of a new day. Ask yourself what it is you wish to bring into your life. Thank the sun for illuminating your path.
At sunset, watch the sun as it disappears over the horizon. Reflect on your day and the coming darkness.
- What shadow aspects of your being do you need to confront?
- What do you want to release, or complete in your life?
- What do you need to work on in your night dreams?
Give thanks and make an offering to Father Sun; receive his blessings and gifts.
From: Circle of Song
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
Hugging meditation is something to practice with people you love and trust, particularly if you have been upset with each other. To begin, close your eyes, take a deep breath, and visualize yourself and your beloved three hundred years from now. Then, open your arms and hug your loved one.
If we can see the impermanent nature of our self and our loved one, we can realize how precious every moment is that we have together. We won’t want to waste our time together by being angry and hurting each other.
When you hug someone, first practice breathing in and breathing out to bring to life your insight of impermanence. “Breathing in, I know that life is precious in this moment. Breathing out, I cherish this moment of life.” You smile at the person in front of you, expressing your desire to hold him or her in your arms. This is a practice and a ritual.
When you bring your body and mind together to produce your total presence, full of life, it is a ritual. You hold the other person in your arms gently, and breathe in and out three times, cherishing the other person’s presence. Then you separate and smile to each other again – a smile of gratitude and love.
– Thich Nhat Hanh
Meditation is one path to self realization and tranquility. One of the most important meditation techniques is the mindfulness meditation.
Mindfulness is a mental state that enables you to stay with a calm mind. It helps you stay aware of all the physical and mental activities of the present. It is a form of Buddhist meditation that has been practiced for eons. According to Buddha’s noble eight fold path, it is the seventh element. Mindfulness develops wisdom of the human mind.
Insight is another name for mindfulness meditation. This type of meditation helps to concentrate on the present. This technique allows you to let go of the past and future thoughts, hindering a certain peace of mind. During mindfulness meditation, you stay aware of the mind’s thoughts that are going on, and any actions that are happening in the present moment. This meditation technique helps to focus on the real present and develop concentration.
To really understand the meaning of and the benefits of mindfulness meditation you will need to practice it. The basic preparation and guidelines to practice this meditation technique properly is discussed here: Beginning Mindfulness Meditation.
Found at: Meditation Guidance
Here we have basic preparation and guidelines for a beginning practice in mindfulness meditation:
Create a favorable environment. This is one of the most important things to do. Mindfulness for beginners is quite easy, if you take that all important step and get started.
There should not be any sort of distraction in the place that you will select for practicing this meditation technique. This place should be calm and quiet. There should not be any sound or noise to distract you and disturb you during your meditation. This place should be such where you can forget all your pain, sorrow and can get rid of all your stress. This place should emit a sacred feeling. It can be a religious place or any place of your choice which gives you positive vibes. You don’t need to be a practicing Buddhist to see the benefits that come from a mindfulness practice.
Starting your meditation is a rather simple process. It may help to start meditating for just short periods, but do so frequently. Do not sit for long periods of meditation initially. You’ll need to slowly adjust to the meditation techniques for best results. Utilizing a meditation timer is a great way to keep track of time without worrying about a clock.
Having the correct posture is crucial step in mindfulness for beginners. There is a strong connection between the body and the mind. Hence, to control your mind you need to control your physical posture. The right way of meditating is to have an upright erect posture. Think of the traditional cross legged (lotus) pose. Keeping an erect posture helps with concentration, though you should not experience any discomfort. When it comes to meditation for beginners staying focused is one of the biggest hurdles.
Your focus should be down around the few inches around your nose. The eyes can remain open and still not be distracted by your surroundings.
The goal here is to focus on your breath during meditation. Your natural breathing process should be the object of concentration during your meditation. You may focus on your exhale as it passes through the back of your nasal cavity or you can feel the air as it escapes past your nostrils. If you get distracted, that’s okay, just refocus and feel your breath as you come back to the meditation.
Remove your thoughts and focus on the present through your breathing. It may be easier said than done, but this is what we strive for. Initially it will be very difficult to focus and concentrate your mind. You will feel yourself getting distracted by the constant chatter of the mind. By feeling your breath to the core, you can gradually root your mind in the present and stay focused.
These are the very basic fundamentals, as they relate to practicing mindfulness meditation. There are many Buddhist texts and guided meditations that will certainly help advance your practice.
Found at: Meditation Guidance
Every sincere effort is registered in the divine consciousness. Your duty as a devotee is to accept whatever [God] sends you — and, for that matter, whatever He doesn’t send. God alone knows what past karma keeps you from perceiving Him right now. He may want you to finish up your karma in this life, before He gives you eternal bliss in Him.
Do not be anxious if you don’t have meditative experiences. The path to God is not a circus! Don’t even be anxious about such fruits of meditation as inner joy and peace. Everything will come in God’s time. Meanwhile, consider meditation, too, as a form of karma yoga: action without desire for the fruits of action. Meditate above all to please God, not yourself.
In meditation, you must go beyond thought. As long as you are busy thinking, you are in your rational mind, on the conscious plane. When you sleep and dream, you are on the subconscious plane, and in your astral body. And when your mind is fully withdrawn in superconsciousness, it becomes centered in the bliss of the spine. You are then in your ideational, or causal, body. That is the level of the soul’s existence.
Don’t waste the perception of God’s presence, acquired in meditation, by useless chatting. Idle words are like bullets: they riddle the milk pail of peace. In devoting time unnecessarily to conversation and exuberant laughter, you’ll find you have nothing left inside. Fill the pail of your consciousness with the milk of meditative peace, then keep it filled. Joking is false happiness. Too much laughter riddles the mind and lets the peace in the bucket flow out, wasting it.
Meditate regularly, and you will find a joy inside that is real. You will then have something you can compare to sense pleasures. That comparison will automatically make you want to forsake your sorrow-producing bad habits. The best way to overcome temptation is to have something more fulfilling to compare it with.
Never count your faults. Just think whether you love God enough. He doesn’t mind your faults. He minds your indifference.
Many people meditate till they feel a touch of peace, but jump up then and leave their meditation for their activities. That’s all right, if you have important work waiting for you, for it is always better to meditate before any activity, that you may feel at least some peace as you work. Whenever possible, however, sit for a long time after your practice of the techniques. That is when the deepest enjoyment comes. Intuition is developed by continuously deepening that enjoyment, and, later on, by holding on to its calm aftereffect.
God answers all prayers. Restless prayers, however, He answers only a little bit. If you offer to others something that isn’t yours to give, won’t that be a merely empty gesture? If you pray to God, similarly, but lack control over your own thoughts, that prayer will be without power. Thoughts and feelings, both, must be focused when you pray. Otherwise God will meet your little trickle with another trickle of His own! He will dole His answers out to you in a teaspoon. Too often, prayer is more like the halfhearted mumbling of a beggar than the confident, loving demand of a friend.
You won’t find God by making constant excuses: for example, saying, “When I find a quiet place, I will meditate.” That is not at all the way to get there! If you tell yourself, however, “Right now I will plunge into deep meditation!” you can be there in a moment. When you are really sleepy, you have no difficulty in sleeping no matter where you are. When a person is in love, he finds no difficulty in thinking of his beloved; rather, it is difficult not to think of her, even to the point of ignoring his work. Be in love with God! It is easy to meditate deeply, when your love for Him is deep enough.
Begin by taking some full, deep breaths. Don’t try to force anything, just relax and breathe deep.
As you breathe, imagine yourself standing in a grove of tall, strong trees. See yourself as one of those tall, strong trees. Breathe deep and feel the ground beneath you and the sun shining down upon you. Feel your connection to the Earth and become aware that you now have roots where your feet were.
Breathe deep and on an exhale, slowly begin to send those roots deep into the ground. Down, down through the grass and the topsoil, Down through soil and rock and the roots of other plants and trees. Through water tables and bones and all the many layers of Earth. Continue to send those roots down, down in search of the Source at the center of the Earth. Begin to feel the energy pulsating as you draw near and feel the heartbeat of the Earth.
When you reach that source of energy deep within the Earth, let it take a form in your minds eye. It may be a huge crystal cluster, or the hot molten core of the Earth. With your roots, tap into that source of energy, breathe deep and feel the energy slowly begin to rise, traveling up your root.
Up, up through the layers of Earth and soil and rock. Through roots and seedlings and water tables. Feel the energy rise up your roots, through your feet, your calves you thighs. Let that Mother Earth energy rise through your trunk, your torso, and up, up through your chest and arms and neck. Let it reach your head and just fill you. Stay with this feeling for a moment and just breathe.
Now, imagine you have branches that are tall and wide and reach up to the sky. Feel the air rushing around your branches and the warmth of the sun as it caresses your leaves. Take a deep breath and with it, take in the energy of the sky and the sun. Let it tickle each leaf before being drawn into your branches.
On another in breath, take that sky energy deep into your tree and feel it flow down through your head, your shoulders, your arms and chest. Breathe it into your torso, hips and legs. Feel it mixing and mingling with the energies of the Earth. Stay with this feeling for a while and just breathe.
~ Sacred Path Reiki
Shea requires body heat (or some other form of heat) to be used. You may find that taking a little time out to reflect, meditate, or pray while melting your Shea is a way to combine plants and spirituality daily. This meditation is also an excellent way to ground and center during autumn.
Sit down in a comfortable position. As someone who enjoys yoga, I do the padma asana; those of you who practice yoga might find it natural to sit this way as well (legs folded and flat to the floor). For those of you who are not so limber, simply sit in a comfortable position.
Scoop out a quarter-size amount of Shea butter. Place into your receptive hand, then put your dominant hand on top. Now bring the hands together to your chest, squeezing them together in the prayer position. In the Buddhist faith this is called namaskara mudra (The Gesture of Prayer).
I like to do the namaskara mudra while warming my Shea butter because it reminds me to be thankful to those who processed the precious healing butter so I can use it. I also think about what power is held in the hands as I warm the oil in my palms, reflecting and hoping my hands will make a difference in this world.
To try a Shea Mudra meditation:
Close your eyes. Take deep cleansing breaths. Scoop out some Shea. Put your hands together, bring them overhead pressed together, then slowly down the path of your center stopping at your chest. Rub your hands together, gently and slowly to encourage the butter to melt. Concentrate on your breathing, your hands, and your thoughts, as well as the affirmation or prayer if using. As an affirmation, try this:
I am whole, I am sound,
I am free to give with these hands in the name of spirit.
Do this type of reflection for about five minutes a day, to release anxiety, stress, and insecurity. When you are finished, use the Shea as an emollient body treatment, rubbing the melted butter on areas that need softening.
From: Four Seasons of Mojo
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
This is a simple group exercise. All sit in a circle, with eyes closed. After taking a few deep breaths, begin a long drawn out A-U-M (OM) chant. It need not be synchronized, and is very effective in relaxing people. It is a common experience that the AUM is chanting itself, through the members of the group.
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