Monday, February 9, 2015

Meditation made easy: How to meditate: Terms my five and ten yr oldsunderstood...

Meditation: (n.) The act of deliberate focus, on nothing, or anything. Clearing the "chitta" (mind space) to make room for new impressions, experiences; and sometimes if you so choose, a vehicle for sending, churning, creating, or channeling energies to/for some one/thing and releasing "it". 

Right...I totally made that up, but it sounds legitimate, no?

On Sunday my oldest daughter had a friend over. She asked two tough questions: "What is meditation? And why do you do it?"

I love the challenge of explaining things. It's the Virgo in me. The over descriptive nature I get lost in. Whats the point? I told both these tween girls (as my six year old tuned in, as well):

It's like a the mind is a blank white board, and I start fresh every morning. Then, life “happens." Adults encounter moods, people, stress, news, work, the long list of "to do's" and all the underlying emotional stuff on top of it, so the board gets scribbled on, and overtaken until no white is left!  The point is to breathe deeply, sit in your own quiet and clear the white board, wash it over, and erase the noise. What is the negative? You waste five minutes? I do that on social all the time.

HOW TO MEDITATE: (or at least my subjective suggestions.)

1. Find a quiet place to sit, lay or lotus.
2. Try to set aside a five or ten minute block of time. (20-90 as you improve)
3. However you are positioned, close your eyes and try to think of nothing, let your eyes drop in their sockets, mouth relaxed (even relax your tongue), and soften your eyelids. All of these help the mind to quiet.
4. Stay in that quiet as long as you can.
     4a. Yay, I know...ain't happening. But try! Tips below...

Just getting kid-free, life-free space are near impossible, so here are some other options I love and actually benefit more from:

TIPS:  If your mind keeps reminding you to get coffee, or that you're hungry, or your foot is falling asleep, the kids preschool sign up is this week, you forgot to send that "thank you" note...etc.

Modern day meditation, sans 2 yr old son.
 (Bahamas, 2015)
Find cool ambient or chanting music. I Love "Breath of the Heart" by Krishna Das, but go find whatever fits you, there are so many commercialized "meditative collelctions” available these days.

- I took a suggestion from Buddha. He recommends we try to smile with every single part of the body...starting with my forehead, eyes, nose, mouth, chin, throat, ribs, heart,  tummy, ) hips, thighs, knees, all the way to your toes. Usually, I'm beaming after this...and it takes about 8-10 minutes depending on how detailed you get. Try it!

- Make a gratitude list. In that moment, in your quiet inner-voice, focus on all things you are grateful for. For me, depending on the day, it's each of my children’s health, loved ones, shelter, faith, humor, vacation, good support...etc. You can be esoteric or specific, its all good if from gratitude.

Align your “chakras” (see color descriptions) by visualizing each color as a sphere of light and then "igniting" each one. I, personally, picture them individually swirling cloud-like energy of light streams (like an aurora borealis).

When you start to balk at ten minutes or do not feel revived yet, remind yourself it takes practice. Go through the above, as best you can, and then when it’s quite, stay there.... in that weird, strange, and beautiful place. This quiet when your thoughts evaporate and your mind feels blank. For fun, try to find your "third eye” or if that's too hokey... just be. See what pops up. Acknowledge it, and then let it go like a cloud you blow away or a thought passing on a conveyor belt.

(Skip the below “color descriptions of Chakras” if it feels to hokey, but like I tell my kids (two of them now meditate) Take what makes sense to you, drop the rest.

RED: (your tail bone) Grounding, instincts, your place HERE in reality (i.e: poopy diapers, fights with friends, work, the feel of the ground on my sacrum. Things that TIE you to your life in the minutia.)

ORANGE: (your pelvic cavity, reproductive organs, lower abdomen)  The emotional, "visceral" energy source. How you feel, how things feel, basically the emotional temperature or weather in THIS MOMENT.

YELLOW: (your upper stomach, to lower chest area) This is your energy level, high, low, positive, negative. I often picture it spinning to build momentum.

GREEN: (your chest, ribcage, heart, lungs up to lower neck) This is all heart, baby! Love of self, family, people, all things that your heart and soul has soft adoration and sweet attachment to. I love to sit in this space more than others. Beam some love whomever pops up.

BLUE: (your throat, lower neck, to chin) This is where truth and honesty, however you define them, can be focused. For me, this energy color swirls around, but not inside my neck, like a scarf to keep me honest, authentic, and in touch with the deepest level of being, what just IS. The undeniable, the stuff you can't hide from when in your own head, and the beauty in self-awareness and acceptance only YOU can give YOU.

PURPLES- all shades (your chin to top of scalp and above). This is your intuition of thoughts, your awareness outside yourself, the calm knowing, the precognitive, the connection to everything bigger, be it God, or the universe, or merely a collective energy of thoughts and all that will be, was, and exists now.

Good Luck!
 It's a learned skill like anything, that takes practice, letting go of whatever you THINK it should be, and just making it yours.

Me meditating in the Bahamas. Breath-taking gardens.

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