Wednesday, May 30, 2018

5 Ways to Just Be.

One of the most challenging concepts to learn is to just be. It seems easy enough until you try it, especially when life rapidly changes. The truth is life is always rapidly changing, we’re all just doing things to make it seem unchanging. The main thing that we do is to make the same choices. Every day we wake up with newness. No two days are exactly the same. I know this may be news to many reading this. The key is to tune into this newness and make use of it to flow with change, make new choices, and have awesome new experiences! 

What we’re doing in meditation practice is to bring ourselves back into this newness by breathing and paying attention to our thinking. The simple act of observing our thinking is all that is needed to change our thinking. Observation takes some of the static impacts away. Observation and breathing create space. In that space, we can just be.

Here are my top five ways to get into this space and just be:

  1. Wake up early. If you normally get up at 6am, set your alarm for 5am. Use the extra hour to practice by eating, dressing, walking, or whatever your routine is slowly, mindfully.
  2. Take more breaks. If this is not possible, excuse yourself to the restroom one or two more times than usual. A few minutes to “check in” with yourself goes a long way.
  3. Practice active listening. Especially with those whom you are very familiar. You may feel like your co-workers, spouse, children, neighbors have been telling you the same things for years. Really listen. Really respond. Change the conversation with your awareness.
  4. Be kind. Nothing will put you into the mode of “just being” like an act of kindness. These moments are genuine and can be done anonymously with the same result. You aren’t attached to the outcome. You’re observing the moment of kindness being given. This is life changing!
  5. Allow. Practice allowing - find your resistance and practice the opposite. Allow.

Your practice is grounded by all of the Just Being moments in a day, week, year, lifetime. A stable meditation practice is one of the best things you can do for yourself and the world. Keep practicing!

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Sunday, January 29, 2017

5 Ways to Deal with Resistance in Meditation.

As meditation practice develops you may find yourself noticing and being annoyed by the everyday noise. This noise can take the form of television, conversations, politics, cell phone interruptions, and all of the distractions of modern life. You might say to yourself “if I could just get away from all of this, I’d be at peace”. You may also want to join in and say "I need to do something about this". This is a thought loop and a gift for your practice. Anytime we drift into the land of “if only” or “I can’t until…” we are placing the obstacle in our path. It is easy to blame the external distraction however, that is what creates the loop.

Below are 5 ways to work with these sorts of obstacles.

  1. You feel resistance; you want to resist something. Instead, just be with and experience whatever it is - let your heart open towards this experience.
  2. Extend gratitude for this unexpected or uninvited experience. Gratitude changes the energy of resistance.
  3. Create an imaginary bubble between yourself and whatever it is. Set an energetic boundary - if you can not set any other type of boundary. Imagine your bubble extending outward.
  4. Say to yourself “I am one with this experience, and this experience is one with me” until you feel a sense of balance and calm. This harmony will help you work with instead of resisting.
  5. Take several deep breaths. Breathe inward, take in the situation or experience … breathe outward the thought of loving-kindness toward this challenge.
This practice will evolve how you perceive external input, over time. The external world is full of phenomena, illusions of separation that are quite terrifying and seem real, however, the world we create from within is the world we experience - regardless of the external world. Your meditation practice is the only defense, in fact, the first line of defense in stopping external stressors and disturbances in your thought field. Thank you for your practice. Thank you for contributing to the peace of the planet. Keep practicing!