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Awaken and Release

Relieving The Sense Of Overwhelm

Sit anywhere, sit quietly, relax and be comfortable.

Keep your spine straight and your head buoyant.

Drop your gaze and let your eyes come gently out of focus.

Breathe naturally in and out of your nose.

Watch your breath. Feel your breath. Become your breath.

Let your breath flow around your heart. Let your gentle attention notice the current state of your heart.

Give yourself permission to acknowledge the emotions that are welling up inside you now. Offer quiet, sincere attention to your emotions. It’s okay to feel the ache, the sting or the heaviness.

Emotions can be difficult. Lovingly accept your emotions.

Stay in quiet observation for as long as you are able to do so. Do not force yourself, that is not self care.

You are choosing courage in this moment. Opening up to vulnerability. You are safe here.

Feel yourself responding to the breath. See if anything wants to soften or even let go.

Take another deep breath. Release the breath fully.

Silently do and repeat the following:

Breathing in, I breathe in Calm. Breathing out, I release Fear.

Breathing in, I breathe in Calm. Breathing out, I release Judgement.

Breathing in, I breathe in Calm. Breathing out, I release Resistance.

*Repeat the above phrases or substitute for words that may be more specific to your personal situation until the feelings of overwhelm subside and a feeling of calm presence is established.

Remember that who you are is bigger than these fear based emotions.

Universal Breath Meditation

Sit anywhere, sit quietly, relax and be comfortable.

Keep your spine straight and your head buoyant.

Drop your gaze and let your eyes come gently out of focus.

Breathe naturally in and out of your nose.

Watch your breath. Feel your breath. Become your breath.

Just as you breathe your own individual breath, you are also sharing in collectively breathing a Universal breath.

With this practice you celebrate your individual creative spirit, your talents, your own unique beauty. With this practice you recognize that it comes from a Universal source. You celebrate the Universal spirit.

You were born of the universe.

You are a creator.

You share this ability with everyone.

Silently do and repeat the following:

Breathing in, I inhale the creative power of the Cosmos, Exhaling, the Cosmos breathes me in.

Breathing in, I inhale the Universal breath that gives life to all things. Exhaling, the Universe breathes me in.

Breathing in, I inhale more beauty, more joy, more love. Exhaling, I offer beauty, joy and love.

Practice often. Pay attention to what happens. You will learn things.

Simple Meditation on Gratitude

Why do we believe that if things aren’t going the way we think they should be, that we can’t be happy?

It is okay to Not know the outcome. To Not be in complete control.

If we can be in harmony with Not knowing, then we can find moments of joy even in our trials.

Sit anywhere, sit quietly, relax and be comfortable.

Keep your spine straight and your head buoyant.

Drop your gaze and let your eyes come gently out of focus.

Breathe naturally in and out of your nose.

Watch your breath. Feel your breath. Become your breath.

Say: Thank You.

Put your hands in Gassho/Namaste/Prayer position and say:

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

Practice often. Pay attention to what happens. You will learn things.

Body Scan Meditation

Instead of using breath alone as the focus in meditation, conducting a body scan is a very useful way of using attention to sensation as a way to train the mind in staying in the moment.

Begin by sitting in a comfortable, grounded and stable way. Let your body feel at ease while maintaining a tall spine and a sense of buoyancy in the neck and head. 

Close your eyes and begin to turn your awareness inward, peering into the darkness behind your closed eyes. Sense the natural rhythm of your breath and where in your body you first become aware of it. Sit with this awareness for a minute or so.

Next, gently direct your attention to the top of your head. Slowly and deliberately, bring your attention to the skin of your scalp. Breathe here. Notice if it feels tight or smooth and relaxed. Take a deep breath in and release it giving your full attention to how your awareness to the area along with your breathing might help to deepen a sense of relaxation.  Moving along a few centimetres at a time, feel your scalp from the crown of your head to your ears, your eyelids and the nape of your neck. Notice what you notice as you consciously breathe into each space.

Continue in this manner, gently crossing the cheeks, over the lips and chin, down the length of the neck, over shoulders and little by little, all the way down to your toes.

The first couple of times, it might seem as if you don’t feel anything at all. So many of us are disconnected from our bodies. But as you return again and again to this practice, you should start to notice a whole world of sensation. 

Contraction and Expansion//Pulsation//Different frequencies of vibrations//Hot and Cold//Pressure//Lightness and Heaviness//Hardness and Softness//Itching//Tingling//Pain//Numbness.

Some sensations may feel more pleasant, some neutral and even some unpleasant sensation will occur. This is normal. Whatever the sensation is, just notice it. If you need to adjust yourself to relieve any real pain, do so. But try not to react too strongly to any of what you are sensing — labeling the experience as either good or bad, even if something feels unpleasant. Instead, simply acknowledge what it is you are feeling, and continue to move your awareness through your body.

And of course, if you realize your mind has wandered, simply note it and return your attention to the practice once again.

Practice for 5, 10,  or up to 15 minutes. Finish the session with a an offering of gratitude and gently introduce movement back into the body.

*this practice can also be done at the end of the day while lying in bed as a preparation for sleep.

Simple Meditation On The Breath

Sit in a comfortable, grounded and stable way. Let your body feel at ease while maintaining a tall spine and a sense of buoyancy in the neck and head. 

Close your eyes. Turn awareness inward. Sense the natural rhythm of your breath and where in your body you first become aware of it.

Sit with this awareness for a minute or so.

 

Direct attention to the belly. Notice the expansion and tightening of the abdomen as you breathe in and out. Let any lingering tension in the body dissolve on the exhalations.

Feel the area around the naval become more spacious as you breath. 

Soft, sweet inhalations, smooth quiet exhalations. Do not control the breath in any way. Let it come and go naturally.

If it is helpful you, silently repeat 'breath flowing in, breath flowing out'. Use this for as long as it is helpful. Leave it when you can.

Continue in this way. Allow a spacious quality to grow deep in the belly. Make room for feelings, sensations or emotions to move freely through this space on the breath.

Drink in your inhalations, pour out the exhalations.

Thoughts will arise. Maintain a neutral attitude toward them. If you get momentarily caught up in a mental story, let go of it with a neutral feeling and return to the sensation of the breath moving from the belly.

 

We develop skill in the practice of meditation by gently opening our attention and returning to the breath in the moment again and again and again.

Practice for 5, 10,  or up to 15 minutes. Finish the session with a an offering of gratitude and gently introduce movement back into the body.

Why Meditate

There are as many reasons to start a meditation practice as there are ways to meditate. We've all read the lists of benefits on our numerous social media feeds at some point. The basic premise is that while we can't control everything in our external world  we do have a certain amount of say when it comes to the mind.

The mind has no pride and it is a terrible master. It will drag us around, often at light speed,  conjuring up ridiculous so called truths about our experiences.

The point of meditation? To cultivate the Ground of Being; to till the soil of the mind. To bring us into the present during stressful situations.

When we spend a little time each day practicing meditation we change the conditions within us that keep the mind running at full tilt and unchecked. Certain qualities begin to arise that allow for gradual transformation and we regain a certain amount of control of our thinking processes.

We become aware that we are Aware.

While the mind will continue to run with it's lists, projections, imaginings, and it's age old conditioned responses, we develop a connection to a different aspect of mind. The part of our mind that simply Abides. We don't need to drag the mind back to the breath over and over again, instead we simply re-open our attention, then gently come and land into that abiding state of awareness.

From that place we grow increasingly mindful of our actions and reactions during the stormy days of life as well as the pleasant days. We may continue to wrestle with strong feelings and reactive patterns, but we do so from a more stable, centred and compassionate place.

Even just a few minutes, a couple of times a day can have an impact on changing our relationship with our inner self. We owe this to ourselves and others if we truly wish for better and clearer understanding of ourselves and each other.

- I can do nothing better for you but work on myself...You can do nothing for me but work on yourself.    -Ram Das