Level 5 Member
Sunday, December 13, 2009, 2:35 PM
Forgiveness of others, forgiveness of yourself
To practice forgiveness meditation, let yourself sit comfortably, allowing your eyes to close and your breath to be natural and easy. Let your body and mind relax. Breathing gently into the area of your heart, let yourself feel all the barriers you have erected and the emotions that you have carried because you have not forgiven - not forgiven yourself, not forgiven others. Let yourself feel the pain of keeping your heart closed. Then, breathing softly, begin asking and extending forgiveness, reciting the following words, letting the images and feelings that come up grow deeper as you repeat them.
FORGIVENESS OF OTHERS: There are many ways that I have hurt and harmed others, have betrayed or abandoned them, cause them suffering, knowingly or unknowingly, out of my pain, fear, anger and confusion. Let yourself remember and visualize the ways you have hurt others. See and feel the pain you have caused out of your own fear and confusion. Feel your own sorrow and regret. Sense that finally you can release this burden and ask for forgiveness. Picture each memory that still burdens your heart. And then to each person in your mind repeat: I ask for your forgiveness, I ask for your forgiveness.
FORGIVENESS FOR YOURSELF: There are many ways that I have hurt and harmed myself. I have betrayed or abandoned myself many times through thought, word, or deed, knowingly or unknowingly. Feel your own precious body and life. Let yourself see the ways you have hurt or harmed yourself. Picture them, remember them. Feel the sorrow you have carried from this and sense that you can release these burdens. Extend forgiveness for each of them, one by one. Repeat to yourself: For the ways I have hurt myself through action or inaction, out of fear, pain and confusion, I now extend a full and heartfelt forgiveness. I forgive myself, I forgive myself.
FORGIVENESS FOR THOSE WHO HAVE HURT OR HARMED YOU: There are many ways that I have been harmed by others, abused or abandoned, knowingly or unknowingly, in thought, word or deed. Let yourself picture and remember these many ways. Feel the sorrow you have carried from this past and sense that you can release this burden of pain by extending forgiveness when your heart is ready. Now say to yourself: I now remember the many ways others have hurt or harmed me, wounded me, out of fear, pain, confusion and anger. I have carried this pain in my heart too long. To the extent that I am ready, I offer them forgiveness. To those who have caused me harm, I offer my forgiveness, I forgive you.
Let yourself gently repeat these three directions for forgiveness until you feel a release in your heart. For some great pains you may not feel a release but only the burden and the anguish or anger you have held. Touch this softly. Be forgiving of yourself for not being ready to let go and move on. Forgiveness cannot be forced; it cannot be artificial. Simply continue the practice and let the words and images work gradually in their own way. In time you can make the forgiveness meditation a regular part of your life, letting go of the past and opening your heart to each new moment with a wise loving kindness.
Tuesday, December 8, 2009, 6:59 PM
The Loving Kindness meditation, taught by the Buddha, is to teach
selfless or altruistic love. Buddha said that “Hatred cannot
coexist with loving-kindness, and dissipates if supplanted
with thoughts based on loving-kindness.”
This easy but very profound meditation can help you to make friends with yourself, give you greater capacity for empathy with other people, reduce your animosity, open your heart, and boost your capacity for love.
Learn here this meditation to teach you loving acceptance of
yourself and others.
1. Sit in a relaxed but alert posture.
2. Focus your intention. Remember that during this meditation you want to get in touch with your own heart and your innate feelings of goodness.
3. Let your mind and body relax. Let go of any thoughts that are currently preoccupying you.
4. Recall a situation in which you felt a complete sense of well-being and contentment. Recall exactly where you were, who you were with, and precisely how you felt. Take time to reestablish that scene, and feel the sensations in your body.
5. Find words that describe the feelings of well-being you had. You might choose words such as contentment, well-being, happiness, delight, ease–whichever feel most fitting.
6. Let go of the details of the remembered scene. At the same time, continue to pay attention to the feelings of well-being that accompanied the scene. Remain with the sensation of well-being, and allow yourself to feel it intensely. Let the words and feelings arise together.
7. As you experience the well-being, repeat to yourself the phrase, “May I be happy,” or “May I experience ease and contentment.”
8. Recall a friend or someone who has shown kindness toward you. Begin with someone for whom you feel kindness. It is better to recall a friend than a lover or family member. Keep the image of that person in your mind.
9. Recall the feelings of well-being or happiness you generated in the first part of this meditation (steps 1 - 8). Let those feelings of goodness move to the area around your heart.
10. As you are experiencing those feelings of well-being from your heart center, let them radiate to the person you were thinking about.
11. Recite the same phrases you repeated before, this time saying, “May he/she experience ease and contentment,” or “May he/she be filled with loving kindness.”
12. When you feel some familiarity with radiating loving kindness to people you love, gradually extend the feeling to others: neighbors, family, work colleagues, animals.
12. Gradually extend the feeling further, to people you find difficult–those who have power over you, people who might dislike you, or those you feel negative toward.
14. If you are unwilling to extend the feeling of goodness in this part of the meditation, don’t worry. This is natural.
15. When you feel that resistance, try to generate the feeling of loving kindness. If you can’t generate positive feelings, don’t force it; be gentle and patient with yourself.
16. After 5-10 minutes of working with this loving-kindness meditation, sit quietly and reflect on your experience. Having engaged all of your emotions in a new way, contemplate what you have learned.
Monday, December 7, 2009, 7:43 PM
Sit in a comfortable place, in a posture that will allow you to be free from all physical tension. Close your eyes. Command your body, mind, and emotions to not distract you in any way. Hear and feel your breath going in, retaining, and leaving. When you have established a steady, effortless rhythm, focus your attention on your minds eye.
Receive love with every breath.
Store love in your heart.
See and feel it beam out and saturate every cell in your body.
Visualize love radiating from your heart to someone who needs love.
See their heart fill with love, saturate every cell in their body, and radiate out from their heart in every direction.
Visualize love radiating from your heart to everyone, everywhere. See them all filling with love, saturating with love, and beaming love from their hearts to everyone, everywhere.
Visualize the entire universe pulsing with love. This is reality and now is the eternal moment to realize it. See and feel yourself dissolve into pure love. Know this love, feel this love, share this love. And live happily ever after.
Sunday, December 6, 2009, 12:24 PM
With Tai Chi Meditation, not only are you reaping the mental benefits of de-stressing your inner core. You are also getting physical exercise through the movement of your body. Like Yoga, Tai Chi Meditation practices controlled movements. This control comes from the careful use of the muscles in your legs, torso, arms, almost every part of your body. This leads to physical sanctity as well as inner peace.
The practice of Tai Chi Meditation has also become known as Movement Meditation. In this practice, you do not sit still and ruminate; instead, you move your chi through your body to reach out and eliminate the stress that you feel. This is practiced through constant movement of the body. The movement is slow, but constant. You are constantly shifting your weight from one side to the other of your body. While doing this you are slowly and in a large circular motion moving the extensions of your body. Your thoughts are focused entirely on the movements of your body. The movements are in perfect control and alignment with one another.
When you have gathered a lot of stress and are having a hard time letting it go, one of the best known ways to handle it is through meditation. Some people may think that sitting and meditating on their problems is a way to add stress, not decrease it. But contemplation and reflection on the things that are causing stress does help to eliminate it. If you’re a person that can not sit still and deliberate on what causes your stress, Tai Chi Meditation will get you where you need to go.
Tai Chi Meditation has been in practice for hundreds of years. Its historical roots are still up for debate today. There are beliefs surrounding its origination, but no proven facts. What is known, however, is that it is an ancient Chinese practice and one that works. Its purpose is to channel your concentration into the movements of your body and align those thoughts with the focus of your mind. In this way you are releasing the stressors from your body. You are sending your chi or life force to all parts of your body through physical movement which leaves no room for stress. It is eliminated through practice of this method.
Tai Chi meditation is a practice that will continue to de-stress those who regularly participate. It is an ancient practice that has been proven. It encourages movement of the body in alignment with movement of the chi. Stress will no longer be a word that is combined with fear and negativity to those who regularly practice tai chi meditation.
Friday, December 4, 2009, 6:18 PM
During the hectic times that make up the end of the year, a meditation garden offers a refuge from the hustle and bustle of modern life. Such gardens can be incorporated into traditional landscapes or designed to be completely separate. All that’s needed is a plan.
Meditation gardens provide a place for relaxation, rejuvenation and contemplation. They generally are subtly beautiful, private and designed with the individual in mind. The design and installation can even be an exercise in meditation.
There are only a few elements considered important in meditation gardens. There should be visual elements of green plants, a path (even a short one will work to provide a sense of a getaway), comfortable seating, a water feature, and inspirational art, natural features or flowers.
Some experts believe a meditation garden should have a roof or canopy to increase the sense of privacy. An arbor or trellis planted with vines, a spreading tree or arching clumps of bamboo will work. Choose plants that match the local site conditions and plant them well for quick establishment.
Other interesting items to include are plants that move in the breeze such as bamboo, hanging baskets and vines. Scent can add to the meditative experience. Include a species with fragrant blooms or leaves that are pleasing to you. Herbs are good choices; favorite scents include rosemary and lemon thyme.
Spend time in the garden, whether designed for contemplation or not, this time of year. Listen to the neighborhood children playing, the call of birds, the rustle of the wind and hum of bees. Let the delightful sights and sounds nourish your spirit and soul.
Saturday, November 28, 2009, 3:51 AM
Just as the soft rains fill the streams,
pour into the rivers, and join together in the oceans,
so may the power of every moment of your goodness
flow forth to awaken and heal all beings–
those here now, those gone before, those yet to come.
By the power of every moment of your goodness,
may your heart’s wishes be soon fulfilled
as completely shining as the bright full moon,
as magically as by a wish-fulfilling gem.
By the power of every moment of your goodness,
may all dangers be averted and all disease be gone.
May no obstacle come across your way.
May you enjoy fulfillment and long life.
For all in whose heart dwells respect,
who follow the wisdom and compassion, of the Way,
may your life prosper in the four blessings
of old age, beauty, happiness and strength.
Monday, November 23, 2009, 9:06 PM
Gratitude meditation is one of the most powerful and rewarding exercises we can practice. To develop an attitude of gratitude creates contentment, true happiness and bliss. Gratitude makes us feel good and meditation helps us to a state of deep relaxation and contemplation.
Gratitude meditation can be incorporated together or you can spend a few minutes before you meditate doing some deep breathing relaxation techniques while you think of all the things you are grateful for in your life.
Breathing in through your mouth expands your chest, however when you breath in through your nose your abdomen extends causing the diaphragm to pull air to the bottom of your lungs which carries a healthy dose of oxygen into your bloodstream which will help you to become relaxed. Anthony Robbins teaches inhaling on a ratio of 1 holding for 4 and exhaling for 2. The ratio is the guide. So if you slowly inhale for example to the count of 4 you will hold your breath for the count of 16 and then exhale very slowly through your mouth to the count of 8. Repeat this exercise 10 times if you can. Simply find a number that you are comfortable with and build the ratio gradually.
When you are ready, lie down or sit in a chair suitable for meditation and close your eyes. Allow your muscles to relax, Let go of your thoughts and begin your breathing exercise. When you feel relaxed and comfortable think of everything you are grateful for in your life. I usually give thanks for my life and my healthy body, my family and friends. I give thanks for special moments like a hug from my little granddaughter. The trees, flowers, birds singing and the wonders of nature create gratitude in me. There is so much to be grateful for. And the more we are grateful for the more we receive.
Whether you choose to practice gratitude meditation or gratitude relaxation and breathing I’m sure you will enjoy either, and if you practice on a regular basis you will certainly achieve bliss and happiness.
Monday, November 23, 2009, 8:39 PM
Heart meditation helps you with your ability to love and also your ability to let things go, both of which are very important in everyday life when dealing with other people, whether its loved ones or just acquaintances. Your ability to love effects your relationships on many levels, the ability to let go is also very important as resentment and anger can build up to dangerous levels if left unchecked.
Heart meditation helps on both of these matters by activating two important chakras, the heart chakra and the navel chakra. The heart chakra is in the heart centre which is located between the breast and slightly to the left. The navel chakra is located about 2 to 3 inches below your navel.
To practice the heart meditation firstly take your usual meditating position (heart meditation is not dependent on position and can be practiced in any), my favorite is to sit on a meditation cushion cross legged, with my knees touching the floor and my back straight.
Heart meditation is aligned with your breathing so you might want to take a minute to relax and take a few deep breaths. When you are comfortable, breathe in and imagine the breath going into your heart center.
The second stage is, when you breathe out, imagine your breath is flowing down to your navel chakra; this stimulates a feeling of letting go.
The third stage of heart meditation is when you breathe in you imagine you breathe in from your navel chakra to your heart center.
Stage two is then repeated with an inner feeling of letting go.
Stage three is repeated again, as you imagine that you breathe in from your navel to your heart center.
The process is repeated between stage 2 and stage 3 until your meditation is over.
When you have practiced and mastered the heart meditation technique, you may like to imagine when breathing to your heart center that a white light and a feeling of love is engulfing the heart, some yogi have said that the feeling of love is so intense that it has brought such joy and a inner peace that is unrivaled.
Friday, November 20, 2009, 3:47 PM
To do the walking meditation, you need a private place with enough space for at least five to ten paces in a straight line. You are going to be walking back and forth very slowly, and to the eyes of most Westerners, you'll look curious and disconnected from everyday life. This is not the sort of exercise you want to perform on the front lawn where you'll attract unnecessary attention. Choose a private place.
The physical directions are simple. Select an unobstructed area and start at one end. Stand for a minute in an attentive position. Your arms can be held in any way that is comfortable, in front, in back, or at your sides. Then while breathing in, lift the heel of one foot. While breathing out, rest that foot on its toes. Again while breathing in, lift that foot, carry it forward and while breathing out, bring the foot down and touch the floor. Repeat this for the other foot. Walk very slowly to the opposite end, stand for one minute, then turn around very slowly, and stand there for another minute before you walk back. Then repeat the process. Keep you head up and you neck relaxed. Keep your eyes open to maintain balance, but don't look at anything in particular. Walk naturally. Maintain the slowest pace that is comfortable, and pay not attention to your surroundings. Watch out for tensions building up in the body, and release them as soon as you spot them. Don't make any particular attempt to be graceful. Don't try to look pretty. This is not an athletic exercise, or a dance. It is an exercise in awareness. Your objective is to attain total alertness, heightened sensitivity and a full, unblocked experience of the motion of walking. Put all of your attention on the sensations coming from the feet and legs. Try to register as much information as possible about each foot as it moves. Dive into the pure sensation of walking, and notice every subtle nuance of the movement. Feel each individual muscle as it moves. Experience every tiny change in tactile sensation as the feet press against the floor and then lift again.
Notice the way these apparently smooth motions are composed of complex series of tiny jerks. Try to miss nothing. In order to heighten your sensitivity, you can break the movement down into distinct components. Each foot goes through a lift, a swing; and then a down tread. Each of these components has a beginning, middle, and end. In order to tune yourself in to this series of motions, you can start by making explicit mental notes of each stage. Make a mental note of "lifting, swinging, coming down, touching floor, pressing" and so on. This is a training procedure to familiarize you with the sequence of motions and to make sure that you don't miss any. As you become more aware of the myriad subtle events going on, you won't have time for words. You will find yourself immersed in a fluid, unbroken awareness of motion. The feet will become your whole universe. If your mind wanders, note the distraction in the usual way, then return your attention to walking. Don't look at your feet while you are doing all of this, and don't walk back and forth watching a mental picture of your feet and legs. Don't think, just feel. You don't need the concept of feet and you don't need pictures. Just register the sensations as they flow. In the beginning, you will probably have some difficulties with balance. You are using the leg muscles in a new way, and a learning period is natural. If frustration arises, just note that and let it go.
Monday, November 16, 2009, 3:07 PM
STOP FOR A FEW MOMENTS. Sit quietly, with a straight back and gently close your eyes. Feeling the rhythm of the breath as it enters and leaves the body, allow yourself to let go of past and future, and come into the present moment; being with exactly what is - now.
Bring your attention to the feeling of the body, accepting it just the way it is - with kindness. Allow yourself to accept all the sensations and feelings of the body completely.
Breathe in deeply, with a sense of trust and well-being: breathe out, letting go of tension, allowing any tightness to dissolve.
Then, focus on the normal breathing; just the feeling of breathing in, breathing out.
Imagine yourself surrounded by light - perhaps a golden-coloured light if you like gold. Being with the sensation of the body breathing in, breathing out, draw the light into the body as you breathe - maybe through the nostrils, the heart or the head. Imagine light saturating the body, through every pore.
Think to yourself: 'May this being be well,' and turn the calming effect of the meditation towards this being: 'May this being be calm.' Suffuse your whole body with this calm and kindly attention.
Then, let your awareness explore the body: moving around the head and face, gradually down the neck, the back and the chest, spreading right down the finger-tips; then down the legs, to each toe; drawing on the good energy of the breath, expanding and embracing the heart.
Focusing more on the out-breath, let go of the memories, the grudges, the grievances; let it all go. Begin again with each breath.
Picture yourself in your mind's eye as you are now. Make peace with this view of yourself, through forgiveness, compassion, gentleness. 'May this being be well.' Suffuse this picture with gentle, warm light from the heart, then let it go.
Next, picture your parents, let them into your mind. Make peace with their image: 'May you be well,' bathing them with soft light, with gratitude.
Observe thoughts arising. Memories of yourself as a child, perhaps something painful or something you have never made peace with. Let it be in the mind, in the light.
Then bring up an image of your daily situation, at home or wherever, with the people it involves. People you like or dislike, feel conflict with, love, fear or worry for. 'May these beings be well.' Put aside aversion, fear, worry, guilt; at this moment, allow yourself to be kind.
Think of someone you know who is having a difficult time; send these feelings of kindness towards them. Breathe in light, breathe out wishing them well.
Gradually open up more and more, from the people you see every day to nobody special; and even those for whom you have hardly a memory. Recognise them as human beings with ambitions, hopes, problems, anxieties, joy - just like you! Give them some life in your perceptions.
And, even more remote, acknowledge all the people you can conceive of in this world. This may be a faint feeling, but open up the heart to allow them into consciousness, to be felt. See what the mind does, how it reacts indignantly about some people - such as political figures. Let go of that indignation for this moment. Allow a sense of peace to envelop all beings: the liked, the disliked, familiar and unfamiliar.
And then imagine the planet Earth as seen from space. Extend this sense of peace to the planet we live on, embracing it with your heart, surrounding it with light.
Turning your attention to that sense of peace and light allow it to expand outwards, without limit, letting the sense of 'me' and 'the world' dissolve in the stillness of the present. Then turn your attention back in towards itself; upon the feeling of knowing 'the screen of the mind', the place where images arise. Let it be quite empty or full, choiceless, being illuminated by the soft light from the heart, light from the breath; warm, gentle; beginning, letting go, patient kindness.
Gently come back to the rhythm of the breath, and when you are ready, slowly open your eyes.