It’s Tuesday during my spring break and I’m a bit off schedule to say the least. I have missed quite a few Sunday Fundays and missed my PowerHouse Purchase yesterday. But, I am okay with not being on a schedule right now. After wrapping up things at school and preparing for a craft show, I am enjoying the serenity and shirking the confines of a schedule. My first few days of break were spent feeling sick, and I had to miss my scheduled interview with Three Cheers Farm. I’m hoping to still get there this spring.
I have really been thinking a lot about the things I’m thankful for. Too often I get caught up in being busy and forgetting to recognize the little things. Then, if something “goes wrong” I only see the wrong and not how most other things have gone right. So, I’ve devoted this week break from school to really digging to find contentment, acceptance, and gratitude.
Intention of the Week:
I pulled CONTENTMENT this week which can sometimes be a challenge for me. My feelings of “satisfaction” are usually fleeting as I set my eyes and intentions on to “the next thing.” I don’t give myself much time to breathe to be honest. I end one event or project and immediately jump into the next. One of my goals for the year is to Just Be while another is to meditate more often. I am still working on improving both, and I feel I’m doing pretty good about it.
What It Means To Me:
Contentment, to me, means to feel warm, fuzzy, satisfied, and calm in the moment. It means to feel alive and aware of yourself and your space and to be happy with it. Activities can give you feelings of contentment, but I’m looking for that LIFESTYLE. I want to feel content every day just for waking up and being able to have food to nourish and water to drink.
How I Will Apply It:
Simple. Let go of negativity and only produce and feel positivity. I am meditating every day this week twice a day to feel light and breathe out anything that doesn’t serve me. Really, I will feel much better once I can just let go.
If you, too, are working on feeling content, a great way to do so is up your meditation game. You don’t have to sit on a pillow or chair and sit for hours. You could easily meditate in your car every morning on your way to work. Meditation is a great way to focus on intention, practice your breathing, and clear your thoughts.
Two summers ago I was pretty much a newbie when it came to meditation. I would do it every so often in my bedroom or go to my community’s Buddhist Center to chant and meditate. By no means was a it a daily practice. When arriving in California that summer, I remember being really intimidated by meditating twice a day for up to 30-60 minutes each time. Luckily, everyone was supportive, understanding, and experienced to give me advice. I also read through a few of the texts at the camp and one of the most comprehensive books on meditation was produced by Ananda which is a spiritual community based just a few miles from Pleasant Valley.
I scribbled some notes in my journal to bring back with me after leaving that summer. Below I have cut them down to share with you some helpful tips on starting a daily meditation practice.
Basic Routine for Meditation:
First understand, your mind is an ever-flowing river of thoughts. Let the thoughts pass, and let them go.
1.) Relaxation: Before you sit to meditate you may want to stretch and relax by doing a few breaths of deep breathing. Begin to check your posture and relax your abs. Offer a prayer of sorts, and begin consciously relax every part of your body. Practice about 10 rounds of regular breathing, and then begin to focus on deepening your breath. Focus the mind on clarity and inhale for 10-12 counts, hold at the top, and exhale for 10-12 counts. You can decrease or increase the count to suit your needs. You will not feel relaxed if you feel you are struggling to breath. Begin to CONCENTRATE at the point between the eyebrows. Dismiss your thoughts and only focus on the here and now. If a thought about the past comes up, you let it go. This process can take 5-10 minutes.
2.) Interiorization: Practice one or more of the techniques of concentration. You could start with chanting, first chanting vigorously to awaken greater energy. Gradually become more and more inward until you go beyond the words into silent yearning of heart and soul. You may also want to do a visualization exercise. This can be done either silently or by listening to a recording. Now practice the technique of watching the breath for about a fourth of your time spent meditating. Try to bring your mind to a state of total concentration. If your mind wanders, gently bring it back to the breath and concentration.
3.) Expansion: Hold onto that deep concentration for as long as possible. Move from doing to just being. Here you may want to identify with God, or a Saint, or a particular manifestation of God like love, compassion, or stillness. When communing with this God or manifestation, try to dissolve any thoughts of individuality or separation. Become one with the object of your meditation. While in this deep state of concentration, you may want to ask your god a question or for guidance. Broadcast your question through your spiritual eye and expect an answer.
End your meditation with breathing practices from the beginning and a prayer for yourself and all others. Keep your meditations fresh and intuitive. One day you find yourself in a deep concentration and the following day you may that your mind wanders and it is hard to relax. Accept that and move on. Tomorrow is another day.
I am still working on getting back into a routine and I find myself thinking of what I need to do for the day or my body feels twitchy. That does mean I’m feeling, it means I need more practice. 🙂
My PowerHouse Purchase this week is simply Siren’s Song Bath Scrubs products. Our craft show was a bit slow, and we have so many yummy goodies to part with! Please click the link to check out the benefits of home made, natural bath care products. We are trying to rid as many chemicals as possible from our daily routine and cutting out store bought products has been a huge but welcomed over haul.
I wish you the best week and see you back here tomorrow for a yummy recipe 🙂