Below is an incredibly sweet note from a student who recently attended a TBB Meditation Challenge.
I was endorsing your workshop to the nice woman working at STIL STUDIO the other day. I told her I had attended one of your workshops and that I was a complete novice, and that you are wonderful (which you are!) and that she should certainly attend. You get my thumbs up, way UP!
I started my yoga practice a little over 10 years ago, but it wasn’t until the past year or so that I noticed I needed something else other than asana. Don’t get me wrong, I love the asana part of my practice, but something inside of me told me I needed more, that I deserved more.
So, I began seeking out ways to get in touch with with the real me, my authentic Self. I started practicing another style of yoga (Para Yoga), focusing on pranayama and realized that beginning a meditation practice might be what I need the most. But where was I to begin?
Continue reading “Connecting With Community”
“In a way, all of us have an El Guapo to face. For some, shyness might be their El Guapo. For others, a lack of education might be their El Guapo. For us, El Guapo is a big, dangerous man who wants to kill us. But as sure as my name is Lucky Day, the people of Santa Poco can conquer their own personal El Guapo, who also happens to be *the actual* El Guapo!”
– Lucky Day, The Three Amigos
Whatever you want to call it… threats, problems, obstacles, hopes, worries, struggles, anxieties, suffering – we all have our own triggers for our emotions and fears. These fears clutter our thought process – they block our creativity, constrict our choices, and force us to react in predictable ways.
If we don’t learn to face our fears head on, and work with these powerful emotions as they bubble up, they can have a negative impact on our mental, physical, and spiritual health – tripping our fight or flight response and actually shaving years off of our lives.
So, how can we overcome some of our personal obstacles and fears?
Continue reading “Face Your Own Personal El Guapos”
This was the subject line in an email I received from a fairly new student of mine – one that had been meditating twice a day for about three weeks.
It’s a great question and one that students, friends and colleagues ask me often. There are plenty of days I ask myself the same thing. My answer is that for me personally, some days are easier than others and we need to try to accept the present moment as it is – without trying to change it or make it different.
When you’re trying to create a new healthy habit like meditation, the first thing you need to do is accept that every meditation will be different. This is true for anything we do in our lives. In whatever we do, we have good days and bad days. Some days at work our mind just isn’t as focused – we need to accept it without judging it good or bad. If we play basketball, our timing may be off when we shoot the ball. Other days everything comes very easily – it flows and our shots seem to fall naturally.
Highs and lows are a part of life. We need to accept them without holding on to the feeling that something isn’t as it should be. Meditation is the same way – some days we experience more mental turbulence than others. As we practice meditating, and let go of trying to control or change things to make it better- over time, we’ll find that those highs and lows even out. But, we’ll always be practicing.
After all, I call it my meditation “practice”… because I will always be practicing to accept what’s happening right now… as it is.
“Whatever the present moment contains, accept it as if you had chosen it. Always work with it, not against it.” – Eckhart Tolle
“Smile, breathe and go slowly.” – Thich Nhat Hanh
I hope you enjoy this free guided meditation that I created for you to help you stay centered in this turbulent time. A Breath Awareness Meditation is one of the quickest ways to ground and center yourself. Watching the breath in a meditation practice can help your mind let go of its often chaotic and turbulent thoughts. The breath will fill you with invigorating energy and inspiration to be in this world, but not caught up in the drama around you. I hope this helps!
Guided Meditation “Breathe” (10 min audio)
(MP3 download) Right click and “save link as…” to download it to your computer
Today was the last Morning Mindfulness Workshop For Kids this year. I can’t tell you how much we’ve enjoyed these classes. It’s been deeply gratifying for both Catharine and me. Over the past year, we’ve seen the general atmosphere in the classrooms become more balanced and some classes even slowed down. I wish I recorded the first meditation we ever did vs. the one we did yesterday – total stillness! Today’s meditation was so still, so quiet. I was so proud of these kids. I attribute some of that improvement to the kids’ growing awareness of their breath, their five senses, and learning to block out the distractions around them.
Continue reading “Morning Mindfulness For Kids – Looks to the future, while staying in the present.”
When we focus attention on the inner landscape with our kids, we’re developing a more attuned relationship with our children. There’s a great scene in the movie “Jaws” where Chief Brody’s son is sitting at the dinner table (I think his name is Michael) and he’s carefully observing his dad’s behavior and posture. He starts slowly mimicking his dad until finally Chief Brody figures out what his son is doing – and decides to play along. Practicing mindfulness promotes integration with others through careful observation of the emotional and sensory experiences. There are all kinds of mirroring games that encourage heightened awareness of other people in a fun way. Continue reading “The Breakfast Club (Morning Mindfulness – Collicot Spring 2011)”