5 Tips That Will Help You Meditate On The Go

I’m lucky that I get to travel for my work as a meditation teacher, so I know how delays, busy airports, traveling from hotel to hotel – and just being constantly on the go – can

not only run you down physically and emotionally, but it can totally derail your meditation practice. Establishing a regular meditation practice can seem easy when you’re at home and in control of your schedule, but traveling has a way of throwing that schedule out the window.

Faith meditating @ Yotel Boston

New time zones, new clients, new places, the anxiety levels are high when we are in a new environment and in general it’s harder to relax our minds. So what better way to stay calm and steady in these turbulent times than taking your meditation practice on the road with you?

Here are five ways you can keep a consistent meditation practice going while you are traveling: Continue reading “5 Tips That Will Help You Meditate On The Go”

YOTEL Boston introduces ‘Meditation Mondays’ with The Boston Buddha!

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Sky Lounge at YOTEL Boston, 65 Seaport Boulevard, Boston, MA

WHAT: Newly opened YOTEL Boston, the affordable luxury hotel inspired by first-class air travel, introduces ‘Meditation Mondays’ with The Boston Buddha, Andy Kelley, beginning Monday, September 18 at Sky Lounge!

Locals and hotel guests alike are welcomed to the Seaport hotel’s rooftop Sky Lounge for 30-minute guided meditation set against the backdrop of Boston’s skyline. Andy Kelley will help attendees hone their focus and mindfulness, Mondays from 8-8:30am, so they can tackle the workweek ahead.

 ‘Meditation Mondays’ is just the latest wellness offering from YOTEL. The hotel brand also produces Mindfresh, a series of 5-minute meditation and relaxation videos available for viewing in-cabin and on the YOTEL app.

Research shows that how we spend the first hour of the morning often sets the pace for the day. Why not, wake up and start the day & work week feeling relaxed and recharged? Attend ‘Meditation Mondays’ in PJs, athleticwear or business clothes and leave feeling happier, focused and energized. The series is a definite antidote for anyone with a case of the Mondays!

WHEN:     Monday mornings starting September 18th, 8-8:30am

COST:     $15 per session; complimentary for YOTEL guests

To book reservations, visit: https://yotelmeditationmondays.eventbrite.com

CONTACT:            Phone: (617) 377-4747

Web:     www.yotel.com/boston

Freedom To Choose

 

“Between stimulus and response there is a space.  In that space is our power to choose our response.  In our response lies our growth and our freedom.”   – Victor Frankl

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South Rim of the Grand Canyon, AZ

This has always been my favorite mindfulness quote.  We all need to look for the spaces between the stimulus and the response. That awareness begins with a pause. That self reflecting ability – in the moment noticing. In that pause we begin to notice what’s really happening (worrying about the future… a flash of irritation – a craving for food). With that realization, we allow what’s there – to be there – without reacting. In these moments, we enter a space of freedom – the freedom to choose.

After your meditation – or at a time where you feel relaxed – identify several situations during the day where you become or slip into a moderately reactive mode. Look for signs of anxiety or irritation. For example, for me it’s getting my son up for school. I can catch myself “mindful yelling”.  For you it may be, getting caught in traffic, a deadline for a project, feeling tired, overwhelmed at work, or being criticized by a loved one.

Select ONE area and for the next week have the intention to pause for a few breaths and become aware inwardly when you’re in those situations.

In that moment of pausing – that awareness – take real interest in what’s happening inside you… An uneasy feeling? Tension? Numbness? Pressure? Are you aware of anger, anxiety, or cravings? What are you feeling? Be with whatever sensation or emotion is present.

Then, take a few full breaths relaxing with each of breath and then resume your daily activity.

Notice the difference between being caught reacting all the time and being aware and awake. Honor these moments because it’s a deep awakening inside you.

Let me know how it goes.

-Andy

Breathing Yourself Back To The Moment

“Do you have the patience to wait until your mud settles and the water is clear? Can you remain unmoving until the right action arises by itself?” – Tao Te Ching

 
Whenever I’m creating a new guided meditation, it gives me the opportunity to work with my own experiences with the subject matter. I had plenty of time to explore my experience with impatience last week – with a stomach bug that is going around – that’s for sure.  I was trying to rush things and trying to move a little too fast before my body was ready… until I realized that I could just “breathe myself back

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Impatience

to this moment” and not worry so much about the future.  This helped me relax and get back into the natural flow of my life and let my body heal naturally.  I notice when we’re impatient, we are really just trying to make things different or better than they are.

When we want to change our lives in some way, we tend to focus a lot on the future – how awesome it’s going to be when we reach that goal. We look to that immediate result.  It’s like when we’re riding a bicycle… we’re always pedaling past the present moment.  Say we want to go from Southie to Cape Cod… we’re in Southie, but our attention is really focused on how great it will be when we get to the Cape.  We feel that things will be so much better when we get to the Cape, so we push and try to pedal as fast as we can to get away from Southie.

Our present moment patience is also constantly being hijacked by our smart phones, autopilot choices, and our knee jerk reactions to the speed of our lives.  We constantly react to stressful situations and become way too ridged and inflexible in our choice making ability.  Mindfulness can help us drop down into the actual feelings that are there, so we can reflect and get a sense of what’s really going on.  Using the breath as our anchor, we breathe ourselves back to the moment.  This helps us disconnect from that reactive panic button that we all have, and frees up a little space – allowing more thoughtful and creative choices to bring us back to the moment. Be patient… this takes time.

The next time you feel impatient, check in with your body. What do you feel? Chances are you’ll feel some irritation. Let yourself be with that. You might find that “breathing yourself back to the present moment” helps. Take a moment for yourself to recognize that your life can become your meditation if you choose to approach it with this kind of awareness.

As we move into next week, I put the challenge out there for all of us to meditate for 10 minutes every morning and anytime throughout the day you feel impatient – work on enduring the present moment by “breathing yourself back to the moment”!

I hope this helps!

The Mindful Olympics

Last Morning Mindfulness class of the semester. The Mindful Olympics! 15288686_10154730770488245_8990616644689605828_oThe kids favorite class. We tried to put all together as the students collaborate and combine their efforts to make an important difference in the world – and connect them to the larger community… and let’s be honest, they just really want to beat me in the competition😜.

We worked on our perspective taking these last few weeks. We played “Mirrors” and tried to mindfully consider other viewpoints – besides our own. We discussed how we can’t literally put ourselves in certain peoples shoes because they won’t fit – or we wouldn’t choose to wear them because we are all so different – and that’s great! Amazing group of kids!

Does Meditation get easier over time?

 

“Every meditation is like a snowflake, no two are the same.” – davidji

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 thsnowgaing.  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.
Continue reading “Does Meditation get easier over time?”

“Yum or Yuck” Your Way Out Of A Rut

Let’s face it, we all get stuck in ruts from time to time. Repeating the same old boring choices over and over again.  It’s like we’re on autopilot, just going through the daily grind, in a trance, where we are sleepwalking through the choices of our day.  And even when we thiFJ0A0252nk we’re here, present, in the room, we’re usually thinking… about the past, the future, judging something, or reacting.

In order to get ourselves out of these ruts, we need to become more aware of the choices we make ‘in the moment’ and ask ourselves how these choices make us feel.

Continue reading ““Yum or Yuck” Your Way Out Of A Rut”

4 Minute Mood Shift

BuddhaBreak – Don’t have time to do a full 30 minute body scan meditation? That’s OK, we’ve got you covered! Try my “4 Minute Mood Shift” throughout the day. I find that this mini meditation really helps me dislodge stress and tension and snaps me out of my negative moods.

MINUTE 1: Focus on any physical stress and tension in the body.
MINUTE 2: Focus on what your feelings and thoughts.
MINUTE 3: Bring your attention in and focus on the breath.
MINUTE 4: See if you can expand your awareness around the breath to include your whole body sitting there breathing – from your head to your feet.

I hope this helps!

Commit to Sit 2015 – The 250 Work Day Meditation Challenge

TBB_transformMeditation, much like exercise isn’t always easy.  Most people don’t like it, but if we can get past a certain point together – usually it takes about two weeks to a month of workouts – you’ll get committed.  So to help you stay committed you can connect with us every week.

The Challenge:

Meditate, twice a day – for 10 minutes, Monday through Friday, 5 days a week. Take the weekend off.

Who:

Whether you are a beginner or an experienced meditator, if you want to harness the power of meditation to manage stress, lower blood pressure, improve focus, get better sleep, or explore your own inner landscape, this is an exceptional opportunity to learn with some of the most accomplished leaders in the field of mindfulness and meditation. We welcome everyone to be part of this amazing journey.

When:

Starting January 6, this meditation challenge will be open to everyone. We will kick it off again this year at Monday’s Move & Meditate 6:30 PM at Stil Studio. Invite your friends!

The Path:

We will break each week down into themes. The theme is designed to help us focus on one aspect of meditation and mindfulness that we can work on for that week. Each theme will have a corresponding quote – that we can come back to and read. It should help us remember to practice mindfulness in our everyday life. We want to keep the theme of the week in our awareness all week long so we suggest people print it our or post it all over your home/work, etc. The 250 work day challenge is designed to show you how easy it can be to work meditation into your day – integrating a new mindful attitude – changing your choices and life.

Throughout the WHOLE YEAR we will explore many different meditation styles and practices – and play around with different techniques, time periods, and provide tools that keep you inspired to commit to sit. The goal is to find a mediation practice that works for YOU, so you can sustain it throughout the whole year. You can have access to our special Move & Meditate Facebook Group where we can support and encourage each other the whole year, share our experience, the breakthroughs and roadblocks, ask questions, and offer ideas and theme suggestions for future classes.

We encourage everyone to share their own personal experiences each day on the fb page so we can keep it central, and you can see your own growth over time, you can also share tips and suggestions from your personal experience.

The Method:

• daily tips, posts, and inspirational quotes.

• more BuddhaBreaks and takeaways tools to assist you in creating lasting change through meditation.

• got a question about meditation? “Ask Andy” anytime.

Please join us on our heartfelt mission to bring meditation and mindfulness into your daily life and into the lives of those around you.

Why:

Since August of 2005, my dharma has been simple and clear – make meditation accessible to as many people as I can so they can connect more fully to the present moment and be happier in their lives.

I hope to see you in class!

-Andy

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BuddhaBreak: Simplify Your Meditation During The Holidays

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The holiday rush can add a ton of stress to our already too busy day.  Think about it, there are now seemingly way more things to do, more things to buy, more disruptions in our usual routines – it can be a heavy price to pay on our body and mind.

I feel like I’m going through this now. As all of my classes are wrapping up for the year, I’ve had this feeling of not having enough time to do what is needed – to connect fully – without thinking of all the stuff I need to get done, or didn’t get done.  In the beginning of some of my meditations this week, I’ve felt restless and anxious and will notice one of my restless legs tapping (a sure sign for me that my body and mind is saying saying, “hurry up, Andy… get this over with.” .

No matter how busy the holidays get, we need to take time each day to stop and be present with our life – as it is – even if it’s restless.

If you can’t meditate for 10 minutes each day, don’t throw in the towel. Meditating for 5 minutes can be just as an effective practice – even better for you, if you can schedule it in a few times a day.

Above all, remember our mantra for this year – be kind to yourself.  Inner peace is the best place to make sure we all make it hOMe for the holidays;).

I hope this helps.