𝒔𝒉𝒐𝒘𝒆𝒓 𝒎𝒆𝒅𝒊𝒕𝒂𝒕𝒊𝒐𝒏𝒔

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𝑴𝒐𝒓𝒏𝒊𝒏𝒈 𝑮𝒖𝒊𝒅𝒆𝒅 𝑺𝒉𝒐𝒘𝒆𝒓 𝑴𝒆𝒅𝒊𝒕𝒂𝒕𝒊𝒐𝒏, 𝑺𝒕𝒂𝒓𝒕 𝒀𝒐𝒖𝒓 𝑫𝒂𝒚 𝑾𝒊𝒕𝒉 𝑷𝒐𝒔𝒊𝒕𝒊𝒗𝒆 𝑬𝒏𝒆𝒓𝒈𝒚

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𝒔𝒕𝒆𝒑𝒔 𝒕𝒐 𝒎𝒂𝒏𝒊𝒇𝒆𝒔𝒕𝒊𝒏𝒈

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  1. 𝑯𝒂𝒗𝒆 𝒂 𝒗𝒊𝒔𝒊𝒐𝒏. 𝑽𝒊𝒔𝒖𝒂𝒍𝒊𝒛𝒆 𝒘𝒉𝒂𝒕 𝒚𝒐𝒖 𝒘𝒂𝒏𝒕 𝒂𝒔 𝒊𝒇 𝒊𝒕’𝒔 𝒂𝒍𝒓𝒆𝒂𝒅𝒚 𝒚𝒐𝒖𝒓𝒔.
  2. 𝑫𝒆𝒄𝒊𝒅𝒆, 𝒅𝒐 𝒚𝒐𝒖 𝒕𝒓𝒖𝒍𝒚 𝒘𝒂𝒏𝒕 𝒊𝒕, 𝒅𝒐𝒆𝒔 𝒊𝒕 𝒇𝒆𝒆𝒍 𝒓𝒊𝒈𝒉𝒕 𝒂𝒏𝒅 𝒘𝒊𝒍𝒍 𝒆𝒗𝒆𝒓𝒚𝒐𝒏𝒆 𝒃𝒆𝒏𝒆𝒇𝒊𝒕 𝒇𝒓𝒐𝒎 𝒚𝒐𝒖 𝒂𝒕𝒕𝒂𝒊𝒏𝒊𝒏𝒈 𝒊𝒕.
  3. 𝑹𝒊𝒅 𝒚𝒐𝒖𝒓𝒔𝒆𝒍𝒇 𝒐𝒇 𝒏𝒆𝒈𝒂𝒕𝒊𝒗𝒆 𝒕𝒉𝒐𝒖𝒈𝒉𝒕 𝒂𝒏𝒅 𝒍𝒊𝒎𝒊𝒕𝒊𝒏𝒈 𝒃𝒆𝒍𝒊𝒆𝒇𝒔.
  4. 𝑴𝒂𝒌𝒆 𝒄𝒆𝒓𝒕𝒂𝒊𝒏 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒕𝒊𝒎𝒊𝒏𝒈 𝒊𝒔 𝒓𝒊𝒈𝒉𝒕.
  5. 𝑨𝒅𝒐𝒑𝒕 𝒂𝒏 𝒂𝒕𝒕𝒊𝒕𝒖𝒅𝒆 𝒐𝒇 𝒈𝒓𝒂𝒕𝒊𝒕𝒖𝒅𝒆.
  6. 𝑩𝒆𝒍𝒊𝒆𝒗𝒆 𝒘𝒉𝒐𝒍𝒆𝒉𝒆𝒂𝒓𝒕𝒆𝒅𝒍𝒚 𝒕𝒉𝒂𝒕 𝒚𝒐𝒖𝒓 𝒅𝒆𝒔𝒊𝒓𝒆 𝒊𝒔 𝒑𝒐𝒔𝒔𝒊𝒃𝒍𝒆 𝒕𝒐 𝒎𝒂𝒏𝒊𝒇𝒆𝒔𝒕.
  7. 𝑵𝒐𝒘, 𝒂𝒄𝒄𝒆𝒑𝒕 𝒕𝒉𝒂𝒕 𝒃𝒆𝒍𝒊𝒆𝒇 𝒂𝒔 𝒘𝒐𝒓𝒅. 𝑰𝒕 𝒊𝒔 𝒏𝒐𝒘 𝒚𝒐𝒖𝒓 𝒕𝒓𝒖𝒕𝒉!
  8. 𝑭𝒆𝒆𝒍 𝒊𝒕 𝒃𝒆𝒊𝒏𝒈 𝒚𝒐𝒖𝒓𝒔. 𝑨𝒍𝒍 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒇𝒆𝒆𝒍𝒊𝒏𝒈𝒔 𝒚𝒐𝒖 𝒘𝒐𝒖𝒍𝒅 𝒉𝒂𝒗𝒆 𝒊𝒇 𝒚𝒐𝒖 𝒉𝒂𝒗𝒆 𝒊𝒕.
  9. 𝑪𝒍𝒆𝒂𝒏 𝒖𝒑 𝒂𝒏𝒚 𝒄𝒍𝒖𝒕𝒕𝒆𝒓 𝒐𝒓 𝒐𝒃𝒔𝒕𝒂𝒄𝒍𝒆𝒔 𝒊𝒏 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒑𝒂𝒕𝒉 𝒐𝒇 𝒚𝒐𝒖𝒓 𝒅𝒆𝒔𝒊𝒓𝒆𝒅 𝒐𝒖𝒕𝒄𝒐𝒎𝒆.
  10. 𝑨𝒄𝒕 𝒂𝒏𝒅 𝒃𝒆𝒉𝒂𝒗𝒆 𝒂𝒔 𝒊𝒇 𝒚𝒐𝒖 𝒉𝒂𝒗𝒆 𝒂𝒍𝒓𝒆𝒂𝒅𝒚 𝒎𝒂𝒏𝒊𝒇𝒆𝒔𝒕𝒆𝒅 𝒚𝒐𝒖𝒓 𝒅𝒆𝒔𝒊𝒓𝒆.
  11. 𝑫𝒐 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒘𝒐𝒓𝒌 𝒚𝒐𝒖 𝒏𝒆𝒆𝒅 𝒕𝒐 𝒅𝒐 𝒕𝒐 𝒎𝒂𝒏𝒊𝒇𝒆𝒔𝒕. 𝑫𝒐𝒏’𝒕 𝒋𝒖𝒔𝒕 𝒓𝒆𝒍𝒚 𝒐𝒏 𝒍𝒖𝒄𝒌. 𝑫𝒐𝒊𝒏𝒈 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒘𝒐𝒓𝒌, 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒅𝒖𝒆𝒔 𝒚𝒐𝒖 𝒏𝒆𝒆𝒅 𝒕𝒐 𝒑𝒂𝒚.
  12. 𝑵𝒐𝒘 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒉𝒂𝒓𝒅 𝒑𝒂𝒓𝒕, 𝒅𝒆𝒕𝒂𝒄𝒉 𝒇𝒓𝒐𝒎 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒐𝒖𝒕𝒄𝒐𝒎𝒆. 𝒀𝒐𝒖 𝒉𝒂𝒗𝒆 𝒕𝒐 𝒃𝒆𝒍𝒊𝒆𝒗𝒆 𝒘𝒊𝒕𝒉𝒐𝒖𝒕 𝒆𝒙𝒑𝒆𝒄𝒕𝒂𝒕𝒊𝒐𝒏. 𝑻𝒉𝒊𝒔 𝒊𝒔 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒕𝒓𝒊𝒄𝒌𝒊𝒆𝒔𝒕 𝒑𝒂𝒓𝒕.
  13. 𝑳𝒊𝒗𝒆 𝒊𝒏 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒑𝒓𝒆𝒔𝒆𝒏𝒕 𝒎𝒐𝒎𝒆𝒏𝒕 𝒖𝒏𝒂𝒕𝒕𝒂𝒄𝒉𝒆𝒅 𝒂𝒏𝒅 𝒔𝒕𝒊𝒍𝒍 𝒉𝒂𝒑𝒑𝒚.
  14. 𝑪𝒓𝒆𝒂𝒕𝒆 𝒂 𝒅𝒓𝒆𝒂𝒎 𝒋𝒐𝒖𝒓𝒏𝒂𝒍 𝒕𝒐 𝒕𝒂𝒌𝒆 𝒏𝒐𝒕𝒆𝒔 𝒊𝒏 𝒄𝒂𝒔𝒆 𝒂𝒏𝒚 𝒅𝒓𝒆𝒂𝒎𝒔, 𝒗𝒊𝒔𝒊𝒐𝒏𝒔, 𝒐𝒓 𝒄𝒍𝒖𝒆𝒔 𝒂𝒃𝒐𝒖𝒕 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒕𝒓𝒂𝒊𝒍 𝒕𝒐 𝒚𝒐𝒖𝒓 𝒅𝒆𝒔𝒊𝒓𝒆 𝒂𝒓𝒆 𝒈𝒊𝒗𝒆𝒏 𝒕𝒐 𝒚𝒐𝒖.
  15. 𝑼𝒔𝒆 𝒅𝒂𝒊𝒍𝒚 𝒂𝒇𝒇𝒊𝒓𝒎𝒂𝒕𝒊𝒐𝒏𝒔 𝒕𝒐 𝒌𝒆𝒆𝒑 𝒚𝒐𝒖 𝒇𝒐𝒄𝒖𝒔𝒆𝒅 𝒂𝒔 𝒚𝒐𝒖 𝒂𝒘𝒂𝒊𝒕 𝒚𝒐𝒖𝒓 𝒅𝒆𝒔𝒊𝒓𝒆𝒅 𝒐𝒖𝒕𝒄𝒐𝒎𝒆.

 

tonglen

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Tonglen, a simple yet counter-intuitive meditation practice for when you are going through difficult times times. Reverse the flow of your ego so you can become more centered and grounded.

Pema Chödrön talks about the practice of tonglen, one of the fundamental meditation practices of Buddhism. It’s great for doing if a loved one is dying, or your mind is in distress…you can learn how to do it from her book or at your local Shambhala Center, it’s easy to learn and very practical, effective and easy to do. Video (or, click here to check out her and Oprah’s conversation).

It’s good to set the stage by meditating for a few minutes before, and after, your tonglen practice—so that you don’t hold onto the inbreath or the outbreath (you’ll understand better what I mean when you watch the below videos).

How To Practice Tonglen

TONGLEN INSTRUCTION by Pema Chödrön

shadow self meditations

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Shadow Work is the process of exploring your inner darkness or “Shadow Self.”
Shadow Work uncovers every part of you that has been disowned, repressed & rejected. It is one of the most authentic paths to enlightenment

What can we acheive with shadow work?

  1. Deeper love and acceptance of yourself
  2. Better relationships with others, including your partner and children
  3. More confidence to be your authentic self
  4. More mental, emotional, and spiritual clarity
  5. Increased compassion and understanding for others, particularly those you dislike
  6. Enhanced creativity
  7. Discovery of hidden gifts and talents
  8. Deepened understanding of your passions and ultimate life purpose
  9. Improved physical and mental health
  10. More courage to face the unknown and truly live life
  11. A feeling of Wholeness

Your shadow self is your unconscious side of self. It’s where all the negative aspects you perceive you are or are not reside. We all have a shadow self that changes and evolves as your personality and growth evolves. The key is facing it, seeing it and meeting that side of ourselves. We often see our shadow self reflected in others. When we recognize and face our shadow, we can become more whole and balanced. But we ourselves can’t rid ourselves of our shadow self. This is something only time, retrospection, and evolving can heal individual aspects of the shadow self. But the shadow self itself will always be there hiding the things we aren’t as yet ready to face.

Before deciding to do any shadow work, it’s a good idea to prepare yourself emotionally. Try to center yourself. This means bringing yourself to a calm state, so that you can tap into your psyche and feel more alert and aware. Do something good for yourself like a relaxing bath. Give yourself a hug. After all you are doing something very brave. Shadow work can be accomplished in many ways, from simple to lavish. You don’t have to spend money. You can do breathing exercises, go for a walk in nature, yoga, meditating, having a cup of tea and just being still, or lighting a candle.

After you’ve centered yourself with some tlc, it’s time to meditate!

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I want you to imagine roots in the soles of your feet buried deep into the earth… feel them really sinking down and down deeper and deeper… you feel the earths energy coursing upward through your feet.

You may notice a color with it, browns and greens, deep earthy colors. It flows into your body, from your feet up and into your legs, your hips, and up your torso… filling you with warm earthy energy. Your hands and fingers may even feel the sensations of warmth, tingles and may even feel dry. 

It slowly fills your body making you feel warm and comfortable… finally entering up into your neck and head, you feel the warmth at the back of your neck, easing up to your head and even around to your cheeks and face. Your whole body is aglow with this slow warm earthy energy. You feel strong, powerful, part of the earths energy and feeling connected to everything that is. For just for a couple of moments stay with this warm feeling that is allowing and helping you to relax

We now stand with an open door behind us. It’s a very heavy oak door. As we walk through, we are at the edge of a woods and the birds are singing and its a warm and beautiful autumn day. The trees are alive with golds, yellows and reds. Just stand for a minute and really see all you can. What you are wearing? 

Flashes of color as we watch the birds flit from branch to branch. You wait as you begin to feel coming through the undergrowth, totems, animal spirit guides are coming…if you cant see them clearly, just ‘know, they are there. but if you can visualize them, what are they? Make note of it. 

You begin to follow your guide into the forest as sunlight streams through the trees reflecting their vibrant colors. You may see things along the path, make mental not of what you see. Flowers, branches, streams? What do you hear? Birds, crickets, frogs? 

Breathe regularly and gently, bathe in the sunshine to warm you. The sounds and breaths of the forest surround you… the birds singing… the colors… the smell of dew… 

Very soon we come to a large clearing. Meadow flowers and grasses swaying in the gentle breeze.. Birds dipping and diving in the meadow grass… we walk into the center of the grass…the center of the woods… carefully watching where we tread…

No sounds other than the rasp of crickets… the swish of the grass in the wind… and we notice in the tree line in front of us… and as we do… a shadow detaches itself from the tree line… it approaches… making no sound.. the grass not moving…

As it gets closer you see that it is a dark aspect of yourself… you stand still… holding your ground… as it stops just in front of you… stares at you… and with a sigh of relief… you realize its an aspect of you… you open your arms and hug it… pouring your unconditional love into it… pour this energy in through the center of your chest (heart chakra) or your abdomen (solar plexus chakra).. whatever feels right.

As this transfer of energy happens between the two of you, you feel the joy, happiness and love. You thank your shadow self for meeting and sharing with you.. Step back… take a breath… and turn away.. Back to the path… the colors and smells seem brighter and sharper.. The sounds clearer.

You sit for a moment.. in the sunshine. You take a deep breath, and slowly get up and make your way back to the door… the sunshine still warm surrounds you, with a final farewell to your animal guides, knowing they will be there whenever you need them, you step through and close the door behind you and with one more deep breath, you are back and open your eyes. 

Take a sip of water to help you ground yourself.

Mirror meditation for connecting with the dark side of our shadow
Mirror meditation for connecting with the bright side of our shadow

 

My Mindful Morning

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1. Don’t look at the phone when you open your eyes!

Charge your phone in another room, keep it out of the bedroom. You will sleep better and not be tempted to check social media. And there’s no pressing issue or someone would have called you! Here’s a great article on how waking up with technology is wrecking your morning vibe!

Instead, take a moment and focus on your intention for the day. Choose a mantra perhaps, like “I will find joy in my work” and really feel it. Sip some warm water with lemon and just contemplate how good your day will be. 

2. Just breathe

Now it’s time to grab your phone or other device. But, STOP, don’t open social media!! Instead head over to this video and just breathe.

3. Meditate:

Five minutes of meditation

4. Yoga stretches:

I start my day with these standing poses with Rodney Yee ( I also end my day with his PM yoga release). Here is an alternate that is specifically designed for beginners and also included is an am/pm meditation, AM & PM Yoga & Meditation for Beginners – Gaiam

5. Drink more water:

In the morning after I’ve done all of these things, I drink 16 to 32 oz of tepid water with hot lemon. This seems to give my body a better start to the morning and I am hydrated before I even start to get ready for the day. 

6. Seize the day!

Now get ready and go take the day and make it yours!!

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Hugging Meditation

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Step One

The first thing to do is to make yourself available. Breathe in and out, and come back to the present moment, so you are really there. Then go to the person you want to hug and bow to them. If they have practiced mindfulness, then they will do their best to abandon the things that are possessing them and make themselves available to you. They will smile and bow, and you will know that they are available. Now hugging is possible.

Stand facing each other with your palms joined, breathing in and out three times. You can say silently:

Breathing in, I know that life is precious in this moment.

Breathing out, I cherish this moment of life.

Step Two

Take the person in your arms. While hugging, breathe consciously and hug with all your body, spirit, and heart. While you hold the other person, they become real, and you also become real. You can say silently something like this:

Breathing in, my loved one is in my arms. Breathing out, I am so happy.

Breathing in, they are alive. Breathing out, it is so precious to be alive together.

Breathing in, it is so wonderful to have them in my arms. Breathing out, I am very happy.

You may then release the other person and bow to each other to show thanks.

This instruction is an edited excerpt from Thich Nhat Hanh’s dharma talks, and reposted from an article @ Lion’s Roar.

One Minute Of Zen

“Take a minute to relax in the forest of the Jatun Sacha Biological Reserve, in the Ecuadorian Amazon. Listen closely—how many different kinds of birds can you hear?

The Rainforest Alliance was founded in 1987 to help conserve tropical rainforests, but don’t let our name fool you—since then, we’ve grown to work with forests around the world, from the Peruvian Amazon to the highlands of Sri Lanka, from misty islands off the coast of western Canada to the Appalachian Mountains of the eastern United States. Today, the Rainforest Alliance is a growing network of farmers, foresters, communities, scientists, governments, environmentalists, and businesses committed to creating a world where people and nature thrive in harmony. We are an international non-profit organization working to build strong forests, healthy agricultural landscapes, and thriving communities through creative, pragmatic collaboration. You can help. Want to learn more? Visit https://www.rainforest-alliance.org/”

Breathwalking

HFG-Activist-Nature-blog.jpgBreathwalking involves making strong, purposeful strides in rhythm with breathing.  Dr. Jim Nicolai, demonstrates various examples of breathwalking including the “stair” and “wave” patterns.

The Gentle Salvation of Walking: http://weil.ws/2mjIdTW