Helpful Lifestyle Hints
Make time for yogic meditation in every day life!
Mindfulness Meditation Suggestions
During a yoga or meditation class, participating in a secluded retreat, or spending time silently in nature are relatively easy ways in which to notice our mind and body becoming calm, and to experience an increased awareness of our various sense perceptions. Meditation in a beautiful and controlled environment is one form of practice, while capturing moments of self-awareness or self-inquiry during the busy workday is another kind of practice. One cannot be measured against the other. They are each valuable and effective in their own ways. Doing spiritual practice in the midst of busy activity is much more difficult, and is usually accomplished in much shorter increments. These intermittently brief moments of self- awareness and heightened sensitivity are also a form of a highly powerful practice.
Bringing "witnessing or mindfulness" to real life...
1. When you are in a business meeting, or having a one-on-one conversation with someone, try to notice if you are feeling the the need to interrupt or strongly make a point in response to a remark made by another person in your meeting. The sensation will usually feel very demanding and at least slightly uncomfortable. When you notice this feeling make sure not to speak or say anything for at least 20-30 seconds (that can be an eternity). When you finally speak notice any tension in your body and how it feels to speak. Notice what part of your body feels most tense or jumpy in this type of situation.
2. When you are rushing to meet a deadline or an appointment, or when you have to react to something beyond your control, such as a ringing phone, consciously adjust your pace.
- Force yourself to speed up until you become more aware and observational of how rushing really makes you feel.
- Consciously slow down until the pace seems uncomfortably slow. Feel the internal force of the stress that is revealed below your normal surface awareness.
As you become more aware of this stress you have the power to control it. As we become more sensitive our past habits are no longer the motor driving our ship forward in the water. Remember the wake of the boat never leads the boat itself.
"As we learn to pay close attention to the silence in-between the various sounds we encounter in our life, we will automatically experience mental-emotional stillness and relaxation."
The Sound Of One Phone Ringing
When your telephone rings try the following:
- Stop every activity you are doing at that moment.
- Let the phone ring without answering it for at least 2 rings.
- Hold your body perfectly still and close your eyes.
- Begin to inhale and exhale through your nose in a smooth, deep, and slow rhythm
- Place your attention or awareness on the sound of the phone ringing and the silence in between the rings.
- Be observant and notice when various thoughts, concerns, physical feelings, emotions, or mental pictures arise in your mind.
- Each time you notice that you are having thoughts or physical reactions (and it may be quite often) refocus your attention back on to the sound of the phone, your breathe, and the silence in between the rings.
When you answer the telephone:
- Place a gentle smile on your face. (notice how that feels in your forehead, neck and cheeks)
- Deliver your initial greeting,
- Listen for the request of your caller while maintaining an awareness of your own internal mental process and the feeling of your breathing.
- Stay aware of the words and sounds they are creating as well as the silent moments when they take a breath or pause in their speaking. If you know them (or do not know them) you might imagine a picture or image of them.
- If you notice that you are engaged in your own internal mental commentary, stories, or personal value judgments as regards your caller or what they are saying, gently drop these thoughts maintain your breath awareness and quietly refocus on the voice, image of the caller, and needs of the person calling you.
- This might be a particularly interesting process with a sales-person who might be calling you...?
Keep working with this method throughout the week. Your initially experience may seem to be an increase in tension levels. If you practice this method on a regular basis you will naturally begin to drop the normal inner dialogue, stories and feelings of physical tension that may often arise when work related phone conversation is required.
Our intention is to inspire you in living your best life! Please enjoy some of our favorite poems and other writings.
Breathe in and think to yourself,
"What I have is enough."
Breathe out and think,
"What I am is enough."
Breathe in and think,
"What I do is enough."
Breathe out and think,
"What I've achieved is enough."
Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate;
our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, "who am I to be brinlliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?" Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small doesn't serve the world. There's nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We were born to make manifest the glory of Spirit within us. It is not just in some of us; it is in everyone and as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fears, our presence automatically liberates others.
Marianne Williamson- "A Return to Love"
Prayer for Peace, Love, and Happiness
Let me be loved, let me be happy, let me be peaceful.
Let my friends be happy, loved, and peaceful.
Let my perceived enemies be happy, loved, and peaceful.
Let all beings be happy, loved, and peaceful.
Let the whole world experience these things.
- Deepak Chopra
"There is a vast realm of intelligence beyond thought. Thought is only one tiny aspect of intelligence. Everything in life that truly matters - beauty, love, creativity, joy, inner peace - arise from beyond the mind." -Eckhart Tolle
A FAVORITE MANTRA
I AM HERE,
I AM BECOMING,
I MAKE MY LIFE AND NO ONE ELSE MAKES IT FOR ME
Let us rise up and be thankful,
for if we didn't learn a lot today,
at least we learned a little,
and if we didn't learn a little,
at least we didn't get sick,
and if we got sick,
at least we didn't die;
so, let us be thankful.
"Never doubt that a small group of throughtful, commiteed citizens can change the world, indeed, it is the only thing that ever does."- Margaret Mead
“Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.” - Rumi
FROM THE BOOK EAT PRAY LOVE
BY ELIZABETH GILBERT
"So I've started being vigilant about watching my thoughts all day, and monitoring them. I repeat this vow about 700 times a day: I will not harbor unhealthy thoughts anymore. Every time a diminishing thought arises, I repeat the vow. I will not harbor unhealthy thoughts anymore. The first time I heard myself say this, my inner ear perked up at the word "harbor', which is a noun as well as a verb. A harbor, of course, is a place of refuge, a port of entry. I pictured the harbor of my mind - a little beat up, perhaps, a little storm-worn, but well situated and with a nice depth. The harbor of my mind is an open bay, the only access to the island of my Self. This island has been through some wars, it is true, but is now committed to peace, under a new leader (me) who has instituted new policies to protect the place. And now - let the word go out across the seven seas - there are much, much stricter laws on the books about who may enter this harbor. You may not come here anymore with your hard and abusive thoughts, with your plague ships of thoughts, with your slave ships of thoughts, with your warships of thoughts - all these will be turned away. Likewise, any thoughts that are filled with angry or starving exiles, with malcontents and pamphleteers, mutineers and violent assassins - you may not come here anymore, either. This is a peaceful harbor, the entryway to a fine and proud island that is only now beginning to cultivate tranquility. If you can abide by these new laws, my dear thoughts, then you are welcome in my mind - otherwise, I shall turn you all back toward the sea from whence you came. That is my mission, and it will never end." (page 178-179)