Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Smoothing Out the Waves

What to do with a wavy, wavy mind...

So, in my last post I talked about the wavy, fluctuating nature of mind and how it can create a lot of confusion, feelings of separation, and general suffering of all sorts. So, what can we do about all that? It's a bit of a bold statement to say that yoga and meditation can help us to change something so innate to human nature. But, I have experienced in my own life, and seen in the lives of others, how very effective these modalities are, and the great thing is there are literally millions of approaches and techniques, so there really is something out there for everybody. Here are a couple to get you started.

Walking Meditation
If you have trouble sitting still than this is a great way to start. Choose a peaceful, restorative place to walk; in your neighborhood, out in the country, by the sea, where ever you feel the energy is best for you. As you walk, breath deeply and allow your awareness to rest lightly on everything that is around you. Use all your senses. What sounds are present? Are there scents? How does the air feel as it moves across your skin? How do your feet feel as they make contact with the ground? Take off your shoes, if you can, and take in the sensory experience of placing your bare feet upon the earth. Bring your attention, and your whole heart to every moment and sensation as you walk and breathe.

Meditation in Sivasana
This is a very restorative, relaxing way to meditate the only trick usually is not to fall asleep! But, you know what? If you do, that is just fine.

Start by lieing down on your back on a yoga mat, the floor, or any flat surface. Allow your toes to flop out to the sides, and let your palms face up about 6 inches away from your body. Close your eyelids gently. Begin by breathing deeply into your belly. Allow the breath to become very full as you begin to relax. Imagine your belly is like a giant balloon that fills with each breath, and then collapse back in on itself with each full exhale. Continue this cycle for at least 7 breaths and notice the sensations throughout your body. Continue to rest and breath in sivasana for 5-10 minutes, or longer if you like.

Both of these techniques help to still mind chatter by relaxing the body and bringing the mind into focus on inner and outer sensations. Try one or both of them at least once a day for 7 days and notice the changes in your thoughts and feelings.

May you be happy, may you be free from all suffering,


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