My Hand and My Heart Meditation

I’m preparing to teach an eight week mindfulness course at the end of the month and I write my own meditations for the course. I finished this meditation this morning. The course involves more than just meditation but you would have to sign up for all the goods.

(also, because I’m still chapped about the person that stole my work, please don’t steal my work, it’s not nice and it’s illegal)

Many meditations begin the same because we have to be in this moment before we can do the other work. If you find that you have a hard time being here now, try just focusing on the breath or counting breaths for a few moments. There is no need to rush these things, the point is to take your time and rest fully in who you are in this moment.

Just breathe.

Also, there is a term called back draft in mindfulness. Some people spend most of their lives, knowingly or unknowingly, repressing feelings. In these instances mindfulness practice can feel quite overwhelming. If this happens, please return to the breath and remind yourself that, right now, in this moment, you are safe.

Also, if you experience back draft, please, please, see a therapist to help you sort through those emotions. It is virtually impossible to do that work on your own and you don’t have to do it on your own. That’s why I have a job. I promise, sorting through the tough stuff is worth it.

Love.

“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

My Hand and My Heart Meditation

Let’s begin with a Be Here Now practice, this will help us be fully in this moment

Let’s take a few full deep breaths

First breathing in through the nose slowly, and out of the mouth very slowly

Pause

As you continue to take slow deep breaths

Please scan your body for any tension or stress

Pause

Starting from the tip top of your head all the way down to the very bottom of your feet

If you notice areas of stress, please try to rest and relax your body, slowly releasing the stress and tension in your body

Pause

As you continue to breath

It is as if the stress of your body is slowly releasing

Sometimes it helps to relax your jaw or roll your neck and shoulders

It may help to relax your stomach or shake out the tension in your legs

There is no rush,

Take your time and release all the stress and tension in your body

Pause

Continuing to take slow deep breaths, feel your chest and abdomen expand and contract

With each breath feel, your body becomes more and more relaxed

Pause

Sometimes it helps to remind yourself that right now, in this moment, you are safe

Right now, in this moment, you are safe

Pause

Try to rest in the feeling of safety and relaxation

Right now, in this moment, you are safe

Pause

Now please focus your all of your attention on your right hand

I want you to look at your hand as if you are seeing it for the very first time

Pause

Focus on the lines and small hairs on your hand

Be as curious as you can be about your hand

Feel free to take your left hand and feel the lines and creases on your right hand

Pause

Continuing to take slow deep breaths

Feel the weight of your right hand in your left hand

Pause

Continuing to take slow deep breaths

Notice the details of your nails and the skin that surrounds them

Pause

As you continue to breathe slowly

Feel how the palm of your hand feels differently than the back of your hand

Take your time noticing the palm first and then the back of the hand

Pause

Breathing in slowly and out even slower

Bring your hand close to your face, do you notice anything different when you look this closely at your hand?

Pause

Now pull your hand as far away from your face as you can, what do you notice when you look at your hand from this distance?

Pause

As you continue to take slow and deep breaths

Please place your right hand on your chest over your heart

And then place your left hand over top of your right

Feel the rise and fall of your chest with each breath

Pause

You may rest your eyes

Let us rest here for a moment

Holding our hands over our hearts

And feeling the rise and fall of our chest slowly with each breath

Pause

When you are ready you may return to the group.

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Sacred Safe Space Meditation

(bummer disclaimer, someone recently stole my work and tried to pass it off as their own. this, of course made me quite angry because well, that’s not a very cool thing to do and the contents of this blog and of my training courses are intellectual property and they belong to me. please don’t steal things. if you like something, give the person credit, if you want to present something to others, ask first. okay? love.)

“When it’s over, I want to say: all my life
I was a bride married to amazement.
I was the bridegroom, taking the world into my arms.

When it is over, I don’t want to wonder
if I have made of my life something particular, and real.
I don’t want to find myself sighing and frightened,
or full of argument.

I don’t want to end up simply having visited this world.”
Mary Oliver

I wrote this mediation for a training I’m doing tomorrow. I know that many of us are overwhelmed and stressed out by the chaos that’s happening in our world. I want to share with you a moment of peace so you may warrior on with all the strength you need.

Big shout out to my sister in law Kara for having the courage to tell me I needed to be better about my boundaries. We need our tribes to keep our heads together because we can’t always see when we are burning out.

Love.

Sacred Safe Place Meditation

Let’s begin with a Be Here Now practice, this will help us fully in this moment

Let’s take a few full deep breaths, in the nose slowly, and out of the mouth slowly

Pause

As you continue to take slow deep breaths

Please scan your body for any tension or stress

Pause

Starting from the tip top of your head all the way down to the very bottom of your feet

Please try to rest and relax your body, releasing the stress in your body

Sometimes it helps to relax your jaw or roll your neck and shoulders

To relax your stomach or shake out the tension in your leg

Take your time to release all the stress and tension in your body

Pause

Continuing to take slow deep breaths, feel your chest and abdomen expand and contract

With each breath feel, your body becomes more and more relaxed

Pause

Sometimes it helps to remind yourself that right now, in this moment, you are safe

Right now, in this moment, you are safe

Pause

Try to rest in the feeling of safety and relaxation

Right now, in this moment, you are safe

Pause

Now please visualize yourself in a place, either real or imagined, where you feel completely safe

Continuing to take slow deep breaths

Notice all the details of this place, the sights, the sounds, how it feels in your body to be in this place

Pause

Continuing to take slow deep breaths

Take a moment to enjoy the feeling of safety of this sacred safe place

Pause

Continuing to take slow deep breaths

Say these phrases to yourself slowly as you breathe

May I be safe

May I be happy

May I be healthy

May I be loved

Continuing to notice all of the details of the sacred safe space that surrounds  you

Pause

Continuing to breathe deep an full breaths

Repeat the phrases slowly – there is no need to rush here and now

May I be safe

May I be happy

May I be healthy

May I be loved

As you continue to breath, rest your mind and body in this sacred safe place

Pause

Now as we prepare return to the group, we remember that this sacred safe place is always available to us, it is just a deep breath away

And continuing to breathe deep an full breaths

Repeat the phrases slowly

May I be safe

May I be happy

May I be healthy

May I be loved

When you are ready, you may slowly open your eyes and join us

 

 

 

 

Every Person Has Their Thorns.

“When the night has been too lonely
and the road has been too long
And you think that love is only
for the lucky and the strong
Just remember in the winter
far beneath the bitter snow
Lies the seed that with the sun’s love,
In the spring becomes the rose” – The Rose, Bette Midler

The Curious Rose Meditation

Please rest your eyes and take a few deep and full breaths

Now imagine you are holding a rose in your hands.

Please a few moments to look at and imagine this flower as if you are seeing a rose for the first time.

Sight, what do you see, take your time and examine all aspects of the flower

Sound, what do you hear in the space happening around you

Smell, what do you smell when you focus on the rose

Feel, how does the rose feel physically, how do you feel emotionally about the rose

Taste, we don’t often eat flowers but I suppose you could taste it if you wanted

Notice how naturally and without force the rose goes from a bud to full bloom

Notice how each rose is different and how each individual flower is perfectly imperfect

Notice how we don’t judge the rose for budding, blooming, or being in full bloom

Notice how gently we handle the rose because we don’t want the petals to fall

Notice how we don’t judge the rose for having thorns

Notice how we as people are always at some stage from bud to full bloom

In different aspects of our life we may be buds, we may be growing, and we may be in full bloom

Perhaps in relationships I’m only a bud but at work I am blooming.

Notice how we punish ourselves for not being in full bloom but we don’t punish the rose

Notice how each person is different and now each one of us is perfectly imperfect

Notice how we all have thorns to keep us safe and depending on our life experiences, we may have more thorns than others or bigger thorns. Notice how we judge ourselves for trying to keep ourselves safe.

Notice how harshly we handle ourselves and then get mad when parts of ourselves fall apart

Now please return to focusing on the beauty of the perfectly imperfect rose you are holding in your hand

Now please consider the way you and all people are like the rose you hold in your hand.

Stop and Smell The ROSES 

R: Recognize what you are feeling and what you are thinking

O: Open with curiosity and gentle kindness to what you are feeling and thinking

S: Safety (thorns) do you feel safe is there something you can do to make yourself feel safe

E: Experience what you are feeling and thinking without judgment or harshness

S: Soothe yourself in loving, kind, and compassionate ways

Love.

One Year To Live.

“What would it be like if I could accept life–accept this moment–exactly as it is?”
Tara Brach, Radical Acceptance: Embracing Your Life With the Heart of a Buddha

I try to do a daily meditation. Currently, I’m listening to a podcast by Tara Brach where she provides hour long talks and short meditations. If you’re interested in these kinds of things, I would strongly recommend giving her podcast a listen. It’s free and it’s incredible. Click here if you’re interested.

Last week, one of my meditations was titled What Matters Most. She used our mortality to help the listener bring into focus what matters most in our lives. I was a little surprised by what came to mind (which is why I meditate). She asked, if you had one year to live what would you do. She also asked, if you had one month, and then one day.

It was the one year question that brought about an unanticipated answer. Before this meditation, I talked about how I would return to Hawaii and live out my days in paradise. Or, I would travel the world. However, the answer that came up for me, was that I would go home.

For me, home is a relative term. My husband and I have created a wonderfully comfortable and safe home where we are now. I love that it is home to so many people in my life. I haven’t had a structure that represents a home where I grew up for 16 years. But, the answer that came up for me was that I would return to lake town where I grew up. If I had one year to live, I would buy a home on that lake and surround myself with the people I love.

In the end, what matters most to me is quite simple. I want to be near the people and animals I love, I want to be in a place that matters to me, and I want to be near water. It’s funny how that all works out.

We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time. – T. S. Eliot

I’m Sorry, I Love You, Thank You

“Dr. Len explained that total responsibility for your life means that everything in your life – simply because it is in your life–is your responsibility. In a literal sense the entire world is your creation.”

I heard a story this week about a Dr. Ihaleakala Hew Len. He is/was a medicine man/psychologist in Hawaii. The story goes, Dr. Len was hired to work in a psychiatric hospital but instead of working directly with the patients he asked to simply read their files. He took each file, read the story, and then mediated for several moments with the person in mind. His mediation practice is termed Hoʻoponopono.

The practice involves bringing the suffering of yourself or someone else to mind and repeating the phrases: I’m sorry, I love you, and Thank you. This practice is intended to bring about a deep sense of love and compassion and with this comes miraculous healing. With each phrase the person is supposed to pause and allow themselves to feel how it feels to extend those feelings to themselves or someone else. Humans are not great at holding their feelings, even the good ones (especially the good ones).

Legend has it, that Dr. Ihaleakala Hew Len healed the entire hospital with this technique. Naturally, most of me struggles with how that could happen. But, I have seen the healing power of unconditional love in my own life. Part of me can’t believe it’s that simple but as I watch the world around me perpetuate anger and hate, I think it just might be that simple. And, it sure doesn’t hurt to try.

I’m sorry, I love you, Thank you.

Lovingkindness Meditation

Meditation is extremely beneficial for overall physical, psychological, emotional, and spiritual health. My favorite meditation is called the lovingkindness meditation. I find it particularly comforting in challenging times because of the focus on compassion and connection.

Lovingkindness Meditation

Please pause, take a few deep breaths, and consider how you are feeling at this moment. Then, please repeat the following phrases:

May I have peace

May I be kind and forgiving to myself and others

May I be happy

May I be healthy 

May I have love

Now, take a few deep breaths  and please bring to mind a person you love unconditionally.

Then, please repeat the following phrases as if you were looking directly at this person.

May you have peace

May you be kind and forgiving to yourself and others

May you be happy

May you be healthy 

May you have love

Now, take a few deep breaths and please bring to mind a neutral person. This is a person that does not bring up strong feelings. Perhaps this is a cashier or waiter.

Then, please repeat the following phrases as if you were looking directly at this person.

May you have peace

May you be kind and forgiving to yourself and others

May you be happy

May you be healthy 

May you have love

Now, take a few deep breaths and please bring to mind a person that you are struggling with. Perhaps a person where there is conflict, fear, or resentment.

Then, please repeat the following phrases as if you were looking directly at this person.

May you have peace

May you be kind and forgiving to yourself and others

May you be happy

May you be healthy 

May you have love

Now consider the entirety of the world. Take a few deep breaths and repeat the following phrases.

May we all have peace

May we all be kind and forgiving to yourself and others

May we all be happy

May we all be healthy 

May we all have love

You may want to repeat these phrases along with some deep breathing throughout your day or any day that you feel you need a little love and compassion.

Love.