a colourful owl/furby opens it eyes at me it has a small beak/mouth also blending into a colourful block wall during meditation any meaning?

0 0 19 Oct 2019

a colourful owl/furby opens it eyes at me it has a small beak/mouth also blending into a colourful block wall during meditation any meaning?

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O, THE TIMES: A spiritual essay about coping with current events

1 0 19 Oct 2019

I feel like writing something about my country’s paroxysms of conflict, although I’m not sure I have anything worthwhile to say. Mostly, I am—we are—witnesses to the most absurd events, that could scarcely be dreamed up by a writer of black humor farce like, say, Terry Southern. The election of the candidate who lost the […]

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Protect and care

1 0 19 Oct 2019

The Shambhala teachings speak of  “placing our fearful mind in the cradle of loving-kindness.” Another image for maitri is that of a mother bird who protects and cares for her young until they are strong enough to fly away.  People sometimes ask, “Who am I in this image – the mother or the chick. The answer is both….Without loving kindness for ourselves it is difficult if not impossible to genuinely feel it for others.

Pema Chodron, Comfortable with Uncertainty

No particular way

2 0 19 Oct 2019

The more things go “our way” for a while, the more we can believe that that is the way it is supposed to be. And when things don’t go “our way,” which sooner or later they will not, we can get angry, disappointed, depressed, devastated……… forgetting that it was never “supposed to be” any one way at all.

Jon Kabat-Zinn, Arriving at your own Door

Just started meditating again after a long hiatus!

1 0 19 Oct 2019

A few years ago, I was meditating consistently and making progress. I would do 10 minutes, twice a day, most days.

Then I stopped and I tried to start back up again numerous times, but it was very difficult. I actually felt worse after meditating than I did before. I think it's because my anxiety had become background noise and meditation would remind me that its there.

Yesterday, for the first time in months, maybe years, I had a strong desire to meditate.

I set the timer for 15 minutes and had a wonderful session. Even when I was meditating daily years ago, I rarely exceeded 10 minutes. And I always felt like I was doing it wrong. I had expectations and was constantly chasing a 'high'.

Yesterday, I was able to let go of all my expectations of how I should feel and just kept returning to the breath.

Before I knew it 15 minutes were up, I turned the timer off and sat for another few minutes.

I think that this break from meditating was necessary in order for me to realize how dysfunctional the mind can become.

It's like you dont appreciate something until its gone. You take it for granted. Thats been my experience with meditation.

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Mindfulness: How to Do It

1 0 18 Oct 2019

What is Mindfulness?

Mindfulness is the basic human ability to be fully present, aware of where we are and what we’re doing, and not overly reactive or overwhelmed by what’s going on around us.

It’s not all in your head—you can practice mindfulness by sitting down for a formal meditation practice, or by being more intentional and aware of the things you do each day.

If you want to learn more about mindfulness and how to practice mindfulness meditation, visit our Getting Started page.

How to Practice Mindfulness on the Go

Nearly every task we perform in a day—be it brushing our teeth, eating lunch, talking with friends or exercising—can be done more mindfully.

When we are mindful of our actions, we pay more attention to what we are doing. It’s the opposite of going through the motions—instead, you are tuned into your senses, noticing your thoughts and emotions.

By building mindfulness into your daily life, you can practice mindfulness even when you’re too busy to meditate.

How to Sit for Mindfulness Meditation

At the outset, it helps to set an amount of time you’re going to “practice” for. Otherwise, you may obsess about deciding when to stop. If you’re just beginning, it can help to choose a short time, such as five or ten minutes. Eventually, you can build up to twice as long, then maybe up to 45 minutes or an hour. Use a kitchen timer or the timer on your phone. Many people do a session in the morning and in the evening, or one or the other. If you feel your life is busy and you have little time, doing some is better than doing none. When you get a little space and time, you can do a bit more.

Find a good spot in your home or apartment, ideally where there isn’t too much clutter and you can find some quiet. Leave the lights on or sit in natural light. You can even sit outside if you like, but choose a place with little distraction.

Here’s a posture practice that can be used as the beginning stage of a period of meditation practice or simply as something to do for a minute, maybe to stabilize yourself and find a moment of relaxation before going back into the fray. If you have injuries or other physical difficulties, you can modify this to suit your situation.

  1. Take your seat. Whatever you’re sitting on—a chair, a meditation cushion, a park bench—find a spot that gives you a stable, solid seat, not perching or hanging back.
  2. Notice what your legs are doing. If on a cushion on the floor, cross your legs comfortably in front of you. (If you already do some kind of seated yoga posture, go ahead.) If on a chair, it’s good if the bottoms of your feet are touching the floor.
  3. Straighten—but don’t stiffen—your upper body. The spine has natural curvature. Let it be there. Your head and shoulders can comfortably rest on top of your vertebrae.
  4. Situate your upper arms parallel to your upper body. Then let your hands drop onto the tops of your legs. With your upper arms at your sides, your hands will land in the right spot. Too far forward will make you hunch. Too far back will make you stiff. You’re tuning the strings of your body—not too tight and not too loose.
  5. Drop your chin a little and let your gaze fall gently downward. You may let your eyelids lower. If you feel the need, you may lower them completely, but it’s not necessary to close your eyes when meditating. You can simply let what appears before your eyes be there without focusing on it.
  6. Be there for a few moments. Relax. Bring your attention to your breath or the sensations in your body.
  7. Feel your breath—or some say “follow” it—as it goes out and as it goes in. (Some versions of this practice put more emphasis on the outbreath, and for the inbreath you simply leave a spacious pause.) Either way, draw your attention to the physical sensation of breathing: the air moving through your nose or mouth, the rising and falling of your belly, or your chest. Choose your focal point, and with each breath, you can mentally note “breathing in” and “breathing out.”
  8. Inevitably, your attention will leave the breath and wander to other places. Don’t worry. There’s no need to block or eliminate thinking. When you get around to noticing your mind wandering—in a few seconds, a minute, five minutes—just gently return your attention to the breath.
  9. Practice pausing before making any physical adjustments, such as moving your body or scratching an itch. With intention, shift at a moment you choose, allowing space between what you experience and what you choose to do.
  10. You may find your mind wandering constantly—that’s normal, too. Instead of wrestling with or engaging with those thoughts as much, practice observing without needing to react. Just sit and pay attention. As hard as it is to maintain, that’s all there is. Come back over and over again without judgment or expectation.
  11. When you’re ready, gently lift your gaze (if your eyes are closed, open them). Take a moment and notice any sounds in the environment. Notice how your body feels right now. Notice your thoughts and emotions. Pausing for a moment, decide how you’d like to continue on with your day.

That’s it. That’s the practice. It’s often been said that it’s very simple, but it’s not necessarily easy. The work is to just keep doing it. Results will accrue.

Read More


What is Mindfulness? 

Are you supposed to clear your mind, or focus on one thing? Here’s the Mindful definition of Mindfulness.
Read More 

  • Mindful Staff
  • October 8, 2014

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We’re In This Together

1 0 18 Oct 2019

Our culture has a deeply-ingrained sense of individualism, says Judith Simmer-Brown. But what would happen if we began to trust each other?

The post We’re In This Together appeared first on Lion's Roar.

Review: The Little Book of Being

2 0 18 Oct 2019

In “The Little Book of Being,” Diana Winston—using straightforward, secular language—explains how to cultivate natural awareness.

The post Review: The Little Book of Being appeared first on Lion's Roar.

A Loving-Kindness Meditation to Cultivate Resilience

3 0 18 Oct 2019

In this compassion practice, there’s no aim to force anything to happen. You cannot will yourself into particular feelings toward yourself or anyone else. Rather, the practice is simply to remind yourself that you deserve happiness and ease—no more and no less than anyone else—and that the same goes for your child, your family, your friends, your neighbors, and everyone else in the world. Everyone is driven by an inner desire to avoid suffering and find a measure of peace.

The practice is simply to remind yourself that you deserve happiness and ease—no more and no less than anyone else

As this practice becomes comfortable for you, you can use it to combat everyday stress. If you feel unmoored, lost, or pulled in different directions, take a moment to wish yourself peace, just as you’d comfort a friend.

A Practice to Foster Resilience

A Loving-Kindness Meditation

  • 17:49

  1. Find a comfortable stable position, either seated or lying down, and observe the next several breaths. Notice how you’re feeling right now, while letting go of any sense of striving or effort to feel otherwise. You cannot force yourself to feel relaxed, non-judgemental, or anything else in particular. Let yourself feel whatever it is you feel right now.
  2. Picture your child. Imagine what you most wish for him or her. This unbounded affection, deeper than any surface emotion, has traditionally been encompassed within four phrases: May you be happy. May you be healthy. May you feel safe. May you live your life with ease.
  3. Use these phrases or any that capture your deepest wishes, and silently repeat them at a comfortable pace, timed to your breathing.
  4. Continue repeating these wishes for your child, reminding yourself of your deepest intentions: “May you be happy. May you be healthy. May you feel safe. May you live your life with ease.”
  5. After several minutes, move on to yourself. Your inner critic, your voice of self judgment, may resist. Yet in spite of all your seeming mistakes, you have the same rights as anyone: “May I be happy. May I be healthy. May I feel safe. May I live my life with ease.” Without any sort of demand, offer yourself the some wishes for well-being you extended to your child.
  6. After several minutes, imagine a close friend or someone unconditionally supportive, a person for whom you have almost entirely positive feelings. This person also desires happiness, whether going through a stretch of relative ease or more acutely in need of your emotional support. If no one comes to mind, that’s fine and quite common; just continue with the practice for yourself.
  7. After a few minutes have passed, move on to a neutral person, a stranger, someone you see around but don’t really know—maybe someone at a local store or gas station, or who works nearby. Extend the some wishes to this neutral person without judging whatever you actually feel or aiming to push yourself. You’re simply paying attention in this way.
  8. Now think of a difficult person—not the most difficult, but someone you’ve disagreed with in a smaller way. Your perspectives differ and you must firmly take care of yourself, yet this difficult person’s actions are also driven by a wish for happiness. If this person found relief from his own suffering, it’s likely that his behavior would change. If it’s easier, include yourself: “May we both be happy. May we both be healthy. May we both feel safe. May we both live our lives with ease.”
  9. Next, picture your entire family for a while: “May all of us be happy. May all of us be healthy. May all of us feel safe. May we all live our lives with ease.”
  10. Finally, if you like, extend the same wishes to everyone in this world. In an unforced way, send this compassionate wish for well-being to anyone you imagine, anywhere.

Reprinted with permission: New Harbinger Publications, Inc. Copyright © 2015 by Mark Bertin, from Mindful Parenting for ADHD

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HOLDING PATTERN: A state of being in the moment

3 0 18 Oct 2019

If you’ve ever felt anxious in your day-to-day life, like you were waiting for something to happen, but didn’t know exactly what that was, I believe this is a true state we all are in from time to time. I feel it to be an actual stage of the process of life itself. I call […]

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