Adventures in Meditation 5am

cold street

At 5am there isn’t a lot of noise on my typically busy city street. But today as I sat in meditation it was my mind that was full and endlessly moving. At first, it was connecting with my breathing. Noticing how the air was moving in and out of my body.

Staying steady. Holding. Being. And then a distraction.

An announcement of the next stop from the bus outside.

I came back to my breathing. Noticing the expansion and contraction of my diaphragm. Another distraction. My dog’s breathing. And a thought. Is she asleep? A new sensation rose up. Heaviness and tingling in my eyelids. I think I am sleepy. Gently, I bring myself back to my breathing.

I notice the inhales and exhales, how the air moves inside my nose. My nose is dry I think. It must be the heat. And then another thought. Is it cold outside? Gently I bring myself back to my breathing. A sensation, this time in my belly. It feels soft and I feel a pang of shame. My stomach is not flat enough. Pretty enough. And a surprise. Instead of another thought there is another sensation. Tightness. In my chest. And a thought which is expected. I am not enough. I am not doing enough. I am not successful enough. 

More tightness. And then something changed.

I came back to my breathing and decided to stay with this emotion. I noticed the tightness and shame and stayed with it.

Breathing. Letting this be as they were. No changing. No shifting. No squashing down.

Things dissolve. Tightness lifts.

Just because I feel shame does not mean I will die from it. And if I sit with the feeling it will pass.

More thoughts and feelings came and went. And each time I came back to my breathing.

In 35 minutes the bells chimed indicating that my meditation was over. Normally, I feel a sense of completion. But today, I felt something new. A sense of renewal, that this was the start of something new.

Something present and mindful.

It was a challenging sit. However, I felt more like myself than ever before. Pena Chödrön says that mediation is a way to befriend who we already are.

I beginning to see the glimmer of something. 2015 is my year of living mindfully.

Namaste y’all

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Tuesday Yoga – It’s Good Not to Get What You Want

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Desire is the root of my suffering. I know this and yet- I want. I want.

So while I get frustrated when things don’t turn out the way I hoped, it’s an opportunity for me to be present. Spending too much time in the future means I’m not here in the now.

I will work on wanting less and paying attention more. That way I can let things be as they are.

 

2015 is my year of living mindfully. I am here. Now.

Namaste y’all.

Wednesday Yoga – Judging and Loving

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It’s easy to get into a trap with judging the people closest to us. We do it out of love. Think they should be living a different life, look a different way, say different things. Just be different than they are in the present moment.

And maybe our loved ones aren’t doing what we think is best for them- but our lives are only ours to live. When we judge people and think they are making bad choices, we take away from our own present moment. This ultimately causes the judger more suffering.

We can’t control others. We can love our families, friends, lovers, partners- our tribe unconditionally. Through releasing the idea of expectations over others can we begin to move toward our own sense of enlightenment.

It’s tough- but when we begin to accept things as they are- everything changes.

2015 is the year of living mindfully.

Are you in the moment?

Namaste y’all.

Saturday Yoga – Be Mindful

be all there

 

I’ve been talking non-stop about 2015 as the year of living mindfully. And I meant it.

But on Tuesday I left Rikers and got on the bus to start my trek back and realized that I had left my wallet inside the prison.

This required me to get off the bus, hop on another and go back.

Had I been truly present, I would have done a quick scan to ensure I was leaving with everything I brought in.

I was initially frustrated but let this feeling turn into understanding.

This has led me to shake up my traditional Saturday routine. I’m going switch up my normal class and do home practice at a different time.

Everything can be a lesson. I can’t just talk about being mindful, I must be mindful.

 

Namaste y’all.

Sunday Yoga – Mindfulness

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Before I opened my eyes I heard the rain. More specifically, I heard traffic outside of my window driving on wet streets. Something about that sound made me pay attention. As I stretched and yawned I tuned in again and again to that sound of tires on pavement. Today I use that sound as my mantra. When my mind wanders, I’ll come back to that sound so I remain present and aware.

 

Namaste y’all.

 

2015. The year of living mindfully.