The “No Time To Meditate” Meditation

Sharon Salzberg 28 day challenge Mindfulness based biofeedbackDay 22- It seems that there is no time for time…or to do enough in that time. If I let myself get caught up in this ideology I will start thinking about all of the things I have to do and the amount of time left.  The super calculator in my brain would just combust.  Our sense of time is nonsensical. Anyway, I know better. See, I didn’t even list the things I am trying to do right now.  In the years of my Type A recovery I have learned that multitasking is not a real thing.  Most importantly, I have learned to just let go and do what I can, one step at a time, and to be present for it.

So if you are feeling any twinge of not having enough time, focus, organization, or whatever it is you don’t have enough of, this is my offering to you.  For the rest of the Real Happiness Meditation Challenge check out MyMindfulWayofLife.com and access our 5 minute Meditation on Breath: Click for meditation

Check out the full meditation CD with soothing sounds of nature here or download it on Itunes by searching for Mindfulness Based Biofeedback by Urszula Klich.

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Sharon Salzberg Meditation Challenge- Day 16 Begin again

MyMindfulwayofLife.com

sunrise by ikarwowski-deviantart.com

Begin Again

How is sit-sit-sitting
going to help?
When all I wanna do
is yell-cry-yell!

Okay okay okay
I’ll try again anyway.

I take a deep breath,
notice where my attention goes,
find I’m feeling grateful
for my amazing nose.

But then I remember
so much work to do,
and I’m not limber,
and I’m mad at you.

“Notice, simply notice,”
the calm voice says,
and I start to realize
the power in my head–

when I simply notice,
name, and let go,
this future-tripping
falls away like snow.

This judging and anger–
it’s ok they’re there,
but they’re not the same as me,
and I am everywhere.

Another deep breath
as my hands begin to warm,
and I forget to worry
about my lack of perfect form.

None of us are perfect,
and that’s okay.
Somehow each and every moment
can be the start of a new,
perfectly imperfect day.

                                  -Signed, Meditating Poet.

 Some days we want to never end, some days we may count down the minutes.  The moments contained in each of those days is precious in its own way, and possibly informative if we can stay present.  Each breath can be a resetting of the clock to signal a new beginning, even if only to get through a moment of difficulty.  Starting anew, beginning again is a way for us to refresh ourselves.

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When You Are Hungry – Eat

Sharon Salzberg 28 day challenge Mindfulness based biofeedback
To meditate, or to do work, or to check the blog, or to be with the kids?  THAT is the question.  The possibilities floated by like fish gliding through the ocean and circling back around.  They weren’t intrusive thoughts.  On the contrary.  I barely paid any attention to them. That was it! I was not paying any mindful attention to what I was doing or my thoughts. Continue reading

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What We Lose When We Turn Away From Pain

my mindfulway of lifeThese thoughts arose from my stuffy nose sitting meditation.  I’d been down this road before. A sinus infection, a cold, a relentless headache.  None of these are an excuse to skip meditation, in my mind.  At the same time, these challenges dont make it any more pleasant. Over the years, I have begun to think of each sick, painful or “off” feeling as an opportunity to deepen my practice.  I suppose one could say this about any adversity.

Tonight, as if I needed to forewarn myself, I acknowledged that this would be my stuffy nose meditation.  It was almost as if to banish any expectations of relief or potential serenity.  So, I set my timer for a conservative 15 minute cutoff which I rationalized was adequate to sit with my stuffy nose, in my tired body.  My routine is to start with observing the breath from its moment of entry.  So there it was.  The breath was not going to make its way into my nose today. My mouth was getting dry and lips were chapped from the dry air. Still, I was in acceptance and I knew that was fine.  I would simply sit in expansive awareness and notice the totality of the experience.

Then, it arose.  The utter boredom.  It happened in a flash.  My mind had tired of being with this unpleasantness and sought greener pastures. It’s not even that I thought of good things, just anything other than what is. I had started to get absorbed in planning a task. I caught myself and laughed. I thought to myself, “if I am going to be with something else unpleasant that is not even happening, I might as well be with what is.” Here I have the advantage of truly feeling in real time. There was certainly much more richness within the present experience, outside of the breath itself.  Of course. There was the cozy comforter I had positioned around my meditation cushion.  It was warm, quiet and there was nothing to have to do but just be.  It was then that the fullness of the experience was present before me.

When we turn away from pain, we turn away from the only moment we have.  In that way, we don’t just avoid what is negative but miss what is full and good.  I emerged from my meditation with a stuffy nose and a smile. It was not that long ago that it occurred to me that wherever we are we need to practice being there, even if it is unpleasant or boring.  Otherwise, we will soon find ourselves somewhere else during those times it really matters, being only partially present with people we truly care about.

Read more in “Wherever You are You are Somewhere Else” If you haven’t done so already I, along with meditation teacher, Sharon Salzberg, challenge you to join us on this 28 day Real Happiness journey. In addition to resources at SharonSalzberg.com  check out MyMindfulWayofLife.com and access a free sample meditation to follow along: Click for meditation Come along there is still time to Begin!

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2015 Real Happiness 28 day Meditation Challenge- Day 1

Meditation challenge Sharon Salzberge Real Happiness challenge Commit to sit Mindful MeditationWhat is rain but the product of a collision between thousands of minuscule droplets of water. It is this collection of droplets that joins with particles in the air such as dust and other foreign bodies that form a cloud. Through this process of collision and joining, the mass eventually becomes heavy enough to cause what we see as rain- liquid drops of water falling from the sky.

Day 1 of Sharon Salzberg’s Real Happiness Challenge, and here it was evening already and I hadn’t formally meditated. No, I wasn’t avoiding it, at least not this time. No, I hadn’t forgotten. In fact, it was on my mind when I was awakened by an energetic superhero toddler. Continue reading

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Real Happiness is Possible

28 day Real happiness Meditation Challenge Sharon SalzbertgDuring February, renowned meditation teacher and author, Sharon Salzberg sponsors a 28-Day Meditation Challenge. I challenge you to join us on this 28 day Real Happiness journey to begin or renew your practice by committing to meditate every day for the month. During this time, there will be numerous references and a great deal of support from various areas to keep your practice going and help you understand the experience. You can find the posts on SharonSalzberg.com and on MyMindfulWayofLife.com  Like us on Facebook for updates. Access a free sample meditation to follow along: Click for meditation

 

We look forward to hearing from you and welcome observations and questions in the comment section below.

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True Compassion Requires Empathy

When people are in a reactive state while arguing they often shift into unwholesome emotions such as blaming, criticizing, judging, attacking or finding fault in order to justify their position. Once a person falls into these negative reactions they can become frozen or stuck in one of the three corner stones of a power struggle – dominating, manipulating and/or controlling. When this happens it leads to a breakdown in communications. So how can you stay centered and nonreactive when you’re in a heated conversation? Well the process begins by becoming a Mindful Listener. read more… 

 

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I Don’t Have an Accent, You Do!

Discrimination and accents barking dogs

Courtesy of   http://chapmangamo.tumblr.com

“You talk to her.  She’s got a thick accent, and I can’t understand a word she said.”  These are the words I overheard from the nurse on the other end of the line. Before the nurse who took over the call began to speak, I wondered if I’d been in the South so long that I’d lost all my northern pizazz and somehow traded it for a southern drawl. Continue reading

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Meditation- It’s Not Just for Hippies

CLICK ON IMAGE BELOW FOR ABC NEWS STORY

For the last 20 years, I have had the great joy of walking alongside of people beginning their journey toward greater relaxation, self-awareness, clarity, and overall peace and well-being. While each individual’s process was beautiful to witness, it was often not without some struggle. Sure, I’d find that individuals would melt into a blob of what seemed like tension-free bliss in my office recliner, reporting that their mind was free as a bird, or clear as the sky on a sunny day. However, upon return, it seemed this same sky turned stormy. Continue reading

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Is Social Technology Driving a Wedge Between Us?

Are we abbreviating the fullness of our relationships when we limit interactions to text.  Are we truncating more than words when we “tty?” How do we contain our sense of emotion let alone effectively relay all that can be passed along verbally or even nonverbally as we “LOL.”  Anyone who has searched a while for just that right emoticon understands the limits of this system.  Still we revert to it.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qqa9RxxlBdw]

Of late there seems to be more of a trend to take the challenge to put down the personal devices and go off the grid for a week or even a day.  Albeit challenging, doing so can be freeing, but typically the effects are temporary.  Seldom does this act alone seem to impact long term behavior. It makes me wonder if we are more concerned with proving that we have willpower, than finding a way to adjust the behavior to change the habit and underlying pull.  In many ways it sadly mirrors and addict’s plea “I can quite anytime, and often he or she has done so, many times.

It is an interesting conundrum.  It seems we long for peace, connection, information and other advantages that technological advances give us.   The truth is these technologies have their advantages. Certainly, information is one of the benefits over our slower and antiquated options.  No longer do we have to wait to head to the library and dig through a card catalog to find a book which may or may not be checked out by someone else in order to answer a pressing question such as “why is the sky blue.” When my four year old daughter proclaimed, mid-conversation, “just ask google,” I realized how profoundly integrated information technology has become into our lives.  It seems that that Google is indeed more than a household name, it is more like a personal assistant and may be taking the place of picking up the phone and reaching out to someone who might know.  As a matter of fact, we presume we will get more accurate information from the internet than from someone we know.  In the end, I highly doubt that we are interested in or ready to give up these devices we have learned to rely on for these reasons and more.

Perhaps we should all just become more mindful of the impact of the way we use social networking technologies on our relationships and overall lives. The trouble is I am not sure we are in a position to fully see how we limit our experiences by relying on these technological advances. Experts are studying how this new style of communication is changing language development and the nature of forming relationships.  Though there are preliminary findings that these experiences are changing, the jury is out as to the level of ill effects.  Time will tell and recommendations for remedies will be made.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dRl8EIhrQjQ]

Meanwhile, I encourage us all to take a step back and observe, not only others behavior but reflect on our own.  These videos provide food for thought.  I’d love to hear about your challenges with and experiences of balancing the technologies in your life.  Please share your thoughts below.

 

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