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Going deep without process

A few episodes back, I shared my image of noticing layers of yourself (physical and otherwise). Which I kept paying attention to in my own practice, especially as one day I observed myself going straight for the center. I was feeling my innermost depths!

Sort of. Not really.

What I was really doing was rushing my way into meditation, looking for a sensation that signaled "now I'm meditating" rather than going through a process. Because of course it's the process --and practicing it with patience-- that is really where the meditation is, and where the magic happens.

Do you ever find yourself going straight for the result you expect rather than staying with the experience of the practice? Maybe today, see what it takes to go for the process.

Enjoy!

 
Listen to "Ep 503 - Practicing Patience + a Humming Meditation" on Spreaker.
 

What’s in this episode of Everyday Meditation?

  • Welcome + getting situated, with a few thoughts on rushing experience
  • A little lead-in movement: Arm reach/lift + lower
  • Breathing practice: Long exhale breathing
  • Meditation technique (awareness kriya): Humming sounds (bija mantra)
  • A little re-grounding movement: Seated twist

As always, I encourage you to make yourself at home in this practice: substitute, modify, do as you need to feel safe and present, including taking breaks!

 

Integration suggestion

After listening to the episode, perhaps check in: did you notice something that you want to carry with you? If yes, maybe jot it down in a notebook or record a voice memo to help you remember!

 

You can give it a try when you're ready

Listen to "Ep 503 - Practicing Patience + a Humming Meditation" on Spreaker.

 
Be moving, be true, be you
esther
 
 

photo credit max bohme, found on unsplash

There's a Meditation Frame of Mind

When you're calm, attentive, and open to anything, you're likely ready to meditate (among many other things you could do). Meditation can take some determination to stick with, and coming to it in a "ready" frame of mind is a big help. Have you experienced this? Or perhaps you've never tried meditation because you've always assumed this is a necessary condition to be able to meditate?

If so, you're likely to walk away from the practice when you feel anxious or frazzled or riled up -- the opposite of calm and focused. I'm here to encourage you to come back! No need to put the cart before the horse, meditation can help you out of your frazzled state, and a small attitude shift can help you get there. More on that in the opening minutes of this week's practice episode --I hope you'll tune in and see what you think 🙂
 
Listen to "Ep 502 - Being in a Meditation Frame of Mind + Figure 8 Breath" on Spreaker.
 

What’s in this episode of Everyday Meditation?

  • Welcome + getting situated, with a few thoughts on entering your meditation practice in a not-so-ready-for-it frame of mind
  • A little lead-in movement: Seated twist
  • Breathing practice: 1:1 inhale:exhale breathing
  • Meditation technique (awareness kriya): Figure 8 Breath, aka Arohan/Awarohan
  • A little re-grounding movement: Reclining rest, aka Savasan

As always, I encourage you to make yourself at home in this practice: substitute, modify, do as you need to feel safe and present, including taking breaks!

 

Integration suggestion

After listening to the episode, perhaps check in: did you notice something that you want to carry with you? If yes, maybe jot it down in a notebook or record a voice memo to help you remember!

 

You can give it a try when you're ready

Listen to "Ep 502 - Being in a Meditation Frame of Mind + Figure 8 Breath" on Spreaker.

 
Be moving, be true, be you
esther
 
 

photo credit gowtham munukutla, found on unsplash

Everything has a beginning + an ending

Most beginnings and endings get a lot of our attention. Whether in a good way or a dreaded way, they tend to be exciting. Some beginnings + endings, however, don't always rise up to our notice because we experience them more like middles. Like with breathing or meditating. Each breath, each moment of shifting awareness, has a beginning moment, a continuing, and an ending. It wouldn't be useful to always be aware of these, and yet as a meditation practice, turning your attention to one breath or moment beginning and ending and becoming the next breath or moment could be transformative.

I invite you to let that idea be part of your practice today, or you can ignore and just practice in the way that suits you best! Enjoy!
 
Listen to "Ep 501 - Beginnings + Endings + Swaying to Stillness Meditation" on Spreaker.
 

What’s in this episode of Everyday Meditation?

  • Welcome + getting situated, with a few thoughts on beginnings + endings
  • A little lead-in movement: Seated side stretch
  • Breathing practice: 4-part Breathing
  • Meditation technique (awareness kriya): Sway to Stillness
  • A little re-grounding movement: Reclining knock knees

As always, I encourage you to make yourself at home in this practice: substitute, modify, do as you need to feel safe and present, including taking breaks!

 

Integration suggestion

After listening to the episode, perhaps check in: did you notice something that you want to carry with you? If yes, maybe jot it down in a notebook or record a voice memo to help you remember!

 

You can give it a try when you're ready

Listen to "Ep 501 - Beginnings + Endings + Swaying to Stillness Meditation" on Spreaker.

 
Be moving, be true, be you
esther
 
 

photo credit halacious, found on unsplash

What's your reason for meditating?

Today, I meditated as a way to transition between one type of activity and another. I wouldn't say it was to clear my head, but to be present in being me --rather than in doing stuff. A sort of palate cleanser between doings, if you will.

Different days, different years have different reasons. Maybe ask yourself: Why do you meditate? Why are you choosing to practice today?
 
Listen to "Ep 500 - Your reason for meditating + Sat Yam" on Spreaker.

 

What’s in this episode of Everyday Meditation?

  • Welcome + getting situated, with an invitation to consider "what's your reason for meditating?"
  • A little lead-in movement: Seated Cat/Cow
  • Breathing practice: Padadirsasana (hands under opposite armpits --I don't think it feels as weird as it might sound!)
  • Meditation technique (awareness kriya): Sat Yam
  • A little re-grounding movement: Seated forward fold

As always, I encourage you to make yourself at home in this practice: substitute, modify, do as you need to feel safe and present, including taking breaks!

 

Integration suggestion

After listening to the episode, perhaps check in: did you notice something that you want to carry with you? If yes, maybe jot it down in a notebook or record a voice memo to help you remember!

 

You can give it a try when you're ready

Listen to "Ep 500 - Your reason for meditating + Sat Yam" on Spreaker.

 
Be moving, be true, be you
esther
 
 

photo credit eddie sundgren, found on unsplash

Experiencing layers of self

In my last practice, I was struck by the experience of moving my awareness through the layers of my physical body -- seeking a deep level to focus on for meditation. This is part of my practice normally, and it got me thinking that meditation can be a space to sit with or bring attention to layers of ourselves -- whether physical or something else.

If you like the idea, I encourage you to try the meditation practice and take a moment afterwards to notice or reflect on any "layers" of self that come into your awareness.

You can also ignore all that and just practice in the way that suits you best! Enjoy!
 
Listen to "Ep 499 - Layers of Self + Hum Sa" on Spreaker.
 

What’s in this episode of Everyday Meditation?

  • Welcome + getting situated, with a few thoughts on being aware of "layers" of one's self, whether in body, mind, or essence.
  • A little lead-in movement: cat/cow
  • Breathing practice: alternate nostril breathing (nadi shodhana)
  • Meditation technique (awareness kriya): hum sa
  • A little re-grounding movement: child's form

As always, I encourage you to make yourself at home in this practice: substitute, modify, do as you need to feel safe and present, including taking breaks!

 

Integration suggestion

After listening to the episode, perhaps check in: did you notice something that you want to carry with you? If yes, maybe jot it down in a notebook or record a voice memo to help you remember!

 

You can give it a try when you're ready

Listen to "Ep 499 - Layers of Self + Hum Sa" on Spreaker.

 
Be moving, be true, be you
esther
 
 

photo credit matt benson, found on unsplash

Where breathing sometimes overwhelms my practice of Hum Sa kriya, I find the opposite to be true with Sat Yam kriya: breathing always leads me in to the kriya technique in an effortless way. But that's just me! Your experience may be different, similar, or not really even in the same ballpark!
 

What’s in this episode?

Before teaching Sat Yam kriya, I share my experience with breathing and Sat Yam kriya (in the How To episode) -- and what I mean by "being led by breathing."

 

How can you use this practice?

You might try this practice to bring attention to how your breathing does or doesn't play a role in your meditation practice (and if you tuned in last week, perhaps compare with your experience in Hum Sa kriya).

I also love Sat Yam kriya for feeling connected to something bigger than me -- even just the literal space around me, wherever I am.

Give it a try when you're ready

SPREAKER EMBED

 
Be moving, be true,
esther
 
 

photo credit anthony rampersad on unsplash

If you've been with me for a while, you've probably heard me go on and on about the magic of our breathing. I'm fascinated by how it works anatomically, and how it transforms our moment to moment experience in feeling. When it comes to meditation, breathing is a tremendous aid and, sometimes, a bit overpowering...
 

What’s in this episode?

We're returning to the practice of Hum Sa kriya this week, and in the How To, I talk about what happens when your breathing becomes the primary focus -- instead of the kriya (the "focusing mind action"). Fair warning, for some of you, hearing about this possibility may create it where it was not an issue before! So feel free to skip if you're not particularly curious.

 

After practicing

If you are curious, you might check in after your practice: how did breathing participate? What held your focus most easily: the kriya or breathing? Neither is right or wrong (despite my framing breathing as getting in the way), just different practices. Which do you prefer?

Give it a try when you're ready

Listen to "Ep 496 - Breathing Choice + Hum Sa Kriya Meditation" on Spreaker.

 
Be moving, be true,
esther
 
 

photo credit daniil silantev on unsplash

How does color play into your mood? Do any colors help you connect to feeling "grounded"? In this week's meditation episode, you can try one way to check in with this question in the 7 Colors meditation.
 

What’s in this episode?

We're building on the 7 Centers meditation (the practice of bringing your awareness to the centers of 7 segments in your upper body) by adding color to each center. The colors follow the rainbow: red, orange, yellow, green, indigo/blue, violet/purple, clear. So, really 6 colors + the absence of color = 7 Colors meditation.

 

What's it like to do this practice?

Many of us associate something with various colors, even just "I like" or "I don't like" or "this color makes this room feel warm." I think visualizing color can invite us into some kind of feeling or spatial awareness. That said, I will share that my visualization powers are weak, and as such I struggle to conjure color in my mind -- any color, let alone 7 (technically 6) specific ones! And so, when I practice the 7 Colors meditation, I notice that attempting to bring the colors into mind takes all my mental attention and serves as a good way to focus. Moving my attention up the body gradually, helps to shift my focus to a space of "nothingness" in the mind.

You might experience the same "good effort" through color visualization, or you might find yourself using less effort, but being embraced more by the colors. Just two possible experiences out of infinite possibilities!

Give it a try when you're ready

Listen to "Ep 494 - Feeling Grounded + 7 Colors Meditation" on Spreaker.
 
Be moving, be true,
esther
 
 

photo credit geoffrey baumbach on unsplash

Does one type of sound help you feel more "grounded" than another? Maybe you know, maybe you've never thought about it before, maybe you've been looking but just aren't really sure. It's all normal. In this week's meditation episode, you can try one way to check in with this question of "sounds that ground" in the 7 Sounds meditation.
 

What’s in this episode?

We're building on last week's 7 Centers meditation (the practice of bringing your awareness to the centers of 7 segments in your upper body) by adding a simple mantra / sound at each center, hence 7 Sounds meditation.
 

How can you use this practice?

Vocal sounds, especially of the humming variety like the 7 sounds in this practice, have been shown to help calm your nervous system, which then tends to help you feel more "grounded." I love mantra meditations because they help me feel very physically present in my body. If you're looking for a simple grounding mantra, this is a great way to try out a few different sounds (which you can use as mantras as they are or as a base on which to build).

What are the 7 sounds?

I thought you'd never ask! Obviously, I'd love for you to tune in to find out, but just in case a visual also helps, here's how they're written in the English alphabet:

Lam
Vam
Ram
Yam
Ham
Kh-sham
Om

The "am" sound is meant to be a humming sound. The consonant in front is its own leading sound. For example, "Ham" is not pronounced like the meat made from pig, but like "Hah" plus "ummmm" -- so it becomes an aspirated hum. If I'm even explaining that accurately. Listen in to hear what I mean!

Give it a try when you're ready

Listen to "Ep 492 - Feeling Grounded through Sound + 7 Sounds Meditation" on Spreaker.

 
Listen to "Ep 491 - How to Practice 7 Sounds Meditation" on Spreaker.

 
Be moving, be true,
esther
 
 

photo credit max bohme on unsplash

Do you feel more "grounded" in one area of your body than another? This is something that I started thinking about when my dance colleague in grad school mentioned that she was sensitive to / always coming back to her neck as an area of interest. Honestly, I don't remember if those were the words she used, but it made me think of what area of my body I was drawn to explore -- or avoid. In dance and life, this could be any area or the whole body, and if you're curious about what this even means for you, I encourage you to try an episode of Moved to Heal, my new podcast of trauma-informed practices (for anyone!).

I'm also inviting you to explore the idea in a slightly more limited way in your meditation practices this month.
 

What’s in this episode?

The chakra system helps to draw attention to segments of the trunk in a similar way that movement practice can help draw attention to any and all parts of you. And this month, I'm teaching meditation practices that use the 7 segments from the chakra system without ascribing meaning to those segments (as the chakra system does).

We're starting this week with the 7 Centers meditation -- which is the practice of bringing your awareness to the deep centers of these 7 segments in sequence.
 

How can you use this practice?

One thing I love about the chakra practices (and the less mystical versions I'm offering 🙂 is how they can help you to develop internal awareness of your physical self (at least of your torso) and of any reactions or emotions that go with that.

I know that might sound scary. And you can ignore you ever read it, if you want! You can go into this practice without agenda or looking for something; either way, I hope you'll find a little bit of awareness with it someday.

Give it a try when you're ready

Listen to "Ep 490 - Feeling Grounded + 7 Centers Meditation" on Spreaker.
 
Listen to "Ep 489 - How to Practice 7 Centers Meditation" on Spreaker.

 
Be moving, be true,
esther
 
 

photo credit brazil topno, found on unsplash

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