Thursday, 27 November 2008
A gift for you!
So tomorrow is the 28th November - Make Something Day (in Australia) - and below I offer my gift to everyone visiting this site! .. I have prepared some Meditation Gems (or cards) and I would like to suggest that you copy .. decorate .. print and then cut into little cards .. which you can then place in a lovely bowl and pick one out each day for the next week. Just starting this little project gave me such joy and now I have a file full of more little meditation gems that I will continue to post here so you can add to your collection. I hope you like this little gift and please if you would like to tell me your own little Meditation Gems to add to the collection - wonderful! .. Namaste
Go play outside
Now that we have some wonderful, warmer weather : find some time today to walk in nature. If you can remove your shoes and really touch the earth that is even better! Being in nature returns us to the presence of Mother Earth, spending time connecting with nature nourishes the soul and reminds us that we are never truly alone; and gives us the chance to find greater understanding of our own true nature. So take some time today to enjoy the journey, open your eyes and ears to the beauty around you, feel the earth under your feet, the expanse of freedom around you .. and be with the rhythm of your own breath.
Savor that mouthful
Select one meal today to practice eating mindfully. Carefully choose a meal that you can truly savor .. away from the tv, the desk, the car or standing at the kitchen bench. Take a few moments to give thanks for all the natural resources and people who have been part of the journey to bring this food to your table. Honor the valuable offering .. explore the visual appeal of the plate in front of you .. indulge your senses of smell (yes, really smell and notice what you feel when you do) .. touch your food .. even listen to it! Allow all of your senses to join you in this meal. And afterwards give simple thanks for the nutrition, and blessing that you have being able to enjoy this meal.
Tonight when the house is quiet and the list of must do’s has been set aside .. take some time to sit in the stillness for a few moments and reflect upon three things from your day today that you are grateful for. Even when we think we have had a boring/tedious/challenging/plain bad – day .. it is surprising (refreshing and re-adjusting) to ponder and find that there are always things we can be honestly grateful for. Is there a spare journal around the house that might be the start of a gratitude journal? In these difficult and testing economic times .. with all the gloom and doom .. a gratitude journal realigns us with what is perfect and wonderful in our lives.
Find a new mantra
In the book Eat, Pray, Love the author Elizabeth Gilbert says that everybody has a mantra – but not the kind you might think. Not like the ‘Om’ in yoga class; but more often something like ‘I am so fat’, “I can’t do that”, and “I am hopeless”. SO today you are to find a new mantra! And this mantra will be one that is extremely personal to you. What about “I am perfect and happy just the way I am” or “Anything I can imagine .. I can achieve” or “I am blessed with so much love in my life”.
Smile. Laugh out Loud.
A laughing meditation is one of the simplest forms of meditation – and also a powerful one. The physical act of laughing is one of the few actions that involve the body, emotions and soul. When we laugh, we give ourselves over to the immediacy of the present moment, and in that space we can let go of worries, hurts and stresses. Practiced in the morning, laughing meditation can bring a whole new flavour and joyfulness to the day .. practiced in the evening it can be a potent relaxant and lead us into a blissful sleep. First try stretching your body like a cat, all the while bringing your attention inward to the breath. Next stretch and move your face by yawning and making silly faces. Ttry to recall a humorous situation, a funny joke, or imagine yourself here now with this silly face on – and laugh. Let the giggles start and then watch them ripple through you. Even if you have to ‘stage’ the laugh.. you will find it will eventually kick in! Laugh until you stop. Then rest. Be still.
Create a sacred space
Somewhere in your home environment will be a place that is special, serene and mostly undisturbed. You may have just a desk, or a spare room, or the small space under the stairs! Today take some time to find that space, clean and freshen the area, and then redecorate with some inspirational items – a candle, inspirational books or cards, a picture, a small statue. These objects set the mood and remind you of why you are sitting in this space. I have four very special rocks that have been carried from various parts of this wonderful land that constantly remind me of happy, carefree and relaxed times at the beach. Once you find and invest your time and energy into your sacred space; you will find that just sitting there invokes these feelings of calmness and stillness.
Think of others
During meditation today, sit and bring to mind the people in your life that are special. Take some time to mentally touch each one of these people with your awareness, and ask that they be blessed. If there is something you know that they need, ask that they receive it; or simply ask for their well-being, their happiness and their health. You can do this practice any time during a day, or whenever someone you know comes to mind. Try this meditation with a smile and a gentle heart.
Generosity is one of the key enlightened qualities that Buddhists try to cultivate; and is also a core virtue in nearly every spiritual and religious tradition. Generosity is in many ways a natural virtue, and one that most of us believe we possess. The universe is a web of giving and receiving.. see how the earth supports us without ever demanding thanks, the sun shines and the rain falls. Try to make a genuine offering to someone today. Offer someone your time, your focus, your money or even your thoughts (as in thinking a generous thought) simply as an act for its own sake without any idea of a reward. Generosity opens us to the loving, abundant and good natured part of ourselves. Learning to give freely also strengthens our feeling of connectedness to the rest of the world. The fruit of practicing generosity is surely the insight that giving to others is really giving to ourselves.
I loved this idea which I was recently introduced to. For one week, try giving something away every day. This might be some food shared with a friend, a donation of money, the giving of time or just buying someone a coffee. Give anonymously if you can. Call a long lost friend, forgive someone, let go of something in your world that someone else may be able to use better, share some knowledge, provide a shoulder to cry on or pass on a book. Be creative and I think you will find this quite addictive.
Twinkle Twinkle Little Star
As the evening approaches the chaotic sounds we humans make start to diminish and the sounds of the natural world around us become a lot more apparent. With nights falling things quieten .. the air changes .. the smells around us are different and we are reminded that it is time to retire from the busy-ness of the day. Take some time tonight to walk in the magical time of dusk, when the sky changes colour and people have returned home .. and see if you can find somewhere to sit and star gaze. Gazing at the sky and the blanket of stars above us, reminds us that we are just a part of an infinitely vast and amazingly complex universe. A short time bathing in the presence of the night sky allows us the space to transition from the day to the night, and helps us unwind and begin to rest in the stillness of day’s end.