Gratitude Meditation with Tarjani Mudra

Tarjani Mudra – Gently press the tips of the index fingers together, allowing the other fingers to relax inward.  Release the shoulders back and down, with the elbows held slightly away from the body and the forearms parallel to the earth, as if you are spaciously framing your heart.

Take time to settle in and relax.  Pick a place where you will not be disturbed by anything or anyone.  You may choose to be seated or lie down. Make sure the body is comfortable; support the body in any way that helps you relax. Allow your eyes to close and keep them closed until the meditation is over.

Become aware of the natural breath as it flows in and out of the nostrils.  Witness how steady and gentle it is. Notice how it moves in and out of the nose without any effort.  There is a sense of coolness on the edges of the nostrils and the throat as the breath comes in.  Follow the cool inhale from the nose to the back of the throat and into the lungs.  Then notice the sense of warmth on the exhale.  Follow the exhale out of the body.  There is a natural rhythm to the breath.  Connect to this rhythm. Then allow the breath to become longer and slower. Notice the slight pause at the end of the exhalation. Continue to breathe in this way for 8-12 more rounds of breath.

Now go back to the natural, easy breath. Release any control over the inhale or the exhale.  Take a moment and bring your awareness to the heart center.  Think of someone or something you are grateful for.  Or think of the idea of gratitude.  Experience the energy of that gratitude in the heart.  With each soft inhale, breathe the image of gratitude into the heart.  With each exhale connect to the feelings associated with that image and allow the heart to absorb them. Continue to breathe the image and feeling of gratitude into the heart for 8-12 more rounds of breath or as long as you would like.

You can access the energy of gratitude any time throughout the day just by being present in your breath and the heart center.

Insider Journey -New Years Resolution

A day of resolution starts with purification. Awareness to connect to what is healthy and disconnect from what is not. How much of the path is already laid out and what can be manipulated with the mind? Desire leads to that which is changeable. Recognize unnecessary suffering. Draw old patterns out into the air and ignite them with intention. Empowerment to become.

Perception dims to where I see my reflection in others; Not in achievement but the struggles. Fear in Muladhara. Attachment in Svadisthana. Ego in Manipura. Separation and this season build upon the old framework. The false identities of Prakriti; that which is seen – constantly changing. Deep trenches of samskara trip me again.

This morning is a return to the dark where I barely sense that the pilot light is still on. Then it is about the willingness to commit. Again and again. Influence the direction of change starting with Self. There is no prescriptive pill to swallow with water. No bill. It requires determination in personal practice.

Internalize the vibration first in meditation. Heart passionately dances with each level of its being in Purusha; the seer – consciousness unchanging. Ask for an all access pass to the immovable reality; the source of all Light. This is the safe space where the energy used to resolve imbalance can now build the positive force within.

If the soul knows its purpose, who are the people planted that help to bring me to my higher self? My first partnership is with you. I want more of what you have, but this takes full surrender. Be still in seclusion with the resonance of love. The F word is faith.

Today, the journey backtracks to thoughts that form written words. Tomorrow it is a relationship with expansion.

“Love opens up the day, guides us on our way, illuminates the path we are to walk…” – Jai-Jagadeesh

Namaste New Year 2016,

Megan

Habits Feed the Fire of Intention

As we journey to the end of 2013, the word intention is a hot button; a hot button that often goes lukewarm in the first 30 days.  But it doesn’t have to. In setting intentions, first there needs to be an awakening – accepting yourself as you are presently and knowing what it is you want to achieve.  Then you can keep the fire lit by transforming the habits that might hold us back; free up time and energy to manifest those dreams. If the word habit has a negative connotation, consider that your current ones need some reworking.  Yes, habits can be destructive, but they can also provide reinforcement for our intentions.  Though it takes some dedicated rewiring to keep the positive circuit flowing, good habits are more powerful than bad ones. If you are ready to ignite the flame and reflect on a few of your mental habits, ask yourself the following questions (written answers are best):

Are you ok with changing your routine?  And if so, how often do you do so?

Do you believe you have choices for healthier options? Are you willing to explore them?

How often are you engaged in your thoughts of the past and enslaved with judgement?

When are you preoccupied with thoughts of the future that strengthen the worry loop?

Do you feel guilty when your healthy habits pull you away from other’s needs?

What are your attachments?  What are your aversions? And how do they each influence habitual behavior?

What/who empowers you?

And finally, have you surrounded yourself with a whole team of defenders?  Denial, victim, cynicism, sarcasm, being highly critical, rigidity, withdrawal, being too nice, endless rationalizing, and self-deprecation just to name a few.

In the end, we have a conscious choice to repeatedly grab on to something to maintain a relationship with it or release.  Sometimes life brings pain.  There is no way around it. We forget to remember or just get lazy.  But if our good habits are more clever than the bad ones, they provide the transformative fire we need to get through the cold spells.

“It is one of the most beautiful compensations of this life that no man can sincerely try to help another without helping himself.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

The Bah Humbug Blog

Give Yourself the Gift of Better Holidays

“When we strive to become better than we are, everything around us becomes better, too.” – The Alchemist, Paulo Coelho

It is not a coincidence that this line appeared on the same day I got the first glimpse of the Holiday season 2013 at Menards. Seeing red and green, the tinsel and a life size Santa put the annual string of lights around my throat.   The flashing “Peace and Joy” burned my brain, my heart raced and I inadvertently turned away in disgust. What is it about the days (now extended to months thanks to retail geniuses) leading up to the holiday season that cause anxiety? If I had the capacity to skip ahead to the actual events, sans the stress related sicknesses or inevitable sciatic pain, everything would be better. It is typically an uphill road getting there though. So I found myself asking, what does it take to see that flashing sign of peace and joy and actually feel it? The ability to do more? Or possibly the desire to allow myself to do less.

So I am going to give myself a few early Christmas gifts this year. Starting with the gift of Kindness; extending mercy to myself. Committing only to what is possible is wrapped in this box along with eliminating, postponing, and asking for help. This gift will be secured with a graceful ribbon reading “there is time”.

The other gift is wrapped in mindfulness; giving myself fully to each moment.  Multi-tasking – you are on notice! I will slow down with the cold and dark of the season and let daylight savings time put me to bed earlier; hop off the conveyor belt of overstuffed turkeys, cookies by the dozens, bigger, brighter decorations, overactive credit cards and the idea that more = better.  At the expense of being labeled the Grinch, I will take my daily  ‘S vitamins’ – silence, stillness and solitude.

In yoga, the word ‘sukha’  is the concept that in life we have to allow ourselves to feel  ease, bliss, pleasure and happiness. The literal Sanskrit translation for Sukha is ‘sweetness’.  In the same way I can mindfully taste the sweetness of a Christmas cookie (or maybe cookies :), I will stop to feel to my breath. But first, I will listen to the roasting pumpkin seeds pop and smell the apple crisp without a thought of Christmas carols.

Shoppers start your engines! But remember to let them idol from time to time. Better yet, refuel however and whenever you can. Striving to become better this holiday season is giving ourselves permission to do only what we can and do it fully. Then everything around us will become better, too.

Put your kindness and mindfulness to practice at BFYH HOLIDAY OPEN HOUSE! Friday December 6. Get the details!!!