10 min Field of Vision & Sensational Awareness

MME Album Art(meditation: 10:47 min) This meditation is a combination of two practices. It starts with Field of Vision and then shifts to Sensational Awareness.

This meditation is great for people who prefer eyes open practices and who also want to work with pain or discomfort in their bodies.

Instructions:

  1. Begin by getting into position, whatever position works best for your body. This position will become your body-mind’s signal that you are starting a practice. I suggest the following:
  • Sit on a chair (sofa, bed, etc) with your feet flat on the floor. Rest your hands in your lap. Feel your sit bones pressing down. Float the crown of your head up so that it softly lifts your torso into alignment. Let your back body be a bit firm to maintain this posture and your front body be soft and relaxed.
  1. Close your eyes and bring your attention to your breath. Notice how it feels to breathe for a few breaths.
  2. Then, soften your eyelids and open your eyes. Look down, comfortable distance in front of you at the floor or desk/table if you are sitting at your desk/table.
  3. Let your physical eyes be soft, relaxing the muscles around the eyes. Your vision may get blurry at some point, and let that happen.
  4. Notice what you can see in front of you and also widen your attention to notice your whole field of vision. With out moving your eyes or head, take in your peripheral vision.
  5. Let thoughts float through the background like passing clouds.
  6. If you find that your attention has become absorbed in your thoughts and you’re no longer noticing what you’re looking at, gently bring your attention back to what you can see.
  7. After a few minutes, shift your attention to your breath for a few breaths, and then into body. Find an area of the body that is stiff, sore or painful.
  8. Bring your attention to this part, honoring it with your attention. You are not trying to make it go away, instead you are noticing it in all of it’s uncomfortable glory. It is there for a reason, and we’re honoring the wisdom of our body – the signals that it is giving us.
  9. Notice the qualities of the area, how big it is (where are the edges?), how dense? how sharp/dull, what texture? if you could see it what color would it be? etc.
  10. When you feel ready or when your timer rings, end the practice by bringing your attention back to your breath for a few breaths and then gently opening your eyes.

 

To Download:

Click on the Download button below.

If it does not download automatically:

  1. A new window will open with an audio player (like the player above).
  2. Right click on the player and choose “Download File” or “Download Video”
  3. iPhone users will want to first copy the meditation into iTunes (on your computer) and then sync with your iPhone.

Note that you are welcome to download and share this files as many times as you like provided you do so in it’s entirety and it is used for personal or educational use only (no commercial uses).

Download

 

Sun Saltuation de L’ile de Re

(video 3:46min) And now for something different…

This summer, I had the pleasure of sharing yoga with several lovely humans new to it. Over the course of the week, we slowly built up to doing a Sun Salutation…  and here it is.

Note on breathing: There are many, many schools of thought in yoga on how to breathe. For me, the most important part is that you connect your breathing with your movements, meaning that you time your movements to your breath. Whether you’re breathing in or out during a certain movement isn’t as important as that the movement starts when your breath starts. As you begin to breathe in (or out) you begin a movement. Then as you begin to breathe out (or in) you begin the next movement.

Enjoy breathing as you move! 🙂

10-minute Three Point Body Scan Meditation

MME Album Art(meditation: 10:26 min) This simple, 10-minute body scan can be done sitting or standing. It focuses on three parts of the body: the feet, seat and shoulders.

 

Body scans are great for relaxing the body and mind, and are popular in yoga and relaxation classes and as Vipassana meditations. This one is a bit longer than the other 5-minute ones on this blog. It’s for those of you who are ready for something a bit longer to listen to.

Enjoy relaxing!

Mindfulness Practice: Body Scan

  1. Begin by getting into position, whatever position works best for your body. This position will become your body-mind’s signal that you are starting a practice. I suggest the following:
    1. Sit on a chair (sofa, bed, etc) with your feet flat on the floor. Rest your hands in your lap. Feel your sit bones pressing down. Float the crown of your head up so that it softly lifts your torso into alignment. Let your back body be a bit firm to maintain this posture and your front body be soft and relaxed.
  2. Close your eyes or gaze down at the floor a comfortable distance in front of you.
  3. Bring your attention to your breath. Notice how it feels to breathe.
  4. Gently shift your attention to your feet and feel the sensations in your feet. Keep most of your attention there.
  5. Let thoughts (emotions and other physical sensations) float through the background like passing clouds.
  6. If you find that your attention has become absorbed in your thoughts (emotions or sensations) to the point that you are no longer noticing the sensations in your feet, kindly and gently bring your attention back to your feet.
  7. Next move your attention to your seat. Feel the sensations of your seat bones pressing down and repeat the same steps as with the feet, gently bringing your attention back if you get absorbed in something else.
  8. Finally, move to your shoulders and repeat the process.
  9. End the practice by bringing your attention back to your breath for a few cycles. When you feel ready or when your timer rings  gently open your eyes.

 

To Download:

Click on the Download button below.

If it does not download automatically:

  1. A new window will open with an audio player (like the player above).
  2. Right click on the player and choose “Download File” or “Download Video”
  3. iPhone users will want to first copy the meditation into iTunes (on your computer) and then sync with your iPhone.

Note that you are welcome to download and share this files as many times as you like provided you do so in it’s entirety and it is used for personal or educational use only (no commercial uses).

Download

 

20-minute Simple Breath Meditation

MME Album Art(meditation: 21:11min) This is a 20-minute version of the Simple Breath meditation for those of you who want a longer practice. This practice uses breath, a traditional focus that has stood the test of time for the simplicity and depth. The breath is a portal that allows us to be quiet and sensitive at the same time, deep stillness combined with deep awareness.

Enjoy this beautiful combination, the simplicity and depth of breath.

 

Mindfulness Practice: Simple Breath

    1.  Begin by getting into position, whatever position works best for your body. The best position is one that is comfortable for you. If you use the same position every time, it will become your body-mind’s signal that you are starting a practice.

I suggest the following:

Sit on a chair (sofa, bed, etc) with your feet flat on the floor.

Rest your hands, palms down, on your thighs.  Don’t prop yourself up or pull yourself forward with your hands.

Feel your sit bones pressing down into the chair.

Float the crown of your head up so that it gently lifts your torso. Let your spine gently align, your shoulders relax and your chest open.

Let your back body be gently firm to keep you upright.

Let your front body be soft. Relax your belly, chest and face.

Close your eyes or lower them, softly gazing down at the floor.

 2. Bring your attention to your breath. Notice how it feels to breathe. Keep most of your attention on the feeling of breathing.

3. Your thoughts and feelings will continue, which is a good thing. This means that you are alive and fully functional. Excellent. Recognize them, by simply noticing them and letting them be here with out needing to do anything with them. You don’t need to make them go away or try to control them. Simple notice them with out needing to dive into them or make them go away. Let them  float through in the background like passing clouds.

4. If you find that your attention has become absorbed in your thoughts (emotions or sensations) to the point that you are no longer noticing your breath, know that this is normal and a part of the practice. Once you notice, kindly and gently redirect your attention back to your breath and start a fresh.

5. End the practice when you feel ready or when your timer rings by gently opening your eyes.

 

To Download:

Click on the Download button below.

If it does not download automatically:

  1. A new window will open with an audio player (like the player above).
  2. Right click on the player and choose “Download File” or “Download Video”
  3. iPhone users will want to first copy the meditation into iTunes (on your computer) and then sync with your iPhone.

Note that you are welcome to download and share this files as many times as you like provided you do so in it’s entirety and it is used for personal or educational use only (no commercial uses).

Download

 

Reclining Body Scan (for falling asleep)

MME Album Art(meditation: 21:22 min) You may be familiar with Body Scan meditations from your yoga or relaxation classes. They are an ancient way to relax the body and mind.

There are a variety of ways to do body scans. Usually you start at one end of the body (head or feet), focus on the sensations in that part, and move slowly, part by part, to the other end.

This recording is long and slow enough to help you fall asleep. Soft muscle contractions are suggested throughout to help you release muscle tension and relax your body for rest. You can also listen at low volume, so that you dream peacefully through it once you fall asleep.

Rest well.

Mindfulness Practice: Reclining Body Scan (for falling asleep)

  1. Begin by lying down in a comfortable position.
  2. Close your eyes.
  3. Bring your attention to your breath. Notice how it feels to breathe.
  4. Gently shift your attention to your feet and feel the sensations in your feet.
  5. Keep most of your attention on your sensations. Let everything else float by in the background. Let thoughts, emotions and other physical sensations float through like passing clouds, knowing that during this practice, you don’t need to do anything with your thoughts or feelings except notice that they are here.
  6. If you find that your attention has become absorbed in your thoughts (emotions or sensations) to the point that you are no longer noticing the sensations in your feet, simply redirect your attention kindly and gently back to your feet and start a fresh. Your thoughts will remain, and you don’t need to do anything with them to make them go away. Each thought will pass on it’s own. You don’t make them come and you don’t need to do anything to make them go. Simply notice that they are here and that is enough.
  7. With your attention on your feet, gently squeeze your feet muscles, softly contracting and releasing, and noticing how your feet feel as you do this. Do this a few times.
  8. Then, let your feet rest and invite your feet to soften like butter and melt down into the cushion.
  9. Next move your attention up to your lower legs and repeat this process of first noticing, then gently squeezing and releasing, resting and melting.
  10. Move slowly up the body, repeating the process with each part.
  11. When you get to your head you can start again with the feet, continuing the cycle until you fall asleep, or you can end the practice at any point by returning to the sensations of breathing for a few cycles of breath and completing the practice there.

 

To Download:

Click on the Download button below.

If it does not download automatically:

  1. A new window will open with an audio player (like the player above).
  2. Right click on the player and choose “Download File” or “Download Video”
  3. iPhone users will want to first copy the meditation into iTunes (on your computer) and then sync with your iPhone.

Note that you are welcome to download and share this files as many times as you like provided you do so in it’s entirety and it is used for personal or educational use only (no commercial uses).

Download

 

Meditation Posture: The Zen Way

Sitting in Zen…

There are many ways to practice meditation: sitting, standing, lying down, walking, moving, dancing, jumping up and down (yep, it’s true), spinning around, standing on your head… I imagine you’re getting the picture.

What’s the best posture? I strongly feel that the best posture is the one that works for you!

If you do like to sit, and you like the idea of sitting on the floor, this video nicely describes several ways to do that. Two of them, sitting in ‘seiza,’ on a cushion or bench with your thighs parallel, is a nice variation that many of us chair bound people can actually do!

This video from the Hazy Moon Zen Center explains how to sit on the floor in relative ease. These are the classic posture instructions for many seated meditation practices, so you can use these instrction for most sitting meditation practice.

If you would like to do zazen (zen sitting meditation), this video gives instructions for that, too. “Zazen is a romanized Japanese term. ‘Za’ literally means to sit or sitting; ‘zen’ means to meditate or concentrate.” (from ZaZenGuide.com).

For written instructions, see the  video transcript.

Enjoy sitting!

 

 

 

Mindfulness Practice: Field of Vision

MME Album Art(meditation: 6:18 min) This practice is also a classic mindfulness practice that is very old. In this practice we focus on what we can see in the space in front of us.

As with River of Sound, some people love this practice. It  really suits them. “Now this is a practice that I like!” And other people really don’t like it.

This is why I offer it, because I find that different people like different practices, and the best practice is one that you like! Why? Because you are more likely to do it if you like it!

Try this out and see what you feel. You may find that this is the one for you! And if you like this kind of practice, there are lots of other practices available in the world of meditation with eyes open.

Enjoy!

Mindfulness Practice: Field of Vision

  1. Begin by getting into position, whatever position works best for your body. I suggest the following:
    1. Sit on a chair (sofa, bed, etc) with your feet flat on the floor.
    2. Rest your hands, palms down, on your thighs.
    3. Feel your sit bones pressing down.
    4. Float the crown of your head up so that it softly lifts your torso.
    5. Tuck your chin in a bit so that the back of your neck is soft and long.
    6. Soften your jaw.
    7. Let your front body be soft (relax your belly, chest and face) and your back body be firm and upright.
    8. Close your eyes.
  2. Bring your attention to your breath. Notice how it feels to breathe.
  3. Gently open your eyes and gaze down a comfortable distance in front of you (1 to 2 meters)
  4. Soften your eyes and take in your whole field of vision. Rather than look at just one thing, let your eyes gently take in your whole field of vision at once.
  5. Be curious about what you can see. Stay soft and let your eyes un-focus or anything that they want to do. Relax and notice what ever you can see in any given moment, including blurry vision, etc.
  6. Keep most of your attention here as much as you can. Let everything else float by in the background. Let thoughts, emotions and physical sensations float by in the background like clouds.
  7. If you find that your attention has become absorbed in your thoughts (emotions or sensations) to the point that you are no longer noticing what you can see, simply let the thoughts go, and kindly and gently bring your attention back to your vision and start a fresh. You can have an infinite number of fresh starts, so you can relax.
  8. End the practice when you feel ready or when your timer rings by coming back to your breath for a few seconds and then raising your eyes.

 

To Download:

Click on the Download button below.

If it does not download automatically:

  1. A new window will open with an audio player (like the player above).
  2. Right click on the player and choose “Download File” or “Download Video”
  3. iPhone users will want to first copy the meditation into iTunes (on your computer) and then sync with your iPhone.

Note that you are welcome to download and share this files as many times as you like provided you do so in it’s entirety and it is used for personal or educational use only (no commercial uses).

Download

 

Mindfulness Practice: River of Sound

MME Album Art(meditation: 5:14 min) This practice is a classic mindfulness practice that is very old. In this practice we focus on the sounds around us. Some people love this practice. It is like a breath of fresh air. Whew! Finally, a practice that I like!

And other people really don’t like it.

This is why I offer it, because I find that we’re all different in what we like and don’t like and the best practice is one that you like! Why? Because you are more likely to do it if you like it!

Try this out and see what you feel. You may find that this is the one for you! And if you like this kind of practice, there are lots of other practices out in the world that focus on sound for you to try.

Enjoy!

Mindfulness Practice: River of Sound

  1. Begin by getting into position, whatever position works best for your body. I suggest the following:
    1. Sit on a chair (sofa, bed, etc) with your feet flat on the floor.
    2. Rest your hands, palms down, on your thighs.
    3. Feel your sit bones pressing down.
    4. Float the crown of your head up so that it softly lifts your torso.
    5. Tuck your chin in a bit so that the back of your neck is soft and long.
    6. Soften your jaw.
    7. Let your front body be soft (relax your belly, chest and face) and your back body be firm and upright.
    8. Close your eyes.
  2. Bring your attention to your breath. Notice how it feels to breathe.
  3. Gently shift your attention to what you can hear.
  4. Imagine that you are a rock in the middle of a river. A river of sound.
  5. Notice the whole river of sound as it floats by. Don’t focus on a particular sound, rather soften your hearing and listen to all of the sounds. Listen to the whole river of sound as it flows by.
  6. Keep most of your attention here as much as you can. Let everything else float by in the background. Let thoughts, emotions and physical sensations flow through like an undercurrent.
  7. If you find that your attention has become absorbed in your thoughts (emotions or sensations) to the point that you are no longer noticing the river of sound, simply let the thoughts go, and kindly and gently bring your attention back to the river and start a fresh. You can have an infinite number of fresh starts, so you can relax about that.
  8. End the practice when you feel ready or when your timer rings by gently opening your eyes.

 

To Download:

Click on the Download button below.

If it does not download automatically:

  1. A new window will open with an audio player (like the player above).
  2. Right click on the player and choose “Download File” or “Download Video”
  3. iPhone users will want to first copy the meditation into iTunes (on your computer) and then sync with your iPhone.

Note that you are welcome to download and share this files as many times as you like provided you do so in it’s entirety and it is used for personal or educational use only (no commercial uses).

Download

 

Mindfulness Practice: Body Scan

MME Album Art(meditation: 5:27 min) You may be familiar with body scan meditatons from your yoga class, Vipissana meditation or other modalities. You can find them in many different places and there are many ways to do them.

Body scans generally start at one end of the body (head or feet), focus on the sensations in one part and move slowly, part by part, to the other end.

Body scan meditations are great for relaxing the body, especially if you include contracting and releasing the muscles in each part as you go. I often recommend them if you’re wanting help falling asleep for this reason. Also, it’s super easy to do them lying down, which is how their usually done in yoga classes.

This body scan recording doesn’t instruct you to contract and release the muscles. If you want to add that in, simply contract and release the muscles in the body area you are focused on: gently contract and release the muscles in the feet a few times, noticing the sensations in the feet as you do so. Repeat this for the seat and shoulders when you move your attention there.

Enjoy!

Mindfulness Practice: Body Scan

  1. Begin by getting into position, whatever position works best for your body. This position will become your body-mind’s signal that you are starting a practice. I suggest the following:
    1. Sit on a chair (sofa, bed, etc) with your feet flat on the floor.Rest your hands, palms down, on your thighs (neither propping yourself up or pulling yourself forward with your hands)Feel your sit bones pressing down.Float the crown of your head up so that it softly lifts your torso. This position allows you to breathe easily.Tuck your chin in a bit so that the back of your neck is soft and long.Soften your jaw.

      Let your belly and front body be soft and your back and back body be firm and upright.

  2. Close your eyes.
  3. Bring your attention to your breath. Notice how it feels to breathe.
  4. Gently shift your attention to your feet and feel the sensations in your feet.
  5. Keep most of your attention here as much as you can. Let everything else float by in the background. Let thoughts, emotions and other physical sensations float through the background like passing clouds.
  6. If you find that your attention has become absorbed in your thoughts (emotions or sensations) to the point that you are no longer noticing the sensations in your feet, simply let the thoughts go, and kindly and gently bring your attention back to your feet and start a fresh. You can have an infinite number of fresh starts, so you can relax about that.
  7. Next move your attention to your seat. Feel the sensations of your seat bones pressing down and repeat the same steps as with the feet, gently bringing your attention back if you get absorbed in something else.
  8. Finally, move to your shoulders and repeat the process.
  9. End the practice by bringing your attention back to your breath for a few cycles. When you feel ready or when your timer rings  gently open your eyes.

 

To Download:

Click on the Download button below.

If it does not download automatically:

  1. A new window will open with an audio player (like the player above).
  2. Right click on the player and choose “Download File” or “Download Video”
  3. iPhone users will want to first copy the meditation into iTunes (on your computer) and then sync with your iPhone.

Note that you are welcome to download and share this files as many times as you like provided you do so in it’s entirety and it is used for personal or educational use only (no commercial uses).

Download

 

Mindfulness Practice: Simple Breath

MME Album Art(5:35min) A simple breath practice to play with… a great place to start and a wonderful practice to keep.

Mindfulness Practice: Simple Breath

    1.  Begin by getting into position, whatever position works best for your body. The best position is one that is comfortable for you. If you use the same position every time, it will become your body-mind’s signal that you are starting a practice.

I suggest the following:

Sit on a chair (sofa, bed, etc) with your feet flat on the floor.

Rest your hands, palms down, on your thighs.  Don’t prop yourself up or pull yourself forward with your hands.

Feel your sit bones pressing down into the chair.

Float the crown of your head up so that it gently lifts your torso. Let your spine gently align, your shoulders relax and your chest open. This position allows you to breathe easily.

Let the back of your neck be long, and your chin parallel to the floor. This keeps your neck in a healthy, neutral position.

Let your back body be gently firm to keep you upright.

Let your front body be soft. Relax you belly, chest and face. Relax your jaw and tongue. Relax your eyes.

Close your eyes.

 2. Bring your attention to your breath. Notice how it feels to breathe. Keep most of your attention on the feeling of breathing.

3. Let everything else float by in the background. Let thoughts, emotions and physical sensations float by in the background like passing clouds.

4. If you find that your attention has become absorbed in your thoughts (emotions or sensations) to the point that you are no longer noticing your breath, simply let the thought go. Let it float away like a balloon. Then kindly and gently bring your attention back to your breath and start a fresh. You can have an infinite number of fresh starts, so you can relax about this.

5. End the practice when you feel ready or when your timer rings by gently opening your eyes.

Be kind and gentle, remembering that noticing that your thoughts is an important part of the practice.

 

To Download:

Click on the Download button below.

If it does not download automatically:

  1. A new window will open with an audio player (like the player above).
  2. Right click on the player and choose “Download File” or “Download Video”
  3. iPhone users will want to first copy the meditation into iTunes (on your computer) and then sync with your iPhone.

Note that you are welcome to download and share this files as many times as you like provided you do so in it’s entirety and it is used for personal or educational use only (no commercial uses).

Download