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).

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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

 

Progressive Relaxation Body Scan (Great for Falling Asleep)

MME Album Art(5min) Having trouble sleeping – falling asleep or falling back to sleep if you wake up? This meditation practice is really great for relaxing the body and falling asleep.

Meditation Practice: Progressive Relaxation Body Scan

  1. Start getting into a comfortable position, lying down or sitting. You can do this standing as well.
  2. Close your eyes, or lower them so they are 3/4 closed, and gently shift your attention to your breathing. Notice your breath moving in and out of your body right now. Be curious about your breath. “How am I breathing right now?”
  3. Shift your attention to your feet and on an inhale, gently and softly contract the muscles of your feet. As you exhale, relax the muscles and let them soften.
  4. Do this for 3 or 4 breaths and then stop contracting and releasing.
  5. Move slowly up the body, inhaling and contracting, exhaling and releasing with each part: the lower legs, the upper legs and buttocks, the belly and low back, the upper back and chest, the arms and hands, the shoulders and neck and finally the face.
  6. Pause after the face and simply notice your breathing again.
  7. Start again at the feet, moving up the body and repeat the pattern until you feel complete or you are ready to sleep.
  8. End noticing your breathing for a few breaths and then gently opening your eyes.

When your mind wanders, as it inevitably will, gently bring it back by re-focusing on your breathing or the area that you are contracting and releasing. 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 uses only (no commercial uses).

Download

 

 

How to Stick to Your New Year’s Resolutions

(video: 2:45) Having a hard time sticking to your New Year’s resolutions?
You want to start running, but you can’t get out of bed? You want to practice meditation everyday after lunch, but you’re just too busy?

The trick is to remember why you want to do it… BEFORE you do it. Laying there in bed, motivate yourself by remembering how good you feel when you exercise. Let tuer good feeling motivate you to get up and go running! Sitting at lunch, remember how calm and collected you feel when you meditate. Let that sense of peace motivate you to take a few minutes before you rush off.

You know you’ll feel better! Remember that feeling before you do things and mer that good feeling be your motivation!

Happy New Year!

What I Do in Crisis (6): Ujjayi Breath

(Video: 4:57min) Ujjaya breathing is a yoga breath that is fun to do because you can actually hear your self breathing! This is great for people who like to focus on sound.

Watch the video for instructions if you want them, and enjoy using this tool during stressful situations. I use it when I’m stressed and I want something else to listen to for a moment besides my speeding train of difficult thoughts.

Using ujjayi breathing a great way to stay engaged in the moment and to give myself some perspective… there are other things in my life right now than this upsetting thing that is happening… like my noisy breath!

What I Do in Crisis (1): A Mindful Breath

(Video: 3:45 min) I spent some quality time this summer understanding what helps me when I’m really stressed.

This is the first in a series on what worked during those crisis moments. These tools are what I used when I needed to do something to gain composure versus blowup or meltdown.

This first one, a mindful breath, is a great tool for giving me some perspective without requiring too much of my already overtaxed system.

Where Is My Center – Mindfulness Practice

MME Album Art(5:22) I like to use this mindfulness practice when I am out in the world and I want to play… play with balance and play with getting calm and clear.

It is a standing practice, which makes it good fun in elevators, on escalators or standing waiting for the train or the light to change.

It can also be done sitting, which is perfect for getting calm and clear at my desk or in meetings!

Mindfulness Practice: Where Is My Center? (Standing or Sitting)

  1. Start by becoming present: bring your attention into the space you’re in by looking at what you can see right now.
  2. Close your eyes, or lower them so they are 3/4 closed, and gently shift your attention to your breathing. Notice your breath moving in and out of your body right now. Be curious about your breath. “How am I breathing right now?”
  3. Shift your attention to your feet and notice the natural weight of your body pressing down.
    1. Begin to notice if your weight is more on one foot than the other. With small, subtle movements, rock from side to side to feel where your weight is, and find the place in the middle where your weight is evenly distributed between both feet.
    2. Now notice the fronts and back of your feet, the balls of your toes and your heels, and notice where you weight is from front to back. With small subtle movements, rock forwards and backwards and find the place where your weight is evenly distributed front to back.
    3. Notice how it feels to be standing with your weight evenly distributed from side to side and front to back.
  4. Begin to end by shifting your attention back to your breath, noticing it moving in and out of your body.
  5. When you’re ready to end, open your eyes noticing the space that you’re in right now.

When your mind wanders, as it inevitably will, gently bring it back first to presence by noticing your breath and the quiet between thoughts, and then re-focus on the heart 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 uses only (no commercial uses).

Download

 

Portable Practice 2: Simple Body Scan (Guided Meditation)

MME Album Art

Welcome to the Mindfulness Made Easy Portable Practices. In the Mindfulness Made Easy course I teach simple and quick practices that you can do anywhere and anytime.

This is the second portable practice that I teach in the course, a Simple Body Scan. There are many, many body scans out there, so you may have done something like this before. This is a quick one that you can do anywhere, anytime.

It’s your’s to listen to, download and share as many times as you like for personal, non-commercial use.

Enjoy!,

Elena

 

To Listen: Click play to listen on this page.

 

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.
Download