Monday Meditation Musings
For more than FOUR YEARS (phew, what a surprise) I have been sharing weekly meditation nourishment and inspiration with my FREE Monday Meditation Musings newsletter. A little reminder (or friendly kick-start) to your week.
Here are some previous newsletters to wet your appetite!
Antar Mouna: The word antar means ‘inner’ and mouna means ‘silence’ derived from the Sanskrit root mun which means to measure. This is a practice for attaining pratyahara, withdrawal of the mind from the sense objects. Mouna is a dedicated period of silence where we continue our yoga practice and daily lives without speaking – and is a key part of ashram life. We explored this practice in our recent Ashram Retreat .. it is a precious time for freeing the mind of unnecessary thoughts and worries which naturally accumulate in daily life. Read Musing here
Harmonizing the Breath: Have you noticed how often you (naturally) hold your breath? As yogis have known for centuries (and medical science is now starting to discover the breath has a direct correlation with activities of the mind. Pranayama (Sanskrit word meaning ‘extension of the prana or breath’) is a yogic discipline of controlling the breath which the yogis found could alter their state of mind. This gentle suspension of the breath exercise draws our attention to the PAUSE that arises at the cessation of the breath, both at the end of the inhalation and exhalation. This resting of the breath is said to regulate the racing and overactive qualities of the mind, leading to a sacred state of clarity and increased concentration. Read Musing here.
“It Can Wait” Mantra: Too much thinking can be toxic .. especially when our thinking is just a spinning wheel of negative and emotionally charged noise. Here is a delightful and practical mantra for those times when our mind becomes overrun with competing and often irrelevant thoughts .. the mantra is simply “it can wait”. A mantra is a single sound, object or thought, that can be repeated silently or aloud. I sometimes describe the practice as ‘words replace words’. Read Musing here.
Just Like Me: “Realizing that the other person is also just like me is the basis on which you can develop compassion, not only towards those around you but also towards your enemy. Normally, when we think about our enemy, we think about harming him. Instead, try to remember that the enemy is also a human being, just like me.” His Holiness the Dalai Lama. This week we explore some simple phrases (silent prayers or blessings) sending heartfelt good wishes to loved ones, friends, strangers and the world. Read Musing here.
Releasing the Face: Our face works hard – all day. The myriad of muscles that make up our face
Wrong Hand Exercise: A popular and insightful mindfulness exercise where we are asked to focus on using our non-dominant hand for some of our general daily tasks (from brushing our hair to holding our takeaway coffee or mobile phone). Very quickly you will discover how clumsy you are when using your non-traditional hand, and how frustrating and consuming the practice can be. This exercise can give us a much better understanding of the Zen ‘beginners mind’ .. an opportunity to see the world with renewed openness, awe and curiosity. Read Musing here
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