“The greatest gift you can give the world is a peaceful mind.”
my meditation teacher Swami Veda
December 1st 2015 was the first day of my offering a month of free daily online practice. I planned to finish January 1st with a New Years Day practice. We’re now at day 1,075! We have developed into a close-knit community of “regulars” who love this part of our day.
In the twenty five years I’ve been meditating and the twenty years I’ve been teaching meditation, I’ve come to deeply know my mind. The content of our thoughts and memories is unique but the way our minds work is more similar than different.
People are evidence-based. We have experiences of feeling afraid or powerless and our primitive brain and nervous system tighten up and trigger fight/flight/freeze. Someone we love comes home – we take a deep breath and our body relaxes and softens.
Meditation and relaxation practices are a way of clearing out stress, tension, fear and anxiety. A regular practice is necessary to clear out the accumulated effect of daily life. As the dust settles, we know ourselves more deeply.
Try this for a few breaths. Bring your attention to your forehead and eyebrows. Lift your eyebrows up then let them soften. Breathe out and let the forehead relax. As you breathe in, keep your attention on your forehead. Breathe out and soften more. Breathe in with your attention still focused on the subtle muscles in your forehead. Breathe out and relax even more deeply. Did you notice your forehead relaxed a bit more deeply each time?
Regular practice works the same way. We store up tension all day and get tighter and tighter. We clench our teeth or develop cement shoulders. Building habits of awareness and relaxation help as does working with the underlying issues that cause us to tense up. Continuous smooth diaphragmatic breathing is a powerful tool. Yoga. Walking. Journaling. And relaxation!
Just as tension builds up over time, it takes time for our system to fully let it go. When our mind is off and running the second we’re not distracted by our busy lives, it’s natural to avoid time in silence. Guided and group practice is an easy way to do this.
To celebrate 3 years of continuous daily practice, we’re joining together for a full day Saturday December 1st. Please feel free to participate the whole time or for what works for you.
We begin at 5AM Eastern and go to 10PM Eastern. That is 1AM Alaska or 2AM California so I expect people from those time zones will join us a bit later. 10PM Eastern is the middle of the night in Europe and morning in India.
We’ll begin with gentle meditative yoga then into deep relaxation. We’ll have times for meditative walking. Silence. Breathing. The detailed schedule is here and on the Facebook event. We will meet for 45 minutes beginning on the hour with a 15 minute break between sessions. You are welcome to keep silence the entire time.
Give yourself a gift of a few hours or a full day of practice before the busy holiday season gets in full swing. There is no fee for participating. If you wish you make a contribution, you can do that here. Thank you!
We’re using our regular Zoom link. http://zoom.us/j/645904638
This was day 1!