How to Notice | Sensory Meditation Exercise

July 8, 2019 | Meditation

During the first Introduction to Meditation class in May, a participant asked the questions: “What is mindfulness?  What is meditation?  Are they the same?  What’s the difference?”  Legit!  Mindfulness is the way we hope to walk around in the world.  Meditation is a tool to help get us there.  Since that day, I’ve been thinking a lot about that.  How can we walk around more mindfully?  How can we begin to notice?  There is a sensory meditation exercise that can serve as a gateway to this:  Find a comfortable seat in a quiet place where you won’t be distracted.  Take a few breaths to settle.  Use all the time you need to settle in.  No need to rush this. Close your eyes.  Now, think of your favorite fruit or vegetable.  What does it look like?  What color is it?  Is it round, oblong, small, large, skinny, fat?  Does it have … Continued

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Learning to Breathe

May 11, 2018 | Yoga Philosophy

Pranayama is the yogic practice of breath control. This Sanskrit term is made up of two smaller words; prana and ayama. The term prana refers to the subtle energy that pervades all things. Ayama translated as “to stretch” or to expand. The practice of controlling breath allows us to expand breath capacity and manage subtle energies.Pranayama is also the fourth limb in Patanjali’s 8-Fold path as described in the Yoga Sutras. According to the sutra 2.50 (bahya abhyantara stambha vrittih desha kala sankhyabhih paridrishtah dirgha sukshmah):“Pranayama has three aspects of external or outward flow (exhalation), internal or inward flow (inhalation), and the third, which is the absence of both during the transition between them, and is known as fixedness, retention, or suspension. These are regulated by place, time, and number, with breath becoming slow and subtle.” – translation from SwamiJ.comThe mechanics of breath involve the process of pulling in oxygen … Continued

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