Tag Archives: mindfulness month

Mindfulness Month, Days 30 and 31: Prioritizing Your Sunlight

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For the end of the mindfulness month, let’s focus on the things that foster happiness, both in terms of noticing what those things are and making more space for them.

  • Notice your personal “sun.” As you go through your days, notice what lights you up. What makes you happy? What fuels you? What makes you grow?
  • Do more of those things. 
  • Make it easy to do more of those things. It’s easy to put self-care low on the to-do list, but we can usually find more time if we try. Is there TV to cut out? Food that can be prepared ahead of time and for multiple meals to make meals easier? (For example, veggies can be prepped for use in salads, steaming, or stir-fry, depending on what you’re in the mood for.) Is there the possibility of getting up earlier to do the things you love? Something else?

Today give yourself the gift of time. Cut out at least one thing you don’t want to do, in order to do something you do want to do.
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Mindfulness Month, Day 29: Walking Meditation

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Today’s mindfulness exercise is to bring focus to your walk. Be sure to go where you can concentrate and take it slow. (It can help to do your workout of choice earlier in the day so you are more relaxed to do this meditation.)

  • Go somewhere beautiful, if possible. Being in nature has a way of of fostering calm and happiness. If going outside is not possible (or feels impossible because it’s ridiculously hot), simply walk inside your home. Slowly. Again the point isn’t to work hard. It’s to be present and notice.
  • As usual, focus on your breathing first. As you begin walking, inhale slowly, then exhale slowly, with your exhale at least as long as your inhale.
  • Allow your shoulders to lower, your neck to relax, and your back to ease. Notice anywhere you’re holding tension and try to let that go.
  • As you walk, bring your awareness to what’s going on internally. Are you stressed? Worried? Going into a thinking loop? If possible, try to let that go, but if that does not feel possible, just notice it.
  • Now look around you. What do you see? Allow yourself to just notice what’s around without necessarily evaluating it.
  • Be conscious of your attention. Walk for as long as you’d like, and as you do, allow your awareness to variously settle on your breath, your internal state, what’s around you. At least a couple times, see if you can hold all that awareness at once.

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Mindfulness Month, Days 26 through Day 28: Choose Your Own

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For the next few days, choose one (or a more) of the six simple mindfulness exercises from this list. Here’s one:

Think of something that happens every day more than once, something you take for granted, like opening a door for example. At the very moment you touch the door knob to open the door, allow yourself to be completely mindful of where you are, how you feel and what you are doing. Similarly, the moment you open your computer to start work, take a moment to appreciate the hands that let you do this, and the brain that will help you use the computer.

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Mindfulness Month, Days 20 Through 25: Alternate Nostril Breathing

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Alternate nostril breathing fosters balance, and if you’re feeling stressed, it definitely helps. Click here to learn how to do it and for a far more detailed explanation.

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Mindfulness Month, Days 16 Through 19: Read Your Favorite Beautiful Writing

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For the next few days, the meditation is to read one or several pieces of your favorite beautiful writing as an act of meditation. The writing can be anything you find soothing, the only guideline is that you read it will full attention. In case you’re at a loss for where to start, I offer the poem below from The Essential Rumi.

ONLY BREATH

Not Christian or Jew or Muslim, not Hindu,
Buddhist, sufi, or zen. Not any religion

or cultural system. I am not from the East
or the West, not out of the ocean or up

from the ground, not natural or ethereal, not
composed of elements at all. I do not exist,

am not an entity in this world or the next,
did not descend from Adam and Eve or any

origin story. My place is placeless, a trace
of the traceless. Neither body or soul.

I belong to the beloved, have seen the two
worlds as one and that one call to and know,

first, last, outer, inner, only that
breath breathing human being.

***

There is a way between voice and presence
where information flows.
In disciplined silence it opens.
With wandering talk it closes.

-Rumi

 
Hope you have a great rest of your week and weekend!

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Mindfulness Month, Day 15: Dignity

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Tonight’s meditation comes from Wherever You Go, There You Are.

Dignity

When we describe the sitting posture, the word that feels the most appropriate is “dignity”….Perhaps we just need little reminders from time to time that we are already dignified, deserving, worthy….So, when we take our seat in meditation and remind ourselves to sit with dignity, we are coming back to our original worthiness.

Try: Sitting with dignity for thirty seconds. Note how you feel. Try it standing with dignity. Where are your shoulders? How is your spine, your head? What would it mean to walk with dignity?

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Mindfulness Month, Days 6 Through 13: Loving-Kindness Meditation (Metta Meditation)

The quote is often attributed to Plato, but is also attributed to others.

The quote is variously attributed, often to Plato.

I first heard a loving-kindness meditation, or metta meditation, in a yoga class, and it’s one of my favorites. It is meant to cultivate compassion, both toward ourselves and to others. You start with yourself because without a sense of compassion toward yourself, it’s hard to give it to anyone else. Below, I’m listing how I heard it that first time, but I’ve seen it many different ways since then, and I’m providing a couple links, which also provide background.

THIS WEEK’S MEDITATION:

May I be happy.

May I love and be loved.

May I be free of suffering.

May I find peace.

Then repeat the form substituting in place of “I”:

  • someone for whom you feel grateful
  • a beloved friend or family member
  • a difficult person
  • all beings

Really, you can do it for as many people in your life as you’d like as well as any others you’d like to include (e.g., whole populations, animals, etc.).

Here is a simple version from Greater Good that you can even do with kids.

Here is a full explanation and an alternative from the Center for the Contemplative Mind in Society.

 

You may notice that this is a full week (plus one day). I think that’s appropriate as this is a meditation that can take some practice. Also, in giving daily meditations some thought, I think more of them benefit from being practiced for at least a few days to both see if you like them and to get more reward from the practice, rather than switching on a daily basis.

Until next time, have a great week!

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