Silence and Meditation: Grateful Heart and a Thankful Spirit

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Today, let’s celebrate the people who are special to us. Today, let’s treat them as if it’s their birthday.

And if it is their birthday, HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

Thank you for the gorgeous and priceless gift of YOU!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,
Lauren

Silence and Meditation: What It’s All About

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Meditation and silence isn’t supposed to be hard or uncomfortable or a drudgery. It’s supposed to be enjoyable and a practice to look forward to doing every single day.

Meditation and silence is about deepening the connection with your authentic self.

It’s about quieting yourself so you can hear the Still Small Voice as well as hear the whisperings and urgings of your heart and soul.

Silence and meditation is about remembering and knowing there is Something Out There that’s bigger than all of us, bigger than the world, and bigger than the universe. And, it’s about remembering and knowing that each one of us can have a profound relationship with This.

Silence and meditation teaches us how to be calm and at peace even though we may be in the midst of chaos. It also teaches us to value, respect, and appreciate who we are.

There are plenty of choices of methods and ways of silence and meditation, and I’m sure you can find a few combos that work for you.

Here are a few of the ways I practice meditation and silence:

~doodling;

~blowing bubbles;

~letting my mind ramble as I gaze out my window

~sitting quietly listening to the sounds of nature whether it’s early in the morning and I listen to the birds singing or if it’s at night and I listen to the crickets and other night sounds.

~guided mediations (Dr. Joe Dispenza’s meditations  as well as Ros Place’s meditations  as well as others on YouTube)

~sitting in nature, preferably near water: the ocean, a pond, or a stream, etc..

 

What methods and ways to you enjoy practicing silence and meditation? Please share in the comments below. Thanks!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,

Lauren

 

Silence and Meditation: The “Bad Stuff” About Meditation is Actually Some of the Good Stuff!

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Some of the “bad stuff” about a practice of silence and meditation is that it’s too darn hard because our minds wander, we fidget, we just don’t wanna do it!, or we fall asleep!

Yep. At one time or another all of those things are going to happen to us. And, once we’ve established a practice and we’re humming along with it like clockwork, we shouldn’t be surprised if we’re blindsided by a phase of restlessness, inattention, boredom, and lethargy.

What’s up with that?!

We use this to justify not developing a practice thinking that we really don’t have what it takes, it isn’t right for us, or we’re hopeless and doomed….

No worries! Believe it or not, all of this “bad stuff” is really the good stuff!

When you’re fidgety, when your mind hops from one topic to another to another to another, when you fall asleep, when you feel resistance to doing your practice, this is your mind and body trying to tell you something!

When this happens, go with it and be the observer, as if you’re an anthropologist or sociologist who’s studying a people in order to understand their way of life.

For instance, if you’re having trouble focusing your mind, observe what topics or issues your mind gravitating toward. Observe what’s going on in your life that your mind keeps coming back to this issue or topic. Think about it on a little deeper level to find what the core issue is, such as abandonment, unworthiness, incapability, etc..

On a more practical level, take a look at the time of day and the place you’re choosing for your silence and meditation. Perhaps they aren’t conducive to quieting yourself. Consider using another meditation method or a different way of silence and meditation.

Perhaps you’re restless and twitchy. Again, your body is speaking to you. Take a moment to tune in and find out what’s going on in your life that you may be avoiding because the squirming might be because you’re trying to get away from a situation or issue in your life.

Also, consider switching to a movement-based form of silence and meditation. Let your body work off the extra steam and energy as your meditating!

Maybe you find yourself falling fast asleep in less than two seconds. Again, tune into yourself. It might be that you aren’t getting enough sleep or taking enough rest breaks throughout the day. Perhaps you aren’t eating enough or the food you are eating doesn’t have enough nutrition. Falling asleep can be an avoidance issue so make sure you take a look at the larger scope of what’s going on in your life.

Also, experiment with changing the method of meditation or the type of meditation, for instance do a standing meditation or a walking meditation. Additionally, change the time of day that you’re meditating.

You may find that you just don’t wanna do it! Like a toddler who’s just discovered the word “NO!”, we can have the same frustratingly stubborn way, even though we’ve been a grown-up for decades! You have to work with yourself when you’re feeling this way. When I’ve felt this resistance, I’ve chosen a repetitive activity that’s fun that can be done quietly. For instance, my favorite is to blow bubbles (click here for my YouTube video about it!). Another thing I enjoy doing is doodling. I’ve also discovered that daydreaming as I gaze out my window is another method to circumvent the resistance.

The trick is to do something fun, that you enjoy; something that can be done alone and done quietly. I’ve found this helps calm my mind and my body and then I can do a little deeper pondering.

Meditation isn’t always about blissing out. It’s about discovering more about ourselves and our purpose in the world. It’s about building a deeper and richer life as a result. Yes, sometimes we get to bliss-out over it but there are times when we have to roll up our sleeves and get dirty!

As an aside, when you work with yourself through the “bad stuff” about your meditation practice, you may discover issues that are too big or too much for you to handle. In that case, I wholeheartedly encourage you to reach out to a counselor, your spiritual or religious leader, a health care professional, a support group, a trusted friend or loved one. Don’t go it alone when there is so much help and support out there for you!

Let me know the ways in which you work through the “bad stuff” of meditation. Thanks!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,
Lauren

Silence and Meditation: 24 Ways to Do It

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Yesterday we admitted that one of the reasons we don’t have a regular meditation practice is because we’re afraid it may be painful–sitting in one twisted position for hours (days!) on end…! We talked about several different types of meditation and that one of them might be just the ticket for you.

I also wanted to draw your attention to the fact that there are plenty of ways to meditate, to “sit” in silence, that don’t require sitting in one position for a long time.

Here are some suggestions, 24 to be exact:

Taking a slow walk – being aware of the sights, sounds, aromas…

Observing nature – closely watching squirrels, birds, ants, bees…

Moving your body – dance, walking, yoga, gentle exercise…

Doodling – making random marks or shapes;

Studying closely a favorite photograph – of loved ones, a landscape, flowers…

Repetitive activity – gardening, cleaning, folding laundry, kneading dough…

Making sounds – hum one or two notes, play with wind chimes, experiment with pots and pans and empty bottles…

Still water – fill a bowl with water and make ripples, waves, splashes, or gazing into the stillness…

Running water – let water run through your fingers or dangle your feet in a pond or in your bathtub!

Gazing into a flame – a candle flame, flames in a fireplace or fire pit

Gratefulness – counting your blessings instead of your troubles

Laughing – yes, this is a valid meditation technique AS WELL AS yoga technique! Even if you aren’t in a good mood or feel stupid laughing at nothing, force yourself to do it anyway. Soon, you’ll be laughing on your own. If you need a boost to get started, there are YouTube videos of people laughing.

Focus on a peaceful image – water gently lapping on a beach, a burbling brook, a field of flowers swaying in a playful breeze, a beautiful spring day, a peaceful snowy evening…

Memory – remembering and re-living a happy event: the holidays with your loved ones, a special vacation, the birth of a baby…

Listening to music – classical music, sacred music, uplifting music…

Guided meditations – many, many choices on YouTube

Breath – focusing on your breathing, counting your breaths, breathing deeply and slowly…

Rhythmic playing – gently bouncing a ball, easy tossing and catching a ball by yourself, looking through a kaleidoscope…

Letting go – letting your body totally relax, feeling as if you’re melting into the chair or floor or bed…

Daydreaming – softening your focus and gazing out the window

Holding an object – rosary beads, smooth stone, special object…

Rocking – by yourself or with a loved one in a rocking chair, standing and shifting from foot to foot…

Human contact – hug yourself, hug a loved, hold a friend’s hand…

Ponder – an inspiring thought, a sacred passage, something a friend or loved one said that has resonated with you.

 

The point is that there isn’t only one right way to meditate…although the one right method is the one that works best for you (there can be more than one right method for you).

Choose several of these types because you may find that when you’re in certain moods that some methods work better than others for you.

Experiment and have fun with this! Then commit to doing some type of meditation every day; you’ll be very glad you did!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,

Lauren

Silence and Meditation: 18 Different Methods

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When you think of meditation, you’re probably like me and imagine you’d have to sit in a position that twists you uncomfortably, on a hard and unforgiving floor, for hours and hours and hours….

So you quit even before you start, convinced that you’ll fail so it’s no use to even try…not to mention you worry that you’ll be in traction for years if you attempt those twisty positions even for one second! 😉

You may not realize that there are different types of meditation methods and one may be perfect for you!

Here’s a listing of some of them:

 

~Zen Meditation

 

~Vipassana Meditation

 

~Mindfulness Meditation

 

~Loving-Kindness Meditation

 

~Mantra Meditation

 

~Transcendental Meditation

 

~Yoga Meditation

 

~”I Am” Meditation

 

~Taoist Meditation

 

~Qigong

 

~Christian Meditation

 

~Guided Meditation

 

~Chakra Meditation

 

~Primordial Sound Meditation

 

~Kundalini Meditation

 

~Yoga Nidra

 

~Tonglen Meditation

 

~Walking Meditation

 

There’s plenty of information on the Internet about these methods of silence and mediation.   Do a little investigating and experimenting to find a style that works for you.

Here are three articles to get you started in your research:

 

http://noetic.org/meditation-bibliography/meditation-types

 

http://liveanddare.com/types-of-meditation/

 

https://mindfulminutes.com/meditation-styles-techniques-explained/

 

Also, remember to ask your loved ones and friends about what works for them. Make it a priority to craft a practice that works for you and commit to doing it every single day.

You can do it!

Let me know what you found to work the best for you! Thanks!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,

Lauren

Silence and Meditation: 12 Benefits

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We’ve talked several times about sitting in silent meditation and contemplation.

Silent meditation forms in you a wide and deep channel for Love, through which you live a soul-prospering life.

Here is a reminder of the many benefits of a regular practice of this:

~Centering and grounding – let go and release the drama in your life; the drama you create as well of that belonging to others;

~Understand and feel your interconnectedness to the world – you are not alone;

~Align and connect with the Divine within – there is Something Out There that’s far bigger than you, me, the world, the universe…;

~Relaxing – reduces tension and blood pressure;

~Calming – reduces insomnia and increases restorative sleep;

~Boost neuroplasticity – a fancy word for your brain growing new cells and making new connections between neurons, which increases the health and strength of your brain;

~Clears your mind – you can think clearer, more creatively, see connections and opportunities, thus enabling you to make better decisions;

~Peaceful heart and spirit – lessen the likelihood of your emotions getting the better of you;

~Gratitude – aiding you in noticing the gifts, beauty, and happy surprises of Life;

~Increases well-being – you come to understand Life and your Mission on a deeper level;

~Helpfulness – you are more likely to reach out a helping hand to others;

~Joy, contentment, happiness – you come to understand that you are valuable and valued, which is the foundation of true self-esteem and self-worth.

 

You can do it! Go for it!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,

Lauren

 

A few articles about the benefits of silence and meditation:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/silence-brain-benefits_us_56d83967e4b0000de4037004

http://www.chopra.com/articles/why-meditate-0#sm.00019ivvt9hske44xba2adinb7g3e

http://www.lifehack.org/377243/science-says-silence-much-more-important-our-brains-than-thought

https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/246503

https://tinybuddha.com/blog/20-ways-sitting-silence-can-completely-transform-your-life/

Father’s Day 2017: Thank You!

 

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Thank you to all the men who are giving their best every day and living the true meaning of the words Father, Daddy, Grandpa, Dad, Pop-Pop….

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Happy Father’s Day!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,

Lauren

Crafting a deeply meaningful, soul-prospering life