September 6, 2012
Our new podcast meditation is designed to help you visualize a healthy body. Many people have requested this, each with a different angle. Many wanted to visualize a specific goal. While I allowed time at the beginning of the meditation for people to set a goal, I created a meditation focused on the health of the body as a whole. This is like watering the root of a plant to benefit the whole plant, rather than focusing on any one part.
This Healthy Body Guided Meditation targets the core systems of the body which bring oxygen, nutrition and energy to the cells — the heart, lungs, and digestive systems. Strengthening those supports the health of all of the other parts of the body and can help the body with healing. Simply putting your attention on your body brings energy to it. You can use this meditation to enjoy a sense of well-being and enliven your body.
As with all of my meditations which involve visualization, be easy about the process. You don’t need to follow every word or see everything clearly. You can simply sense something in a vague way. The important thing is not to strain to follow the meditation. Let it unfold in a way that is natural for you. Whatever comes to mind as you try to visualize or sense something is just the right thing for you at that time.
Of course, simply visualizing good health and healing is not enough. For a healthy body, we need a healthy diet, exercise, enough sleep and so on. For healing, it may be necessary to see a health care provider and use appropriate therapies. But visualization can play a big role in moving the body toward health, partly by helping us tune in to our body, listen to its needs and do what is needed to be healthy.
To learn more about visualization, read Dr. Andrew Weil’s article on Guided Imagery — http://www.drweil.com/drw/u/ART00468/Guided-Imagery-Therapy-Dr-Weil.html
For more on my approach to visualization, read this blog post — Intuitive Visualization in Meditation
January 5, 2010
Many of us long to have a more open heart, to be able to give and receive more freely. We want to experience more love more easily, but it can be so difficult at times. The heart chakra is the gateway to loving connection with others. At the same time, it contains pain from past hurts. This meditation gives you the opportunity to relax into whatever the heart may hold, allowing held emotions to resolve and the loving energy in the heart to be felt.
The meditation takes you through a number of steps. First you relax. Then you connect with your heart, simply being present to whatever you experience. This is followed by visualization to help you expand the energy of the heart and connect with others. As always, be creative with the visualization and use it a way that works for you.
I’ve had many requests for a meditation for compassion and forgiveness. I do think these will come about, but hopefully this meditation will speak to these themes as well. Both compassion and forgiveness require the ability to be present to pain, our own as well as that of others. Both require an open heart.
I hope the meditation serves you well, and would love to hear about your experiences with it. (Listen to it here.)
July 7, 2008
This morning I was delighted to learn (from a comment on a blog post) that our Breath in the Heart Meditation would be shared online as part of Plumline‘s Monday morning Sangha. In fact, it is going on as I write.
Although Buddhist studies have not been a part of my background, and I have had no training in mindfulness meditation, I am always struck by how much my meditations seem to resonate with those traditions. As I’ve said before, the deepest truths can be arrived at and expressed through many different paths.
I enjoyed visiting the Plumline website. Plumline describes itself as “Building online Sangha in the tradition of Thich Nhat Hanh”. For those who don’t know, “Sangha”, roughly translated, means spiritual community. A community of like-minded practitioners is felt to be essential to support on-going spiritual practice in Buddhism.
Those interested in Buddhism may want to visit Plumline. Thich Nhat Hanh, from whom they derive their inspiration, has written one of my all-time favorite poems – “Call Me by My True Names”. (See Thich Nhat Hanh speaking on mindfulness on YouTube.)
I’ve come to feel our podcasts are like a giant group meditation. We don’t see and meet each other for the most part, but we truly are meditating together — thousands of us. I’ve hoped to provide some support for that experience in this blog and on our Meditation Oasis website. Perhaps there are yet other ways that we can create community for those who are interested. I’ve thought of different ways — an online course, a chat group, a conference call. I’m not sure what will actually manifest, and would be interested in your ideas.
June 13, 2007
We’ve just added the Breath in the Heart meditation to our podcast. It’s a variation on meditations in which you follow your breath. In this case, you maintain awareness of the breath and the heart area at the same time. This helps open and enliven the heart chakra. The heart is the seat of love and connection. Attention on the heart helps to awaken the energy of love. This meditation can be especially soothing as you connect into the energy of the heart. At the same time, it can bring our awareness to any emotional pain which is present in the heart chakra. The pain may be from past hurts or from our current situation. If we are grieving, bringing attention to the heart will help facilitate the feelings of grief. By allowing these feelings to be present, they can move through and resolve.