Mummy’s busy mind meditates…..

Have you ever sat down with the intent to  ‘just be’ and then when you sit with that very intention, you are everywhere but centered?. Hmmm, I did exactly this, last week. Honestly, most days I manage to watch my thoughts, and they are pretty challenging thoughts – but on Thursday my mind was buzzing a mile a minute. I could not slow it down. They were random thoughts really, in the manner of…

a.Must DVR Colin Firth’s interview on Piers Morgan tonight b. what should I have for lunch? I’m hungry. c. Must DVR Colin Firth on ‘Inside the Actor’s Studio, d. Must cook interesting dinner for lovely family e. I love my children – may they always be well, happy and healthy. f. must watch my breath – inhale, exhale, watch it move, long breath, short breath, no, no, must not travel anywhere else. g. Oh okay- Colin Firth will win Oscar. h. I am now centered, mind will not wander off, mind is quite normal, mind is watching breath instead. i. must read new book – love reading. j. mind feels better, does not want to run anymore. Would just like to focus on breath. k. Can feel breath, will do it again tomorrow. l. Must get to yoga…. hmmm, must stop now, mind is quite tired from sitting quietly.

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Mummy meditates on well- being..

Beyond all coming and going of phenomena: the ...

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So, I began the New Year with the thought that I really have to make meditation my priority. It is not so much a resolution as it is an affirmation or determination if you will. You see, without meditation, I would lose complete focus, and that will not do when my life is er, sort of a  mesh of  running around and stressful activity. I do realize that stress is indeed a state of mind, as is everything else I think and put into action. It is only the first week of the year and my well-being is  top priority now. I firmly believe that I will not be any good as mummy, wife or friend if i don’t take care of the mind and body.

My ‘sittings’ in the quiet serenity of my home thus far have already helped. As much as I did so last year, I think I could do better this year, and again I say: I am always a work in progress- that is my mantra, so there is always room to better myself. My thoughts have been interesting to say the least and the body has responded similarly. Since the holidays those thoughts have been swirling around like teeny pieces of glitter and they just will not settle, so I can “be”- just be! instead they’ve sparkled so much that I keep having to drag the mind back to my point of focus over and over again. However, the meditation on well being, loving kindness or ( to use the more orthodox Buddhist( Pali) term) -Metta has been progressively better. I honestly feel a lift in my day and such positive vibrations from the people I extend this energy to, that I find myself wanting to work on that part of my meditation and not so much on the insight part of it- hmmm, not so good as that is an attachment in the making.

For those of you who want to try the meditation on well being:

Begin by sitting with your back straight, a 5-10 minute focus on breath alone and then a subtle shift into extending love, energy and positive feeling first to yourself ( remember you come first, then you extend to others) in this manner- May I be well, may I be happy, may I be strong, compassionate and kind, may I be free from envy, anger and malice, may I be free from sickness and disease, all dangers, and accidents  – may I be at peace, may I be at peace, may I be at peace!

Mummy meditates on the go- um, sometimes…

Scenes of Inner Taksang, temple hall, built ju...

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Due to sheer hubris, I latched on to the idea – sort of  like glue – that I knew lots about meditation, no really, I did, and yet, when I sat down to it, I knew nothing. I mean really, absolutely nothing. Eventually, however, that simple act of sitting allowed me a glimpse of how much I needed to learn; learn how  to be, how the mind worked, learn about ego and how to sit productively. I was short on time and completely out of practice, so of course, I figured, just a few days of meditation and the mind would fit into that notion of “I am pretty good at this.” I have since decided my  ‘ego’, needed to take a very large break and um, “sitting” involved a close look at just how much work controlling the speed of the mind took.

I am always on a quest for time… summer holidays are almost over and we’ve traveled the world. We’ve spent time in a vacuüm, a space that is just for us, it has been blissful.  In trying to hold onto that peaceful space, I realize I don’t want to get back on the road to drive. It is a long drive to school, an hour each way. The thing is I am now attached to that feeling of peace, and want nothing more than to avoid traffic and long hours in a car. So completely unrealistic of me when I have children.!! Training the mind requires a lot of work – It doesn’t quite end,  it never ends, actually. They say sit and be aware, but when I sit, I’m aware of more than just sitting. When you think you’re over one hurdle, another one begins – sound familiar? kind of like life isn’t it? since I am always on the move, I try meditating on the go. My previous proper attempt was quite a serene experience. Not just a focus on breath, but more an extending of unconditional love to all beings; starting with myself. I was on a walk with my daughter’s class and there was a child who had recently been receiving treatment for a rare form of bone cancer,  she looked frail and yet, somehow healthy, in that amazing juxtaposition of vitality and fragility only a child could display.  I found as I walked, my thoughts focused on the little body, the skeletal structure and bones. I allowed myself to extend compassion and all the love I could, from this body to that little one- in a strange  non-verbal exchange of vibrations and energy. It was really quite incredible to be so selfless in that moment. Lesson: Meditating on the go- an absolute must. Not in any way meant to be a substitute for a regular sitting. It is quite an experience. Oh, and being “present” mentally, is quite the challenge, no matter how many articles, books or websites tout their ability to help you, being present is kind of like respect. You earn it. You pummel the mind until it can be present, not  taking one step back into the past or two steps into the future.. as in what do I make for dinner tonight or what time is soccer practice. All of this will explode in the mind when you sit quietly. More so than when you are immersed in a task. It is difficult to compartmentalize. You simply cannot put dinner thoughts, tomorrow’s thoughts and today’s activities into separate jars- ‘mental’ jars that is. When external disturbances are many, it is always better to accept the disturbances and see where they go when you give it a tiny bit of attention, and gently acknowledge the mind when your focus returns to simple breathing. If breath is an issue, you can count to 10 and back, as you watch the body breathe in and out. I mean, we don’t really spend time noticing our breath do we? we think it’s the most normal thing in the world, we can’t live if don’t breathe. Although we don’t really pay our breath any attention.  However, in order to be present, aware and in that space, watching the breath becomes tantamount to reflection, where the mind wants to travel and how it thinks. The mind is your guide, it is an incredible tool, using it productively means you learn to live well. When you connect the mind to your body, they both function as one, it is really quite beautiful, it doesn’t always last but the practice is certainly worth your time.