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This is my attempt to pounce on and then shape the words I breathe.

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Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Part One: 30-Day Challenge Meditation Log

I'm in Dr. Amanda Kemp's 30 Day Meditation challenge, trying to meditate really for the first time.  I never took to yoga, so it's pretty new.  I expected to be bored--hey, I'll admit it!  But that is not what's happening.   I'm learning and gaining.  Here I'll put my log and the videos she has suggested for guidance.  
I love her affirmation from the first week:  
Inhale: May I be well; May I be happy; 
 Exhale: May I be free from suffering.

Mindfulness Log

29/8/2015 12:15




Worked for my first meditation … I listened to a lot of voices before this that either irritated or bored me, but JusTime's held me and encouraged me, so depending on Amanda’s instructions I might just stick with Jus Time.
 Wrote this to Amanda: 
Well ... I listened to lots of meditations--or started to, but I didn't feel connected and alert (unbored) until I worked with JusTime. He gave me a yo-yo of coming back to myself. Then I did some constructive rest Alexander which gets you to do a lot of thinking into expansion and thereness. Maybe tomorrow, I will reverse the order. I lay down for the Alexander--but on a bed, not the floor.

30/8/2015



Stuck with JusTime again at 7am, but did the constructive rest first.  I sat up comfortably and stayed in the present with my breathing in and breathing out more.  This made me happy.  Still stayed with 5 minutes, though I am listening to “JusT  Mindfulness Lesson 1” now.  I like how he explains each thing in terms I understand.  Non-judgement and observing now make more sense to me as do tension and relax in the observation of breathing and not judging the self.  Notice and accept feelings and sensations.  Spend time with yourself.  The me that is more than my emotions and thoughts. . . . . and then take that out into the world.  This world needs me and whatever my gifts are.



31/8/2015

Again, JusTime at 7am.  I nearly forgot so I didn’t do the constructive rest alignment of Alexander.  I did his "Mindful Sit for the Sick: Heartful Healing and Mindful Breathing,"  which, I discovered is a little shorter. But I feel GREAT! I like the affirmations: I am healed, whole, healthy, strong .... Staying Mindful. Now a friend is coming over for our Monday Meeting for Worship. This is Good!

1/9/2015
Wrote my meditation poem—or finished it, because it took 3 days to ponder.  

Meditation is still rough, but I posted it at our Facebook page anyway.  

Then slept through my meditation time and determined to do it after physical therapy and the nurse.  I didn’t do it, however, until resting at 6pm before the Buddies of Jesus came over.



2 September 2015—started at 6:57.  Using Amanda Kemp’s 
INHALE: MAY I BE WELL; MAY I BE HAPPY; EXHALE: MAY I BE FREE FROM SUFFERING.

So good!  And then I spent some time lining up some You Tube video on meditation.

I’m going to put this Log on “Susan Continued”!  Then I can access it from any computer.



3 September: I slept til 10:30! And I'm still in morning routines, hoping to meditate before or after dinner. Gosh. I had a cup of coffee last evening and went to a meeting. It was the sleep of recovery. My back is still a little too tender for long meetings sitting in a chair. But time will come . . .

Amanda featured me in her Day 6 Email!  She's very giving:

What's been completely surprising is that for some meditating leads to writing. For example, Susan wrote  "Meditation" which pulls you along on her journey. She writes:  
"But I counted breaths,...and found the sensual embodiment / of awareness I could share from my chair / with tendrils reaching other consciousnesses of next year’s flowers hidden still, colors / that wait to bloom in weeds and autumn leaves now green / and breathing bricks of houses strong as seas." 
Isn't it great?  Read Susan's poem here. 
Have you written anything since starting the challenge?
If there's something that keeps coming up in your meditation, writing out your concern as a story in the third person might help. (Hit me up for more details on this!)
Or if you just want clarity, try listing your judgements about what's troubling you.  This  morning after meditating,  I started a list.  As I wrote, I came up with a completely unexpected question that helped me shift from a blaming mindset to a curious and empowered one.
I did this today, finally, around 1, and may have been successful for about 3 or 4 minutes. But how rested I feel. At the end, I touched my face as Amanda suggested in a video, just to check in. 

I'm a little itchy as I am aware of skin in a new way-or maybe blood vessels in my legs are flowing better? Anyway, I redeemed my day--no judgment, of course!  I used this: 

"Opening to the Sea of Presence" by Tara Brach ~

photo by Tara - misty sunrise at the river

(23 min.)

Quote--my favorite phrase: "become aware of your eyeballs surrounded by (swimming in?) a pool of water ..."



9/4/2015   So tired today!  I lay in bed without sleeping from 11 until 3am and then got up to do some things on my mind--make lists, prepare papers for today's doctor's appointment, take 1/2 of a Percocet (I made it for about 30 hours!)  And the upshot was I slept through my 7 am time again (despite setting an alarm.)

So I counted my breaths while the soup was heating on the stove for 15 minutes (about 10 minutes of this at around 3 pm).  I lay down because I had been upright too many hours with the doctor's appt.  And I didn't sleep.  I enjoyed sound of the wind. I enjoyed the effect of returning to the count over and over again and having no judgement about the failure.  And I enjoyed the success of a few refreshing minutes.


9/5/2015  Started this morning around 6:15 with Amanda's email, and so I listened to laughter, watched a cartoon, and then meditated with Dr. Kristin Neff's Affectionate Breathing [21 minutes] which I liked very much. I didn't have the stamina to meditate that long, however, and came out of it at least 5 minutes early.  I had a nice little smile on my face.


9/6/2015   Started today at 7:15 with Tara Brach's 10 minute “Gateway to Presence” meditation. I feel good, but it wasn't my favorite because her voice overlapped and echoed and came at me with the intent, I think, of preventing the mind from drifting elsewhere--with the intent of gluing it to presence--but I felt that funny and disquieting. And I discovered my throat and head to be full of mucus which is not that conducive to joyfully sitting in the breath. And yet, I feel tall and connected to myself, a joyful way to be awake.

9/7/2015  Awoke at 10:30!  Totally confused my day!  But my head was a little stuffy.  Lay down to relax around 2 pm and found myself meditating instead--I mean I started with three long breaths and then paid attention to my breath, calling myself back when ever my mind wandered.  Except part of the time it was faces I saw--just like when I work at holding people in the Light--so I let that happen and then breathed in health to me and breathed out health to them.  It must have been between 20 minutes and half an hour.  Stood up refreshed at 3.  So I didn't use a tape by someone else.  This  mix of worship and meditation was really on my own!  Labor day.


9/8/2015  Today I'm going to try  Tara Brach's A Moment of Calm.  I am up early because the cleaners are coming today for the first time and I wanted my coffee.   LOVED IT!!  She shows here how to use simple labeling to help with the letting go.  Hearing the self note IN OUT RISING FALLING THINKING THINKING THINKING IN OUT with the breaths.  And if a distress happens, including it in consciousness  ITCH, ACHE, IN OUT.  Very very neat.  It's 6:48 am.  Soon my alarm will go off.

9/9/2015   It's 7:07 am.  I woke at 6.  Went to bed at two--so I've only had 4 hours sleep.  Wide fluctuations in sleep!  I went back to JusT's breathing and mindfulness meditation but I added love to it in the manner of  Amanda Ann Godwin who wrote a few days back:  

Though I'm hardly posting at all I'm so appreciating just knowing you all are meditating too. What a lovely support. I'm being sporadic time wise, but consistent in it being every day. I thought I'd share what I'm doing.
My favorite way to meditate is what I named The Breath of God meditation.
Here is how it goes:
Choose any quality you are drawn to or think might be helpful for you today.
Imagine it hovering above your head about a foot and a half up.
On the inhale breathe it through the crown of your head and fill all the nooks of your body and spirit with it.
On the exhale breathe it our through the heart center in the center of your chest and give it away to the world.
When you get distracted, begin again.
I call it the Breath of God meditation b/c I imagine the quality I have chosen for the day to be coming to me on God's out breath and then I take it in on MY inbreath.
I hope you enjoy it if you decide to try it.
Yours in Peace,
Amanda
Thank you, Amanda.  I will move this to a 10 minute meditation tomorrow, because when you add Love, 5 minutes is just too short! 

9/10/2015  I tried.  No judgement.  Managed a little of the visualization, but it was scattered, and I tried more than once diring the day.  Grrr.  No judgement.

9/11/2015  Maybe it's harder when I don't do it at 7am.  Today I went all the way back to MINDFUL BREATHING AND LISTENING With JusTme Because his voice sooths me and it is not demanding to pull myself back to him if not my breath.  I have gas in my stomach that interrupts me with burps--long and loud--that feels stressful and distracting.  I may need more sleep as this worked on me all night.  And today is 9-11.




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