Saturday, January 17, 2009
Making daily meditation a priority for the day is really helpful. It's usually best to do it first thing in the morning before the mind starts to get distracted with everything else. If there is a family involved, give yourself the space to rise a bit earlier than they do, so you can enjoy the peace before the activity begins. Meditation then becomes the foundation for the day and the place where you come from and bring the mind back to throughout the day. During the day you can return there (in your mind) for just a second or two, a couple of breaths, remembering your center and the love, peace and spaciousness of your beautiful heart which you can now share with others.
It's more inticing to sit if you create an inspiring environment for yourself, a place that you want to go to. A picture that inspires, a candle, a stick of incense, a flower or spring of winter green- and your Spark Goals- can make a very nice little meditation shrine- oh, and a seat. Sitting on the floor on a cushion or in a chair, it really doesn't matter as long as the back is straight. Keep the eyes open and relaxed and focus on the out breath or looking at an object is the best way to start- or if you like something to help keep the mind focused saying a mantra like Om Mani Padme Hung while gently being aware of your heart and sending out love to all beings. Just let the thoughts come and let them go, no pushing or suppressing, just keep the mind relaxed and spacious and when the mind wanders off, which it will do, gently bring it back to the focus of your attention (breath, looking at an object, reciting a mantra). Even giving yourself the gift of 10 min. a day will will enhance self awareness and spaciousness. In the book Tibetan Book of Living and Dying by Sogyal Rinpoche you will find very inspiring instructions on meditation.
If you have family, it's best to get up a bit earlier than the kids do, just to give yourself that little bit of time to come to your center and then to ease into the day peacefully. When my youngest child was between 2 and 3 she would come rest her head in my lap and fall asleep or quietly play at my side. It's a wonderful space to create for children and you can also teach them this when they are very young. If they aren't interested wait until they ask or wish to try and you can make it something fun and interesting.
"Happiness and unhappiness are not primarily created by the material world or the physical body, first and foremost, they are decisions of the mind." Mingyur Rinpoche, author of The Joy of Living, Unlocking the Secret & Science of Happiness.
Enjoy your spaciousness and Happy New Year!