Breath Meditation, Visualisation

Peace, Calm

A MEDITATION TO UNITE THE WORLD!

During a recent loving kindness meditation I had a vision. The entire world had stopped to hold hand to heart; to breathe in peace and to breathe out calm.

I thought to myself, how powerful this practice could be to make the planet breathe a little easier!

It turns out there is already a movement rallying us together to collectively pause for humanity – Global Silent Minute.

Inspired by England’s silent minute during the First World War – whose collective pause for peace and freedom at 9:00pm each evening has been attributed as the “secret weapon” to diverting Germany’s invasion – Global Silent Minute takes place in Australian time on December 22 at 8am, AEDST.

All we need to do in the name of peace, harmony and global cooperation is stop what we’re doing and shoosh for 60 seconds!

So that’s what I’ll be doing on December 22 – how about you?

In the meantime, here’s a meditation you can try any time you’re wanting a little peace and calm in your own life or the life of others.

Merry Christmas!

Welcome. This is a meditation you can try if you’re feeling alone, or disconnected from life.

BECOMING PRESENT

Before we commence just gently harness your attention in to where you are; to settle on your body, and on your breath.

Elongating the spine as much as you can to feel alert but also remain comfortable. Feeling an opening of the chest, a dropping of the shoulders, and a softening of the tummy.

And having a quick check-in with yourself. How am I feeling in this moment? Just giving your mental state a little label. Busy, relaxed, sleepy – whatever it may be. Accepting this state.

And establishing a connection with your breath now. Following the in-breath as far as it goes, until it turns around and comes back out again. Feeling each breath envelope different parts of your body.

Perhaps noticing your breathing start to settle as you allow the body and the mind this time to be still; to rest; to simply be.

MEDITATION

What I invite you to do now is place your hand on your heart; or if you prefer just to imagine holding your hand to your chest.

And with every in-breath and out-breath, synchronise the phrases:

Breathing in peace
Breathing out calm

Inviting peace and calm into your experience with every in-breath and every out-breath.

Breathing in peace
Breathing out calm

And now, bit by bit, imagine others are stopping to do the same.

In the suburbs. People sitting at traffic lights. People filling up their cars.

Breathing in peace
Breathing out calm

Farmers in their fields. Teachers in front of their classes. World leaders and the homeless alike.

Hand on chest. Breathing in peace, breathing out calm.

People you know and love; and those people you find hard to love.

Each stopping to breathe in peace and breathe out calm.

Imagine the entire world has stopped all at once to partake in this one simple gesture. All together, hands on chest.

Breathing in peace
Breathing out calm

Generating loving energy. Dissolving hurt and fear. Becoming aware of everything we share; of our similarities, rather than our differences.

Breathing in peace
Breathing out calm

How much easier the planet would breathe if we could all pause and take in these symbolic breaths? The oxygen that this earth provides us and that we transform to give back.

I’ll leave you here to continue on in silent meditation. Continue to breathe in peace and breathe out calm and if you can keep the visualisation going, imagining all sorts of people near and afar stopping to hold hand to heart and do the same.

Peace. Calm.

Breath Meditation

It Can Wait

A MEDITATION TO BREAK THROUGH BUSYNESS FOR A MUCH NEEDED BREATHER

I recently attended another day meditation retreat with the RBMG. Ahhh. I always leave there feeling SO amazingly good, but in the lead up I can’t imagine how I’m going to hit pause on my life to spend six hours doing nothing!

The thing is, whether it’s six hours or six minutes, I often hear the same internal voice telling me – can’t stop… too busy.

But it’s just not true! And this short meditation is one we can all remind ourselves with when we’re devaluing our practice in favour of everything else.

This meditation is one we can try when we’re feeling busy beyond belief.

So, take some time to get comfortable. Set yourself up with a great posture, connecting with your breath and giving yourself a little smile to welcome this meditation.

When we’re on the busyness express train, it can feel impossible to get off, never mind taking a short pause at the station; for fear of missing a deadline or an opportunity, fear of losing momentum, or of having nothing to do.

But if became aware of the content of this busy state, we’d likely be surprised at what we found. That most things we think are vying for our attention really aren’t – like the buzz of apps on our phone. Catching the latest episode on Netflix. Or keeping up with 24-hour news.

Conversely, things that are actually important – like meaningful work or difficult conversations – would surely benefit from the results that some space and some distance could bring – calm, clarity and connectedness.

And so, if you’ve been putting off or rushing through meditation, perhaps you can recall this phrase, and believe me when I say, that honestly, for this relatively short time, everything can wait.

The emails can wait.

Phone calls can wait.

Dishes can wait.

The kids can wait.

TV can definitely wait.

Instagram can wait.

I’m pretty sure your partner can wait.

Problem solving can wait.

It can all wait. Because this is important. Taking time out to reset. Recharge. Refuel. Using your breath to give yourself a much-needed breather.

A breather from the constant barrage of information being thrown at us every single day.

A breather for the overworked thinking brain.

A breather for a body that we often take for granted.

A breather from modern chaos.

Taking the opportunity to sit and allowing life to really slow down. For our thoughts to stop racing. For our mind to come back into the present; to where the body is.

It’s OK to put things on hold; it only needs be for a short time.

MEDITATION

So, as you continue on through this meditation, I’ll set a timer. And for the next 10 minutes or beyond, I’m giving you permission – this time is yours. Everything can wait.

Thoughts can wait.

Ideas can wait.

Talking can wait.

The future can wait.

Stopping to listen to your breath, and your body; resisting the urge to jump back on that train. We’re staying put at this station for the next little while.

And if your mind does wander, it’s no problem. Return to following your breath inwards and outwards. Let the train move off on its own.

Because for now we’re sitting with this M.I.T. This Most Important Task. The simplest of tasks. But whose benefits are boundless.

Breath Meditation

Gently

A GENTLE BREATH MEDITATION FOR BEGINNERS AND EXPERIENCED MEDITATORS ALIKE

I think one of the most frustrating parts about learning to meditate, is how simple the instruction sounds but how deceptively challenging it can be. (Like trying not to think about a pink elephant.)

When we’re learning to focus our attention on our breath we quickly discover how powerful our thoughts are at derailing us. And despite being instructed to be kind to ourselves, to go easy; in our quest to succeed, this crucial part of the equation is ignored, missed or devalued. (Because who ever got anywhere by being ‘gentle’?)

So whether you’re just starting out or have been meditating for a while, you might find this gentle breath meditation less frustrating and more enjoyable.

Welcome to this meditation. Thank you for joining me.

Go ahead, make yourself comfortable.

Find a relaxing place to rest your hands.

Place your attention on the space surrounding your spine… and gently rest in that area for a few moments.

Take a deep breath in. And a deep breath out.

Making a connection with the breath.

Locating the breath at the tip of your nose. Feeling the cool air as it passes in through your nostrils.

For the next little while, let’s keep our focus just on the in-breath.

Notice where we feel it as it hits different parts of our body.

Nose. Throat. Chest. Belly.

Keeping our focus quite narrow; deliberately simple.

And reminding ourselves to be ever so gentle when this basic instruction has gotten away from us.

That we can come gently back to the in-breath. And start over once more.

Cool air. Nostrils. Throat. Chest. Belly.

Gently sitting with this instruction. Gently being with this experience.

Cool air. Nostrils. Throat. Chest. Belly.

Gently returning to the breath when thoughts have taken over.

Gently returning to the present when our mind’s gone meandering.

Cool air. Nostrils. Throat. Chest. Belly.

Using the phrase “gently” if it helps maintain a connection. Helping us to have relaxed concentration; a relaxed mental alertness. Not gripping too tightly. But gently being here with this one tiny task on our to-do list.

Breathing in, breathing out.

Nostrils. Throat. Chest. Belly.

It’s now time to head into the silent part of the meditation; you can continue focusing just on the in-breath, or run with whatever practice presents itself in the first few silent moments.

Enjoy.