Week 4: OM Meditation

Patanjali_YogaYou may have heard of great ol’ Patanjali. If you haven’t, he has basically been classified as “The Father of Yoga.” He did not create yoga, but he cooked up its template into the more palatable form that we have today. Which, lets face it, is pretty defining of our decade.

I won’t bore you with the details, but the foundation of his work was built on stillness of the mind. And how did he do that? He OM’d. A lot.

If you’ve ever tried it, it feels pretty weird at first. And if anyone were to walk in on you while doing it, I’d reckon you’d feel pretty embarrassed.

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He wasn’t just practicing for Glee tryouts; I swear there was a method to his madness. That old yogi literally broke down this two-letter scrabble word and defined it as the sound of the universal God. Quieting the mind was the highest goal, and he believed the quickest way to do that was aligning your energy with an absolute power beyond the confines of the physical. He makes sure not to assign a name to the “who”, as he leaves that to you.   Without touching that inner divine peace, quieting the mind would become a lot more difficult, but not impossible. That being said, OM was his fast track.

There is a lot more structure to it. The frequency of its vibration is like a tuning fork to the body, and if you would like to read more about it, you can find the sound of the chakras at this page.

2768-1-the-yoga-sutras-of-patanjaliAnd If you’d like to read about Patanjali and the divine sound, here are the Yoga Sutras 1:23-27, where Om is discussed.


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Week 3: Vedic Meditation (Transcendental)

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There is a lot of controversy over Transcendental Meditation. It has attracted a bad hype from the TM gurus charging fees out there, but I will not go into their descriptions and whatnot.

What I am going to teach you is how I was taught and, in my opinion, what I find to be a much more gentle way of meditation that is super relaxing. I suppose it is more of a blend of effortless and breathing meditations.

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You can find a seat anywhere. It does not need to be cross-legged, just as long as you are upright. Whether it’s leaning against a wall, a tree, or propped up on pillows, you’re aiming for comfort and ease. Picture the breath entering in and out of you, drawing each breath naturally into your belly, not through your chest.

After that just drift, suspend your mind into the balance. If you have an itch, scratch it. Or if something is going numb, move it. Be comfortable. During this time you may find yourself in a hypnagogic state between sleep and consciousness, which I gather is why they have come up with the term transcendental.

If thoughts arise, look at them, then let them float away. This can be achieved by refocusing on the breath and simulate blowing the thoughts away. Just be.

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Do you know what I got out of it? The best darn power nap of my life! True story. All kidding aside, you may fall asleep, and that’s okay. You wouldn’t be the first. You reap the benefits regardless.


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Week 1: Guided Meditation

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Guided Meditations are a great option when you need to take the guesswork out of meditating. They provide instruct and help by reminding you of the breath, in the process of training you to let go. Some even take you on a journey, which can be fun. I have some pretty visual memories of strolls through the forest and exploring meadows in my mind.

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Meditation Mondays!

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It goes without saying the benefits of mediation. Have you heard anyone ever say, “Gosh, I meditated this morning and I just feel awful!”?

That’s because they don’t.

Generally, it benefits us in many ways; from an all-over serene feeling to becoming a better decision maker.

Also, for those who believe in the idea of The Secret, you know that ‘like-attracts-like’, so what we think draws it closer. Therein lies the foundation for the purpose of meditation.

It’s like vitamins, we know they’re good for us, but we get just too darn lazy to take ‘em!

This has been probably the most grappling issue for those of us who want to implement this daily practice, but cant seem to carry on the consistency. I, especially, have a hard time keeping up with it once I finally feel better.

“I got what I came for. See ya!”istock-goodbye-wave1

Of course when the tough gets tougher, I’ll pop a cross-legged squat and meditate in desperation only to be bombarded by lawless thoughts and a negative disposition. Yet, if I had only found a way to keep it going before then maybe I would have been on my A-Game and never found my way back to whatever emotion I’d be facing.

Like many boring activities in life, everything can transform into a more enjoyable form if only you were to jazz it up a little. Luckily for you, there are many forms of mediation and I’m going to give you a handful of favorites over the next few weeks.

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Before you roll your eyes, let me tell you first about the benefits to get those jazz fingers going.


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Remember to Look Up

It’s Labor Day and Fall is on the waylookup

The sun gets a little further and soon we’ll be back to sweater weather and Netflix binging.  Autumn air is just the welcome wagon to yet another cold lonely winter.

So what should we be doing to break this cycle?  With heads down at full speed ahead, its hard to interact and build future friendships.  Remember: Keep your head up and put that phone away!

Look Up.

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The Struggle with Balancing the Extremist

Oh, boy. I kinda rolled my eyes for a moment when I looked at the heading that I wrote down months ago. I mean, balance? How do I tackle to write about something I still struggle with?

Yeah, well, here goes.


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Balance, balance, balance…

When I think of the word, I picture Yoda on the back of Luke Skywalker as he’s trying to levitate rocks. That’s kinda what life is like, right? Juggling and levitating rocks. That sounds as fun as a barrel of monkeys.

Let’s face it, there are more rocks to juggle now than our parents had before us and because of that there seems to be an ever growing trend trap that most of us have fallen into:

Extreme Living.

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re Dream On!

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Not that long ago, I had the pleasure of coming to the horrifying realization that I no longer had any goals. Nor could I even envision myself or what my life would look like a year from then.

I was coasting through life, day to day, just barely emotionally surviving and spending all my energy avoiding my reflection. I didn’t want to look at myself. Not because I felt ugly, but because I didn’t recognize the person looking back.

The person I remembered had dreams. I was excited about life. I was optimistic and thought everything was possible.

So, where did everything go wrong?

The simple answer: life happened.

The child confronted the world. Things weren’t as magical as they seemed. It wasn’t what the movies played it out to be. Life was disappointing. Dreams didn’t come true like you once thought. They were crushed.

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