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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One-Sided Visions: The Dream Crusher

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Have you ever had a vision for something? Like a great project for the yard or maybe you were planning a fun get-together at the office? You get so darned excited about it that you can’t keep it to yourself and you share your ideas with others.

Then the dreaded happens… They start giving you their ideas.

How dare they steal your thunder?!

And let me guess, you said something along the lines of this:

"Yeah, that's sounds great! Maybe next time! 
"You, know. I already have everything planned, but thank you."

Or maybe you’re not even that polite about it.

"That's stupid." 
"Just let me deal with it." 
"Why don't you just leave it to me, ok?"

breaking-up-with-your-girlfriendIt took me a long time to realize those last few were my reflexive answers to anything my family suggested. Then one day I paid attention long enough to see their reaction after I said what I had said, and what I saw were fallen faces. They were disheartened. My one sided visions that brought me so much excitement crushed their dreams and made them feel valueless in an instant.

Once I saw these faces, my heart broke. I had been causing this kinda of pain and disappointment?  Along the way, I became the bully out of sheer ignorance and I never wanted to make anyone feel that way again.

So, yeah, maybe their ideas aren’t what you want(Or to put it more blatantly, they suck!), but you know what? All they want is to be considered and feel included. Something we may so easily head shake away could actually make another person’s day and boost their confidence.

For today, think about the other person.  I’m not saying you are responsible for any persons sense of value, because we all have to find that for ourselves against all odds of negativity this world may create, but wouldn’t you want to help if you could?  I would.

I think I would sleep better, too.

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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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Life is a Zen Garden

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While I searched my way into a certain lightness in living, I obsessively tried to apply every sort of structure to it that I could in an effort to simplify my struggle. As I have stated about myself in my previous posts, I have been an extremist for the better part of my life.

When I first started to attempt my so-called spiritual mattress-flip, I went from my free-spirited routine of careless mornings to mapping out every second of my schedule all the way down to my bathroom breaks.  Fine, I wasn’t that extreme, but you get my point.

In my mind, the more I modified the outside elements, the easier it would become to modify myself within to the poster child of perfection I wanted to be.   Of course that’s not the goal anyone should strive for, nor is it realistic or relatable. Like with anything that is repeatedly forced into a mold that is not natural to its form, it will break under the pressure and the life of it will be short lived. Continue reading “Life is a Zen Garden”

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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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.

Continue reading “re Dream On!”