Ashram Reopening Party Guided Meditation


Welcome everyone. Thank you for joining us here today. Let us begin with a short guided meditation.

I will give instructions in stages of experience so you can follow along and do what feels right. If any instructions are unattainable today, that is okay. Listen to your body and your breath; it knows best.

To begin, take a nice deep breath, in through the nose, out through the mouth.

Begin to find a comfortable position, whether seated or lying down.

If seated: legs crossed, or feet flat on the floor, or kneeling. If lying down: legs extended straight or knees propped up slightly, feet hip width apart or further.

If seated: make sure your pelvis is tilted slightly forward until you get a small curve in your back. You may need to sit on something so your knees are below your hips.

Whether seated or lying: pull your shoulders up to your ears and then slide them together down your back until you feel your chest widen.

If seated: Lean back until your shoulders are directly over your hips. Drop your chin slightly until you feel a softening in your throat. Keeping this, move your head backwards in space until your ears are over your shoulders. Place the back of your left hand on top of your right palm and touch your thumbs together so your hands make an oval shape.

Take a deep breath, pulling the air all the way down your spine and into your hips. Make any adjustments needed to sit comfortably.

Another deep breath in, this time exhale it out loudly. Do this two more times.

On your next exhale, soften as if melting from the crown of your head down your body. Soften the muscles of your forehead…soften your jaw…soften your neck…soften your chest…soften your shoulders and arms…soften your belly…soften your hips and pelvis…soften all the muscles in your legs and knees…soften your hands and feet.

Soften any effort. Allow yourself to feel any sensations.

Breathe in, breathe out…softness…

Take a nice slow breath and on your next inhale count one. Exhale count two. Inhale one. Exhale two. Keep counting on your own.

// pause for one minute

Notice if there is any tightness or holding, especially in your jaw, between your shoulders, or anywhere you feel a bit stuck. Take a breath into that area, and soften.

// pause for one minute

If you’d like more, count inhale one, exhale two, inhale three, exhale four…all the way to ten, and begin again. If you get lost, that’s alright, just begin again from one. Keep counting on your own.

// pause for two cycles

Again, check in to see if there is any tightness or holding. Inhale for space, exhale release. No judgment, come back to the practice.

// pause for two cycles

If you’d like more, slow it down. Inhale, exhale, one. Inhale, exhale, two. Inhale, exhale, three. Etc. to ten, and begin again. Keep counting on your own.

// pause for two cycles

Begin to let go of this counting practice and just witness your breath again. No commentary, just breath.

// pause for thirty seconds

Some days are more difficult to get settled than others. There is no shame. Your practice is your own, so give yourself what you need. Soften anywhere there is tension. You have all the air and space you need.

// pause for three minutes

Begin to come back to your body.

Feel the chair or the floor beneath you.

// pause for ten seconds

Feel the clothing against your skin.

// pause for twenty seconds

Notice if there is anywhere that can soften even more.

// pause for twenty seconds

Notice any sensations in the feet. Notice any sensations in the hands.

// pause for twenty seconds

Notice if there are any smells or tastes.

// pause for thirty seconds

Notice if there are any sounds.

// pause for thirty seconds

Slowly begin to deepen your breath. Pull the air all the way through your body to bring small movements back into your fingers and toes.

Bring a small smile to your lips.

Take a really deep breath, filling up everything inside, and exhale it out loudly.

You may bring your hands to anjali moodra or prayer position in front of your chest. You may bow your head towards your hands, and thank yourself for this practice.

May all beings everywhere come to realize happiness, and the roots of happiness. May all beings everywhere be free from suffering and the causes of suffering. May all beings everywhere experience equanimity, peace, and wellbeing.

Slowly lower your hands and raise your head. As you begin to open your eyes, just notice how you’re feeling.

Thank you for practicing today, and all days. May you bring this practice in to everything you do. Namaste. I bow respectfully to each and every one of you.

 

Awareness Intensive Week 2


“[It is] the paradox of the human condition, namely that we are mortally limited and human in form, and yet empty and cosmic in essense, and all at the same time.” -Michael Gellert

Let us take a few minutes to breath, to centre ourselves, and find ourselves truly in the Now.

Guided Meditation:

Make yourselves comfortable, whether by sitting, standing, or lying down. Close your eyes. If you are in a place where you are comfortable making noise, do the following with me. If not, just let out a big sigh. Take a slow, deep breath in. When you exhale, give a big roar like a lion. Great! One more time…

Just relax, let go of your day. Realize that all the stresses you’ve experienced are over, they can not harm you. Release them into the earth around you. The Earth is good at recycling.

I will leave you in a few minutes of silence.

Welcome to week two of Awareness Intensive. During these next few weeks we will work on tuning our awareness and seeing what potentials we have. Our brains are magnificent things, and the fact that we can be aware is a mystery. Lets explore what it means to be aware and have awareness. There is no right answer to any of the topics or questions posed here. We are each conscious individuals and therefore may experience the world differently from each other. We will also explore the idea that perhaps our awareness isn’t a purely individual thing and that perhaps it is something we have the ability to “tap into” like signing on to an external server (much like SL!). We will explore the following questions in detail: what does being aware mean? How is it that we recognize awareness? How aware can we be? Where does our awareness stem from? Is it physical or immaterial? Can we be more aware?

**

Last week we worked with our senses. Today we’re going to work with our feelings. I will ask a series of questions over voice throughout the meditation. After we’ve meditated we will take some time to journal. If you’d like to share your thoughts in local chat for discussion during this journalling time you are welcomed to, but please no chatter during meditation.

Emotion = Energy in Motion. See if you can notice when a thought/image/emotion arises. Shift your attention then to the ‘felt sense’ of the thought/image/emotion. I will assist with a few questions, but there will be much time to feel the experience. Rather than following any thoughts, only pay attention to the feeling of it. I will ring the bell once for each question, and twice to end. The questions will be posed in both text and voice, so you can choose to follow in whatever fashion suits you best.

Let us fall slowly into awareness.

Please answer the following questions in your mind only.

Where do the thoughts/images/emotions arise?
When these feelings arise can you feel it in a certain place in your body?
Where do the thoughts/images/emotions start?
Do the thoughts/images/emotions move?
How long do they stay for?
Are the thoughts and sensations you are experiencing in your practice pleasant (attraction), unpleasant (aversion), or neutral?
Does the same feeling/image/emotion arise multiple times? Does it feel the same every time?

Take your time slowly coming out of the mind-practice. Bring your attention back to your body. Deepen your breath. Slowly wiggle your toes and fingers, and when you feel ready, slowly open your eyes. As you are opening your eyes, try to notice how you are feeling.

You may now take the next few minutes to write about your experience. You may do this in local chat, or keep it privately for yourself. I’d like you to explore the question:

What was your experience during this practice?

In the Dhammapada we find the following words, “All that we are is a result of what we have thought, it is founded on our thoughts and made up of our thoughts.”

What did you notice during this practice?

Can you see how thoughts manifest themselves physically?

Has your definition of awareness changed doing this exercise?