Meditation to Open Your Heart Center and Release Fear

Standard

And every day, the world will drag you by the hand, yelling, “This is important! And this is important! And this is important! You need to worry about this! And this! And this!”

And each day, it’s up to you to yank your hand back, put it on your heart and say, “No. This is what’s important.”

Iain Thomas

heart

I’m a big believer in the power of meditation to improve your state of mind and help you to become more focused. Most importantly, I believe that establishing a meditation practice is key to really reaping those benefits, as opposed to just meditating every now and then, or whenever you take a yoga class.

Lately I’ve really let my meditation practise slide; in fact my whole self-care routine has fallen apart, and I’ve really been noticing the side effects of this, as my thoughts have become more scattered, my emotions more volatile, and my energy levels decreased.

This often happens when we go through big changes in life, like moving or starting a new job etc… It’s important to get back on track as soon as possible.

If you don’t already have a self-care routine, consider starting one; it’s a wonderful way to begin and end every day, and can involve any activities you feel help you to relax and relieve stress. Taking time out of every day to take care of yourself promotes a feeling of self-worth that is not reliant on anyone or anything else. It sends the message “I am important and being kind and loving to myself is important to me”.

Apreciation

For a start, you can try this heart opening meditation I started this morning. It’s a variation on a meditation I used to do every morning, that I called “being a cup”. I was inspired to refine the visualization this morning and felt compelled to share it. It’s very simple, and I found myself feeling incredibly light and open afterwards.

First get into a comfortable seated position, preferably upright since you don’t want to fall asleep. Close your eyes and begin focusing on your breathing. Breathe in and out in long deep breaths through your nose, completely filling and emptying your lungs.

I’d love to be able to sit with each of you and teach you proper deep breathing, but unfortunately that’s not possible. The best way I can describe it is you feel like you are pulling air in through the back of your throat, instead of sniffing air in through your nostrils, even though you are still breathing through your nose. If you are doing this correctly, you should feel your air passages opening, and deep breaths of 8 counts in and 8 counts out should seem easy. When I am breathing deeply, pausing between breaths can be the most relaxing part of the meditation, because it’s the closest the body ever comes to stillness (while living of course!).

This isn’t the most important part though, so don’t worry if you haven’t got the knack of it yet. Just breathe deeply in a rhythm that seems easy to you.

Self Love

Once you have a good rhythm going with your breath, and you’re starting to feel relaxed, then you can begin the visualization, if you’d like. It’s perfectly alright to just continue focusing on your breath, if you want. You may find thoughts popping up and your mind keeps wandering. Do not be deterred; simply bring your attention back to your breath, over and over. This is a practise in focus that will serve you well in future.

While you are breathing deeply in, filling your lungs from the bottom to the top, imagine you are a cup, a crystal clear goblet, and golden bubbly liquid like champagne is being poured in through the top of your head, your crown chakra. Feel your heart center being filled by this golden liquid, or light. Then, as you exhale, expelling all of the air from the bottom of your lungs to the top, imagine that golden light pouring out from your heart center.

champagne

Fill your cup completely, and then empty it completely. 

Breathe in the Unconditional Love from Source, then breathe it all back out into the world, in no particular direction, just become a conduit for Love, indiscriminately pouring forth into the world.

Feel how every time you empty your heart, you are then filled again, how their is no ending to the eternal Love of Source.

Know that you can give all of your Love without fear, without needing to receive anything in return, because you will always be renewed.

Feel how your opening creates a void, and that Source Love rushes in to fill that void every time.

Know that the Love you are now a conduit for, that is now pouring from you, will find other voids to fill; you do not need to direct it.

Feel the surety of knowing that you always have access to that Eternal Unconditional Love.

Rascals

I recommend 30 minutes twice a day, but you can start with less and work your way up to , or even exceed 30 minutes. If the Buddhist monks can meditate for 3 hours (YIKES!) every morning and evening, then the rest of us can manage 30 minutes.

Remember that this practise is for self-care and showing Loving kindness to yourself; if you are having to force it, beyond just the initial struggle to begin, then perhaps, for that morning, being kind to yourself is letting yourself off the hook! Perhaps, hitting a punching bag or going for a run, or some other cathartic activity, might be what you are needing. You may even feel like meditating afterwards. Remember also that your own fears and doubts may put up roadblocks to your self-care.

In my opinion, listening to your own inner guidance, and honoring the impulses that you receive from within, is the greatest form of kindness and respect you can show yourself. You will know true guidance because it will feel really good to listen to it; letting fears or doubts get in the way of self expansion will not feel good.

“If you meditate regularly, even when you don’t feel like it, you will make great gains, for it will allow you to see how your thoughts impose limits on you. Your resistances to meditation are your mental prisons in miniature.” – Ram Dass

With Love,

Robin

Advertisements

Bad Moods and Conscious Thought

Standard

“Who sits in solitude and is quiet hath escaped from three wars: hearing, speaking, seeing: yet against one thing shall he continually battle: that is, his own heart.” ~ Abbot Anthony

1280px-Summit-lake-wv-night-sky-reflection_-_West_Virginia_-_ForestWander

I was sitting by a beautiful lake at sunset being frustrated and distracted by little things; the moment wasn’t the perfect scene I had pictured in my head. There was a dog barking, cutting through the otherwise perfect silence, and I was being bitten by mosquitos, and I had a hundred and one worries running through my head. I’d been looking forward to getting away from the city and having peace and solitude at the lake all week, but then, once I got there, I wasn’t able to enjoy it. When suddenly I thought to myself “look around you, look where you are!” I looked around and really saw for the first time that day, and a sense of awe and wonder bubbled up inside me as I sat there on the dew dampened grass watching the fish jumping out of the water, and admiring the tall grasses waving in the wind; at that moment more beautiful than a colourful bouquet, their dark silhouettes set against the last light of day reflecting off the water. It is in moments like that, when “the wildness and the pang of life steals into our hearts and thrills them” (~William James) that you realize what it’s all about, that all life culminates in this one moment, and the need for everything to be “just so” disintegrates as you finally appreciate what is.

It’s easy to get “caught” in a bad mood; to feel like there’s nothing we can do to shake it. Cartoonists depict a bad mood as our own personal rain cloud following us around, and it can certainly feel that way; like a force of nature, but that story paints us as a victim. When we become a victim of our bad moods, we surrender control of our thoughts and emotions; the very things we have the most potential to control in this ever changing life.

Go_Away_Mr__Rain_Cloud_by_SuperKusoKao

http://superkusokao.deviantart.com/art/Go-Away-Mr-Rain-Cloud-117637693

When we give up control; because it is a choice, conscious or not; we start to feel powerless and “out of control” in our daily lives. We start to see everything in a negative light under that dark cloud: children’s laughter becomes annoying instead joyous, that beautiful sunny day is too hot and bright, everything our spouse says and does is wrong; it’s almost as if we start to look for things to add to our misery, to justify our bad mood, rather than owning our own feelings.

The problem starts to magnify as our bad mood effects our words and actions. We start to drift away from our core values and act in ways that go against our authentic selves: snapping at our children and spouses, losing it on the checkout clerk, cutting people off in traffic. All of this sets off a chain reaction as the people around us tend to react to our negativity in a negative way. Surrender to bad moods often enough and it becomes habit, part of our automatic programming; we drift on autopilot in a sea of negativity and we can drift so far away from our true selves, our highest potential for good, that it can seem impossible to find our way back.

The key to staying authentic, holding on to our truths, is to take back control of our thoughts and feelings: to take responsibility for our own moods. Close your eyes, take a deep breath, and really own what you are feeling, right now, at this moment. No one and nothing “made” you feel this way. You made a decision, whether conscious or not, to feel this way, and you have the power to decide to feel differently. The power you have over your own emotions is incredible, and the more you practice consciousness of thought, the easier it becomes to stay in control.

This is why we have a “meditation practice”, because meditation is a practice for life. Not the practice of having an empty mind, but the practice of focusing your thoughts, bringing them back again and again so that when you find your thoughts spiraling out of control you have the capacity to bring them back to center again and again. Meditation is the practice of conscious thought.

Manifestation

OPPORTUNITIES AND CHOICES

“Every significant vital sign- body temperature, heart rate, oxygen consumption, hormone level, brain activity, and so on- alters the moment you decide to do anything.” ~ Deepak Chopra,  The Book of Secrets: Unlocking the Hidden Dimensions of Your Life

You can make a decision, right now, to change your focus, to change your mood. Whatever situation or person you are holding responsible for your bad mood right now, free them of that responsibility. Put the power right back where it belongs: in your hands, or more accurately, in your mind.

That situation didn’t just happen to you; own the fact that you created it, that it is exactly what you need at this moment for your personal growth. Ask the question “what do I need to learn from this in my life right now?” Be grateful for the challenge and the opportunity to grow.

“On some dimension or other, every event in life can be causing only one of two things: either it is good for you, or it is bringing up what you need to look at in order to create good for you.
Evolution is win-win…life is self-correcting.”
~ Deepak Chopra, The Book of Secrets: Unlocking the Hidden Dimensions of Your Life

That person didn’t do that hurtful thing TO you; that person did something misguided and small. You chose to take it personally, you chose to be hurt by it. You can make a different choice. You can change your mind. Choose to see that misguided small person for who they really are: another Soul, lost and confused on the journey to enlightenment just like yourself.

Recognize parts of yourself in them, as much as it may pain you to do so. Learn true humility and look at the parts of yourself you are really scared to face staring back at you in their eyes.

Recognize that the fear and the pain come from not accepting those parts of yourself. When you are able to love those parts, you will be able to love that person, and be grateful they came into your life to act as your mirror and teacher. They are there to play a role in your life, as you are there to play a role in their life.

Recognize that we are all actors on the stage of life, and nothing is personal. In your eyes, they are just the role they are playing in your life, but in reality, they are a Soul, a heart, and a consciousness: a piece of the Divine.

Recognize the Divine in them, and the Divine in you, and the Divine at work in your life.

These are the tough lessons.

This is the real hard shit.

This is when you rise to the challenge, let go of your ego, and let yourself love yourself as you truly are, not as you pretend to be, or wish you were.

This is when you realize that everything you are is enough, and when everything you are is enough, then every need you have to be right, or to be validated, or to be justified melts away, and taking ownership of your feelings is no longer terrifying because there is no judgement at your own failings; no nagging voice telling you you are not good enough.

Just acceptance.

Just Love.

Love yourself enough to choose better things for yourself.

Love yourself enough to take back your power and remember that this is a journey and that you won’t get it all right all of the time, but every moment is another opportunity to make a better choice. Be grateful for the opportunity to shine.

Divine Feminie

“The truly courageous person is able to withstand harm without the mental suffering that hatred and anger bring.” ~ The Dalai Lama