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  1. 3 points
    As requested, here are 2 links to the guided meditation recordings. The files were both too large to upload here so I'm providing links to the files in my Google Drive. One is in a .mp4 (500 mB or so) file with a nice background Large This file is audio only (11 kB) Small Please let me know if there are any issues or concerns.
  2. 3 points
    Hi! I learned about Mindfulness a handful pf years ago. It wasn't easy getting started. (I have General Anxiety Disorder) but I stuck to it and it served me well. Some where along the way I stopped my Mindful practice and after a few half-hearted attempts, I am so ready to shake the stress and anxiety that plague me more often than I care to admit... I'm looking forward to getting started tomorrow! I hope everyone has a great start to their week tomorrow.
  3. 2 points
    Hi all, First, let me start off by stating that I hope that I put this in the correct location. If it's more appropriate to another location, please let me know. I've been developing some guided meditations but this is the first I feel is ready to post. I've titled it Universal Connectedness because sometimes I think when we feel alone in our thoughts and feelings we feel alone in the world, drifting aimlessly. One of my first lessons in Buddhism is that we are never truly alone. When we sit and meditate we sit with the universe. We are all connected to each other. I hope that in reading and practicing this meditation you feel that it captures the essence of universal connectedness that I've tried for. And I hope that it may off you some comfort in difficult times. Universal Connectedness For this guided meditation start off by finding yourself in a comfortable and relaxed position. You can be sitting or laying down. Whatever fits you best. Imagine yourself at the beach. Youre standing with your feet just where the sand meets the water. You look at the sand at your toes. You can see the different color sand grains, the beiges, the blacks, the whites. You can feel the warmth of the water as each little wave covers your feet. You begin to lift your gaze to just where the waves break. You can see the curls of each wave as they begin to break. You lift your gaze slightly more to where the waves are just beginning to rise from the distant ocean. As you look more distant, you can see where the horizon meets the ocean. You look towards your left and can see the ocean and beach meeting for miles into the distance. You look towards your right and can see the ocean and beach meeting for miles into the distance. It’s all very calming. As you look at your feet again you begin to sense a feeling of unconditional love being adsorbed into your body with each passing wave over your feet. The love feels very warm and inviting that you decide to sit slightly more into the water. As each wave now passes over your thighs, your entire body is totally absorbed with love. You begin to rest back on your hands and can hear the gentle sounds of sea gulls in the distance. As each moment passes the sounds get closer. As each sound enters through your ears you begin to feel the sense of utter acceptance flowing through your body. This acceptance allows you to feel as if huge burdens are being released from the deepest parts of you. As these waves of love and acceptance fill your body you feel the warmth of the sun embracing you. You bring kind attention to the suns warmth on your body and realize this is the feeling of compassion. Your heart fills with compassion. Love, acceptance, and compassion are filling your body. You now being to explore more as to where this love, acceptance, and compassion are originating from. You open your mind to being receptive to whatever the source is. You begin to see flashes of people. Some faces are familiar. Some are not. But all are smiling and peaceful. You see the images of all types of animals and lifeforms. Trees, fish, dogs, cats, elephants…some you don’t know the names of, but they all flash across your mind. You continue to be open and receptive and begin to see scenes and faces of beings you’re totally unfamiliar with. You realize they’re from some distant off world location. As you reflect deeply on what you see you begin to realize that we are all connected to one another in the universe. We are all apart the same network of consciousness, unconstrained by time and space. The love, acceptance, and compassion that you send out is also being sent from across the universe to you. Thank you.
  4. 2 points
    Thank you so much for sharing your recordings with us.
  5. 2 points
    Thanks, WBA, I was going to contribute a slightly different way of belittling myself, judging myself deficient. But, I don’t think the particular flavors matter. I do think it is good to have realistic ideas of our limitations, but that is different from letting judgments of them define and limit us. Maybe it can help us take appropriate steps to create conditions more conducive to success when we “go for it?”
  6. 2 points
    Great question! I hold the belief that I have great ideas and aspirations, but lack the character and ability to make them come into being. I have doubts I can breathe my vision to life.
  7. 2 points
    @calm just found guided yoga poses for Anxiety https://www.amayaan.com/blog/let-yoga-take-away-your-anxiety-woes
  8. 2 points
    Gillian, I thank you for your kind and soothing message. And for the reading recommendations. I’m very grateful. I have been going for long walks and visiting my favorite tree each day, which has soothed me at the edges. I’ve also been doing root based, grounding yoga practices where the flow of apana (downward flowing energy) is activated and helps to stabilize me. Sitting in daily meditations with forgiveness and acceptance at the heart. Lots of journaling and herbal tea too. As we experience life, we change. I have used previous periods of transition in my life as opportunities to explore the self and to allow for whatever change was meant to arrive through the difficulty. That is sort of where I am right now. I am looking into somatic therapy (as opposed to traditional talk therapy) as a new way to learn about patterns and the imprints from my past as well. It has been an unusual time to be in a relationship from a distance, and now for it to end at a distance is equally odd. So I’m very grateful to this community for their presence and support. Be well, everyone. Rachel
  9. 2 points
    Thank you @Gillian Sanger As for the graphic, it was a 'suggestion' offered by PowerPoint.
  10. 2 points
    This is beautiful! Thanks for sharing Vladimir. You have a very naturally soothing voice for this I'd say. Also - I really love the graphics with the video. Did you do that yourself?
  11. 2 points
    @Alli - Great share! I was also very moved by the book Eat, Pray, Love (and the movie was lovely too). I don't often read books twice, but that one I did! Have you read her book, "Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear"? I read it a long time ago but recall that I loved it. @Rachel - I love those poets that you've mentioned as well, specifically Mary Oliver. The Journey is one of my all time favourites, as is Wild Geese. Some of my own recommendations: The House of Belonging - poetry by David Whyte The Dance of Anger - by Dr. Harriet Lerner The Divine Feminine Fire: Creativity and Your Yearning to Express Yourself - book by Teri Degler Upstream: Selected Essays - by Mary Oliver The Dream of the Earth - by Thomas Berry
  12. 2 points
    Mindfulness has been instrumental in helping me to unlearn several things that are related to the same habituated pattern. By anchoring in the present moment and learning to cultivate compassion for myself, I have loosened the grips of self criticism and self judgment. Within this, there has been a softening and allowing for my experiences. Learning to accept and allow runs alongside the lessening of critical behaviors and leaves more space for love, forgiveness, and freedom. Each morning when I sit in meditation, I am reminded that I deserve my own love, affection, and care. Mindfulness has and continues to support me in this important unlearning (& learning). Wishing all of you here peace and ease. Rachel
  13. 2 points
    Yes. That, I believe, is what Gil Fronsdal means by, "this too." Everything in our experience is included. Beautifully said. That really describes in part how our experience broadens, as you said above. Your use of the term "cognitive distance" was unfamiliar to me and I figured in psychology there must be some concept of "cognitive distancing," so I looked it up in my browser. I thought this article really discussed the overall strategy well and listed many useful tactics. https://www.yvp.com.au/2017/11/14/cognitive-fusion-and-cognitive-distancing/#:~:text=Cognitive distancing is the act,by an attitude of acceptance. I guess your phrase about "being defined" by emotions would be part of the "cognitive fusion" discussed in the article. In my personal mindfulness practice, I think of it in terms of "identification" and "becoming" a person attached to the emotion, or maybe more precisely my ideas about the emotion, as opposed to being attuned to it and/or informed by it. I don't deliberate nearly so much as I rely on perspectives gained from meditation practice and, based on your prior posts, I am guessing you respond similarly. These perspectives include greater spaciousness, acceptance, confidence, flexibility, openness, patience, and compassion. The attachment to an emotion or fixation on it does not happen as easily as in the past. When it does happen it carries all sorts of warnings, not that they always are heeded. Our emotions are trying to tell us something important. They are trying to move us toward undertaking some satisfying action. The problem of discerning what action might be most appropriate is greatly compounded by the fact that we can have emotions about our emotions and our emotions arrive with memories, some conscious and some latent, about which we also can have emotions. How to untangle such a knot! The intellect cannot do it alone, even with the assistance of such useful ideas as in the above article, because all it understands is the surface or outer appearance of the knot. I think just the impossibility of penetrating the depths of the problem often leads us to act out impulsively in troubling ways. It is so understandable, but then we get caught in the rut of having to rationalize and validate our actions while minimizing the havoc they cause. So, we get more caught up in knots. For me, blaming formed a big part of this picture, "It must be somebody's fault...probably somebody else's, but if not him or her, then it must be me." But, in the most important sense, it simply "IS," and we have to start there if we are going to make it better in the future. So, as I see it, part of mindfulness practice is creating a safe and spacious container in which we can recognize our habitual impulses, start letting them go, and begin to see what bubbles up that formed conditions for those impulses. We know when this is working because we feel more whole, more integrated, more balanced, and more contented and relaxed. It is gratifying. I think of this as a different sort of "cognitive distancing" that helps us better see the greater context of experience in our daily affairs as well. It causes shifts in both attitudinal and cognitive predispositions. I would think both types of cognitive distancing would have their uses and benefits. I am so glad you posted what you did. I think this is such an important topic and I was a little distressed that no one was talking about it. I also worried that my post might have put people off. So, thanks for your input. Have a great week.
  14. 2 points
  15. 2 points
    "Whether grief is obvious or hidden, the way forward is through. We lean into the pain and allow grief’s wisdom to present itself. Grief is an elemental thing, beyond the control of our intellect and best left to find its course like water down a mountain. If we dam it, it gains energy until it becomes a destructive flood. Best to let it find its way. Opening to our grief opens us to pain. But it also opens us joy by freeing us from the deadening armor that’s accumulated around our hearts. Life’s preciousness emerges and we see the first crocus of spring breaking through the snow. We see the baby born in the maternity ward at the same moment CPR is stopped in the ER. We feel love for the stranger in the very heart-space opened by transformed grief." How to meet broken hearts & longing - a profound dose of wisdom from Jeff Foster
  16. 2 points
    I have learned that embracing the grief allows it to turn into peace. It sounds scary, but accept the pain and it will be transformed. Do not deny or suppress and it will become something new.
  17. 1 point
    Beautiful! Thank you so much for sharing Ali
  18. 1 point
    Hi, I am Ann-Marie, but I go by Annie. I am a student of nutrition at a naturopathic school and have just started learning about integrated healing. I grew up very close to nature and aspire to help heal ourselves and our environment through nutrition and self-care. I look forward to engaging in this community and having dialog with you. Blessings on your day.
  19. 1 point
    Relapse is one of the most painful, destructive and heartbreaking afflictions one can go through. Further, it affects others, as well and that can leave one in a debilitated and "stuck" state. I have been so reluctant and ashamed to admit my feelings of shame regarding addiction and relapse that moving forward is difficult. Recovery, which is loving yousef is sometimes not easy, yet it is necessary.
  20. 1 point
    Hello, My name is Athena. I meditate, and am new to welcoming a formal Mindfulness as my renewed meditation practice. I'm excited that there are others who share in mindfulness meditations. I also enjoy labyrinth walking which for me, inspires mindfulness and transformation.
  21. 1 point
    Thank you so much for the feedback! It means so much, especially since you have so much expertise.
  22. 1 point
    Hi Assil, Great question! 100 days is a long challenge, and there will definitely be days where we feel pressed for time or not interested in practicing. I'd say that it's entirely up to you how you approach this, but one thing that I often do when I am partaking in some kind of challenge or working towards a goal is this: Let's say I am aiming to meditate 20 minutes a day for 30 days. I will set up some kind of stipulation for myself that allows for human life to intervene. So for instance, I will set a 'rule' that if I miss a day, I will meditate for double - 40 minutes - the next day (either all at once or split into two). This helps me to stay on track and remain committed while also honouring the ebb and flow of life. Maybe something like this could be incorporated into your 100 day challenge. But ultimately, it is all completely up to you! Enjoy
  23. 1 point
    I would love to co-facilitate a book club on the Rick Hansen Neurodharma book, is anyone interested in co-facilitating?
  24. 1 point
    Hi my name is Villa! I am sending you all greetings from Memphis, TN. I am a Mindful Coach and I am thrilled to be on this journey with Mindfulness Mastermind.
  25. 1 point
    Kathy Butler here..thank you for welcoming me to your group. My experience with mindfullness is in it's infancy. I love the peace that comes with the learning. My immediate focus is to recenter myself. My current location is a tiny, bizarre fishing village on the East coast of Florida. I am being held hostage by an increasingly demanding Bichon/poodle until travel returns! I look forward to listening and learning. Kathy
  26. 1 point
    Hello Everyone! My name is Faith. First and foremost, I am a mother to three amazing children...who aren't children anymore! I am beginning the third part of my life and I couldn't be more excited. I have a wonderful career - I am a Children's Librarian. I am vegan for my health, the planet, and the animals. I am an aspiring Meditation Teacher. I am an avid traveler. I have a partner who couldn't be more supportive and loving. I have a new fascination with Baby Yoda and tattoos. And, I'm super excited to be a part of this community. I'm really excited to connect with like-minded friends and to discover more likes that I can incorporate into my life. Thank you for reading my post. I hope to chat soon. ♥Namaste
  27. 1 point
    Hello again, "L." I am reading Rick Hanson's Neurodharma in anticipation of the bookclub being started by Maya and Kimber. There is good stuff in there about the topic I shared and your speculation about what might be affecting you. You might consider joining when it gets up and rolling.
  28. 1 point
    Hi, "L." I occasionally have had a similar experience, but I don't want to suggest any other similarities. I'll describe it in a moment. Are you possibly exerting too much effort to really bear down on a particular loving-kindness theme? Striving too hard at concentrating can cause problems. With the disclaimer offered below, I will venture three possible suggestions for your consideration: 1) Don't completely dismiss a possible medical problem out of hand; 2) Seek out an experienced teacher if you do not already have one; and, 3) Check online for resources about meditation-related difficulties like Dr. Britton and Cheetah House. https://www.cheetahhouse.org/cheetah-house-resources Please understand that I simply am a fellow meditator lacking in any expertise or highly specialized training. For many years I found meditation deeply settling, but I recently I have found the meaninglessness angle of emptiness to be somewhat challenging. I believe it has caused physical effects like tension and trouble sleeping. Having a complete bully for a leader who displays atrocious behavior on a daily basis also triggers tension and arousal in me. It makes existence seem more dreadful and meaningless. (Earlier today I laughed at the suggestion all of this is simply nature manifesting and wanted to respond, "Oh yeah, and so is extinction!") I definitely try to bring balance into my practice with loving-kindness, self-compassion, and compassion themes. They usually do provide wonderful ballast and opening to feelings of interconnectedness and wholeness. I mean even from a most cynical perspective, there are lots of wonderful experiences available to most people each and every day...like the joyful experience of breathing, for example, or exchanging a smile with someone. But, on a couple of occasions I did feel nauseous, only briefly, toward the end of a very settled, highly concentrated loving-kindness meditation. For me, inviting awareness of the sensation-filled and vibrant spaciousness of the body (whole-body awareness) seemed to settle the nausea right away. It's funny, looking back it seemed that the nausea was completely unrelated to the settledness and emotions I had been experiencing in my head and elsewhere in my body, as though my viscera and the vagal neural network had a mind of their own. As I said, I am no expert, and have just assumed there was holding manifesting in my body, associated with implicit memories of which I had no conscious awareness, that felt at odds with all that opening and kindness! If anyone ever watches that Netflix series The Midnight Gospel, it is like the aggressive dog avatar in the heart space that has to be expressed as possibly old karma and modified by good. I'm like, "There, there, scared angry doggie, things will be fine; I won't harm you nor react against you (but, I surely do not intend to act in ways that are defined by you)." Best wishes.
  29. 1 point
  30. 1 point
    Today I am grateful for increasing openness between my teenage son and me; for my healthy body; for my the love and support of my partner.
  31. 1 point
    I am extremely interested in teaching mindfulnessess and meditation, particularly in the workplace, and am wondering what type of education and training people have that are doing this work? Thank you.
  32. 1 point
    Hi. Tara Brach and Jack Kornfield are teaching a mindfulness teacher certification course that will start early 2021. You could look into that? namaste
  33. 1 point
    Thank you for sharing Rachel! I resonate very much with your words. Mindfulness has been a big part of my journey of unlearning self-limiting beliefs and judgments that have contributed to feelings of insecurity and self-doubt. It's a process indeed, but one that I am very nourished by.
  34. 1 point
    Thank you so much for allowing me to join your group and your forum. I am 55 years old, and presently live in Connecticut which is on the east coast of the United States. I was previously a critical care registered nurse where I injured my back became addicted to the pain medication and have been on a journey of the addiction recovery ever since. At one point I was addicted to heroin and alcohol but have been clean and sober since 2008. My self development Journey has brought me to many wonderful teachers. Most recent catalyst being Esther Hicks and The Law of Attraction. She's a big advocate for meditation and I struggle with this. Further explanation will come in the future but this it's a pretty good description of my events. I feel like I am in the right place. Thank you again
  35. 1 point
    Gillian, instead of worrying about being engulfed by a wave of emotion or how to deal with it as a challenge, suppose we surrender any distance and completely give ourselves to being the wave and knowing it fully? As I have suggested, my sense is that some deficiency or excess in the body gives rise to an emotion, but not just to an emotion. The emotion is inextricably bound-up with associated memories sensed as being our personal history and projected onto a stage for which we are urged to write the next action. It frames our consciousness; our awareness is not separate from it. Cognitive distancing therefore creates an artificial separation and moves us out of the action, making us observers. Why not move so close that there is no separation, but only the stirrings and fragments for writing the next movements? Wouldn't it be useful to hear them out completely and understand their context? We would have to have ardent and intimate interest because there might not be even a minute before the emotion gives way to something new. So, we would have to settle completely into it without the wish to accomplish anything or make anything different, being as still as we could be so as not to disrupt it. There can be a perspective of stillness with a wave in the same manner we can sense our bodies to be still even though we are rotating the earth's center at around 1000 miles per hour. But, to achieve that we would have to eliminate separation from the wave of emotion, stop judging it or preferring it to be different. Think what we might learn. Think how doing so, without introducing separation, might change the way subsequent moments of consciousness are framed. With practice I think this alternative can be available to us, as I am sure you know. If so, I am hoping we can find words that point to it.
  36. 1 point
    I’d love to join the book club. If you need a back up facilitator, let me know.
  37. 1 point
    Hi Maya, I may be interested in co-facilitating. I have found that when co-teaching or leading a strong back and forth connection is necessary between facilitators. Can we connect via email first and see if we might be a good match? Olson.kimber@gmail.com
  38. 1 point
    Hello Gillian--that's near the Canada-Minnesota border in the Boundary Waters Canoe & Wilderness Area from a couple years back.
  39. 1 point
    Hello everyone. My name is Andy. I am a mindfulness teacher, HS social studies teacher, parent educator, father, and many other things. It's great to be part of this community. I look forward to learning from you all!!!
  40. 1 point
  41. 1 point
    Being up early in the end means I get to sit outside and listen to the peace and the owls. I love sitting in the darkness.
  42. 1 point
    That is quite the story and I had to try to keep up with you was moving where. I did have to laugh. I am going to have to read it again to check who is where now. Your husband wants to move to India I take it? That is a great story with all the different cultures. My daughter's cousin married someone from India but she grew up here so they are staying. They had a big wedding in India and she was very disappointed that she was not invited as were most people from here not invited also. Did you have an American wedding or did it lean more towards Indian?
  43. 1 point
    Most feel slowed in the winter, but I am the opposite. The heat of the American South slows me down and I am most alert and content in the Fall and Winter. My mind is aware that the longer days should make me happier, focused or energetic, so sometimes I find myself at odds with the seasons. When that push and pull is strongest, I usually take the dogs for a hike and communicate with my surroundings...literally talking to the woods around me. I often come home feeling a bit better!
  44. 1 point
    Thanks for the reflection @JillianZ! I think it's wonderful that you're able to note that momentary judgment that arises, and I also believe this is entirely human. Sometimes it's there and sometimes it isn't. I don't think it's something we can control per se, but what we can control is the attention we give it and what we do with it when it arises. I think humour is sometimes helpful with this. Silently grinning at ourself with an energy of humour when our ego arises can help to dissolve it. I also think for many it is natural that it is more challenging to have this same open-heartedness to people who are close to us. There's probably many psychological reasons for this, but one for sure is that we often have a lot of undealt with dramas and emotions with certain people. Sometimes, it is hardest for us to be fully open with the people we are closest to - to, for instance, share ways in which we've been hurt in the past. These emotions then fester, which I think can lead to us feeling less open with some people that we really love. Just an idea
  45. 1 point
    I can definitely relate to that feeling that my breath was 'high up'. Before I really got into mindfulness and meditation, it almost seemed impossible to breathe deep. I would focus on learning more about and practicing diaphragmatic breathing. Here is a resource that might help: https://mindfulnessexercises.com/power-belly-breathing/ If diaphragmatic breathing is new to you, it's often easiest to practice it while lying on your back. One hand on the belly, one on the chest, and then take your time to see if you can let most movement be in the stomach. Be patient; training and engaging the diaphragm can take time
  46. 1 point
    Hi all! I'm tuning in from Tel Aviv and just started the teacher training program. Does anyone here have a website in which they offer mindfulness/meditation workshops/courses, etc. or just dedicated to mindfulness with resources? Would love to get some ideas! Thanks!
  47. 1 point
    Hello, I've heard of ASMR and a lot of my clients asked about it. I'm all for it- if it works for you. I think a lot of my clients were disappointed because they weren't able to experience the sensation. From my understanding, some people are able to, and some people can't. Maybe you're right David, and it takes a long practice of meditation to be able to experience the sensation. I figure it's maybe a better idea not to have expectations, because often that leads to disappointment. It's great to be aware of it, so I appreciate your bringing it up Sleepy Sarah!
  48. 1 point
    Good morning, Today, I am grateful for my mindfulness practice. I am particularly grateful to Tara Brach.
  49. 1 point
    If you are like me and have one of those "curious minds," this book will give you an overwhelming amount of answers to important questions about sleep in addition to tips. It's the first sleep book by a leading scientific expert--Matthew Walker, PhD, preeminent neuroscientist, sleep expert, former professor of psychiatry at Harvard University and Director of UC Berkeley's Sleep and Neuroimaging Lab. Why We Sleep is a must-read for anyone who is serious about getting a good night's sleep.
  50. 1 point
    This sounds lovely!! Nature is so deeply cleansing and restorative.

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