I taught yoga for 16 years, which I always liked to call “Moving Meditation”, and then about 6 years ago I stopped teaching yoga and started teaching guided meditation.  Over the years I began to see that sitting in meditation was just like yoga but for the mind.  Aligning the awareness of the mind with that of the body by focusing on the breath!

Either way these practices ‘got’ to me from the inside out.  I could not escape the fact that both of these rituals (ritual = repetitive) were designed to help me slow down, let go and accept things as they are.  The resistance to the flow of life began to disappear and the ability to accept it began to grow.

 

Whatever the practice I realized they are both an opportunity to connect and align what we are doing, what we are thinking and where we are through the lens of the natural gentle flow of breath.  These practices also allow us to look at where we are critical or competitive or stressed from the perspective of the observer, like standing back and watching a movie on a big screen.  There are many other things that offer the same opportunities, swimming, running, biking, hiking, chi gong, even fishing!  Opportunities to meditate suddenly spring up all around us every day, even standing in line at the grocery store!

 

The one consistently balanced easy, simple tool with everything is to pay attention to the BREATH; it just flows in and out, without our constant vigilance or command.  I like to think of this natural flow as a metaphor for our lives, underneath all the busy-ness, the chaos, the noise!!  There is something balanced, quiet and smooth that just continues to flow underneath it all.  Imagine if we realized the undercurrent of our selves is peace, balance, flow, and ease. 

 

PRACTICE:

Wherever you are, take a moment to inhale deeply through the nose and blow slowly out of the mouth.  Become aware of your body, are you standing, sitting, lying down?  What is supporting you?  Notice the breath flowing in and out of the nose now and silently say inhale to yourself as you inhale and exhale as you breath out a few times, just to start to refine your focus and become the observer.   Now try counting as you inhale 1, exhale 2, up to 10 and then repeat a couple of times!  Notice how whatever you are doing recedes into the background, whatever you were thinking about or worrying about disappears like a dream! Do not practice while operating heavy machinery!!

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