The following recordings are intended to support your meditation practice.
How to Make
1) Practice when you first wake up.
It’s easiest to practice before our “day” (with its to-do lists, worries, and expectations, etc.) begins. So I encourage students to wake up, maybe splash some water on their face, and practice along with a preferred guided meditation. Notice how it feels to begin the day by practicing meditation.
2) Practice at the same time in the same place.
Our brain is built to notice and respond to patterning. If you sit in the same place the the same time each day and do the same “activity” (in this case, meditating) you will notice that just entering the room, your body will begin to let go of stress.
3) On the days that you don’t want to meditate, remember your “why”.
What motivated you to consider beginning a meditation practice? How is this meditation going to serve you in life? Recalling this consciously helps us to overcome the resistance to practicing that many beginning meditators encounter.
4) Be gentle, be kind.
The moment you notice your mind has wandered, you have already returned to the present moment (If you didn’t notice, you’d still be lost in thought!). So rather than feeling “guilty” or “bad” when your attention wanders, instead celebrate that you’ve returned! Let your attitude for yourself be one of gentleness and kindness.
5) Allow yourself to be a beginner.
Learning any new skill is difficult. This can be especially true for the practice of meditation. Still, the change that is possible even within a few breaths is quite remarkable. Let yourself be without expectation. As my good friend and fellow meditation teacher Kristin Page always reminds me “It’s meditation practice, not meditation perfect.”
Key Points & Insights from THTF
Mindfulness meditation is the practice of bringing your attention to the present moment and sustaining that attention in a relaxed, clear way. As I described in class, mindfulness is an innate capacity, and the “meditation” aspect is “becoming familiar with” — becoming familiar with our experience of being present with our experience moment to moment.
If I’m not “here” where am I? Well, studies indicate about 47% of the time we are lost in thought. That our attention wanders to a thought is no problem. The practice of mindfulness is to notice when your attention has wandered, and then with kindness return your attention to your experience of the present moment (in this case, the breath).
The Mindful Deep Breath practice is as essential as brushing your teeth. Every day we are met with countless stressors, both subtle and more pronounced, that jar our nervous system (the root of health and connection between mind and body). In a real way, we are stressed to our core. When we practice mindful deep breathing, we invite deeply held mental, physical, and emotional tension to release. We then allow ourselves to rest in whatever sense of peace/clarity/ease the practice presents to us.
Recommendations for beginning a practice:
Practice Mindful Deep Breathing for 10 minutes twice a day OR
Take 5 Mindful Deep Breaths/hour (I set an alarm on my phone to ring every hour. I set down whatever I am doing and breathe.)
Especially when we are beginning, it is best to practice for short periods, many times a day.
After doing the above for 1-2 weeks I would then transition to:
Practice Mindful Deep Breathing for 5 minutes followed by 8 minutes of Mindfulness of the Natural Breath twice/day (that’s 13 minutes 2x/day).
If you attended the workshop and get to a point where you are exceeding this practice length and want to take your practice further, just send me an email. I am always happy to help in guiding next steps to a meditation practice. Teaching is my passion.