It’s been a long time since I wrote on here but one of my students last night reminded me of why I set it up in the first place: she asked me if I could put the readings I do at the end of class on line so she could read them again (Thank you, Marty, for the reminder!). I’d also intended putting the meditations etc up too so you can practice them in your own time. So I will try and update this blog weekly in future with things from class.
Oriah Mountain Dreamer: The Dance
Last night we did a meditation from the above book which I’ve been reading this week. It’s about finding ways of letting our essential nature guide our choices and actions in life. OMD says it’s based on a “tonglen” Buddhist meditation that Pema Chodron teaches. It’s about focusing on receiving and sitting with those feelings we usually try to get rid of, and giving away – or sharing with others – the feelings we try to hang on to, and doing this first for yourself, then for another and finally for the world.
Do your usual settling and grounding to start.
Meditation for Being With Yourself
Take 3 deep breaths in through your nose, breathing out through your mouth. On each exhale, inwardly tell yourself gently to “let go”. Let your shoulders fall a little, let your weight drop down into your hips and legs. With each exhale, let go a little more. Feel your body rise and fall with your breath. Breathe into any place in your body where there is tension or tiredness and as you exhale breathe this into the ground.
Keep following your breath and be aware of yourself and your surroundings. Be aware of any sensations you feel. Notice how your body feels, what sounds or smells or colours are around you. Neither resist nor focus on these sensations, simply notice them. When thoughts come, notice them and let them go, gently bringing your attention back to your breath. Just be fully present with yourself.
Now let your mind review the events of the day – your interactions with others, your activities – lightly calling to mind how you have spent your day. Notice what feelings are evoked by these memories. let yourself stay with these feelings, breathing them in, getting a little closer to the depth and breadth and colour of each feeling. Notice which feelings you want to stay with and which you want to push away. Stay with 1 feeling that is uncomfortable: not overwhelmingly painful. Be aware of any sense of wanting to pull away from this feeling. Breath into any places in your body or heart that resist this feeling and let them soften a little in their resistance. Notice what happens.
As you breathe in a feeling you would normal want to get away from, breathe out a feeling you would usually want to hang onto, sharing it with others in the world.
Spend some time simply following the inhale and exhale, sitting closer with a feeling you have found uncomfortable and sending out into the world a feeling you have tried to hang onto. As thoughts come, simply notice them and let them go. Notice without judgement what happens.