Category Archives: meditation

5 Meditation Tips for Beginners

meditation tips

Tips to make beginning meditation easier.

You’ve been hearing of all the benefits of meditation for a while now and have thought about starting a meditation practise, and somehow you still haven’t got there. If this sounds like a familiar story, welcome!

Here are some ideas to help you begin a meditation practise and more importantly have fun!!

  1. Start easy – remember when you learned to walk? Well maybe you don’t … it started with rolling over, and then crawling, and then pulling yourself up with the aide of the couch or a caring gentle hand. You fell a few times, and sometimes you laughed and sometimes you cried but you kept at it until well…you learned how to run…and jump!! Beginning meditation can be as gentle and easy as this natural human process. Bring an open mind, not an agenda. Let this new thing in your life be for as long or as short as it is, whether it is for 3 minutes once a week or longer and lasts for years. Let it be.
  2. meditation for beginnersBe a scientist – not that I have ever been a scientist, the little I do know about scientists is they bring with them a sense of curiosity and observation. They leave judgement behind. Let’s go back to the walking thing…no let’s go back even farther. Before we knew what pain was, or what our bodies were before speech and thought. I’m just guessing here and it could be safe to say that life at that time was a series of sense impulses, sights, sounds, physical feelings, etc. I would like to offer that we didn’t reject or judge these sensations at that point, we simply experienced them. Use your imagination, pretend you have never felt what arises when you are sitting in meditation and see what the light of this new perception does for your experiencing.
  3. Bring your funny bone with you – a sense of humour goes a long way not only in life but in meditation as well. Life can be so serious, why should your new meditation practise be? Smile when you struggle, chuckle when you find yourself falling asleep, And when you’ve noticed you’ve been thinking for the whole time let out a big belly laugh. There are many techniques for meditation do some research, find one that resonates with you and work with that. And if you find that one worked for a while and now it isn’t change it up, you will find one that sticks.
  4. meditation tips for beginnersDon’t think about it – I’m thinking that most of you, don’t question too much whether you will brush your teeth in the morning…so the same thing could be for your new meditation practise. Offer yourself the same relief from the question “should I meditate today?” would you ask yourself “should I brush my teeth today?” If you are starting slow you can easily find an extra 3 minutes to sit. Once you have created the habit of sitting every day just as you would brush your teeth every day, it will become something you look forward to, as opposed to question whether to do it or not. It is helpful to create a bit of a haven where you will sit, find a spot in your home that is peaceful, where you won’t be disturbed and where you can leave your meditation cushion, stool, or chair so that you can go to it when you are ready to sit. Just as you have your toothbrush in the same place for when you reach for it.
  5. Take the one seat – here’s a scenario, you’re at the movie theatre and you have been waiting for this movie for a long time, and waiting even longer for the opportunity to get out there and see it. You get your popcorn, you find the perfect seat, that is not too meditation tipsclose and not too far away, but pretty much front and centre, you got there early enough to get the perfect seat. Now you are settled and the movie has started, you’re just getting into it and someone shows up and asks to have your seat? What? No! Of course you can’t have my seat! They go away and find themselves something suitable. You are back to enjoying the movie, and next thing you know another person is standing in front of you and they want to sit on your lap!! Well of course THAT is not happening!! So you send them on their way too, and now you get back to the movie…. Ok maybe that is a bit ridiculous! However, when you make a choice to sit in meditation whether it is for 3 minutes or for an hour you take your seat. You allow yourself to sit in the seat and simply “be” to watch the movie, and when things like anxiety, fear, judgement, sadness, etc come to take you from your seat, you simply smile and and say no, and go back to the movie, gently and easily and with a grin. You have given yourself this treat to sit and watch with awareness, enjoy.

If you are interested in some of the groovy scientific research out there on the benefits of mediation check out the link below.

Effects of Meditation on the Brain

Hopefully these simple tips have helped you get over the reasons why not to meditate. To enquire about meditation coaching sessions, or to get in on some group meditation for beginners, go to my contact page and send me your info and I will get you in to the next group happening at Root Wellness in the south Granville area of Vancouver.

 

 

 

Mindfulness and Cancer Care

The folks over at Inspire Health, Integrative Cancer Care Centre are not only offering mindfulness meditation but yoga and stress reduction techniques in addition to nutritional consultations, counselling, and exercise therapy to complete a well rounded program for those diagnosed with cancer.

I have witnessed both first hand and in others the effects that stress can play on our bodies and our lives, and I am thrilled to see such a well rounded program include things like meditation and yoga. Feedback I’ve heard on the mindfulness program in particular was very good, it was an 8 week program that really empowered a young woman to approach her journey with cancer differently. She specifically mentioned how impactful and powerful the simple exercise of mindfulness was for her.

If you know someone working with cancer who may be looking for some extra assistance check out their site.

http://www.inspirehealth.ca/

 

We’re in the Same Place

“I try to practice what I preach; I’m not always that good at it, but I really do try. The other night, I was getting hard-hearted, closed-minded, and fundamentalist about somebody else, and I remembered this expression that you can never hate somebody if you stand in their shoes. I was angry at him because he was holding such a rigid view. In that instant I was able to put myself in his shoes and I realized, “I’m just as riled up, and self-righteous and closed-minded about this as he is. We’re in exactly the same place!” And I saw that the more I held on to my view, the more polarized we would become, and the more we’d be just mirror images of one another—two people with closed minds and hard hearts who both think they’re right, screaming at each other. It changed for me when I saw it from his side, and I was able to see my own aggression and ridiculousness.”

 Pema Chodron

(From Pema’s book Practicing Peace in Times of War)
Heart Advice of the Week, by Shambhala Publications can be delivered to your email at www.shambhala.com/heartadvice/