Meditation-Calming the Monkey Mind

I have been asked by my clients and many people during talks about meditation. Mainly they want to know if ‘formal, seated meditation’ is the only way to go and I would say it definitely is not however if you want to increase your awareness, mindfulness, etc. its important to have some form of mediation every day. This means it can be very simple, for example just focusing on your breath through-out the day to a seated meditation practice with or without a mantra. Many people find the mantra or guided meditations to be useful especially when they begin a practice. Open eyed mediation (Buddhist mediation) is easier for some than others. Personally, it took me a number of years before I wanted to do this. Now I mix many forms of mediation during the day. If you have any more questions or aspects of mediation you would like to share, please post them here. I will get back to you as soon as I can with questions directed to me.

I have a short story to tell you about when I first learned mediation practices: When I was 14, I had the opportunity to work with a real Yogi/Guru from India. It was the 70’s, before yoga was a common word in N. America, much less a common practice. My God Father, a renowned psychiatrist had been working with teenagers who were struggling and realized it was important to attend to all aspects of their being, including the spiritual side-he was ahead of his times in so many ways. He had invited an old friend, what I perceived then as an ancient Yogi/Guru he had known for years over to America. I remember meeting him at an old, tiny church near my God Fathers home. Thinking back on it, he may have been trying to somehow relate to my up-bringing as a non-Buddhist or Hindu child  by meeting me there. It was fitting as I entered the church, I remember smelling the beautiful old wood of the pews and floor as well as the sweetness of an incense that was foreign to me. As I opened the huge, tall, heavy wooden doors,  he was standing at the front of the church, where there was a larger floor space where we could practice yoga. He was wearing what seemed now like a traditional Hindu, basic garb like Mahatma Gandhi (pictured below)-his head wrapped in a cream coloured cloth, same around his middle, although it was Summer so he was had a bear chest. He was thin, and I remember feeling a warm, inviting, old energy emanating  from him. Every word he spoke to me was clear, soft and almost musical-this was the first time I had experienced the sweet head tilting of this amazing, ancient culture and was endeared right away. His Yoga instruction was based in supporting the mind, body and spirit aligning to create balance-what I still perceive today as the fundamentals of my yoga practice. I learned what now seems like magical, ancient wisdom from him for weeks and enjoyed every moment. Namaste.

Mahatma Gandhi in 1918 when he led the Satyagraha by the peasants of Kheda (Gujarat) against unjust taxation. Wikipedia Photo

Wikipedia Photo

Here is a great and simple short message about how to do meditation during every day, even for just a moment. I love it:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/a-tibetan-buddhist-masters-simple-guide-to-meditation_us_57850a79e4b07c356cfe8158