Relax, focusing on sinking and spiraling. Observe your body in motion and at rest. How does it expand – contract?
Hope this can help your practice.
RoK Teasely drew the night away at Calm Chicago as part of last night’s 2nd Friday festivities.
All you had to do was give him three words and he’d make you a drawing, an idea he calls, “Drawing Out Souls.”
He made some lovely pictures and people really seemed to love the work made just for them on the spot.
If you missed your chance to get a drawing, no worries. RoK will be back next month for 2nd Friday, July 13th 6-10pm!
Also, don’t forget, tomorrow Calm Chicago has 18-Form Qigong from 9:30-10:15, then tai chi from 10:30-11:30 in the morning. Hope to see you there.
body and mind, breath, Buddhism, Chan, Compassion, dharma, enlightenment, happiness, job, karma, loving kindness, meditation, meditation center, Metta, mind and body, mindfulness, multi-tasking, multitasking, Peace, practice, qigong, retreat, sitting meditation, stress-management, stress-reduction, taiji, wisdom, work, world tai chi day, world tai chi day calm chicago, world tai chi day chicago
body, body and mind, breath, Buddhism, Chan, Chicago, Compassion, dharma, enlightenment, happiness, karma, loving kindness, meditation, meditation center, Metta, mind and body, mindfulness, practice, retreat, sitting meditation, stress-management, stress-reduction, wisdom
This article appeared online back in March and my bad for not finding it sooner. One thing about meditation, is it doesn’t make me feel much like surfing the web a lot. But it’s important to see what people are up to in your own field… SO…
1. Hooray to all the well-known who are bringing attention to wonderful things like meditation practice.
2. On the other hand, Danger Will Robinson! Caution anyhow. Sometimes, those good intentions lead to a over-reduction of practices to simplicity in-extremis.
Of course, if we make stress-reduction practices seem too difficult no one will want to do them. Still, it behooves us to describe things with a bit depth and offer additional direction that will truly help guide those seeking more than the quick fix-of-the-week and then onto something else.
I’m just saying. Here is the article as I found it online. The link above will take you directly Oprah’s website which is full of info on every subject under the sun.
Find a quiet, comfortable spot where you won’t be interrupted. Sit in your favorite chair, on a porch swing, on a rock by a river. Lie back in a warm bath, if you’d like, or on a blanket on the grass. If your eyes are open, focus softly on whatever is a few feet in front of you, your gaze, if you’re sitting, slightly down. The idea is to just be still for a few minutes. Be with yourself.
Try to concentrate on your breath—breathing in and breathing out (nothing special, don’t change the way you breathe). You might even want to say those words to yourself at first: “Breathing in, breathing out.” After a while, let the words go. When you find your mind wandering, notice the thoughts—don’t judge them—and let them go. Do this by coming back to your breath.
That’s meditation—simply being there with yourself for a few minutes every day, getting to know your own mind.
Under the article, there’s a place for readers to respond. Awesome, right?
Here is what one reader said, that prompted me to write this blog entry, that you are now reading:
Can it be that simple? I am secretly depressed and have been for years, can I really help myself be meditating in this way for a few minutes a day? I’ve tried it before. Perhaps I didn’t try for long enough…
I decided, uncharacteristically to write back. I just felt that this reader was sounding like they were out there, feeling kinda bad, because like, “I tried it and if it’s that simple how come I don’t feel better yet,” or something like that. I don’t want to put words into the mouth (or pen) of reader Harris 497.
Harris497, The answer to your question, “can it be that simple?” is both yes and no. As a meditation teacher, I’d say that yes, in the beginning, when you first have the seed of an idea to try sitting meditation, it is that easy. Sit down, focus on the breath and when thoughts come along, don’t hold on to them, don’t judge any aspect of your experience and let everything go. Just sit. Just breath. And just be aware that you are sitting there breathing.
On the other hand, as a set of instructions for really developing a daily meditation practice that can seriously help you reduce your suffering, it won’t get you very far.
I don’t know where you live so I can’t make any direct recommendations but in general I suggest this: find a good meditation teacher where ever you do live. If you’re in the Chicago area I could make suggestions. A good guide is an important part of having long term success for establishing real peace of mind.
There are lots of teachers out there. Find one. Some wonderful and some, not so much. Be careful. Choose mindfully and don’t get taken in by any hype. Make a selection that feels right to you.
If you’d like to discuss this, I can be reached through my site and I’m happy to offer what I can. http://www.calmchicago.org We’re located in Chicago in Chinatown. I know of teachers, who know other teachers, around the country, so if you are not local, maybe I Can help you make some connections. Wishing you all the best in your quest.
PS. Let’s look at this one line for a sec…
That’s meditation—simply being there with yourself for a few minutes every day, getting to know your own mind.
Especially this last bit, “getting to know your own mind.” Getting to know your own mind means, we learn how the mind works and we do this by long careful practice of observing the tiny, micron slices of experience, of action that are the processes through which or by which the mind operates. And that, while not rocket science, in that anyone can learn to do it, is not something that simply happens with a few minutes of even daily sitting and breathing. It takes determination, patience and guidance and that’s just for starters. It’s an amazing, life changing journey that can be a huge benefit to yourself and to all around you and I wish everyone would do it. It’s changed my life! And I see how it benefits others and makes all of life more peaceful, it does take time and attention. And kindness, compassion to ourselves. One of the great amazing things is, that as we go through the process, the whole world becomes more peaceful. How awesome is that?!
body and mind, breath, Chicago, happiness, loving kindness, meditation, meditation center, mind and body, mindfulness, multi-tasking, multitasking, Peace, practice, qigong, retreat, sitting meditation, stress-management, stress-reduction, tai chi, world tai chi day, world tai chi day calm chicago, world tai chi day chicago, Yang tai chi, Yang Taiji
because it’ll be so much fun to participate in a world-wide celebration involving more than 60 countries and millions of people, all joyfully, peacefully breathing together all at the same time!
adaptability, body, body and mind, breath, change, flexibility, Imagine, job, meditation, meditation center, Metta, practice, qigong, retreat, sitting meditation, stress-management, stress-reduction, tai chi, taiji, wisdom, Yang tai chi, Yang Taiji, yin and yang
They have a pretty pleasant environment with lots of plants around. We’d love to have more plants, so we can really freshen the air in the center as much as possible without chemicals. Many thanks to Vincent for all the plants you see here. They were a gift in our prior location and in the move had to be re-potted and trimmed up some. Moving plants in -4 degrees weather is not ideal for the delicate house plants but they seem to be bouncing back.
So, if you have some plants you’d like to donate, they’ll be gratefully received. We get a pretty good amount of indirect light from the south.
We’ll be adding a jade plant soon. Lovely for the center because the soft, round green leaves are beautiful and grow only very slowly. This is how we develop our own practices in tai chi (or taiji), qigong and meditation…slowly, breath by breath.
Thanks so much to our teachers, family, friends and students for all your support. I am ever grateful. Together we make the city more peaceful and less stressed. I bow to you all for your efforts and dedication.
The center will be offering lots of wonderful new seminars this year. We hope you’ll join us as much as you can. Please let us know what you’d like to see offered that would really be of benefit to lots of people. We may not respond to every single idea but we’ll gratefully receive them all.
Many thanks, Hillary and Matt
body and mind, breath, Chicago, Compassion, enlightenment, happiness, loving kindness, meditation, meditation center, mind and body, mindfulness, Peace, qigong, sitting meditation, stress-management, stress-reduction, tai chi, taiji, work, world tai chi day, world tai chi day calm chicago, world tai chi day chicago, Yang tai chi, Yang Taiji
Let’s see if I can put it into words.
Every day I get up at 5:30 and do some qigong, tai chi and standing meditation to start the day. What happened was, as I looked at the clock on the wall in the center, I knew there was only 40 minutes to practice. At 6:40 a.m. I HAD to be DONE, because the drive to work can take a long time. The Deadline? Be at the desk no later than 8:30. But as often happens with tai chi and meditation, it feels so good and I want to stay and keep going.
But, if I kept going, I’d be late for work. And that would cause a lot of suffering and trouble for not only for me with the boss, but for colleagues who rely on my presence to get their jobs done.
So, at 6:40 I turned off the light and locked the door to the center. I walked to my car carrying my breath and mind in each step, full and empty, full and empty.
There was the pleasure of a clear mind from practice and the knowledge that the decision to stick to the schedule was a benefit to me and those around me.
Do you have times like that? Where you have something you have to do but would rather do something else? How does that play out for you? Are some times harder than others to be disciplined with? Why is that?
body, body and mind, breath, Compassion, loving kindness, meditation, meditation center, Metta, mind and body, mindfulness, multi-tasking, sitting meditation, stress-management, stress-reduction, tai chi, taiji, world tai chi day, world tai chi day calm chicago, world tai chi day chicago, Yang tai chi, Yang Taiji
Amongst those are numerous pharmaceutical options, some of which are very good. But, many:
I wonder, are -
How often do we feel that we’ve got the information we need to make the most informed choices? How often do we allow ourselves to be influenced by fear or other negative persuaders, just because the one with the loudest voice wins? (How many drug company ads do you see/hear during a regular day?)
What if you could not only feel healthier, but truly be healthier
completely dispense with unpleasant and/or dangerous side effects?
Great, clear results from yet another study that shows meditation is good for the brain, helps you learn better and see reality more clearly. Plus, it’s a great stress buster. And no, you don’t have to sit like that!
Introduction to meditation, 8 week class starts in Feb. at Calm Chicago. call us to learn more and register.