Many people, often begin to plan their day once their head has cleared out from the bleariness of the previous night’s sleep and they’ve had a cup of coffee or tea. It may seem that after we calculate what needs to be done: get up, eat, shower, make sure not to forget any of the 20 things we may need for the day such as my cell phone, keys, food, reading glasses, etc, squeeze in a yoga class, walk or exercise, do our social media stint, go grocery shopping, stand in the bank line-ups, come home, cook dinner, clean a bit, push through any family issues that need to be addressed, try to connect with our beloved, talk to a friends, do the laundry, then voila, it’s time for bed. Oops, was I supposed to connect with the part of me that is Peace/Love/God and meditate? It’s too late now, I’m tired, gotta get up early tomorrow and start the chaos all over again!
It’s no wonder that there are times when the sound of windshield wipers drive us mad, or not being able to simply take the lid off a jar sparks and emotional response or why we want to rip the head off the crazy driver in front of us. If you have found yourself more and more impatient and frustrated with the little things in your daily routine. If you are suddenly snapping at your loved ones and you feel like you are on the edge of losing it, you may want to consider changing your routine and creating a little space for yourself to return to calm, peacefulness.
Even through our busyness we seem to find time for extended coffee breaks, pointless internet surfing, gossip, complaining to friends about having no time, watching TV, and just creating more unnecessary busyness and distractions that take us away from our oneness.
The path to inner peace is not simple or short. We cannot just wake up one day and decide we are going to have inner peace. It is a process, an inner journey that needs to be appreciated. It does however, start with the choice to have this thing called “Inner Peace.”
Like all new things and choices, we need to be ready to step outside the box we have allowed ourselves to be put in. How do we begin initiating change within ourselves? How do we start these so called transformations, paradigm shifts or evolutions of the mind, spirit and soul?
Believe it or not…taking time to meditate may actually give you more time, and space, in your busy life.
Start with the Breath, we sometimes find ourselves so busy that we are hardly breathing. We have become a society of shallow breathers. Here is an easy breathing exercise to start with that will only take you 10 minutes. Less time than it takes to drink a cup of coffee.
The 12 Breaths to Nirvana
Sit very still and be very quiet for 12 slow deep breaths.
1. Focus on each breath and count each exhalation. If you lose your stream of concentration anytime before reaching twelve then start over with one.
2. After you reach 12 breaths consciously, allow yourself to rest into the silent peaceful stillness.
3. Allow for whatever your experience is to rise and fall away and practice letting everything be exactly as it is.
Try a Mantra
The word AUM is used in deeper practices of meditation as a sound vibration and invocation to open higher consciousness. This technique is used by mystics to maximize its effect.
1. Breathe in with a slightly open mouth letting the “A” be formed by the sound of your inhaling breathe.
2. The first half of your exhalation breath forms the “U” sound with your mouth slightly open.
3. The second half of your exhalation should be done with your mouth closed, letting the breath that is passing through your nostrils form the “M” sound.
Breathing in this way at least 7 times will make your mind sensitive to higher consciousness.
Meditation is not just for those who can set aside hours a day or weeks each year for retreat. A short, powerful meditation can be incorporated into your busy life—to find relaxation, calm, and greater productivity. Remember, you can do this in the time it would normally take to drink a tea or coffee or make your lunch.
Here are some general guidelines to get you started.
1. Different postures affect how the energy flows through the body and how alert the mind is in meditation. For most meditations, we suggest sitting upright with the spine erect while still being comfortable. It is not necessary to get into a precise or difficult posture to meditate! If you are uncomfortable or straining to be in a certain position, you will not be able to relax completely.
2. Usually 10-20 minutes is a good meditation time, although if you are new to meditation, you may want to start with 5 minutes and build up from there.
3. Although you can meditate at any time, the ideal times are usually in the morning as a start to your day, or in the late afternoon in order to unwind from the activity of the day and be refreshed for the evening. Meditations which are deeply relaxing are best done on an empty stomach or at least a couple of hours after a meal.
4. A regular routine of meditation is invaluable. Generally speaking, once or twice a day is ideal. The benefits derived from meditation begins to carry over into our daily activities when we meditate regularly. Everything in life is about balance and proportion.
5. Creating your peaceful atmosphere. It isn’t required that you have any, yoga mats or cushions for meditation, you may simply sit on a dining chair or easy chair. Many people like to have the small running water fountains as the sound of running water is very soothing; lighting the room with a few candles is also an effective way of ‘setting the mood’ for your meditation time.
6. Now just begin to breathe mindfully. That means noticing your breath. It’s much like watching waves on water. Let it be how it wants to be. As you notice your breath now, it may be shallow, uneven or jerky. It’s OK however it is. You’re just observing it with attention and affection — every inhale and exhale. If your mind begins to wonder, go back to focusing on your breath.
If you simply cannot do these things on your own and you feel as though even 10 minutes is too much, begin with watching a youtube video and just following along with it.
Here are a few easy ones to begin with:
Guided 10 min Awareness of breathing meditation: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BZIBzKNsmzY
Worry Less in 10 Minutes – Guided Meditation: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jKtuBGYjG7U&feature=related
There are hundreds on youtube to choose from, you only need to choose one to begin!
These are just a few tips to get you going, the main thing is to commit to yourself that you are going to turn chaos into inner peace, and begin it, begin it NOW!
You likely have heard these wise words by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Germany’s “Shakespeare, so I would like to remind you of them again…
“Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back. Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favor all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamed would have come his way. Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. Begin it now.”
May Blessing of Inner Peace and Calm abound in your Life,
Rev. Carol Lefevre