Elder’s Meditation of the Day – October 15
“All of us begin to rethink what is good about ourselves – put the past where it belongs – and get on with the possibilities of the present!”
–Howard Rainer, TAOS PUEBLO-CREEK
There is a saying, you move toward and become that which you think about. So the question for today is, what are you thinking about? Are you thinking bad things about yourself or are you thinking good things about yourself? Are you thinking about a worldly life? Are you thinking good things about people or are you gossiping about people? Are you focusing on past things or are you living in the future? We need to bring our thoughts into the NOW, right here.
Great Spirit, let me experience living in the present moment.
Witnessing Nature through Meditation
by Madisyn Taylor
When it becomes too cold to be outside with nature, bring her inside through your meditation.
When the weather gets colder it can be more difficult to get in touch with the marvel of nature as it exists around us. Finding innovative ways to really connect with nature brings us closer to the wonders that envelop our lives. One way to do this is to perform a meditation with our feathered friends, the bird kingdom.
Just by taking a few moments each day to watch the bird activity that goes on in our backyards through our windows can bring a sense of calm and well-being to our lives. Watching and being with the birds that we share our garden space with us allows us to experience greater feelings of relaxation and gratitude for the diversity that is always present around us. Simply watching, without judgment or expectations, heightens our awareness of the beauty of nature. If you watch the birds for a long enough period of time you will begin to feel a great sense of deep joy within you knowing we are all truly divine. Doing this with our family members will in turn introduce a meditative practice that can easily be shared and appreciated by all, as well as create deeper bonds with each other through the joy of experiencing the healing power of nature.
Looking through our windows and placing a feeder and bird bath in our gardens to attract the birds is a way to call forth beauty into our lives. As we consciously connect with our outer world—even when the weather inhibits us from physically being in it—we see that the splendor we view outside of our windows is simply a reflection of what lies within us.
Basic Breathing Meditation
Our minds are constantly active, always jumping from thought to thought, emotion to emotion. Getting in touch with the nonlocal intelligence, the universal soul that lies within us and is part of us all, requires finding a way past the fog of distracting thoughts that typically hide it from us. We cannot fight our way through a real fog.
If we are quiet, we encounter moments of pure silence, and through these gaps we can glimpse the deeper level of the soul. Each glimpse increases our understanding, and eventually our consciousness becomes expanded.
Controlling the flood of thoughts is very difficult for most people. Beginners can sometime become very frustrated, but frustration is just another thought, another emotion that gets in the way. The goal is to release all thoughts, quietly, passively.
A common way to begin meditation is to gently focus on one thing so that it becomes more difficult for stray thoughts to enter your mind.
To begin a breathing mediation, find a comfortable position. Sit in a comfortable chair, with your feet flat on the ground. Place your hands in your lap with the palms facing upward. Close your eyes and begin witnessing your breath. Observe the inflow and outflow of your breath without attempting to control it in any way.
You may find that your breathing spontaneously gets faster or slower, deeper or shallower, and may even pause for a time. Observe the changes without resistance or anticipation. Whenever your attention drifts away from your breath to a sound in the environment, or a sensation in your body, or a thought in your mind, gently return your awareness to your breathing.
Once a person becomes comfortable with simply sitting quietly and focusing on breathing, I recommend adding a mantra, which creates a mental environment that will allow you to expand your consciousness.
Adapted from The Spontaneous Fulfillment of Desire, by Deepak Chopra (Three Rivers Press).