Monday, January 28, 2008

A Favorite Meditation

Life in today's world is inherently stressful. We all have to balance complex responsibilities and squeeze far too many tasks into the time we have available to us. It is difficult to consistently take the time to center ourselves and restore our sense of balance and inner peace.

The following simple meditation is one that I have used for several years. It was provided during my interfaith ministerial training through One Spirit Interfaith Seminary in New York City.

It is very effective at calming me down, no matter what is happening in my life! I highly recommend it to you as a quick, effective way to find peace in the midst of your busy days. We operate out our best when we come from a place of groundedness. Sometimes where we come from internally is far more important than what we actually do in the outter world. One action taken in peace is a powerful thing!

Find whatever works for you. Staying balanced and centered is a gift we give to ourselves and to the world.

Guided Meditation:

When we become anxious or fearful, the first thing that happens is that our breath and heartbeat become irregular and our blood pressure rises… the following meditation, adapted from one of Vietnamese Buddhist master Thich Nhat Hanh’s practices, takes only a few minutes but brings the racing mind to a halt and slows the breath. I recommend that you try this whenever you need to return to your center.

Breathing in I know I am breathing in.
Breathing out I know I am breathing out.
In; Out (silence for five breaths as you watch the inhalations and exhalations)
Breathing in, my breath grows deep.
Breathing out, my breath grows slow.
Deep; slow. (five breaths as above)
Breathing in I feel calm.
Breathing out I feel relaxed.
Calm; relaxed. (five breaths as above)
Breathing in I’m aware of the present moment.
Breathing out I know it’s a perfect moment.
Present moment; perfect moment (five breaths as above).

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