This month’s newsletter concludes the two-part article on meditation. Last month, we introduced the different types and basic concepts of meditation and how it relates to wellness. I’m happy to have guest columnist, John Son, a truly talented meditation and yoga instructor, to tell you more about meditation. Enjoy!
When I tell people I have a daily meditation practice, they usually do the awkward dance, shifting their weight from one foot to the other while rolling their eyes around as if they’re in danger and need to escape. They start making excuses, “I could never find the time;” “I could never sit still for that long;” “I’ve got kids.” But chances are, at one time, they said the same things about whatever physical exercise they’re into at the moment. Once they realized the benefits, excuses gave way to priority.
To non-practitioners, the definition of “meditation” is something along the lines of “unknown,” “weird,” or “nothingness”-all vague and threatening. Truth is, meditation is something we do every day.
Meditation is nothing more than watching ourselves, our thoughts, our feelings, our behaviors. It’s how we evolve. If we do it well, we call it mindfulness. If we do it poorly, we call it neuroticism. Most of the time we’re somewhere in between, totally distracted.
Being aware is as much a muscle as any other in our body, and like any muscle, it needs exercise and training. That’s where meditation comes in. The first step in any exercise is going there, whether it’s a gym, a yoga studio, or the outdoors. In meditation, your gym is a comfortable seat. You can be in a half-
lotus seat (cross-legged with one foot resting on top of your opposite thigh), on a meditation stool, or sitting in a chair. Whichever you choose, make sure your spine is tall, not slouched.
The important thing is to go to your seat every day. All you need is ten minutes to start out. Try it for one week, in the morning after you shower or brush your teeth. Sit down and watch your breath move in and out for a minimum of five breaths. Then observe your thoughts as they arise, take note of them, and let them go. That’s it. Do this for a week and you’ll find there’s more space in your life than you might have thought. Respect the small benefits you’ll experience your life: an uptick in patience, more balance, physically and emotionally. Add another minute to your practice the following week, and so on.
From there, like any physical exercise, there are a variety of meditation techniques to choose from. We learn these techniques from teachers who guide us into developing our own practice. So it’s important to find a teacher we connect with. Gradually, the cluttered state of our mind will transform into a clean,organized, elegant space-where we can live gracefully, beautifully, happily.
BodyWork Therapy Spotlight
There are a million modalities, or types of bodywork therapy. This month, the spotlight is on Craniosacral therapy. One hundred years ago, Dr. William Sutherland discovered something phenomenal about the sutures found between sections of cranial bones: the sutures that connect and form the human skull were designed for constant, subtle motion. He took to studying and proving his theory that the motion is caused by a network of tissues and fluids at the body’s core. Cerebrospinal fluid, the centeral nervous system and its associated membranes surrounding the spine all the way to the sacrum make up this network. Unbelievably, one can develop a sensitivity to its rhythms through palpation or touch. Linked to the “Breath of Life” or life force, these rhythms make up its own integrated physiological system. Just like energy or chi can be “stuck” in Chinese medicine, the “Breath of Life” can be out of rhythm. Sutherland continued to develop what is now calledBiodynamic Craniosacral Therapy, in an effort to provide a blueprint for health, based on a balance in embryoligical to adult form and function.
To learn more, visit The Biodynamic Craniosacral Association of North America or The Upledger Institute.
Thank You For Reading!
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