I am a world class worrier. I’m pretty sure I should get a medal for my ability to agonize. A counselor once said to me, “My goodness, Monika, would the world stop spinning if you stopped worrying about it?!” This fact may come as a surprise to you, as I am a Yoga and Meditation teacher.
My mind likes to gnaw on an issue and come back to it, again and again, like a dog enjoying a good bone. I find myself coming back to the same issue, as soon as I wake up in the morning, all during the day (kind of like checking a sore to make sure it’s still there,) before I fall asleep at night (so my overactive mind can keep working on it while my body sleeps!) Sound familiar? This is not a recipe for peace, health, or happiness.
I’ve been teaching Loving Kindness Meditation in my classes this week, in honor of Valentine’s Day. We can all use a little more love in our lives. In the light of the tragedy which occurred on Valentine’s Day, I thought I would dedicate this blog to providing specific and detailed directions for the ancient practice of Loving Kindness (Metta) Meditation.
So here are the specific instructions:
Sit quietly, and become aware of your body, your heart, emotions, thoughts. Get comfortable and relax as much as you can: hands, feet, belly, shoulders, face…
Begin by saying the words of Loving Kindness to yourself. You can use the words below, or write your own. You may also just allow any words of kindnes...
So, I had a headache and decided to use Tapping on the headache - now the headache is gone. How many times have I endured or taken aspirin for a headache? Would Tapping have worked on those other headaches? Probably.
My problem is that I don’t remember. I teach others skills to help themselves – Yoga, Meditation, Tapping, Breathwork, others. I remind my clients constantly, “Don’t forget your skills! Remember, you have all of these skills!” and I forget.
During these times of extreme stress in our country and on our planet, we all need to remember our skills. The skills of pausing and breathing. Moving. Walking in nature. Hugging a kitten or a tree. Yoga. Meditation, Breathing, all of it.
I recently celebrated my 60th birthday. Well, celebrated may be the wrong description, as this birthday came around with much emotional anguish. I, who teach people to “live in the present moment,” not anticipating the future or regretting the past, have spent the better part of this month wallowing in the fact that I would now be 60 years old.
All of the usual suspects were present. I was reliving lost opportunities and second, third and fourth guessing momentous decisions from the past. Most of all, I was projecting every bit of this miasma into a future of ever more of the same, perpetuating into eternity.
Then one of my longstanding and most loyal clients gave me a beautiful birthday...
Loving Kindness Meditation is an immensely powerful practice. This affirmative, nurturing meditation has been around for thousands of years and is easy to do. People have changed their lives through practicing Loving Kindness. Anecdotal benefits include experiencing more joy, ease, peace and well being in one’s life. Scientific studies also demonstrate decreased levels inflammation in the bodies of individuals who practice Loving Kindness Meditation.
The traditional phrases are:
May I be happy.
May I be well.
May I be safe.
May I be peaceful and at ease.
In the traditional practice of Loving Kindness, one begins by extending Loving Kindness to oneself. The next practice is to explore sending the phrases of Loving Kindness to someone y...
Just back from 16 experiential, sometimes excruciating, days at Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health, where I graduated from an Advanced Professional 500 Hour Yoga Teacher Training. I’ve been teaching yoga for over ten years and, during that time, I’ve also attended and hosted countless workshops, trainings, and retreats.
So I decided it was time to complete this extensive certification. The entire training was intense: physically, mentally and emotionally. I go to Kripalu to learn, study, and grow. Each and every time I’m at Kripalu, I experience, integrate and absorb an immeasurable amount of hugely valuable information and knowledge.
Kripalu is not only a Center for Learning, but also a Center for Transformation...
So, the question is, are our lives predetermined? Sometimes it seems that way. Sometimes it seems we have no control over events – that we are helpless bystanders.
Other times we can feel immensely powerful and as if we absolutely have the power to shape our own lives in the most productive, joy-filled way possible.
I think the truth lies somewhere between the two extremes. I think we do have free will. I think there are lessons we need to go through, but they can be presented in a number of different ways. I absolutely think that everyone comes into our lives for a reason.
Things change quickly sometimes. By some small measures.
We turn left instead of right and something happens. Whether it’s meeting someone new or something bad...