Archive for ‘meditation’

April 12, 2014

Mindfulness Meditation: An Infographic

by mandy lipka

One of my most influential yoga teachers shared this recently. I simply had to pass it on.

Mindfulness Infographic

Photo Credit: YogaInspiration.co

March 23, 2013

Mindful Earth Hour

by mandy lipka

Earth Hour - Costa Rica

Earth Hour is upon us again and I thought, what a perfect opportunity for a meditation practice! Join me at 8:30pm local time. Shut off the lights and sit for 60 minutes. Imagine the power that would create in the world if we did that once a month!

A few years ago, I had the electrifying chance to sit on a restaurant deck overlooking the entire city of San José, Costa Rica on March 23rd. As if the breathtaking sunset wasn’t enough, my best friend (who lived there at the time) and I watched as one by one, the city lights turned black. That hour was one I will never forget– this image of ticos captures that sentiment perfectly.

¡Salud!

March 13, 2013

Mindful Sip: Let Us Breathe

by mandy lipka

breathe

Word play is a wonderful thing. The Latin word spirare has given us not only “breathe,” but also the Latin word spiritus, which means both “breath” and “spirit.” A spiracle is a breathing hole used by dolphins and whales. So to inspire is to breathe in, and to expire is to breathe out. To transpire and to perspire are to breathe through, while to respire is to breathe again. To suspire (ever hear that one?) is to breathe from below, as in “to sigh.” To aspire is simply to breathe. Try connecting these ideas with the general idea of “spirit,” too; it’s an interesting thought experiment. Conspire, as you might imagine, is to breathe together. Let us breathe.

Phenomenal insights from a nameless meditation classmate. Definitely one to consider during practice.

December 18, 2012

Meditation in Portlandia

by mandy lipka

After last week, I’m sure we could all appreciate a little comedic relief. Portlandia is back! I find this one extra hilarious because I had a similar experience with a new yoga teacher this week. If I hadn’t been experiencing such savasana brain, I likely would’ve had the same reaction as Carrie when my goodbye didn’t get a response… (click for video)

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March 10, 2012

MBSR: Week 7

by mandy lipka

Though many of us were dying to share our experiences from the retreat, we opened with a silent sitting meditation. As you can imagine, several folks felt the moments of silence was torture, while others experienced peace and comfort. A dear friend of mine in class described his experience in the retreat and in class as being like a moat. The moat is filled with thoughts and he used the breath as a vehicle to go deeper and pass over the water. Others described their thoughts throughout the day as nats. For me, it was quite peaceful. But I must admit, other people’s restlessness kept me alert. I did feel empathy for them especially as my own foot started to fall asleep, but I breathed through it. Practicing Loving-Kindness meditations we learned on the retreat helped, too.

A reminded us that this is a life-long practice and that it doesn’t just end with next week’s class. It’s too easy to forget, but we must pick up and start again. She then guided us into a quick reflection on the retreat before we moved into pairs to discuss and practice “committed listening.”

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March 5, 2012

MBSR: All-Day Retreat

by mandy lipka

What an exciting day! Luckily, I found a spot near some familiar faces in a sea of about nearly 200 strangers.

The agenda was as follows:

  • Opening meditation (8-15 min)
  • Standing yoga
  • Full body scan
  • Walking meditation
  • Sitting meditation
  • Walking meditation
  • Image meditation (mountain)
  • Reflecting meditation (perfect biscuits)
  • Lunch (1 hr)
  • Walking meditation (more random/faster pace/ended with big clump in center of room)
  • Loving kindness meditation (To: you, benefactor, loved one, neutral person, difficult person, the room, all beings)
  • Attention to detail and big picture (hand to room to outside)
  • Peer-to-peer discussion
  • Group discussion
  • Silent meditation
  • Full circle – end with one word
March 3, 2012

Mindful Sip: Failure

by mandy lipka

In terms of meditation practices, failure is not an issue. There is no way to fail because you are not trying to get anywhere or feel anything in the first place. As long as you are willing to breathe and be in the state you are already in, you are practicing mindfulness. If you stay with it, you will no doubt notice that the mind changes, the body changes, everything changes. Meanwhile, you just sit, or do the body scan, or practice yoga. In time, both mindfulness and concentration deepen, and with this deepening comes more reliable access to relaxation, inner calmness, and sustained awareness. This can be accompanied by new insights concerning who you are and how you relate to the world.” / John Kabat-Zinn – Mind Body Medicine

February 20, 2012

MBSR: Week 4

by mandy lipka

We opened the class with a light standing stretch. It felt great after a vigorous yoga practice and a stressful day at work. Then we moved into a silent sitting meditation which lasted ~30 minutes. At first, I felt the immediate effects of drinking coffee shortly before class– it felt as though my heart would jump through my chest as my breathing intensified. During my meditation, I had this awful tickle in my throat and then had to sneeze. In preventing panic, I dreamt of grabbing my water bottle to relieve my throat but knew I’d disturb someone. In an effort not to “cheat,” I managed to breathe the tickle and sneeze away. Once I conquered that and felt like I was on top of the world, I realized that my thoughts started to jump and caused tension in my face. This was a first. I kept having to check-in and relax my face when A’s guidance triggered a thought (often about my current relationship). It felt very familiar to what my best friend and I call savasana brain after a wild yoga practice— that heavy, foggy mind.

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February 7, 2012

MBSR: Week 2

by mandy lipka

This week we completed a full body scan together. A recommended that as we continue our home practice, we experiment with different times, postures. Many students discussed sleepiness, a want for it to end and difficulty fitting the practice into their schedule, while others felt successful for having made the time. Another felt it was a lot like house cleaning.

Regardless of the reaction, A reminded us that a major part of mindfulness is the willingness to come back to the scan. All reactions are part of the process, whether they be feelings of agitation, racing thoughts or uncomfortable moments. John Kabat-Zinn often says, “You don’t have to like it, but you have to do it.”

This whole process A says is a way we come to understand our own wisdom. We need to trust ourselves to experiment whether the experience is pleasant, unpleasant or neutral. Visiting practitioner E mentioned we’re trying to find the balance between laziness or sleepiness to too much tension.

The mind thinks like the eyes see and the ears hear.

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