A TALE AND MEDITATION
The inner struggle of the duality within us is similar to the Cherokee story “A Tale of (the) Two Wolves”, which teaches us that each and every one of us has conflicting thoughts and emotions within. The story says that an old Cherokee man is teaching his grandson about the terrible fight of two wolves inside of him: the dark wolf (your shadow side) and the white wolf (your light.) One wolf is Evil, “he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego,” while the other wolf is Good, “he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith.” When asked by his grandson which wolf will win the old man responds: “The one you feed.” So which one do we “feed”? We actually need to feed both of them! We can’t ignore our shadow side, or sweep it under the carpet. If we do, it comes out with a vengeance when we least expect it or at inappropriate times.
Meditation is often misunderstood, which makes people shy away from it. It took myself a very long time to develop my own meditation practice because, for a long time, I felt like my mind was not a pleasant place to sit still with. As you will read in my bio below, I was severely depressed and the thought of sitting with my depressed self made me want to do anything but meditate. So I started a Yogasana (the physical practice of Yoga as we understand it today in our Western society) practice instead.
Our mind is just like the organ of the heart. We don’t ask our heart to stop beating, so why would we expect to ask our minds to stop thinking? Getting caught up with the thoughts and stories played out in our head is completely normal, it’s part of the human experience. In meditation, we notice when thoughts, images and sensations arise and observe as they, like bubbles rising to the surface, pop and disappear. Letting our thoughts come and go in such a way allows us to gain perspective and notice the patterns of the mind.
Do you keep thinking about something you can’t let go of in the past? Or are you worried about the unknown future? Very rarely is your mind in the present moment. And what is the present? It is where life happens: it’s a gift!
ABOUT THIS EXPERIENCE
This gift experience is to teach you how meditation can change your life, in so many ways. We will first complete a simple questionnaire that will allow me to plan and customize a meditation practice lesson that fits you best. Then, we will schedule a time to meet via ZOOM (free conference call download to either your computer or phone). Your session will be recorded and you will be sent a link to access this recording whenever you want.
Just like exercising a muscle to grow stronger, a daily meditation practice allows you to process your daily accumulated stress so it can move through you, rather than linger and harbor in the body which eventually expresses itself as discomfort or pain. And the benefits are countless! (see some in the section below)
There are many styles of meditation. Together, we will choose from these different modalities one that matches your goals and needs and that ultimately will work for you. Some examples are:
* Candle gazing. Focus attention on the flame of a candle.
* Repeating a mantra or sound.
* Guided Meditation.
* Focus on the breath. Pranayama practice to bring yourself into balance + move yourself into the rest + digest phase.
* Yoga Nidra / Yogic Sleep. For this practice you will lay down comfortably without falling asleep. You will be guided through each part of your body and be encouraged to actively relax each part.
* The 8 Limbs of Yoga philosophy, as classically laid out in the book called the The Yoga Sutras. In this option we will discuss the 8 Limbs and how they teach you to train your mind into a natural state of meditation.
* Chakra Contemplation. Guided Meditation to open, activate + balance the 7 major energy vortices that correlate with the endocrine system. Here you will find out how energetic blocks manifest in the emotional + physical bodies and will be given specific tools to remove these blocks.
BENEFITS OF MEDITATION
The ancient practice of meditation is a key tool to consistent mental peace and resiliency. Virtually every aspect of your life will benefit, including your relationship with yourself, your environment and others.
Scientifically proven benefits of a daily meditation practice:
* Calms your mind
* Releases stress and anxiety
* Helps you process your daily stress naturally
* Improves relationships
* Reduces social isolation
* Balances your emotions
* Generates more kindness for yourself and others; increases compassion
* Generates self-love and improves self-esteem
* Reduces prejudices
* No longer a slave to your thoughts and emotions
* Improves learning
* Increases memory
* Lengthens your attention span regardless of distractions
* Cultivates better decision making
* Uplifts the mind
* Access higher states of consciousness
* Activates your creativity
* Moves your Central Nervous System from the Sympathetic Nervous System (known as Fight or Flight) to the Parasympathetic Nervous System (Rest and Digest)
* Better sleep
* Increases immunity and health
* Improves breathing
* Reduces blood pressure
* Reduces risk of Alzheimer’s disease
* Reduces risk of heart disease and stroke
* Decreases inflammation disorders
* Rejuvenates your system. Better than taking a nap!
* Longer life span
* Increases mindfulness
* May help you release addictions
* Decreases unconscious impulses
* Reduces emotional eating
* May decrease depression
* May increase your resistance to pain