Taking care of the foundations of our meditation helps to build a solid base for developing our practice. With reaching the 40th episode I review some of the ideas that I covered in the early episodes and that underpin our meditation practice.
Sitting with difficult emotions or pain from, for example, a headache can be challenge. However, it is a challenge that is eased by the motivation, the reason that you enter into the meditation.
After a break in the podcast which has seen me moving house, I return to a subject that I visit from time to time because I believe that it is important. It’s that of keeping the continuity of one’s practice going, regardless of what is happening in your life.
This episode revisits the subject of goals in our meditation, diving deeper into the subject. I discuss how goals can not only be helpful in giving us direction, but also a hindrance if we bring the wrong expectations with those goals.
Lying on a doctor’s examination table, waiting for what seemed like an age for the nurse practitioner, made me (eventually) catch my mind as it busied itself with the day ahead. Meditation helped to focus, quieten and touch into the nature of the mind beyond the chatter.
Adding another tool to our meditation belt, I introduce Analytical Meditation in this podcast. Paired with the focus that we are developing by watching the breath, it further helps us grow our mind.
In this episode we delve deeper into the practice of visualization, exploring how it is more than about “seeing.” The podcast also includes a guided visualization meditation.
The opposite of a sleepy mind that we discussed a couple of episodes back is an excited mind that just won’t settle down. This episode looks at ways to quieten and tame a busy, buzzy mind.
After an unplanned break in the podcast of a little over 2 weeks, in this episode I discuss the importance of retreat. The importance of taking time for yourself, whether that be your regular meditation practice, an afternoon off, a weekend, or longer.
This episode starts with a recap of the techniques for managing sleepiness when we meditate, and then expands further on the technique of visualization that was introduced in Episode 30.
Sleepiness can be an obstacle to our meditation that can manifest as a clear tendency to fall asleep or just a general dullness in our focus & awareness. How we might deal with this is the subject of this podcast.
The commitment to ourselves that I spoke to in the last episode is a foundation for getting to know our mind and how it works, and through practice strengthening our ability to sit and be with ourselves.
Each time that we sit to meditate we are making a commitment to ourselves. We are showing up for ourselves regardless of arises in the mind, and we choose to meet what arises with compassion and impartiality - This is not an easy thing to do. Indeed it might be one of the hardest things that we ever do.
With the launch of an accompanying Facebook Group for this podcast, this episode reviews some of the ground that has been covered so far, reviewing the meditation space, posture and instruction.
Following on from the last episode, I take the exploration of emotion further, discussing how meditation can help us embrace those emotions that overwhelm or maybe even scare us.
As I and many old friends gather at the meditation center where I use to live, and where this podcast is recorded, to be close to my teacher who is unwell, I reflect on what meditation and quiet reflection can bring to our experience of emotion.
Watching the mind we see how it is constantly changing, like a flowing river or the clouds blowing across the sky. This episode looks at how that insight can help us deal with the change in our external lives.
There are times when the busyness of a day can feel as though it is getting the better of us. We chase after results and loose touch with ourselves. While respecting the value of goal, we can remain present, confident that a steadily working at something will bring results.
With reflections from a busy weekend, Episode 22 explores how we can still maintain that continuity of practice when quiet time is difficult, and the part that our formal practice plays in laying the foundation for those busy times.
Further explorations of what helps us when our practice feels challenged - The role of community in helping us build our meditation practice, as well as speaking to how steady cultivation of the mind will lead to benefits in the long term.
When we experience aches, pains, itches during meditation, what do we do? Stop, try and continue, or make the discomfort the object of meditation?
Waking up to a migraine this morning made me decide to focus this episode on looking at how meditation can help us manage our pain. This episode explores two methods.
If we stick with meditation for long enough we will hit challenges to our practice, both external and internal. There are many places that we can turn for help and support, this episode defines and explores the role of faith in that support.
In this podcast we explore taking the curiosity that we spoke about last time out into our daily life. Also how meditation allows us to replay events from our lives so that we might gain greater familiarity with what we are challenged with.