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.
This episode introduces the quality of curiosity. When we are curious about a subject we become interested and want to know more. This idea can be a big help in our mediation.
Episode 15 see us returning to the original meditation instruction of watching the breath, and refining it. Looking at different ways to aid our focus and awareness.
In this episode we explore how qualities of mind like peace of mind and patience don’t come from changing the world around us, but from the new perspective that meditation can bring to our lives.
What is your relationship with silence? When we sit in meditation, we are sitting in silence with ourselves. This episode explores how we can manage our comfort or discomfort with silence.
Sometimes the meditation instruction can seem so simple but by sticking with it we can achieve our meditation goals.
This episode explores sitting with the uncomfortableness of thoughts that arise that we wish weren’t there.