MEDITATION FOR BEGINNERS – A MORNING WORKSHOP

Saturday 26th May 10 – 1 Ryhall Village Hall

Many people get frustrated with meditation or simply have no idea where to start. Meditation is meant to be enjoyable, relaxing and a powerful tool for our health. I have put together a morning of movement and stillness, noise and silence, laughter and peace so that I can pass on this hugely rewarding practice. No previous experience of yoga is necessary – just a mat and blanket.

So what exactly is meditation? Emptying your mind like emptying your kitchen bin??? Well it can have that effect – but in a more gentle manner – we are trying to sooth the mind and reduce the ‘background’ noise. Meditation gives our mind something to focus on, so it has an anchor to hold onto. Anchors may include saying a mantra, looking at an object, watching the breath or simple movements. An anchor also helps us be fully present and live in the moment – trying to stop thoughts of the past and future.

Holding onto these anchors helps quiet our minds and then we can get a glimpse of how the mind is working.  We can then get to see our worries, our obsessions and the busyness of the mind just like clouds floating in the sky. Potentially, we can choose to let these things go as we put some perspective onto the thoughts and see them as just that – thoughts.  In a sense we develop our own method of managing our thoughts. Instead of our thoughts controlling us we get some control over them!

Some people see meditation like sitting at the shore of the ocean of your mind and just watching the waves come and go. We’re not pushing our thoughts away, or judging them but simply watching these thoughts as we’d watch the waves while sitting on the beach. And whilst on the beach watching each wave there’s also a sense of connection to something bigger, something that helps you put some perspective onto the thoughts.

But what if I can’t sit still? Or simply don’t have 5 minutes a day to practice? Don’t worry, meditation is not supposed to be something that is added to your to-do list. Fidgetty people are actually the ones who can benefit the most from meditation, as it helps you to r-e-l-a-x. You can meditate walking or gently moving the body in different ways as well as the traditional statue-like state. That said, being still in the body does help to be still in the mind, but this will come with practice and patience.  There are many well respected studies that show how beneficial meditation is for stress reduction, productivity improvement and easing insomnia. You can read more about this here

On this MEDITATION FOR BEGINNERS workshop you will take a light hearted tour around the important aspects of meditation and explore several different methods. It is experiential (you will do things) as well as being a little theoretical, giving you some background information which will hopefully inspire and fire you up to make time for meditation in your life.

Please book your place in class or email me via the Contact Us page.

Be Yourself

be_yourself_by_dianae

The following inspiration comes from Eileen Caddy – in her book ‘Opening Doors Within (365 daily meditations)’

Be yourself, and do not try to be like anyone else. It takes all sorts to make a world. I do not want you all alike, like peas in a pod. I need you all different, each doing your specific job and playing your specific part, blending in perfectly with the whole. It does not mean that there need be any disharmony or discord because you are all different. There are many different musical instruments in a full orchestra, and each has its rightful place in the whole and blends in perfectly when working in harmony with the whole. It is when individual souls go off on their own tangents with no thought or consideration for the whole that discord and chaos are created. When your heart is in the right place and you are living and working together for the good of the whole, only the very best will come forth. Therefore cease struggling and let go. All you have to do is to be, and let everything unfold.

 

The brilliant image is by Dianae Diviantart 

Be Like A Christmas Tree…

christmas_tree_with snow

I saw this inspiring quote from Sri Sri Ravi Shankar and thought what a priceless sentiment it offers in amongst all the tinsel and expensive gifts –

“Each one of you is a special gift on the planet! You are the Christmas tree. The Christmas tree is pointing upwards and its branches grow on all sides, and we all have that capacity to blossom to the fullest of the human potential. At the time of year when no tree bears anything, the Christmas tree has many gifts to offer and it is evergreen throughout the year. A Christmas tree bears the gifts and the lights not for itself, but for all. The gifts you are carrying in your life are for others. You offer the gift of service to anyone in need and you will wonder how your needs are being taken care of!”

 

Good on yer Google…

Well I’m not usually a big fan of major corporations (tax dodging, corporate jargon, no sole) but I woke up this morning to an inspirational Google Doodle… have you seen it?

 

google doodle

What fun!

BKS Iyengar passed away last year at the ripe old age of 95. This was truly amazing since he suffered as a child from malaria, tuberculosis and typhoid.  Today would have been his 97th birthday – thanks to Google for spreading the word!

To see the animations click here

Many teachers are inspired by his books and quotations – to find out more about his life and style of yoga have a look here

iyengar quote

A Kiss of the divine…

melting choc heart

Tasting dark chocolate,

A ripe apricot,

A luscious elixir –

Savour the expanding joy in your body.

Nature is offering herself to you.

How astonishing

To realise this world can taste so good.

When sipping some ambrosia,

Raise your glass,

Close your eyes,

Toast the universe.

The Sun and Moon and Earth

Danced together

To bring you this delight.

Receive the nectar on your tongue

As a kiss of the divine.

Radiant Sutras – Verse 49

Sunlight and Shadow

 

 

 

square shadow

 

In yoga we seek to find balance… this is not a journey with a definitive goal because the world around us is in a state of constant flux. What is balanced for me now wont be balanced in a few moments time.  Indeed this was brought home wonderfully yesterday when I knocked my tea and splashed it all over my computer key board. Life is a sea of change and we have to learn to go with the flow and keep adjusting to things around us – getting in a big huffy state will not really serve any purpose. It will only raise your blood pressure and then cause you to make bad decisions.

I love the Tao Te Ching – a series of writings by Lao Tzu as a guide for rulers – it forms the basis of Taoism and is an endless source of inspiration especially when you spill tea on your computer and then it turns itself off. I smiled, ‘blended with the path’, left it on the radiator and came back to it in the morning. It still didn’t work so I looked up on google (something else I love!) what to do – something about putting the battery into a bag of rice!! How Chinese! Anyway I took the battery out and it was as dry as a bone so I blew on it for good luck and replaced it. Hey presto, it is now working and I was moved to write you this blog post. All is well with the world!

Here is the element of Tao Te Ching and drew from…

 

GO WITHIN

FOCUS YOUR SENSES

FACE CHALLENGES

BALANCE SUNLIGHT AND SHADOW

BLEND WITH THE PATH

THIS IS THE WAY OF THE TAO

Tao De Jing, verse 56

You can see another translation of this verse here