Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Alternate Nostril Breath (40 Day Meditation Challenge Day # 17)

Cowles Mountain
Image by Tania Franco

For today's meditation I chose a relaxation technique called Alternate Nostril Breathing. I dedicated 5 minutes to this exercise. I usually see it as a way to feel like you would after a great massage.

Alternate Nostril Breathing:

  • I took a few deep breaths.

  • Then I closed my left  nostril, breathing deeply through my right nostril.  (I use my middle finger, index and thumb to help close my nostrils. I use the middle and index finger for my left nostril and my thumb for my right nostril)

  • I closed my right nostril and exhaled through my left nostril, then inhaled through my left nostril.

  • I closed my left nostril and exhaled through my right nostril then I inhaled through my right nostril. And continued this way for about 5 minutes.
As I begin my meditation I notice that at first I feel anxious and after a few deep breaths I am able to settle down and go inward.

I noticed I could take fuller breaths through my right nostril than my left nostril. I once read that we don't breathe equally through each nostril, that we can breathe 70% of our air from one and only 30% from the other. That's why this breath exercise can be helpful to balance our breathing.

I inhaled counting from 1-8 then exhaled counting from 1-8 throughout the meditation. Even though I could take long breaths, I felt my breath was fuller when doing so on my right nostril.

I was able to relax and even began to yawn at the end of the meditation. Breathing exercises are great because they can be practiced almost anywhere, especially in high anxiety causing moments.

Tania Franco

Body Scan Meditation (40 Day Meditation Challenge Day #16)

Take a deep breath today.
Image by Tania Franco

I chose a simple and effective relaxation technique for this meditation. I dedicated 15 minutes to practicing a body scan.

A body scan is a way to relax your whole body by bringing awareness to your body parts. I usually begin at the feet and slowly work up to my head. I try to notice differences and similarities in the sensations. For example, if there's more weight on one side than the other, if a certain part feels lighter than another, etc. I also try to sense if something feels full or empty, light or heavy. Breathing deeply throughout the meditation.

I would focus on a body part and then drift off, return to the body scan and shift between sensing and drifting off.

I felt a comfortable heaviness at the end, one attributed to relaxation.

This can be practiced at the beginning of the day in order to start the day off in a good mood, at the end of the day in order to have deeper sleep or throughout the day. I dedicated 15 minutes, you can dedicate 5 minutes or 30 minutes.

This is another way to meditate. One of my favorite books that come with a CD is "Total Relaxation" by John P. Harvey. I highly recommend it. It includes 4 different relaxation techniques, one being a body scan.

Tania Franco

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Meditation Isn't Perfect: Letting go of the Ideal Scenario (40 Day Meditation Challenge Day #15)

Mandala by Tania Franco

I relaxed and enjoyed making a mandala so much a few days ago that I decided to practice another mandala meditation. 
This time using a pre-designed mandala from a mandala coloring book.

I have adult and children mandala coloring books at home. As a mother, I find it to be a great way to introduce a child to the concept of meditation. 

Mandala means circle in Sanskrit. It is a spiritual and ritual symbol that represents the universe. Creating, coloring or observing a mandala is an ancient way of meditating.

I spent 20 minutes meditating. The phone rang, my son awoke and went back to sleep ( nap time), I moved from the dining room to my room. It wasn't an ideal setting. But isn't life that way? I love silence and enjoy having things unfold exactly as I plan them yet it is important to be able to relax through change, through awkward situations. 

What did I do? I breathed and let it go. Breathed again and let the next thing go. I sound super easy going but in reality this "simple" act of letting go, which isn't as simple, occurred due to practicing meditation for the last 15 years. Here is where I see the fruit of my labor.

Years ago all these little nuances would have ruined my experience. All those years of sitting and doing nothing, I was achieving so much.

I must say that motherhood has taught me to let go of the ideal scenario. I have learned to practice yoga with Caillou as my background music ( children's educational cartoon), do sun salutations having a child swinging/jumping/tickling me, and meditated the other night with my son staring at me (he was able to be very quiet).

So in reality, it was about 30 minutes or more since the moment I began to meditate and finished coloring my mandala.

I didn't feel as relaxed as I do after other meditations but I must say I did sense my body a bit more relaxed than when I started. And to be honest, got more out of this experience because I chose to recommit so many times through the practice.

Let go of the ideal scenario. Meditation isn't perfect. Many times imperfection can be the best teacher. 

Tania Franco

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Singing Meditation (40 Day Meditation Challenge Day #14)

Image by Tania Franco

I think this has been the most fun meditation I have done since beginning the 40 Day Meditation Challenge. Actually, this and the recent mandala meditation are a tie.

I dedicated about 3 minutes to singing my heart out, breathing deeply and checking the outcome of my stress and relaxation levels on biofeedback. The Cranberries song "Linger" began. I LOVE  this song. I sang as loud as I could, I know the lyrics by heart, and breathed deeply in between my belting it out. 

I was able to prove that singing really relaxes me. I have toned (chanted), sung religious songs but I had not considered singing modern music as a way to meditate.

I noticed deep breathing and savoring the moment are key  in increasing my relaxation levels.

Identify what practices put you in a state of pure joy. They can be ways to meditate. Just add deep breathing and your set. Meditation can be fun and light.

Tania Franco

Monday, October 21, 2013

Savoring Music (40 Day Meditation Challenge Day #13)

My Heart Shaped Rock Collection
Image by Tania Franco

I meditated to Van Morrison's song "Crazy Love". I am a big fan of Van Morrison. I decided to sit for 3 minutes and enjoy the song fully while breathing deeply. The twist was that I meditated while reading my stress and relaxation levels through biofeedback. Biofeedback is a way to physiologically read stress and relaxation levels through various sensors and computer software.

I was surprised to realize that I was completely relaxed by just savoring the music. I knew that Sound Meditation where various instruments are played can really relax me but not that hearing a contemporary song and breathing would be that effective.

The feeling in my body was of pure cherishing and it felt wonderful. I even thought that I would like to create a yoga class where I only play Van Morrison songs and that made me really excited about the possibility of creating so many new ways of sharing wellness with others and with myself.

Hearing your favorite music while consciously practicing diaphragmatic breathing is another way to meditate. I will definitely be repeating this form of meditation.

Tania Franco

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Special Place (40 Day Meditation Challenge Day #12)

Image by Tania Franco

Today I practiced a guided imagery meditation that centers on  being at your Special Place. I dedicated approximately 7 minutes to imagining myself somewhere where I feel at peace, calm and safe. I have  a special place that I usually go to in my mind when I practice this meditation. I went there in my early twenty's and had a moment where I felt completely whole and at peace. I imagined myself there.

 Many people refer to imagery as visualization but imagery is much more effective, you engage your 5 senses trying to create a complete experience. Our mind cannot tell the difference between reality and what we imagine. When we think of past events, our mind believes we are re-experiencing it and that is why research has found that discussing a traumatic event over and over again can actually re-traumatize a person. Imagery can be used for creating wellness and relaxation.

While meditating I practiced diaphragmatic breathing, as I have mentioned before and cannot stop repeating that it is the most effective technique for reducing physiological stress. If you could only learn one stress management technique I would recommend it be deep breathing. And to practice, practice, practice.

When I imagine my special place, I try to make it as vivid as possible, noticing different colors, and using my 5 senses. Even subtle scents or sounds are enough to make it into a realistic experience.

I have various special places, so it's ok if you have one or if you have a few. Just pick one when you practice this meditation. A special place can be somewhere where you have been to, a place you have seen in images or a place you imagined. The most important thing is that you feel comfortable, safe and at peace here.

This is another way of meditating that I truly enjoy. Give it a try and see what you experience.

Tania Franco

Mandala Meditation: Coloring Meditation (40 Day Meditation Challenge Day #11)

Mandala Meditation by Tania Franco

Today I practiced a mandala meditation. There are many ways to meditate using a mandala: 1. Coloring a pre-designed mandala 2. Making your own mandala 3. Staring at a already finished mandala.

A mandala represents wholeness, the all, etc. it is an ancient way of meditating.

I like coloring pre-designed ones or making my own. I set the intention to meditate 7 minutes, I ended up meditating 23 minutes. I did not feel the time pass.

I like to play soothing music and I always practice deep breathing (diaphragmatic breathing) when meditating.

I enjoyed using various colors and allowing whatever I wanted to draw to come up. It was centering and kept me engaged throughout. I find that drawing, painting, singing, dancing can really help me be much more present to the moment and have less thoughts than usual. Key word being "less".

I painted a few years and always felt a sense of relief. It's a way to channel anxiety, stress, anger and sadness for me. Enough so that I seriously considered studying a master's in art therapy. Art can truly be healing and the thing is to enjoy the experience not so much the outcome. Is it my prettiest drawing? No, not really, but man did I enjoy making it!

This is another way to meditate. Find what works for you. Remember that meditation is about allowing, releasing, being more comfortable with change. That's all. 

Tania Franco

Friday, October 18, 2013

Loving Kindness Meditation (40 Day Meditation Challenge Day #10)

Art outside of Crest Café in Hillcrest
Photo by Tania Franco

Today I dedicated approximately 10 minutes to the Metta Bhavana, a Loving-Kindness Meditation. I read a quote the other day from Stephen Levine that said something to the like of "at first you cultivate loving-kindness and in the end it cultivates you". In the next part of my life, I want to grow in Loving-Kindness.

The Metta Bhavana cultivates this sense of love and kindness within. It is traditionally practiced where you focus on 4 different people: someone easy to love, someone difficult to love, a stranger and yourself. I was taught this meditation focusing on 3 people, leaving out the stranger.

I usually dedicate 5 minutes to each person and send them kind thoughts and wishes. Today I spent about 3 minutes on each.

When I focused on the person I find easy to love my chest felt light and open. Every time I practice this meditation I notice different things. It is never the same.

When I focused on the person difficult to love I realized that I usually expect to be much more tense than I really am. I thought "I am going to have like 3 knots in my stomach" and only ended up having a little tightness in my abdomen.

When I thought of myself, I felt almost as light and open as when I thought of the person I find easy to love. This has taken lots of work and practicing this meditation for at least 8 years. When I initially thought of myself I felt tense, uncomfortable and much more like I felt when thinking of the difficult to love person.

I encourage people to connect with their bodies and the sensations that occur when thinking of each person. There is so much wisdom in the felt sense and it can let you know more about what is occurring within.

At the end of the meditation you imagine yourself and the other two people and feel a softening occurring between you, a loving-kindness that grows and you share this with the world.

I am glad I dedicated such a short amount of time to something that sets the mood for the rest of my day.

Tania Franco

Thursday, October 17, 2013

5 Minute Meditation (40 Day Meditation Challenge Day #9)

Trees in Balboa Park
Photo by Tania Franco

There are times when I really want to meditate and there are times when I'd rather do anything else. It's strange, even though I know all the good I get from it I sometimes don't feel like doing so. Today was one of those days.

There are times when I don't know what I will find within and kind of don't want to know. Lately with the different yoga teacher training classes and all the extra yoga practice I have been doing a lot of emotional processing and getting clarity on some issues. I feel grateful for that but it can be tiring.

Today when I began to meditate I really just wanted a smooth, tranquil, "aha" free meditation. And that's what I got.

I sat for 5 minutes and set the mood by shutting the blinds and played relaxing music. Literally, the Pandora station is called "relaxation". I dedicated the time to breathing deeply just thinking breathe in and breathe out. I felt good, not as relaxed as other times but definitely more at ease.

I tend to get distracted easily so I try to work with this knowledge to ensure that I am able to stay focused. I imagine colors, words written out, backgrounds, you name it. This helps me stay engaged.

Since I have been meditating more constantly and practicing yoga much more than usual, which I consider to be a movement meditation, my starting point is much more relaxed than before. I am beginning my practice already feeling relaxed. In fact I notice that I feel more patient and more go with the flow in my day to day.

So even though I didn't want to meditate initially, I am really glad I did since I am noticing small changes in my behavior and overall mood.

Tania Franco

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Wonder Meditation: Inspired by my Son (40 Day Meditation Challenge Day #8)

The Little Rainbow
Photo by Tania Franco

Today I was walking with my 4 year old son and he saw the image above and yelled with twice as much enthusiasm as I could ever muster: " Oh my God! A little rainbow! I can't believe it!" Every moment is filled with so much wonder. He constantly teaches me to savor the moment.

I decided to do a Wonder Meditation. Wonder: a feeling of awe or admiration; marvel. I brought to mind a moment when I felt full of wonder, identified how wonder feels in my body and then tried to fill my body within and around with the sensation.

I began to do this meditation in the middle of the day in Viparita Karani (Elevated Legs Up the Wall) which is basically laying on the ground with your legs up resting on the wall. This was a bit too relaxing and I ended up taking a 15 minute nap. Either a leg cramp or snore woke me.

Later in the evening I tried to meditate once again hoping to stay awake. I did. I stayed awake and meditated for 10 minutes.

I was able to remember a moment when I felt full of wonder. In my early twenty's I traveled to Yucatan, Mexico. One of the sites I visited, a cenote, had us travel in a rustic cart pulled by a donkey through lush vegetation. As we were riding we came upon butterflies that were camouflaged in the surrounding plants, as we passed they started flying around us and suddenly we were accompanied by hundreds if not thousands of yellow butterflies. It was breathtaking.

I brought to mind that experience and identified the sensation in my body. I felt it in my chest and torso. It felt as if there was a warm energy that was flowing through and around me. Curiously I felt relaxed in my chest and legs. My jaw was tense, though. I tried sending the sensation of wonder that was radiating in my heart throughout my body but was unable to do so.

I accepted that part of my body felt full of wonder and another part did not. I then imagined a light switch and saw a hand turning it on. I thought: "wonder, on". I decided to light my sense of wonder from now on.

Tania Franco

Monday, October 14, 2013

Easy Mantra Meditation: "I Am" (40 Day Meditation Challenge Day #7)

View in Ventura
Photo by Tania Franco

I was going to practice a sophisticated meditation so I could blog about it but in reality I wanted something  simple. I chose a mantra that always makes me feel good: "I am".

I really like "I am". There are no expectations, a lack of past and future just the now. That's why I find it so relaxing, it centers me in the present moment.

I had moments where I found myself thinking of really random things.I was thinking about a movie about soldiers in battle that doesn't even exist. I don't even like war movies. So I laughed it off and returned to my mantra and breath.

I also had moments where I was so relaxed, I was floating in space. I reminded myself to come back, it's a state right before going to sleep which in the evening could totally take me into deep sleep.

It was a 10 minute meditation that was soothing and mentally quieting.

We have approximately 60,000 thoughts a day, it is completely normal to have thoughts during meditation. The important task is to come back to what we chose to focus on over and over again. Noticing our thoughts and releasing them while practicing being kind to ourselves.

Tania Franco

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Sending Love Meditation: Part of the Metta Bhavana (40 Day Meditation Challenge Day #6)

1st oil painting I ever made Circa 1998
Painting by Tania Franco
My intention has been to practice the Metta Bhavana, a Loving-Kindness meditation so I can share with you this way of meditating but somehow I only stayed at the beginning. As I was meditating I realized that I didn't want to do the whole meditation just the first part.

In the first part of the Metta Bhavana, an ancient way of meditating, you focus on a person you find easy to love. Someone that when you think of them you feel light, relaxed and happy. It felt so good to be here that I decided this could be my whole meditation. When you focus on the person easy to love you think of good times that you have shared together, qualities you value in them and the good wishes you have for them now and in the future.

I thought of my son. There is a particular type of love that I have been introduced to since having him. It is a different type of love compared to what I feel for others. There is a profound tenderness that I recognize in me when I think of him.

My body feels at ease and melts into the chair I sit in while I breathe deeply and allow this sensation to grow. Meditation is much about allowing and letting go.

When we think of someone we love we fill ourselves with a loving energy that puts us in a healing state for mind, body and spirit wellness. I wanted to be filled with this energy. We can know the subtle shifts in our body that let us know what is occurring within. When I teach the Metta Bhavana, my purpose is to have my clients realize how our body sensations shift from thinking of one person to another. Just saying certain words aloud, our body responds differently. Say out loud the following words: Hate, Anger, Rape, War, Disease and notice what you feel in your body. Now say: Love, Peace, Gratitude, Happiness and notice what happens in your body.

Biofeedback is a way of learning to identify how stress and relaxation feels in your body through sensors that read different physiological responses through sensors that read heart rate, skin conductance, muscle tone, body heat. The thing is that our body can be used as our personal biofeedback machine. How does my body feel when I am with this person? How does it feel when I am with this other person? When I talk about this topic or that topic? Notice these subtle shifts and use this knowledge to your advantage.

I spent about 7 minutes in this meditation yet I felt completely different. I was filled with a loving sensation, I felt open and radiant. I will revisit the Metta Bhavana and share my full experience with it in a future post and how you can add this to your own wellness toolbox.

Tania Franco

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Easy Meditaiton: Counting Your Breaths (40 Day Meditation Challenge Day #5)

Mandala Colored by Tania Franco

Today I chose a simple counting meditation. As I breathed in and out I counted. I would get up into the 30's and begin to count again. How this technique is usually recommended is that you count and when you get distracted you begin your count all over again. I do not do it this way. I have found that making meditation less stressful actually helps people relax much more. So anything that implies a lacking or inability to do something right is usually counterproductive.

I set the intention to meditate between 5-7 minutes. I was pleasantly surprised to have meditated 13 minutes.

When I begin to meditate I usually notice that tension arises and after a few deep breaths my shoulders loosen and my breath deepens. I place my tongue on the roof of my mouth. It helps release tension in the jaw which is where most people hold it. I sit in half lotus pose because it is comfortable in my body and I place my hands on my knees palms facing upward.

I had a full day filled with learning, new activities and socializing so my mind was less active than usual, I was able to have many more moments of silence . I think it is best to practice yoga, go for a walk, exercise or practice Energy Medicine exercises before meditating. It sets you up for greater peace and relaxation.

I did have fleeting thoughts but they were uneventful. My body enjoyed sitting in silence. Silence feels like a luxury since becoming a mom so I tend to savor it when I can. I did notice that when I feel good I like to move my face towards the sky and imagine the sun shining on it. This imagery supports me in feeling happier and grateful for the present moment.

This is another way to meditate. What's important is to find what works for you and to practice that.

Tania Franco

Friday, October 11, 2013

Meditating in the Car: "Let it go" Mantra (40 Day Meditation Challenge Day #4)

Picnic at Pioneer Park
Image by Tania Franco
Today I went to yoga and my teacher handed out a card with a thought to each person like an oracle. Mine read "let go". I thought that could be my mantra for today's meditation.

I was en route to the gym when my 4 year old son fell asleep. The practical part of me thought: "Great, I'll meditate in the car while he naps!" Yes, I can meditate most places. My mom likes to boast that I could sit in the same spot for hours when I was a child. So this is an ability I was born with. Now I should add that I have learned through years of practice to enjoy sitting down to meditate.

I parked the car and began to breathe. Suddenly I felt cold so I rolled the windows up, then I felt hot so I unzipped my sweatshirt and rolled the windows down. Continued to breathe and became very aware of the sounds around me. As I breathed deeply I was able to go within.
I began to think of my mantra "I am trying to let go" and then my body began to let me know that it was not true. I have worked many years with biofeedback, which is a way to physiologically detect stress in the body through various sensors. I have studied how many emotions feel in my own body and I can also tell when I am being honest and when I am not. Most of the time.

Part of my work is teaching others to learn to detect these subtle messages in their own body and honor them. I believe that everyone can learn to have this deeper communion with themselves with guidance and practice. 

After feeling how my body tensed with the prior mantra, I realized that I am not trying to let go. I can only begin to relax if I am being honest. So I worked on my mantra and thought "I am ready to let go". That was better but not it and then I thought "It's ok if I let go". That was it! It was true.

All of this happened in about the first 5 minutes. Then I was able to relax and ended up meditating almost 20 minutes.

Once we learn to meditate regularly in the comfort of a sacred space, ideally we can do so anywhere.

When a woman parked next to me I hoped she didn't think I was drunk since I was with my eyes closed..But I just had to let it go and continue meditating. Hmm... How relevant to my mantra!

Tania Franco :)

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Focusing Meditation: Finding Wisdom Within (40 Day Meditation Challenge Day#3)

Practicing Focusing in Baja
Photo by Edgar A. Morales
I was browsing Facebook and saw a picture of my mom's friends' son. He was surfing. The thing is this young man is paraplegic. He was in an automobile accident 10 or so years ago that left him without the ability to move from the neck down. And this has not stopped him from living a full life.

He just finished his Bachelor's and will begin to study his Master's in Psychology, he drives, he gives talks to people who have had accidents. When I saw his picture I became so moved that I began to cry. I was going to stop myself but saw it as a perfect moment to practice focusing.

I have mentioned in previous posts that focusing is one of my favorite ways to practice inner work. It's a very creative way of coming in contact with a deep inner wisdom. Eugene Gendlin, a renowned psychologist, studied some of his clients trying to identify why in some cases psychotherapy was effective while in others it wasn't. He found that the clients who were able to benefit greatly from psychotherapy were people who were able to connect with a felt-sense that was difficult to put into words, but had the key to resolving the issue.

Instead of stopping my crying in its tracks. I decided to sit with it and practice a focusing meditation. I connected with this feeling and began to sob. My body trembled. My throat tightened, and I sensed the color grey in that area. I reminded myself to breathe deeply throughout my practice. My breath is my guide as it allows me to connect with myself and move through the uncomfortable moments. I was feeling a mixture between awe and fear of life. I don't know how to explain it. I can imagine a scene from a movie where the young hero sees a luminescent light and is so moved by the sacredness of it that he must kneel before it.
After a moment, I calmed down while tears continued to roll down my cheeks. I felt the tightness in my throat ease, and the color grey turned a deep purple. It was a comfortable sensation. I asked this part of my body for a message and what came to me was: "Remember this".

I interpreted it as remember how much in awe you are of the spirit of life, of the sacred being expressed through this man's passion for life. I was able to release the emotion fully, which otherwise would have stifled. I was also able to understand more fully the impact of this moment within me. The whole experience lasted about 10 minutes, but the sobbing only lasted for 1 minute at the most. 

I mentioned a fear of life. I guess I felt embarrassed that I sometimes feel afraid of living fully and here's someone who in spite of the challenges he has faced, he chooses to say "yes" to life and its fullness.

May we all choose to engage fully in life.
Tania Franco

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Learning to Share (40 Day Meditation Challenge Day #2)

Wisdom on the street in OB
Photo by Tania Franco
Today I picked a mantra that applies to my life, "Today I share myself". As I sat and thought this my body became tense. I felt tightness in my shoulders and upper back and a rigidness in my jaw. It took many breaths to ease the tension.

I shifted my mantra to "sharing" that felt much more welcoming. I noticed greater ease within myself as I breathed deeply and thought "sharing". Finally I ended feeling at peace with the mantra "we are all sharing".

When I was studying Psychology I had a Psychodynamic (psychoanalysis) teacher that took me by surprise by telling me after seeing my painting exhibit that if I did not share the gifts I had within that it was a disservice to the world. She told me that my inner world was beautiful but it did not help others if I did not share. I was shocked at how passionate she became and have reflected on this thought many times through the years.

 I find sharing the deeper parts of myself hard at times and so I dance with the possibilities of sharing and not sharing. When I think of it as we are all sharing, I feel more inclined to do so because everyone is doing so. And so can I.

This was a short 7 minute meditation but left me reflecting for the rest of the day on my mantra.

Tania Franco

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Simple Breath Meditation (40 Day Meditation Challenge Day #1)

View of the ocean from Point Loma
Image by Tania Franco
Today I practiced a simple breath meditation. I used some tools that I have learned through focusing but it wasn't a focusing meditation. As I inhaled I thought "breathe in" and as I exhaled "breathe out". While I thought this with each breath, I practiced diaphragmatic breathing, which is a relaxation technique that has been thoroughly studied and been found to be the most effective way to relax.

As I first checked in with the sensations in my body I was able to recognize a bit of anxious energy in my abdomen. After 3 deep breaths I noticed a shift, a releasing of the anxiousness. 

With each breath I began to sense a rhythm in my body and mind and so I began to imagine ocean waves flowing within me and around me as I repeated mentally "breathe in, breathe out". I would also imagine the wind blowing. This allowed me to relax even deeper and sense an ease throughout my body.

At times I had thoughts like: " I should blog about this" but I would kindly say to myself "great idea, now come on back" and return to my breath, my statements and the sensation of waves and wind. At times I felt calm and peaceful and wanted to stay seated forever and then I'd feel uncomfortable and think I wanted to stop and get up. At the end of my 15 minute meditation I felt calmer and more appreciative of the moment I took to connect with myself.

I hope sharing my meditative experiences are helpful to you on your meditation journey.


Focusing Meditation (My 40 Day Meditation Challenge)

Sidewalk art outside of Happy U Namaste
Photo by Tania Franco

A few weeks ago, I encouraged my meditation students to practice a daily focusing meditation for a month and journal about it. Focusing is one of my favorite ways of practicing inner work both as a guide and as a student.We have been practicing focusing together and each time they've had profound and practical realizations.

Focusing is a psychotherapeutic technique identified by Eugene Gendlin from the University of Chicago in the 50's. He studied why psychotherapy was effective for some clients and not for others and found that it wasn't so much about the therapy itself as it was about an inner process that occurred within the individual. A non-judgemental awareness of an inner knowing that cannot yet be verbalized but that holds the key to the resolution. Gendlin created steps that support learning how to have this deeper experience with one self. I highly recommend "The Power of Focusing" by Anne Weiser Cornell and write a bit about it here

This last week my yoga teacher training teacher strongly suggested that we meditate daily. I meditate most days but not sure if daily. I realized that if I committed to blog about my daily meditations and shared this intention publicly, I would make time to practice every day.

So for the next forty days I will make time to meditate daily and share with you what meditation I practice and what I experience.

Welcome to my Daily Meditation Practice-My 40 Day Challenge.