Mindfulness with Sitara Morgenster

Tag: mindful

Breathe, ask, observe

A brief meditative time-out for (thrice) daily use

Once you get the hang of this sequence, you’ll probably be able to do this in 3 minutes, but it’s not a race! And you can make it last for as long as feels comfortable. It’s really intended for a brief time-out for those who don’t have the time or stamina for a full 12-minute mindfulness meditation session.

Lie down or sit down with the body straight, comfortable and physically well supported.

Close your eyes while taking a few deep breaths in and out. Relax and let go of any tension you’re aware of on the exhalation

– ask yourself, ‘What thoughts am I aware of in this moment’?

Close your eyes while taking a few deep breaths in and out.
Relax and let go of any tension you’re aware of on the exhalation

– ask yourself, ‘What’s going on in the space around me’?

Close your eyes while taking a few deep breaths in and out. Relax and let go of any tension you’re aware of on the exhalation

– ask yourself, ‘How am I feeling mentally and emotionally”?

Close your eyes while taking a few deep breaths in and out. Relax and let go of any tension you’re aware of on the exhalation

– move your attention/focus on your breath for a few breaths in your normal breathing rhythm of this moment, then shift your attention to include any bodily sensations you may become aware of.

– Simply observe, notice

– When the alarm goes, first move your fingers and toes, take another couple of deep breaths before going about your day.

– If you have a bit more time, take a few (bullet points) notes in your journal or diary

Repeat up to three times a day or as you feel to.


World stress

The constant agitation of our thinking minds, which we encounter so vividly in the meditation practice, is actually fed and compounded by our diet of television, radio, newspapers, magazines, movies and the Internet. We are constantly shoveling into our minds more things to react to; more things to think, worry and obsess about; and more things to remember, as if your own daily lives did not produce enough on their own. The ultimate irony is that we do it to get some respite from our own concerns and preoccupations, to take our mind off our troubles , to entertain ourselves, to carry us away, to help us relax.
But it doesn’t work that way. Watching television hardly ever promotes physiological relaxation. Its purview is more along the lines of sensory bombardment.
(…)These observations and perspectives are merely offered as food for thought.(…)There are no ‘right’ answers, and our knowledge of the intricacies of these issues is always incomplete. They are presented here as examples of our interface with what we might call world stress. They are meant to provoke and challenge you to take a closer look at your views and behaviours and at your local environment, so that you might cultivate greater mindfulness and perhaps a more deliberate and conscious way of living in relationship to these phenomena that so colour and shape our lives, whether we know it or not, whether we like it or not.”

Excerpted from p.548-549 of “Full Catastrophe Living” by Jon Kabat-Zinn


#NZ Lockdown Day 20

(Please note, this writing meditation takes about 30 minutes. You can halve the duration to 15 minutes by cutting the number of deep breaths to 3x and the number of pages to one only. The source for this meditation is Eric Maisel’s chapter “Be Mindful” in his book “The Creativity Book”, 2000, including the quote about grass from Frederick Franck)

Make sure you’re sitting comfortably. Take 10 deep breaths in and out. Do this slowly, but relaxed. Use the outbreaths to “let go” of any tension or worrying thoughts you are aware of. If you can, “follow” the air going in and out with your mind/attention, as an observer. Also pay attention to the natural pauses between inhalation and exhalation.
Now, remember that blade of grass or leaf from the exercise two days ago?

Using longhand, write a little on the team a single blade of grass, recollecting that single blade of grass you meditated on two days ago. Write three pages. Don’t stop. (Stopping allows your mind to interfere as a censor). Keep your pen or pencil moving over the paper. If you stall, simply repeat the phrase ‘a single blade of grass – a single blade of grass – a single blade of grass’ for as long as you need until you “un-stall” again.

When you’ve filled your pages, put down your writing gear, check on your posture and take another 10 deep breaths in and out. Do this slowly, but relaxed. If you can, “follow” your the air going in and out with your mind/attention, as an observer.

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While drawing grasses I learn nothing “about” grass, but wake up to the wonder that there is grass at all. ~ Frederick Franck


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