Mindful Living {part 2 of 4}

November 15, 2018

Today, I’m introducing the second, simple teaching in this series on Mindful Living…

Wear nice clothes.

Why on earth would I talk about clothes right now? I’m clearly not a fashionista and I definitely am not one to do lots of clothes shopping… yet this teaching, Wear Nice Clothes, is a relevant one and especially valuable this time of year.

This teaching reminds us draw our confidence from the outside in when we need it. Dressing in a way that reminds us of our wholeness and value. Dressing in a way that makes us feel at home in our bodies.

Please, please hear me when I say, this teaching is NOT to go out and buy new clothes!!! It doesn’t matter if your clothes are new, old, fancy or fashionable. The only thing that matters is how they make you feel.

Curious about this teaching? Tune in to today’s talk and meditation on The Mindful Minute to find out why clothing matters and what Thich Nhat Hanh has to say about it….

Hello Friends! Happy November!

As we move into the season of giving and getting, I thought it could be helpful to revisit some vital teachings that connect us to mindful living. Our meditation practice this time of year can be more important than ever, and, with so much clamoring for our attention right now, how wonderful to focus on the simplicity of these teachings. They keep us clear, mindful and awake to what really matters.

Now these teachings can seem silly or light at first glance, but in my personal experience, they make a dramatic impact on the feel of our day-to-day lives. Ready to dive in with me?

Join me for today’s talk and guided meditation on The Mindful Minute. This practice includes both a guided meditation AND a short, simple way to create more mindfulness in this hectic time of year. Give it a try and let me know how it impacts YOU this week.

#meditatewithmeryl
Photo by Hutomo Abrianto on Unsplash

Some moments feel all-consuming, don’t they? Especially moments of profound hopelessness, despair, or fear. Moments when it feels like there is nothing to be done and nothing will change…. These can be difficult personal moments in our work life or our family life, and they can be difficult times in the state of our world – the ongoing trauma of hatred, the intense feelings of separateness.

As I sat with these feelings this week, I found myself doing a modified lovingkindness practice almost by default. Traditional teachings offer Lovingkindness practices as the antidote to fear, and I as leaned into my practice searching for hope and trust, I suddenly found myself reflecting on The Overview Effect.

The Overview Effect is a shift in awareness reported by some astronauts during space flight. As described by Wikipedia, the Overview Effect refers to “the experience of seeing firsthand the reality of Earth in space, which is immediately understood to be a tiny, fragile ball of life, hanging in the void, shielded & nourished by a paper-thin atmosphere. From space, national boundaries vanish, the conflicts that divide people become less important, and the need to create a planetary society with the united will to protect this pale blue dot becomes both obvious & imperative.”

Take a moment to look at this image taken by the Voyager 1 of our pale blue dot: http://www.planetary.org/explore/space-topics/earth/pale-blue-dot.html.

That is us. All of us. The Overview Effect makes sense, doesn’t it?

Our meditation practice can provide this same effect. We are shielded and nourished by this practice. We understand our connectedness through this practice. We step into a planetary society through this practice.

Join me today on The Mindful Minute as we talk through a Lovingkindness practice as an antidote to fear and then practice together with a united will.

Pausing In Discomfort

October 24, 2018

One of the things I’m constantly thinking about/discussing/brainstorming is the difficulty in maintaining a consistent meditation practice. WHY is it so hard for us {myself included} to commit to something that we KNOW will help us enjoy our lives more fully??

There is something challenging about pausing when we know we have to feel. We aren’t distracting, we aren’t numbing or hiding… We are just HERE. Feeling. Noticing. Present. That is what meditation asks of us and our inner toddler just doesn’t want to do that {insert foot stomp here!!}.

As a kid, I had this reoccurring dream of being chased by a faceless person. I remember it being so terrifying, and, perhaps unsurprisingly, the dream resolved itself the night I stopped running and turned around to see who was chasing me. The fear dissolves when we are brave enough to pause. To quit running.

Join me for today’s talk on the difficulty of pausing and a guided meditation. I share 3 easy ways I support my efforts to pause and practice daily, and I’d love to hear from you! What helps you to stay consistent? What hinders you? Reach out via social media {@merylarnett} or email {info@sacredchillwest.com} and let me know!

This past weekend was full of special, beautiful moments, some mundane ones, and a few really annoying moments. Interestingly, I noticed that because I had some really special moments, the frustrating moments were MORE frustrating. It seems that when partnered right alongside something wonderful, it is even harder than normal to deal with the difficult moments. It sends us into a daily, tumultuous tailspin of emotion –

I LIKE this moment. Yes.
I DISLIKE this moment. No.

In this meditation series, our study of Ordinary Grace started with

PREPARING – shifting from head to heart

PRACTICING – addressing our reaction to stress

And now…

LET GO.

Opening to Grace is nothing more than letting go of the tailspin. Of embracing it all, and excluding none.

Join me for today’s talk and meditation on The Mindful Minute. We will explore what exactly it means to let go, why it is so difficult and how embracing it all opens us to Ordinary Grace.

Today, we are talking about the PRACTICE of opening to an everyday, ordinary Grace, and a large part of this practice is how we relate to stress. For most of us, the natural assumption is that stress is a bad thing. That it is in the way of our joy, and that we need things to be different if we are to open to Grace.

In truth, what we learn through practice, is that stress isn’t the problem. It is our REACTION to stress that creates suffering. It is our reaction to the feeling of “too much to do, not enough time.” It is the “hurry up and work harder” mentality that often accompanies a fear of not getting it done that separates us from Grace.

In this week’s practice, we experiment with an idea offered by meditation teacher Joseph Goldstein. He is quoted as saying –

Every time I think I have a problem, I decide I don’t have one.

Today, I invite you to really consider this statement. Practice using it all week. For the big issues and the small ones. It doesn’t mean it doesn’t hurt, that it isn’t scary, or challenging. It is simply shifting to say, “this is how it is right now.”

This moment isn’t a problem.

#meditatewithmeryl

Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash

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