What is this blog and/or any mention of The Ever-Growing List? Explanation.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

40 Day Meditation Challenge: Day 2

Tonight I used three techniques after a brief warm-up/tune-in.

The techniques are numbered oddly because they are coming out of the little notebook that I use for class and the order I learned them in. So keep in mind that 1.) I am a beginner and 2.) "Technique 12" may be more challenging than a "Technique 2."

Technique 12: Focusing on the horizon

  1. Assume meditative position--crossed legs, spine straight, shoulders relaxed.
  2. On both hands, join the tips of your thumbs to the tips of your ring fingers.
  3. Bring your arms up to eye level and join the sides of your two index fingertips together so all fingers are facing outward, away from you.
  4. Focus your eyes on the horizon past the joined index fingers and stare.
Breathing: Inhale deeply through the nose to fill your lungs. Also exhale through your nose.

The point is to sustain your focus. Concentrate on your breathing, and if thoughts arise, let them go and don't give them attention. Focus on that point in the horizon, even if it's a white wall.

Time: Short, 3 minutes.

Technique 11: "4"

  1. Assume meditative position--crossed legs, spine straight, shoulders relaxed.
  2. Hands should be joined together, palm to palm, lined up with the spine. Elbows will be out.
Like this!

Breathing: Inhale deeply. Imagine the breath filling up a glass that consists of your belly all of the way up. As you inhale, feel it fill you up. Count the seconds it takes for you to inhale fully, because this technique has you inhale 4 equal times as you inhale that one breath. So you inhale in quarters--maybe 2 seconds per inhaled sniff--and then exhale the same way, in equal quarters.

Time: 9-11 minutes.

Technique 8: Curled Tongue

  1. Assume meditative position--crossed legs, spine straight, shoulders relaxed.
  2. Hands and palms are relaxed, facing downward, and will be on the rounded parts on the shins.
  3. Curl the tongue and stick it out between your lips. Inhale deeply.
  4. Close mouth and exhale thoroughly through the nose.
Time: 9-11 minutes.

Technique 3: Deep Meditation

  1. Lay on back. Close eyes. Tense/squeeze entire body--pointed toes, clenched hands, reaching fingers, clenched butt--everything! Do this for fifteen or so seconds.
  2. Relax, now. Unclench. Picture your feet letting all tension go. Slowly move up to each body part and turn it off. Alternatively, if it's easier, pretend there's a light switch that each part of your body is attached to. As you slowly move from your feet up, switch the light switch of that body part off. Do this all of the way up your head, taking your time to adjust.
  3. Rest. If you're doing it right, your body should be relaxed.
  4. After about 9-11 minutes (or whenever you feel ready), wiggle your fingers and toes to bring you back.
Breathing: Breathe deeply: in through nose, out through nose.

Time: 9-15 minutes.

This is also awesome when you're in bed and the lights are all out. It'll help you get a really restful sleep.

My notes for today:
11:08PM-11:48PM-- 15 minutes of actual meditation. Warm-up exercises before and then deep meditation after.
I learned techniques 11 & 12 last night. 11 didn't fit totally and I found my mind really fighting it, so I did it for six minutes and then went right into technique 8, instead, to finish up my minutes.

More tomorrow!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

40 Day Meditation Challenge Introduction

Relevant to: Item 108: Work at Finding Peace

What is this blog and/or any mention of The Ever-Growing List? Explanation.

I had done a bit of self-guided meditation over the last three or four years in attempt to add to a somewhat non-existent health plan or kick I was on. You know those, right? They last for like a week until you get too busy or too content to follow through. I didn't do it often enough for anything to happen, and even I knew that. But I liked what I had experienced.

Enter this Spring into the equation. I was facing unemployment for six months and my mental health (particularly OCD) was bad--really bad--worse than it had been in five years. Struggling all throughout winter and into Spring, I knew something really had to give. As in, I'm the one who had to give and start to make some moves. To make a short story of it: severe meltdown in all aspects of my life--jobless, without a steady income, depressed, suffering from OCD, stuck at home, etc., everything spun out of control. I rarely left my room/bed for a week. And I mean that literally.

OCD is a real bitch.

It's slowly that you start to come out of this sort of fog. I was like a child again, where I was careful with my every move. That's one of the very fragile parts of dealing with OCD. It's irrational, there is no reasoning out of it in one of these phases, and often completely random things can trigger a very obsessive period. This means that I had to really watch what I listened to, what I watched, who I talked to (even family), etc.. It is maddening and sometimes debilitating.

Coming out of this fog, I was feeling somewhat hopeful just to be feeling less drained, but I was still hazy for a week or so. I began to feel optimistic. I saw these quotes within that time period:


Nevermind tomorrow; today is the day.
(This one came out of a fortune cookie.)

I was in just the state of mind enough for these to actually mean something deep down, and as such, well... "moving forth" was spurred. My insides needed fixing, I thought, as I worked on everything else, and most particularly my mind. I suddenly remembered something I had glanced at in December in a booklet from my local community college: Meditation Class! Could I possibly learn to not let my mind control me in the face of OCD? Or would it be able to help at all? What could I learn about myself if I did this?

So I scraped up some money and signed up to begin a new journey.

That leads me to now. I've been taking the class for over a month now (Kundalini), two hours once a week, and am at the point where I should challenge myself to make sure I am meditating everyday. My Yogi master, who studied with Yogi Bhajan, has often talked about a 40 day challenge and even about a 1,000 day challenge, wherein you can not miss one day. If you miss one day, you must start all over.

This challenge can be life-changing.

That is what I'm doing now, officially. Today is my second day. The point of doing this on the blog is to hold myself accountable and to document what I'm doing, which meditations I'm using, what I'm observing, what I'm learning, struggling with, and feeling!

I know, tl;dr, and this was just the vastly shortened version!

Anyway, update tomorrow!


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