Have trouble mediating? Don't worry about quieting your mind. Try tuning into your body instead, and go from there. The following demo recordings I made offer a simple practice you can try in about 20 minutes.
Find a place you won’t be disturbed and can be comfortable sitting for about 20 minutes.
Access one of the guided meditations above, using headphones/earbuds.
(Note: they are test-recordings and you’ll need to crank the volume on some)
Expand your present moment awareness by sensitively witnessing your physical and subtle bodies.
My Experience with the Practice:
Meditation was something I grew up watching my father do. I remember him sitting in a spot in the kitchen. Although I had permission to come and go (because not being concerned with distractions was part of his practice), I always tiptoed around my meditating father, not really certain what was going on in there.
He would try to help me understand what he was doing and talked about his “monkey mind,” but at seven or eight years old, I don’t think I fully understood what he was talking about and certainly had little inclination to join him. Although it left a deep impression.
Fast forward a few decades. I was married to a man who is, by comparison, a professional meditator. And although I was by then well acquainted with the monkey mind my father spoke of, I’m struggling to simply sit closed-eyed long enough to offer it a few peanuts.
Several years beyond that, I discovered that moving my body very intentionally helps me witness my mind in profound ways. Eureka! This is moving meditation. Why the hell should I torture myself with sitting still?
Of course, every tool has its purpose. We know that a screwdriver doesn’t replace a hammer. We need both to build a house. As it turns out, this also applies to spiritual practices.
It was the work of Thomas Hübl that helped me surrender to this truth. His powerful invitation to focus on the very subtle movements of the physical, emotional and mental bodies requires a great deal of stillness. Focus on movement by becoming still! This was my path to go deeper…
The meditations above are inspired by my rich experiences with Thomas’ meditations, mingled with many other somatic/spiritual explorations.
The Story Behind The Recordings:
A few years back I retreated to explore eleven goddess energies. In that process I devised an impromptu practice of using my iPhone to record passages from the book I was using as my guide. Every morning I’d listen to my self-fashioned, guided meditations as part of my daily practice.
Designing my own practices is one way I love to learn…and when I can share that learning with others, my learning is magnified! Hence the saying: if you want to master something, teach.
A year later, I’d been deepening my practice of seated meditation and was ready to take it to the next level. Given my nature, if I was going to go deeper, I was also going to “teach” or share…although I wasn’t sure with whom. Then my mother called and mentioned that her friend, Mary, was looking for guided recordings to help her start meditating, and asked if I had any recommendations.
There was my catalyst! I would record guided meditations with Mary in mind. Although she may never hear them, she would give me the focus I needed to share and cultivate my own practice.
When I dropped into a place of greater stillness within myself, I was surprised how effortless it was to focus on my own experience and invite Mary to join me. I discovered that the act of meditative speaking gave me enormous focus. It was not a replacement for meditating in silence, but it offered me insight and support to deepen my silence practice…exactly what I sought. Also, I found that hearing my own voice was both relaxing and comforting. It helped me turn toward myself more fully, to trust and embrace a wisdom that animates me, and to more fully “own” my voice.
Later that year I brought guided meditations into my writing circles, to rich effect.
And the following year, my rather impulsive studies with cranio sacral meditation master, Etienne Peirsman led to the development of a meditative style of individual session work I came to call Somatic Insight.
Meditative presence is becoming foundational to all aspects of my work and my various offerings. If you’re inspired to give these test recordings a try, I welcome your feedback!
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