Peace Begins With You And I

When it comes to being at peace in our relationships and the world in general, it is a job no one else can perform for us. Inner peace is an inside job. I have found Meditation to be one of the best ways to accomplish this. In modern studies meditation has been found to help, if not end, individual suffering on many levels. While research continues, meditation has been found to lower blood pressure, cholesterol, the risk of heart decease and stroke, as well as relieve stress, anxiety, worry, depression and insomnia. As these things lessen, there is increased energy, productivity, learning and memory, happiness, well-being and inner peace.

There are many types of meditation; In the west, meditation is linked to one’s personal relationship with God while Asiatic meditation focuses on technique with the focus being on the individual’s inner relationship to the mind and heart. Meditation has been practiced for thousands of years throughout the world with no religious purpose, and also is in all major religions. While I have been fortunate to experience meditate from traditional masters, Christian Mysticism, Tribal Africa, Druid, South American shaman, to Sufi and Zen; My life path was focused mainly on traditional American Native prayer and dance through participation in countless sweat lodges and dancing in the Narayia for many years, along with time spent on the ashram with my Hindu teacher, and Tibetan Buddhism. When I first began I would sit for hours in the respectful detailed discipline and focused purpose while acquiring very specific knowledge, style and technique. After years of providing guidance to individuals based on personal needs and goals, I have come to a place of peaceful ease in the process. My main focus now is to find the easiest most comfortable, while still effective way, to stay on the path and develop one’s practice.

There are times in my life when I am called on by a teacher, group, or client to sit in a specific style of mediation for a very specific purpose. When I am on my own I use a practice that I have found easy to sustain on an ongoing basis. The first thing I do is find a comfortable place, I am turning 60 in a couple of months and at times I experience some signs of aging, so I no longer force myself to sit in a traditional cross-legged position on the floor. However, if this is your preference then I always suggest sticking with the Masters. I have a favorite chair that has been with me now for more than 25 years. It is oversized and as long as my knees are bendable I am able to sit with my legs crossed. If not, I let myself sit as we all do in any chair. I do, however, make sure that my back is support in such a way that I am able to keep my spine/center channel straight to ensure that my energy body is able to move smoothly and freely. Once in my chosen position for that moment’s meditation, I light a piece of incense or set a timer so that my mind is free of worry around time. This way if my mind wanders to thoughts of “how long have I been here” or “I can’t miss my appointment”, I am able to let those go more easily to be in my meditative moment.

I am now set to close my eyes and simply focus on my breathing. If I am breath shallow in my chest/lung area I take a few moments to open up my belly, pulling my breath down through my entire core from the top of my lungs to my sit bone area which can then expand and release. I now allow myself the freedom to simply observe what is happening in my mind, and in my body. If there is a pain, I notice and acknowledge it and embrace it as a friend. In my mind’s eye, I may explore deeper, asking if there is a message for me, to help me in the healing process. Or I will move on to the next pain, itch etc. My body has served me well for almost 60 years; it deserves my acknowledgment and respect. I do the same with my mind. I observe and notice my thoughts. If I am obsessing over a something that has happened, or I think could happen, I notice that. I may talk to myself as a friendly observer to see if the grasp of my minds feedback loop can be relaxed a bit, nudge myself gently to relax, and revisit my breath for a bit. The time we spend in the quiet solitude of our breath will depend on the day, the state of our body and more so our mind. I have found that the less I resist what is, the faster and easier it is for me to let go…

If there is a pain, I notice and acknowledge it and embrace it as a friend. In my mind’s eye, I may explore deeper, asking if there is a message for me, to help me in the healing process. Or I will move on to the next pain, itch etc. My body has served me well for almost 60 years; it deserves my acknowledgment and respect. I do the same with my mind. I observe and notice my thoughts. If I am obsessing over a something that has happened, or I think could happen, I notice that. I may talk to myself as a friendly observer to see if the grasp of my minds feedback loop can be relaxed a bit, nudge myself gently to relax, and revisit my breath for a bit. The time we spend in the quiet solitude of our breath will depend on the day, the state of our body and more so our mind. I have found that the less I resist what is, the faster and easier it is for me to let go…

I wish you peace on earth which begins WITHIN each one of us. Be the Change You Wish to See in the World.  Sincerely, Jan Mabey

 

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