Tag Archives: Meditation

Open Heart Meditation

 “I’m sorry. Please forgive me. I love you. Thank you.” — Ho’oponopono prayer

For a long time in my morning sitting meditation, I would feel spacey, and tend to fall asleep. When I tried to go inside, it felt fuzzy, ill-defined. Like I was trying really hard to look at something through wavy glasses or trying to hear something through lots of static. I felt frustrated.  I stuck with it.

Lately I noticed that my sitting meditations have become more grounded and clearer. This morning, I found my way to a very sensitive, raw, pulsating, knotted spot about a foot away from my chest, connected to my heart. It hurt, in shimmery waves of tightness down my arms. And it was angry, in big waves of gritty intensity pushing out. Most importantly, I could FEEL it – it didn’t disappear in waves of unconscious sleepiness. I stayed connected to it in meditation long after the timer went off. And then I continued to feel connected to it through my drive to work, when I suddenly had an urge to cry. Then I was crying in big sobbing tears, and yelling big yells of pain for about 15 minutes.

What did I uncover? I can only describe it as knotted-up energy of the pain of being alive. In it, there is a deep love for all the people in my life and the raw agony of all the ways in which I hold myself back from expressing that love fully in whatever form it might take (anger, compassion, joy, frustration, hurt), and instead settling for a numb niceness that denies I am feeling anything. A numb niceness that cuts me off from you. As I allowed myself to feel this agony, it would soften and turn sweet, and turn to an aching tenderness. I felt a deep forgiving towards everyone, and towards myself, because we are all undergoing this separation together and it is not our fault.

The Ho’oponopono phrase kept coming up, and touching the exact spot that hurt: “I’m sorry. Please forgive me. I love you. Thank you.” I don’t care if being alive hurts, I want to feel it ALL so that I can really love and live in truth.

Thank you for reading. Knowing that there are people out there who read this and connect with this feeling encourages me to open my heart more.

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Diamond Approach Weekend: Open Heart

What does it mean to have an open heart?

This weekend I am in a Diamond Approach retreat.  Diamond Approach combines insight meditation with western-style psychological reflection.  Each retreat centers around a theme. This weekend’s theme is the heart.  If you have been following my blog or know me, you know that the heart is central to my spiritual path.  So this theme taps right into central questions for me: how to be true to my higher self in a difficult world.

I believe in love.  I believe in openness.  I believe in vulnerability.  I believe in authenticity.  I have found joy in staying open and affirming everything I hold true.

How do I hold true to these beliefs when I am met with closed hearts?  What do I do when I give love and it is not reciprocated?

What this weekend is teaching me is that sometimes that my commitment to staying open results in me skipping over situations where I feel hurt, and not acknowledging that my heart wants to close.  Sometimes I shave off parts of myself in order to allow the other person to feel comfortable.  Sometimes I keep things happy and safe to encourage the other person to meet me, instead of being honest about my own feelings of disillusionment.

I don’t know where this insight takes me.  I know it doesn’t take me into the polar opposite of where I am coming from.  The answer is not to swing into recriminations and harshness.  The answer is not to hide my love.  The answer is not to go unconscious and “act out” my hurt and anger in thoughtless ways.

There is a middle ground that I still need to find.  I know that it involves being able to feel free to express anger and hurt in healthy and spontaneous ways.  I know it involves being okay with alienating people if need be.  I know it involves saying NO to others if that is what it takes to say YES to me.

I don’t think I am all of the way there yet.  The line between openness and accommodation is difficult to trace. But I am grateful for the space to explore these questions in a supportive community.  I welcome any insights from people who are working through similar issues in their own lives. What situation is causing you to confront this issue most clearly?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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It’s OK to Be Sad: How and Why to Experience Difficult Emotions

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I wrote this last Sunday, but didn’t post it until now…enjoy. xoxo Nicole

Today I feel sad.  Normally, I might be moving too fast to notice it.  I might miss it because I am busy skipping from one event to the next.  But today is a slow, grey, Easter Sunday afternoon, and I don’t have any plans for the rest of the day.  I am purposefully not turning on my TV or calling friends.  Instead, I am meditating and writing and allowing myself to feel what is coming up in my heart.

We don’t usually just allow ourselves to just feel sad.  We tend to feel like we have to do something to lift ourselves out of this state:  we go for a walk, talk a bath, drink a glass of wine, re-read a positive book.  Maybe we call a friend and discuss the situation until we have figured out a “solution.”  When we feel better, we might even congratulate ourselves on our great self-care skills.   We assume that we are doing well when we have stopped feeling these negative emotions–the faster we can get out of them, the better we are doing.   This belief in the power of positive thought has been further exacerbated by the misunderstood teachings of the Law of Attraction (i.e., the belief that to manifest what you want you must be constantly joyful).

Some of you might immediately be thinking:  ugh–I don’t want to turn into a mess or wallow in the things that get me down.  But this sense of “wallowing” is not due to the emotion itself, but the unskilful way it is processed.  There is another, more skillful way to experience difficult emotions.

The skillful way is to be able to experience pain without fully identifying with it.  Thus, your awareness is large enough to allow room for the difficult emotion AND maintain contact with your fundamental power, peace, and confidence.   You can stay in touch with joy even as you allow yourself to feel sad.  You can feel strong and secure even as you experience vulnerability.  You can feel connected and lonely at the same time.

The best way to develop this enlarged awareness is meditation.  When you meditate, you develop your ability to stay grounded no matter what your mind or heart tosses up at you.  As you practice, you expand your capacity for presence.  Over time, you can handle more rocky stuff without needing to check-out, go unconscious, or otherwise distract yourself from the intensity of experience.  You can use this capacity to experience difficult emotions during your daily life without becoming overwhelmed or confused.

So, okay, we can experience difficult emotions more skillfully.  Why would we want to stay present for difficult emotions?  Why shouldn’t we be practicing getting rid of them, or transforming them into positive ones?

Because something important and valuable happens when we fully experience difficult emotions.  A lot of difficult emotions are tied up around our desire for life to be different than it actually is.  We want to be somewhere else, doing something else, with someone else.  When we avoid those emotions, we avoid directly experiencing life on its own terms. We live partly in our dreams and hopes.  This dream-world might be more comfortable, but its protection becomes our jail.  We lock ourselves up inside the belief that things needs to be a certain way for us to be happy.

When we experience difficult emotions, we come face to face with the way things are.  Even  though facing reality may hurt, the world does not end.  Instead, all of the energy we were using to avoid pain is loosed.   Instead of struggling and fighting the emotion and the circumstances that gave it birth, we relax.  We can LET things be the way they are, AND be happy.  Yes, we may have to wade through some pain and sadness on the way, but we are no longer afraid to experience them.  We acknowledge our pain and vulnerability with a soft, gentle compassion, not with fear or rejection.

With this softening, a new space opens up inside of us.  It is a new place for life to flow, to move, to breath.  Nothing has been solved or changed, and yet all is well.  This well-being is not a mere “belief” in the abundance and goodness of life–it is an energetic death of a closed/constricted consciousness (things must be so!) and the birth of a spacious awareness (surrendering to what is).  How appropriate for Easter Sunday that I find myself writing about allowing ourselves to die, so that we can be reborn.

 

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How do I Stop Thinking and Feeling? Answer, You Don’t!

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from a higher perspective, there is beauty and peace in a hurricane

 

“We have to make a relationship with our emotional energy. Usually, when we speak of expressing our energies, we are more concerned with the expression than with the energy itself, which seems to be rushing too fast. We are afraid the energy will overwhelm us, so we try to get rid of it through action. However, once you develop a harmonious relationship with your energy, then you can actually express it, and the style of expression becomes very sane, right to the point.” — Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche

 

One of the biggest misconceptions about Buddhism is that it is about getting rid of things: thoughts, feelings, the ego.  It is not.  If you focus your efforts on getting rid of things, all you do is spend even more energy caught up in the very thing you are trying to throw out.    At first you might start out angry about something.  If you try and resist that anger, all you end up with is anger AND guilt about being angry.  If you try and make a thought go away, all you end up with is a new thought: I should not be thinking about that thing (which you then immediately think about again).

It’s like those Chinese finger toys–the harder you pull, the tighter it holds you.

What you can do is develop a higher level of awareness so you can watch these thoughts and emotions arise, rather than identify with them.  I think about the process of disidentification very simply.  The thoughts/emotions are visitors. I stay present and watch/hear them do their thing.  I keep an open heart and a grounded presence, even as I feel/experience anger, sadness, mental jumpiness, ect.  I give them my full attention, but I do NOT let them live inside me and start pulling my strings.  And after a while, they run out of energy.  Then, I let them go.

So the idea is not to get rid of stuff.  The idea is to practice operating from another level that doesn’t get caught in the drama.   Actually, our thoughts and feelings can be important and valued guides.  If anything, I am working towards becoming even more open to my feelings and thoughts.   This helps me develop kindness towards myself and others, and grow more spacious and grounded internally.

It also helps relationships.  The more deeply I allow myself to feel sadness and pain around something, the less I need to create a story about why I feel this way (he is to blame, I am to blame, she is to blame).  Sadness is just sadness.  Anger is just anger.  Both of them are just strong energy moving through me.  Just feel them without pushing them away.

If , after feeling my emotions, it seems appropriate to express them, I can do so with a clear mind, taking full ownership of what I am feeling (see my last post on non-violent communication for more about owning your emotions).  People are much more receptive to you when you come from this place.  As Chogyam says, you can be sane, right to the point.  If you hurl your emotions at someone and say: “This is your fault!” you can’t be too surprised when they throw that ball of sh*t right back at you.  If you can approach someone and say: “I felt really hurt when you did this.” then you have created a safe space for them to empathize.

So, bottom line:  don’t try and get rid of your feelings and thoughts.  Just work on developing a better, saner relationship with them.

What is your relationship with your emotions?  Do you believe them?  Do you act on them?  Do you try and ignore them becuase they scare you?  Or are you strong enough to let feelings move through you without getting confused?

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Finding the Strength to Be Vulnerable

A friend of mine asked a beautiful question the other day that I think many of us have asked ourselves before.  He said (I am para-phrasing):  “I have no problem being angry.  Anger is a STRONG emotion.  I can be present for that.  But how do I stay present with fear and self-doubt?  Those are such weak, wimpy, non-masculine emotions.  Plus, when I stay with them, sometimes I end up unable to effectively run my business or be with my family.”

My friend is on the right track.  We do not want to stuff fear and self-doubt down our mental toilet, only to have the piping back up.  These emotions as a natural part of being alive–if we cut them off we distance ourselves from the brightness of life.

But feeling emotions is very different from letting them consume us (that is where my friend was running into trouble with his work and family).   We need to open our hearts without getting lost in our experiences and confusing them for reality.  So in a sense, we need to be really strong in order to be truly vulnerable. 

So the deeper question is: How can we develop the strength to truly face fear and self-doubt?

I have two different practices that I would like to share with you.  One is mine, and the other is from renowned vulnerability expert Brene Brown.

Me:  Cultivate the Heart of a Warrior

To develop this strength, I consciously cultivate a relationship with my awareness/witness mind.  This awareness is spacious, vibrant, and tender.  As I walk to work in the parking lot, I connect with this awareness through my heart, body, and breath.  As I brush my teeth.  As I do my work.   Definitely, when I meditate.

Then, when a big oh-shit wave of fear and self-doubt comes, I can watch it rise and fall with compassion, even curiosity.   Because I know the emotion is not me, I can let the fear and doubt be as deep and wide as they want to be without getting sucked in.  This is what Shambhala calls developing the heart of a spiritual warrior.  A warrior heart is strong and open enough to face even the scariest fear.

Brene Brown: Release the Fears to God

Brene Brown is a well-known speaker who has spent the past ten years studying vulnerability, courage, authenticity, and shame.  (Agh-LOVE!)  She just posted this beautiful post about her practice of “Turning Things Over.”  When she has any fears (or even great hopes) come up, she writes them down on a piece of paper.  I would encourage anyone doing this practice to take a few minutes to sit with that fear and feel it in your body.  Then she puts them in a bowl or box that symbolizes turning over those fears to God.   (The bowl in the picture was given to her by an admiring potter.)  This is a concrete way to allow yourself to FEEL and ACKNOWLEDGE the fear, but then release it to a higher power.  Again, a great way not to get sucked up in the Fear Trap my friend was worried about.

Brene’s practice might be especially great for specific problem-related “nagging” fears, while my Shambhala-based practice might be especially suited for pervasive self-doubt.  I hope that they both serve you.

With love and light,

N

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remembering how to fly

i give you
every breath
stretched
into full exhale
but still you call
and my lungs
only go so far

i know this dream
this is the one
where i want to run but
am stuck, and
maddened by memories
of how it feels
to fly

until
exhausted
i no longer try

and just say yes
and yes again
and allow
my warm breath
to freely follow
your perfect rise and fall, rise
and fall, until my small orpheus-self
dissolves

and then
i effortlessly join you
in the land of the living

oh beauty
who can i love you to
if there is no one else
where can i go
when i have nowhere
to stand

tenderly–
you tell me
i must surrender
i must endlessly explode
pulse with the flame
that lights the candle
move with the wave
that pushes the sea

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A Spiritual Warrior Knows How to Surf

This past weekend, I chose to sit inside, meditating in silence for about six hours each day.  This experience is also known as Shambhala Buddhism Level Two training: Birth of the Warrior.  A pretty bad-ass title for two days of sitting in a room.

The last time I did a Shambhala retreat, I was in the midst of a big life experience (sudden knowledge that I had to leave a long-term relationship).  I had a giant, live, crazy, scary thing on my plate.  In one way, it was intense and hard.  In another way, when you have something so obvious to deal with, it is like meditating with crayons, or performing simple math.  The center of compassion is large and pretty easy to find.  Don’t blame him, don’t blame me, don’t move from this football field of pain.  Got it.   I knew exactly what I was giving in to.  Also, I was so immersed in grief that to some degree it was a relief to just sit there and feel it, to let it wash over me, to not even try and fight its sweet sadness.

This weekend was like meditating with watercolors.  No huge experiences . . . nothing major to get through.   Just some low-grade, run of the mill aimlessness and anxiety with no identifiable source.  Although these feelings were muted, they were impossible to ignore.   Every time I sat and breathed, and opened up to the moment, I would come up with:  Ugh.  I don’t want to be here.  why can’t I be doing something fantastic, like exploring the jungle in Bali (yes, despite my commitment to inner exploration instead of exotic vacations).  Or I would end up worrying about something small I said earlier that day.  Or I would just get bored.  In my body, I experienced a vague, jumpy restlessness.

So I did what I thought a good spiritual warrior was supposed to do.  I stared that shit down and tried to MAKE it fight me.  Instead of practicing touch-and-go (lightly touching a feeling/sensation on the in-breath, and then releasing the connection on the out-breath), I was doing confront-and-noisily-exhale.  Every time I breathed in and that mediocre blah-ness was still there, I was in its face like a disgruntled security guard tailing a suspected shoplifter.  “You can do whatever you want Low-Level Anxiety, but I’ve got my eye on you buddy.  Just don’t try any funny stuff.”  I somehow thought that by paying very tight close attention, I was being brave and acknowledging the reality of my suffering.

Obviously, this form of meditation is not super fun.  It started to dawn on me that my internal image of warriorship was way out of whack.  I had been imagining a stoic figure fearlessly, yet grimly, facing an uncomfortable moment.  I was determined to suck it up, go outside into the crappy now, and not even wear a coat.  But why so sad, Ms. Spiritual Warrior?  What if I could be present during uncomfortable feelings and have a good time?  What if the right warrior posture was more like a surfer riding a wave–loose, happy, and in flow with the constant movement of life?  (Or to reference another love of mine, fluid like a capoerista playing a really good game?)

So I relaxed and let myself off the hook.  I still paid attention to what was going on . . . to the feelings of anxiety, to my breath, to the opening and closing of my heart.  But the quality of my attention was easy and carefree.  And it was dynamic!  I realized that just because I was resting in awareness did not mean that I was stuck watching life because, guess what–life itself is never still.  So I allowed my consciousness to be gracefully lifted by each moment.  Instead of trying to challenge my anxiety, I just let it dissolve into a larger natural rhythm.  Instead of feeling like I was forced to sit there, I practiced joyful surrender to the ebb and flow of life. Someone who staffed that weekend later told me that Shambhala teachers often compare this quality of awareness to a beach ball floating on top of the sea.  Yes!  But it is also tender.  I gave my heart away with each breath.  I allowed myself to fall–deeply, warmly–and I was met.

So as I was feeling my way into this shift, I went to lunch (sidenote: where I had the best chorizo taco outside of Mexico City, props to Cacao Mexicatessan.)  Someone gave me a ride, and in her car I noticed an audiobook from Pema Chodron (a famous and wonderful Shambhala teacher).  And I started to crack up.  The title?  Hint: it was not “Standing Stock-Still and Staring the Shit Out of Pain.”  It was “Smiling Into Fear.”  Point taken.

After the retreat, I have continued to practice my Spiritual Surfing technique.  As I let my inner awareness freely flow, I can feel my own limited tight energy merge with a larger radiant movement.  It feels vital and charged.  Definitely the same amazing vibe that originally gave birth to the name threedeelife.  Then, as I was writing this post. I came across a perfect description for this energy from a recent Sharon Salzberg (vipassana Buddhist teacher) post on Kriss Carr’s blog:  “In Pali, the language of the original Buddhist texts, the term for the potent and alive energy of awareness is “tejos.” The word has several meanings.  It can mean heat, flame, fire, or light, and it conveys a sense of splendor and radiance and glory.  Tejos refers to a very bright energy, a strength, and a power that is luminous.”   How beautiful.  Like a flame,  the energy of life needs the right balance of attention and space to burn bright.   When you relax into that balanced awareness, you connect with the energy of the flame, of the moment, of the wave.

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Turning Arrows into Flowers

Alright 2011, here is the last of you.  The second half of my story about my breakup begins on the night when I learned some information that answered my request for a clear sign as to whether to stay or to go.  I had to go.  That night, I ran down to the ocean in my pajamas and spent an hour listening to the waves (not a huge trek, I live four blocks from the beach).  Then, I came back up to my apartment and spent about half the night in my car.  The last half of the night, I spent on the couch.  I was in pain and wanted to be alone, but thought I was pretty pulled together, considering.  Looking back, I think I was in a bit of shock.

The next morning, I headed out for the last day in a three-day Buddhist meditation weekend retreat with the Eagle Rock Shambhala Center.  I got to the Center and got into the breakfast line.  Still relatively pulled together.  Someone said hi.  And I lost it, in the morning sunshine, trying to put a damn bagel in the toaster.  I just broke down into big, sobbing tears.  Someone was kind enough to immediately ask the leader of the retreat if she would meet with me quickly before we began the day.  This wonderful woman pulled up a chair facing me in her small office, and listened to me pour my heart out.  She hugged me.  And then she sent me out to sit.  Buddhists are great listeners, but they are not there to take you away from your experience.  God bless.

For the next six or so hours, I did two things.  I felt my pain, and I watched my response to my own pain.  What I noticed as I sat there was that every time the pain got really uncomfortable, I would want to do one of three things.  First, I would want to “blame” my ex-partner.  I would feel these huge surges of anger and resentment well up.  That got me the momentary relief of “pushing” the pain away from me, towards him.  The second thing way I would react would be to blame myself.  I would feel intense remorse and sadness and shame.  I would then beat myself up.  This got me the momentary relief of punishing myself for the pain I was feeling.  The third thing I would do would be to try and avoid the pain altogether by ignoring it.  Again, it was a passing relief of “stuffing” the pain away.

I realized each of these three reactions were just different ways to avoid pain.  So I began to consciously try another way of relating to my pain.  I sat right in the middle of it, without pushing, pulling, or burying it out of sight.  I didn’t blame him.  I didn’t blame me.  I didn’t try and pretend I was not hurting.  I just felt it.  But more than felt it–I opened my heart to it.  This act of opening your heart to what you are feeling is sometimes called “creating space” around the pain.  It means that you access a part of you (or of Spirit, depending on how you view it) that is bigger than pain.  Love.  Love for yourself and the other person.

I began to perceive that being in pain is a completely different question than how you dealt with it.  If you handle it poorly, you add what Buddhists call “suffering” on top of the original hurt.  You are just floundering around, and drowning in your own hurt.  (Think of someone who, years after a break-up, is still vengefully obsessed with their ex.)  But if you confront pain directly, you process it cleanly, and can even open your heart.

There are two beautiful stories related to this practice that I would like to share.  First is one that I actually heard the day before all of this went down.  I was waiting for my private teacher interview and reading a book.  In the book, there was this story about this dude who went off to India and wad meditating and wasn’t really feeling it.  He was wondering how he could have a break-through.  Finally, he went back to his hut in frustration.  There, in the middle of the hut was a large rattlesnake.  This guy was petrified of snakes.  He was so afraid that he didn’t want to move.  He was worried that if he rushed towards it or away from it the snake would strike.  So he just sat there, and locked eyes with this snake for hours.  What he was really facing his own terror in a very direct and naked way.  There was no escape.  And a funny thing happened.  As the night gave way to day, his fear turned into total joy and gratitude.  As the morning sun came up, he rose, walked to the snake, and bowed in thankfulness.  The snake slithered away.

I remember that after I read this story, I went in to talk with the teacher and said, “Wow, I wish I had a snake to amp up my practice.”  Again, you get what you ask for.  After reading that story, I was able to understand that my own difficult experience could serve as a a spiritual teacher if I could face my own pain and fear without any filters.  And I began to understand how that practice could lead to joy and gratitude.

The second beautiful story is an oldie but goodie and one of my favorites.  The story is about that very important moment when Buddha sat under the Bodhi tree, determined to rid his mind of all confusion and finally reach enlightenment.  The god of illusion, Mara, decided to try and scare Buddha and get him to give up his seat from under the tree.  Mara sends his armies to go fire arrows at Buddha.  In response, Buddha did not attack.  He did not flee.  Instead, he said “I see you Mara, and I am not afraid!”  (Some stories even say Buddha invited Mara to join him for tea!)  Buddha held his ground.  As Mara’s arrows met the force of Buddha’s light, they turned to flowers and fell to the ground.

I kept on thinking of that story on that day.  I felt the companionship of Buddha holding his ground in love and light.  And every time something came up that threatened to “unseat me” I would say, I see you!  And I would try and meet it with my heart.

In the small group sessions that we held  towards the end of the afternoon, someone asked about Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche’s (the founder of Shambhala Buddhism) phrase “the genuine heart of sadness.”  They wanted to know what it meant.  I felt like I could now answer that question, because that was where I had been living all day.  My insight was this: the genuine heart of sadness is what you get when you allow yourself to tenderly meet pain without struggle.  Yes, there is sadness.  But that sadness is not scary anymore . . . instead, it fills you with love and strength.  It is a beautiful and tender place to be.

At the end of the day, I had made friends with my pain.  I felt like I had just weathered a storm and the seas had calmed.  I knew that I would be able to get through whatever came next.  What has happened since then?  More storms.  For me, unlike Buddha, this is not a one-shot deal.  I have had to meet my pain with love over and over and over again.  It comes in different forms.  Now, I am not struggling so much with the actual event, but I do struggle with loneliness and loss.  And there are other pains of life.  But now, I try and recognize them as opportunities to keep on practicing opening my heart and holding my ground.

With love,

N

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What It Takes to Come Alive…

Yes, the title of this post is from the Rihanna song.  Sing it!

Today, I did two of my favorite things: meditating and surfing.  Even though one of them is externally very active and the other appears to be very still, the two have a shared flavor for me.  Both of them are a way to connect with a larger, moving, current of life.  In surfing, you have to tune into the rhythm and speed of the waves.  There is technical skill involved in getting  it right, but a lot of it is just connecting with the ocean and the moment.  When you get it right and harmonize with a waves, you fall into synch with this larger power and allow yourself to become part of its force.  I love watching really good surfers and seeing how quickly and naturally they drop into waves.  It hits me someplace deep in my heart and I feel a deep love for life and the total fucking amazingness of it.

Meditating is similar.  Most of the times, are minds are so full of chatter that we don’t drop down into the larger feeling of just being alive.  When you meditate, you pause for a bit and clear away enough room to connect with what it feels like to be…breathing…right now…right here….Sometimes when I meditate I notice myself pulling away from the experience.  That pulling away takes many forms:  I am bored.  I am not doing this right.  What time is it?  Hmm, I should be feeling “more.”  I have realized that the way to get back to the moment is not to push those feelings away.  Instead, I have to accept all of those and bring them into the meditative experience by saying yes to them.  I have to say, yup, that is part of being alive too.  Yes, this anxiety I feel, or restlessness is exactly what is going on with me right now.  You keep on widening and widening yourself to keep on accepting ANYTHING that comes up.  And after a while, you are surfing the moment, in synch with whatever arises and just feeling the power behind it.  The deep, insistent power of breath, and aliveness, and you realize that the initial anxiety has turned into kind of a thrill.

There are many ways to connect with this power of being alive…like singing along to Rihanna in your car for the hell of it.  Whatever it is, let that energy rip through you!  What it takes to come alive….Let me know in the comments what brings you alive.

Love,

N

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