Sunday, April 4, 2010

Living the Omer -- Tame the Mind Monkeys

My goal in this Omer practice series is to help us to unite mind, body, and spirit. To do so, we must be congnizant and in touch with each aspect so they can be brought together wholely.

We have covered two practices:

1. Your body, don't leave home without it - ie, be aware of your body and feel how it moves through life and where it gets tense or hung up.

2. Your inner body -- you are HOW you eat -- be mindful during your eating and bless and appreciate, savor and enjoy what you put into your body.

Today, let's Mind your Mind.

The best analogy I have for what happens in my mind, and in those with whom I share these practices - is to picture a group of playful monkeys jumping and swinging around in your brain.
When you lay down at night to sleep, the monkeys decide to toss around a myriad of random ideas:
did you lock the front door, remember to pack a forgot to finish the project at work that was due yesterday, and oh yeah: remember that person who flipped you off in the elevator, well what are you going to do next time you see her? And speaking of that, do you know who is gossiping about you now.....and....and....and....

Trying to quiet these playful and mischevious mind monkeys is like trying to hold 30 corks underwater at the same time.

The easiest way for me is to use a mantra in meditation. Any mantra.

A good one is simply to tell yourself to:
breathe in
breathe out
and repeat with every breath

I am safe
I am loved
and repeat with every breath

Another way is to count your blessings -- list and picture each one. Or begin saying an individual prayer for evey person you know, and if you are still awake, pray for every person you don't know, every person in the State of Florida, and then go through each state and if you are STILL awake, work your way through the countries.

A way to relax your body is to lay flat on your bed and to tell yourself that you are supported by energy that will not let you down. Ease your body into this supportive energy -- whether it is pictured as the arms of God, the wings of Shekinah, or just earth energy. Allow yourself to sink into this energy and feel which parts of your body are resisting this. Then relax those individual parts, breathe into any tension, continuing to tell yourself that you are supported by this energy that will hold you through the night.

Use these or other techniques to settle your mind at night when you sleep, or if you can, take mini-mind settling vacations throughout your day. Even a "long blink" with a deep breath can sometimes help you center yourself during a tense situation.

Use your breathe as a healing tool to keep you centered and at peace.

wishing you blessings and peace in each moment of your day.

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