Finding more Alan Watts lectures! #zen

Hi all!

Just a quick update to tell you of a good resource for finding Alan Watts lectures such as this one I posted: Youtube!

If I’m ever at a loose end, with an hour or so spare, I like to look up a talk such as this:

I’ve learned so much from Alan Watts; he really is the Yoda of modern Zen.

I hope you find it insightful, and if you ever want to check look up some Alan Watts lectures just click here!

Zen Challenge! De-Clutter Your Home!

Something just in time for the Christmas season!  This challenge starts off easy, but how far can you keep going?

Aim: To de-clutter your home, encouraging you to let go of attachment to possessions.

Challenge: Throw away/recycle two items you own.

Duration: Two items everyday, for as long as you can go!

It will get harder and harder once you’ve thrown away all the junk you’ve accumulated and move on to items you have more of an attachment to.

Tip: a good test is often ‘Do I need this, or do I just want it?’.  I use this for shopping too!

Happy Body Meditation – 10 steps to feeling great!

It’s a common belief that people who meditate have healthy bodies — maybe it’s true, or maybe they just feel that way as a result of it.  I believe that your body loves attention, your own attention, and when it’s happy, it’s healthy!

So here’s a 10 step meditation to make your body buzzing with a  warm glow:

1. Lie down, nice and comfy.

2. Focus on your breathing, like a gentle tide coming in, and going out your body.

3. Now imagine the breath travelling all the way to your feet, in and out.  5 breaths, making the last one the deepest.

4. Let your focus move on the last breath to your calves.  Repeat the 5 breaths again.

5. Knees next, remembering to make the 5th the deepest.

6. Thighs now, 5 breaths again.

7. Your getting the hang of it!  Now do the same 5 breath routine for the whole of your legs.

8. Pelvic area next; then lower back; upper back and shoulders; now stomach then chest.  Next, 5 breaths for your whole torso.

9. Now, do it for both arms together, and finally your head.

10. Finally, imagine the 5 breaths filling your entire body, feel it filling every inch of you and the buzzing warmth it brings.

This is a great one to do just as you go to sleep.  It helped me whenever I struggled to get to sleep.  This is also a good meditation to do when you generally feel lethargic.

Getting to grips to this one can be really useful for the general wellbeing, and also meditation to reduce pain and discomfort…watch this space for that meditation too!

The Toothbrush Meditation

Here’s my favourite meditation of them all…
The reason is because it’s so simple, takes 2 minutes, and can be done twice a day with NO EXTRA EFFORT!

Lovely!

So, here we go…: The Toothbrush Meditation!

  1. Grab your toothbrush, apply toothpaste etc.
  2. Stand tall, not like a board, but upright.
  3. As you massage your teeth with the toothbrush:

– pay close attention to your breathing as you brush; to the sensation of the bristles on your gums; to the taste and feeling of the toothpaste on your tongue.

– Without allowing any distractions or labelling any sensations, NOTICE the sensations in your mouth and let your mind clear of any thoughts.

        4. Do this exercise for the entire two minutes you brush your teeth.

What’s great is you do this twice a day, every day (or, at least you really should!), anyway, but from now you can use it to meditate too.  This is Mindfulness, and the more you practice it while brushing your teeth, the better you’ll get and the more you can apply this to other aspects of your life.

Mindfulness will relieve you of stress, make you more productive, allow you to think clearer, and even extend your life

Curious about that last bit…?  Watch this space, and I’ll explain soon!

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The Meaning of Life

Pretty bold thing to shoot for, right?

So to help out, I’m going to quote the inimitable Alan Watts, an endless fountain of inspiration:

“You are an aperture through which the universe is looking at and exploring itself.”

This is based on the Hindoo belief that any being that refers to itself as ‘I’ is a manifestation of the Creator, seeking to explore the universe They created.

Cool, huh?

Basically, you are the Universe looking at itself in the mirror and saying “Oh, yeah!”.

Make it your purpose to be curious, interested, and keen to see more.  Above all, be compassionate: we are all the Universe; all connected; all one.

Returning to your centre – Breathing Meditation

Now here’s a technique I use all the time to bring myself back to the present moment.  As well as relaxing you, and allowing you to step back from any stressful situation you may be facing, it helps with the realisation mentioned in the last post — that you are not simply the voice running through your head!

The best bit: it’s wonderfully easy!

Continue reading Returning to your centre – Breathing Meditation

Separation of Mind from Self

So, what does this brief moment of clarity/silence mean?

If you are capable of ‘noticing’ something when that voice in your head is silent, surely it means that there is more to your consciousness than the monologue running through your head.

It means that Continue reading Separation of Mind from Self