Meditate with Your Morning Person

An old Zen saying (perhaps) about meditation.

Upon waking most mornings, I find my mind is especially restless. Between the time when opening my eyes, many thoughts are racing through my mind like an excited doggy licking my face.

“Hey c’mon let’s do some exercising and then we’re going to do some writing but at some point we need to eat breakfast and don’t forget you haven’t spoken to such and such in a while so you gotta email them oh then there’s that thing with the garden you have to do today so we need to do that at some point too but fuck what about exercise because you gotta do exercise today maybe we should do it twice today and we need to shower at some point today too…” etc etc and so forth.

As much as I attempt to avoid various labels of myself, one that has been fairly consistent throughout my life is the fact that I am a morning person, and as such my mind is most active (and restless) in the morning. According to my mind, there’s always lots to do upon waking up, and this isn’t even five minutes to being fully conscious!

On one hand, it’s an exciting thing to feel, and gets me pumped up in my daily attempts to carpe diem. But on the other hand, it can be quite overwhelming!

It is in this time that one should decide to do some meditation. Admittedly, I do not always meditate in the morning. However after these last two weeks of requiring myself to get up early to meditate (as part of my ongoing study and series Sharing Meds), I’ve found myself understanding the depths of why it is quite important for most of us to practice some form of morning meditation/prayer/yoga/chanting.

For most of us, morning is that time before work and/or other chores. We often don’t give ourselves much time, if any to acclimate to waking from the depths of our subconscious (and in some cases astral travels). To make matters more stressful, many of us (myself included) will sometimes jump right on to different forms of technology first thing to maybe check email, messages, and other such things. I’ve found that exposing oneself to such devices first thing in the morning throws the body and mind off even more, and in fact seems to greatly increase the amount of early morning mind chatter. If we were to pay close attention, we would notice how different our breathing becomes when we first awaken to the time we’ve exposed ourselves to such technological devices. Perhaps not everyone can tell such things, but it is something I’ve noted within myself. Have you taken time to see if this is the case?

This whole scene makes me think of someone who powers on their computer in the morning attempts to download ten different files while listening music and watching a few videos as the computer loads the daily schedule. If they are able to do this immediately, suddenly the computer is slow and overwhelmed, but in most cases, even a computer needs a certain amount of time to prepare itself before it can begin to follow commands. 

The point being, meditation should become a habit for most people in general, but especially the mornings. If you meditate regularly, but not often in the morning, I encourage everyone to make an effort to do so, even if it’s just once or twice a week.

Undoubtedly, some minds that might be reading this will start to chatter with various aplomb about being busy, to which I would respond with the meme at the top.

Not only does morning meditation calm the restless and ready to go mind, it allows one a certain amount of mental and physical silence as one transitions from the sleep to awake state in a much more copacetic manner. It also allows a certain amount of focus and clarity, without the rushing around and falling into various mental traps of “I need to do this and that.”

Try. See what happens.

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Problem with Many Religious Groups

Inherently, religion and spirituality isn’t supposed to be harmful.

If we look at both from a historical perspective, we see that religious and spiritual thought was used to comfort humans during our harsh upbringing, when the average life expectancy was 25 or something like that. These thoughts were used to comfort each other about death and give us a better understanding of things we didn’t understand (which was a lot back then).

Fast forward to today where we have a much better grasp on certain things, but in our understanding there is more we don’t understand and many people are much less receptive to religious and spiritual thought. While some might say it is because of outdated notions (which they might be partially right about), I find many cite their frustrations with the seediness and certain practices of various religions, especially when it comes to their exclusivity in terms of belief and inclusion. It should give ANYONE pause (and perhaps make them a little nervous) when one group (or person) claims to have ALL the answers to EVERYTHING, or that they have a book tat has ALL the answers to EVERYTHING. Not only is that inconceivable, it’s also impossible by the sheer fact that because said book &/or teachings were written  thousands of years ago, there was no accounting for problems and moral quandaries of the future (because at the time said problems were also inconceivable). And other problems and moral dilemmas continue to evolve. These things don’t stand still.

And this is a tricky tightrope to walk in general because, many people who practice religion I find are just your average everyday run-of-the-mill person who is one of those decent and hard working types.

The problems and frustrations many find within various religious institutions is the political jockying and occasional dogmatic rhetoric that incites these average everyday run-of-the-mill decent and hard working types. It is understandable why many become frustrated with various groups, especially the leaders that speak of acceptance but then use their power to tell followers you’ve got to believe all or nothing. It also doesn’t help that the media often emphasizes the extreme far-out views of fringe people/groups.

In all religious & spiritual doctrines, there are some highly positive things that are spoken of; such as loving your neighbor or eating food that is kosher &/or halal. But there are also bits in many doctrines that don’t necessarily jive with the evolution of thought processes (nor with other parts of said doctrine as well). And this can get quite frustrating &/or confusing to some, because these average everyday run-of-the-mill decent and hard working types who affiliate themselves with these different groups and texts are often left to toe-the-line, quoting a part of their doctrine for something they don’t fully understand either while their leaders continue to incite and exploit these lovely people who are, at their heart, just looking for some solace and clarity, like the ancient people.

The leadership in many of these institutions is, well… institutionalized and inclusive, which makes it hard for these leaders to be held accountable.  And just like in politics and many other areas in our human lives, we as people have either lost interest or find it impossible to do so. But I promise you it is not, especially because you are part of a group; the larger majority of everyday run-of-the-mill decent and hard working types. And if you don’t understand something about your group/doctrine whatever, chances are there are others who feel the same. And if your leaders don’t want to answer your question or seek a way to alleviate your concern then they are either being lazy or they don’t care.

This isn’t to say a leader’s job is to make sure everyone is copacetic all the time, but they need to at least address the concerns in some fashion. But, sometimes, we must remember that these leaders are also human, and they don’t have all the answers, and sometimes we need to remind them of that too because sometimes I think these leaders feel pressure to have all the answers.

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Melt into Yourself

Fade into the world. Allow the rhythms time to wash over you.

Feel your body sink into the sound around you, into the place you find yourself; be it in nature or home on a sofa. Let yourself melt into this spinning world, surrender (let go) & release yourself into the world, like effortlessly floating in water.

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Give/Receive/Give

Last year I was guided toward a greater understanding of a process by which I think many of us have a limited understanding of in practice, yet an innate understanding in theory.

Many people enjoy giving, be it their time, able body, attention, food, money, love, etc. And this practice in and of itself is wonderful, because it there’s a certain feeling of selflessness that goes along with this idea of charity.

And there are others, who innately need things, and are ecstatic to receive such gifts that have been lacking in their lives for an extended period of time.

Both of these ideas in an of themselves separately, or in unison, are part of our human existence. Just as it’s easy to fall into certain mental patterns, allowing our minds to whisk us to unconscious places, it’s also easy to get become caught up in both of these ideas individually, especially givers.

I’ve noticed many people who give often become so caught up in this selfless act of giving, they actually lose themselves, and not in an Eminem type way. They get so caught up in the giving they forgot to receive. A practical example of this is someone who slaves away at their job, constantly giving giving giving their time, energy, heart and mind without taking any, or perhaps extremely limited time for themselves. And there are many justifications for this, all of them neither positive or negative.

And just as equally, there are those who become caught up in the receiving cycle too, an those people become a drain on those around them, not to mention enabling themselves in a rather lazy fashion.

Whatever the case, both extremes of this become so caught up on one side of the cycle they forget it’s a cycle!

Give/Receive/Give/Receive ad infinitum. 

We must remember to remind ourselves and each other that giving and receiving is an infinite cycle. We must also remember that as we are giving, we are also receiving, and as we are receiving we are also giving.

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