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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Mind vs. Blanks

For most of us, our mind isn’t accustomed to blanks/unknown/a void.

In fact, for most of us, if at any point we come in contact with a blank/unknown/a void our mind will do its best to fill it in with something, even if it isn’t true! You could be walking along on a street somewhere and pass someone who gives you a look that is displeasing to your being, and then your mind will more than likely begin to fill in the blanks of why someone might give you said look,

“They think you’re ugly,” your mind might say.
“They’re offended by the way you looked at them,” your mind might say.
“They don’t like your race/gender, etc,” your mind might say.
“They’re having a bad day,” your mind might say.

These are also known as assumptions.

But in reality, you have no idea why said person gave you this look that rattled you/brought a gray cloud into your sunny day! Maybe that’s their normal expression when walking. Unless you ask the person, there is no way to know, and our mind’s don’t like having these blanks. Granted, in this instance, certain faces for people are hardwired into their brain to give off warning signs, be it through evolution or past experiences. But even then, this is no excuse.

I think part of why many have trouble meditating at first is because their mind isn’t used to being a space of blankness/silence (should one be participating in a meditation that promotes this sort of thing), but this is something we as people need to practice being with, so our minds can settle into these voids of blank silence.

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Comfortable Cling

As people, we often cling, sometimes to other people or material things, but more often to various thoughts and ideas. We do this because at the core of it, there is a comfortability. Whatever justifications the mind and our selves might create for whatever clinging we do, it’s because there is a certain comfortability to this.

It’s completely justified why we cling like an infant does with a mother, but as time goes on it becomes a hinderance, as it doesn’t allow for certain growth and learning to occur. But then at the same time, there IS some learning in clinging too. But both statements do not mean everyone should stop clinging to all people and ideas nor should people cling to all people and ideas. But, there should at least be an awareness within people, to understand why they are clinging, and for what reasons.

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Everything Must Go

Whenever we seek to let go (surrender), we must also let go of letting go.

Let go of self, both physical and spiritual.
Let go of place, space and time.
Let go of all thoughts/expectations
Let go of all emotion and attachments.
Let go of breath.

 

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Breath

Every breath carries life and death. Words are sacred when used correctly, but intentions are wherein the magic rests.

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Channeling the Clever Mind

For all of these thoughts about the mind being this clever tentacle-like thing that looks for ways to trap and trick us into various thought prison cycles, we must remember to greet our minds with compassion.

Our minds are still part of us, and even though our minds can be infinitely clever in terms of finding ways to trick us with this or that, this means we… ourselves are also that clever. And we can channel this cleverness into near infinite possibilities. The trick though, is being extremely conscious and aware in those moments when we are channeling this cleverness, because the mind is much like a deer also, and often once spooked it will attempt to dash off in some direction regardless if it’s of a positive or negative nature.

A major obstacle for us to overcome though, is the thousands of years we as a species have spent conditioning our minds to seek out and remember negative things. This also isn’t meant to suggest that we should ignore or dismiss any and all negative thoughts, but rather, be aware when our minds start running through this patterns.

Once aware, there are many ways to channel our clever minds.

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Rhythms of Love

Love changes every day.

A moment yesterday that might be considered a loving gesture could transform into something malicious today. Love is always changing and evolving.

It isn’t always what you want. It isn’t always what you need. It isn’t always cuddling and pancakes in the morning. This scares some people because they want it to be cuddling and pancakes in the morning all the time. And those who attempt to corner or stagnate the flowing nature of love into only certain parts are going to hurt the most.

It’s up to us to listen and feel these rhythms of the ever changing love. When we accept the vastness of these rhythms, we allow for a more gentle flow by being open to more possibilities of what love is and evolving towards.

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The Mind’s Expectations

I think many of our minds are sometimes like little children when one might ask how much ice cream they would like to eat, and they might say something like “I’d like to eat all the ice cream…in the world!” And as delicious and cute as that may be, it’s also (I’m fairly certain) impossible.

Our minds create all kinds of expectations, and then we sometimes become attached to certain ones.

Occasionally, as I’m preparing to meditate, my mind will whisper something like,
“We’re going to do an hour or two of meditation today.” And while my mind might have good intentions, I feel obliged to tell my mind,

“Let’s just see what happens. I could have an amazing ten minute meditation that fulfills and lights my being fantastical rainbow colors and shimmering dragon fly wings for several days.”

In the past, I might have become attached to that idea and tried. Now, it’s not to say I cannot meditate for an hour, and I know I can and have countless times, when it just happens that way. The mind plays these little tricks and sets up these traps, almost to see if we’ll take the bait, which is inevitably in some way setting us up for disappointment and unneeded frustration.

Sometimes the mind just becomes quite excited, and we have to remember how to communicate with our mind instead of jumping into the traps (however well-intentioned they may be).

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Creating Patterns

We create all kinds of patterns all the time.

It can be something as simple as eating oatmeal every morning or more complex like how my muscles tense up when I speak to certain people. All of these patterns are wonderful rhythms to our lives, but part of life’s dichotomy is not getting too caught up in these patterns that they become us. Sometimes we aren’t even aware of certain patterns, and sometimes we must even cease some or all of these patterns in we want to evolve.

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The Line

Where is the line for allowing things to be vs. being proactive?

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Fire Within

Often, fire represents spirit/feeling/emotions/heart.

There is a fire within all of us. That fire is our light (sun) & warmth in dark places. We are all light, and it is in everyone. But, the light of some might be smoldering for various reasons. So others choose to reignite their fire or eventually allow it to die.

I’m reminded of the meme that is passed around sometimes about feeding the two wolves. While it is admirable to share in order to understand parts of ourselves, it is ultimately misleading, because it focuses on duality.

A better metaphor could be feeding a fire, and the fire transmutes whatever you feed it, akin to the saying, “You are what you eat.”

But there is another step to this. Since fire transmutes matter into another form, we must be conscious of how and what we are transforming, and the intent behind this dance.

Whatever you feed the fire has much potential for positivity or negativity. But, regardless of the positivity or negativity,  one must be careful of feeding the fire because it can still burn you either way! Ultimately, we are in control of feeding the fire. We have the power to shine that light wherever we want. But, upon deciding to shine said light, we must also be conscious of why and when, as it is rewriting patterns within.

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Last Night’s Meditation

If one were to successfully plan out our lives to the most minute detail, not only would one learn nothing, but one’s heart would get bored and stop dreaming.

There is no heart in a plan. This doesn’t mean plans should be shunned as there is a place for them (to an extent), but it does mean one shouldn’t be married to any plan. Anything that could happen, will happen and has already happened. Each choice you make echoes, reflects & refracts off time and space to shape our futures in this lifetime’s current.

This is one of the things that’s so amazing about being human. Not only do we have the potential to recognize a limited, yet wide scope of choices, but we have such freedom to seemingly make an unlimited amount of choices, and each one is going to give us a nudge into a certain reality, the reality where we made that choice to say, talk to the next person we see on the street (who probably wasn’t planning on that by the way).

But here’s where things get a little tricky. To what extent do our choices affect others? To what extent do our choices affect the world around us? To an extent, the choices of others affect us. Many people speculate on that through various means, and in reality, right now, only time will tell. But this is another one of life’s paradoxes, in that on one hand we have this unlimited freedom to make many choices, and yet to an extent our choices are bound by the choices of other!

I’m not going to say something pedantic like “choose wisely” because I know each person is going to make whatever choices they are going to make. But, now that you’ve read this, and it cannot be un-learned, just remember to choose consciously. At least think before you make a choice, at minimum give each choice five seconds of thought. That’s all, see what happens.

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Baby Steps Change Time

We must remember that change takes time.

A tree does not become a tree in one night. But this doesn’t mean if we want change we should simply sit back and wait passively. Go out, make change, but understand that it takes time, which takes patience.

Excitement is understandable in wanting to make change and share it with many, but rushing to make changes leaves more room for error and also does not show love toward the idea. Change must be nurtured in order to have the desired outcome.

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