Meditation & Minfulness

Meditation – Practicing The Pause

July 23, 2016


Meditation is your time to practice this pause.

Try it, right now.


Can you feel that pause? Just as your breath transitions from inhaling to exhaling there is a moment. A space. A pause.

Can you be in that pause? Sitting there with the space of nothing and infinity at the same time.

This isn’t easy. Especially at first.

But the ability to do this, to pause, is monumental.

Think of the last time you were upset, agitated, depressed or anxious. More often than not, these feelings of anxiety, agitation, frustration and depression come on quickly and last longer than they should.

There is a natural reason for this. We’re fight-or-flight animals and triggering these defense mechanisms were necessary to outrun the bears.

But today, when we don’t have any bears to out run, we still conjure up these harsh overreactions with just as much speed. They come on in a moment and overtake us.

All of a sudden we jump to harmful conclusions. We can’t think strait. We can’t problem solve. We make rash decisions that are harmful to others and ourselves.

But if we pause, just for a moment, we can create some space between our true selves and the fight-or-flight reaction.

In this pause, our higher brain has an opportunity to step in with some reason. This pause can lessen the grip that anxiety and agitation can have on our mind, our breath and our soul.

Meditation gives us the opportunity to practice this pause. So when the stimuli comes up – whether it be your co-worker, that person who cut you off or even your spouse, you can pause before jumping to your usual reaction. It’s not you, it’s your pattern. Your opportunity in these situations is during this pause.


There is so much power in this pause.

Meditate & be well.


1 Comment

  • Reply Ira Rabois – Summertime July 23, 2016 at 4:48 pm

    […] *New Addition: I just saw this posting on Facebook, meditating on the pause by Erin Ramsay. […]

  • Leave a Reply

    My Meditation Practice

    My Meditation Recipe – What is Working For Me Now

    July 10, 2016

    I have a relationship with my meditation practice.

    Sometimes I get along great with her. I crave my time with her. I look forward to sitting down and being with her, which is really being within myself. 

    And sometimes I don’t. I don’t want to be around her and I kind of avoid her.

    Truth be told, I have a slight need to defend myself here. But I’m not going to. I’m sharing my journey as a normal person and this normal person’s meditation practice ebbs & flows.

    As of late, meditation and I have been in an ebb phase.

    I’ve been here before and when this happens, I have to change a few things up in my practice. In the past, I would try to address my struggles with big, grandiose changes like mediating for 1 hour twice per day every day!

    Spoiler alert – fail.

    Huge lightening learning – small changes actually work.

    So I’ve made a few small changes that have brought be back to flowing with my meditaiton practice.

    I have stopped using my iPhone to time my sitting practice because I’d check the timer during my practice. I know use my oven timer & then sit in a different room. This allows me to get a little ‘lost’ in my practice, it’s still time bound but I feel more unleashed with out that d@*$ iPhone near me.

    I set my sitting practice to be 15 minutes long. During this time, I have two breath awareness patterns that have been serving me well:

    1. Sama Vritti – commonly referred to as equal part breathing, this is a pranayama technique where all parts of the breath are the same in length. I actually do a variation here where I inhale for a count of 6, hold in for a count of 3, exhale for 6, hold out for 3. Traditionally you would have the same count all around.
    2. Focused Breathing – I inhale focusing on my backside and exhale focusing on my frontside. I actually try to feel the back of of my shoulder blades splay out and lift as the breath stretches out the back of my lungs. I then move the breath across my collar bones and exhale down the front of my body feeling my navel hug into my spine. Moving the breath in this circular pattern is a whole lot o’things  – maybe this will be my next post:)
    3. 10 minutes of pranayama –Nadi Shodhana or Kapalabhati Pranayama  or both.

    The small changes have really worked for me these last couple of weeks. I was struggling with my practice and now I’m not so much.

    I’ve mentioned the small things before and the more I journey, the more I covet them. The small things mean I can do this. And here’s the thing about small things – they feed the soul just as much as the big things.

    Meditate & be well.

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    Meditation & Minfulness

    Finding Self-Honesty

    June 18, 2016

    “To thine own self, be true.” -Shakespeare

    My meditation practice has brought many gifts into my life. The gift I want to talk about today is self-honesty.

    Self-honesty is not in the Merriam-Webster dictionary. My type A personality would love a clear, vetted definition of this word to use as a guide here. Something that I can memorize and reference. But it doesn’t technically exist.

    Ironically, the lack of recognized definition requires me to tap in to my own senses to define self-honesty, which is kind of what self-honesty actually is.

    For me, self-honesty is this amalgamation of seeking, accepting and understanding what I’m experiencing within.

    I think of it as this voice, deep in my core that is really quite wise. It’s the voice of my true nature. The one that had a say when I was a kid, telling me sincerely what I liked and what I didn’t.

    Horses? Like. Piano lessons? Dislike. Potato chips? Like. Bananas? Dislike.

    These examples simplify this inner voice, but what I keep thinking is how simple it was to listen to this inner voice when you’re a kid. I knew exactly what was going on inside when I was 8.

    But as I grew and became an adult, I began to ignore this inner voice. I turned away from it and began to pay attention to the outside ‘should voice’. Doing, thinking, saying and acting according to how I thought I ‘should’.

    I ‘should’ study science because that would mean I was smart.

    I ‘should’ do marathons because that would mean I was a dedicated, good runner.

    The ‘should voice’ was completely external, directed by all the things that were outside of my true self. Sometimes my true nature actually liked what the ‘should voice’ was saying (like running). But the problem was that the ‘should voice’ took it to the extreme (1 marathon = great! 6 marathons = bye bye knees.)

    The ‘should voice’ was loud, bossy and really (really) hard to please.

    When your ‘should voice’ takes over, it is hard to hear your true, inner voice and it is almost impossible act and make decisions that are in harmony with our true nature.

    We are exposed to so many external messages that it becomes a real challenge to turn inward and listen to our true nature, our deep-inside-voice.

    I believe that my inner voice brought meditation into my life because she knew I desperately needed to hear her. She knew that this externally-focused life was causing internal suffering and even harm. The ‘should voice’ didn’t work and I’d had enough.

    Meditation has given my inner voice some volume. It has given me the ability to step inside and connect with my true nature and recognize what I may truly need or want as opposed to what the media or other individuals may be saying. I’m not going to lie, it’s hard to stay the course. But at least I’m gaining awareness.

    Meditation has given me the pause I need to turn from the outside to the inside.

    As a result, life flows just a bit easier now. There are moments of calm, acceptance and self-love. Somedays there are longer moments than others and some days the moments escape me. But that is just how it goes.

    Meditate & be well.

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    Applying The Niyamas To Your Practice

    May 2, 2016

    Last week, I wrote about how one can apply Patanjali’s yamas to meditation.  Yoga postures tend to dominate our social media feeds so we are quite familiar with the physical portion of yoga, the asana practice. But we tend to be less familiar with the concept of yoga as a science or a process of brining us more in touch with our true self. In the Yoga Sutras, one of the oldest and most regarded yoga texts written by the sage Patanjali, outlines the science of yoga in eight distinct limbs (or steps). The first limb, the yamas, describes the restraints that enable us to harmoniously live within a community.

    While the first limb is about our behaviors as they relate to others, the second limb or niyamas, is about the behaviors as they relate to our own internal happiness, confidence and inner strength. The niyamas are the observances or supportive duties that we can use to create a positive internal environment enabling us to connect with our true self. Together, the yamas and the niyamas constitute the moral codes of yoga’s philosophy, science and lifestyle.

    The niyamas are comprised of five core observances:

    Saucha (purity) Is about keeping things clean. Our body, our minds and our living space. Things take up energy and when we have ‘clutter’ both around and inside of us our state of mind is going to bear the brunt. Our meditation practice is essential to our mental hygiene but it’s going to be impacted by what is going on within our body and within our environment. Impurities adversely affect our thinking patterns, clouding our innate wisdom and clarity. So take inventory of what is going in and around you (and no I’m not suggesting a juice cleanse). What are some attainable and sustainable lifestyle changes you can make to de-clutter and cleanse your life? Where can you find a little more calm and a little more order that could potentially support your meditation practice?

    Samtosha (contentment) I love this one. It’s about welcoming what you get. It’s about releasing your mind of wanting something different and accepting what is. When we are constantly striving for something ‘different’ or when we have created a thought pattern that things ‘should’ be a certain way we foster the ideal habitat for suffering. There are a lot of expectations around meditation and this sets us up for frustration and struggle during our practice. But if we approach our practice as a time to just ‘be’ in whatever should arise we can begin to release some of these binding expectations. The number of minutes spent sitting in meditation is irrelevant. The number of times your mind wanders doesn’t matter. Let your mediation be a space to just ‘be’ and invite contentment into your practice.

    Tapas (self-discipline) This literally translates to heat. It is the energy you conjure up to mobilize change or focus an effort. We have to call on this energy, or this heat because we’re proactively doing something that will improve our body, mind or spirit. And chances are these are things that we don’t ‘really’ want to do. It takes self discipline to take care of ourselves in a culture seeped in unhealthy habits. Let’s be honest, sitting down for our mediation practice isn’t always high on our list. If it didn’t feel like a chore at times it wouldn’t be so hard to do. It takes commitment, self-discipline and this ‘fire’ to bring us to our practice every day. But here is the thing, we all have self-discipline. So use it.

    Svadhyaya (self-study) Literally translates ‘to recollect the Self’. This is about asking the eternal question ‘Who Am I?’ This one is not easy especially because the way we live can (and does) completely distract us from our true nature, our internal self. We are subject to constant stimulation and never ending messaging which prevents us from paying attention to what is going on inside. I’ve written about this here  and here. It’s one of the primary reasons I believe we need meditation more than ever. We need a break from all of the noise and stimuli. We need to practice listening to our own internal needs and inclinations without external influences. Use your meditation practice as a true break from everything we deal with in the outside world. Let your inner voice, your true self be present in your practice, learning from and listening to what’s inside. Use meditation to encourage your true self to be loud – eventually louder than everything else.

    Ishvara Pranidhana (devotion) This is the dedication or surrender to something higher. The offering to something greater than ourselves, the pinnacle of spiritual practice. Patanjali states that liberation, the highest happiness, can only come from a love of or communion with God. But once again, don’t get distracted by the anthropomorphic representation of God. Consider that there is a divine design, a benevolent essence in our universe and think about your contribution to this divinity. In simplest terms, it’s about the notion that this offering connects us to something greater. This connection makes our own capacity limitless and this is beautiful. I’ve shared my meditation recipe where I talk about finding the edges of your form. This gives you a tangible place to drop into, or go within. When I think of devotion in the context of this niyama, I think of the edges of my form actually disintegrating. So there is no outside of me or inside of me. It is all just me. There is true comfort here and I don’t think my words can do this comfort justice so I would encourage you to try it yourself. Connect to the greater universe in your meditation and feel the grounding effect this has on your practice.

    The niyamas can truly serve us by opening up new capacities to nourish our body, mind and spirit. Together with the yamas, we can learn to live a simple, peaceful, disciplined life that enables our true self to flourish. Once again, think about these observances and how they can contribute to your meditation practice.

    Mediate & be well.

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    Monthly Readings

    Meditation & Mindfulness Readings On The Internet

    April 30, 2016

    It’s the last day of April and to round out your month, here is a list of interesting reads on mindfulness & meditation from around the interwebz. Enjoy.

    Meditate and be well.

    The core skill of meditation is showing up
    Release your expectations and keep coming back to your practice.

    What Unconditional Self-Love Looks Like
    Self-love is deep within. This piece gives a new perspective to loving your true nature.

    The Unexpected Benefits of Anxiety
    We often use meditation as an anxiety anecdote, but this piece gives a different perspective on anxiety.

    Different Perspectives
    The last quote really resonated with me.

    Don’t Just Declutter, De-Own.
    Interesting thoughts on shedding the ‘things’

    We Are All We Have
    We are all that we need.

    12 Self-Awareness Exercises That Fuel Happiness and Success
    Powerful message about how recognizing your motivations.


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    My Meditation Practice

    Ramblings On My Meditation Practice – Small Steps

    April 28, 2016

    ‘The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.’  – Lao Tzu

    This past weekend I was walking with a friend. A good friend. A friend who suffers from chronic pain. Every day.

    For the past few months, she has been participating in a clinical study that is testing the effectiveness of this new treatment specifically designed for her ailment. On our walk, she was articulating the stress she feels when she has to speak to the effectiveness of the treatment – she thinks it is helping but it isn’t night and day. It was like she didn’t want to let someone else or herself down if she couldn’t say, with complete confidence, that this was a cure. She can pinpoint small improvements in some areas, but it’s not like her chronic pain is suddenly gone.

    This made me think of so many things that we assume will change. One action, one modification, one trial. Immediate results.

    I started out thinking this story represented the meditation journey. But as I’m writing it, I am realizing that this is how meditation also serves us too.

    When I started meditating, I didn’t notice anything. Not a damn thing.

    I was uncomfortable sitting and my mind wandered.

    But I kept at it.

    After awhile I was still uncomfortable sitting and my mind kept wandering.

    But I kept at it.

    Even though the B.A.T.s (Big A$$ Things = the things that stress me out and knock me down) I was dealing with were still in my life, I started to notice that very small things were changing. And I mean small.

    • I could watch a TV show without having to fiddle on my phone or get up constantly.
    • I could stand in line and not be impatient.
    • I could do things at a slow pace (slow paces typically drove me nutty).
    • I could read an entire article in one sitting without getting up to check something, do something, be somewhere, etc.
    • When something frustrated me, I could think, ‘huh, that’s frustrating’ as opposed to letting it completely consume me (this still ebbs and flows).
    • I could leave a dirty dish in the sink (hello type A).
    • I could untie my shoelaces before yanking my foot out of my sneaker.

    I told you they were small.

    When I sit on my cushion and drop into my meditation, I am making a small step towards my own inner connection, peace and fulfillment.

    And in return, I’m seeing small steps towards inner connection, peace and fulfillment.

    If you go in expecting that meditation is going to cure all of your BATs, you’re going to be in for a serious let down. Chances are you’ve practiced being a certain way for many, many years and it is going to take time to reverse your patterns, modify your behavior or change your actions.

    It also doesn’t help that we are conditioned to think that there are [immediate] fixes for everything.

    Attaching the expectation of immediate results puts an unattainable goal on your practice and that’s not fair. It’s not fair to the science of meditation and most of all, it’s not fair to you. You deserve a chance at whatever you are trying to cope with and meditation gives you a [really good] chance. So many things take time, and this is not a bad thing. There is a lot of learning, growing and strengthening that can take place with time. Think of how long it takes to save money or grow your hair out or move up in your career. The good things are going to take time.

    Keep practicing. Notice the little changes. Give yourself time. Treat your practice with compassion.

    Mediate & be well.

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    Applying The Yamas To Your Practice

    April 23, 2016

    Many (many, many) moons ago, Patanjali compiled the Yoga Sutras, considered one of the foundational texts of yoga. When we think of yoga, we often think of the physical poses that comprise the asana practice. But the yoga tradition is much more – it’s a systematic science that enables us to realize and embody our true authentic self. Yoga is the process we can leverage to experience a life free from any false conceptions or illusions created by our environment and learned by our mind.

    Why is this important?

    Because the separation from our true self, our authentic nature, created by delusion or misconception causes suffering.

    We spend our days bombarded by stressors, constant messages, moving in unnaturally fast paces setting almost unattainable standards. Without awareness, our minds can start to process and interpret these days in illusory ways. We make assumptions about the way things appear to be, how others are thinking, what may or may not happen. And then we brood, taking on these thoughts, far far away from our true self.

    Patanjali states that ‘Yoga is the restraint of mental modifications.’ It’s the experience of disassociating the ‘thinking’ mind and allowing the deeper layers of consciousness, the more authentic mind, to shine through. Tapping into these deeper layers gives us the ability to identify and become aware of false thinking, judgements and assumptions. This is considered one of the fundamental definitions of yoga, embraced by many of the yoga traditions.

    Patanjali lays out a map, or a guide to understanding the process of yoga organized into eight limbs or steps. This ancient text has been interpreted many ways and while seemingly esoteric, the Yoga Sutras offer valuable principles that can help to navigate our intricate lives.

    The first limb or step is the yamas which address the restraints necessary to live within a community or family. Restraining from violence, greed, truth and possessiveness are necessary to live a life free from harm and fear and they can also offer guidance and compassion during our meditation practice.

    The Yamas are comprised of five core restraints:

    Ahimsa (non-harming) While traditionally referring to nonviolence, the meaning and application can be broadened to encompass a mind without violent or hurtful thoughts. We can often be hard on ourselves during meditation – frustrated with a wandering mind, lack of concentration or success leading to forceful meditation. This frustrated or even hurtful thought pattern disables awareness – when we are forcing we are not feeling. Meditation is the practice of coming back to yourself, and this does require discipline. But when you become aware of your drifting mind, compassionately call yourself back, without harm and without judgement.

    Satya (truth) Honor your feelings, your thoughts, words and deeds. Not just with others, but with yourself and your meditation practice. If you are struggling with your practice try to lean into the challenge. Recognize and assess what is going on. Do you have to try a different meditation approach? Do you have to process and address something that is unpleasant and uncomfortable? Do you need to recommit to your practice? Honesty will only serve you in your meditation practice.

    Asteya (non-stealing) It’s easy to think of the material things here, the tangibles like food, money, clothes, cars, etc. But when thinking of asteya, it is important consider why there is a perception that stealing is necessary and that does not only pertain to tangible things. Asteya is about the fallacy that we cannot create what we need leading to a sense of scarcity, greed and hoarding. In the context of meditation it can be a significant leap to realize that so much is within and that our wanting is really the illusion that we are lacking. When we judge others and ourselves, we are stealing away from our true self, creating a story based on assumptions that fill a superficial longing. In our practice, it’s hard to let go of the expectation or judgment of what meditation should be, should feel like, should accomplish and this can steal from the presence that grounds our meditation.

    Brahmacharya (celibacy) Buzz kill right? But let’s be real – we’re not renouncing. But like Asteya, there is more to this principal. Think of it as preventing the exertion of one’s precious energy through the misuse of the senses. Your personal energy, your currency to get through life is precious and shouldn’t be ruled by superficial urges. This principal is more important than ever today – think of the overstimulation we deal with everywhere. Our diet, media, marketing, multi-tasking, fast-paced lives are seeped in overstimulation – everything is overdone. Because of this, we actually struggle to unwind, unplug, relax or vacation (buzz kill for real on this one). We feel this in our practice – one of the biggest challenges is to just ‘be’ and that is what meditation is. To just be. Without judgement, without attachment, without a constant stream of thoughts that rivals your twitter feed. So. Much. Distraction. It’s also why we need meditation more than ever. Recognize the forces fighting for your energy and keep coming back to your practice.

    Aparigraha (non-grasping) Or more simply, letting go. We only have so much precious energy and when it is consumed by the ‘old junk’ that doesn’t serve us, there is nothing left to seek what does serve us. We hold on to illusions that serve our thought patterns or need to believe a certain way. While meditation is our best anecdote, holding onto these false thought patterns can be such a barrier to our practice, they keep us stuck in the superficial layers and prevent access to the deeper layers that make up our core, our true self. Let this come up in your meditation but don’t let it block your practice. Let your meditation confront these un-serving thoughts.

    Yama means ‘bridle’ or ‘rein’ which accurately represents the the ‘restraints’ we should willingly epitomize as we seek a fulfilling life. Think about these yamas in the context of your meditation practice and how they can contribute to your journey.

    Meditate & be well.


  • Reply Lisa April 23, 2016 at 8:20 pm

    Hi Erin-thanks for this beautifully written reminder of the yamas and the importance of meditation. I hope to join you starting in a few months.
    Good luck on your journey.

    • Reply Admin April 23, 2016 at 8:52 pm

      Thank you Lisa, I am glad you connected with the post. Be well.

  • Reply CaseyHAiello August 21, 2016 at 1:18 am

    Very nice article, exactly what I needed.

    • Reply Erin August 21, 2016 at 5:39 am

      I’m glad you enjoyed it CaseyHAiello!


  • Reply DomitilaKRew August 26, 2016 at 10:51 am

    It’s actually a nice and helpful component of information. I’m happy which you shared this
    helpful info along with us. Please stay us current such as this.
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  • Reply GroverBMonks August 27, 2016 at 2:12 pm

    Very energetic article, I loved that bit. Will there be described as a part 2?

    • Reply Erin August 29, 2016 at 4:28 pm

      I will continue to build out the content of this blog. That being said, I do have a full time job so my goal is 2-3 posts per month. Thank you for reading and reaching out with a comment.


    Leave a Reply

    My Meditation Practice

    Ramblings On My Meditation Practice – Starting Over

    April 20, 2016

    I live in the beautiful green mountains of Vermont. It’s a special place for sure, but if you live here, you know spring is not Vermont’s glory season. While the rest of the country is enjoying all of summer’s benefits with none its extreme heat, we are probably still under foot of snow with below freezing temperatures. This year has been no exception. Last week we had a stretch of weather that was gray, spitting snow and hovering around 12 degrees. In April. It’s a downer.

    My practices of late have been scattered and just blah. For the most part, I have found a recipe that works well for me and I have a couple of tools to use when the going gets a little rough. But it’s been a challenge to sink into myself. I haven’t come out of my practice feeling centered or grounded.

    Much like the recent weather. Just blah.

    Maybe it’s the day job? Maybe it’s the change of season? Maybe I’m processing more than I’m realizing?

    After weeks (and really months) of damp, grey or frigid cold, the sun started to shine yesterday. It truly warmed up to a comfortable 60 degrees. It was a true bluebird day and it was glorious.

    It didn’t solve my meditation woes but it made me think about how we can always start over.

    Our minds are going to wander, sometimes more than other times. We’ve actually practiced chasing things with our mind way more than we’ve practiced clearing our mind so be compassionate and bring your mind back to your breath. You can always start over.

    Life gets going and maybe you missed a day or two or ten of meditation. Be aware of this and realize that it takes commitment and discipline to prioritize the important things. Meditation deserves a spot on the important list. You can always start over.

    Your practice isn’t always going to be comfortable. Either physically or emotionally. Maybe you’re pose isn’t serving your practice and causing discomfort. Maybe your practice is bringing up some feelings that aren’t easy to be with. Changing your practice or trying some new techniques are sometimes an easy fix and other times you may just need to work through the discomfort. You can always start over.

    Just like Mother Nature started over with a blue bird day, we can always start over. Maybe it’s a small start-over or maybe it’s a big audacious do-over. Maybe it’s some action that your whole world can see or maybe it’s a small shift in your mindset that you alone benefit from.

    The point is, spring will always come, even in the dreariest of Aprils. This seasonal start-over does more than just bring the warmer weather, it shifts our our feelings, outlook and energy levels. We too can start over, at any time in our practice, in our day or in our life.

    Meditate & be well.


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      Thanks for reaching out and letting me know you enjoy my content!


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      Thanks DaraJZiebert!

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    • Reply Erin August 20, 2016 at 6:30 am

      I’m so glad you enjoy the blog. Thank you for commenting.

    Leave a Reply

    Meditation & Minfulness

    Grounding Your Meditation With The Breath

    April 16, 2016

    The research and anecdotal evidence is all around us – meditation is a practice that can benefit so many areas of our lives. But unfortunately, meditation is hard. How counter intuitive right? You just have to sit and clear your mind. Some days are easier than others, but when we are inside our minds, it can be hard to find peace.

    Samatha meditation is a common form of sitting meditation based on breath attention. By focusing on your breath, you can begin to calm the mind. Superficially, the breath doesn’t seem like much to focus on and as a result, the mind can begin to wonder. In actuality, the breath is really quite elaborate. It’s the tide of our life and bringing our attention to the intricacies that make up our inhales and exhales has the potential to actually ground our practice and clear our mind.

    When focusing on just the inhale and exhale seems like not enough, try the following techniques to tap into our ethereal breath:

    Visualize Your Breath

    Think of your torso as a vessel and visualize the breath moving up and down this container. Maybe your breath is a beautiful color, or a soft light moving from the bases of your pelvis up to the rim of your chest on inhale. Watch this beautiful color or light as it moves down from the rim of your chest down into your pelvis as you exhale.

    Feel Your Breath

    Breath causes movement within your body. Can you feel every articulation of this movement? Can you feel the shoulder blades actually splay out as you fill your vessel with breath? Can you feel the collar bones lift just a little at the top of the inhale? Can you feel every fiber move as the breath moves down your body during exhalation? Can you feel your navel come in towards your spine at the bottom of the exhale?

    Breath From The Inside Out

    Try to visualize your breath happening in your deepest core – your bones. Picture your frame, your actual bones breathing in and out. Then visualize this breath moving to your muscles and tissues. Picture your flesh breathing with your bones. Finally, picture your skin, your outer layer to the world breathing with your bones and your muscles. Feel the breath literally from the inside out.

    Pause Your Breath (Kumbhaka)

    Just for a moment as you transition from you inhale to your exhale. And then again as you transition from exhale to inhale. Can you find stillness in this pause? Can you let the stillness envelop you and then let the weight of that stillness ground you?

    Equal Part Breathing (Sama Vritti Pranayama)

    This is the practice of equalizing the length of each inhale-pause-exhale-pause. For example, you would inhale for a count of 4, pause for a count of 4, exhale for count of 4 and then pause for a count of 4.

    Using A Mantra

    The journey within is personal, so choose a word or words that resonate with your practice. One of the easiest mantras I use is ‘Be Here’. I inhale with the word ‘Be’ and exhale with the word ‘Here’.

    Breath Into The Corners Of Your Body

    Visualize your breath reaching the farthest regions of your body – the ends of your fingers and toes. Feel each inhale radiate from your heart center to the far corners of your body. Feel each exhale start from your farthest regions, the edge of your skin, the ends of the fingers and toes all the way back to your heart center.

    Meditation is hard so be kind to yourself as you recognize it is a process. May these simple ideas resonate with your practice and bring peace and calm to your mind.

    Meditate & be well.

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    My Meditation Practice

    Ramblings On My Meditation Practice – What It’s Like

    April 9, 2016

    I’ve spent a lot of time trying to figure out what meditation is supposed to feel like.

    Or even what I’m supposed to feel like. 

    I would find myself asking the question – Am I doing it??

    Meditation is kind of weird like that. In concept, it is simplistic in nature but in reality, it’s complicated in practice.

    Like when you were a kid on a road trip – are we there yet?

    When I sit down to meditate, I go through my recipe as a way to arrive within in my practice. The first few minutes (really no clue how long I spend here) are about settling in and this is probably the hardest part of the practice. I have intention, but I also have a mind that is going like an overactive twitter feed:

    What do else do I have to get done today?

    What do I have to do at work?

    Ugh, So-And-So bothered me so much when they did XYZ.

    GAH! Why am sitting here doing nothing when I have to do ABC!

    Should I be exercising and burning calories instead right now?

    You get the idea.

    Here is where I’m the kid in the back seat – when are we going to get there?

    And then the twitter feed starts to slow down. I start to process and cleanse out the chirping twitter-birds. It’s here where I begin to take up my form, truly within my edges. I can feel my breath and focus on it. I can sink into the comfort of my body.

    Here is where it all melts. The time, the destination and the judgement. What is left is space. Slow, open, undefined space. A twitter-bird-thought may pop in but it melts away pretty softly without taking away this cozy space.

    Some days are better than others. Some days you sit and take what you can get, compassionately accepting your practice however it went and realize that you’re building up your meditation-muscle even if you only lasted two minutes. Hey, you’re meditation muscle worked out more than zero minutes right?

    Other days you relish in the bliss of space and say ‘I got this’. 

    It’s called a practice for a reason. I don’t want to be a buzz kill, but this is my 2nd year of practicing and I am finally craving meditation as opposed to considering it something to get through because I should.

    Keep at and be kind to yourself. Two minutes here and there will add up and you’ll get there. It’s a constant journey and it all matters.

    Meditate & be well.


  • Reply ViZDunkinson July 27, 2016 at 5:18 pm

    I am just actually grateful to the holder of the
    webpage having shared this great piece of writing at at this time.

  • Reply CarleeUEplin August 4, 2016 at 10:05 pm

    Awesome post.

    • Reply Erin August 5, 2016 at 7:30 pm

      Thanks for the comment!

    Leave a Reply


  • Reply ViZDunkinson July 27, 2016 at 5:18 pm

    I am just actually grateful to the holder of the
    webpage having shared this great piece of writing at at this time.

  • Reply CarleeUEplin August 4, 2016 at 10:05 pm

    Awesome post.

    • Reply Erin August 5, 2016 at 7:30 pm

      Thanks for the comment!

    Leave a Reply