The Three Rules Of Meditation

I found meditation at a Japanese Buddhist Zen center in Crestone Colorado during a one-week yoga retreat. I had struggled with incorporating meditation into my daily life for several months, but for some reason, this retreat broke through. Maybe it was because the procedures were laid out so clearly up front. Since many of the attendees were new to meditation, the head monk gave a short talk on meditation the first night. He demonstrated how to sit, how to hold your hands and gave us three simple rules to follow.

1.  Don’t move.

2.  Don’t scratch.

3.  Don’t invite your thoughts to tea.

Simple right? Not so much. Each rule, while simple in and of itself, encompasses an entire philosophy. Brilliant.


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Have You Tried A Mandala Coloring Book?

Do you like to color? I loved it when I was a child, and loved it again when my children were young. Recently, I have rediscovered it. OK – go ahead and laugh, but it is very relaxing and even a “cool” thing to do nowadays. Well, maybe not cool, but acceptable, in the context of meditation and relaxation. A recent walk through Barnes and Noble last weekend revealed a full table (in prime real estate!) filled with adult coloring books, most of them Mandala coloring books. I couldn’t resist. I bought one, and the fancy colored pencil set displayed right next to it too.


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Sun Salutations With The Family

Do you make your family do yoga with you? Meditate with you? I try, but it is hard, particularly with my children. But once in a while I get lucky. Like this weekend. I didn’t have time to make it to Bikram Yoga class so I decided to do 20 minutes of Sun Salutations instead. It was a beautiful sunny day, and I set up outside on the patio. Just in case, I brought out some extra mats with me, and lo and behold, a couple of kids showed up. And a husband. I think they even liked it.


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Meditating With Monks

I am new to meditation, but as my regular readers know, I am working to incorporate it into my daily life. So when I had the opportunity to meditate with Buddhist monks at a Zen Center in Colorado for a week this summer as part of a yoga retreat, I jumped at the chance. It took me 11 hours to get to the Zen Center from NYC, and the meditation practice began with a wake-up bell at 4:30 am, but the experience was amazing! And most importantly, since I returned, I have been meditating every morning. I hope that I can keep it up.


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Can you Find These Three Things In Every Posture?

I recently attended a fabulous yoga retreat at the Crestone Mountain Zen Center led by a wonderful yoga teacher named Charlie Samos. The retreat combined yoga, hiking and Zen meditation. I loved it! There were so many enriching experiences at the retreat, but one of the most memorable was the final yoga class. Charlie challenged each of us to find three things in every posture of the class: (1) the ease of Sukhasana or Seated Pose, (2) the stability of Tadasana or Mountain Pose, and (3) the compassion of Savasna.

It was an interesting exercise and made for a deep and enriching class. Each posture was an exploration of emotion and spirit in addition to the physical asana. It was a wonderful treat and a good lesson in how a physical yoga practice can be expanded and deepened through thoughtful meditation.


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