THE MEDITATION CUSHION

pillow-for-meditations

Meditation:  Where do we do it?

Meditation isn’t mysterious, isn’t difficult, doesn’t require special equipment nor does it require a special place or a specific spot.  You can meditate anywhere, if your intent is right.

Sitting meditation can be conducted on a comfy cushion, a hard bench, amoung the grasses on the ground, while a passenger in a car, on a train, a plane, or while sitting quietly in the Doctor’s office waiting for an appointment.  Anywhere you can find five minutes to sit without talking or visiting with someone is a place you can meditate, as long as your intent is to meditate and not to show off how well you meditate.

Walking meditation, conducted by walking up and down a designated lane or path, in your house, garden or forest, focusing on one of the five body points and silently repeating a word of prayer or mantra with your eyes hooded and downcast, is part of the Samatha tradition, which was discussed in the second post of the “Meditation Cushion”.

You can designate a walking path in your living room, a garden or somewhere in the woods, a place where you can walk in quiet, peacefully concentrating on the point of focus and the word of prayer or mantra.  You can walk with your shoes on, in your socks or your bare feet, depending on what is appropriate.

Walking meditation conducted while walking along the street, in a park or on a nature pathway, is part of mindfulness training and differs from Samatha meditation.

During mindfulness walking meditation, your eyes are fully open, you are aware of your surroundings.  Your focus is the experience of the moment.  What can you see, smell, or hear?  Can you smell the trees, the flowers; can you hears, birds, dogs, squirrels, bells.  Pay attention to one of these sensations.  When you find your mind has wandered off, thinking unhappy thoughts, of work or about the shopping list, remind yourself to be in the moment – recapture the sensation you were focused on and enjoy the walk.

Take advantage of your schedule, meditate whenever you have the opportunity, conduct meditation wherever you are.  Try mindfully washing the dishes, folding the laundry, gardening or washing the car.  Be there, in the moment.  Make an appointment with yourself to meditate in a more formal fashion, sit for five minutes when you wake up, another five minutes at lunch time and another five minutes before dinner.  Nothing on TV?  Do a half hour of walking meditation and half hour of sitting meditation instead of letting yourself become bored.

Whether you choose to practice Samatha or mindfulness walking, meditation provides your body with gentle exercise.  It allows the mind and consciousness a moment to rest and connect with a bit of peace and calm.

Meditation is easy, its’ conduction depends on you.  You reaps its’ rewards and its’ benefits, wherever you meditate.

By Cheryle L. Baker                                      March 31, 2015

March – Photo Bloggers Challenge

March was a difficult month for doubles.  I did enjoy getting out into my yard to capture a few spring shots, which I call “Birds, Buds and Benches”.

two birds 3

This is the birdhouse both the birds and the squirrels share.

Double Buds April 27 2015_0001

March 2015 sees the Lilacs in bud already in bud.

Double seater

Another bench built for two.

seats for two

Not quite a bench, but a nice spot for two to sit and meditate amoung the cherry trees and peonies.

two birds on a pole

Two birds on a pole.

Copyright Cheryle March 2015

DAY 20 – TRIUMPH AND CONTRAST

DAY 20 – TRIUMPH AND CONTRAST

I was so triumphant when I found the Owl in the tree and so much more so when I was able to capture it with my Nikon D60.  Can you see it?  Who Who  Whooo

Every year Owls nest in this same tree, raising one Owlet. They feed it, love it, teach it about owl life, flying and let it set out to make a life of its’ own.

Owl Eye

I have a special affinity for owls. They are beautiful, silent and can see in the dark.   Owl is one of my totems.

The Owl, connected to Athena, represents wisdom, intuition and being able to see beyond deception.  Often seen as being associated with the underworld, a protector of the night and in some cultures accompanies the dead to the afterlife.

I also played Owl in a children’s theatre production of Winnie the Pooh.  I don’t know if I was successful or not as I scared most of the kids.

Cheryle 2015

DAY 19 – BLOGGING U – PHOTOGRAHY 101

Day 19 – Doubles

I took today’s assignment of Doubles as an opportunity to showcase my furbabies. They do not go outside and love to sun themselves in their condo in the kitchen window. They are pampered and spoiled.  But then, so am I.

Double Take or Reflection

Cheryle  March 2015

Day 18 – Blogging U – Photography 101

Day 18 – Edge and Alignment

I’m not sure this meets the criteria for today’s assignment.  It does have edge and it did need alignment.
I thought this was a beautiful peek-a-boo shot of the tree and water reflections from a window in my parents home.  No matter what the season, they have a heavenly front yard.

Phone pics_Nov 30 2013_4367-1

Cheryle – March 2015

Day 16 – Blogging U – Photography 101

TREASURE – UP CLOSE

Inukshuk March 24, 2015_0011

An Inukshuk

Hunters guide

Navigational indicator

Food cache

Life Saviour

Communication cairn

Stone spirits

Equality epitome

Balanced stability

Supporter supported

Human Being

Cheryle March 24, 2015

Inukshuk March 24, 2015_0007

Cheryle    March 24, 2015

Day 5 – 5 Day Black and White Photo Challenge

Day 5 – 5 Day Black and White Photo Challenge

My friend hurindine608 of “Needle at the Bottom of the Sea” challenged me to post a black and white photo for five days.  This is my fifth and final post for the challenge.

For day 5 of the 5 Day Black and White Photo Challenge I challenge:  Holly of “It’s all a Matter of Perspective”   http://jahangiri.us/2013/holly-jahangiri/    No worries if you are unable to accept.  This is for fun after all.

Orb sharpened

A metal sculpture sits silent under a sifting of snow.

 

Cheryle March 2015

Day 4 – 5 Day Black and White Photo Challenge

Day 4 – 5 Day Black and White Photo Challenge

This is a photo of dual meditation seats.  Meditation with a friend can be more productive than meditating on your own.

meditation seats

The tractor seats were welded onto hand cut springs which were then anchored onto rocks for stability. The meditation seats are springy and are so comfortable. 10,000 farmers can’t be wrong.   In the winter, I sprinkle sunflower seeds on the seats, the squirrels and birds love them.

For day 4 of the 5 Day Black and White Photo challenge I challenge Sarah of Chilly Bella at https://chillybella.wordpress.com/  The criteria is to post a black and white photo for 5 days and then to challenge another blogger to do the same.

There is no pressure if you cannot accept this challenge.  After all it is for fun.

Cheryle March 2105