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

Blogging U 101 – Assignments 16, 17, 18 & 19 Combined

Blogging U 101 – Assignments 16, 17, 18 & 19 Combined

This week I have been a busy girl, I am so far behind in my assignments. On Monday I did my first delivery of bread from Cobbs Bakery to a local charity then enjoyed the first of two days of Lightwalking for the Calgary Operas’ presentation of The Marriage of Figaro.  Did you know they don’t actual sing Figaro, Figaro, Figaro as shown in the Bugs Bunny Cartoons?    Wednesday flew by with household chores, shopping, teaching, and catching up on emails, Twitter, and Facebook.  Thursday was a day of preparation for dinner & the Opera, one of the perks of Lightwalking.  Friday was set aside to complete the final preparations for drum making. The drums were made and hung to dry on Saturday while watching Space Cowboys.

I am combining all the missed assignments into one big post.  I hope it isn’t too huge or boring.

I completed the 16th Assignment “Plug into Social Media” before it was given. During the widget challenge one of the widgets I added to my sidebar was a connection my Twitter feed to WordPress.

The 17th Assignment directed us to add a new page.  I added 2 new pages, one a contact page, not that I am expecting anyone to actually contact me and the second page is a disclaimer page.  I borrowed the idea from Serins at  https://serinssphere.wordpress.com/disclaimer/.  Wahoo!  I have a 3 page blog.

The assignment I had the most difficulty with was the 18th Assignment – Try another blog event.  The purpose to expand our horizons, increase our opportunities for blogging and interact with another community, thereby gathering more friends or readers.

I looked at all the available options.  The photo challenges, the weekly challenges, the one word challenges, the poetry and the cooking events, none of the offerings resonated with me.  After wandering around the dozens of sites for a couple of day, reading the rules and criteria of each, I finally settled on the PBC.

Photo Blog Challenge            http://hoohaablog.com/?page_id=6568

I chose this challenge because it is a monthly event.   On the first of each month the event theme will be posted to which the participants will post 5 photos on their blog representing their interpretation of the theme.   I expect it won’t put too much pressure on me to produce an event post weekly, so it shouldn’t be overwhelmed.  In addition to encouraging me to take pictures of topics other than the mountain ash tree in my garden, I will enjoy interpreting the theme.  I will see how it progresses and what I create.  Here’s to the Photo Blog Challenge!

19th Assignment – Extend your Brand

Brand!  Wow having a Brand makes me feel like a product.   I guess that is what I am a writing product or a product of writing.  I now have a Blavatar.  It is the same photo that I used for my WordPress profile.  I figure if I am supposed to be consistent across the web I should maintain the profile I began with.  Here is the picture, let me know what you think.

I also created a page called Lightwalkers Blog attached to my regular Facebook page.  I tried to connect the two but haven’t seen any evidence that I completed the task correctly.  I will continue to try, but my mind is shutting down where technical tasks are considered.

20th Assignment – Create a Regular Feature

Before I registered for Blogging U 101, I wrote a post called the Meditation Cushion.  I will use this title as part of a regular feature for posts on thoughts, instruction and comments regarding meditation and how it can improve life and relieve stress.  I hope you will like what I post and try some of the suggestions.

21st Assignment – Last Weekend – Review your posts and Make Contact with your New Event Community.

I have enjoyed learning about blogging and especially enjoyed meeting many other bloggers.  I have even surprised myself with some of my new discoveries about myself.   It isn’t as scary as it appears, it is fun. I will visit my fellow Photo  Bloggers Challenge over the next month.

I recommend Blogging U 101 to anyone who is new to Blogging or who is struggling with or avoiding posting.  I have registered for Blogging U 201 and for the Blogging Writing – 201 Poetry sessions.

See you soon.

In love & light

Cheryle