This morning, I finally took a few minutes to literally clear my mind.
Do you remember the last time you sat down (or laid down) and did nothing? And by nothing I mean stillness of the body but above all, of the mind. For me, it was a little while ago, before I became a mom for sure.
When did it become so hard to do nothing? I don’t know how it is for you, but when I think I am doing nothing as I am sitting still, that is when my mind usually goes the craziest! and is it guilt, fear or boredom, but hundreds of thoughts come to my mind and it becomes impossible to experience stillness from the inside out. I would feel the urge to go and get things done.
I seriously think that we hear too much and see too much on a daily basis, and have way too long to do lists that it makes it hard for the mind to stay content, in balance, and “digest” it all.
So, just as much as we detox our body once in a while because we know we have been drinking too much and/ or eating too much, our minds too need to be on a little detox once in a while.
Do you think so too?
Detox and oxygenate your mind! What about a little bicycle ride by the Green Lung?
Is this meditation?
Okay, that will be my personal definition, but to me clearing your mind is the tip of meditation iceberg! It comes even before focussing on your breathing, before letting go of negative thoughts or setting intentions for the future.
I like to break down the process of meditation, starting with one step: doing nothing, thinking nothing.
Then, I noticed that without even trying, my breathing regulates by itself, that after only a few minutes, I feel lighter, my head feels lighter, and my stream of thoughts is much lighter too.
Many reasons why we need it
I get it, we are all busy and we don’t have much time for this. But a few minutes might be all it takes, and clearing your mind will allow you to have clearer thoughts, be more productive, more focussed so ultimately, you end up saving a lot of time in your day.
This is what I have personally experienced on a day I take time to clear my mind:
> It becomes easier to do one thing at the time (vs. multi-tasking frantically)
> I feel more present. I am more into what I do.
> I am less forgetful (I remember where I leave my phone or my keys for instance!)
> I feel less anxious and overwhelmed by all the things I need to do
> It is easier to take a bit of distance if a situation annoys me, I react less
> Practicing mindfulness becomes easier
> I am more content!
What is next?
The one tool I used which I found super easy to follow, even (and especially) if you are not into mindfulness yet is headspace.
Their app is about learning to meditate and live mindfully:
– Hundreds of themed sessions on everything from stress and sleep to focus and anxiety
– Bite-sized guided meditations for busy schedules
– SOS exercises in case of sudden meltdowns
To me, clearly the best way to get started on meditation is by taking it slowly, in the comfort of your home, at at time that suits you, and with an approach that gets the fact that not everybody is ready to listen to gongs and chimes for one hour (don’t get me wrong, I love gongs and chimes but it didn’t come overnight).
Sky Yoga, Bangkok
Guided sessions in Bangkok
Again that is my personal experience, but before going Vipassana, I find that trying different styles of guided meditation can be a mind (and heart) opener.
As a side note, I don’t think I would have lasted the 10 days of the Vipassana if I didn’t know at all what to expect in terms of self-exploration and finding an okay position to sit on the floor for hours.
Here in Bangkok, there are many places where you could initiate yourself to meditation, but also go as an advance meditat..or?
This article compiled a list of meditation centers, and there are two beautiful souls I can personally recommend too:
> Raj @Sky Yoga:
He conducts Basics of Meditation classes: “You’ve wondered about it, constantly. You want to begin, you just don’t know where, or how, or what it will do, here’s a good place to begin”.
Besides, he also does Gong bathing, Long deep breathing, Kudalini Yoga and more.
> Lilly @Lilly’s Yoga Pad:
Her independant Yoga studio is about bringing communities together. There you can follow Hatha Yoga, Restorative Yoga (Nidra), Vinyasa & Yin Yoga and more.
As part of the activities she hosts, there is one that particularly got our intention: The Cacao Ceremony, led by Andra.
Cacao Ceremony at Lilly’s Yoga Pad
“Ceremonial cacao, in ceremonial doses, is a powerful heart opener medicine which aids us to pave the way for transformations and transmutations. From there, Tibetan healing bowls take us on a beautiful journey.” The ceremonial cacao is made of raw organic cacao, turmeric, true Ceylon cinnamon, sea salt, cardamom, pepper, and coconut oil. Andra first came across it in an intimate healing ceremony in southern Thailand. She says: “ever since then, experiences and people have come across my path to help deepen my relationship with the spirit of cacao for healing”.
Now some food for thoughts
My husband is one of the wisest person I know. He is the kind who doesn’t seem to need to do anything to eliminate stress, he never seems overwhelmed, he is so strong that he doesn’t need to show it, he is indeed super calm.
Well, before I digress too much! I mention him here because he is the one who introduced me to this very powerful slide that I want to share with everyone I know. See below! I don’t know who came up with it but we saw it in Gaur Gopal’s Das video.