meditation

This Meditation May Change Your Life

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This meditation my change your life.

Bhuddist Priest at the Ryutakuzenji Temple, Takasaki, Japan.

It was a quiet morning in late June at our traditional Japanese hotel, or Ryokan. We had adjusted to the schedule and were getting up really early in the morning due to the time shift. The night before we told our host (also a Bhuddist priest) that we would be at the 6am meditation in the morning at the temple just up the garden steps from the guest house where we were staying.

We sat on comfortable cushions in the beautiful wooden temple where our host is of the 35th generation of priests here. He sounded a gong to indicate the beginning of the meditation. It was a few quiet minutes of stillness, but he was right that it did change our lives. It brought about changes to our thinking and the way that we want to live our lives and even how our home is set up. Amazing what a few minutes of silence will do!

I believe that new and different experiences brought about by travel can really have a profound effect on the way that we live our lives. As a result we have made the following changes:

-My husband wakes up earlier and gets in to work earlier so that he can leave earlier and we can all spend more of the evening time together.

-I wake up earlier most mornings and like to start my day by sweeping and mopping the floor to clear the energy of our home for a new day. I have started to clean and organize our home in a zen way, de-cluttering even more to make our spaces more expansive.

-I have renewed my meditation practice and have placed a Buddha statue that we already had in our living room. We even change out pieces of fruit or other food items that we give to the Bhudda daily.

One of the biggest changes that we are in the process of making is the one of creating a meditation room in our home. We have a room which is now an office. In order to create a meditation space with Japanese tatami mats in it we are going to give away our desk, move out other furniture, store all office items in the small closet (I de-cluttered the office and gave away 2 boxes of things) and paint the room. Then, we will install the tatami mats, put minimal Japanese art on the wall, have 1 low table which we can place a laptop on for writing and some cushions as well as store traditional Japanese bedding on the other shelves in the closet. It will be a wonderfully tranquil, minimal room which we are very excited by! It has also spurred on more re-decorating in other spaces as well.

What major changes in your life have been spurred on by travel?

I’d love to hear from you, email me at: trista.signe.ainsworth@gmail.com

Joyful Minimalism:

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Noticing Life

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The other day on a podcast I heard that the host, as part of her daily routine went outside to sit and enjoy nature with her first cup of coffee in the morning. She just sat and noticed things and took some time to meditate on nature. This sounded so glorious and so peaceful. So, the last couple of mornings I have done this. I have decided that every morning possible I will go out with my tea and just sit and observe nature in my backyard garden space. If the weather is rainy, I will pull my chair up to the window where I can still sit and meditate on nature and notice.

Today as I sat noticing I saw that the light comes through the bottom of the fence at a particular time of morning. I noticed that beautiful sunshine comes through the small gaps in the fence boards. I noticed that a very large bird sat on the top branches of a very large tree, the bird looked like the star on a Christmas tree. It had a very loud call as well. As if it were saying “Good morning! I am here!”

I noticed a squirrel running along the narrow top edge of our fence, then it was joined by another squirrel and they chased each other from the fence to a tree, to another tree. What fun they seemed to have as they effortlessly hopped from branch to branch, playing a fun game.

I noticed all of the different sounds the birds made. Everything from a loud squawk, to a morning dove call, to light flute-like twittering from small birds. They all were in a morning concert together, greeting the light of the day, starting their morning with a song.

I noticed the branches with buds of flowers or leaves about to burst into life. I noticed the color contrast of the beautiful trees against the bright blue sky. I noticed the wind rustling the branches and leaves gently in the breeze. Their swishing sounds adding to the morning song.

When was the last time you sat and just noticed? It seemed to me this morning that there is almost a second world out there that we are not always aware of. I second kingdom of animals and nature that we only see in passing out of the corner of our eyes. But it is so very magical when we sit and notice.

Have you noticed life today?

Feeding Your Spirit

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The field of the finite is all that we can see, hear, touch , remember and describe. This field is basically that which is manifest, or tangible. The essential quality of the infinite, by contrast, is its subtlety, its intangibility. This quality is conveyed in the word “spirit”, whose root meaning is “wind or breath.” This suggests an invisible but pervasive energy to which the manifest world of the finite responds. This energy, or spirit, infuses all living beings, and without it any organism must fall apart into its constituent elements. That which is truly alive in the living being is this energy of spirit, and this is never born and never dies.”

-David Bohm- This quote was quoted in the book “Source: The Inner Path of Knowledge of Creation.” by Joseph Jaworski

I believe that we all have an inner energy or spirit with us at all times and that loving this spirit within us can unlock all of our true potential and create harmony within ourselves and with others. A lot of times when we think of our health, we only think of the care of our physical body. I believe that we need to feed our spirit as well as our body with health and positivity. I do believe that our spirit lives on in many different ways and if we are able to get in touch with it and care for it, it will grow to a loving light to extend to others and impact so many lives.

Meditation Practice:

Because spirit’s root meaning is “wind or breath” it is important to feed our spirits with daily breath, or meditation. I am just now starting to really learn about meditation and to begin a practice. In the last month or so, most weekdays I have started to meditate silently for 15 minutes in the early morning before getting ready for the day. I have really liked this practice because the silence helps to train your brain as well as your spirit to pause and be in the moment throughout the day.

Recently I have read the most amazing book called “Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself.” by Dr. Joe Dispenza. In this book he teaches you about his meditation process to let go to memorized feelings that your mind and body react to on a daily basis. This morning was the first morning of doing the meditations and it was amazing! I can tell that as I go along I will be gaining momentum and feeding my spirit positive energy each morning. I will be sharing with all of you more about this process in the coming weeks.

Exercise:

I believe also that the body and mind are strongly connected, so for that reason, on days that I make an effort to get more exercise, I can feel that my spirits are also lifted. In this way in the mornings I am feeding my spirit by quieting my mind, paying attention to my breath and also giving my body physical energy by exercising as well. I can tell that I have so much more mental as well as physical energy on days that I exercise than on days when I don’t. It is an important reminder to my brain that exercise equals energy. It seems counter-intuitive sometimes because there are so, so many things to do in our days and we often feel that we don’t have time for these morning practices. However, I am working on training myself to remember that these 2 things are really essential to our well being of both mind, body and spirit. Each of these must be nourished in order to unlock our best lives and to impact others along the way.

In what ways do you feed your mind, body and spirit on a daily basis? I would love to know! Please comment below or send me an email at info@thecheerychef.com.

With lots of love,

Trista

Enjoy

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It is our tendency in daily life to become goal oriented. We know where we want to go, and we are very focused on getting there. At times, this may be useful, but often we forget to enjoy ourselves along the way. Thich Nhat Hanh “Making Space: Creating a Home Meditation Practice.”

While reading this book on creating a space and time in your home for meditation, I ran across this quote which really sums up what I go through on a daily basis. I have always been a very goal oriented, go-getter, list-maker type of person. There are many wonderful benefits to that, however, I feel that there is a great wisdom to enjoying the journey along the way to our goals.

Daily Life & Our Destination:

Part of feeling like we can stop to enjoy ourselves is organizing ourselves in our days and weeks so that we can build in time off, take time to rest, take time with family and friends. Here is an example of a recent overwhelm I was feeling because of so many events coming up and how I organized myself around it.

Recently because the holiday season is upon me and I am participating in a gluten free fest with a booth for a whole weekend, hosting a holiday bake sale, working at the farm and helping them with holiday specials, doing client work and more I became a bit overwhelmed by all that I needed to accomplish in the coming weeks. What did I do about this overwhelm? First, I listed every task that I needed to complete in the coming weeks including phone calls, emails, things to order, things to bake, things to freeze and dates to put on the calendar. Then, I did 4-5 items that took 5 minutes or less to accomplish and just got those done including ordering some things that I needed for the gluten free fest.

Next, I wrote down schedules for the weeks to come, wrote down the dates on the calendars, communicated with people through email and social media and created my holiday bake sale event including my offerings list. This left me feeling much more on top of and in control of the events to come up.

Enjoying Ourselves Along the Path:

I truly believe that once we are able to come up with a plan to deal with our overwhelm, then our brains are able to make room for enjoyment along our path. It is important to remind ourselves on a daily basis that the reason that we do all of these activities is the joy and satisfaction that they bring us along the way. Often, planning something is part of the fun. Imagining how your event will turn out, or what your book will be like when you finish writing it. Those are moments to savor and celebrate along the way.

Another way I love to enjoy myself along the path is to have events on my calendar like lunch or tea with friends, set up birthday celebrations and go to events around town. If there are events to look forward to, you are stepping down the path with glee.

You can also enjoy yourself daily along the path, not just looking forward to events on the weekend, but take breaks during the day to read a great book, have a cup of tea, take a walk outside, or simply close your eyes and imagine you are on a tropical island. There is so much joy to be had at every moment if we can stop to let ourselves enjoy it.

I would love to hear how you cure your overwhelm, and ways that you enjoy yourself along your path in life. Comment below or write to me at: info@thecheerychef.com

With lots of love,

Trista