Mindfulness meditation

Dømmer du heller aldrig andre?

Jeg ville så gerne sige, at jeg aldrig dømmer andre. Men det gør jeg. Helt pr. automatik. Det gør vi alle, nogen mere end andre måske. Vi har alle den fantastiske egenskab, at vi kan forsvare enhver handling, og ofte også vores fordømmelser. I aften skal jeg undervise "mindfulness fortsætter" holdet, og jeg vil tage emnet "at dømme sig selv op". For den evne er om noget lige så vel udviklet som det at dømme andre... Er den ik? I den forbindelse fandt jeg et lille digt, som jeg synes var meget sjov. :) Og måske en lille reminder... hehe

a poem about judging others

I was shocked, confused, bewildered as I entered Heaven's door, Not by the beauty of it all, nor the lights or its decor.

But it was the folks in Heaven who made me sputter and gasp-- the thieves, the liars, the sinners, the alcoholics, the trash.

There stood the kid from seventh grade who swiped my lunch money twice. Next to him was my old neighbor who never said anything nice.

Herb, who I always thought was rotting away in hell, was sitting pretty on cloud nine, looking incredibly well.

I nudged Jesus, "What's the deal? I would love to hear Your take. How'd all these sinners get up here? God must've made a mistake.

"And why's everyone so quiet, so somber? Give me a clue." "Hush, child," said He, "they're all in shock. No one thought they'd be seeing you."

Judge NOT.

Jeg fandt den her: http://texandave.blogspot.com/2009/09/poem-about-judging-others.html

Zen for mødre

  Jeg har spurgt nogle kvinder, som jeg finder enormt inspirerende, om at skrive et indlæg til bloggen. De kommende måneder kommer deres bud på hvordan man kan få mere ro i hverdagen her. Jeg er enormt glad for at de har valgt at bruge tid på det. :) Her kommer Anna Skyggebjergs (forfatter til Zen mødre og Super mor) indlæg. Kh Carina

Zen for mødre

Er hverdagen hektisk? Glemmer du at trække vejret i bund? Glemmer du at gøre plads i din hverdag til ro, nærvær og fordybelse?

Den dårlige nyhed er, at sådan er det for de fleste mødre med små børn.

Den gode nyhed er, at det ikke behøver at være sådan. En hverdag med Zen-fyldte åndehuller er lige om hjørnet. Du behøver hverken at købe et ”starter kit”, at blive buddhist eller at melde dig til et 12-punkts program. Alt, hvad der skal til for at opleve Zen i hverdagen, er, at du finder nogle ritualer, som giver dig en følelse af, at du har ”a room of your own”, hvor du kan trække vejret i bund.

Her er mine tre helt enkle ritualer, der giver mig et Zen-fyldt åndehul om aftenen, når børnene er puttet.

1: Jeg trækker mig tilbage til soveværelset, slukker lyset, tænder stearinlys og tager 15 minutter i meditativ ro.

2: Jeg synker ned i min Nødhjælpskasse, som er en kasse, jeg har fyldt op med ting, der gør mig godt på hårde dage.

3: Jeg skriver taknemmelighedsdagbog, altså ”fem ting, jeg er taknemmelig for i dag”.

Selv på de travleste dage er Zen muligt! Og på de dage, hvor det alligevel ikke er, ja, der tilgiver man sig selv. For Zen handler nemlig også om at acceptere, at man ikke altid kan gøre det så godt, som man gerne vil. Og faktisk: Det er en stor lettelse og kilde til Zen at give slip på alle de store forventninger og acceptere livet, som det er lige nu. Og så have tillid til, at det ændrer sig efterhånden og kommer til at gå alt sammen.

Anna Skyggebjerg

Anna Skyggebjerg er mor til Jacob og Elise på 10 og 15 år. Hun har skrevet bøgerne ”Super Mor. Smutveje for enlige mødre – og andre seje kvinder, der vil have en nemmere hverdag” og ”Zen for mødre. Åndehuller du vil nyde, i en hverdag du vil elske!”

Følg Anna på hendes blog, ”Hele 3 ting”, hvor hun hver dag skriver om Zen i hverdagen: blog.annaskyggebjerg.dk

 

 

Getting lost in the woods.

This summer I needed a break from the city, the internet and my iPhone! My daughter and I took off, with some of my family to Sweden. In the middle of no where, a little house just sat there waiting.

Mindful holiday

 

 

 

 

 

 

It was so peaceful and the air so fresh, that I instantly felt at ease.

The past few years going through time with serveral anxiety attacks a day, becoming a mom and struggling with feeling sane enough for it..., and opening up to my sensitivity more, living in the city has become a bit of a stress factor. Living in constant noise doesn't have great effect on my system. So I knew this would be just what I needed.

Even the shower was amazing, standing butt naked with a full front view of the woods. And no peeping Toms.

Feeling free

 

 

 

 

The toilet being very good for the environment, was not so much a place for meditation...

Evivornment

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This trip reminded me of the importance of re-charging, creating space in my life, and that although full of life, the city and being online ALL THE TIME, does have a negative effect on me and my stress level. And even better, to my big surprise of course, the city and my partner DID survive without me for a while...

The blog post is kicking off the blog, again. so this fall will be time for writing and hopefully interacting with you all.

Create Mindful Moments Everyday. By Raelynn Maloney, Ph.D

I recently published a book designed to help parents integrate mindful presence into their everyday parenting. Waking Up: A Parent’s Guide to Mindful Awareness and Connection introduces parents to the practice of mindful presence. Mindful presence grounds you in the moment with your child. It anchors you in the here-and-now and allows you to truly experience what is real and alive in your parent-child relationship.

Consciously creating mindful moments in your daily life is easier than you think, especially when, as a parent, you realize that your child has been waiting for you in the present moment all along.

Creating mindful moments is about using what is right in front of you, right now, to connect with and tune into your child. It is about consciously bringing purpose to any interaction through a laugh, a look, a book, a smile. A “moment of presence” is about using your full awareness to make a connection. It is a moment when you are fully paying attention to what is happening internally for you and externally around you. It’s as if you let everything fade into the background except what is in front of you and available to you here and now (the laugh, the look, the book, anything).

You can experience a whole new way to connect with your child. Start today by taking this moment to stop and treat yourself to a full, deep breath. Drop into yourself and feel your center. Look over the three moments described below, apply them to your own parent-child interaction, and transform your every day into mindful moments.

Everyday Mindful Moments

Morning

• How can I mindfully wake my child for the day?

As I wake my child for the day, I am conscious of wanting her to enter the day positively and peacefully, therefore, I bring positive and peaceful energy with me into the interaction.”

Afternoon

• How can I mindfully greet my child after school?

I put my phone in the console and watch my son approach. I smile when I see him. I give him a high-five or a fist-bump when he jumps into the car.”

Evening

• How can I be mindfully present at bedtime?

Instead of yelling up the stairs to ask my daughter to start getting ready for bed, I climb the steps. When I am closer to her, I speak directly and in a normal tone, bringing a positive, healthy energy into our night.”

Find out more about Raelynn Maloney here:

Counseling Practice- http://www.amindfulplace.com

Book:Waking Up: A Parent's Guide - http://www.wakingupwithawareness.com

Book: Caring for Donor Families- http://www.caringfordonorfamilies.com

Facebook - http://www.facebook.com/raelynnmaloney

LinkedIn - http://www.linkedin.com/in/raelynnmaloneyphd

Twitter - http://twitter.com/raelynnmaloney

It's important

It has been a while since the last post. I have been trying to find some direction in business, blogging and life. Well I found A direction and sticking to it for now. In the next few days I will have two articles come out... One in Elephant Journal and one on a Danish site called JuniorBusiness. Both are about presence in parenting. I am Sh*tting myself. I feel so strongly about the subject but also feel a little scared that people won't "like" them. So why are we (some of us) so afraid of not getting other peoples approval?  Why is it important? I am working on letting go, and will let go of the articles from my mailbox in a moment.

The reason why I want them out there, is to bring some attention to presence in parenthood. Create a talk about how do we slow down, and just be with our kids. Is there a lack of moments where we just are. Has the culture created a situation where we don't even know how be present anymore? And in that process I am showing my dirty laundry. Where I lack the ability to just be as a mother and I guess that is hard for me, still, to admit.

Starting April 4th there will be a series of women from around the world guest posting here on the blog. Sharing their thoughts, stories and tips about the subject. I hope you will join the talk, comment and read their awesome posts. I hope it will create food for thought, and maybe shift some focus in the way we do things right now. The world is in need of a little less doing and a little more being.

xox

The wonder broom

Meditation kit for the working mom... Do you know the feeling of repeatative movements having a calming effect on you? Or do you just feeling bored? : )

Working meditation is a part of a lot of mindfulness or vipassana retreats. Do you we bring the working meditation into our homes? Or are they tasks that just need to get done?

We are used to vaccuming a lot in this house. Little feet and hands everywhere and with that crumbs and food galore. I just bought a broom. I find it very calming to sweep my floor. It was my way of turning an annoying mess into a little meditation practice. It is peacful compared to the vacumcleaner and the only time I really like to vacum is when I hear dirt going down the tube... is that just me?

To go with the broom my partner bought a power hoop... repeatative (painful) movement that I am still trying to find the calming in using.

Do things like that calm you down? Knitting, sewing, rowing any other -ing?

5 ways to bring Mindfulness into your day

Woman meditating I often hear how hard it is to fit a meditation practice into everyday life. No time, no motivation, no support from home. Mindfulness doesn’t only have to be meditation on the cusion or lying down. It can involve other activities as well.

Bringing attention to doing the dishes, brushing your teeth or changing a diaper etc. are ways of supporting presence in your life. A lot of those activities are things we often hurry to get over and done with. It might create tension because we would rather be doing something else. A challenge this week is to bring mindulness into those activities. Let me know how it goes. : )

Here are 5 exercises that may inspire you to ways of mindfulness in your everyday life.

1. Before getting out of bed in morning, spend 3-5 minutes just following you breath. Feeling your inbreath and your outbreath. Bringing attention to your body and the sensations that arise. Keeping your eyes closed just taking a few minutes to tune in before continuing with your day.

2. If you are waiting at a red light. In your car, or as a lot of people here in Denmark, on your bicycle. Touch base with your breathing, feel the wind against your face, the sounds around you. Observe what is on your mind, how you feel right there in that moment. The key word is observe not change.

3. Eat a meal or a snack in silence. Taste, smell, feel what you are eating. Try not to sit in front of the computer or TV while you eat. You could also do the same with a cup of tea. Take it all in. Bring awareness to the fact that you are eating or drinking.

4. Pick a routine activity you do everyday. How does your body feel, while you are doing it? Is there any tension, relaxation? Do any feelings arise - resistance, annoyence, happiness or any other feelings. Do any thoughts occur? Observe your mindstate and body. Being present with what you are doing eventhough you might want to be doing something else.

5. While waiting in line, on hold with customerservice, waiting for the computer to turn on, on the bus. Close your eyes and follow your breath for a minute. Allow yourself to take a few minutes of silence. You are stuck there anyway. Use the time for meditation.

3 great online resources.

So where do you find your inspiration, for your meditation practice? Where do you seek information on how to get started? Of course it depends on what you are looking for I know, but I find that I sometimes spend a lot of time surfing, clicking, reading trough all sorts of useless stuff. I do a lot of research online, and there are a few sites I always come back to. They have something to say. I want to share 3 sites that I love, and that I feel are good contributers to the online mass of meditation info. These sites are not only for insiders, but also for people new to meditation and buddhisme. I hope that they can answer some questions or inspire you to ask some new ones.

Mindful.org

This site has everything. Reviews, articles and really good resource lists. There are also some really great audio and videos. It is a fairly new site that I came across, because they did a, one time only, printed addition. When you enter the site it, is very easy to navigate through and you can find things fairly quick. I must say it can answer nearly any question you might have regarding mindfulness. There are great stories about how mindfulness is entering schools, hospitals etc. Some awesome people contribute to the content.

Mindful.org is a project of Shambala Sun, which brings me to the next site:

Shambhala Sun

I it is orginally a best-selling printed buddhist magazine. Their online site offers loads of the articles that you also can find in the printed mag. They write about themselves: Inspired by the wisdom and compassion of Buddhist practice, the Shambhala Sun is devoted to the principle that true human wisdom is not the property of any one religion or culture.” That’s is part of what makes it great. It opens up for all readers. As a part of the site they have a blog - SunSpace Blog. Again it is filled with great posts by some of the most respected teachers in the world. If you feel the urge to hit the BUY button at some point, you will not be disapointed with a subscription.

Elephantjournal

It might be a bit overwhelming when you enter the site for the first time. They have ALOT of content. That is also the upside, you can find almost anything on meditation, yoga, greenliving, organics, genuine spirituality and as they say “anything that helps us to live a good life that also happens to be good for others, and our planet.” I also like the fact they open up to “ordinary” people, so they can offer content. Which I find makes it very down to earth, and gives you a broad perspective on the various subjects. You can follow them on twitter as well. I don't know why but I almost always smile when I enter the site, there is a really happy vibe to it.

Good luck surfing. :)

Taking it all in.

I am going to continue the theme of mindfulness, parenting and children. I have heard a lot of comments about the 12 exercises for mindful parenting, and it seems to be something a lot of parents would love to work with some more. I know I do. So when the intention to meditate is there, but we lack space, time and motivation what do we do? A women I really enjoy reading is Diana Winston. What an inspiration. She wrote a blog post about meditating with toddlers.

“Well one night while meditating, I had the brainstorm of bringing back formal practice in toddler-friendly style. And thus we instituted “family meditation time.” My daughter is only one so we don’t have too high of a bar. We sit together, the three of us, for five minutes. We have one of those wooden pyramid timers that we set for five minutes; we all listen for the ding (extremely exciting to the one year old in all of us). Then my husband and I close our eyes and try to meditate. (Operative word: “try”). And what does my daughter do? She tries to nurse. She fiddles with the bell. She pokes us and giggles. She wanders about, not too far usually. Sometimes she whines and occasionally cries. Once she seemed like she was meditating along with us—for about two seconds. More often than not she’s jumping on us.”

I smile when I read it, I know it happens around here a lot.

I often hear, in classes that they couldn’t meditate because the kids were screaming, tv was on and there just too much distraction going on. No time, no space, and kids are awake. It is possible to commit to being aware of what is going on in this moment, without it being in silence. I believe that for us parents, that is a big part of the practice - in our everyday lives. Being present with chaos. As Diana goes on; "She bonked me with a book, and I just sat there and took it all in— spacious, open, wild-child mind..."

In my home we have a buddha statue. It is in my meditation corner with my cusion. Well... the cusion gets moved around all the time, when it’s in my daughter's way. I find it sort of symbolic, to remind me to take presence with me troughout my day. I walked into the living room the other day, to find the buddha over in my daughters play-corner with lip balm on, and hair bands around its head. He still had a big smile on its face, so I took that as a thumbs up... And she loved it. She was in peace and having the time of her live. True awareness and meditation. And I just sat there, and watched her observed her playing, with awareness of what was going on inside me, taking it all in. I love my meditation corner, but it goes where she goes and so does my everyday practice.

What do you do? I would love to hear your experiences.

12 exercises for Mindful Parenting.

I have read Jon and Myla Kabat-Zinn’s book “Everyday blessings”. It’s about mindful parenting and the different stages of parenthood. At the end of the book, there are 12 exercises for Mindful Parenting. I want to share them with you. They remind me of what is really important, when the everyday stress disrupts the peace. They are great to put on the fridge or just read them once in a while. Just as a reminder to stay present with our children. Especially since we often are way too busy because we love them so much, and want to give them the best life possible. We have that chance with our presence. Maybe this can inspire. 1. Try to imagine the world from your child’s point of view, purposefully letting go of your own. Do this every day for at least a few moments to remind you of who this child is and what he or she faces in the world.

2. Imagine how you appear and sound from your child’s point of view; imagine having you as a parent today, in this moment. How might this modify how you carry yourself in your body and in space, how you speak, what you say? How do you want to relate to your child in this moment?

3. Practice seeing your children as perfect just the way they are. Work at accepting them as they are when it is hardest for you to do so.

4. Be mindful of your expectations of your children, and consider whether they are truly in your children’s best interests. Also, be aware of how you communicate those expectations and how they affect your children.

5. Practice altruism, putting the needs of your children above your own whenever possible. Then see if there isn’t some common ground where your needs can also be met. You may be surprised at how much overlap is possible, especially if you are patient and strive for balance.

6. When you feel lost, or at a loss, remember to stand still. Meditate on the whole by bringing your full attention to the situation, to your child, to yourself, to the family. In doing so, you may go beyond thinking and perceive intuitively, with the whole of your being, what really needs to be done.

7. Try embodying silent presence. Listen carefully.

8. Learn to live with tension without losing your own balance. Practice moving into any moment, however difficult, without trying to change anything and without having to have a particular outcome occur. See what is “workable” if you are willing to trust your intuition and best instincts.

9. Apologize to your child when you have betrayed a trust in even a little way. Apologies are healing, and they demonstrate that you see a situation more clearly, or more from your child’s point of view. But “I’m sorry” loses its meaning if we are always saying it, or if we make regret a habit.

10. Every child is special, and every child has special needs. Each sees in an entirely unique way. Hold an image of each child in your heart. Drink in their being, wishing them well.

11. There are very important times when we need to practice being clear and strong and unequivocal with our children. Let this come as much as possible out of awareness and generosity and discernment, rather than out of fear, self-righteousness, or the desire to control. Mindful parenting does not mean being overindulgent, neglectful, or weak; nor does it mean being rigid and controlling.

12. The greatest gift you can give your child is your self. This means that part of your work as a parent is to keep growing in self-knowledge and in awareness. We have to be grounded in the present moment to share what is deepest and best in ourselves.

Jon and Myla Kabat-Zinn