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I originally established this blog because I was interested in documenting my exploration of bodymind phenomena, my self and my own body.  I’ve been interested in body awareness, meditation, and physical health for many years now, and when I set up the blog, I thought that this would be my focus.  Sadly I find that I spend most of my time now working on a computer, and although I’ve been really enjoying both my work and the the exploration of elearning, net-label music, and mixing, it does mean that I spend very little time focussing on myself and what I need, in direct contrast to my life when I started my training as a massage therapist.

In recent times my life has been incredibly mentally focussed (apart from our recent trip to Mt Cook – our belated honeymoon).  I now find that I spend a lot of time in “headspace”.  I had an experience the other day of walking home after work.  My head was still buzzing with the events of the day (which had been quite stressful).  I started meditating, and instantly dropped back into the full kinesthetic experience of the present moment.  I noticed the warm sun on my skin, the slight breeze, the beautiful plants in front of me, and felt my body walking up the stairs.  It’s amazing sometimes how we can walk through the world caught up in our heads, and not notice the wonder that’s all around us.  However it wasn’t too much further along the walk home that I noticed myself back in my head turning over the events of the day again.

…and I’m feeling a bit dissatisfied with this situation.  I enjoy my life much more when it is in balance.

Back in 1999, I was spending up to 3 hours per day meditating.  This might seem like a lot of time, but the benefits definitely outweighed the cost to me.  Much of the time, I had an intensely rich experience of the moment, in which I felt unconditional love for the present moment, myself and the people around me.  This unconditional love radiated from the core of my being to connect me with everyone and everything around me.  I have never experienced so much joy, and fulfillment as I did at that time.  When I remembered this feeling years later, the realisation of what I’d lost brought tears to my eyes.

I’ve recently started meditating semi-regularly, and have started to tap into this again (although only for short periods of time).  I’m loving it, but this puts me in a space of intense polarity.  When I’m meditating (sitting or walking) I often feel this rich connection to myself, to the moment, and the peace and love that’s associated with this experience, but this is in stark contrast to my (more regular) experience.  My working life at the moment is intense I have far too much to get done over the next month, and there are new demands arising with almost every day.  My experience of this (the dominant) aspect of my life is pressure, and stress, and quite frankly I’m over it.

I’ve recently figured out what I think is a solution to the problem.  Over the next 3-4 years I plan to gradually transition my work-life to 50% programme coordination at Otago Poly and 50% private practice.  I haven’t completely decided on what I want to focus on in my practice.  I’m really enjoying working with myofascial release, and psycho-emotional body-work, so I might find a counsellor or psychotherapist to work with.  I’d like to experiment with the Bowen technique, and lymphatic drainage.  I definitely want to run meditation & stress management classes. I also figure that once my practice builds up a bit I should be able to focus on my climbing again.

Over the last 9 years or so, I’ve regularly practised a meditation technique that’s a derivative of Transcendentatl Meditation, at times spending up to 3-4 hours per day meditating. You could say I have some experience of meditation using this method.

The meditation techniques are taught by a group of monks – the Ishayas, and they promote the idea that only someone who is a monk should teach these techniques.  One of the rationales for this restriction is that they are able to provide some kind of mystical connection with the brotherhood of monks through the puja ceremony which is believed to potentiate the techniques.

Training in the techniques occurs through First sphere workshops which are facilitated by the Ishayas.  These workshops run over a weekend, and typically cost in the realm of $495 in New Zealand.  These funds go towards supporting the Ishaya’s organisation of teachers.

This year I’ve been involved in teaching my students about Stress management, including a range of stress management techniques including breath retraining, progressive muscle relaxation and meditation.  At some stage this process led me to reconsider these externally imposed limitations.  Essentially I believe that I have the experience necessary to teach these techniques, and I have no faith in the idea that the techniques will only be effective if the practitioner is connected with the gurus.  I also lack faith in some other dogmatic aspects of the philosophy associated with the techniques, although I find the techniques in themselves highly effective.

In essence the techniques are just a series of thoughts.  How can a group of people claim to have the rights to a series of thoughts?

It’s been interesting observing my fears around this – Am I doing the right thing?, etc..  I guess long-held beliefs take some time to die.  Despite my internal struggles, I recently taught my current students these techniques, and it seems that some have experienced them as being quite beneficial.

I’ve also recently posted a page of instructions to WikiEducator for the techniques.  It’ll be interesting to see if I get flamed for this.