It must have been the winter of 2004/2005. There I was with my friend Jon, way up in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado at the Shambhala Mountain Center. We were shortly heading to bathe in the hot mineral water of the Strawberry Hot Springs in Steamboat Springs. I knew zero of meditation and had never even attempted it. My ever-busy mind was so NOT interested in “just sitting there” and trying to “clear my mind”. After all, there were things to do and I had a rather high opinion of the quality of my thoughts.☺
That said, I did give it a half-hearted try. I was on my own as there were very few souls present at the time we were there. Fast forward a couple of years. I’m with my boyfriend at the time as he takes refuge in a Tibetan lineage called Karma Kadgu on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. I had gone with him a time or two prior to this “sangha” (which simply means community in Sanskrit) and had struggled through sitting on a cushion for 20 or 30 minutes. You know, fidgeting, stretching and generally being uncomfortable. I thought it was all about trying not to move and not to think.
Now, we jump ahead to 2014. I’m training to be a Kundalini Yoga Instructor. And, I start to get it. I find if I can pay attention to my breathing, I can find a way to focus for more than a few minutes at a time. And, I complete my first 30 day challenge. I chose the “Inner Conflict Resolver Reflex” meditation and actually stuck to it for 30 days in a row! One of the key elements was a consistent and measured focus on counting the breath. And, particularly, on holding the breath out.
After having experienced a Transient Ischemic Attack (something like a stroke) later that year, I found that a daily practice served me in so many ways. It’s a way to give time to myself. It focuses me. It centers me. Sometimes it calms me, sometimes it energizes me.
I’ve also learned there are so many different ways to meditate (movement-inclusive, breath-focused, mantric, guided, and all the various combinations of the aforementioned). And, really, I feel the definition for what exactly is meditation is up for negotiation/interpretation. I even now consider it to be meditation when I match my breathing to my steps as I stroll around Barcelona. I find I’m most encouraged to continue my practice when I find new ways to meditate as I live my actual life.
Via my work with groups of students at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, I then found I have a knack for creating meditative experiences via tele-conference for groups of people. After having offered this to hundreds of students and broadcasting live on Facebook once or twice, I went ahead and recorded my first meditation for consideration by the folks over at Insight Timer app. The Insight Timer app is rated as the top free meditation app on both the iOS and Android stores.
Following review and approval, it’s now been rated at 85% and listened to hundreds of times.
I am honored to support you in finding your way back to yourself via meditation. It is with a deep humility and excitement that I offer to assist you in this way. If you want to talk more about this, click here and let’s get the conversation started.