How to meditate the EASY way

21/08/2013 at 11:31 am | Posted in Meditation | 4 Comments
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Meditation is the easiest way I know to feel better fast. During challenging times, meditation can be really helpful. During good times, meditation can create a sense of bliss. It calms the mind. It stops the cycle of negative thinking. And it creates a space for hope and happiness to enter.

I aim to meditate for 20 minutes a day, early in the morning. I don’t always succeed. Sometimes I miss a few days, or even weeks. But when I catch myself feeling low, I’m quick to start meditating again – because, quite simply, it works.

Here is the EASY method that works for me and many of the people who attend my meditation studio.

Establish a routine.
Accept that it won’t go perfectly.
Sit still in silence.
Yield to the process.

Let’s take each of those steps in more detail…

Establish a routine

You’re more likely to meditate if it’s booked into your diary. Find an ideal time of day for you. You might try 20 minutes at the start of every day, or in the evening; or both those times.

Aim to meditate at the same time every day. Choose a length of time that will work for you. Anything from 15 minutes to half an hour is good.  However, it’s better to do ten minutes, or even five, rather than none. Aim to meditate in the same place, and make it pleasant and uncluttered, the way you’d like your mind to be.  You might like a  shawl or blanket over you, so you feel warm and comfortable. It’s helpful to set a timer to let you know, gently, when the meditation has finished. You can use your phone, as long as you’ve switched off incoming calls. There are also some lovely meditation timers around, but keep it simple. A brilliant low-tech alternative which I use for my own morning practice is to meditate with beads.

Accept that it won’t go perfectly

Sometimes we try to create the perfect, calm environment, and then feel fazed if a fly enters the room and buzzes around, or building work starts up outside. Accept that life isn’t perfect. If anything disturbs your concentration during your meditation, simply witness it. It may well be a reflection of your own mind, which may be buzzing like a fly, or in a state of change and renewal, like a building that is being restored.

Sit still in silence

It’s helpful to focus on a single thing in your imagination, and to keep focusing on that during your meditation. An object from nature, such as the flower pictured above, makes a fantastic subject for meditation, because it has shape, pattern, texture, colour, scent and depth that you can dwell on in your imagination.

Or you might simply witness your breath, noticing every detail of it.

Or you might count up to four, one number per breath, and start again, counting up to four each time.

Or you might repeat certain words, silently to yourself. Breathe in “I am”, and breathe out an uplifting word that you have chosen. It might be “peace” or “love” or “leaf” or “flow”. This is the method we use during twice-weekly meditation sessions that I run in my Wiltshire studio.

In the studio, we typically combine more than one of the above. For example, breathe in “I am”, breathe out “tree” and visualise that you are a flexible willow tree, bending gracefully in the breeze. Or a tall, strong oak tree with rough bark and spreading branches.

Whenever you notice that your mind has wandered, simply remind yourself that you are here to meditate, and go back to the object that you are focusing on, or your breath, or counting.

Yield to the process

There’s a sort of ‘giving up’ that goes on when we meditate. We’re letting go of that list of things to do that seems to have permanent residence in our head. We’re giving up trying to control anything. We’re giving up, sitting down and being still. That is when the magic happens. You may experience colours that aren’t there, voices of people you can’t see, shafts of sunlight, and sudden insights. Simply witness these. Keep witnessing. Keep returning to counting breaths, or noticing your breath, or whatever you have decided to do to still your mind. And at some point, you may well experience bliss. Let yourself bathe in that bliss.

Afterwards, don’t try to recreate what happened. Don’t worry that you’ll never manage to achieve it again. Remind yourself that you meditate in order to meditate, that’s all. There is no goal. Bliss is… well, blissful, but it is not a goal. Follow the EASY steps, and simply witness all that happens.

I wish you a calm mind, peace and happiness.

Quick psychic sweep

26/04/2013 at 3:45 pm | Posted in Healing, Intuition, Meditation, Wellbeing | 4 Comments
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Dear Intuitive

You asked me for a quick protective exercise that I often use and recommend. I have pleasure in enclosing it here.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Imagine yourself standing inside a big golden egg of light – this is your own energy field, or aura. The golden egg is the border of your energy field. At the top of the egg is an opening. You can open and close this at your will, and it connects you to the All That Is.

Imagine that the surface of the golden egg is strong and protective. If any parts of it seems a bit thin or frayed or tattered, let more golden white light from the All That Is  heal those places and firm them up.

Now imagine again that you are standing in the centre of your energy egg. You are holding a big, effective broom. The brush is so wide is comfortably reaches into every part of your energy field in one big sweeping motion. Start at the top, and sweep down one side. The brush sweeps a good half of the egg as it does so. Continue the sweeping movement below your feet and up the other side of the egg. The brush sweeps over that entire half of the egg as it does so.

Finish with the brush at the top. With a quick, firm, flicking movement, send any debris – anything that doesn’t belong in your energy field – out into the All That Is, which is fully capable of handling it. Repeat the entire sweeping movement once or twice if you choose, just to make sure that your energy field is totally clean and clear.

Then, imagine beautiful pure white light coming in from the All That Is. See or sense it filling your energy field completely. Enjoy the sensation.

Finally, close the opening at the top of the egg just slightly, knowing that you can open and close it at will.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

The whole exercise can be done in under a minute. It’s particularly helpful for those times when you feel that someone has hitched a ride, psychically speaking, in your energy field. It happens. Remember this: your space is your space. Boundaries matter. You get to choose who enters your space, and if they do so, it’s on your terms.

With love and happiness

Suzanne x

The real meaning of home

28/09/2012 at 3:02 pm | Posted in Happiness, Meditation, Nature, Wellbeing | 12 Comments
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In our distant nomadic past, home was where we settled for the night: it was shelter, a place we lay down – a place of rest. Recently, on the West Coast of Scotland, I came across a perfect example of home at its simplest. This stone outcrop at Sand provided shelter for our ancestors nearly 10,000 years ago. It was their bedroom, and also their kitchen: there is evidence that they collected limpets from the sea shore and boiled them up in water before eating them.

My daughter led me up and onto the roof of the shelter. “There’s a place I’ve got to show you,” she said. “You’re going to love it; it’s really special.” And she was right. On the heather-clad roof there were several broad stones: slabs of natural paving. One, in particular, was a perfect meditation seat. It was easy to sit there, gaze out to sea and  simply let your thoughts drift into that in-between place – the other realm.

When I did so, I found myself talking to the inhabitants of that time. We weren’t using words, exactly, but we were communicating. To my surprise, I found they were admiring my build: the fact that compared with them I looked immensely well fed. I was aware of their lightness and slimness and superb fitness, and found myself wishing that I exercised more.

Self-acceptance

They were surprised at my lack of self-acceptance on this matter. They reminded me of the goodness of Mother Earth, or the Mother as they called her. She provided what we needed, and it made no sense to disparage her gifts. Abundance was a blessing. Each of us was a creation of the Mother. Each of us was divine. How could we criticise ourselves in that context? Criticism was utterly meaningless.

I actually had the sense they were laughing at me, as if I were a child who didn’t quite understand. And yet there was also respect. It was as if they saw wisdom in me, as I saw wisdom in them. And the wisdom wasn’t individual wisdom; it was collective. We all shared knowledge… and this knowledge was infinite awareness.

And then I understood the true meaning of home. It is unconditional love, and it is acceptance. When you are at home – truly at home –  you are loved, you are accepted. During the many times we find ourselves on our own, we can still feel unconditional love and acceptance towards ourselves. And when we are with others – however distant in terms of culture, or the passage of time – we can feel that exact same connection. As I did on that rock.

Down below, a car horn was sounding. I was being summoned back to the 21st Century. I clambered down the heather slopes, sea breeze in my hair, aware that the bliss I was feeling is our natural birthright.

It’s your birthright; it truly is.

This moment now

30/07/2012 at 10:25 am | Posted in Happiness, Meditation, Nature, Uncategorized, Wellbeing | 1 Comment
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This moment now is all we ever have, but it’s enough, because it’s everything.

Have a magical day.

Spirit of the Earth

15/06/2012 at 5:06 pm | Posted in Meditation, Nature, Uncategorized | 3 Comments
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Following on from my last post about the Stone Age and the base chakra, here is a favourite verse, from the Navajo Blessing Way, placed with a photo I took last week in the Dordogne, France, centre of the Stone Age. Enjoy.

Seven ways to strengthen your base chakra

13/06/2012 at 11:05 am | Posted in Happiness, Healing, Meditation, Nature, Uncategorized, Wellbeing | 10 Comments
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A healthy base chakra connects us with nature.

“An excellent course. Just what I was hoping for. A real gift. Many thanks,” emailed a student. “You said that you would think of a solution to getting my base chakra more engaged. Any luck please?”

Defining the base

The base chakra means different things to different people, so I’ll put forward a quick definition here. The chakra system is a useful way of explaining how we interact energetically with ourselves and the world. The idea is that there are energy concentrations – vortexes of spinning energy – at key points in the etheric energy field in which our bodies move and rest.

The base chakra is situated at the base of the spine, and it’s all about how connected we are to the physical world. The base chakra is about our physical survival. It’s about feeling safe, and solid, and definitely here, on this planet.

To achieve a healthy base chakra, it’s good to know how it feels to have a healthy base chakra. To do that, I like to consider Stone Age people. We – our ancestors – lived for tens of thousands of years – far, far longer than modern civilisation has lasted to date – in a sometimes fluctuating, but always very natural environment. There was hardly any sense in those days that we controlled the world. Instead, we saw ourselves very much as part of a huge, intelligent and creative system. We were physically healthy to a degree we can scarcely imagine today.

Here are seven ways to safely balance and engage the base chakra, so that you feel grounded and stronger.

1) Imagine.

To help you imagine the ideal state of primal health, and a superb connection to the physical world, I have put together a simple, free, guided meditation for you to listen to: the Stone Age Meditation. For your audio copy, just fill out the form below, and I will send it to you (I’ll also pop you on my emailing list for future updates).  

Listen to the the Stone Age Meditation several times over a few weeks, and note the difference to your own state of wellbeing.

2) Take pleasure in simple tasks. Make a point every day of spending time mindfully on a simple activity related to your survival. For example, preparing a meal, or maintaining your home.

3) Find a nature totem. Go somewhere natural, and find a stone or a small piece of wood that pleases you. Keep it with you. Whenever you touch it, be aware that you, like the small object you hold, are always connected with the wider natural world.

4) Grow food to eat. Bean sprouts or salad on a window sill are an easy start, and all you need is a few seeds, and some earth. Don’t spend a fortune on a gardening kit – think Stone Age, and use basic stuff that you can find in your locality.

5) Buy whole foods. Consciously seek out groceries that have not been overly processed. Befriend your local farm shop.

6) Walk. Make walking a part of your daily life. Where possible, step outside at the start of the day and walk barefoot over dewy grass. When driving, park half a mile short of your destination, and enjoy the journey on foot.

7) Spend time in nature. Being in green spaces is calming and grounding because it’s our home environment – it’s just that we forget it sometimes. Seek out fresh air. Remember this: you are part of nature, and nature is part of you. You are unique, and special. There has never been anyone quite like you on this planet, and there never will be again. You are part of a whole, interconnecting stream of planetary life – and you have your role to play. Be proud of that role.

Love and blessings to you.

Hugo Meditation

11/02/2012 at 10:10 pm | Posted in Meditation, Wellbeing | 2 Comments
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In the award-winning film ‘Hugo’, the eponymous hero, a 12-year-old boy, sees the world as a huge, intricate machine.  “Machines never come with any extra parts,” says Hugo. “They always come with the exact amount they need. So if the entire world was one big machine, I couldn’t be an extra part: I had to be here for some reason. And that means you have to be here for some reason too.”

In this meditation, the aim is simply to observe the movement of the machine.

Sit quietly, with your eyes closed, for a period of 30 minutes. During this time, keep observing movement within you: when air enters your lungs, and leaves them; the rhythm of your heart beat. Where in your body are you most aware of your pulse: at the site of your heart, or perhaps in your fingers, or toes? If you are more aware of one side of your body than the other, consciously focus on the least aware side.

From time to time, you will notice stray thoughts travelling through your mind. View these thoughts in terms of their movement: where do they seem to originate, and where do they go within the body?

Keep returning to the motion of your lungs, and your pulse. Be aware of any involuntary movements.

From time to time, you may also notice sounds from outside. Simply observe their movement. Where do you sense them beginning? Where do they travel?

After half an hour, open your eyes, and stretch.

The benefits

This meditation can help you feel

• calmer

• more aware of your unique and valuable place within the huge, complex natural world

• more aware of your thoughts and their effect on your body

• more able to choose happier feelings.

‘Hugo’, directed by Martin Scorsese, is a marvellous 3D movie which will be available at the end of February 2012 on DVD.

We all have female intuition, whatever our gender

09/01/2012 at 12:04 pm | Posted in Healing, Intuition, Meditation, Wellbeing | 7 Comments
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The female aspect has been covered up, just a little, for centuries. Its time for it to shine.

Somewhere in the world, this very second, a baby girl has just been born. Her father is looking at her, and he is thinking: “Oh, it’s a girl.” A wave of disappointment is flowing through his energy field, and engulfing hers. On some fundamental level the little baby girl is aware of his disappointment. She is already making an adjustment to her own energy field. It is obviously wrong to be a girl, better to be the other, like her father. She must temper her femaleness. She must cover it up, just a little bit. After all, she needs to please this father of hers. She is dependent on him, and her mother.

Versions of this story are happening all over the world, right now. They were happening when you were a baby too… and for centuries before your birth. Does this matter? Big gulp: yes – in so many ways. Intuition is a major part of the story. We need to look at the female aspect of the psyche to find out more.

The yin and yang of it

Fundamentally, the female aspect receives, while the male aspect transmits. The female aspect is passive, while the male aspect is active.  The opposites are famously contained in the Chinese yin yang symbol, where yin is female, and yang is male. To be perfectly clear: we each contain both male and female aspects, whatever our gender, or indeed our sexuality… though clearly the proportions vary in each gender, and even in each individual.

Intuition works in the following way. We formulate a question (male aspect); we receive the answer intuitively (female aspect); we transmit the answer (male aspect).  It’s perfectly possible to be intuitive without the male aspect – to be simply open to the psychic sea that washes all around us; but we can get tired, drained and emerge with no useful answers. We need to formulate a question in order to get an answer, and we may need to transmit the answer to others.

Can you see signs of the compassionate sage (female aspect) in this king?

So intuition requires both female and male aspects, but cannot possibly exist without the female element. That’s basically why the phrase ‘a woman’s intuition’ never goes away. It’s also why professional psychics often say they received their gift from their mother’s mother – through the female line. The truth is though, just as we all have a female aspect, so we all have the ability to intuit.

To return to that baby girl, who’s just been born, somewhere in the world: if she grows up not valuing her female aspect, she will dampen down her intuition… she will devalue it. If, on the other hand, she makes a decision, deep within her, to love and value the girl that she is, she will thrive and so will others in the future who will receive the benefits of her intuitive, female gift.

If we all acknowledged the female aspect in each of us, here are some of the things that would happen:

We would less time talking and more time listening.

We would spend less time doing, and more time being.

We would respond to the many messages of our bodies, and enjoy healthier, happier, and indeed slimmer lives.

We would give our own children a nurturing space in which to grow, with safe boundaries.

We would most likely enjoy a far greater degree of world peace, and the planet’s natural resources would be sympathetically managed; there would be more forests.

Affirmations to restore the balance

Here are two daily affirmations: one for women, and one for men. I suggest that you follow a daily habit of meditating (if you don’t already) – just sitting quietly for 30 minutes. While you do that, repeat the following words silently, in your mind:

If you are female:

(In-breath) I love and accept… (out-breath) the girl that I am… (in-breath) I love and accept… (out-breath) the woman that I am…

If you are male:

(In-breath) I love and accept… (out-breath) my female aspect… (in-breath) I love and accept… (out-breath) my male aspect…

Witness your body’s reaction as you do this: you may find your heart area feels warmer, and more relaxed. You may find the warmth spreading throughout your body. Simply witness what happens. By repeating this exercise daily for a while, you will receive ever more enriching insights and benefits.

You’ll find a quick guide to meditation here.

A note about the pictures: I found these ancient monarchs of Ireland while seeing in the New Year 2012 at Castle Ashford, Co. Mayo, a beautiful place with many layers of history. 

Postscript: In February 2012, the UK’s Daily Telegraph published an investigation which found that abortion of female babies in the UK is sadly commonplace: http://tgr.ph/xXd0ZO

Three-minute healing circle

10/12/2011 at 3:48 pm | Posted in Healing, Meditation, Uncategorized | 14 Comments
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Ideally, do this after a daily practice of meditation, when the mind is still and calm, and the body rested, yet alert.

Sit comfortably, with your eyes closed and your back straight, in a peaceful place where you won’t be disturbed. Take a few deep breaths, releasing any thoughts, knowing this time is for you, and for those who may wish for your help…

First  minute: create the healing circle.

As you breathe in, picture a white light in the centre of you, glowing and sparkling brightly, like a diamond. As you breathe out, picture the white light radiating outwards from your hands, creating a large white circular space in front of you: a healing space. As you continue to breathe out, send out an invitation to all who may wish for healing, to enter the circle. Each time you breathe in, see the diamond at the centre of you glowing and sparkling ever more brightly. Each time you breathe out, see the healing circle in front of you shining more and more brightly. Continue to send out a general invitation to all who may wish for healing.

Second minute: maintain the healing circle.

As you breathe in, and as you breathe out, continue to maintain the shining white healing circle in front of you. See people enter the circle, and stand in it, soaking up the healing white light. You may recognise people; you may see strangers; you may see a mixture of both. You may see nothing; just trust in the process and continue. The people do not see you. They simply approach the circle and stand inside it, soaking up the light. As you continue to breathe in and out, be aware that the whole of you, too, is glowing and sparkling with healing white light.

Third minute: close down the healing circle.

Send out a thank you to all who have entered the circle, and watch them begin to leave. As you continue to breathe in and out, gradually let the light settle down, fade, and return to normal levels. As it does so, the last people leave the circle, and then the circle itself vanishes.

Repeat as often as you like. A daily practice works well. Or try a weekly practice. If you do this regularly, you will see more and more people enter your circle.

The minutes, by the way, don’t have to be exact. They’re just a rough guide.

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