Drop in the Ocean Meditation

For today’s meditation, let’s turn to Kabir, an Indian weaver and mystic poet born 1398 AD, who writes…

All know that the drop merges into the ocean, but few know that the ocean merges into the drop.

Close your eyes.

Take a deep breath. Hold for a few seconds. Exhale slowly. Repeat until you’ve slowed down, decreased your thinking, and deepened your awareness.

Visual a single drop of water.

Watch the drop fall into the ocean.

Feel the ocean merge into the drop.

You are the drop.

You are the ocean.

Breathe and be at peace.

Keep It Simple Meditation

This week we learn a helpful technique from Chogyam Trungpa on how to meditate while doing things that would seem trivial…

If you pour a cup of tea, you are aware of extending your arm and touching your hand to the teapot, lifting it and pouring the water.

Finally the water touches your teacup and fills it, and you stop pouring and put the teapot down precisely, as in the Japanese tea ceremony. You become aware that each precise movement has dignity.

We have long forgotten that activities can be simple and precise. Every act of our lives can contain simplicity and precision and thus can have tremendous beauty and dignity.

During the next week, as often as possible, slow down and become mindful and conscious of what you’re doing, no matter how trivial. You’ll be stunned at the meaning and beauty to be found in an act as simple as sharpening a pencil.

Until next Monday, meditate every day and let it all go.

How to Overcome Fear

For this week’s meditation we turn to my favorite Greek writer, Nikos Kazantzakis, who reveals…

I fear nothing. I hope for nothing, I am free.

Wow, that says it all, doesn’t it?

I mean, seriously, most (if not all) the problems that plague each of us as human beings come from fearing something or hoping for something.

Well, for the next seven days, try this meditation to let go of both fear and hope…

To begin, take several long, slow deep breaths until you’re clear and still.

Once you’re focused, breathe in something that you’re afraid of. During the still pause between the in-breath and the out-breath, notice the nasty feeling in your body as your fearful thought reveals its power in you.

Now, as you start to slowly exhale, let go of that fearful thought. Just breathe it out slowly. As you’re breathing out and letting go, you’ll notice a feeling of bliss has replaced the icky feeling of fear.

If several things are causing you fear, repeat the exercise with each one.

Work with fear today.

Tomorrow, repeat the exercise but instead of fear, breathe in something you’re hoping for. Hold the hoped for thought for a second and note the feeling. Exhale slowly and totally release whatever it is you were hoping for.

As you’re breathing out, you’ll again notice a feeling of bliss.

Wow, fear and hope both shackle us.

Let go of what you fear as well as what you hope for, and, guess what?

You’re free!

Embrace Fear and Let Go

Before I started using brainwave audio technologies, I estimate I hadn’t recalled much more than tiny snippets of a dream in, gosh, at least ten years and probably many more than that.

One of the things I liked immediately when I began creating and using brainwave entrainment meditation MP3s was that I started sleeping as soundly as a puddle of snoozing cat and dreaming vividly and often. For the first time in years I could clearly recall in the mornings my imaginings of the nights before.

Well, soon after I started using brainwave entrainment on a daily basis, I dreamed that I was in the atrium of a large bank-like building, the front of which had huge plate glass windows. Granite columns rose from the polished floor to the top of the atrium, some four stories above my head.

I was walking through this atrium, minding my own business, when a man suddenly ran past, shouting, “The storm’s coming, the storm’s coming. It’s headed right for us!”

He evaporated from my sight as only dream people can do.

I walked toward the plate glass windows, looked outside, and, sure enough, a terrible storm was headed right for the building, a perfect storm with tornadoes, hurricane force winds, lightning, and pounding rain.

I started to run as fast as I could toward the interior of the building, but then a voice screamed, “We’re all going to die!”

I looked back and, yes, the tornado’s winds were driving uprooted trees and debris straight toward the plate glass windows.

I could feel myself panicking, sweating, shaking with fear, going zero at the bone.

I collapsed to the smooth, polished floor, worrying furiously about what I could do to protect myself. For lack of anything better, I crawled to one of the granite columns and then wrapped my arms around it even though I knew the force of the terrible winds would laugh at my feeble hold on safety and easily toss me about like an egg shell.

My eyes squeezed shut to avoid the glass fragments and flesh-piercing slivers that would be headed my way any second now.

I felt fear flooding through my veins.

My heart pounded as I clutched onto that column for dear life.

Suddenly, totally immersed in this dream, for no conscious reason, I calmly took a deep breath, opened my eyes, totally accepted the storm, and then watched in calm fascination as glass and trees and street signs and driving rain and other storm stuff flew past me, leaving me untouched, calm, relaxed, and utterly at peace.

Seconds later, I woke up, happy, smiling, almost in tears because of the wonderful experience of completely letting go.

For the first time since 1980, when something similar happened to me while doing a Zen breath-counting meditation, I felt completely at one with everything in the world — the good and the bad, the beautiful and the ugly, the violent and the peaceful.

It’s been many years now since I had that dream experience, but I still reflect on it several times a week to remind myself of the way I’m prone to attach to things I really don’t have to attach to and fear things I really don’t have to fear.

As a result of what I experienced while clutching the granite column in my dream, I’ve become a better witness of what I say and do — an observer who can now better embrace the still calm around which the storms of life swirl, bluster, and blow.

An “I Am” Meditation

For this week’s meditation, we turn to Chogyam Trungpa, who teaches:

No one can turn you completely upside down and inside out. You must accept yourself as you are, instead of as you would like to be, which means giving up self-deception and wishful thinking.

During the coming week, work on accepting yourself (and the time and space you’re currently living in) as you are and as it is, warts and all.

Once you’ve settled into a comfortable position, slowly and consciously inhale and exhale three deep breaths. With each successive breath, note how you become more aware of both your mind and body.

Now that you’re relaxed from the three deep breaths and in a comfortable physical position, let’s begin the “I Am” meditation.

This technique is very simple.

First, slowly breathe in, mentally thinking I, pause for several seconds as you complete the inhalation, and then slowly breath out, thinking AM. Again, pause for several seconds as you complete exhaling.

Note the space, quiet, and calm that always exists in every pause between breaths.

Repeat this simple meditation for at least five minutes, slowly adding more time as your practice deepens or if you’re feeling anxious.

I Am is one of the world’s simplest and yet most profound meditation techniques.

When you accept yourself as I Am, you give up self-deception and wishful thinking and attain freedom, peace, and bliss.

I’ll see you again next Monday morning with another simple meditation you can use to improve your life and sense of well being.