Mantra meditation is NOT about the mantra

Mantra meditation is NOT about the mantra

Oftentimes, when we hear about mantra meditation, there are a lot of different rules and practices that float around. We can get discouraged about even trying to meditate with a mantra, because we don’t know which mantra will be “the right one” for us or if we are supposed to repeat it a certain amount of times. We can also get distracted by the meaning of the mantra we’ve chosen and get off track with the meditation itself.

In this short video, I give you an overview of how to meditate with a mantra and what we are actually doing when we use a mantra during our meditation practice.

Short meditation to feel more grounded and connected

Short meditation to feel more grounded and connected

If you’re feeling distracted, overwhelmed or really up in your head, try this very short meditation.

It will help you to ground your attention and settle into the support of your seat.

Myth: Meditation is the goal

Myth: Meditation is the goal

What is meditation really? And why do we meditate?

Regularly spending time meditating is amazing. But meditation is not just about the time you spend on the cushion. Watch the video where I explain more about this common misconception.

Busting guilt and shame around not meditating

Busting guilt and shame around not meditating

If you’ve been feeling guilty, ashamed or plain stupid (like I did) about not being able to meditate daily, this video is for you. I share my own story about how I started meditating and give some tips, so you can start too. I know that you can do it! I believe in you.

Picking the green tomato

Picking the green tomato

It was the beginning of summer. Our little vegetable garden featured a few tomato plants in a row and my boys and I looked at them eagerly every day to see the tomatoes grow. My youngest was around 2,5 years-old and didn’t yet get the concept of picking only ripe tomatoes. I kept watching out and explaining in the simplest way possible that we don’t pick the green ones, they need to turn red.

But one day, when I was not on guard, suddenly my youngest popped up in front of me with a huge smile, his whole being glowing from pride and in his hands…. the biggest tomato of our garden. Still as green as it gets. It looked huge in his tiny hands. There was not much more to do any more than to observe it and hold it and pet it and talk about it not being good for our bellies like this.

Years later, this chilly summer day reminds me of a “green tomato” of my own.

When I started adventuring into the world of meditation, I was presented with a huge array of choices. There were visualisations, breath awareness practices, mindfulness meditations, mantras, the list went on and on. On my journey I also bumped into somatic meditations. They sounded interesting, so I joined a newsletter and got some for downloading. But I never actually tried doing them. I moved on to other kinds of meditation, trying a whole scala. The somatic meditations sat on my computer for years, unused, but I didn’t delete them.

Two years later, I was in a phase, where I realized, I can’t possibly be in my head any more. I was mentally exhausted and meditation felt like a strain. I knew something had to change.

I did a quick search and realized that there was a Qi gong class right in my village every week. I got curious and went for a class. It was meditation in motion and I had an amazing time. I finally understood: in order to get out of my head, I needed to get into my body.

The somatic meditations, that sat on my computer for two years, finally got to show me their power. I did one. Then I did another and another. It was like water in the middle of the desert, exactly what I needed at that moment and I submerged myself in the practices for months. These months of practice launched me into a whole new level of awareness in and about my body.

I learned to meet myself where I am at this moment. There’s no use in feeling sorry or stupid for not doing something earlier, even though when I did a somatic meditation for the first time, I wished I’ve done it years ago. Looking back at the years that I’ve been trying to figure out meditation on my own, I also wished I went to a teacher early on to get some guidance. It was a lonely journey in the dark for the most part.

When I read about the somatic meditations that first time, I was not ready and open to even glimpse the vast wisdom that they can offer. It was a green tomato to me. A good teacher could have seen this and would have guided me towards a path that would get me ready for the next step. I see it now, and I’m dedicated to be the one who guides others towards the path that suits them.

Are you interested in which path to take? Join me in the upcoming webinar.

Morning routines, evening routines and why it doesn’t matter which ones you choose

Morning routines, evening routines and why it doesn’t matter which ones you choose

UPDATED: Jan-2018

Finding the right one for you, means looking at all the systems from a different point of view.

Ayurveda, Chinese medicine, Walldorf, Buddhism, Judaism, Celticism. The list could go on. They are all systems, a way of life, offering learning, growth and connection to something bigger than yourself. But does it matter which one you choose for your morning and evening routines or food beliefs?
Similarities and differences
They are all systems, as I mentioned. The differences are only on the surface in the details, but if you look deeper, they are all different paths traveling towards the same goal.
Now, don’t get too side-tracked by the terminologies. What one systems calls God, the other calls Lifeforce Energy or Source. What one explains as breath, the other refers to as awareness. Which takes me to the next point. 😉
Pointers
All of these ancient wisdom systems and belief systems are built up from teachings, routines and rituals. And all of those teachings, routines and rituals are pointers. Just like your index finger.
When you point with it, you don’t want people to look at your finger. You want them to look at what you’re pointing at.
The same with these systems. All the rules and rituals are pointing at something much deeper than just the routine and the action. Can you find the deeper aspect in them?
So which one to choose?
Does it matter which one you follow? Or if you mix and match between routines and rituals from different systems? Well, it doesn’t, but probably not for the reason you’d think. I’ll tell you why.
The “morning routine of the richest and happiest people on earth” is possibly not what you need.
Also, rigid practices often fail, because our needs are changing and fluctuating all the time. Just think about the hormonal cycle of a woman. It’s different every day. So a rigid practice will fail inevitably over time.
What can you do?
Try, learn and practice a few different routines. Stick with them long enough to know them and feel if they make a difference.
Some will give you immediate results. Those will be the practices that will come in handy when you’re in challenging times.
Some will feel good, but with – apparently – not that much result. Those will be the practices that’ll give you sneaky results.
Tune in
After you have a small variety of practices, take a few minutes before you start your morning/evening/afternoon/whenever-I’m-in-the-mood routine to tune into your needs at that moment. (Hint: laying on the couch with a bag of chips, binge-watching a series is NOT what you need. Look a little deeper.)
Maybe you’ll see that on that particular day, you just want to sit still and breathe. Other days, you want vigorous movement, to release some restless energy. It’s all okay. As long as you set out to practice every day, even if it’s only one conscious breath, you’ll make great progress in the long term. Just check in.
It all boils down to this
You need to find which pointer works for YOU. If you deeply understand what a ritual or routine points to, when you ‘feel it in your bones’ that’s the right one for you at that moment. This is why it’s important to pauze for a minute before you start.
When you feel you need to tweak your system or explore something totally different, that’s fine. As I said, we change constantly and our needs and beliefs shift as well. Just don’t fall into the trap of chasing the next “magic bullet” all the time. Know, that there won’t be The One and Perfect Practice. It’s a continuous dance of getting still, asking and trying out. That last one is of course key to succeed.
Don’t get lost, looking at the index finger.