Creating and maintaining a daily meditation routine is a gentle way to come to understand oneself more fully and, by extension, how to be more comfortable, present, and effective in our internal and external universes.
In our worlds of hurry and competition, it can be easy to lose track of the importance of turning inward. We often value the wisdom and insight of others above that available within our own consciousness. Taking a few minutes a day to quiet the mind can have tremendous impact on our psychology and our physiology. Those few moments of stillness can provide access to the quiet whispers of the mind that provide clarity, insight, and direction.
Many find physical activities to be integral to creating a daily routine as better physical health lends itself to greater mental, emotional, and spiritual health. Finding balance with physical activities is also important. Your body can look amazing and everyone else will think you are healthy, but if you are out of balance, you are less effective on impacting what's within you and what impacts you from the outside.
Focus and repetitive actions can be very effective ways of clearing the mind. Allowing the mind to release intentional control by focusing on repetitive tasks through creative expression or by doing both simultaneously. By employing repetitive-creative tasks, the brain and body engage to free the mind.
One example of repetitive-creative explorations quickly gaining notoriety is called Zentangles. The concept was started by Rick Roberts and Maria Thomas as a way to practice focus and meditation through drawing, using repetitive lines, marks, circles, and shapes. Each mark is called a "tangle," and you combine various tangles into patterns to create "tiles" or small square drawings. By focusing on the repetition, the mind is free to be quiet. I found a Zentangles Youtube channel that provided a good deal of insight into the practice.
Other examples of repetitive-creative explorations can be discovered within the realm of flow arts. The term "flow arts" encompasses the emerging movement-based art forms that integrate dance and creative exploration of movement to the neurological, psychological, and physiological benefit of the artist.
Flow arts draw from a multitude of ancient and modern movement disciplines; from Maori poi spinning to modern fire dancing, from martial arts and tai chi to circus arts and hula hooping. ...And my favorite: THE BULLWHIP.
Poi spinning is when a flow artist swings two cords/chains with small weights, flags, or wicks . The cross crawl action engages and synchs the right and left hemispheres of the brain, allowing for more clarity and efficacy. Flow arts force an artist to stay in the present moment. If the artist's mind drifts to a conflict from the day before or a worry about tomorrow, the "flow" of the art form is very difficult to maintain. When practicing a flow art like bullwhips, allowing the mind to slip out of the present moment results in an immediate and, often, painful correction. The idea is to obtain and remain in a flow state. In positive psychology; "flow", also known as "the zone", is the mental state of operation in which a person performing an activity is fully immersed in a feeling of energized focus, full involvement, and enjoyment in the process of the activity. Many flow artists regard this as a sacred space of connectivity.
The flow arts are a great way to engage the mind, connect it with the body and allow it to creatively explore the physical world in a lovely combination of movement, meditation, dance, and exploration; both in inner (esoteric) and external (physical) spaces. Flow arts increase the ability of the artist to trust the flow of the universe and to gain greater control by releasing control.
Great numbers of people first encounter flow arts through contemporary fire dancing in which people dance with candles, poi, hula hoops, fans, staffs, whips, or other flaming objects.
Lucia No.3 Lucid Light
As you might expect, we find the Lucia No. 3 to be of great benefit to the seeker wanting to travel within, recognize what's out of alignment, make a few changes and then be more effective operating in their external universes. The hypnagogic light experience is a simultaneously subtle and profound path to effortless meditation. It has the distinct ability to distract you into the spaces that people spend years focusing and meditating to reach. The Lucid Light provides a peek at what's possible in meditation and many report it motivated them to establish a daily meditation routine. Creating and maintaining a daily meditation routine is a gentle way to come to understand the self more fully and, by extension, how to be more comfortable, present, and effective in the internal and external universes. If you'd like to experience it without having to travel to Austria, consider visiting us in Austin, TX. We're located a short distance from Austin's heart, Barton Springs.)
Food and Nutrition
We would be remiss to leave nutrition out of the mix as we are walking biochemical/electrical reactions being physiologically expressed in human form. The health and proper functioning of all organs is orchestrated gastrointestinally. Eating in ways that allow us to understand how our body functions at it's optimum levels can provide us with great insight. Consider trying an elimination diet and tracking how your body responds to each new food as it is added back in. It can provide great insight into what is best for the individual. Nutritionally, there are some general rules of thumb, but we all have slightly different needs and responses to foods. We believe taking time to find out what works best for the individual better prepares them to work, play, & meditate.
Food can help to create the optimum environment for mental and emotional processing, as well as physical development and maintenance. We suggest growing the food that you eat. It is relaxing, connecting, rewarding. It can help a person to make more healthful food choices and can dramatically reduce the financial outlays associated with attempting to purchase real food (non-GMO, organic). If you don't have the space or time to start a garden, consider planting herbs in your home or on your porch. You will likely discover a real joy and connection with the plants that you raise and eat.
We spend a good deal of time discussing the best ways to impact internal and external universes with our clients and between ourselves. Please share what you do to find balance, clarity, comfort, and joy.