Day #15 :: Focus + Clarity :: 31 Days of Devotion

Welcome to your practice for Day #15. 
Today kicks off our theme for Week #3 :: Focus + Clarity. 
Now, I recognize that there's a weeee bit of redundancy here, as we've been practicing Focus and Clarity all along.
Focusing on Intention in week #1 (which hopefully inspired some clarity), and focusing on Compassion during week #2. 

However this week, the focus IS focus, so we're going straight for it, so to speak. 


We'll be joined by the wonderful trio of Ralph De La Rosa , Sydney Faith Rose + Lodro Rinzler from the contributing teacher team, and placing an emphasis on shamatha meditation (aka: calm abiding or bare awareness meditation) -- straight up, with no filler.

It's the same meditation technique that the Buddha practiced 2500 years ago to "wake up" and find liberation. And he was just some disillusioned prince with a chip on his shoulder, which means that you and I have a shot at it too. 

But before we begin today's practice, I just want to point out all of the white space on this page. Do you see it? The white space between paragraphs, the white space in the margins. The white space that holds the text and images together, and gives this email format and shape? 
This is what we'll be focusing on today. 
(Not literally, though. You'll see.) 

If you want to skip ahead, we hit the cushion at the 5 minute 30 second mark. 

It's so great to spend another week with you!
Into the woods we go.

Day #16 :: Focus + Clarity :: 31 Days of Devotion

Good morning & welcome to your practice! 

Today we're continuing to move into the theme for Week #3:: Focus + Clarity, and we're given thorough guidance by one of our contributing teachers this month, Ralph De La Rosa. 

If you haven't checked out Ralph's website, I highly recommend it. He has a treasure trove of resources on tap over there, including guided meditations. 

 YOU'VE REACHED THE HALF WAY POINT! KUDOS!

YOU'VE REACHED THE HALF WAY POINT! KUDOS!

For today, though, we'll be taking a close look at our relationship to the breath, as Ralph offers some thoughts on why it's such a perfect practice tool for developing focus. (Hint: the breath is a moving target.) 

Meditation begins at the 3 minute 7 second mark.

 

Just grab a comfortable seat, and perhaps a pen + paper to capture your own insights after meditation, and click the video above.   

 

Day #17 :: Focus + Clarity :: 31 Days of Devotion

Good morning and welcome to your practice for day #17. 

I'm excited to be back with you this morning as we continue exploring our theme for Week #3 :: Focus + Clarity. 


I'm also excited for today's topic, which touches on a few of my favorite things:
√ Superhero powers
√ Benedict Cumberbatch
√ Disrupting the habit of walking through our day lodged between our eyebrows.

(I promise that will all make sense in 4 minutes or less.)

Just grab a comfortable seat, and perhaps a pen + paper to capture your own insights after meditation, and click the video above.


Practice begins at the 5 minute 50 second mark.
See you on the cushion!

Day #18 :: Focus + Clarity :: 31 Days of Devotion

Before we get into today's practice, I wanted to take a moment to formally declare my love for words. 
Words, language, etymology: I'm a sucker for them. 

There are a few sweet + foreign little gems I keep in my back pocket for their ability to describe so perfectly what there is no direct translation for ::

There's "Tartle" in Scottish, which describes the act of hesitating while introduing someone because you've forgotten their name. 
And "Won" in Korean, which is the feeling of reluctance we have when letting go of an illusion. 
Or "Wabi-Sabi" in Japanese, which describes the natural beauty of imperfect things.

There are also the more mundane and common words, that upon closer inspection, have a deep and subtle life of their own. 

Today's practice centers around two of these English commoners, specifically the words "Distraction" and "Remembering".

To cut to the chase, meditation begins at the 4 minute and 33 second mark.

Just find a comfortable seat, and perhaps a pen + paper to capture your own insights after meditation, and then click the video above. 

Let's do this. 

Day #19 :: Focus + Clarity :: 31 Days of Devotion

Welcome to your practice for Day #19!

Lodro Rinzler is back in the house to grace us with his insights today as we continue the theme of this week: Focus + Clarity. 

Today he shares with us some nuggets on finding the blend between Discipline + Gentleness in meditation practice, and how to cultivate wellbeing by rerouting the onslaught of Could Have, Would HaveShould Be and Would Be over to a state of surrendering into what IS

If you want to find out more about Lodro's work + keep in touch with him, you can do so HERE

If you want to get right into practice, meditation begins at the 5 minute and 2 second mark. 

Just grab a comfortable seat, and perhaps a pen + paper to capture your own insights after meditation, and click the video below. 

Onward, you beautiful meditators. And may your practice be sweet. 

Day #20 :: Focus + Clarity :: 31 Days of Devotion

I'm back with you as the host for today as we turn the bend on our theme for Week #3 :: Focus + Clarity. 

For today's topic, I'm reminded of something that astrophysicist Neil De Grasse Tyson said:
"Space exploration is a force of nature unto itself that no other force in society can rival
He, of course, was referencing Outer Space, but I would venture to say that the same is true for exploring Inner Space as well. 
Getting to know our interior landscape. Aka: Meditation. 

Which is why I'm keeping it nice and spacious today... with very little talk and a whole lot of atmosphere for us to explore our practice. 

Since we're talking about space, I also wanted to say that one of my absolute favorite (and unexpected) parts about sharing this series with all of you has been the emails and messages I'm receiving as you make your way through the 31 Days. 

As I've mentioned to a few of you--as well as in today's video-- launching this series has felt a bit like sending a satellite out into space and waiting for the signal to return. 

Beep.                            Beep.                            Beep.                       Beep. 

And when it does, (sometimes with puppy photos included), it's an absolute thrill and delight. 
It amazes me that close to 700 of us, from across the globe, are sitting down to share in practice together, and hearing your experiences makes me feel so connected, which --full transparency-- is my intention for 2017. 

So with that said, I've decided to open the final 2 days of our series for all of you to chime in.
The final days were earmarked for "Closing Insights", and I've come to realize through this series that this means YOURS. Not mine. 

Which is why I'll be reading your Qs on air before practice in our final 2 sessions together. 

Now, back to your regularly scheduled programming.
Practice begins at the 1 minute 30 second mark. 

And away we go. 

Day #21 :: Focus + Clarity :: 31 Days of Devotion

Welcome to your practice for Day #21 of 31 Days of Devotion

Today we wrap up our theme for Week #3:: Focus + Clarity, I just want to acknowledge that a deeply polarizing president has just taken office in the United States.

No matter what your political leanings are, division is painful, and it seems to be timely that we are talking about developing a sense of focus and clarity together, right on the heels of practicing compassion. 

Strong spine, clear mind, open heart. 

Please keep practicing. I love you. We are all in this together. Now back to our regularly scheduled programing. 

Sydney Faith Rose is back on the cushion with us today, closing our week out with aplomb. Today she shares her insights on the filters we all have that color our view of the world.

I think of this in the same fashion as Instagram. Everyone looks good in the Valencia filter. X-Pro amplifies the subject in a harsh and unflattering way. Nashville adds a light glow to the situation. 

The same, it can be said, for our own minds, and the filters that we view the world through. Some of these filters are helpful-- like the belief filter that we are capable and liked, that people are basically good. Some filters on the other hand... well, not so helpful. 

The tricky part is even recognizing these filters are there. 

Just grab a comfortable seat, and perhaps a pen + paper to capture your own insights after meditation, and click the video below. 

Meditation begins at the 9 minute 40 second mark. You're doing great.