Poetry and Meditations

CALM AND PRESENCE

LOST

Stand still.  The trees ahead and bushes beside you
Are not lost.  Wherever you are is called Here,
And you must treat it as a powerful stranger,
Must ask permission to know it and be known.


The forest breathes.  Listen.  It answers,
I have made this place around you,
If you leave it you may come back again, saying Here.
No two trees are the same to Raven,
No two branches are the same to Wren.
If what a tree or a bush does is lost on you,
You are surely lost.  Stand still.  The forest knows
Where you are.  You must let it find you.
 – David Wagner

LOVING KINDNESS AND INTIMACY

Your great mistake is to act the drama
as if you were alone. As if life
were a progressive and cunning crime
with no witness to the tiny hidden
transgressions. To feel abandoned is to deny
the intimacy of your surroundings. Surely,
even you, at times, have felt the grand array;
the swelling presence, and the chorus, crowding
out your solo voice. You must note
the way the soap dish enables you,
or the window latch grants you freedom.
Alertness is the hidden discipline of familiarity.
The stairs are your mentor of things
to come, the doors have always been there
to frighten you and invite you,
and the tiny speaker in the phone
is your dream-ladder to divinity.
Put down the weight of your aloneness and ease into the
conversation. The kettle is singing
even as it pours you a drink, the cooking pots
have left their arrogant aloofness and
seen the good in you at last. All the birds
and creatures of the world are unutterably
themselves. Everything is waiting for you.
–      David Whyte

COMPASSION AND FLOW

The first step on the journey of loving ourselves is to cultivate compassion. But we cannot offer compassion to anyone else that we have not first given to ourselves.

GUIDED VINYASA FLOW

How we apply deep compassion for our own process, pain, suffering and life will mean the world to others. We can know through our own internal deep experience what it means to walk in another’s shoes. To witness the human experience from the inside out.

GUIDED APAN MUDRA MEDITATION

What I know to be true is that when I practice having compassion for myself, feeling tenderness for my own process and letting my heart rest into gentle abiding, I can see into another’s experience and there is a great heart awakening.

In order to understand why we should practice or how, we have to slow down and take time to feel, see and know who we really are. Compassion is embracing that we are enough, right here and now.

LOVING KINDNESS MEDITATION

“We cannot live in a world that is interpreted for us by others.

An interpreted world is not a home.

Part of the terror is to take back our own listening.

To use our own voice.

To see our own light.” 
– Hildegard of Bingen

AMONG THE TREES, SLEEP RELAXATION

When I am Among the Trees
by Mary Oliver

When I am among the trees, 
especially the willows and the honey locust,
equally the beech, the oaks and the pines,
they give off such hints of gladness.
I would almost say that they save me, and daily.

I am so distant from the hope of myself,
in which I have goodness, and discernment,
and never hurry through the world
but walk slowly, and bow often.

Around me the trees stir in their leaves
and call out, “Stay awhile.”
The light flows from their branches.

And they call again, “It’s simple,” they say,
“and you too have come
into the world to do this, to go easy, to be filled
with light, and to shine.”

CALMING EVENING MEDITATION

Thank you for being here and taking time for self-care.

I’m creating these

meditations so that

while we’re hunkered down

we can still be together in

our sangha of

loving kindness. 

New Year, New Decade, New Way of Being!

In January 2020, I offered a complimentary month of teachings on loving kindness called PEACE OF MIND. Visit the content below, and listen to the full lessons here.

January 31, 2020

Listen to the audio version of this lesson here:

We’re continuing today with the Yamas (restraints). The Yamas are the 1st limb of yoga. (Your feet can probably touch the ground from here!)

Here they are:

Ahimsa (Nonviolence)

Satya (Truthfulness)

Asteya (Nonstealing)

Brahmacharya (Nonexcess)

Aparigraha (Nonpossessiveness)

January 27, 2020

Listen to the audio version of this lesson here:

Dearest-

Can you believe we are almost all the way through January?

I’ve really been loving and appreciating my time with you this month. 

We have climbed all over our beautiful tree, bouncing from limb to limb!

What I love about what we have done this month is that we have found a new perspective by walking backwards through the 8 limbs. 

We’ve gone from enlightenment (samadhi)

to meditation (dhanya)

to concentration (dharana)

to detachment (pratyahara)

to breathing (pranayama)

Bonus meditation for January 27

to movement (asana)…

Which brings us this week to the final two limbs of yoga:

The beautiful practices of the Yamas (restraints) and Niyamas (observances). 

In a nutshell, they are guidelines for living well. 

January 24, 2020

Listen to the audio version of this lesson here:

Dearest-

I loved hearing about all the creative places you have found to breathe this week!

You are amazing at Pranayama. And at playing!

I hope you have felt your soul settle peacefully just a little bit over the last few few weeks. 

We are coming into the lower limbs of our tree now.

I actually love teaching about the 3rd limb of yoga, which is asana or movement. 

The main reason I love it is that at this point in the teaching, everyone realizes this fact:

Movement is only ⅛ of a yoga practice!

Really.

In a world full of yoga studios and yoga classes, most people have no idea that this is true. You can have a LOT of yoga practice before you ever even roll out a mat, which is why you sometimes hear people say that it’s important to take your practice off the mat. 

January 20, 2020

Listen to the audio version of this lesson here:

Dearest-

Warm wishes to you and yours. 

Today is the day to simply listen to the audio version of this lesson.

Close your eyes. 

And take five…very…slow…breaths.
 

Inhale.

Pause. 

Exhale.

January 17, 2020

Listen to the audio version of this lesson here:

Dearest-

When you climb half way up a tree, you have a decision to make. 

Are you going to go further? 

Will you be able to get back down if you keep going? 

There comes a point where it’s best to not look down.

So don’t look down. And don’t look up.

Just for a moment,

Be where you are. 

Notice…

Where are you sitting? (on a cushion, in your car, at the table)

Where are you reading this meditation? (on a computer, on your phone)

What is around you? 

Are your feet on the ground? 

Notice your breath. You don’t have to change or control it. Just notice it. Is it fast? Or slow? Or just normal? Are you breathing through your nose or your mouth? There are no wrong answers. Just notice. 

Now notice where your cell phone is? (maybe in your hand)

Stop for a moment and ask yourself what is the longest you’ve been without your phone in your hand or your pocket over the last few weeks. 

Don’t judge the answer or label it as good or bad. Try to just observe it. See it as an interesting fact. 

Now consider whether or not it might be possible to spend an hour today with your phone turned off and in a drawer. Maybe even think of an activity you could do without your phone today. Can you go for a short walk? Can you spend some time in the kitchen or with a book? Can you go out to eat with a friend? 

Is it possible to take a step back for an hour (or maybe even a day) from your cell phone?

Pratyahara, the 5th limb of yoga is all about detachment. And I can’t think of anything in life that we are more attached to these days than our phones. (Myself included!) And in so many ways, our phones make our lives really wonderful! 

But to play with the idea of Pratyahara, it might be fun to observe ourselves without our phones. Give it a try and let me know what you think!

January 13, 2020

Listen to the audio version of this lesson here:

How is mid-ish January feeling to you? 

I’ve noticed the first ten days were a little up and down and now I’ve settled into winter. The energy just after the holidays is pushy and I say no thank-you. 

Thank you for sharing your insights with me on Peace of Mind so far. I love reading your emails and your feedback is really important to me. It helps me know what’s helping you. 

Concentrate.

Do you remember when your teacher would tell you to concentrate? Or maybe you were a good student, so she was telling someone else. 

The best way to practice concentration is by doing something you really love that requires concentration. Maybe it’s doing a puzzle. Or playing a game. Walking on a balance beam (or a wall). Perhaps swimming or running. Chopping vegetables. Sewing or knitting. And of course…climbing up or down a tree requires concentration!

What is something that you can become so focused on doing that you forget where you are? Or you lose track of time?

If you can, take some time today to do that very thing, whatever it is. And if you don’t have the space today, schedule some time with yourself to indulge in that thing that is PLAY for you.

View today’s full lesson here: https://mailchi.mp/radiantjane/peace-of-mind-meditations-intro-1892885

January 10, 2020

Listen to the audio version of this lesson here:

It’s been a challenging week on planet earth. Witnessing the latest world events can feel overwhelming. We might be asking ourselves “what can we do?” 

I want us to remember and move toward the basic practice of Loving Kindness. Loving Kindness is not a magic pill but it does connect hearts. And when hearts are connected things are possible that just aren’t when we’re disconnected. 

When we’re faced with great pain and suffering we can either turn away in despair or turn toward it with compassion. We can turn towards our suffering and allow our feelings to be felt. Strong emotions are gifts because they teach compassion for others and all beings, heart-to-heart. We feel our own pain and the pain of others. It’s a true heart to heart connection. 

Remember that pain unacknowledged becomes despair. 
Pain acknowledged becomes compassion. 

John O’Donohue says: “You can trust the promise of this opening. Unfurl yourself into the grace of beginning. That is at one with your life’s desire.”

Trust the promise. 

Trust yourself.

You already have everything you need for perfect stillness.

You are already a master at meditation. 

Because you don’t need to do anything.

You just BE.

Your presence here is meditation, dear heart. 

Pause now in presence. 

View the full lesson here: https://mailchi.mp/radiantjane/peace-of-mind-meditations-intro-1892877

January 6, 2020

Listen to the audio version of this lesson here:

An audio version of this week’s lesson. Listen here!

Wherever you are right now, I hope you know you are worthy of great bliss. 

Pause and breathe that thought in. Let it counter or even replace any negative thoughts you have about yourself.

I am worthy of great bliss.

Sometimes we get so used to our pain narrative that we need help remembering we can replace it with a new one. 

Also listen to this week’s guided meditation here.

Can you remember a time when you felt pure bliss?

Take a minute to explore in your memory. Can you land on a moment or a season that was full of joy? 

Sometimes it’s just the most simple things. Like sipping a warm cup of tea and letting your mind rest. Or a walk outside to breathe in fresh air and ideas. 

That sweet lightness of being is enlightenment. 

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