Tag Archives: relaxation

meditation update

13 Oct

 

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In an attempt to meditate more frequently I signed up for a month-long membership at Unplug Meditation. It’s a guided meditation studio in Los Angeles that offers 30 and 45 minute group meditation sessions. They range from mantras to crystal healing classes. While I would like to get to a point where I am meditating by myself at home, I thought a group atmosphere and guided practice might jumpstart my practice again. I was right. This place is a little oasis and it makes meditation easy. It’s a calm atmosphere with soft light and candles. They offer cushions that fold into little chairs on the ground- you can keep them flat if you want to lie down or fold it to give you support when you sit. These cushions are pure gold- I’ve found that if I am not physically comfortable during my practice then my mind never stills. Instead I’m focused on the fact that my foot is falling asleep and my back is aching.

I’ve taken a range of classes at Unplug led by a different people and found that each teacher brings a whole new energy to the practice. One guided meditation that I absolutely loved (it may sound a little strange) the teacher led us back to the days of our ancestors- we weren’t told how far to go back so I decided to visualize 100 years or so back. I found myself standing by myself on a hilltop in Ireland…different shades of green as far as the eye could see…I could literally feel the wind in my face and hear the waves crashing on the rocks below. It was so incredibly powerful. I felt tethered to all that came before me. It was interesting letting my mind explore the new world- I wandered villages, watched people work, children play & animals wander.

When I left class that morning my perspective had shifted from what I could only see and touch in front of me to a vast and endless world beyond…past, present & future. It’s truly amazing where your mind can take you.

My visualization looked much like these photos…

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Slea Head - County Kerry Ireland

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My membership ends at the studio soon (after the month-long new student deal it’s pretty pricy to continue- major bummer!) so I will have to develop a space in my home that inspires me to calmly want to sit for long periods of time. Preferably one that Frank can’t bring his tennis ball into.

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For any of you interested in meditation here are some tips that have worked for me.

meditating in the morning before the day begins. I find my head space is clearer at this time

setting a timer for a desired amount of time so my focus can be on my practice and not the clock

stretching my body before so I feel less restless and more open

putting on light music or an online guided meditation (these free guided meditations are great)

focusing on my breath to anchor in the present moment

lastly, when unwanted thoughts appear I gently let them go by returning my focus to my breath. Don’t try to stop your thoughts; this will just make you feel agitated. Imagine that they are unwelcome visitors at your door: acknowledge their presence and politely ask them to leave.

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“Meditation is to dive all the way within, beyond thought, to the source of thought and pure consciousness. It enlarges the container, every time you transcend. When you come out, you come out refreshed, filled with energy and enthusiasm for life.”
David Lynch

 

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east bali

1 Dec

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The last stop on our honeymoon was five nights at the insanely gorgeous Alila Manggis located in East Bali- a quiet section of the island known for its lush forests and the active volcano, Mount Agung. After traveling for almost a month through Hanoi, Halong Bay, Ho Chi Minh, Ubud & Nusa Lembongan, we were both pretty exhausted from the non stop movement.

Our vacation was making us tired…take out the tiny violin, right?

Considering neither of us wanted to fly back to Los Angeles without our batteries fully recharged, we allowed ourselves to do the unthinkable for people like us…do absolutely nothing for the last leg of the trip. We fought it the first day, both feeling bad about not scheduling more things during our stay. We spent the first day by the pool sipping fruity cocktails and flipping through the hotels activity brochure in search of something. An afternoon of sailing? A scenic bike ride? A sunrise trek up Mount Agung? Although, I simply couldn’t fathom waking up at 3am to trek to the top of Mount Agung. Since we couldn’t settle on anything, we just kept sipping fruity cocktails by the pool. Normally, this would have been a pool/beach combo but this section of Bali isn’t known for its beaches. Transalation….there really isn’t a beach, especially at high tide. So we pooled it. I wasn’t disappointed though because the pool at Alila Manggis was epic. It begged to be sat by for five days straight. It would have been unfair to it if we didn’t.

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Our daily routine was pretty solid…wake up by 9am…eat breakfast (which happened to be an amazing complimentary feast. It kept me full for most of the day)…go back to our room to change into our bathing suits and proceed to the pool to swim, read (I laughed and sobbed my way through “A Fault In Our Stars”), eat, drink & sleep, usually wrapping it up around five when we would go back to our hotel room to lounge around in bed until we got hungry for dinner.

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We left the hotel grounds once…once!! How crazy is that? On day five we finally put the fruity cocktails down and ventured out for a little culture, a guided tour through Tenganan Village, which is often referred to as the original Bali.

The tour through the village will be up on the blog next!

photos by Brian Glodney Photography

Day 4, Part 1: Santa Fe, Canyon Road & Ten Thousand Waves

19 Apr

ROAD TRIP

Day 4, Part 1

 Sleep, turquoise, canyon road, zen spa & a fish named Herb

 We let ourselves sleep till 8:30 on day 4! Aren’t we crazy?! After 3 days of no sleep, both Rachel and I were committed to getting some solid Z’s. A meltdown was near for both of us due to exhaustion and we knew we were approaching dangerous territory. I can only speak for myself but I am a monster when I am tired. A MONSTER.

So in an attempt to find balance we decided to pamper ourselves a bit on our last morning in Santa Fe and sleep until 8:30, order room service and have breakfast in bed. It was heavenly.

 After packing up our bags and equipment, we decided to head out and explore the Santa Fe streets a bit more. We shopped for turquoise (actually we haggled) and then drove to Canyon Road,  to explore the streets, galleries and shops. Oh, the fun we had playing on tire swings and with statues. We also stumbled upon an amazing little import store on Canyon Road where I found a little bowl with blue chevron stripes on it from India and it became my treasure to bring home from Santa Fe.

 After our walk on Canyon Road we took our relaxation morning to a whole new level and decided to pay a visit to Ten Thousand Waves, a Japanese style spa in Santa Fe.  The minute I walked in, I knew I was in for quite a treat. Every little detail was perfection…the tea, the kimonos, the service, the fountains, the little buddhas and my personal favorite was a little plastic orange fish for $3.50. I  snatched him up immediately to bring with us.

After 2 hours of soaking, saunas and silence we packed it up to leave.

I’m pretty sure we would have stayed all afternoon if we could have but we had to head to our next destination, the Puye Cliff Dwellings in Española, New Mexico.

I felt a little sad about leaving Santa Fe. Everyone is so damn nice there and there is something so very poetic about the energy of that place.

Dear Santa Fe,

You’ve got me.

photos taken with my iphone that morning…

 See Rachel’s take here!

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