No Place Like Home Re-Heat

Have you had the chance to experience this “coming home” meditation? I’m interested in hearing about the very specific, moment-by-moment experience of this. What happens in the musculoskeletal realm? In the neural? Cardiovascular, respiratory? How about mood, attitude and/or intention?

How does the world appear, when you finish and release the instructions? Anything happen to your relationship to your companions, surroundings, the whole kit and kaboodle?

Good or bad, what happens for you when you turn attention to the array of physical sensations? Is there anything valuable about doing this as a practice?

Thanks to all who left their observations over the week. ~Margaret



There’s No Place Like Home

Who else to go to but Bob Vila for the quintessential home?

Do you know that sense you get, when you’re away from the familiar, and you feel off, even uncomfortable? What would it be like, to have something so close by and familiar that you could always feel at home?

Here’s an essential meditation technique to try. Let’s call it “at home in my body.” You can try this right now, with just a minute or two.

Begin by taking a breath and re-arranging yourself a bit, to be the most comfortable you can. If you’re standing, re-balance your weight equally on both feet. If you’re sitting, adjust yourself so that you have both feet on the floor, and your shoulders balanced over your hips. Do whatever is needed to balance yourself in an easy, upright way.

Now start bringing attention to whatever sensations in your body you can feel. To learn how to do this, it can help to close your eyes the first few times you try. Just sense, from the inside, what you can feel going on in your physical body. You might find pressures where you are contacting the chair or floor. You may notice movements due to shifting, breathing or even your heart beating. You may feel the texture or tightness of clothing on your skin, or varying air temperatures.

It’s not important what you find. You may notice very little at first. You may find more physical discomfort than you expected. Just stay curious and notice what you can sense. This isn’t thinking about body sensation. It’s more direct than that; it’s simply awareness of body sensation.

After a minute or so, let the practice go, and notice what’s happening for you now. Capture the effect for yourself, of being at home in your own body. What do you notice?


A Very Social Mirror

Family members we can’t pick, but friends, we can.  And if we choose them, they must reflect something about us.  So ask yourself this:  What quality do all my good friends have in common?

Thanks to Paul Keller, via Flickr Creative commons .

See what this says about you, and friendship.

~ Jon

Inner Commentator Re-Heat

“Men are not prisoners of fate, but only prisoners of their own minds” Franklin D. Roosevelt

Thanks to Arther Partridge at his AyPeeCO blog,, for this great quote. I find that’s one of the fortunate things about practicing mindfulness: discovering that you don’t have to be imprisoned by the thinking mind. It’s a simple matter of recognizing the mind for what it is, moment-by moment, and seeing its’ place in the overall picture.

So, what’s it like to have an off-screen color commentator whispering in your ear all the time?  Do you curse that voice, struggling mightily to find the longed-for mute button? Or believe every word that’s said? What happens when you make friends with the inner commentator?


The Inner Commentator

Watching golf on TV is not my all-time-favorite thing to do, but have you ever watched it? There’s the action itself, on the course, and then there’s the voice of some commentator in a studio somewhere. This person is framing what they see, remembering past triumphs or failures, predicting various results in the future. The voice chatters away, having no effect on the action itself.

(in a hushed voice) "...he lines up the putt"

This is an interesting metaphor. Have you noticed anything like this, in relating to your own mind?  Do hear an inner commentator reshaping what you see taking place, or even more subtle, is your inner commentator reshaping what you see without your even hearing that voice?

Commentators interpret. For just a moment, make note of an interpretation.  Use any moment you like from today or yesterday — a moment when you applied a certain coloration to someone’s words or some office news you heard.

Now, rather than take that interpretation as gospel truth, ask yourself, is it the only possible statement?  Does that interpretation result in certain attitudes or opinions? Does it draw your attention toward some people or events and away from others?  Does it act like the camera on the golf course, directing your attention to the green when it could just as easily have focused on the golfer’s expression?

Bring awareness to the inner commentator.  That’s today’s invitation.


The Wrong Finish Line

Sangudo via Flickr Creative Commons

We live in a goal and achievement oriented society. This is how we go places and make things. Great.

Most of us will set some sort of goals for ourselves. Many more of us will have goals set for us by the powers above or by the conditions we find ourselves in.

For a moment, set aside the goals that are imposed on you and think about the ones you set for yourself. Pause and ask yourself these three questions:

  1. Can I remember where I was when I set that goal, or did it sort of sneak up on me?
  2. In a tangible, practical sense, what difference will it make if I  achieve this goal?
  3. Am I certain that whatever that difference is, that, in fact, it is key to my sense of satisfaction?

These are some of the acid questions to assess your goals.  Each one might take you down a rabbit hole that lasts more than three minutes.  Take your time.  You can put your thoughts on pause and revisit them later.  The point of this Thought Starter is to put your goals through a rigorous reality check. And speaking of reality, we assume that your goal is realistic and not, for example, a dream of winning the lottery or the companion wish — having been born to fabulously wealthy parents; both are equally likely to come to fruition.

One final thought:  If you answer these questions and your goal falls short, do what common sense dictates.


Red Flag reheat

So, what did you find out? What is it like to pay attention to your emotional life? Maybe, as you were paying attention, you ran into…

Or perhaps something more cheerful? The interesting thing is, it doesn’t matter what you find. Good, bad or indifferent…did you notice what happens through the process of checking in? There’s a feeling of settling, of coming home to what’s clear and true for you in the moment. It’s a great point to start from, or to start again from…

Check back on Monday, it’ll be time for the next Microwave Meditation. Keep us posted in the meantime, and let us know: what’s on your mind?  Cheers, Margaret