I mentioned the other day I was REALLY excited to go to The Path meditation group this morning.
WOW. I really can’t think of a better way to start a Monday morning. Normally, a Monday morning has me rushing off to work or some appointment or event, but this morning, I walked down to Union Square and just sat there in the power of stillness for an hour listening to Elena Brower.
The practice guides you through energizing, mindfulness, mantra and compassion techniques of meditation.
Energizing reminded me of some Kundalini meditation I’ve done. We did stuff like Breath of Fire, a move where you twist to the left to inhale, twist to the right to exhale, and other stuff like that. Since I felt like having coffee before meditation might defeat the purpose of quieting my mind a bit, the energizing meditations were more than welcome!
From there, we moved into simple mindfulness meditation, where we were guided to just be with our thoughts, and accepting of them. I accepted that I was really craving a breakfast wrap afterwards as my stomach growled. I also felt thoughts about my to-do list start to sneak into my head and reminded myself that I had all day to think about that and this time was for being in the present. Once I actually let myself into the mindfulness, I found myself nodding off a bit.
After that, we moved into mantra meditation, focusing on a sweet, short phrase that we repeated in our heads. I really like mantras, because it’s hard to think about anything else when you’re channeling a mantra.
The last part of the session was compassion meditation, which was my favorite part, and the most powerful. We were asked first to grant compassion â€” safety, ease â€” to ourselves. For someone who certainly struggles with automatic negative thoughts, granting myself this compassion and permission felt really nice. After that, we were asked to grant compassion to someone we cared about. My sweet coworker Alex was with me and sitting next to me, so I granted compassion to her. We were then asked to grant compassion to someone neutral in our lives, like a barista or security guard. Finally, we were asked to grant compassion to someone we struggle with. I’ve done this before in difficult times with difficult people, and it’s incredibly freeing â€” to let go of those negative feelings towards them, even if only temporarily.
Mentally, the hour went by SO quickly! By the time Elena said we had just a few minutes left, I was shocked. Physically, I was starting to get slightly uncomfortable sitting still on a cushion for an hour.
I left feeling so much lighter and refreshed and ready to take on the day. I’ll be honest that that feeling didn’t last all day, but starting the day like that is a good reminder to bring meditation back into my life.
If you’re not in NYC, here’s a few of my favorite meditation resources. I actually just re-downloaded one of Gabby Bernstein’s albums and plan on a little more meditation before bed tonight. I also love following her on SpotifyÂ as well as Chelsea from UpliftÂ who has some great playlists that feel almost meditative. That’s the only thing I would have liked to have changed this morning – some gentle, quiet music.
Do you meditate? If not, what feels meditative to you? Running certainly does to me 🙂