In the blog category “Guided Meditations”, I will provide detailed explanations for all the guided meditation tracks that I will place in the Resources section of this website. These blog posts will be hyperlinked from the “Guided Meditations” page under “Resources” menu option where these meditation tracks in mp3 format will be placed for streaming or for downloading.
I came across Thich Nhat Hanh’s “The Blooming of a Lotus” a few years ago and was absolutely blown away by its contents. I quickly realized that the collection of meditations in the book were not meant to be read but rather were meant to be practiced by readers. Each conscious breathing exercise comprised of multiple “verses” that guided readers to unify their breath, body, heart and mind.
An example of such a verse is:
“Aware of my eyes, I breathe in
Smiling to my eyes, I breathe out”
Yet another example of a verse is:
“Aware of my ears, I breathe in
Smiling to my ears, I breathe out”
I tried to practice some of these conscious breathing exercises on my own but found it extremely difficult to remember their verses. In fact, I found it difficult to stay focused on the exercises as a whole and found my mind drifting into pleasant reveries. I then recorded these meditations as voice memos into my cell phone. I made sure that there was a period of silence between consecutive verses so as that I could practice them on my own. This seemed to do the trick and I was able to say focused on these exercises for a sustained period of time. Guided meditations are like training wheels for meditation practice. They help us stay focused by gently reminding us of their purpose and help stop the mind from proliferating mental contents and to get distracted by them.
Now that I have a platform to disseminate these exercises and some resources to do a decent job of recording them, I have started to do so in the interests of presenting to a wider community. These tracks will be available in the “Guided Meditation” page that can be accessed from the “References” menu option. Visitors to my website will be able to either stream these exercises or they can click on the “Download” button to download the mp3 files to their computers or other devices. I would greatly appreciate if some of them would offer candid feedback so that I know how they are being used and so that I can make appropriate corrections and improvements as I go along.
I would like to mention some important additions I have made to these meditations that will appear consistently in all tracks.
i) Towards the beginning, I request that we intentionally cultivate an attitude of patience, gentleness and kindness towards ourselves before we begin these exercises. It is very important that mindfulness meditations be accompanied by a sense of openness otherwise their effectiveness may be diminished.
ii) Towards the ending, I request that we dedicate the merits of this practice to ourselves as well as to all others by affirming these statements:
“May I be happy, may I be peaceful, may I live with ease.
May all beings be happy, may all beings be peaceful, may all beings live with ease”
These statements help soften and open our hearts in a very balanced way. After all, mindfulness meditations are about unifying breath, body, heart and mind.
iii) I introduce 45 seconds of silence between all verses so as to help us practice the in-breaths and out-breaths on our own after listening to them for the first time. Anchoring these practices within our in-breaths and out-breaths will allow us to stay focused on these exercises for relatively longer periods of time.
iv) I do not start nor end the meditations with a mindfulness bell. These meditations may make us feel very relaxed. When we are relaxed yet attentive to the instructions, even a gentle sound of mindfulness bell may come across as jarring.
Finally, I do not want to take anything away from the wondrous book “The Blooming of a Lotus” by Thich Nhat Hanh. Please go ahead and purchase it to get a sense of the depth and magnitude of the conscious breathing exercises that Thay has created. Once can only imagine the tremendous opportunities for health, healing and transformation that can occur in their wake.
All voice recordings were created inside the studio of Mir Music. Since 1991, MIR MUSIC has operated as a full-service music instrument store. They sell, rent, and repair all kinds of instruments. If you want to learn to play an instrument, they provide lessons as well. Please check out their website or visit their store in downtown Hillsboro. The store is staffed by super friendly and knowledgeable staff.