One path on an uncommon journey

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Deja Vu (for Darlene)

Several months ago I did a post by the name of  "Going Within." It was a post that went through the different stages of getting a meditation practice together.

In a completely unrelated conversation with my sister, Darlene Markarian, she told me that she had initiated a meditation practice. She stated she was not very good at it and that she was having some difficulty in making it a regular occurrence. That sentence probably sums up meditation better than anything I've ever heard. I was so excited to know that I had reached someone, and especially someone that I have looked up to for so long.

So, Darlene, this blog is dedicated to you. It is with hopes that I can help you improve on your meditation shortcomings and get someone else to meditate. I was not regularly meditating when we talked, but that has changed. I am now meditating for about 15 min. every morning, every day. ( And I'm not very good at it!)

Chogyam Trungpa, a Tibetan Buddhist monk, wrote a brilliant book titled "Shambhala - The Sacred Path of the Warrior." in the book he gives one of the better descriptions of a simple meditation that I have seen. He begins "Meditation practice begins by sitting down and assuming your seat cross-legged on the ground or in a chair. You begin to feel that by simply being on the spot, your life can become workable and even wonderful. You realize that you are capable of sitting like a king or queen on a throne. The regal mass of that situation shows you the dignity that comes from being still and simple."

The upright posture comes naturally when sitting simply, but proudly. Then rest your hands on your thighs in a relaxed position. Find a spot approximately 6 feet in front of you and focus your gaze at that.

He continues "then, in meditation practice, as you said with a good posture, you pay attention to your breath. When you breathe, you are utterly there, properly there. You go out with the outbreath, your breath dissolves, and then the inbreath happens naturally. Then you go out again. So there is a constant going out with the out breath. As you breathe out. You dissolves, you diffuse. Then you're inbreath occurs naturally; you don't have to follow it in. You simply come back to your posture and you are ready for another outbreath. Go out and dissolve: tshoo; then come back here posture; then tshoo, and come back to your posture."

As you continue to do this thoughts will pop into your mind. Calmly dismiss them, saying "thinking."  No matter what thought enters your mind simply say "thinking" and let them disappear.

Do not judge your thoughts, they are just your thoughts. They are not good or bad, they are just thoughts. Send them away, "thinking." Meditation will help align your mind and body and bring an amazing calmness.

And, with that, I am pleased to announce the first podcast done by the aging hippie. I will be working on it tonight and should have it done sometime tomorrow. Additionally, with the holiday season upon us, I am going to be creating a "guided grounding and centering meditation." of course, all of this will be linked to and centered on theaginghippie.com. It will be around five minutes long (we can all find five minutes) and will be perfect for relieving the Holiday insanity!

Please let me know of any success stories! It's wonderful to know that you're actually reaching someone.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Keeping the faith

So, today begins a really interesting time and point in my life. My interests have changed and so has my employment status. I am going to be relying on and concentrating on blogs, some different business opportunities and looking to set a different standard for my future.

My intentions are to become a regular blogger on both the theaginghippie website and the website I've had in my head since the other recent major life change, August 8, 2008, the infamous heart attack. I would like to put up an informational site where people can go to get comprehensive information on heart attacks. There are a number of websites like this, but they are very lacking in in-depth and useful, basic information.

One of the difficulties I have with blogging is that I have so many things I want to share. This blog was actually intended to be a blog on helping you, and me, to change or create a habit. That just isn't where my heart and head is at this time.

Earlier in the week I was talking with Roberta Janet Hatrick and I was telling her my idea about keeping the faith. I guess sometimes I know that a big changes coming prior to it coming. In any event, keeping the faith is very hard to describe. It's the thing that makes us get up every day and continue. It's this thing it keeps you going after a major drastic change.

For some people keeping the faith is just that, faith in their Creator. They believe that someday they will be able to meet and be together with their Creator, loved ones in spirit and in a better place.

Other people are of the belief that if they get up every day and do their best they will be rewarded. That reward probably ranges from anything like a raise at work to a better lifestyle to a place in heaven.

I guess my keeping the faith is a combination of that and more. I'm not certain if it's like that for everyone, but I'll do my best to describe it.

You know I'm a quote guy and one of my favorite quotes is "It's not about being better than anyone else, it's about being better than you were yesterday." So, that's the first thing I tried to do every day. get up and be a little bit better than I was yesterday. Better at work, better at being a father, a grandfather, a brother. Being a better person, a better friend.

My rewards are not riches, They're a smile on a granddaughters face. It's the excitement in my dogs, Norman and Rockwell, when they know I am going to take them for a walk.it's watching one of my sons perform, one of my nephews play football, it's spending time with my extended family. That is what keeping the faith is for me. It's the thing that gets me up and going every day.

It's the thing that gets me over a job separation, loss of a parent or just a trying day. knowing that I can make someone smile or get a hug for me close friend is what does it for me. think about what keeping the faith means to you and what it is that keeps you going.

Looks like this blog is going to be in three parts. The first was a little bit of a "get you up to date,"the second was the title section, keeping the faith, and the last part is about to websites that I enjoy. That is, after all, what Phil and I envision this site as, a way to share the uncommon path that theaginghippie is taking.

 zenhabits.net is an eclectic and interesting site. It is a site about simplicity and minimalism. It's a great site that will help you enjoy your life by slowing down, eliminating unnecessary things and organizing your life. Spend a few minutes and you'll get some great information on all of this. The autor is Leo Babauta, just an amazing guy. I will little disappointed that he has changed a lot of the content to a paid subscriber section, but it still offers some pretty decent information for free. This is one of my favorite sites and I will add it to the bibliography.

dumblittleman.com is quickly replacing zenhabits.net as my favorite site.this site offers some of the best information that I've seen on a daily basis. It is a blog that encourages guest writers and contributors. It's becoming a site that you can submit information to and get some traffic to your website or blog. Because it is done by a number of people it remains fresh and interesting.

Recent posts have been " Disaster or Opportunity? 4 Simple steps to Transforming Life's Catastrophes," and "Can You Really have it All," and "13 Ways to De-Stress and Feels Like Yourself Again."

Both Sites have email subscription and RSS... and here's my 'it' for today. My reason for keeping the faith.

                                             This is Sam dressed and ready for Wegman's!

During this Holiday season I encourage you all to revisit your "it" and reasons for keeping the faith. May you find peace, blessings and love all around you!