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A very warm welcome!

Thanks for visiting this, my second blog! You can visit Heart and Soil to see what I get up to on our 40 odd acres of land in Exmoor, basketry, crafts and general things and stuff.

I thought I would start this blog off by doing a day by day diary of my 2008 solitary retreat. You can find my posts on the preparation for this retreat over at Heart and Soil on this link:

heartandsoil.blogspot.com/search/label/SolitaryRetreat

Many people have said to me that they wish they could do a solitary retreat, because 'they really need one'. That's why I decided to share one of my retreat experiences, to hopefully make going on retreat alone, a bit less mysterious and a bit more 'doable'.


Offered with much love for your continued happiness!
hen

Solitary Retreat Diary

Please remember that in order for the diary section of this blog to make sense you should start from Day 1 and work your way through. At the moment the best way to do this is by using the labels list on the right.

I will compile a links list to make this easier when I have posted the last day... and when I have a minute!

hen
x

Thursday, 23 September 2010

A Simple, Short, Breathing Meditation



Every morning, before breakfast, find a quiet place to sit where you wont be disturbed.

Get yourself really comfortable and rest your hands on your lap.

Close your eyes and then mentally go through your body and relax the muscles in your toes, legs, belly, arms, chest, neck, mouth, forehead.

Don't worry if you don't remember the list, just remember to relax your body by focusing on the different parts. It helps to clench the muscle then release. Breathe into each of the muscles as you tighten & breathe out as you release.

Once you've relaxed your body and face turn your mind to your breath.

All you're going to do is count your breath. Nothing more.

Breath in Breath out ~ count one
Breath in Breath out ~ count two
Breath in breath out ~count three

continue until ten.

Then you change to counting the out breath:
Breathe out breathe in ~ count one
Breathe out breathe in~ count two
Breathe out breathe in ~ count three

continue till ten.


After that just sit for a moment. Let any thoughts that drift through your mind pass by without getting caught up in them. If you find you are getting caught up in them just focus on your breath again.


Some Notes

Everything you do, your breathing, when you relax your muscles, the way you move, all that should be a gentle action. Its a bit like when you're grumpy, if you force yourself to smile it kind of makes you cheer up a bit. So making your actions gentle, sort of tricks your mind into feeling more gentle (or more relaxed!)


You'll probably experience a barage of thoughts. Don't let this dishearten you. Meditation is all about practice. In fact some people call it practice instead of meditation! The trick is to stay calm and just return your focus to your breath. Another thought will come, just return your focus to your breath.


You might find you forget what number you were at! Don't try & remember, just start at one again! Its not the counting that's important, rather, it's the practice of returning your focus to your breath whenever a thought arises that's important.


One of the hardest things about meditation is actually starting it! Everyone is the same! Just keep trying :)


Offered with much love,
hen
x

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