Strange gifts Morning Pages #5

We’re looking at strange gifts for today’s Morning Pages #5. Often, we ask for tangible and intangible gifts that are unsuitable for us. We think we desire those gifts, and wait for our prayer petitions to be granted, but The Divine in the Universe knows better. Sometimes we don’t get what we ask for. Sometimes, we receive strange gifts.

Reference

Barbour Books. (2017). Daily Wisdom for Women Devotional Coloring Book. Color Yourself Inspired. Barbour Publishing Inc: USA.

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Miniature garden Meditation #19

You can create your own small miniature garden to relax and be inspired by its beauty. If you don’t have land in a garden, grow plants in pots, jars or plastic bottles. You need to create at least two holes at the bottom of the receptacle to allow drainage of excess water.

Its always inspiring and refreshing to create using real plants rather than plastic plants.

When you want to meditate using visual sense, you might try using your miniature garden. Look at your plant or plants. They are small powerhouses. They grow and make their own food with the barest minimum of water, nutrients and sunlight. These plants subsequently may provide gaseous exchange, food for insects/ worms and aesthetic value.

Purple plant in jar or bottle from MorgueFile.com

Image for Visual Meditation #16

A source of water, either natural or man-made, can be a visual image for sense meditation. You can search for photographs of different states of water to use.

Using eyes, which is a sense organ, means you’re using sense meditation. The link leads to an article which was written earlier, about using eyesight in sense meditation. Please read this as it is an introduction.

You can create your own visual image for your sense of sight. Use simple images for meditation. For example, if you’re going to create the image of water, look for a transparent glass or clear plastic bottle. Fill it half way with water. Place this source of water in front of you before you begin meditation.

Look at the water inside the glass, You can also look at the glass of water as a whole entity. Try to use your other senses to relate to the water. Do you smell the water? Can you imagine the water touching your lips? Can you taste the water? Can you hear the sound of water gushing down your throat? Imagine the cool, quenching water as you drink it. This glass of water is for you to enjoy. Isn’t it a marvelous liquid?

You might be tired looking at the glass of water and thinking about it. Its time to slowly bring yourself out of meditation. Take a deep breathe. Stretch yourself. Are you ready to return to your world?

Glass of water from MorgueFile.com
Meaning of dream about muddy water.

Nature Therapy to Relieve Stress

How do you use nature therapy to relieve stress? The state of mental anxiety happens when we are fixated on our present thoughts about worries and dealing with stimuli. It follows that when we are not thinking about worries, and not receiving more input stimuli, we are not stressed, or feel less stress.

If we take a walk to see nature, we see flora and fauna. This means we receive input stimuli from the greenery and this displaces older thoughts in our mind. If we take a calculated route to see pleasant scenery like nature, we shall fill our mind with these images. At the back of our mind, there are still lingering thoughts about current stress. We should focus on what is in front of us, which is nature.

Looking at green grass is wonderful. It is amazing how grass grows and thrives in its soil. If grass thrives while facing natural elements like the sun, wind, rain and drought, so can we. For we are made to be better able to handle life.

Look at the grass along your path. Do you see different varieties of grass? Do you see wild flowers growing among the grass? I see all these. Grass and its companion plants are beautiful. Do you feel your spirit rising? Are you cheered by looking at these mysteries and beauty?

Flowering plant inspires me with its strength and beauty.

Meditation using hearing #18

This belongs to the broad category of meditation using senses. The sense of hearing is one of our five senses. How do you practice meditation using senses? Pick a simple sound that is continuous in your environment. If you’re sitting at home while a pot is simmering over the stove, there could be a sound of the liquid bubbling as it boils. You can use this sound to meditate. If you have no other source of continuous sound, you might like to use a table clock, small portable fan, or kitchen timer, whose ticking is audible enough for you to focus on.

If you’re using a clock or timer, set it to 60 or 90 seconds. Listen to the ticking sound. Close your mind to other sources of stimuli, and mental thoughts. Listen to your chosen sound. If your focus strays, gently return to it. Listening to the same sound can become soothing. Many regular sources of input stimuli can induce you to feel comforted and soothed by its rhythm.

When your alarm rings to tell you its the end of your sound meditation, breathe deeply. Slowly receive the stimuli that surrounds you. Be attentive to the sounds in your background. Gently return to the pressing issues that are calling for your attention and time. Prepare to return to your station in life.

Be mindful of how you clean your ear.

Mindful Walking: Meditation #17

  1. Set aside 10 minutes for mindful walking.

2. Decide where you want to walk for a short distance of 10 minutes duration. It should be a safe location where you can focus on your mindful walking exercise.

3. Start walking slowly. Concentrate on placing one foot after another, on the ground. This is your only allowed input for now.

4. Look at the ground immediately in front of your feet. What do you see?

5. When you’re comfortable with your immediate vicinity, you can look at the ground slightly ahead of your feet.

6. What do you see? When you walk towards that piece of ground, do you see your view changing? Do the grass look drier or more lush?

7. You should be paying attention to the ground at your feet, and slightly farther away from your feet. If you get distracted, gently return to your task.

8. Continue walking in this manner for the rest of your 10 minutes.

9. When you’ve reached your time limit, stop walking.

10. Take a deep breathe.

11. Stretch your body to relax. ‘Your mindful walking is done. You can now walk back to wherever you desire, be it your home, your workplace, or somewhere else.

Mindful Walking on September 11 2019

I chose to walk along the sidewalk of my neighborhood. I paid attention to my footpath and ground. I looked at the grass growing next to the pavement. Some grass is yellow and dead. Among the dry grass, are fresh green grass.

Mindful Walking – focus on the feet, ground and immediate ground around my feet.

I continued walking. I saw more patches of dried yellow grass, interspersed with dark green grass. There were clumps of wild flowers in the patches of green grass. I just think of hope. There is hope even in the dead grass.

Mindful walking, acknowledge brown grass, see wild grass flowers, let these thoughts go, focus on walking again.

I was aware my mindfulness to my walk was faltering. I return to concentrating on the pavement, and then the grass next to the pavement. My 10 minute walk is finished, sooner than I expected. I stop, stretch, and breathe deeply. I turn back to walk home.

Photo prompt from The Daily Spur – silhouette of man walking.

Meditation Journal #15

This is a brief Meditation Journal. It is a record of the word/ mantra meditations i used. Sometimes, I may use sense meditation with real objects.

September 8 2019 – word meditation using “smile”. Focus for 60 seconds.

Feedback after the day has passed: Pass the smile on.

September 9 2019 – meditate using a religious image. Sense (of sight) meditation.

Result – The turbulent & stressful thoughts have passed.

September 10 2019 – Meditate while on a walk. (Mindful Meditation) Look at each stimulus in my path. Acknowledge its presence and appreciate its creation. Don’t think of other thoughts. Pay attention to my walk.

Feedback – I felt refreshed after a short outing walking along a road hemmed by civilization, and little bits of nature by the sidewalk.

Painting as therapy

How can painting be therapy? Can art therapy work to help someone who uses it? To find out, I interviewed a new and budding artist, who goes by the creative name of Ash. She is 19.

Artist Interview

Question: How long have you been painting?

Answer: Since 2017.

Q: What inspired you to start painting?

A: It was a real hobby for me.

Q: What do you enjoy most about being an artist?

A: I can create something original from my own hands. I like to use colors. It is an expression of myself.

Q: Have you always wanted to be a hobbyist artist?

A: Yes.

Q: How do you paint an artwork for an exhibition?

A: It depends on my creativity on ideas. Painting a canvas for an exhibition is the same as painting an artwork for myself. I may pay more attention to certain aspects of painting when I want to exhibit a piece. I’m a beginner painter so I am not pressurized to conform strictly to artistic standards.

Q: Who is your favorite classical artist who inspires your work?

A: Gauguin, Picasso,

Q: Is naming a painting important to you?

A: No.

Q: Is it difficult to part with your paintings?

A: Yes. They are like my children. I can’t bear to sell them away. I intend to rent them out instead.

Q: What advice can you share with beginning painters?

A: Don’t take painting seriously. Be brave to explore.

Q: What advice would you give to people who want to do painting as therapy for their issues?

A: You don’t have to think about what colors to use, or what brush techniques to use. Just start painting and see where it leads you. When you enjoy doing something, you feel relaxed and happy. That’s how art therapy works for me.

Painting as therapy

You don’t need to know how to paint. Sure, you can enroll for art lessons if you can spend the money. But if you’re on a budget, just scrimp around for some art supplies and you’re ready to start.

You can use photographs to inspire you to copy-paint. It doesn’t matter what the end result looks like. The therapy is in your action. As you paint, you apply rhythmic strokes to your paper or canvas. Rhythm is soothing. You direct your energy and mental thoughts to your painting. You replace negative thoughts with positive ones as you work on your painting.

In the beginning, everyone needs inspiration, by way of a visual source. Hence many amateur artists look at pictures to help them recreate a visual likeness that resembles an art. Later, as you progress, you’ll nurture your own ideas on what you desire your art to look like. Originality is a slow process but you’ll get there.

Meditation is NOT for everyone #14

Don’t panic when you read that meditation is not for everyone to attempt. There are reasons why some people should not practice meditation.

  1. People who are easily distracted.
  2. People who have Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD).
  3. People who prefer a structured and guided activity.
  4. People who use visual imagery to fantasize.
  5. People with thought disorder problems.
  6. People who have difficulty controlling their impulses because they act on imaginative thoughts.
  7. People who have not consulted their medical doctor, or other healthcare professional who have been treating them.
Yoga’s new favorite pose for Generation Z.