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“Be still; stillness reveals the secrets of eternity.” –Lao Tzu
Welcome to the 3rd episode of Hooray Weekly! So glad that you are here!
Today, I discuss the importance of stillness in our busy, frenetic and fear-filled world. If you want to find your Hooray in tough times, it is a necessary component for your days. Listen in to the podcast for some love, encouragement and a couple of meditation/stillness techniques. Here are two of the practices I mention in this week’s episode.
2 Easy-Breezy Practices for Stillness
- Passage or Verse Meditation–The mind is a funny thing. It doesn’t like to be quiet and shushed. So why fight it? This type of meditation is easy. Get comfortable in a chair or on the floor with your back erect, shoulders down and away from your ears, eyes closed, arms relaxed with hands in your lap and take some loving belly breaths. (I go into detail on the podcast for both these meditation practices, so I’m keeping the words simple and short here, okay?) Next, think of a piece of Scripture or line of a poem or affirmation. Spend the next 5 to 30 minutes letting the words of whatever you have chosen to come to you again and again in your mind without effort. I use the line from Psalms: “Be still, and know that I am God.” I actually repeat the phrase in my mind 5-10 times, then shorten the phrase to “Be still, and know that I AM…” Again, I repeat comfortable with plenty of silence between the repetitions. Then I shorten the phrase again, “Be still and know…” You get the picture. Next, “Be still…” (5-10 times with more silence). Finally, I end with “Be…be…be…” My mind is soft and gentle since these are words that I know by heart. There is no forcing to focus my mind or to rid it of unwanted monkey mind. The unwanted stuff will be there, but with less vehemence. After moving through the passage, I take some deep breaths, smile inwardly, and come out of the stillness slowly.
- Chanting the Name of God (or your dog for that matter)–This practice is similar to the one above, except that one focuses on the Name of God or a blessing. Some examples include, Om Shanti Shanti, Heavenly Father (or Mother), Peace, Holy Spirit, Allah, Lord Jesus, Krishna, Illumined One, Great Spirit or Light. The words are endless. Just make sure that it is comfortable for you.
And for meditation inspiration, these are the four books I turn to regularly:
Easwaran, Eknath, God Makes the Rivers to Flow: Selections from the Sacred Literature of the World (2009).
Ladinsky, Daniel, Love Poems from God: Twelve Sacred Voices from the East and West (2002).
Mitchell, Stephen (translation), Tao Te Ching (1988).
Rebbe Nachman of Breslov (adapted by Moshe Mykoff & S. C. Mizrahi with the Breslov Research Institute), The Gentle Weapon: Prayers for Everyday and Not-So-Everyday Moments (2002).
"Smile and the world smiles with you." That's the motto she lives by. Lee Ann is perfectly imperfect and unabashed about it even as she strives for higher and "better" every day. Both her can-do and her foibles are as fabulous as her smile. So take a moment and breathe in Lee Ann's "hooray" for today! Ms. Hopkins is host of the podcast Hooray Weekly, founder of The Hooray Daily and Hooray Living, a speaker, writer and do-gooder, who believe-it-or-not has been a public-interest attorney and clergywoman for longer than she cares to admit. Check out her books, You Are All That: Creating a Great Life with Affirmations, and Hooray for You: 365 Get-Up-and-Go-Go Quotes for Your Year. When you write her, send along a clergy and attorney joke. She loves 'em!