Meditations

Originally I had intended to create a list of some of my favorite meditations and teachers with explication.  Alas, my intentions have mostly failed on this front.  However, after sitting (in meditation) this morning with Ram Dass, I am re-inspired to at least put some names out there for people who may not have much meditation experience and/or are yearning for some wisdom, stretching and depth in their lives.

A few of my favorite teachers and teachings (with very little interpretation from the peanut gallery):

1) Ram Dass: Audio Collection of three favorites: Conscious Aging, The Path of Service and Cultivating the Heart of Compassion. A collection of teachings from his books and guided meditations.  You can find it at www.soundstrue.com.  Fierce Grace: A moving video on the life and teachings of Ram Dass.

2) Roshi Joan Halifax: Audio Collection: Being With Dying: Contemplative Practices and Teachings. A collection of teachings and meditations from Joan. I’ve studied with her a handful of times in the mountains in New Mexico, and she moved me to action in my work with dying people. You can learn more about her and her work at the Upaya Zen Center at: http://www.upaya.org.

3) Frank Ostaseki: Audio Collection: Being a Compassionate Companion, Teachings, Stories and Practical Wisdom for those Accompanying Someone Who is Dying. Available at: http://www.zenhospice.org/education/compassionate-companion-cd. I spent a weekend seminar with Frank at the Upaya Zen Center and was struck by how much of his contemplative teachings on being with dying apply directly to deep and present living (including his teachings on “the five precepts”).

4) Jack Kornfield: Audio Set: Meditation For Beginners and a host of other quality options can be found here: http://www.jackkornfield.com/audiosets/

5) Dan Siegel: Wheel of Awareness Meditation plus some great books for the science minds. You can download the meditation for free here: http://www.dharmaseed.org/teacher/348/talk/8642

Just a taste of all that is out there.

AND NOW: SOME MEDITATIONS FOR THE PREGO LADIES!! 

(this information should be on a separate tab, but the knowledge of how to do that escapes me at the moment.  Placenta brain strikes again.)

1) Meditation Oasis: a website offering numerous free mediations, including one on connecting with your baby in pregnancy: http://www.meditationoasis.com/podcast/listen-to-podcast

#45 – Pregnancy Meditation — Connecting with Your Baby - This meditation for pregnant women will help you to relax and tune into your baby, strengthening your connection. Fathers to be can also listen to this meditation by adapting it to connect to the baby inside the mother.  Time = 18:27 (with music) (Read Mary’s blog post about this meditation.)

2) Meditations to Support a Healthy Pregnancy and Successful Childbirth. Narrated by Bellruth Naparstek and provided free from Kaiser Permanente. http://www.healthjourneys.com/kaiser/healthyPregnancy

Tracks #2 and #3 provide guided imagery and affirmations to use during pregnancy.  I just started listening to track #5 (guided imagery for childbirth) and plan to listen to it more in the coming days and weeks (if I make it that long). It feels beneficial to begin directing my mind toward the process and energy of giving birth.

3) Solara An-Ra: Goddess of the Light: http://www.solara.org.uk/meditation.aspx?element=53

This website provides two free meditations, one explaining a breathing technique called “blissful birthing breath” and the other providing some coaching around positive affirmations to use during childbirth.  I especially liked the breathing technique; it is simple and easy to remember, a plus when you’re in the midst of powerful contractions.

Any feedback or additional websites welcome!!

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