Meditation 101: Spark Joy, Peace, and Creativity in Your Daily Life | Dandan Liu | Skillshare

Meditation 101: Spark Joy, Peace, and Creativity in Your Daily Life

Dandan Liu, Documentary Filmmaker | Cinematographer

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24 Lessons (2h 6m)
    • 1. Class Intro

      2:37
    • 2. Class Project

      0:29
    • 3. Myths & Elements of Meditation

      5:34
    • 4. Foundational Meditation Posture

      2:29
    • 5. Meditating on a Chair

      1:04
    • 6. Meditative Breathing

      1:39
    • 7. Breathing Practice: 3 Breath Reset

      1:18
    • 8. How to Approach Negative Thoughts

      2:14
    • 9. Intro to 10 Min Meditation

      0:16
    • 10. Melt Away Stress 10 Min Guided Meditation

      10:15
    • 11. Kinhin: Walking Meditationn

      1:50
    • 12. Extending Meditation to Daily Messy Life

      0:59
    • 13. Therapeutic Dishwashing Meditation

      1:30
    • 14. Benefits of Meditation

      3:39
    • 15. Keeping Up A Meditation Routine

      4:50
    • 16. Course Wrap-Up & Parting Thoughts

      1:28
    • 17. One Minute Newsletter

      0:20
    • 18. Diving Deep: 25 Minute Guided Meditation

      25:07
    • 19. Nourishing Meal Meditation

      6:31
    • 20. Healing Body Gratitude Meditation

      13:09
    • 21. Grounding Tree Standing Meditation

      6:38
    • 22. Freeing Expansion Meditation

      12:58
    • 23. Restoring Nature Meditation

      9:42
    • 24. Bonus: Joyful Sunrise Meditation

      9:01
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About This Class

There’s no doubt that meditation is one of the most important practices you can do for your personal development. From reducing stress to enhancing creativity, from delaying aging to cultivating joy, scientific studies are showing how meditation positively benefits what seems like every facet of life.

However, the traditional way it’s taught can make it feel boring and heavy like a chore, and who has time for that? This approach sadly causes many people to miss out on the beautiful benefits of meditation.

This class shows how meditation can be enjoyable, simple, and easily enfolded into your day, yet still bring all the benefits. It covers everything that a beginner needs to meditate deeply, from foundational meditation postures to powerful meditation amplifiers that open the inner doors to peace, joy, and clarity.

This class brings together the best meditation practices from Dandan’s decade-long exploration of meditation, which has taken her to live in monasteries around the world for several years. All lessons are designed to get straight-to-the-point and be applicable. A guided meditation library with Dandan’s most loved guided meditations is also included to further support your meditation journey.

KEY LESSONS COVER:

  • The 9 major myths of meditation that prevent people from enjoying meditation.
  • The 4 foundational elements of meditation.
  • Meditation postures to support relaxation and stability, including postures for those who have back pain or other physical limitations.
  • How to approach breathing to deepen your meditation experience.
  • How to approach unpleasant feelings or thoughts that arise during your meditation.
  • How to transform any act into a mindful, recentering experience, including when you’re washing the dishes.
  • Meditation anchoring techniques to settle down your mind when it’s all over the place.
  • Science-backed benefits of meditation.
  • How to maintain a daily meditation routine that’ll bring beauty into your life and help you grow.

WHO THIS CLASS IS FOR:

  • Anyone who wants to learn meditation and cultivate this powerful recentering practice in their daily life.
  • Anyone who wants to bring peace, joy, and clarity into their day with only a few minutes.
  • Anyone who feels lost, sluggish, or stuck.

No perquisites are necessary.

Transcripts

1. Class Intro: No doubt, meditation has so many benefits. However, the usual way it's taught can make it feel boring and heavy like a chore. Who has time for that? Or wants an extra chore these days? The sad thing is that these common associations often cause people to miss out on the joy of meditation and the wellspring of benefits it brings. I am turning the table around and showing how meditation can be fun, light, and simple, yet still bring all the good stuff. I'll show you how you don't have to have the limber flexibility of a Yogi, nor have chunks of time to meditate well. You don't even have to have a Pinterest worthy cushion set. In this class, we're going to cover everything you need to meditate, from posture, to breathing, to how to approach your thoughts and feelings. Then, we will explore several different forms of meditation and see how even a few minutes can bring the joy, clarity, and relaxation found in a [inaudible] location, even when you wash your dishes. For those who don't know me, hi. I'm Dandan, and I wear many hats. The ones I'm most commonly known for are filmmaker, writer, and top teacher here at Skillshare. For me, meditation is a foundational skill of living, bringing joy, peace, clarity, understanding, confidence, all that good stuff into my creative and personal life. I started meditating a decade ago. This love for this practice has taken me to live in monasteries around the world. I'm delighted to share with you all my favorite simple ways of meditating that you can easily enfold into your day. Besides the meditations in this class, I've included a library of five additional guided meditations to support you in your journey. I hope that by the end of this class, you will leave with a newfound curiosity and excitement to continue engaging with this beautiful practice. Let's get started. 2. Class Project: Your assignment is to do a 21 day meditation challenge. Download the 21 day challenge pdf on the resources section of this course. Then when you finish it, post a photo of it on the class projects page, along with your reflection on how it went. 3. Myths & Elements of Meditation: Before we go into the techniques, I wanted to address a few myths that block people from accessing the ease and pleasure found in meditation. Myth number 1, the goal of meditation is an absence of thoughts or a thought free mind. I think this is the biggest misconception of meditation and what causes people to get frustrated. Meditation does not mean complete absence of thoughts. That is an unrealistic goal as your brain naturally produces thoughts. So relax. A thoughtless mind is not what you should strive for. Instead, welcome whatever thoughts arise, but don't attach yourself to them. What does this mean? Simply watch your thoughts like clouds passing by and let them dissipate naturally without holding onto them and spiraling into a story. Myth number 2, there is a right way to meditate. There's a lot of elaborate instruction out there on how to meditate. Like what posture to take and how to breathe. While these can be useful, they often create this notion that there is this one right way to meditate, like there is this one right way to make a soufflé. This causes us to feel like we're doing it wrong or we don't have the prerequisites to meditate well. Forget all of that. There is no right way to meditate. There's only the foundational elements like breathing, rooting yourself back into your body, and observing your thoughts and feelings without judgment. The most important thing is that you incorporate these foundational elements in whichever way you feel most comfortable. Don't let the simplicity fool you. Myth number 3, you have to meditate for a big chunk of time to get the benefits. There's this romantic notion that we have to meditate for long periods of time like mountain hermits to get the full benefits. When we don't have this big chunk of time, we throw our hands up in the air and say, "Why bother." You do not need to meditate for a long period of time to get the full benefits. As you practice, you'll find that some of your meditations that last only a few minutes are more powerful than the ones that last hours. Any meditation is better than no meditation. Myth number 4, you have to work hard at meditating. In a goal-oriented culture, we tend to strive and maximize the effort with whatever we do. However, I found it does not work this way with meditation. In my experience, the more that I've strived to be good at meditation, the more my meditation was off, and the more I just freely meditated the more powerful my meditation became. So relax. There is nothing to strive for. Meditation is about being not doing. Myth number 5, you have to feel happy when you meditate. When you meditate you're allowing whatever feelings arise. Sometimes it's boredom, sometimes it's sadness, sometimes it's ecstatic happiness. You are creating the safe space for them to express themselves without adding any judgment. When you do this, often you'll find the doorways to peace, lightness and joy in whatever state you're feeling. In summary, what is meditation? Meditation is like cloud watching. When you watch your thoughts and feelings pass by without judgment. Meditation is rooting yourself back into your body. It is dwelling in the present moment. Another way I like to look at meditation is with this metaphor. Imagine having a glass of water with dirt in it and storing the class so the dirt gets mixed in with the water. It's hard to see clearly through this muddy mixture. If you let the glass of water sit still, the dirt particles will eventually settle down to the bottom revealing the clear water. This is what meditation is. Being still so that the stuff in your mind can settle down, like the dirt particles and reveal the clear, peaceful water of your mind. The best way to learn meditation is by jumping in. Let's dive into the actual meditations. 4. Foundational Meditation Posture: When you think of meditation, you probably think of someone sitting like this. This is called Lotus position and the reason why it's so popular is that it creates this nice stability. The knees and set bones form three stable contacts, the ground, like a camera tripod, which allows a spine to be naturally upright. However, the slowest position requires a lot of flexibility, which most people don't have, including myself so if that's the case, don't worry. Here are some options you can use to create a nice stable foundation for meditation. When you meditate, you can do it standing, sitting on a chair, or lying down. The only thing if you choose to lie down [inaudible] it's really easy to fall asleep. I will only recommend this if you're unable to sit or stand. The most important thing is that there is stability and no strain. A lot of people like me like to sit on floor because it makes you feel more connected with the ground. If you choose to do this, you can use pillows or folded blankets to help you gain stability. To do this, tilt your pelvis forward with a cushion underneath. Your knees either touch or get close to the ground. Then prop any extra space between your knee and the ground with a cushion or folded blanket. Adjust until you have that tripod-like stability with your spine naturally upright. If you're wondering what to do with your hands, you can place them on your thighs or try this traditional positions, [inaudible] and Lotus position. 5. Meditating on a Chair: If you are unable to sit on the ground, perhaps because you have an injured back, no worries at all. When you sit in a chair, it's still important to keep your spine comfortably upright. You now know slouching. To do this, it's helpful to sit on the edge of your chair with a cushion on your backside to support your lumbar and a cushion underneath for added comfort. Another great way to meditate if you have physical pain is to sit on a meditation bench. These are designed so that you can easily sit in a comfortable, stable position if sitting on the ground is too uncomfortable. I've included a link to a great meditation bench that I use in the resources section. 6. Meditative Breathing: I remember what a revelation it was when I learned this. There're two main types of breathing, chest breathing and diaphragmatic breathing, most commonly referred to as belly breathing. The one we most commonly engage with on a daily basis is chest breathing, where the breath originates from our chest. This breath tends to be shallow and gets more shallow the more stressed we are. When you breathe from your chest wall, you tend not to move the bottom third of your lungs so air is only going to the top of your lung. When you meditate, however, you want to fill your whole lung with oxygen by engaging in the other kind of breathing, diaphragmatic or belly breathing. This is when you involve your diaphragm in your breathing so your breath feels like it's coming from your belly. A good test to see whether your chest breathing or belly breathing is this, stand up and place your hands on your belly, take a normal breath. If your belly button goes inwards on the inhale, you are chest breathing. If your belly button goes outwards on the inhale, you are belly breathing. Try to make belly breathing more a habit by checking in with your breathing throughout the day. 7. Breathing Practice: 3 Breath Reset: Let's practice belly breathing now with the three breath reset, which I love to do periodically throughout the day. We're going to take three long inhales and exhales filling on whole lungs with oxygen. At the top of your inhale. Hold your breath. I will count and guide you. Inhale, hold, exhale, inhale, hold, exhale, inhale, hold, exhale. That wasn't so bad, was it?. When you meditate? You don't need to exaggerate the breath as you did here. You can breathe normally, even when you breathe from your belly and oxygenate your whole lung. 8. How to Approach Negative Thoughts: With meditation, because you're giving space for whatever feeling or thought to arise, sometimes unpleasant things come up. Things that we typically shove in the basement of our psyche because they are too uncomfortable. When these unpleasant thoughts or feelings visit, try your best to not distract yourself from them and observe them like clouds passing by. If they are like thick thunderous, dark clouds, that's okay. Continue to breathe courageously letting yourself feel whatever is coming up without holding on to the feeling whether that's shame, guilt, embarrassment, or fear. Whatever you resist will persist, so let the feeling come and go without resistance. Meanwhile, send some love to yourself, knowing that you are not that thought or feeling but peace, love, and joy. If you know that you're likely to encounter these unpleasant feelings or thoughts, I find it is helpful to read this poem before you begin your meditation. This being human is a guest house. Every morning, a new arrival. A joy, a depression, a meanness, some momentary awareness comes as an unexpected visitor. Welcome and entertain them all. Even if they're a crowd of sorrows, who violently sweep your house empty of its furniture, still treat each guest honorably. He may be clearing you out for some new delight. The dark thought, the shame, the malice meet them at the door laughing and invite them in. Be grateful for whoever comes, because each has been sent as a guide from beyond. 9. Intro to 10 Min Meditation: Now that we've learned the foundations of meditation, let's put it all together in a 10-minute guided meditation. Click the next lesson to continue. 10. Melt Away Stress 10 Min Guided Meditation: Welcome everyone. Welcome to the safe space where we're going to connect and reground with our center. Meditation can be a fancy word, so I like to approach it more as a relaxation, as the coming home to yourself. It's very simple. All I ask you to do is to relax, breath, and let this gentle guidance undo all the knots inside of you. First, settle into a comfortable position, either sitting on a cushion or a chair. Hit pause if you need some time and play again when ready. Now that you are comfortably seated, slowly sway your spine back and forth, side to side until you hit that sweet spot where your spine is comfortably upright. Imagine a string attached to the top of your head being pulled upwards and enjoy the small stretch for your spine. Now gently close your eyes and with your hands placed comfortably on your lap, take three, slow, deep breaths. On the inhale, feel the oxygen quenching your thirsty lungs with peace. On the exhale, let go of your stress and feel the relief. Now, start to feel the firmness of the ground beneath your sit bones or feet. Feel the support and drop into the support, letting the ground hold you up. Know that even when you're feeling groundless, you are always being held up by the earth. Drop into this knowing and feel pushed up by the ground. Gently bring your attention to your skin. Feel the air making contact with it. The air slightly cool touch like a soothing self. Notice the sounds around you. Whether it's a spatial silence of your room, a bird chirping outside or the soft harm of cars passing by. Let the sounds melt into you. Become one with the sound. Now we're going to relax our body, loosening any tension from our head to our toes. As we travel down our body, feel the center of gravity moving from your head down to your belly. First, let your eyeballs gently soften in their sockets. Let any furrows in your forehead relax. Unclench your jaw and relax every tooth. Feel the hair on your scalp go slack. Gently feel your throat. Is there something unspoken stuck there? If so, relax. Imagine every vocal chord at rest in peaceful stillness. Sensing into your shoulders, let any tightness soften. Drop your arms as if they were made of lead and sink them down onto your lap. Relax your wrists and fingers. Let the muscles of your heart release anything you're carrying there. Allow your breath to dissolve any hardness with its softness. Now, gently move your attention to your belly. Feel the rise and fall of your belly with every breath. We're going to stay here now for a few minutes. On the inhale, feel your mind settling down. On the exhale, let go of any stress and sink deeper into this relaxation. If you're now lost in thought, gently bring yourself back to your breath. If any unpleasant sensation or thought arises, just let it come and go like a cloud. Now, we're going to presume our relaxation. Relax your pelvis, loosen your thighs, your knees, your ankles, all the way down to your feet and let this relaxation ooze into your toes unwinding each one. This groundedness you feel, this peace. Let it all soak into your being as if you were a sponge. Know that this feeling of peace is a ground state of your being that never goes away. Like the ground beneath your feet always supporting you, this peace is also always there ready to welcome you back whenever you need it. Now, we're going to gently awaken. Slowly open your eyes, wiggle your toes and raise your arms up and take a big nourishing stretch. Thank you all for joining me in this space. I will leave you here knowing that you have what it takes to joyfully move forward in your journey. 11. Kinhin: Walking Meditationn: In the monastery, after we would sit for 25 minutes, a bell would ring, and we'd stand up and resume our meditation by walking slowly. Also known as kinhin in the Zen tradition. Walking meditation is one that I love, especially if I find myself out in nature. To do this, it's very simple. The whole point here is to move your awareness down to the soles of your feet. Gently place your hands on top of one another and rest it on your belly. Now, with every inhale, take one step, and with every exhale, take another step. As you take the small, synchronous slow steps, really feel into your feet and feel every point move into contact with the ground. When you're lifting your feet, feel every point of your feet separate from the ground. Your assignment is to do this now on your own for five minutes. A free app, I really love is the Meditation Timer that gives a nice assortment of foul sounds to open and close your meditation's. It'll turn your room into a temple. 12. Extending Meditation to Daily Messy Life: Meditation does not have to be on a cushion. You can make practically any action a form of meditation, as long as there is intentional presence. In the monastery, half our days were spent cleaning, but it wasn't a chore so much as it was an extension of the meditation we did while sitting. As I felt every sweep of the brush and every stroke of the duster, this mindful approach to cleaning transformed what would be a boring chore to a therapeutic spa session. As an example, I'm going to leave you with some instructions you can use when you wash your dishes or prepare them for the dish washing machine. 13. Therapeutic Dishwashing Meditation: When you have your warm water, and soapy sponge ready, take a moment to bring your awareness to your fingertips, and the sensations there. Feel the warm water, and the velvety soapsuds stroking your skin, and the squishy sponge held in your palm. Bring all of your attention to this moment. Now, when you pick up an item and begin cleaning, imagine that as you clean debris off your dishes, you are also cleaning the debris of your mind. As if the surface of your plates and utensils are also the surface of your mind. Marvel at how amazing water is, how this uniquely rare element that we struggle to find elsewhere in the universe is here at your service, ready to clean and make things a new. Continue to wash your dishes in this way until you finish. Happy dishwashing. 14. Benefits of Meditation: So we all have heard that meditation is good for you, but in exactly which ways? When I dove deeper into the study benefits, I was amazed to see how extensive the benefits were reaching into every area of life. Consequently, I was more motivated to meditate every day, knowing I was gifting myself these treats. So I wanted to run through a few benefits to get you going. For further exploration, I've included a PDF with some cool resources you can check out. Here are some things that meditation has been scientifically shown to do, reduce stress, as you may know, cortisol is a hormone released by your body when you're stressed, and too much of it can lead to major imbalances to your body, which then cause major diseases. Meditation reduces the level of cortisol emitted by your body. It also reduces stress by reducing the brain cell volume in the amygdala, the part of our brain responsible for fear and anxiety. Meditation has shown to improve digestion. When we're in stress mode, our bodies put digestion as a secondary priority to the fight or flight response, which then leads to a whole host of digestive issues like irritable bowel syndrome, ulcers, and acid reflux. Meditation has shown to reduce activity in the default mode network. The brain network responsible for self-referential thoughts that puts the me at the center. This then causes rumination and anxiety about the past or the future, which meditation largely cuts. Meditation has shown to increase our memory, mental clarity, and focus. A study has shown that after eight weeks of consistent meditation, there was an increase in the gray matter in the brain responsible for learning, memory, and emotional regulation. Meditation has shown to increase divergent thinking pathways in our brain, which boosts creativity. It helps people to touch on their addictions. It increases serotonin levels leading to a positive impact on mood, and it's been shown to help with chronic pain management. Then on the more life level, it's shown to improve decision making, increase resilience to set backs, generate more compassion, create empathy, improve self esteem, and heighten sense of connectedness to the world. So is it worth to meditate? I believe the answer is a resounding yes. For those who have seen My Big Fat Greek wedding where the fathers, sprays windex on anything to make it better, I believe meditation is like the windex of our lives. I believe it is the best thing you can do for your personal development, and I hope learning about these benefits has helped make you more excited to start cultivating a daily meditation practice. 15. Keeping Up A Meditation Routine: If you look at the routines of inspirational people, they all seem to put meditation as a fundamental element in their everyday routine. For good reason, as much as a standalone meditation has beneficial effects. Meditation is fundamentally a skill and an approach to life. The more you engage with it, the better you'll be able to catch yourself spiraling into stressful thoughts and create that space needed to respond to whatever you're facing in more constructive ways. Through this daily cultivation, life becomes more vivid, intentional, and beautiful. However, like any habit, it's often difficult to maintain a daily meditation practice. It takes discipline to bring yourself to meditate, especially today where we're so used to constant stimulation. So here are a few things you can do to help maintain your meditation practice. Number 1, start small and set a regular time for your sessions. If you're new to meditation, begin with a five minute daily session that you can schedule at a regular time. After every week, increase your sessions by five minutes until you find your sweet spot. For me, this is around 25 minutes per session. Number 2, drop your expectations. When you enter meditation, do not expect that you will leave feeling more peaceful. Expectations just set you up for disappointment, which then takes away momentum. Instead, enter with complete openness to how it's going to unfold. Trusting that like any skill, the more you practice, the more beneficial it will become. Number 3, rewire your brain to associate more pleasure than pain with this act. See meditation as a way of treating yourself, as if you're going to the spa without needing to spend any money. We talked about the benefits earlier in this class. You're gifting your body, mind, and life with this gifts, and because they will likely help you grow as a more loving person. You're also gifting the ones around you too by doing this act. Number 4, setup a reward system. Starting from a young age, we're trained to be governed by short-term rewards. This conditioning is so ingrained that it's more realistic to go with it than to fight it. So first, feel proud of yourself for every meditation session you do, no matter how long. Express a sense of accomplishment in some simple way, like a happy dance or pat on the back. Then make a challenge to yourself to meditate for chosen number of days in a row, and reward yourself when completed. To help you get started, I've designed a 21 day meditation challenge tracker, which you can download in the projects and resources section. Number 5, do not break momentum. One minute of meditation is better than no meditation. If your schedule is filled to the brim, remember that any action plus intentional presence equals meditation. So turn your waiting in line, driving or cleaning into a mindfulness session. Number 6, find a meditation buddy. There's a reason why monks meditate together, and it's because it's much easier to do it with somebody else. So share this class with a friend or a partner and make this a fun social ritual. Number 7, routinely journal about your meditation after every week or so, noting how it's helping you with your life. Whether it's providing you with insights or training your mind to not react, but respond to life's events in more constructive ways. 16. Course Wrap-Up & Parting Thoughts: Thank you all so much for journeying with me through this wonderful world of meditation. I hope that it has shown you how meditation can be simple, enjoyable, and easily enfolded into your day. Remember, all you have to do is relax, breath, and reconnect with the present moment. If you find your mind spiraling into stories or thoughts, that's totally okay. It happens all the time. Just try to catch yourself and bring yourself back to the present moment. Meditation is not about remaining in a perfect state of presence. It's about catching yourself when you've lost yourself in the past or future. The more you practice being aware of what's going on in your mind, the more serenely and intentionally, you'll be able to navigate through your life. To help you continue your practice, I've included a library of five additional meditations you can do in various settings, cheering you on and happy meditating. 17. One Minute Newsletter: If you liked this course, I invite you to check out my instructor page and sign up for my one-minute newsletter where I share high-value insights, curated inspiration, and updates. 18. Diving Deep: 25 Minute Guided Meditation: Welcome everyone. Welcome to the safe space. We're recording to settle town in stillness for 25 minutes. First, settle into a comfortable position, either sitting on a cushion or a chair. Hit "pause" if you need some time and play again when ready. Now that you are comfortably seated, slowly sway spine back and forth, side to side, until you hit that sweet spot where your spine is comfortably upright. Imagine a string attached to the top of your head, being pulled upwards. Enjoy the small stretch for your spine. On the inhale, feel the coolness of the air entering your nostrils. On the exhale, feel the warmth of the air leaving and carrying away all your stress. We're going to begin the meditation by inviting a bell. We need a struck lean into the sound and let the vibrations carry you deeper into the space, into yourself. If discomfort arises during this meditation, feel free to stretch and shift to a more comfortable position. Now, start to feel the firmness of the ground beneath sit bones or feet. Feel the support, and drop into the support, letting the ground hold you up. Know that even when you're feeling groundless, you are always being held up by the earth. Drop into this knowing and feel pushed up by the ground. Gently bring your attention to your skin. Feel the air making contact with it. Thick air, slightly cool, touch like a soothing south. Notice the sounds around you. Whether it's a spatial silence of your room. A bird chirping outside where the soft harm of cars passing by. What the sounds matter to you. Become one with the sound. We're going to relax our body, loosening and any tension from our head to our toes. As we traveled on her body, feel the center of gravity moving from your head down to your belly. First, let your eyeballs gently soften in their sockets. Any furrows in your forehead? Relax. I'm clench your jaw and relax every tooth. Feel the hair on your scalp. Ghosts lack. Gently feel your throat. Is there something unspoken stuck there? If so, relax. Imagine every vocal quarter rest in peaceful stillness. Sensing into your shoulders any tightness soften. Drop your arms as if they were made of lead and sink them down onto your lap. Relax your wrist and fingers. Gently inhibit your awareness to your heart. Let the muscles of your heart release anything you're carrying. Allow your breath to dissolve any hardness there with its softness. Now, gently move your attention to your belly. Feel the rise and fall of your belly with every breath. We're going to stay here for a few minutes. As you continue to breathe, feel your mind settling down, just like how mud particles sink down in a suspension and leave clear water behind. Whatever thought is drifting in your mind now, observe how you can detach yourself from it. How you can pull back and be the observer of the thought. When we are busily running about our days, we often get sucked up in our thoughts and identify with them. Just like the way we had sucked up in the movie played in the cinema, and forget that it's actually images projected on a two-dimensional screen. As you breath detach and becomes observer of whatever is visiting your mind space. Notice how you're not your thought or feeling. At this moment, we are going to invite the bell again to ring us out of the meditation. You should be so proud of yourself for doing this 25 minute meditation, for actively taking the time to care for yourself which is now easy feat. Now, go and celebrate. I will leave you here wishing you a wonderful connected day. 19. Nourishing Meal Meditation: This meditation is intended to be played at the beginning of your meal, and it's wonderful to play this with those around your table. Often, even if our plates are healthy, we eat in an unhealthy way. We unconsciously rush through, eat mindlessly, or are completely detached from what we're putting into our body. Yet when we do this, besides causing indigestion, we miss out on an incredible opportunity to enjoy the full pleasure this time of our day offers. Pause for now and once you have your meal set, press play. Now with your meal set in front of you, bring yourself into this moment. All the leftover thoughts and worries that are still riding your mind stream, let them go. Devote yourself to this time. Feel the ground beneath your feet, the sense of your own solidity as gravity pulls you down to your seat. Now, take one deep breath and relax your whole body. Lower your face to your meal and breathe in the aromas. Delight in the subtle flavors filling your nose and mouth, noticing if they make you salivate in anticipation. Take one bite of your food and close your eyes. Place your utensil down. Let the world melt away as you fully savor the flavors and textures in your mouth. If you're used to eating fast, consciously slow down your chewing and fully experience this moment, this pleasure of eating. Try to notice all the subtle flavors and aromatics present on your tongue. Now, as you continue taking slow, mindful bites, making sure to place your utensil down afterwards. Reflect on all the elements that had to come together to create your meal, from the farmers to the microorganisms in the soil, to the sun, to the electricity of the transportation truck. Think about the path that every ingredient had to take to be where it is now in front of you. As you probably can sense now, the whole universe is in your meal. Allow your way of eating to express a thank you. Imagine if someone spent months creating something for you, you wouldn't just throw it on the floor. Instead, you would savor, appreciate, and notice all the details of that gift. It's the same thing with your food. How often do we really stop and appreciate all the miraculous gifts present in our meals, all the time and hard work of the people, and natural elements that conspire to nourish our life in such a delicious way. Feel free to continue eating in silence or beginning to talk with the ones around you. At the end, give a little bow to your empty plate or bowl, acknowledging your gratitude to have a full nourished belly. Bon appetit. 20. Healing Body Gratitude Meditation: [MUSIC] Our body is like the most incredible gift given to us. But one, we often forget to care for. It's common that we treat our cars better than our own bodies. Even though unlike cars, our bodies are something that cannot be replaced. This is a relaxation meditation intended to restore a connection with our bodies and send gratitude to its parts, which I find is very healing. Everyone likes to be seen and acknowledged, and it's the same thing with our bodies. Settling to a comfortable position, whether that's sitting, standing or lying down. Hit pause if you need some time and play again when ready. First, take a deep breath from your belly. The deepest breath you have taken in your day. Anything you're holding onto, any striving held in your body, let it all go with the next few breaths. With every inhale, feel relief washing over you. With every exhale, let go of any tension. We're now going to travel down our bodies, relaxing and sending healing gratitude to its parts. First, let your eyes soften in their sockets and relax the space between them. Your eyes is incredible sensors that read and interpolate for us to see the world. Smile and send a feeling of thanks to them for all their generous work. Feel this acknowledgment being received with happiness by your eyes. Now, unclench your jaw and relax every tooth. Feel the sense of gratitude for your mouth, this amazing assembly of parts that allows you to speak, eat, taste, and sing. Send a thank you to your mouth and feel this thanks being received lovingly by it. Let your attention now traveled to your nose. The sturdy shoot that warms the oxygen, fights viruses and allows you to smell, amazing sense. Send a thank you to your nose, responding joyfully to this acknowledgment, just like how you feel joyful when someone acknowledges your hard work. Gently bring your mind to your ears. This soft cocoon, stepping balance and process sound waves for you to hear, to hear the voices of loved ones, beautiful songs and the sounds of nature, this guardian that also allow you to hear warnings. Let your mind caress your with feelings of gratitude, and feel your ears delightfully receiving this appreciation. Now feel your structure made of bones being pulled down by gravity. Smile to them and send your bones a big thank you, this amazing structures that not only give you shape, but also regenerate your blood inside their marrows. Feel your bones nodding with joy at being noticed. Let your tension travel to your heart, this tireless worker that has been beating all day from the time you were in the womb. Send a breath of thank you to it, allowing this gratitude to soften any muscles around it and take off any load your heart does not need. Now let your awareness inhabit your lungs. This miraculous sacks that take in filter and process the oxygen and waste of your body. Send a breath of thank you to it, allowing your gratitude to fill it with love. Feel your lungs responding with happiness for being acknowledged. Take a moment now to thank your spine. All the nerves and disks in there which coordinate your body movements and communicates signals from head to toe. Send a feeling of gratitude to it, thanking it for taking all the pressure of your daily activities. Feel your spine feeling joy for being acknowledged the way you feel when someone acknowledges you with gratitude for your hard work. Traveling down to your belly, thank it for all the numerous processes it does to locomize your food into nourishing energy. Thank it for taking all the bad stuff we feed it, including our negative judgment and promise that you will do your best to return its kindness with healthy food. Feel your gratitude being absorbed by your stomach and intestinal lining, lighting and soften. Continue breathing love and care to your belly, for a few moments. Now gently become conscious of your pelvis. This biological pole that allows you to stand up right, walk effortlessly and filter an excrete waste. Send a breath of thanks down to your pelvic pole, and feel it fill with joy for being acknowledged. Continuing to travel down. Reflect on the amazing gift of your legs. Imagine for a moment, they were taken away, how challenging that would be. Now reflect on how they so gracefully allow you to explore and interact so freely with the world. Send a feeling of thanks to your legs. Feel this gratitude being joyfully received by them. Now let your attention dwell in your feet, as crucial as a heart in Eastern medicine traditions. Marvel at all the services you receive from this humble body part. All the micro adjustments it does every hour to keep you in balance. Send a breath of thank you to your feet, and feel this gratitude making your feet stay. Finally, scan your body and sense whether there's any residual tension, any part that feels neglected or is calling for your attention. If so, send these parts acknowledging brats of loving care and gratitude, saying, I see you, I'm here, thank you for all that you generously do for me. Is there something I can do for you? Stay here for a few moments and listen. This peace, this gratitude you feel for your body let it soak into your being as if you were a sponge. If you feel so pulled, harbor the intention of treating your body with more care as you leave this meditation. We're now going to gently awaken, slowly open your eyes, roll your shoulders, and take a big nourishing stretch. I will leave you here now, wishing you a beautiful, healthy and connected day. 21. Grounding Tree Standing Meditation: For me, this tree meditation is one of the most powerful re-grounding experiences you can do. My favorite place to do this is outside in a nature spot, where I can feel the soil under my feet. However, I also do this meditation inside my living room with beautiful effects. So don't worry if you don't have access to the outdoors. The posture you'll want to take is a standing meditation posture, which looks like this. First, with your feet hips width apart, slightly bend your knees and shift your body weight back, so it falls primarily on your heels. Tuck in your pelvis, so your lower back doesn't protrude out. Then with your fingers gently split apart, raise your hands up so they are in front of your chest. Loosen any strain in your arms, elbows, and shoulders. If your arms get tired during the meditation, you can always lower them. We're now going to begin. First, feel the weight of gravity pulling you down into the Earth, almost as if it is welcoming you home. Feel the solidity of the ground beneath your feet pushing you up. Drop into the knowing that no matter what is happening in your life, you're always being held up by the ground. Become conscious of the cool air touching your skin. It's touch like a soothing salve. As you take deep breaths from your belly, feel your entire skin breathing as if every pore is drinking in fresh, renewing oxygen. Let your entire being breathe in this fresh renewal for a few minutes. Imagine green, firm, healthy leaves growing out of your skin, absorbing warm sun rays that are nourishing your whole body. Imagine this nourishing warmth soaking into your body, all the way down to the core of your bones. Enjoy this loving warmth, and emit loving warmth in return. Just how like plants release oxygen back into the world sustaining life. Continue to imagine strong thick roots, growing from your feet down into the dark Earth, anchoring you with stability. Feel these roots driving deep and expansively into the soils, tethering you down. So that no matter what is happening up top, what winds are shaking your branches, you are always and securely anchored in the Earth. Now, imagine your strong roots taking up water and nutrients from the dark soils, and imagine these dissolved nutrients traveling back up through your veins all the way to your heart. Smile to your heart, giving it a thank you for all the tireless work it does to keep you alive. The fresh renewal you are getting from your breathing skin, the warm nourishment you're absorbing from your leaves, the strong stability you receive from your deep roots, let these feelings soak into your being so you can bring it into your day. Now, we're going to gently awaken. Slowly open your eyes, let your arms down, and roll your shoulders. I'm going to leave you here now. Wishing you a serene day. 22. Freeing Expansion Meditation: This meditation is intended to expand your sense of space in your day, whether it's because you live in a tiny apartment or because your life is just full. There are days when we feel constricted and we just crave the expanse of a limitless horizon. As amazing as it would be to travel to a remote island, you don't have to leave to find this extra space, you can find this immense spaciousness in yourself, where you are right now, and this is what this meditation is all about. Get yourself comfortable, whether that's sitting or lying down, hit pause, if you need some time, and play again, when ready. Now that you're comfortably seated, slowly sway your spine back and forth, side to side, until you hit that sweet spot where your spine is comfortably upright. Imagine a string attached to the top of your head being pulled up words, and enjoy the small, delicious stretch by your spine. Now, gently, close your eyes, and with your hands placed comfortably on your lap, take three slow deep breaths. On the inhale, feel immense space entering your body, filling it with spacious expansion. On the exhale, let go of the constriction and clutter, you feel, melting deeper into spaciousness. Start to feel the weight of your body being pulled down by gravity. Feel the firmness of the ground beneath you, pushing you up with support. Any striving, any weight, that you're holding up, drop it to the ground and feel the relief. Gently, bring your attention to your skin, feel the air making contact with it; the air's soft cool caress, like a soothing-saw. Notice the sounds around you, whether it's a spatial silence of your room, voices of people nearby, or the soft pitter-patter of rain. Let these sounds melt into you, become one with the sound. We're now going to relax our body, loosening any tension from our head to our toes. As we travel down, feel the center of gravity moving from your head down to your belly. First, let your eyeballs gently soften in their sockets, and let your eyelashes fall. Let any furrows in your forehead relax. Unclench your jaw and relax every tooth. Feel the hair on your scalp go slack. Now, gently, feel your throat. Is there something unspoken stuck there? If so, relax. Imagine every vocal cord at rest, in peaceful stillness. Sensing into your shoulders, let any tightness soften. Your arm, drop them heavy, as if they were made of lead, and sink them down onto your lap, relax your wrists and fingers. Let the muscles of your heart release anything you're carrying. Allow the softness of your breath to dissolve any hardness there, let it all go. Now, gently, move your attention to your belly, feel the rise and fall of your belly with every breath. We're going to stay here for a few minutes. As you continue to breathe, focus your attention on the sensation of air entering and leaving your nostrils; its coolness on the inhale, its warmth on the exhale. As you continue to breathe and relax, notice if you can detect any limits or boundaries of your mind, where does your mind begin, and where does it end? Does it have a fence? Continue to breathe as you explore. Is your mind contained in your school, or does it expand beyond? If you haven't found any perimeters, that's because, there are none. Your mind is like the limitless sky, more vast than you can ever imagine. Most of the times, however, our thoughts and identities clutter this mind, enclose them with walls, so we think our mind just a small space, when in actuality, it's infinitely expensive. Knowing this now, if you feel like there's a wall enclosing your mind space, imagine blasting through it and soaring high up in the blue sky, as if you were an eagle. Feel your wings spreading, as wide as they can stretch, and soar through this limitless sky, this vast expanse of your mind. Imagine that you are soaring above oceans with infinite space all around you, wild and free. Breathe in the wide space, and let the spaciousness dissolve your whole being, until you become pure expansive space. Let this feeling of freedom and infinite spaciousness soak into your being. Now, we're going to bring ourselves back and continue relaxing our body. Relax your pelvis, loosen your thighs, your knees, your ankles, your feet, and let this relaxation ooze into your toes, unwinding each one. Feel free to continue being suspended in the spaciousness or gently awaken. I will leave you here now, wishing you a spacious, beautiful day. 23. Restoring Nature Meditation: This meditation is intended to accompany you in whatever natural environment you find yourself in, whether that's the park or a nature reserve by your house. I find nature to be an incredibly enriching place to tune into yourself and reground. As technologically plugged in as we are today, it's fairly recent in our human history that we left the wilds. We're still biologically wired to engage with nature, and I find this engagement as essential for our well-being. First, take a comfortable position. You can do this sitting, standing, or lying down. Hit "Pause" if you need some time and hit "Play" when ready. Gently close your eyes and take the deepest breath you have taken in your day. Let the exhale carry away all your stress. Now, start to feel the firmness of the ground underneath you. Feel its stability, how it pushes you up with support. Drop into the support and release all your worries. Imagine your worries being absorbed by the dark wet soils beneath you. Feel the cool air touching your skin. It's touch like a soothing south. Imagine your skin breathing cold, fresh oxygen from every pore, like how a tree absorbs the warm sun from its leaves. Feel your skin breathing and bathing in this fresh green renewal. Now, bring your attention to your nostrils. As you inhale, feel the cool air re-energizing your lungs. Marvel at how 50 percent of the oxygen you're breathing in was made by tiny plankton in the ocean somewhere. As you exhale, feel the one current of carbon dioxide leaving your nose and send it off with some love, knowing that it's going to be absorbed by plant life somewhere. Continue to breathe. We're going to slowly travel through our body now, releasing any tension. As we do so, feel the center of gravity moving from your head down to your belly and continue breathing. Gently soften your eyeballs in their sockets and let your eyelashes fall. Release any furrows in your forehead and unclinch your jaw. Relax every tooth. Feel the hair on your scalp go slack. Now, gently feel your throat. Is there anything unspoken stuck there? If so, relax. Imagine, every vocal cord at rest in peaceful stillness. Sensing into your shoulders, let any tightness soften. Relax your arms down and feel their heaviness that awaits as if they were made of lead and sink them down onto your lap. Relax your wrist and fingers. Let it all go. Now, gently move your attention to your belly. Feel the rise and fall of your belly with every breath. Become conscious of the exquisite synchrony of your digestive system. All its organs and glands working like alchemists, transforming food into energy that sustains your whole being. Send a feeling of thanks down to this area. Continue down and relax your pelvis. Loosen your thighs, your knees, your ankles, and your feet and feel this relaxation ooze into your toes, unwinding each one. Feel the weight of your bones being pulled down by gravity as if the ground was welcoming you home here with all the other forms of life around you all breathing in and breathing out like you. This peace you feel, this conceitedness, this renewal, let it all soak into your being as if you were a sponge. Now, ever so gently, open your eyes, raise your arms above you and take a big nourishing stretch. I will leave you here now, wishing you a magical, serene day. 24. Bonus: Joyful Sunrise Meditation: Good morning everyone. First, I wanted to thank you for cultivating the space for yourself. At the beginning of the day, it's so easy to stay in bed and snooze. So the fact that you're here is just a beautiful mark of your commitment to living beautifully. I believe it is a big gift you are giving to the world, so thank you for being here. Like all our meditations, get in a comfortable position. Ideally, you'll want to be able to see the sky, like through a window. Make sure you're warm enough, pause if you need some time, and play again when ready. Now, take a deep breath, letting the cool air refresh and gently energize your lungs. As you exhale, let any lingering sleepiness right out on the warm current. Bring your awareness to the sounds around you. If it's quiet, feel the spaciousness in the silence. If there are sounds, feel their vibrations and let your mind melt into them. Become conscious of the freshness this moment is presenting you. All the buildup of yesterday, now cleaned off by your body, so you can enter this day renewed. It doesn't matter what happened yesterday, tomorrow doesn't exist. All that's real is today and it is a blank slate, a complete second chance. Fill this white freshness greeting you. We're now going to travel down our body and greet good morning to its parts. As we do, continue breathing from your belly. First, let your eye balls gently soften in their sockets and feel them held there by your skull, just like the way your brain is generally held in warm watery fluid. Unclench your jaw. Relax your tongue and every tooth. Let the hair on your scalp go slack. Now gently feel your throat. How will you speak today? Will speak with grace and presence, or we'll you speak with reaction? Let your mind tune your vocal cords, so it aligns with your intention. Any tightness between your shoulders let itself in? Your arm tramp in heavy as if they were made of lead and sink them down onto your lap. Relax your wrist and fingers. Let the muscles of your heart release anything you're carrying. Allow your breath to dissolve any hardness there, with its softness. Let it all go. Now, gently move your attention to your belly. Feel the rise and fall of your belly with every breath. We're going to stay here for a few minutes. As you continue to breathe, check in on yourself. How are you feeling today? What is the weather in your mind and body today? We're now going to continue traveling down our body. Relax your pelvis, these inner thighs, your knees, your ankles, your feet, and let this relaxation ooze into your toes, unwinding each one. Now, with your body relaxed, set an intention for your day. This can be really simple. For example, a wonderful intention is to be present and to not react. Let this intention naturally arise in you and hold it in your heart for a few moments, almost as if your heart was giving it an inner hug. We're gently going to open our eyes now, take a gentle overhead stretch, and close this meditation. After we finish, I'd recommend lingering for a few more minutes and enjoying the beauty of the sunrise. Sensing the light gently breaking in as if the day cracked open like an egg, letting the light slowly pour out. Wishing you a beautiful day.