IMG_2108

Woman Awake

Well, it’s hello and goodbye.

Last Saturday, the Meditation & More group finished our reading guide – The Untethered Soul (Michael A Singer). Despite personal preferences, it has offered us a very rich source of topics for discussion. On Saturday, Chapter 17 (Contemplating Death), prompted much debate.

In particular, what stops us living a life of no regret or fear? How not to fear death, if we are living a life that’s full. “It shouldn’t take death to challenge you to live your life at your highest level.” (p158)

Each day provides us with many opportunities, it’s simply how we choose to relate to them is what makes the difference.

These are issues that arise during our meditation. Practice is about being able to sit with the full spectrum of life, not just the prettiest things.

It would be true to say that the meditation group has grown and ripened into one that isn’t afraid to approach many topics.

One of which on Saturday was the practice of ‘othering’ (this will be covered in the upcoming A Mindful Woman course starting next month). Othering: how we put others before ourselves and our own needs.

Admittedly it’s necessary at times, but all too often it becomes a habit that leaves us feeling depleted.

Which segues into our new reading guide: Woman Awake (Christina Feldman).

I for one am excited at the journey this book will take us on! Why not join us?

Details of our next session (Saturday 20 May), and details of A Mindful Woman (the 5-week course starting 08 May) can be found here: claire-murphy.com/courses/meditation

Read More

A mindful woman

A Mindful Woman: finding the balance

As a woman are you…

Managing pain, juggling more thoughts than humanly possible, or simply looking to find clarity in your life?

Perhaps this describes you or someone you know?

The response to the upcoming 5-week course – A Mindful Woman – has been very positive, and there are still a few places remaining for when we begin the 5-week course on Monday 08 May.

Many are often unsure what the benefits of a mindfulness practice and approach to life can bring. I can only speak from my own experience, as well knowledge of having worked with others.

Clarity is one of the main benefits (for me). I am able to look at events and thoughts from a different perspective. Awareness of how I may have been applying a negative or conditioned approach, allows me to have choices.

Reduced Pain – many of you know the issues that I face daily. I apply mindfulness and my meditation practice as a daily care programme, and am still, three and half years later following my accident, not having to fill my strong pain medication prescriptions. Pain is very personal and subjective, and there is of course, our own thresholds for discomfort. I am simply offering a perspective of how it has supported me.

Ability to recognise when a story is being told – this is when we have a thought, opinion or judgement about something (often directed negatively towards ourselves). Mindfulness encourages us to look at the nature of the event and rather than ask why, we ask how is it making me feel?

Improved brain stuff – a regular mindfulness practice and approach to life activates the prefrontal cortex in the brain. How does this help? The parasympathetic nervous system is activated (this is our soothing system), which leads to increased hormone releases of dopamine and oxytocin (which helps the body to relax and slow down).

What do you get from attending?

  • 5 x in-person sessions
  • Comprehensive manual (value £25.00)
  • mp3 tracks for home practice where necessary
  • Ongoing support between sessions
  • An opportunity to view life differently, just for 5 weeks, to see how it can help you

Interested? More details and booking can be found here: A Mindful Woman

Read More

Sound Healing Meditation

Sound Healing Meditation in Italy

At last year’s Italian yoga retreat, it was probably unanimous that our time at the Convento del Carmine, was a highlight.

 

We were very fortunate to have this beautiful venue to ourselves, to experience its stillness and utter beauty.

 

I am delighted that we shall be returning again this year. After arriving, I shall take you through a gentle series of movements in the cloisters which are based on Tibetan Healing Exercises. Then you will be treated to a sound meditation, as the acoustics are wonderful there.

 

During your stay at the Watermill, you will experience a variety of meditations, whether its mindful walking of a morning, guided practice during our yoga sessions, as well as the optional silent sitting of an evening.

 

Sound is a healing modality as it is based on the vibration created that is not only heard through our ears, but felt at a very subtle level by the cells within our body.

 

“Music & rhythm find their way into the secret places of our soul”

Plato

 

I shall once again bring along my Tingshas (as in the image). These are used in many rituals within Tibetan Buddhism, as well as having a more recognised place in yoga and meditation classes. They are made of a sacred 12 metal alloy and are generally used to cleanse space before and after sessions.

 

Most of you will be familiar with Tibetan singing bowls – these come in a variety of sizes, but due to luggage restrictions, I shall only be bringing one with me. Bowls are made from consecrated 7 metal alloys that are created skilfully to produce at least five individual yet simultaneous tones.

 

The bowls sounds are said to synchronise brain waves and encourage a therapeutic effect on the body.

 

The seven alloys used and the principles attached to them are:

 

Silver               – Moon, time, joy, instinct

Gold                 – Sun, heart, spirit

Mercury          – Mercury, intellect and speech

Tin                   – Jupiter, insight and wisdom

Lead                – Saturn, conscience and discipline

Copper            – Venus, love and art

Iron                  – Mars, action and sexuality

 

“There’s no organ system in the body that’s not affected by sound, music and vibration”.

Mitchell Gaynor

 

All you will need to do is sit (we are fortunate that the cloisters has a very low wall all round, just perfect for sitting on) and allow the sound to come to you.

 

Even more fortunate, we shall be spending longer at the convent this year, and will enjoy a picnic lunch together, giving us longer to soak up the magical atmosphere that it offers.

 

Unable to join me in Italy? Then why not take a look at the many yoga and meditation offerings I have in Watford, Hertfordshire: Yoga & Meditation with Claire Murphy

Read More