The Lighter Side of Meditation

Shared with permission from www.daily-tarot-girl.com 

I love Kate’s “Fridays With Veronica” series. Such fun! I highly recommend it!

VeronicaVeronica is my evil twin/alter ego who reads Tarot on my blog every Friday! In between reading Tarot you can find her getting day drunk on her balcony, snoring in a yoga class and on AshleyMadison.com, pretending to be married.

meditate

Are you one of those people who think you shouldmeditate, but never seem to get around to it?

Here’s a tip: Meditation is just doing nothing.

Everyone thinks it’s some mystical thing requiring discipline and spirituality. It isn’t.

I would say it’s just like being lazy but it’s so much more than that…..it’s being lazy on purpose!

The reason you’re having trouble meditating is because you’re associating it with monks and jerks who do yoga. Stop it!

Meditation is the ultimate freedom – better than rollerskating with no underpants on or calling in fake-sick to work and staying home to eat chocolate-peanut-butter Coconut Bliss ice cream while watching Vampire Diaries re-runs on Netflix.

Want to meditate more? Start thinking of it as a time when you don’t have to do shit. You don’t even have to think! Which is probably why you watch all those stupid TV shows in the first place! Am I right?

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Kate, author of the /http://www.daily-tarot-girl.com blog and “Fridays with Veronica” is co-host of “Menage A Tarot” podcast along with David Dear of www.myownminister.com and Ronda Snow of www.ModernOracleTarot.com

Head Pressure or Pain after Meditating – revisit

Head discomfort or pain after meditation – revisit

A while ago, I was asked about the sensation of head pressure or discomfort after “intense” meditation sessions.

With his permission, I shared the question with you in this Q&A post, but it is hard to translate an individual situation into a general interest / general information post. Particularly since one the big advantages of holistic health is how acutely it can be individualized.

The question of head discomfort after “intense” meditation has come up again, in a different context, so I’d like to add a few more thoughts.

One key difference is the location of the discomfort. Later mentions have the discomfort in different places on the head and face…no big surprise that would clue us in to different causes, different solutions.

In the first case, the discomfort was behind both eye brows and under the eyes, more face than head. That is smack dab over the frontal and maxillary sinuses, so that is why those were such a focus in the last discussion. The location is a key detail that built the case for a strong connection between the complaint and mainstream medicine. It was a situation where allopathy might be a key tool to bring out of the healers toolkit in this particular case.

In later instances, the location was a whole other story. This time mind-body connection was at the forefront. This time mind and spirit would be the focus, with less of a ‘body’ component. In fact, some of you might think this time the answer is too “fringe”, but the proof is in the pudding as they say…individual experience is still valid data, especially to the individual experiencing it! An open mind goes a long way when it comes to stress management.

Another person might indicate a tightness or pain in the head, less so in the face. A tight cap-like or band-like feeling often is simple muscle tension. (Mainstream medicine will agree with me there). If meditation relaxes you, how can it give you a muscle tension headache? Mind-body connection of course. If someone is meditating to relax, that can heap a lot of expectations on the meditation experience. Expectation is a big stumbling block to anyone working with meditation, intuition, visualization, imagination etc. That goes double if you are new to the process.

Meditation works in its own time in its own way…that is one of the biggest lessons it can teach us. Meditation is about letting go of those kinds of thought-bound expectations. Meditation is about being right here, right now, and letting things be as they are…NOT about getting your blood pressure down to X by Y date,  or by expecting to feel peaceful and blissed out NOW DOGGONEIT! It is very very easy to let those cultural expectations and old, well-established thought habits slip into relaxation time. It is a hard switch to turn off. The solution is persistence, and a whole lot of patience for yourself. Even in tea and mint candy commercials, wise gurus are seldom young. It takes a while to get the hang of the peace and serenity thing, especially in a ‘normal’ fast paced modern life.

The solution to this kind of head discomfort is easy to say, a little harder to enact. Let go. Don’t put any expectations on your meditation.

In the category of “when you hear hoofbeats look for horses not zebras”: if you are feeling muscle tension in you head after meditation, pay attention to your posture. Don’t slouch, but don’t try to force yourself into a full lotus zen master sitting position if you aren’t ready for it. Keep the spine erect, but comfortable. It is OK to sit in a chair that way if you aren’t comfortable cross-legged on the floor. It is even valid and effective to lay down…but I don’t recommend it unless you are fairly experienced or well-rested. I don’t know about you, but the laying down and relaxing thing is a fast-track to a NAP for me! Stretch, do a little yoga when you are not particularly meditating if you want to work your way into a pillow sitting zazen thing but aren’t flexible enough right now. Just like in the last post, working with a meditation mentor or teacher (Shameless plug: I offer meditation tutorials) can help sort some of the posture issues out.

The other scenario that I’ve heard lately is even more esoteric – this is where things get a little fringe-ish for some people.

In Eastern medicine and philosophy, there are energy centers (some might say nerve clusters) in the body that help regulate energy flow. You might have heard of “chakras”. Entire books have been written about that, and explaining it all is way outside of a blog post. Each chakra is assigned a specific location, and the one for the third eye, in middle of the forehead just above the eyebrows, is associated with meditation. If the pressure after mediation is in that location, then this is way way into mind-spirit territory.

Improper meditation (for you) can take that energy center out of its natural balance. It might become drained, or overcharged. It might just be a matter of adjusting your habits…meditating for a little less time, or changing the focus, or redirecting the energy to other things. Even little things like wearing dark blue (the symbolic color of the chakra) or making sure to drink adequate water after a session can help. The key here is to individualize your mediation practice to your particular needs if discomfort appears here. Get a little help and arm yourself with knowledge.

Meditation should be a comforting, relaxing, pleasant experience. Even if these head-discomfort problems come up, they can be handled. There are many different way to meditate, many schools of thought. If problems like these turn up, then it is just a clue to make an adjustment or slight change…don’t give up!

Sources /suggested reading:

“Wheels of Life” by Anodea Judith, Ph.D.

Easy Aromatherapy – pillowmist

Easy scent for sleeping spaces

A friend of mine wanted to scent her sheets with lavender oil. That makes a lot of sense. Lavender promotes relaxation, so it is a great scent for bedtime. Plus, it is all natural, and your not sleeping in chemicals or synthetic fragrance.

She tried putting it in the rinse, but it would take a lot of oil to leave a noticeable scent on that amount of water and fabric.

Another possibility would be to put a drop or two on a cotton ball and put it in the dryer…but then you risk oil spots on the sheets, and the heat would volatilize (evaporate) the scent very quickly, especially for a delicate top note scent like lavender.

My favorite solution is the old fashioned “pillow spray”. In a 2 oz fingertip pump spray bottle put 1 oz of filtered water (not chlorinated tap water) and 1 oz of vodka (as a dispersant and preservative)  and 10 -20 drops of your favorite essential oils. You can use one oil, or a blend of two or three oils. Obviously if you are going to use the spray on your pillow, you want to stick to relaxing or meditative scents like lavender, sandalwood, or ylang ylang. Bergamot is a good all-around stress buster, and can help a sleep blend if worry is part of keeping you awake. For pillows and your sleep area, avoid very activating or invigorating scents like citrus and strong floral scents like geranium and rose. While they do really nice things for your mood, they may distract from sleep.

If you don’t want to use vodka, just use 2 oz of water, but be sure to shake the bottle very, very well before using and frequently between spritzes.