Meditation ~ A Lesson in Receiving

“Your body is precious.  It is our vehicle for awakening.  Treat it with care.”  ~  Buddha

The calm of a sunset
The calm of a sunset

A meditation class I went to the other day got me thinking about the “giving season”, which is now upon us in full-force.  That most joyous of holiday seasons when we open our hearts and our wallets and give generously, if we are able.  You cannot turn on the TV and listen to a news broadcast without hearing a feel-good story about someone giving from the heart, and thank goodness for these acts of kindness.

Ah yes, the holiday season when children’s smiling faces are seen making their lists for Santa; the smell of sugar cookies and warmed cider permeating the air; and twinkling lights and brightly wrapped packages dazzling us.  Are we all feeling euphoric now or are some of you feeling a tad bit stressed thinking about all that must be accomplished before the holiday comes swooping in?   Here is the other side of this blessed season that the smaller eyes do not see and that we oft-times block out.  This is also the season of serial multi-tasking, between jobs, cooking, cleaning, and immersing ourselves in the streams of traffic and rubbing elbows with the hordes of stressed-out holiday shoppers not unlike ourselves.

Most all that we do at this time of year is done in that beautiful act of giving, for family, friends, and those in need, but let’s not forget the flip-side to this record, the act of receiving, perhaps the less popular of the two, but so very important.

How long has it been since you have done something just for you?  Sitting with eyes shut at the beginning of my class, listening to the instructor talk about opening ourselves up to receiving the breath, the life-force, letting it wash over our cells, got me thinking (ok, not during the class because I was meditating, you know) that we need this ‘me’ time more now than perhaps any other time of the year.

Sun's final rays illuminating the heavens
Sun’s final rays illuminating the heavens

I do believe in the power of meditation and there is a tremendous amount of science to support its benefits but if you just do not feel you have the time or cannot sit still long enough to appreciate the positive aspects of meditating, here are a few thoughts to kick around:

  1. Deep, diaphragmatic-breathing, practiced while meditating, expands the air pockets of the lungs, invoking the relaxation response.
  2. Second only to sunlight, oxygen is the most needed nutrient by the human body.
  3. We have roughly 50 trillion cells in our bodies, begging for this life-giving oxygen.
  4. Diseases thrive in our body in an anaerobic (lacking oxygen) state so deep-breathing delivers disease-fighting energy to our tissues.

The act of receiving is so vitally important and so often forgotten.  During this joyous yet hectic time of year, don’t forgot about you as you get caught up in the excitement of the season.  Whether you feel you have the time or the patience for a regular meditation practice, even 10 minutes a day is a good place to start. Perhaps a good place to begin is when you get into your car before merging into the stream of traffic jockeying for position or when you pull into a parking lot before entering that packed mall.  Sit still and imagine bathing your cells in a warm, comforting blanket of oxygen or perhaps standing in a meadow on a warm spring day, sunlight dancing across your upturned face, breathing deeply of the heady scent of wildflowers, whatever it takes to calm your mind and renew your spirit.  May we all practice a little receiving during this “giving season”. 

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photo courtesy of google.com

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49 thoughts on “Meditation ~ A Lesson in Receiving

  • Beautiful, as always, and with a good reminder for all of us. I try to meditate when I get out of bed, and then again before I go to bed. Don’t always get it done, but I’m working on it. Thank you so much for this, AND the beautiful photos.

  • This time of year is hectic for many reasons. Including the rush for that gift that all the kids want and will scream the house down if they don’t get it. I’m thankful my kids aren’t like that. They make lists knowing that they may get none of what’s on it.

    Meditation is definitely a good thing for it. Thank you for sharing.

  • I do make time for myself, but find it so much more fun helping others. Every time we go to a craft show or any type of shopping, I am always looking for items for others. Paul sometimes get mad at me and says, “Why don’t you just buy for yourself this time.” I really do get much more job doing and buying for others. I am happy where I am and who I am.

  • I would love to practice yoga and meditate someday. I am a very high energy person and truly believe in the power of relaxation. Someday when the kids get a little older! I love the second photo. I could meditate just looking at that! 🙂

    • It took me a long time to appreciate yoga and meditation as I have always been a Type A personality. I was surprised how good I felt when I included these in my life. We took other yoga (outside by the lake) and meditation classes weekly when we lived in Mexico.

      • Hmmm…now I know why we connect so well! I’m very Type A and hate it. I think I’ll commit myself to yoga and mediation next year when my youngest is in first grade. I do find some solace in my workouts but I do need to do calming things too. Thanks for reminding me! Healthy mind, healthy soul, right! 🙂

      • I always went to the gym and did cardio and strength training, which when looking back, probably didn’t do much for my Type A personality. For me I was such a serious insomniac that I had to try to do something to calm my mind. Yoga and meditation have helped and the yoga is good for the body as we begin to age. Have to keep that flexibility. Have a beautiful week Nicole. 🙂

  • I find I feel so much better when I make it to my yoga class each week. I don’t know why it’s so hard to do a home practice. My mom died on her 96th birthday on Christmas eve a couple of years ago. Since then I’ve given myself permission to ignore the frenzy. But hope you enjoy the holiday in whatever fashion you choose.

    • I am much better when I go to a yoga class and find all kinds of reasons not to do it at home. Having your mom pass on Christmas can make for a less than joyous time. Hope you are still able to enjoy the holidays. We avoid the frenzy entirely but have been hearing others’ tales and seeing the craziness on TV.

  • I am trying to meditate, and I want it to become a habit, So I am slowly starting with 5 minutes. I have read a lot about it and it’s benefits. I am glad you wrote a post and reminded me again.
    I am not in a frenzy though as I am a very organised person and have during the last months already prepared things and made lists so I am not going to be stressed. I do love giving and helping, it makes me happy.
    Wishing you a very good time towards Christmas! Ute x

  • This is the first time that we are out somewhere during this Christmas season. Being away from the rushing crowds and shopping frenzy is a blessing. At work we were taught how to meditate but it never grab me for i seem to have a million things to do. Now that we are living on the road and life is in a slow pace I could not think of meditating. Its true it is healing and a gift to oneself yet i have not practice it. Perhaps with your prodding and inspiration I will attempt to practice it and make it a habit, a habit to give to oneself.
    Thank you.

    • I did not start meditating till later in life and if you are anything like my husband, meditation for him is getting out into nature, away from the crowds…anything to still our minds. Being a Type A personality I began meditating because I never could seem to calm myself down and I was a serious insomniac. That has all improved and probably most because I am no longer working in a fast-paced environment. This is a beautiful life we have, isn’t it? 🙂

  • A wonderful post LuAnn. Well written but more to the point well expressed. It is so important that we take care of ourselves, so we can be there for others! Thank you dear friend, a good reminder at this time of year! 🙂

    • Sometimes I feel a tad bit selfish focusing on taking care of me, as I always seemed to put myself last on the list. Isn’t it interesting that when we focus on taking care of us first that our hearts open so wide that we have more for everyone! 🙂

      • It is LuAnn, but if you think about the whole thing, it does make sense, when we’re healthier I think we’re happier and it becomes more natural to focus on things outside of our own sphere, don’t you think? 🙂

      • Absolutely. When I am feeling my best, my heart feels like it is so full, plenty of love for everyone. I hope you have one of those “heart full of love” days, although I suspect most days are that way for you. 🙂

  • Your pictures are lovely. I especially like the one with blue sky and golden clouds. Stunning! I meditate in thoughts as I walk, but to breathe, I’m not so sure I’m doing that – consciously at least! Marsha 🙂

  • It is weird thinking how people can be so concerned of doing things for others, for other things that they forget about themselves. I do that a lot at work. I put fires out. And when it comes to me, I feel so lost. Thanks for the reminders and for helpful, useful tips.

    Respond: No probs then LuAnn. I’ll just celebrate something the night before and use that scheduled morning to sleep.hehe. 😀 I still wanna meet, and still planning on seeing Dana Point soon.

    • Let me know what your schedule looks like for the remainder of Dec and Jan. Would still love to get together. So party hearty and sleep in on the 9th. 😀

  • A wonderful post, LuAnn… (I don’t believe I’m receiving your up-dates; I thought I’d fixed that…!)
    This reminded me of me today… I love yoga and was listening to a yoga instructor saying these things as she gently allowed us to ‘settle’ before the routine began. I was listening/watching this on you-tube of all places. I agree with you, meditation is so beneficial in so many ways. Even if it only allowed us to breathe more deeply, the cells of our bodies would be singing…!

    • I’m not sure why you aren’t getting my updates, although I must admit to not posting as many in the past few weeks. When I see older men and women who are so flexible in yoga classes and I feel how much calmer I am, I know the value of yoga and meditation. Have a great weekend Carolyn. 🙂

  • Great post LuAnn ~ I was just working on my 3 dimensional breathing today — is a huge component of pain management. I love the Divine breath mediation you offered here… will print it out for sure — thank you lovely lady ! Sending HUGS ~ RL

  • Yoga is invigorating and has helped me more than I can say, especially after the drug reaction I had a couple of years ago. Have been putting off my return to my daily practice since we got back from our holiday though. Your post is a good nudge in the that direction 🙂

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