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Tuesday, December 27, 2011

GMMP Daily Meditation Instructions

Gold Mind Meditation
 Instructions:  Daily Sittings

1.    Select a time and place, where you can sit comfortably alone and uninterrupted if possible.  Use the same place each time (chair, cushion on floor, carpet).  This will enhance your practice. 
      Quiet is nice, but not necessary.

2.    Choose a length of time to sit.  Start small, say 5 or 10 minutes, and gradually increase the time, as you are comfortable with it (45min.+). Always continue till the finish time has arrived; this is keeping a promise you’re making with yourself.

3.    Set a timer or cell phone alarm to announce the end of your session, then you won’t have to think about it.

4.    Begin sitting, relaxed and upright, not rigid.  Place awareness or attention on the actual sensations in your body as your breath comes and goes naturally. These sensations may be most predominant in your chest and abdomen as they rise and fall, or at the nostrils and tip of the nose. Allow your breathing to be at it’s own pace. You might like to take three or four deep long breaths to begin the meditation and then let the breath breathe itself. Observe the sensations exactly as they are.

5.    Your mind will most certainly wander into thinking of the past and future. It may obsess about worries, plans or fears. It may rehearse conversations.  Let it be; please do not try to stop it from wandering. This never works. Instead, when you wake up to this wandering, very gently return your attention to sensations of breathing. (Relax, put it in neutral, very awake but not going anywhere, rather waking up)

6.    Feel directly and be-with (experience) whatever occurs for you in this period of meditation: body sensations, thoughts, moods, emotions, sensations and feelings. Just consciously note what comes up, see that ‘arising’, and then return to the breath sensations.  Be at peace with things as they are in present moment.  Remind yourself of the intended purpose of sitting in meditation and continue.

7.    Getting bored?  Cool!  this is another 'object of observation', look closedly, it will change.  Continue until the alarm goes off.  Smile, you are doing well, learning a new skill that will grow positively for your lifetime! Sitting time is healing time.  Stay with it. Neuroscientists say regular practice is the biggest enhancer of neuroplasticity - healing.

8.    Read this again till you know every word!  That’s it; there is no more.

My Project's ground; my experience.

Being truthful and accurate in writing about my project I must share the following.  The Project is a stand I take, using mindfulness practice.  Inherent in this Project is the fact that I do still live with traumatic brain injury.   The TBI hasn’t magically gone away, rather it is a continuing part of my life that I get to have.  I know many of the recurring and ongoing symptoms.  I regularly experience the deficits of short-term and other memory loss.  Foggy mental state arises unbidden.  Often I engage in Leapfrog speaking, blurting out thoughts that arise often inappropriately, automatically. Self centerdness often overrides compassion.  Knowing the deficits is only the first step in compensating for or ideally clearing them up (awareness and neuroplasticity). With TBI I’m hard wired for the deficit due to brain damage. I can live with positive intention (possibility). I know the positive effects of mindfulness practice in my own life experience and share it with you.

I still intend to formulate a way of being that works with frustrations that arise – not as a hope, rather as a real possibility.  I am 'standing' or should we say  'sitting mindfully'), for the possibilities that are real!  Being/acting this way the fog often clears, mental states change (self regulation) and I am not lost in confusion.

Mindfulness practice allows me to see that with intention I can have new behaviors arise as well as make amends or be responsible for what has happened.  There are many possibilities before us all of the time
With mindfulness we can skillfully chose how to make one thing or another happen.  Also for me mindfulness tangibly results in the very knowable form of what are
called the ‘seven factors of enlightenment’:
  • Mindfulness   i.e. to be aware and mindful in all activities and movements both physical and mental
  • Investigation   into the nature of  life
  • Energy a feeling of focus and aliveness
  • Joy or rapture lightening or delight
  • Relaxation or tranquility  of both body and mind
  • Concentration  a calm, one-pointed state of concentration of mind
  • Equanimity, to be able to face life with all its' vicissitudes being calm of mind and in tranquility, without disturbance.
This is a canonical list and at another time I will share how exactly I know these factors in my life experience.  Direct knowing of these is clearly observable and actually is possible in our practice.  This can be said or framed as fuel for practice.
Why to do it! 

My project is to share my experience and practice clearly. It just may work for you, explore, try it out. Next I will post meditation instructions.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

For folks here in Portland Metro area, Meeting this Saturday:

(Survivor self-help group)
Emanuel Hospital, M.O.B.-West
2801 N Gantenbein
Northeast Portland, OR 97227
3rd Saturday
10:00am-12:00 noon
Steve Wright

Also, Gold Mind Meditation Project is now on the calendar in July, 2012 for the Birrdsong Group at Legacy Good Samaritan for a Seminar (Saturday one day session, followed by six weekly classes)
and this will be posted at