Get in tune with nature. Photo by Craig Nakamoto.
Years ago, when I lived in the Himalayas, there was absolutely nothing to do in the wintertime. The days were bitterly cold and the nights were eerily quiet. Yet in this extreme environment, there was also a beautiful peace and quiet that set a perfect stage for meditation.
Meditation in the winter (and especially during the holiday season) can help us avoid the stress and stimuli that often accompanies this busy time of year. Meditation is a soulful training program to balance your nervous system and connect with your own potential and power. It’s also about finding stillness and tapping into the bliss you hold within yourself. Simply put, it’s about becoming more aware, more appreciative and happier. With the long winter about to set in, now’s a great opportunity to practice some winter meditations.
Create Your Sacred Space
How can this be done? Find a cozy spot in your home where you can be in peace and won’t be disturbed. Get a comfortable cushion (like a zafu) to sit on. Wrap yourself in a warm shawl or blanket. Then light a candle and settle into the quiet space you’ve created. Begin to gently inhale and exhale and take in the sound of silence. Enjoy being relaxed and at ease. If you like, you can try saying this mantra: “Amaram Shyamm” (pronounced um-u-rum-shom), which means “infinite peaceful quiet.” Repeat this as often as you like. Take whatever time you need. Just enjoy the feeling of stillness you have created for yourself.
Set An Intention To Sit Still Everyday
If you make the effort to simply sit still and be at peace in your own company each day, this will become more and more a natural feeling. With a regular practice, you will discover the hidden gold that is within you. Soon, every meditation session will be your private retreat and a time of replenishing self- communion. This will revitalize you and fill you with joy. What could be more comforting? Try it. May peace and love be with you. Silent Night, Holy Night, All is Calm, All is Bright.
Padmais one of Canada’s most respected and popular teachers of meditation, yoga and self-realization. Padma has over 30 years of experience in yoga and meditation, including a one-decade advanced meditation retreat in the Himalayas of India, and is certified to teach by the International Meditation Institute of India. For more information on Padma go to www.padmayoga.ca.
Gratitude is an attitude that can be cultivated not only around Thanksgiving for blessings in our lives, but during each moment of life — towards ourselves! Our brains are programmed to protect and to survive, and when we live a life out in the world it is nearly impossible to avoid feelings of self-judgment or unworthiness.