As the season drastically changes from winter to spring, us Canadians begin to breathe a little deeper and a little easier. We feel the weight of winter lift from our shoulders as we inhale the intoxicating aromas of fresh cut grass and flowers and trees in bloom. There is almost a comical element to it as you see people leave their homes for the first time in ages and connect with their neighbours, just glowing and giddy from the warmth of the sun. Sometimes it's only when we really start to breathe that we realize how shallow our breath had become.
In both mindfulness and meditation the importance of breath is crucial. It is the simplest way to connect with our body and slow our mind down; to turn in and tune out. Thich Nhat Hanh created a very simple meditation for children called the Pebble Meditation. I have done this meditation several times with my boys but truthfully I find myself using it often when I am struggling to slow my thoughts down and settle my mind. If you are unfamiliar with his meditation it goes like this:
Breathing in I see myself as a flower. Breathing out, I feel fresh. Flower, fresh. Breathing in I see myself as a mountain.. Breathing out, I feel solid. Mountain, solid. Breathing in I see myself as still water. Breathing out I reflect things as they truly are. Water, reflecting. Breathing in I see myself as space. Breathing out, I feel free. Space, free.
You can find more details on Thich Nhat Hanh's Pebble Meditation and other tools for children (or adults!) in his books A Handful of Quiet and Planting Seeds, both of which are available on our website.
We were recently fortunate enough to be invited back to the Mindful Society conference in Toronto. This was their second year and yet again it was profoundly fascinating to delve deeper into our field that is both ancient in its roots and modern in science. "A Mindful Society brings visionaries and community together to share leading edge research, evidence-based practices and emerging developments in the application of mindfulness in key sectors of society." A big thank you to everyone who participated in the conference, it was a breath of fresh air.
Gisele left straight from the conference to Ireland where she is preparing for the upcoming retreat. We do still have a bursary available, so if you just can't resist and would like to join at the last minute please email her directly at email@example.com.
We just received word that our new order of Koshi chimes are finally on their way to us from the Pyrenees Mountains! We will post on Facebook as soon as the order arrives and they are available again. (If you aren't already taking the journey with us on Facebook, you can find us here: www.facebook.com/mindfulnecessities)
Did you know that the handmade Koshi chimes are an authentic musical instrument? They are designed to give crystalline relaxing sounds in a circular tone range which can be the prefect primer for deep meditation. While you listen to the chime you could practice another one of Thich Nhat Hanh's breathing exercises: "Breathing in, I feel fine; Breathing out, I feel happy."
Breathing deeply with love and gratitude...
P.S. Just a reminder that our Mindful May: Breathe promotion will end soon. This is a huge sale for us. The promotion is site-wide so it's possibly the biggest we will have all year... take advantage of 20% off your online orders over $150 while you can! Just use the code "breathe" when you view your cart and the coupon will be applied.
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