Thursday, July 12, 2012

Open Heart Project

Image via OHP

As I have mentioned before, 2012 is my year for healthy change. I switched careers (well, that was technically Fall 2011 but close enough), adjusted my diet through the Foundations of Food group, incorporated yoga, pilates, and Bar Method classes into my daily routine as well as started meditating!

Now, I should probably pause here - if you have ever met me, you may find it hard to believe that I even know what the word silence means. I am quite the little chatter box.  And, to be honest, meditation has been no easy task. In the beginning, I tried to meditate for 10 minutes every few days.  I had no clue what I was doing.  I read somewhere you should "quiet your mind" - WTH?  Basically, I just sat there mentally going through my checklist of things to-do that day. I seriously imagined mediation to be this instantaneous spirtual experience as if the clouds would part to angels singing!  But no.  It was just me sitting there feeling like I should be doing something "productive" and checking my watch to see if the 10 minutes were up yet.

Until that is, I found the Open Heart Project (OHP).  Or maybe it found me.  I don't know and it doesn't really matter.  What matters is that I discovered Susan Piver, the woman behind the beautiful idea/project, and the wealth of insight that came with. The OHP is a newsletter emailed twice a week to help you in your meditation practice.  Inside, Susan provides information (and guidance) similar to practicing at a Buddhist meditation center, but in the comforts of your own home! There is also a practitioner level (which is what I am a member of now) of the OHP if interested.

Its still a daily task for me to sit down and just focus on my breathing. But with each passing day, its becoming less of a struggle and more of a joy.  And yesterday, something clicked. I was fully alert, totally present, and entirely focused on my breathing. I had a moment of no thoughts. Just me and my breath. It was like a space of clarity and presence I had never felt before (until, that is, I got super excited and my mind went mach 5 with thoughts!). I am definitely still learning (probably always will be), but I can feel the postitive change meditation brings (both in my everyday being as well as a photgrapher!). And that small shift is enough for me.

So, if you are even a tiny bit interested in meditating, I highly recommend learning about the OHP here.  It will make all the difference. Pinky promise.


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