Mindfulness Practice – Making Your Bed

I have been adding my thoughts on how cleaning your house, even the simple stuff, can be part of a spiritual devotion.  This week I’ve been focusing on the bedroom so today I wanted to talk about the simple act of making your bed.  I’ve discussed how having a clean, organized bedroom can help promote a restful night’s sleep, provide you with a relaxing space to unwind, encourage a healthy relationship with your partner, and possibly even be a Sacred Space for your meditation area or your Altar.  You begin your day and end your day in your bedroom. 

When you begin your day, it is the best time to set your intentions for the day.  A few minutes to check-in with your Spirit or Higher self and decide what you want out of the day.  When our bed is made, we feel like our day is officially beginning!  It reduces the temptation to just crawl back under the covers, and it makes the bed that much more welcoming at bedtime when we are done with our day and ready to go to sleep!

 When I make my bed, I like to say a little blessing prayer for the day.  I feel like when I make my bed, I am turning the page to a brand new day.  I am saying “yesterday is over.” and preparing to start a new day.  Each day is a blank page, a fresh start in writing our story!  Making the bed doesn’t take long, but I love to take those few moments to take a deep breath, turn the page from yesterday to today, and say a blessing for the day ahead of me!

In ancient yogic traditions, as well as Buddhist teachings, we find a practice called “Mindfulness”.  It’s about being fully aware of what you are doing in the present moment.  Being aware of your actions, your feelings, and your intentions.  Making your bed is a good place to start with practicing a few minutes a day of Mindful Awareness, and of Devoting some time to your Spiritual Practice.

A simple prayer for making your bed might include gratitude for your sleep and safety, followed by an affirmation or promise to make the most out of your day.

Example;
“I am grateful for the sleep, safety, dreams and healing I received here last night.
Today is new!  Yesterday is done and today I begin again!
My goal for today is _____________________”

Simple visualization and focusing on a feeling of gratitude is enough!  Just focus on the task of making your bed while holding the feeling of gratitude in your heart and try not to let your mind wander!

It’s Monday! I’m Reading….

Book Review; Last Week’s Book

Last week I finished reading Siddhartha  by Herman Hesse. I really enjoyed the story. The first half of the book was rather slow and hard for me to get into, but I found the second half to be interesting and enjoyable. I am glad I stuck with it to the end. It was interesting because I have been studying Buddhist and Zen philosophy. I think it helped that I have an interest in these subjects and a basic understanding of them; someone who doesn’t have that may not understand the book. I would reccomend this book to anyone interested in Eastern Philosophies and books that explore Buddhism and Zen concepts!

It’s Monday! What are you reading?

I’m so excited! I found The Ocean At The End of The Lane  by Neil Gaiman at the public library today! I have been wanting to read this one for a long time and I have loved everything I ever read by Neil Gaiman. Check back next Monday for my review and the next book I am reading!

Have a great week! What are you reading?

Siddhartha by Herman Hesse

Joining in at Book Journey to share what I am currently reading!

“Siddhartha” 
By Herman Hesse (1951)
Following along with my theme of a couple previous posts here, I decided to continue reading this book. I had started reading it earlier this year, but then packed the book up when we moved. Since I am working on meditating more often and subsequently learning about Buddhism, I figured now would be a good time to finish reading this one!
From the back cover:
“This classic novel of self-discovery, set in India during the lifetime of the historic Buddha, has inspired generations of spiritual seekers.  The tale of a young Brahman’s quest for the ultimate reality follows his spiritual journey – from the extremes of excess and sensuality to the rigors of asceticism and self-denial. Ultimately he learns that wisdom cannot be taught – it must come from one’s own experience and inner struggle. Told in an evocative, symbolic style that gives the story a sense of the timeless, the novel is admired for it’s engaging prose, human sympathy, imagination, and ironic humor.” (Dover Publications, 1999)

Siddhartha Guatama Buddha

With the creation of my new blog, I’m jumping in and joining the Pagan Blog Project ( http://pagan blog project.com )
This week is the letter S and I have chosen to write about Siddhartha.  In the above picture, my meditation table with a card picturing Siddhartha  Guatama Buddha from The Ascended Masters Oracle card deck by Doreen Virtue.  There have been many Buddhas, and anyone can become Buddha by practicing and living a life of non-attatchment and enlightenment.  Siddhartha Guatama was the “first” Buddha and most of the main teachings of Buddhism come from the lessons he shared.
Born to a wealthy family, he rejected the luxuries he could have had, in a search for true happiness and contentment. Spending long hours meditating he realized that true contentment comes from neither the rejection or the love of belongings or status, but from an attitude of non-attatchment. Non-attatchment means it is okay to have and enjoy things/people/experiences in your life, but to never become too attached to anything by realizing nothing in life is permanent.  He teaches of “The Middle Path” between a life of excess and a life of self-denial; finding a balance while learning to live in the present moment and not to let your inner peace be dependant on impermanent things.  
Siddhartha Gautama Buddha taught the importance of meditation as an important aspect of attaining this Middle Path of enlightenment.  Through meditation one learns to quiet the mind and still the body, wanting for nothing and finding peace in just existing.  
This week, take time to be still, be silent, meditate as often as you can, and think on the lessons & teachings of Siddhartha Guatama Buddha.