Category Archives: Mind

Consciously Practicing Non-Attachment Allows Us To Go Inward And “Let Go”…Bringing Inner Peace

By Jennifer Miller

Jennifer Miller The practice of non-attachment has provided me with tools to navigate through life. Life will always present obstacles that we have no control over. So it is important to always be aware that I am able to choose how to react. By choosing to let go of a negative thought, emotion or event, I trust in the process and am quickly filled with inner peace.

By quieting my mind, I am consciously practicing non-attachment as I  go inward and carry out my responsibilities without having expectations of others.

Remaining detached, I am able to truly discern what things are without self-interest and/or personal judgment. I better understand the workings of nature and the course it takes. Non-attachment allows me to view ‘My Soul’, seeing myself for who I am and why I am here.

Knowing what is mine,
Aware of what is not.
My business, your business
And God’s business….
Namaste

“When You Are Steadfast In Your Abstention Of Thoughts Of Harm…” – Patanjali

Jennifer Miller 2012“When you are steadfast in your abstention of thoughts of harm directed toward yourself and others, all living creatures will cease to feel fear in your presence.”

The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali
Click on Book to Purchase

Click on Book to Purchase

“Breathing In The New Day…Keeping The Stillness Within My Mind”

By Jennifer Miller

Jennifer Miller Breathing in the dayBreathing in the new day,
Gazing at its sunrise beauty.
Gratitude fills my soul.
Ocean is still, reminding me to
Keep the stillness within my mind.
Accepting and knowing that all is
Well and perfect as it is.
Crisp air fills my lungs while
Sounds of nature calm my senses.
Birds chirping and the pond trickles,
Joy rises in my heart.

Namaste

“Awareness Is Not The Same As Thought…More Like A Vessel Which Can Hold And Contain Our Thinking” – Jon Kabat-Zinn

Jennifer Miller 2012” Awareness is not the same as thought. It lies beyond thinking, although it makes use of thinking, honoring its value and its power. Awareness is more like a vessel which can hold and contain our thinking, helping us to see and know our thoughts rather than getting caught up in them as reality”

Click on Book To Purchase At Heart Based Healing Store

Click on Book To Purchase At Heart Based Healing Store

From “Wherever You Go, There You Are: Mindfulness Meditation in Everyday Life” By Jon Kabat-Zinn

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“…Events That Happen In The Moment Belong To The Moment…You Must Stop Defining Yourself In Relationship To Them, And Just Let Them Come And Go…” — Michael Singer

If We Are Conscious That Our Mind Makes Excuses, We Can Overcome Negative Attachments In Life

By Jennifer Miller

My yoga practice continues to teach me about my inner self. Working through advanced postures, I am conscious of how my mind makes “excuses” during periods where I struggle: too many babies, weak bandhas, arms and legs that are too long (very creative). But through discipline and focusing my mind, I am able to block out these thoughts and “distractions”.

This past Thursday at the Ashtanga Yoga Center in Encinitas, CA,  I finally nailed the difficult Urdhva Kukkutasana B pose (a lifting lotus) in the advanced series. But this short-term success highlighted a major theme in my overall practice: that difficult transitions in my life had reduced the desire to “push forward”.

As mothers, we must be able to “detach” from the emotions and negative energy that arise as we watch our children grow older and naturally struggle with life’s journey. We need to remain objective with the strength to make the tough calls that do not enable a continuation of poor decisions and actions.

My yoga practice and personal life both thrive when I maintain a healthy mind-body connection. My teacher noticed from across the room when I succeeded with the difficult pose. I quickly do the pose again to confirm it in my muscle memory. My mind has thoughts of “I CAN” running through it and the body responds.

I remember with a smile back to a day when I worked with girls at the Recovery Home and demonstrated this same pose. The purpose was to show them that a yoga practice mirrors our daily lives. We can feel stifled and stuck in life, but we need to have the strength to push through the barriers holding us back.

One of the girls had said “…you’re so strong you could probably take us all out”. We all laughed.  They had reacted to the positive energy I demonstrated when facing a seemingly impossible situation.

We must maintain the ability to focus our minds on the positive things we can accomplish each day in order to push through even the most difficult of times in our lives.

Namaste, Jennifer Miller

“In The Flow Of The Moment” With Sea Lions While Kayaking Off The Coast Of Laguna Beach

By Jennifer Miller

The beauty in nature can teach us so much about life and our place in it. I have been kayaking in the ocean on Saturday mornings for the past few weeks and have come to marvel at the simple wonders that abound off the coast.

We launched through the surf and were immediately “skimming” through a unique world, where sea lions frolicked in the water and shared a large rock with pelicans and other birds. These creatures were clearly “in the moment”, present within themselves as they swam, searched for food and basked in the sun. I could watch (and learn from them) for hours!

Landing at Laguna’s Main Beach, I met a homeless woman on a bench reading a Bible. She agreed to watch the kayak and paddles, which we had parked next to her sleeping bag and worldly possessions, for us while we walked over to a local cafe for breakfast. She asked if we could bring her back a cup of ice water but we included a bagel. She was very grateful for the little surprise. The beauty of simple moments in life.

 The trip back north along the coastline was remarkable for the different activities of people “sharing” the sea: snorkelers, scuba divers, paddle boarders, kayakers, and swimmers.

We encountered over thirty outdoor enthusiasts on our five-mile paddle, yet the only sounds were that of the waves, birds and barking sea lions.  The quote by Gandhi was never more appropriate:

“Speak only if it improves upon the silence.” 

Approaching the completion of our journey, the final landing reminded me of an episode of Hawaii 50 and riding a wave in through the surf. All went according to plan until two waves first spun the kayak sideways and then dumped us unceremoniously on the sand and foaming water. The shock of first being in silent partnership with nature and then being “roughed up” by its power and unpredictability, is truly a metaphor for life.

Our lives can proceed in planned and simple harmony and then “wham”, we are knocked off our feet and must struggle with disruption and crisis. But picking ourselves up, drying off, and re-establishing order is a necessity for a happy life. We must find the humor in painful moments which will keep us grounded, and not over-reacting to circumstances.

Just like the flow of the ocean, we must “go with the flow” of our lives. The only absolute constant in life, is change. It is how we react to and handle this change, that determines our happiness. I choose to be at peace in life, and staying in the moment.

Namaste, Jennifer Miller

“Countless Words Count Less Than The Silent Balance Between Yin And Yang” – Lao Tzu

“When You Move Amidst The World Of Sense, Free From Attachment And Aversion Alike…You Live In The Wisdom Of The Self” – Bhagavad Gita

“Flow With Whatever May Happen, And Let Your Mind Be Free…” – Zhuangzi

Zhūangzi (c. 369 BC – c. 286 BC)

“Breathing In The Benefits Of Yoga To Achieve Happiness In The Moment” – By Jennifer Miller, “SunGoddess Magazine” In July 30 Issue

“Our Present Thoughts Build Our Life Of Tomorrow…” – Siddhartha Buddha

Photograph from National Geographic

“Just Detach From False Mental Objects And Be Enlightened To Being-As-Is” – Baizhang Huaihai

Baizhang Huaihai (720-814 AD)

“If We Sit With An Increasing Stillness Of The Body…The Mind Gradually Stills And The Heart Is Filled With Quiet Joy” – Ravi Ravindra

“If we sit with an increasing stillness of the body, and attune our mind to the sky or to the ocean or to the myriad stars at night, or any other indicators of vastness, the mind gradually stills and the heart is filled with quiet joy.”

The Wisdom of Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras: A New Translation and Guide by Ravi Ravindra” 

“Mindfulness…Is The Observing Of Things As They Are,…Without Laying Or Adding…Expectations Onto What Is Happening.” – Frank Jude Boccio

“…If You are Standing Before A Beautiful Flower, You Will Not Be Able To See It…You Have To Be Silent, Utterly Silent, Not Even A Flicker Of Thought–And the Beauty Explodes.” By Osho

“Thoughts can create such a barrier that even if you are standing before a beautiful flower, you will not be able to see it. Your eyes are covered with layers of thought.”

“You have to be silent, utterly silent, not even a flicker of thought – and the beauty explodes….”

 From “The Great Pilgrimage: From Here to Here” by Osho

Picture from: 2012 National Geographic Traveler Photo Contestant Fred An

“Yoga Tones The Bodies And Nourishes The Souls Of The Women At The Recovery House”

By Jennifer Miller
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Walking through the doors at the Recovery House, the ladies came up to me with a request: they wanted to see a picture of me before I started yoga. “I bet you always looked like this” said one. The group’s interest turned into a discussion of one of the big benefits of yoga: getting in shape after having a baby. These questions and others are all very honest and touching, reflecting how concerned they are with their appearance and bodies.
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A question then came up about whether my yoga practice excited my husband when I was married, again showing the physical and sexual interest the poses had in their minds. I then told them about very painful parts of my life, where yoga helped me to process my grief, to the point where I am now able to laugh at many of these traumatic times.
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I could feel, and see in their eyes, that my words were very comforting to these women, all of whom were dealing with trauma and change in their lives. One of the young ladies asked me why I volunteered here.
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 I told her that presenting the gift of yoga allowed my soul to give back some of the beautiful calm and peace I felt during times of great pain…

They were all very moved and I knew some were true believers. I felt my heart sing with joy that they could understand. I began to work on some individual asanas with a few of the girls. At first they are scared in trying something new, but three of the girls all nail the “crow” pose. I was cheering and clapping and didn’t know who was more excited.
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A girl in the back of the room asked me what poses would help her tighten her stomach and lose weight. I told her that yoga connects our minds and bodies, and that by maintaining the connection while eating, she could learn to eat only until feeling full. This honors the body as it is the temple for our soul.
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Nearing the end of our time together, I hear that one of the girls is cleaning a yoga mat to take to her room to practice, while another one is listening to a yoga tape. I can see the slow progress we are making, and know in my heart that if you can touch one life you’ve made a difference in the world. On my way out they bring their babies over…the beauty of connecting with the human spirit.
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Namaste, Jennifer Miller

“Yoga Is The Path…The Experience Of Realization, Samadhi” From ‘Bhagavad Gita Demystified’

“Yoga…is the path and not the goal. It is the experience of the path that matters. The bliss that we experience during this path is the experience of realization, samadhi.”

“Tittibhasana” Pose by Jennifer Miller

From “Bhagavad Gita Demystified” by Nithyananda Paramahamsa

Twenty Years Later: “I Feel Your Pain…But Not My Own”

By Jennifer Miller

The year 2012 will be remembered for many important events and  happenings. Two of the biggest are the London Olympics and our own Presidential Election on November 6. But 2012 is also significant in that it has been 20 years since President Bill Clinton made his famous statement in March 1992:

“I feel your pain.”

While it is very difficult to feel another person’s pain, or suffering, unless you have “walked in their shoes”, we can all feel our own emotions, including pain. But why is it that so few people are actually able or willing to feel real emotions?

Do the activities and distractions in our lives numb our inner feelings?

Is it our culture of overconsumption, where we overeat and overspend, and in the extreme, abuse alcohol and drugs?

People are often afraid to go inward and truly connect with their real, raw emotions. It exposes us and makes us vulnerable…but also makes us more authentic. And humble. Getting to the real cause of personal pain and anger can often involve nothing more that looking at ourselves as we are now, not at who we were in the past. We are not that person any more. Forgive that person or move on from that person. Benefit from the often humorous process of “observing yourself” at this very time in your life. I often feel like a stand-up comic,  with an audience of “none” as I go inward and self-reflect. But it makes me aware of the moment.

I am one with my espresso coffee machine in the morning. I am one with my two dogs while I walk them. I am one with my cutting board as I prepare vegetables for cooking.

Do I feel like saying “enough already” and want to rejoin the noisy fray? Sometimes. But to go inward is so much more rewarding. I connect with my inner feelings and shower them with positive reflections. This can often produce the little miracles and happy endings that make life worth living.

Namaste, Jennifer Miller

“How Yoga Allows Us To Master The Mental Blocks Holding Us Back In Life” By Jennifer Miller

“Vrschikasana”

As a yoga practitioner for the last 10 years, I have personally observed the mind-body connection. When I work on “inner growth”, I know that my practice will act as a mirror to my soul.

And there have been many “aha! moments”. 

The times when my ego would restrain the movement into difficult asanas; but through “Pranayama”, or the control of breathing, I was able to relax and flow like a river, expanding my ability to learn.

To remain open and let go is to find the answers that are already there.

Once, I found myself blocked and unable to complete a difficult asana for two years. It also happened that this time of frustration mirrored” a difficult time in my life, a time when I was forcing life and trying to control it.

To master and move through this asana, I would have to “trust” myself and overcome mental obstacles.

A now simple “forearm balance” created an overwhelming amount of fear inside me. My life also lacked “balance” as I was I was going through so many transitions; I was overwhelmed. My ego did not let me accept what was happening. As I observed myself and this asana, the issues became clear and I soon progressed through the asana. Yoga is a great gift to the inner workings of the mind as it connects through the body.

Namaste, Jennifer Miller