Category Archives: Mindfulness

Lu Jong and the Holiday Season

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The end of the calendar year is inevitably fraught with stress for all. Between social events, family gatherings, acts of compassion and sales bonanzas it’s a wonder we can even manage to crawl into the new year!

It would seem easiest to let our self-care routines fall by the wayside – anything to carve out a couple of extra minutes of sleep or even to jam in one more errand … but no!

How often do we forget to extend the support, patience and kindness to ourselves that we so readily give to others?

“If you feel “burnout” setting in, if you feel demoralized and exhausted, it is best, for the sake of everyone, to withdraw and restore yourself. The point is to have a long-term perspective.” ~ HH Dalai Lama

Here’s a pretty easy list of why I make time for Lu Jong:

  • Lu Jong is Strengthening – The more I practice the movements the stronger I get. With regular practice I find my body stretching and flowing with ease, in addition to boosting my immune system.
  • Lu Jong is Meditative – The benefit of focusing upon movements and the breath is the ability to slow down my thoughts. All that is left is presence, feeling, breath and motion. The deeper breathing also calms my nervous system.
  • Lu Jong is Balancing – With Lu Jong I bring balance to all of the systems and elements within my body and mind, all aspects work in harmony, and in this balance I find my true strength, power and vitality.

Armed with these super powers my Holiday outlook is much more relaxed and heartfelt.

Working smarter is always better than working harder!

For UPCOMING Lu Jong Workshops and classes CLICK HERE

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Posture & Meditation

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The basic method for taming our hyperactive mind is to bring our awareness to the body and breath. When we do this, we notice that the state of our body and breathing affect our mental state and that our mental state affects our body and breathing.

This is why posture is important in meditation.

The seven point meditation posture, also known as the Seven Points of Vairocana, is commonly practiced to achieve balance in mind and body through the sitting posture. If the position of the body is correct, it will calm an agitated mind, cheer up an unhappy mind, and produce clarity in an overwhelmed mind.

– The First of the seven points of posture is to sit down, to sit on some kind of cushion. If you are flexible, you can sit in the vajra posture, which is usually known in the West as the lotus posture. But if you’re not that flexible, or you find this posture uncomfortable, or you can’t sit cross-legged at all, and you need to sit in a chair, don’t worry about it. Don’t feel that it will harm or inhibit your meditation to sit in a chair.

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– The Second point is to place your hands evenly. This is referring to the left hand being placed palm up in your lap and the right hand is placed palm up in the left. But it can also be understood as keeping our hands at the same height, such as placing them on your knees.

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– The Third point of posture is that your spine be straight. This is quite important because by keeping our back straight, we straighten out the subtle channels within our body through which our subtle winds or energies flow. This will allow our mind to relax naturally and become calm.

– The Fourth point is that the shoulders be pushed back a little bit. Here the shoulders are really just an example. It means that all parts of our body are held in a proper and wakeful posture, so that they are relaxed, but not so relaxed that the posture becomes sloppy.

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– The Fifth point is that your chin is brought back in and down. This should happen naturally by straightening your back.

– The Sixth is to touch your tongue to the palate.

– The Seventh and final point of posture is the gaze, which is what we do with our eyes. This is important because our thoughts tend to follow our gaze, or our eyes. We should be relaxed looking into space, at nothing in particular, somewhere about 16 fingers width in front of the nose.meditation-posture-drawing

Although it may be hard for beginners to get used to this classical Buddhist meditation posture, the rewards of a few sessions help the mind find peace, strength and control. It also benefits the physical body by bringing its energies into balance.

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Speech & Breath Training

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OM AH HUM Meditation

This brief mantra represents the transformative blessings of the Body, Speech & Mind of all the Buddhas. Mantra literally means ‘mind protection’.
With this mantra we request their blessings to purify our own Body, Speech & Mind.

Feel the vibrations as you chant. Feel the connection with your breath. This meditation is also very helpful for lengthening the breath as you calm the mind.

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PREPARATION

Sit comfortably and relax your body. Let your breath and energy flow naturally.
Relax your mind by letting go of any other thoughts. Don’t think “I’m meditating”, “I’m humble”, “I’m bad at this”. Don’t think anything – just BE.

Decide to keep your attention focused on the meditation for the duration of the session.

Close your eyes and envision a white OM at your third eye, a red AH at your throat, and a blue HUM at your heart.

PURIFICATION OF BODY

Concentrate on the white OM at your head and see it as the energy of the body of Buddhas and Bodhisattvas.
Make the sound “OM” and recognize it as the sound of Universal energy, the representation of enlightenment.
Visualize a white light emanating from the syllable filling your entire body with radiant, white light energy cleansing and purifying you.
FEEL it as you continue making the sound “OM” several times.
When you stop, don’t do or think anything. Remain perfectly still, aware without expectation.

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PURIFICATION OF SPEECH

Concentrate on the red AH at your throat and see it as the pure speech of Buddhas and Bodhisattvas.
Make the sound “AH” several times and recognize it as the energy of speech as you call forth the manifestation of enlightenment.
Visualize a radiant red light emanating from the syllable filling your body completely as impure elements are cleansed and purified.
Again, when done just sit and be. No need to interpret sensations.

There are two ways to meditate at this stage: One is to place strong awareness on the stillness of the mind. The other, when distractions arise, is to direct awareness of loving kindness upon yourself. You can alternate between the two.

Then, you visualize your loving kindness manifesting as a full moon at your heart.

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PURIFICATION OF MIND

At your heart, on the full moon, concentrate on the blue HUM and recognize it as the wisdom of Buddhas and Bodhisattvas manifesting enlightenment within your body.
Make the sound “HUM” several times and visualize a blue light from the moon and HUM emanating from your pure heart filling your whole body.
All indecision and narrow thoughts disappear, there is only a blissful sense of universal love and compassion.
FEEL and BE without expectations … allow your awareness to embrace all of universal reality.

Meditate like this for as long as you wish.

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CONCLUSION AND DEDICATION

There are two experiences we can achieve with this meditation: Wisdom and Method.
The Wisdom experience is the intense awareness of your own consciousness.
The Method experience comes when you get distracted, and use that as a resource to re-generate loving kindness.
When your concentration is good, place your attention on wisdom; when you are distracted, generate loving kindness (method).

Finish your meditation by dedicating the merit, or positive energy of this practice, to all sentient beings: May they too be free of suffering and its causes, and may they attain perfect peace and happiness.

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May all beings be happy, healthy and whole.
May they have love, warmth and affection.
May they be protected from harm and free from fear.
May they be alive, engaged and joyful.
May all beings enjoy inner peace and ease.
May that peace expand into their world and throughout the entire universe.

Lu Jong in The Hamptons

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An Invitation From Lu Jong ~ New York

 

What do you have to lose? …  A little STRESS ?

 

Lu Jong is an ancient Tibetan movement practice from the Tantrayana and Bon traditions with origins dating as far back as 8,000 years.  It is a form of Meditation in Motion.

Join us in the incomparable Hamptons for a special opportunity to learn how this gentle practice can have a positive effect upon your Body and Mind!

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Learn the Movements of The Five Elements, a sequence that nurtures the spine in addition to removing energy blockages from your chakras as you focus and calm the mind.

This gentle yet powerful practice is designed to be accessible to all ages and abilities … no prior knowledge is necessary.

 

WHERE?   GOOD GROUND YOGA Hampton Bays, NY

WHEN?  THURSDAY, JULY 286:30 TO 7:45 PM

 

Need More Info? Joelle@LuJongNewYork.com

Lu Jong at Tibet House US, NYC

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Lu Jong Yoga & Meditation – NYC

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Satisfy your curiosity and see what Lu Jong is all about!

When:  Friday, August 22nd ~ 7 – 9 pm

Where:  Tibet House US, NYC

More Deets:  http://tibethouse.us/programs/full-calendar/view/706615/114

 

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TOWARD AN AWAKENED HEART

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I once read a quote that really stayed with me:

“…The conceit of self is challenged and eroded not only by the circumstances of our lives but also by our willingness to meet those circumstances with grace rather than with fear.”

When word spread in the village of a beloved teacher’s failing health and impending death, well wishers gathered to pay their last respects and to honor him. Streams of people extolled his kindness, patience, eloquence and compassion.

The Master listened and smiled weakly as the visitors seemed to go on for hours. Finally, his wife noticed he was growing restless and asked that he be allowed to rest. Turning to her husband, she asked what was bothering him remarking that such wonderful things were being said about him.

“Yes,” he replied “It was all wonderful … But did you notice that no one mentioned my humility?”

The ‘conceit of self’ is said to be the last of the great obstacles on the path to full awakening. Cleverly disguised as humility, empathy, or virtue, conceit can appear as feelings of being worse than, equal to, or better than others. This in turn gives rise to the messy and jumbled world of comparisons, judgements, jealousies and insecurities.

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Hmmm …

Superiority Conceit is easy to grasp: Basically, this is where we consider ourselves better or worthier than others – it builds upon our appearance and achievements.
Who hasn’t (even for a split second) noticed a fellow meditator shifting positions on their cushion as we congratulate ourselves for remaining stoically still?
Or how about that great story we are itching to share, the one that highlights some ‘wonderful’ personal achievement, or quality we possess, only to discover our audience couldn’t be less interested?
In its obvious form conceit displays as arrogance and self-righteousness. There are also more subtle versions such as the immutable belief in our ‘rightness’ – which in turn blocks our ability to receive criticism or to truly listen to another person.

Inferiority Conceit is one everyone can relate to: Feelings of unworthiness, of ‘not being good enough’, which have become a common aspect of our competitive culture.  Oddly this conceit also builds upon our appearance AND the mental laundry list we keep of all the mistakes we have ever made.
This is the domain of envy, resentment, fear and blame … further reinforcing our belief in an ‘imperfect’ self.
Moments of personal progress are ‘mistakes or flukes’, achievements are the prizes of the ‘more perfect’ others.
When we break out of this cycle of self-judgement we develop our self-confidence and can see that each person, in each moment, has an equal possibility for joy, the capacity for compassion, and a potential awakening on their path.

Equality Conceit is not subject to the Goldilocks Principle one would assume: Here we fall into the realm of mediocrity. Why bother? Don’t we all share the same flaws and delusions? There’s a lazy comfort with this outlook, ‘sameness’ means we don’t need to strive toward higher goals alone … “Misery loves Company”.
When we notice that someone falls asleep during a teaching, suddenly we feel better about ourselves because we feel the same way. It’s reassuring to observe ‘apparently’ happier or more successful persons (than ourselves) and to focus on their flaws to somehow justify our own struggles.
Who hasn’t seen the chuckles when a celebrity trips and falls on stage at an awards ceremony?
The downside of this attitude is a constant sense of disappointment and cynicism about human nature.


Conceit perpetuates the dualities of “self” and “others” by taking the stories and identities we build for ourselves and using them as the foundation for how we relate with others and the world.

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To break out of these cycles takes hard work along with the courage to use each ‘conceit’ moment as a chance to practice mindfulness and restraint.

Life can be unpredictable, and as such, gives us many opportunities to practice letting go of control with sprinklings of hardships, illnesses, and other obstacles.

But it’s OK to face the limits of our powers and to let Life happen, because in doing so we learn to cultivate a heart that can unconditionally welcome all things.

Student: “What is the secret to your happiness and equanimity?”

Teacher: “A wholehearted, unrestricted cooperation with the unavoidable.”

This is the Heart of Mindfulness and Compassion.  This is an Awakened Heart.