resources for beginners and experienced students
This page was designed with love and intention—filled with resources to help you learn and embody the foundational essentials of creating a daily meditation practice. Simply click each button above to efficiently access the resource you desire.
how to practice
Meditation? Where do I start?
It is a very good question; yet, the simplicity of it, is unbearably uncomfortable.
Dipping into wordlessness gets easier with practice. The first few times you attempt to sit in stillness might cause you to feel anxious, like you're doing it wrong because your inner chatter is very loud.
This is normal.
Be an observer - the seer of your experience
Rather than attach yourself to an ideal, remind yourself to simply be an observer. Watch your thoughts. If you can see and observe something, it means you cannot be that. Thoughts are interesting flashes of creative energy that when believed by the self, shape and form your structure of reality. However, most of the thoughts floating through your consciousness are old tapes running on autopilot being generated by your belief systems stored in the subconscious. Its a powerful practice to first observe the thoughts, and their themes, but from a place of curiosity rather then judgement. For it will be the inner experience of self-judgement that will keep you in a state of suffering. Eventually, you will come to understand that your thoughts are programs/information codes, and serve a purpose for manifesting specific experiences; yet you are the continuous stream of presence that is aware of the thoughts.
feel and sense the body
There are many forms arising in our consciousness within each moment to pay attention to. Feeling the sensations in your body with each deliberate inhale and exhale is helpful to anchor into the present moment - which is where the true self resides. Keep anchoring your attention on to what is present in space and time - the body, breath, and sensations, in order to focus the wandering mind.
Take a few minutes everyday to land in the present moment:
BE still - consciously. This stillness of the physical body will create a neuro-biological shift in the brain that will cultivate expanded states of consciousness.
Be the 'seer' of your experiences. See the thoughts as programs running, like old tapes of recoded codes. You do not need to change anything that is happening in your experience, only to see the current programs running. If there are no thoughts arising - be aware of that as well.
Stay aware of your physical stillness, and of the experiencer experiencing the programs of the mind.
Shift into feeling and sensing your body. This act of feeling the body sensations, rather then thinking about the body, will automatically get you present.
At the end of your sit, for a few minutes, connect with the energy housed in the sacred heart center and awaken gratitude. The grateful heart sits the closest to the riches of the Universe.
"The Ego conceals, whereas awareness reveals" - David R Hawkins
The mind and body reflect one another. If either feels balanced, the other will too. To provide a safe space for your mind to unfold, create a safe comfortable space for your body—and this doesn't take much. You can sit in a chair, on the floor, on a cushion. You want your spine to feel elongated and properly aligned. Let your head float gently upwards while your shoulders melt down. If you slump or slouch, your mind will most likely wander; or you may fall asleep.
There is no need to over-dramatize or regulate this. Simply breathe deeply and deliberately. With your mind's eye, try to observe your breath entering as it enters the body and releases from the body. If your mind feels like a carnival, just notice the activity. Try not to attach to it. Let it be what it is. Meditation is not about control. It is about acceptance. Accept yourself right where you are. Then re-connect your awareness with the tide of your breath.
Strong emotions move through the body in natural waves of sensation. The energy of emotions can spin stories that we attach to, thus agitating the mind. The amazing thing about emotions is they don't actually last much longer than 90-seconds. But how can this be? When you allow emotions to move through you as energetic waves—without resistance, obstruction, or avoidance—they dissolve quickly. It is the resisting of our emotions that causes them to chase us and beg for our attention. When you experience a strong emotion, listen to your inner body. Where do you feel it? Go there. Be with it. Stay with it. Let the emotion be what it is separate from the stories your mind desires to attach to it. Notice what happens.
Silence is restorative. However, for newcomers this might feel uncomfortable. Gentle music or binaural beats can enrich a meditation session as can vocal guidance from a skilled teacher. If you'd like to try a free recording CLICK HERE. If you'd like to expand your guided meditation library CLICK HERE.
If you would like to create a sacred physical space have an alter for your meditation practice, that is a beautiful option. Your alter can display personally meaningful items that help visually and energetically connect you with your most authentic nature. Crystals, flowers, candles, incense, photos, deities...design your alter for you. Sometimes the use of outer forms helps to awaken inner qualities of reverence and peace.
how to use the recordings
Find a time where you will not be disturbed for 40 minutes
Lie down on your back with a pillow under your head, place something under your knees like a pillow or bolster if you need, cover yourself with warm clothing, and cover the eyes with an eye mask if you desire to block out all light
Rest your hands to the sides of your body, palms upwards, legs hip width apart
Close your eyes, relax your body completely, maintain awareness of my voice as best as you can throughout the practice
The secret is to maintain a relaxed awareness of the instructions as the body enters a profound state of relaxation (even sleep)
A very transformational ingredient is the Sankalpa. Read below in order to use this practice to its full potential
The foundation: Sankalpa
You will be guided to state your sankalpa three times during the practice. Near the beginning and at the end. It is important to keep your same sankalpa each time you practice in order to focus energy towards it and for repetition.
The sankalpa is mentally repeated 3 times when the brain is predominantly in alpha waves. This is when the mind is most receptive to accept new information. The analytic mind is quieted at this time so the message/code goes straight into the subconscious realm where all the programs of our belief systems are stored.
The secret is to stay awake and aware, as the brain shifts to a quieter brain state, and the body enters the sleep cycle. When our awareness is no longer attached to the senses or the body, it becomes very powerful. Essentially, any where we place our attention consciously, energy will flow. We have the power to go right into our operating system (subconscious mind) and tweak and update any information (programming) that is outdated and self sabotaging. But we must train ourselves to stay aware in such subtle states in order to do this inner work.
Some examples of Sankalpa are:
I am healthy in mind and body
I am free
I am confident
I am valued
I am true to myself
I am peaceful
I am kind
I am compassionate
I am awakened to my authentic self
I am self realized
I am radiant
I am a creator
I am happy
I am safe
I am self-loving
I am abundant
Sankalpa: encoded destiny—resolution in life
This is perhaps the most transformational aspect of Yoga Nidra.
You enter the gates of your own creation story and choose to realize an attribute of your destiny. Your Sankalpa is like a seed that holds all the information of the future destiny of what it might become.
During the practice of yoga nidra, you will be tracking time in quieter brain states. These brain states correspond with more expansive states of consciousness where the mind is most receptive to accept new information,thus shifting and altering internal patterns of brain that then transform external reality and perceptions.
Secrets to making your Sankalpa efficient:
1) You must have a burning desire for it to be realized
2) Your mind must be relaxed and focused on it- analytical mind quiet (alpha brain waves)
3) It must be stated in present tense (I am….), it must be positive, and concise
4) Feel the truth of it with your heart and as many senses as you can
5) Keep the same sankalpa until it is realized in your waking reality
Understanding Brain States
Each brain state we naturally cycle through during our wake/sleep cycles correlates to specific experiences. For example, when we are focused and interested in something we are doing, we are functioning in a low beta brain state. We use our 5 senses to make sense of our physical world. We can creatively problem solve, analyze, use reason, make mindful decisions based on our visions and aspirations, and pay attention to what we are doing. When we are functioning in a high beta brain state, we are stressed, overwhelmed, and anxious. We are our least intelligent, we make limited choices based on our past conditioning and fear based programs (our senses only pull in information that our subconscious programming allows for), we are preoccupied with 'time' and the details of our life, and only see our obstacles. In this brain state, WE CANNOT HEAL OURSELVES. When we are dreaming at night and identified as the dreamer, we are in a theta brain state. We explore multi-dimensional realms of the sub and unconscious mind landscape. The outer physical world is tuned out, and the vast inner world becomes illuminated. We are in touch with all realities occupying the same space. There is 'no time' and that is why our dreams seem so scattered and confusing. When we are in deep dreamless sleep, it is a delta brain state.
The brain state that is perhaps the least cultivated and consciously used by us is the Alpha brain state. All contemplative and spiritual teachings understand this state to be quite magical, and base all practices around cultivating it. During an alpha brain state, the body is totally relaxed (perhaps even asleep) and the mind is tranquil yet awake. During this state, HEALING IS PERMITTED, and our faculty of awareness is isolated from identification with any form/object. This means that we have the power to observe everything we are identified with and believe to be our truth. When the analytical mind is quiet, we can consciously go into our operating system (the subconscious mind), and edit, and update programs that are creating our belief systems.
An Alpha brain state is where we can experience our authentic self that is not attached to the personality or our environment, and it is the optimal state for reprogramming the mind, and for healing.
Because we are trained to fall asleep and lose consciousness when the body is deeply relaxed, we rarely have an opportunity to know who we are as unbounded consciousness.
Meditative techniques, such as yoga nidra are powerful practices that focus on tracking more linear time in the 'no-time' brain state of alpha, and provide opportunities to consciously explore subtler realms of existence.
We naturally cycle through an alpha state when we are falling asleep at night and waking up in the morning. But we are not skilled or trained in cultivating awareness during these sacred transitions and miss many moments where we can co-create our reality.
If we understood how to use these natural cycles more efficiently, our reality would shift dramatically to align with our dreams and aspirations.
"To be awakened across all states of consciousness IS self-realization"
The 5 Koshas
According to ancient wisdom teachings, we are multi-dimensional beings with the ability and birthright to experience awareness on different energetic planes. Traditional yogic wisdom teaches us to expand our awareness to awaken to the five fields of our consciousness in order to know thy self.
Each energy field is called a kosha, which means 'sheath' in Sanskrit. All the Koshas are nested together like an intricate web of pure intelligence.
The physical body. The densest part of us. Comprised of matter, as we know it.
The energy that holds our physical matter together and governs our biological processes.
The part of our being that guides our senses and reflexes by governing our sensory and motor activities.
Encompasses the higher mind, free will, intellect, and conscience. Guides how we react to the world and make choices.
The thinnest veil between our normal awareness and our blissful essence.
awareness vs. visualization
Awareness is the act of observing our experience and all the fluctuations and forms within our consciousness but not being involved. No manipulation of our experience.
The witnessing capacity of our mind is a hidden dimension of our intelligence beneath superficial thinking that is always present yet usually unrecognized.
This inborn aspect of our consciousness is not numb, indifferent, unemotional or cold-hearted. This aspect of observing ourself is full of compassion and peace because the polarities of life and the dualistic nature of mind (like loss and gain, fame and shame, success and failure) are understood to be expressions of the same energy. Neither duality is better or worse, just a different experience of our consciousness.
It is the nature of lower mind to consistently cast opposition on the experience; thus categorizing it as painful or pleasurable. It is our work to reach higher states of consciousness where we understand that all dualistic experiences when not judged serve as growth and expansion of self.
It is the judgement and meaning we give to our experiences that create our mental suffering.
So, If we can be aware of something (ie. thoughts, emotions, personality, behaviour, actions, energetic vibe), only then can we change it. We cannot change any behaviour we are unaware of.
In yoga nidra, we track time in presence (pure awareness). A state of being without any judgement, labeling, categorizing, analysis, or reasoning, just pure attentiveness (this is experienced when the analytical mind is quiet, and any separation or duality of experience is silenced).
Visualization is being actively involved with our experience through intention. Conscious manipulation of our experience in a positive and creative way. We can equally visualize ourselves into a state of health, or a state of dis-ease. It is a choice (yet quite often unconscious) of the creative mind.
Mastery of mind involves using our higher intelligence centers (our incredible gift of imagination) to consciously create health, positive relations, and overall well being. If we absolutely believe in what we are internally creating, the brain will take it on as truth and the neuronal pathways that support this vision will be structured.
The untrained mind is unconsciously creating disharmony and disease by destructive visualization of fear based patterns. We do not understand that we are not our limiting programs and low vibrational thought forms. As we identify ourselves with these forms within our consciousness we are essentially telling our mind/body system to continue to create this experience for me.
And there is a time in the practice where we are guided to use our higher creative centres to consciously visualize, which provides a sense of how powerful we are and can be (if we learn how to use our super powers). For everything that is in manifested form today was once a conceived idea (latent in the unmanifest).
Both cultivation of awareness and visualization are necessary and important. But it is helpful to know when we are using our awareness, and when we are consciously visualizing and manipulating our experience within our consciousness for manifestation.
releasing stored impressions
Every experience we have had in this lifetime (and in simultaneous lifetimes) is recorded/stored energetically into our memory (our subconscious/unconscious realms of our existence). Because everything is connected (the Law of One), our subconscious mind can also be understood as our physical body. So our body is the storehouse of our life’s creation story.
We can be consciously aware of about 5-7 things in every moment, so what happens to the abundance of data that we are not consciously focused on? Its imprinted into the subconscious field.
We may think that because we are not aware of certain experiences that happened in childhood, we are emotionally untouched by those memories. However, our subconscious mind operates in no-time. What does this mean? The beliefs we created based on learnings and experiences we had in childhood or beyond, are always in effect because our subconscious mind is in present moment. Only our conscious mind is functioning in linear time.
So, just because we are not aware of our past conditionings, does not mean we are free from them. Our entire past is influencing our current perception. If we do not heal and release these stored and latent energetic impressions from the ‘unseen’ realm, we will not be acting and living in alignment with our higher nature.
During the practice of yoga nidra, because we are tracking so much time in ‘no-time’, we can go spelunking in the deeper recesses of mind and allow for these unlived experiences (which are stored as energies: images, colours, archetypes, sensations) to surface without any personal identification, objection, or judgement, and let the energy flow again. In a relaxed state of awareness, this is very possible and big work. Essentially, freeing ourselves from our karmic debt, which enables our perception to be a cleaner version of our divine self.
Perceptions and beliefs are how we make sense of our world. From a very young age we have learned and observed ways of being that has created an internal map of reality that we then stay confined within. Our core truths about who we are and why we are here, are a reflection of our major influences at that time (yet not limited to only this incarnation). Science, religion, culture, society, family, teachers, and mass consciousness all play a major role in how we interpret our world.
Beliefs act as data filters on how we take in information to understand our world, how we perceive our options, and how we feel about ourselves and others. Much of our suffering is created by believing our false thoughts, which create feelings of separation, unworthiness and fear, which are fueled by our beliefs that aren’t even ours in the first place.
By specifically identifying and re-programming our core limiting beliefs, we are able to remove self-imposed limitations and align our inner and outer experience with fresh beliefs that allow for a more fulfilling life experience.
Freeing yourself of your own conditioning is possible if you have a belief system that allows for it. The wisdom teachings have known this all along. Now, science is beginning to validate this truth.
The first step in elevating one's belief system is identifying core beliefs—which are often unconscious and impossible to bring into focus alone. With the guidance and ‘download’ of one of my mentors, I can help identify anyone’s core beliefs.
Either in person, or by a photo via email, I can access this information, which is stored in the akash (the field). Once you know how you're wired, you can begin untangling your present reality to construct a new one. To receive this assistance in a private session, CLICK HERE. To work with me in a class or workshop, CLICK HERE.
I provide my students with yoga nidra’s and meditations designed to sacredly support this process.