Wednesday, August 20, 2014


Hiddo / project: Clean Food

Doesn’t all sweet blissful talk of spirituality drive you nuts at times? “Tune into your heart.” “Have Compassion.” “Love yourself.” “I am in line with the universe.” Blah, blah, blah. I know. Yuck. Sometimes we feel like ‘what the fuck are you talking about’? Or well, at least I know I felt like that at one point. Those statements could almost make us feel like we are not worthy the grace and sweetness of that life, and like they are in some place that we are not capable of reaching or attaining access to. And we feel this way because these statements seem so far removed and inaccessible for incorporation into our own lives. The very first time I walked into a yoga studio, I felt like such an outcast and a reject. Everyone had their raw food snacks. Everyone smelled like sage. Everyone had mala beads and crystals in their hair. They had their shirts embossed with deities and slogans of uplifting motivation. And every time I asked a question about yoga or mediation, I felt as if I was a bother: like they were above me, and I was below. In the beginning, it was challenging for me to feel comfortable taking on the practice: but I pressed on. I didn’t want to give up. And one fateful day, I walked into my first meditation class at this same said studio. The class hadn’t even started yet and people were already meditating. Some of them were doing these seemingly odd breathing techniques with their hands on their nose. Some of them were dressed in bright orange and burgundy colored robes: as if they were dedicated to a particular practice. And that part was cool and all. I get it. Some people are uber religious and spiritual. The part that really bothered me was that I felt as if I had to be apart of that whole religious and spiritual belief to meditate; and that’s not me. All I wanted to do was meditate: simple. Why all the big production? Anyway, I decided to practice among them, and just keep to myself. I was a part of the studio, but I wasn’t of it; I didn’t let it rule me. And you know what, I learned a few nifty tricks along the way. 

I learned how to do those funky breathing techniques I now know to be called pranayama.  I learned how to sit and do simple meditation techniques that gave me the confidence and belief in myself to practice among those that are super duper adept meditators, or a beginner like me. And although I’m still no master, I feel pretty dam good about sharing the little bit that I’ve learned with the world (I know, all cheesy and shit). And you know what, I learned how to “Tune into my heart”: but I did it in my own way. When they wore spiritual robes, I wore Yohji Yamamoto and Levi’s. When they listened to “high powered” mantras, I listened to David Bowie, Jay-Z, Pink Floyd, and Lady Gaga. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I listen to those mantras too. However, I see the purpose. I get it. So now I have my own “mantras” to enhance my spiritual practice. I have my own shit that helps me tune into my heart.  

But how can we tune into our own hearts? After my battle with understanding all this stuff, it’s actually not really so complicated at all. Anyone can do it. We were born into this world with everything we need to understand ourselves. We have all the skills, talents, knowledge and techniques that are necessary for understanding that sweet power of our heart. Unfortunately, many of us have forgotten how to connect: and sometimes the practice we think we see taking place at studios can be utterly confusing. But after this meditation practice presented here, no longer will we forget: no longer will we live in the fabric of ignorance when it comes to our very own divine power dwelling inside of us.


Find a very comfortable place to sit. You can sit in a chair or on the floor. It doesn’t matter if you are in the busiest of cities, or the most quiet room in your home. You can be anywhere that allows you to find some sense of relaxation, and that allows you to feel honest and true to yourself.

When you find this place to sit, you may close your eyes or very easily gaze at the tip of your own nose. While doing this, you will do a very simple breathing technique:


Relax your stomach completely. Relax your face completely. Relax all the limbs and parts of your body completely. Give yourself about 30 to 60 seconds for your body to relax fully in the spot you have chosen to sit. 

Start to monitor the way you are breathing naturally during this 30 to 60 seconds time frame. Then start to manipulate the breathing by adding a count. You will start to count off your inhales and exhales. Start off by exhaling fully so that your body is completely empty of air. Then begin inhaling to a count of three seconds, holding your breath for a count of three seconds, and then exhaling to a count of three seconds. In total, one round should take you no more than 9-10 seconds. Start off by doing about 10 rounds. Once this becomes comfortable, you may increase the rounds to 15, 20, or more. And as your breathing capacity becomes more powerful and abundant, you may increase your inhale and exhale count to 5 seconds, 10 seconds, or even more. 

There is no limit as to how much or how long one can do with this breathing technique. However, it is imperative and of the utmost importance to start off at a basic level and increase gradually and patiently over time. No straining, no forcing. Take your time. All will come in due time.

Once your breathing really becomes strong, the power of your heart beat will become more prominent. And the more noticeable your heart beat is, the more connected you are to that power of your heart. And the more powerful that connection is internally, the more powerful that connection will become externally, and in all that you do.

What happens in your internal world will naturally begin to happen in your external world: and vice versa. The greatest of all meditation practitioners aim to make a connection between what is seen with the eyes when they are open and what is seen when the eyes are closed. 


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