Forest bathing, tenderness revolution and mindfulness with a baby: Friday meditation news and blogs

I “forest bathe” daily in my backyard. I go out barefooted and walk on the earth. I often lay on the ground and meditate as well. I also use the trees in our yard to do stretches. I feel drawn to do this and it’s become part of my practice. Feeling the earth just feels good:

Tricycle » “Forest bathing” keeps you healthyTricycle Studies show that spending more time in natural settings—forests, parks, and places with trees—improves the immune system. According an article in the New York Times, this is due to both stress reduction and chemicals that plants emit to protect them from rotting and insects called phytoncides. Exposure to phytoncides appears to lower blood pressure, pulse rate, and cortisol (a stress hormone), among other things. read the rest

Just thought this was beautiful and true.

A Revolution of Tenderness — Unabashedly Female –Somewhere within each of us is a place that dominates and condemns – others and ourselves. This place is the most tender of places, because, it fears tenderness, yet longs to be showered with it. This place learned to dominate early. It learned to condemn and judge at an early age. When tenderness was what this place was longing for, instead it received judgment. Somewhere this place believes judgment and condemnation are the best way to be strong in an unsafe world; yet, if you check-in closely, what’s really going on is a longing to be touched with tender hands, to be seen, really seen, with tender eyes, and to be held and embraced by the most tender places of the heart. Hence, it is in your own self-interest to be tender.

We may fear being tender and loving will be seen as weak by those that continue to shower our beautiful world with hate, violence, oppression and greed. And as long as we see it as being weak, they will. When we know the strength of tenderness as a gift to ourselves, and when we see the powerful effects of the offering of tenderness to another, the perspective that ‘tenderness is weakness’ can begin to shift. read whole post here

I’ve never had a child but this is lovely and for all of my readers who may have children.

Shambhala SunSpace » Mindfulness with Baby: Yes, it’s possible!

Life practice — day-to-day mindfulness with baby — is alive and well, and… perhaps more profound than I ever would have imagined. And here’s how it works.

  • I’m mindful when I breastfeed. That’s a no brainer. There’s not a lot you can do while breastfeeding. You’re just sort of sitting there. So I tune into her breathing or my own breathing, trying to have no agenda, to just be. I attend to the little slurps and my own blissy feelings. I try to reel my mind back when it goes astray, but often, since she’s so damn present (and occasionally pinches me if I space out), mindful “breath-feeding” has become second nature.
  • I’m mindful when I walk. I take walks with her in a sling. Up and down the street, through my neighborhood. When she’s awake it’s challenging as she needs to interact with every dog we encounter. But when she sleeps, I enter my body. My consciousness slips down into my feet and legs. My back-body comes alive. I enter a state of full presence and we walk together in mindfulness.
  • I meditate when I change her millionth poopy diaper. As I lean over to drop a soiled diaper in the bucket I feel my body, notice my hand against her to protect her from rolling off the table, mindfully connect with the physical act. I notice my mindstate, am I agitated? Am I hoping she doesn’t wriggle and fuss? Am I thinking of something else? Am I present or miles away?
  • I’m mindful when I’m simply observing her. When she turns and twists and rolls and explores, I bring my awareness into my body and also include her. So I am not rigidly focusing on her, but letting her be a part of the larger field—while staying in my internal seat. She seems so naturally mindful—I just attune to her. read whole post here

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