IN BLOOM :: DAY 1 :: ADREANNA LIMBACH

It's official :: Spring has arrived, and now our first day of meditation has too.  

I'm so looking forward to practicing with you over the next 14 Days. 

Today we're kicking off our inaugural practice by starting with the roots :

Our Intention.

So often-- as the busy people that we are-- it can be easy to fall into the ACTION of something without first having a heart to heart with ourselves around why we're engaging, and how we want to show up in the process. 

So for today's practice, we're going to begin by doing just that: 

creating a bit of space for ourselves to ask not just what we want to achieve-- but how we want to participate-- and the feeling tone that we would like to infuse into the weeks ahead. 

It reminds me of something one of my favorite artists--the Brazilian mastermind Vik Muniz--once said when asked about his creative process:

"The really magical things are the ones that happen right in front of you. A lot of the time you keep looking for beauty, but it is already there. And if you look with a bit more intention, you can see it."

Because it's our first day together, I'm leading us in with a longer introduction than usual -- also, I was just pretty excited to welcome you to this series. 

If you want to skip my introduction and get right to the cushion, you can forward the video to the 6 minute and 40 second mark. 

Just grab a comfortable seat, and perhaps a pen + paper to capture your own insights after meditation, and click the video ABOVE. 

As the old Irish blessing goes: 

May the sun shine warm upon your face, and the rains fall soft upon your fields. 

Welcome to In Bloom.

IN BLOOM :: DAY 2 :: ADREANNA LIMBACH

Good morning, and welcome to your meditation practice for Day #2!

And what a fine day for this practice it is. 

In the book All About Love, cultural critic and all around shero bell hooks mentions that one of the reasons why it may be so difficult to talk about love -- along with sharing love + receiving love -- is that we don't have a mutually agreed upon definition of what love IS. 

For every 100 people, we may find ourselves with 100 different definitions and expressions of love.

No wonder it's so easy for the wires to get crossed in translation.

So she does the honors in this gemstone of a book, of proposing a working definition of love; as a means of giving the reader some context going forward.

LOVE : "The will to extend oneself for the purpose of nurturing one's own or another's spiritual growth." Lovely, no?

On a similar note, today's practice begins by proposing a working definition for what we're doing on the cushion in meditation, which was laid out by the masterful teacher + Western meditation pioneer, Jon Kabat-Zinn.

It's one part definition, one part pithy instruction manual; and a similarly lovely way of giving our practice a little context. 

If you want to skip my introduction and get right to the action, you can forward the video to the 5 minute and 30 second mark. 

Just grab a comfortable seat, and perhaps a pen + paper to capture your own insights after meditation, and click the video ABOVE. 

IN BLOOM :: DAY 3 :: SYDNEY ROSE

Hello 14 Day Family, 

Sydney Rose here, and Welcome to Day 3 of In Bloom.

For our first day of practice together, we’re meditating in one of my favorite places: by the water at Lake Mahkeenac. 

This weekend, I’m assisting down the road at Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health, and thinking back to the first time that I came here. I was a participant for a week-long retreat.
Even as a seasoned meditator, the idea of surrendering to the practice and the process of meditation for such a long period of time made me nervous. It was truly a journey into the unknown.

Coming to the water here felt peaceful. Water is a symbol of the mystical and the unrevealed within. While we can see our reflections from above, what’s happening in the depths is often a mystery.
It’s true of our hearts and minds too. There’s more going on beneath the surface than we could know by first glance.

Even though not all of us move as fluidly when swimming as we do on land, we need water for the growth we associate with Spring. Watersheds are incredibly important and nourishing for all living beings on the planet. 


Our reflection today is a reminder: we all rely on forces beyond our full comprehension to go about our daily lives.
In practice, it’s courageous to embrace not knowing. It’s only when we learn to leave the safety of the beach, letting go of what we think we know that we can have a truly new, deep and nurturing experiences in meditation.

PS - If you’re into meditating together and seeing the lake up close, check the Kripalu schedule for my upcoming retreat with Kevin Griffin.
We’re co-teachers for 5 days starting on November 11th.

IN BLOOM :: DAY 4:: ADREANNA LIMBACH

Welcome to your practice for day #4. 

I'm excited to be back with you for practice as we continue to explore opening up to ourselves -- our whole selves--  on the cushion. 

(So that perhaps we might become more open towards ourselves off the cushion, too.) 

If you've ever had the experience of sitting down to meditate only to find your mind racing, darting, drifting or wandering -- you're in really good company. 

In traditional Buddhist stories and texts, the unsettled mind is often equated to a wild beast -- a monkey, a feral boar, and an untamed horse being some of the more common analogies for our unruly + chattering minds. 

I personally like to think of my mind as being similar to a rowdy toddler -- aka: Max from Where the Wild Things Are-- tugging at my pant leg for my attention, throwing brief but powerful tantrums, and chasing every shiny thing that enters the room. 

For today's practice, I offer us all 3 simple phrases to extend to ourselves in the moments when our attention goes feral, and it's time to return to the breath in a loving but firm way. 

*Think: benevolent stewardship

It's also a wonderful practice for beginning to shift the way that we speak to ourselves on --and off-- the cushion. 

If you want to skip my introduction and get right to the action, you can forward the video to the 2 minute and 30 second mark. 

Just grab a comfortable seat, and perhaps a pen + paper to capture your own insights after meditation, and click the video below. 

Let the Wild Rumpus Start. 

IN BLOOM :: DAY 5 :: SYDNEY ROSE

Welcome to Day 5 of In Bloom. This is Sydney Rose, and I'm so looking forward to sharing practice today. 

The weather in NYC is absolutely beautiful and I hope it’s warm where you are too! In celebration, we’re sharing the sunlight by spending some time outside before we meditate. 

And I brought two small gifts for our time together! They’ll help us answer this riddle:

What is the difference between a flower and a weed?

The relationship between these two plants could shine a whole new light on how you look at your thoughts.

Most humans spend an incredible amount of time worrying, planning, fantasizing, managing, and judging. The number one thing that I hear from people when they first start meditating is that they can’t stop thinking!

Luckily, we don’t have to stop.

But it’s true that we often find ourselves in thought loops that feel protective, or promise us great returns if we just… keep… thinking. We’ll figure it out. Even deep thoughts about the meaning of life can make us forget that life is not a metaphor, taking us away from reality, from the warmth of the sun and from the present moment.

By nature, thinking takes up a lot of space in our consciousness.

Obsessive thoughts can make us feel things or even trigger unconscious cycles of behavior that we regret. How can we tell which thoughts are helpful? And at what level can we work obsessive thoughts skillfully?

It turns out there’s a way to powerfully change your thinking at a very deep level, without even engaging it directly. And it starts with a deep breath.

May the thoughts you think today be of benefit to all living beings.

IN BLOOM :: DAY 6 :: ADREANNA LIMBACH

Good Morning! And welcome to your practice for Day #6. 

Today we're rounding the bend a bit, and beginning to open up a bit further; not only to our own interior landscape, but also to the world around us. 

As Vera Brittain, the British writer and pacifist once wrote:

"There is an abiding beauty which may be appreciated by those who will see things as they are-- And who will ask for no reward except to see." 

In other words, there's beauty everywhere. A whole boatload of it. But in order to appreciate it, we first have to be open to it. Or, as the old adage goes--be willing to stop and smell the roses.

Easier said then done, especially when the phone is pinging text messages, and we're on deadline, and we forgot to pick up dinner on the way home. I get it.  And also, this is why we practice. 

In today's practice, we're going to get a little more sensible -- aka: open to our senses -- as a means of coming into contact with what is happening around us in a moment to moment way. 

No filter. No distractions. Full contact with the roses. Or whatever your equivalent may be. 

If you have a tendency to speed through the day, or slip into autopilot while moving from one thing to the next, welcome to being human. And also this practice is for you. 

Meditation begins at 2 minutes and 20 seconds.

Just grab a comfortable seat, and perhaps a pen + paper to capture your own insights after meditation, and click the video ABOVE. 

IN BLOOM:: DAY 7 :: SYDNEY ROSE

Welcome to Day 7 of In Bloom.
This is Sydney Rose, and I'm looking forward to sharing practice with you again today. Happy Halfway Point! 

Today we’re meeting in Prospect Park for a meditation on allowing ourselves to embrace the spirit of spring.
But why is that we aren’t already completely open? Why can’t we always feel the warmth of the sun, even when it’s all around us?

Being here with all of the people, animals, sounds and movement, I really see it: Transformation can be just as unsettling as it is beautiful.

One of my favorite people sometimes talks about periods of intense growth making him feel like “caterpillar soup.” It’s that time when we’re dissolving into a cocoon, unsure of what comes next and allowing ourselves to be reworked. Impermanence is part of life and spring.
The season’s emphasis on new life can remind us that we’re all in motion.

In order to stay truly present for our lives, we have to learn welcome these comings and goings more fully. In order to truly appreciate spring, we have to know winter.
How can we relax into our slot in the wheel of life? With practice. Get ready to practice a radically inclusive form of meditative welcoming.

See you on the cushion!