All posts tagged: Meditation

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While Writing a Book About Self Worth, I Had to Learn How to Practice It

Earlier this summer, after learning a writing teacher I wanted to study with in Cape Cod wasn’t available, I asked my literary coach and yoga instructor, Lisa Weinert, to help me put together a personalized writing retreat that I could enjoy at home in New York City. Instead of escaping to spend time writing in some remote bucolic place, I’d find peace in the chaos of Manhattan. I spend a lot of time focusing on fleeing where I live in order to get in touch with — or to reclaim — another part of myself. And although I love a good island or mountain vacation, all too many times I’ve come home and the sense of peace I enjoyed evaporates as I try to shove my suitcases onto the closing doors of the subway after a long flight home.  It was ironic. I spent so much time dreaming about visiting other places, but here I was, planning more time in the thick August heat of New York City while everyone else was dreaming of the …

30 Minutes in the Dark, with Needles

What does it take to get me to really sit still and shut up? Being immobilized by needles and electrodes in a dark room, apparently. No, this was not some wild and wretched sounding 50 Shades of Grey moment, just an attempt to alleviate a very un-sexy inflamed tendon in my hand with a 30-minute acupuncture session. Being rendered basically useless and left alone with my thoughts made me realize that apart from going to sleep at night, it’s rare that I take time to really simmer down. I think that almost everyone has this problem, but perhaps mothers are most guilty of not taking proper quiet time. Be still! We tell children to do it all the time, but most of us can’t get the hang of it. We often read to relax, or watch television to try and zone out, but we are actually filling our heads with more information; and exercise or yoga, as wonderful as they are, are all about bodies in motion. I am talking about the full-on Zen of …

What’s Your System: How I Prepare To Sing

(Photo Courtesy: Nora York /Norayork.com) Who: Nora York, New York vocalist and composer. System: Before a show I try and do some yoga, I do my digital pranayama and I take a bath, if I can. I like a bath. And then I usually try and do some kind of meditation. I like to apply my makeup while listening to (the late) Irish tenor John McCormack. I listen to the stuff he recorded with just piano, not with orchestra. Why John McCormack? He has the most clear emotional delivery of singing and I find him incredibly inspiring. Songs like, “Off to Philadelphia in the morning…” LISTEN And then sometimes I’ll listen to Jimi Hendrix. That’s quite different. And now that I’m blind, well, older, I have to wear glasses. But I don’t like to wear them for the stage. So I apply my contact lenses, I have special ones for the stage which are bifocal. And it takes me a really long time to put them in. How long have you been wearing them? I convinced the Chinese …

What the Labyrinth Taught Me: Meditation is Possible, Even If You Hate It

(Photo Courtesy Jack Dorsey) When I first learned that prayer and meditation were paramount to getting sober (via a traditional 12-step program), I knew I was doomed. That alone was enough to make me flee from AA meetings eight years ago. (Though I’ve since returned, it took a while.) I grew up in New York City. I’ve always felt comfortable in chaos. Silence scares me (or it used to, at least), so I was none too eager to sit in that silence, for who knows how long, in an effort to find my “inner peace.” Honestly, I was afraid I’d find out what I was pretty much already certain of — that it didn’t exist. As a kid, religion was not a part of my life. Neither of my parents practiced or taught me any particular beliefs. Though I’ve always felt that there is something bigger than us making the world go round, I didn’t think there was any need for me to tap into whatever that something was. Quite frankly, I believed it was …

6 Moments of Shush: How TueNight Tunes Out

What’s your moment of Shush? That time when all feels quiet, calm and still. Perhaps you can breathe a little better. Or maybe you forget about the crazy day ahead and instead feel completely present in the moment you are in. It’s not easy and it doesn’t always come naturally, but it’s possible — and can be incredibly rewarding. We asked six TueNight contributors and friends to share some of their own Zen-esque experiences. 1. The Paintbox: “I’m a set designer, and sometimes I get up really early and go to the theater to paint. I get hours of complete silence. Nobody comes in until at least eight a.m. or later, and by that time I have gone home to wake my kids up. Getting up in the middle of the night has become my best source of privacy. #BenefitofNightSweats.” – Molly Eness 2. The Daily Pause: “After the hideous alarm clock goes off (and the subsequent snooze alert 10 minutes later), I try not to bolt from bed. Instead, I take a few minutes …