Meditative Herbal Smoke: Opening the Mandala of the Mind
Meditative Herbal Smoke: Opening the Mandala of the Mind
Breathe. In, Out — In, Out…
You’re a son or daughter of the Earth. The Sky believes in you. You’ve got this.
Want in on a little secret? You’re not the only one going nuts spiraling this blue ocean marble around the sun, especially these days. As the Cheshire Cat says with a grin — and only a grin, because sometimes a grin’s all there is to a cat — “We’re all mad here.”
Most of us spent the last year and some change locked inside, talking to ourselves and our Cheshire Cats, disappearing and reappearing in the tall redwood trees of our minds.
Covid. Climate change. Capitalist Anthrax. Let’s face it. You’re not imagining things: This towering world of Babylon can feel out to get you and eat you alive.
But there’s a cure — quieting the mind. All you have to do is open it and listen.
Meditation is the breath, the mandala of mental essence metamorphosing the daily into wings of the divine. As Ram Dass laid out in his 3 word sentence doorway to the mind: “Be here now.”
Welcome to your mind, the mental moment cooking in all the cerebellum of serenity. Here’s a guide to meditation to help you discover the rebirth of the self.
The Science of Serenity
Meditation isn’t a Beatles record played backwards until Paul is dead. It’s not all hippie hocus pocus and patelouie oil, a Kung Fu TV western on a 1980s Saturday night. There’s some real science to it.
Stress increases the brain’s production of cortisol — nature’s built in alarm system that puts you on high alert. It can disrupt sleep, spike your blood pressure, make you feel like a depressed cat turd. But studies show meditation eases anxiety and lowers cortisol levels. People suffering generalized anxiety disorder had reduced symptoms after 8 weeks of meditating. Daily meditation actually changes the gray matter in your brain and reduces activity in the brain’s “me” centers, inducing enhanced connectivity between different regions of your brain.
Meditation induces kindness, which is good for your soul, happiness, even life expectancy. A meta analysis of 22 meditation studies found daily meditation increased people’s compassion towards themselves and others. Like sex ed and basic banking skills, it really should be taught in schools.
Tune In and Tap Your Brain
Approaching meditation for the first time? Be gentle. Treat yourself with patient kindness.
Sitting still even just for 15 minutes can be difficult at first, especially when you’re all caught up in the rat race pace of the world. The hardest part of meditation is its simplicity, sitting in the moment. Meditation is the art of hanging out with yourself, finding peace in the simple essence of your breath and being.
Meditation can be a beautiful tool to induce serenity, but it’s not always butterflies and rainbows — and that’s okay. Some pretty dark stuff can surface — depression, anxiety, even perfectly on point paranoia. You’re wringing out the gray matter of your brain, like a sponge. All that toxin is being released. This can hurt a little at first, but in the end you’ll feel better, released and transformed, in touch with the surreal.
Don’t guilt trip yourself over random silly thoughts. The idea isn’t to create a blank space in your mind. Your mind will run torrents of tangents especially if you’re new to the concept. Let them happen. Acknowledge each thought and allow it to evaporate. Eventually, your “monkey brain” will quiet down. Steadily, slowly grow patience — interconnectivity will circulate a circular flow.
It doesn’t need to take much time — just 15 minutes in an afternoon can do wonders. We waste more time staring at screens without giving two shits to the minutes we lose to Mark Zuckerburg’s cyborg love child.
The benefits of meditation are immense — the entire quality of a day can distill lyrical crystals with just a few minutes of meditative reflection.
The Mental Trio of Meditative Focus
Meditation tweaks the focus of our minds to open up to the simpleness of possibility. It’s all about redirecting your brain through 3 simple but subtle attitudes:
- Appreciation for the Self.
- Gratitude for the physical world.
- Love of the God Force.
Find somewhere quiet. Beauty is nice, but not required — a chair in a living room works just as well as a tree by a brook. Your mind can recreate the stream if necessary. Give it a distraction free place to mellow in the being of the moment.
Picture an attitude of appreciation, positivity, beauty. Aim it at yourself, who you are and no more. Stare at yourself uncritically like you’re a piece of art. You don’t have to understand it — just take it all in and be cool with you.
Let that sit for a few minutes, circulating through your mind until you feel it start to stick. Then induce an attitude of gratitude, a genuine feeling of thankfulness for the physical world and all you’ve been given. Focus on what you’re thankful for and thank whatever being you believe in for the opportunity to exist.
Next, focus on love from the Godforce, the sky, the air, or anything you can ascribe to be Infinite. If you have an Atheist perspective, all you need is a higher power greater than yourself. Simple sunshine will do. Feel love in your brain pour in from the sky and center you to the Earth.
Finally, imagine you are One with everything. Hear that squirrel chattering? You are the squirrel. The tweeting bird, the air through the trees, the ground under your feet is you. All of reality is one eternal being. Recognize your place in it and become one with the whole.
Work through each of these attitudes, one by one, like prayer beads in your mind until the 15 minutes are complete. You’ll feel released, blessed, at one with the essence of your mind.
Smoking Herbs and the Mindfulness of Being
Meditation doesn’t need much. Even a touch of simple mindfulness can ease anxiety, alleviate depression, help you appreciate each moment in its meaning.
Practicing mindfulness is simply being aware of whatever your sensing and feeling in the present moment, free of judgement or chitter chatter. You simply are, and that’s okay. Recognize and appreciate the herbal smoke in your hand, the wind on your skin, the earth that touches your feet. Sit and be one with the moment.
Mindfulness is a great thing to practice when you’re copping a smoke. We designed the smoking of these herbal blends to be spiritual, a connection to the natural essence that unites us all. Offer the smoke up in prayer and give it all up to the Great Spirit that surrounds us.
Be one with the smoke — become the breath of the herbs communing with the Earth, Air, and Sky.
We believe in the peace of these herbs like a meditative sacrament.
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