We have all driven in a car for miles on 'automatic pilot' without realizing it, without realizing how are we driving, how do we sit, what we are thinking of. In the same way, we may not really be present in the moments of our daily lives.
When we are on automatic pilot, it is more likely we will also react automatically, the way we are used to. But does this bring us comfort, lightness, peace? Most often it doesn’t.
As we begin to become more aware of our physical feelings, thoughts, and emotions at any moment, we give ourselves the opportunity to be free and, above all, to choose. We do not need to repeat old rooted habits and mind patterns that may have caused us problems and discomfort in the past.
The goal of body monitored meditation is to increase awareness in order to respond to life situations by choosing instead of automatically responding to them. We do this by practicing awareness of where our attention is at the moment and constantly purposefully changing its focus.
Through body monitored meditation we knowingly focus our attention and thoughts on different parts of the body. The body serves as a focus for anchoring our awareness at this moment without anticipation, judgment, or criticism. We're practicing awareness of what's going on here and now and the possibilities of our own choices.
How do we meditate?
We do it lying on the floor or on the bed where we are comfortable and warm and no one can bother us. Our eyes are fully or slightly closed.
If you fall asleep every time you meditate, try meditating sitting down with a straight spine.
The purpose and the course of body monitored meditation:
The purpose of this meditation is not to change how we feel, how to relax or to calm down. This can often happen, or not. The real purpose of this meditation is to bring the utmost attention to every physical feeling we perceive while focusing attention on a particular part of the body.
We closely and curiously observe individual parts of the body only as they are, without wanting to change or criticize/judge them. During meditation, the mind will drift away from the body and breath from time to time. This is quite normal, it is in its nature. It is our job, however, that when we perceive this, we gently focus our attention back on the body part we want to concentrate on.
We are awake and present in perception of what is emerging every moment in each part of the body.
We begin to meditate with the awareness of the physical sensation in our feet, and step by step, we move to the top of our head.
An example of how an exercise of attention can help us in our daily lives: a person has noticed that their shoulders are unnecessarily tight when cooking lunch. They have probably been doing it for years but only realizing it now. The more they draw attention to themselves, to their body, the more they will be able to see whether their shoulders are relaxed or tense. The more they release their shoulders, the sooner it becomes their new pattern. They will begin to live with relaxed shoulders and as a result, a relaxed body. This will also reflect on their mental state. They will have a lighter and joyful life. They turned off the autopilot and grabbed the control wheel of their plane (body, thoughts, emotions).
13 years ago, Maja Kenda made a radical change in her life. She decided to leave the consumer society and find her happiness in a simple life in close contact with nature. At the same time, this also happened to her inner world. She took the path of self-exploration. Nature became her teacher. Nature taught her to see the beauty around her, in everyone, to hear the silence. However, this departure was not her final destination, so after 7 years she returned to the world here and now, the world as it is, and not how she wanted it to be. This was a new major change through which she started to understand the middle path.
Movement is part of her life. She learned the connection between movement and breath very early. Professional sport required her to have the presence of breath when moving or resting. She was a multiple national swimming champion.
Over the last 10 years, she has been practicing yoga, somatics, MBSR (Mindfulness) method, done various awareness practices related to the understanding of the female nature. She's a teacher of Hatha Yoga, somatics, and an integral breathing instructor.
Some of her former teachers are Blaž Bertoncelj: hatha yoga and somatics, Matejči Šajnam: somatics, Tatyana Tolochkova: Iyengar yoga, Milan Hosta: Integral breathing, Polona Sepe: Kriya Tantra and Yoga, The discovery of women's essences with Savina Atai, Manja Potočnik, Sasha Cobra, dr. Joachim Gross and Robert Križaj: MBSR method of integrated stress management, Erik van den Brink: MBCL - Mindfulness-Based Compassionate Living.
She is a co-founder of the first anti-stress center on the Slovenian coast, Center Diha, where she continuously shares her knowledge and experiences with others. This is her way of life to which she is devoted with all her heart.