Pause for Zen

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“You should sit in meditation for twenty minutes every day — unless you’re too busy. Then you should sit for an hour.” -Zen proverb

I first heard this proverb many years ago, and was painfully aware that I didn’t follow it…even though knowing it, should’ve meant I knew better, and to actually do it.

But I can tell you that as I sit here today, reflecting on how practices of awakening are currently showing up for me, this is it. Despite the very long list of things I’d like to accomplish (some mundane and some exciting) within my precious window of weekly child care – the first thing I did this morning was; pause, soften, and connect. And this has been my pattern for a few months now. I can’t tell you why or what instigated the change but a few fleeting moments of some type of practice time is paramount to all other, especially on my “busiest” days.

Now, I didn’t sit for an hour, not even close…but here is what I did do and what I find to be an efficient way to open up the pranic channels so that I am more connected to universal intelligence, spirit, God, whatever name you most identify with that connects us to the energetic qualities of groundedness, openness, and wakefulness:

Pause for Zen Practice


  • Wide knee childs pose (5 minutes)
  • Twisted wide knee childs pose (left side, 2 minutes, right side 2 minutes)
  • Childs Pose (a few deep breaths)
  • Spinal circles in table pose (active)

Seated Meditation (5 minutes)

  • Open eyes, soft gaze, relax into periphery vision
  • Witnessing the rising and passing of visual and auditory phenomena in each passing moment
  • Close with a bow and intention/prayer


Elissa xx



  1. Katia  March 26, 2015

    Elissa, thank you for sharing your practice! I start my morning by moving my body, because I’m a Vata. 😉 Well, I’m also most often too tired to exercise in the evening after work, after the kids are in bed. Besides, the evening just naturally feels like a time to soften and unwind after a busy day. However, I do try to meditate for 10-15 minutes on most evenings. Recently, I have found that I tend to nod off during meditation, which led me to change things by meditating with my eyes open. I find that I’m still able to go within and find stillness, and my focus is better. I realized I tend to equate sitting with my eyes closed to softening and relaxing *completely*, which means that I fall asleep almost as soon as I close my eyes. So, eyes open and a soft gaze. Such a seemingly minor yet important change! Namaste.


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