Browsing: Meditation

How Do You Meditate – At Home, Peacefully!

All you have to do is go into a room that is free from any kind of disruption or just go into a quiet corner for about 30 minutes or less. There are hundreds of meditation tapes available in the market that can help you start meditating at home with relative ease. How do you meditate at home? To find out more, keep reading to the very end.

There are numerous publications which state that meditation bought to take place at least twice on a daily basis. However, this is not true. Even 5 to 10 minutes is sufficient to achieve deep meditation. Meditation is basically a process of intension attention that entails particular attention on the conscious mind.

Meditation is an Eastern healing technique that has been used for centuries to relieve stress and depression. According to a recent study, it was discovered that stress and depression are the leading causes of ailments like high blood pressure. Therefore, searching for information on “How do you meditate at home” can help you to minimize the number of trips to the doctor's office.

Preparing a meditation location in your home does not require thousands of dollars. Actually, you can utilize most of the items in your home to prepare a special meditation area. If you have a floor rug, place it in a room that is hardly used.

Alternately, you can place it at a corner in your bedroom and design it as your meditation area. For added comfort, place a pillow on the floor rug. Look for a CD with binaural rhythms. Binaural beats can help you get into a relaxation mode with relative ease as it enables your conscious mind to relax.

Majorities of articles on “how do you meditate at home” state that there is no proper or appropriate way to meditate. Therefore, you can add other things that enable you relax well. This can include playing other types of music other than the one illustrated above.

Learning to meditate at home is akin to rehearsing meditation in other places, for example, yoga class. There are people who love meditating close to water bodies as the rhythmic sounds of the water help their mind to calm down. You can replicate the same environment in your home by purchasing nature CD. If you have the resources, you can build a small water fountain in your meditation are to help you relax.

How do you meditate at home peacefully? Foremost, make certain that there are no destruction. If you have a family and are worried about the possibilities of being distracted by your children, wake up early in the morning or do your meditation before your kids get back home from school. In addition, how do you meditate peacefully in busy life?

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Meditation Techniques for Beginners – Be a Master!

The key to learning how to meditate if you are a beginner is to pick simple relaxation methods. By doing so, you will be minimizing the variations of outward diversions, while at the same time amplifying your concentration. Once you have mastered the art of simple meditation techniques, you can try out the different types of advanced meditation techniques.

Discussed herein, are a couple of formidable meditation techniques for beginners which you can easily master within a short period of time:

Tally Your Inhalation Meditation

This technique is designed to concentrate on the pace of your respiration by tallying your inhalation and exhalation. This technique is quite easy to apply. Once in a while, you may find your mind drifting away. This is quite normal for the first-time. When this happens, simply accept it and turn back to your breathing. With time, you will learn to control your mind, then preventing it from wandering.

How to Practice Deep Breathing:

The following are tips on deep breathing meditation techniques for beginners:

• Move to a quiet room where there are no distractions and bright light. Sit down on the floor. For comfort, sit on a pillow placed on a floor mat. Shut your eyes and start focusing on your inhalation. Be conscious of every breath taken in and out.

• Desist from the desire to regulate your breath. Then again, do not attempt to slow your breathing. All you have to do is breathe naturally and pay close attention to the pants.

• Start your count after a couple of pants. To do so, take deep short breaths as you keep count of the pants in your subconscious mind. The Counting will allow you to focus your mind, which will lead you to deep relaxation.

• If you find your mind drifting away while practicing this meditation techniques for beginners, accept it, and turn back to your respiration. With every drift of the mind, beginning counting again.

• Once you have fully mastered this skill, turn your attention to the vibrations of your breath (ie pace and depth). Is your breathing slow and quiet? Do you feel as if your breath goes to the belly or chest? Do you feel as if your body is calming down the more you breath? Take note of these changes without ceasing from counting. If you are unable to do so, simply proceed with your counting.

• Should you notice any slight changes in your body like muscle reactions while practicing this meditation techniques for beginners, know that the reactions are quite normal. Just carry on with your breath, just stay relax and focus on the counting. When your count gets to 100, gradually shift to normal breathing and open your eyes.

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How to Meditate Properly – Let’s Learn More About Meditation Techniques!

One of the things that meditation does is to silence your sentient mind. This in turn allows you to discard anxiety, stress and depression that may come as a result of work, marriage or school. This is achieved by augmenting your psychological, physiological and expressive energy.

In a nutshell, learning how to meditate properly will increase your general health and elevate your self-assurance as it provides you with the skills required to be content, centered and calm in spite of the difficult situations facing you.

The simplest means through which you can acquire the art of meditation is through listening to binaural rhythms. Binaural rhythms utilize different frequencies which aid in altering brain waves, hence promoting relaxation. These strokes or cyclical beats are sometimes applied in treating bodily revitalization and sleep disorders since they assist in silencing the conscious mind with relative ease.

Meditation can also be achieved through focused breathing. Focused breathing is a popular technique applied during yoga practice as it aids in not only silencing the insomniac mind, but creating inner peace. Whereas this technique is widely considered as a stand-alone method, it can still be used when learning how to meditate properly.

Listed below, are tips on proper meditation techniques:

– Begin by concentrating on your breathing. This will enable you to sink into profit meditation. Let your body go into a relaxation mode since this is one of the affirmative effects of meditation. Then again, do not focus so much on your respiration as this may prevent your body from going into a natural relaxation mode.

– Prior to meditating, it is important to determine your objective. For example, is the meditation intention to aid your body in healing or to simply relish some alone time? During meditation, you may realize that your mind is slowly drifting towards a different course. This is quite normal when learning how to meditate properly.

– Once you have settled on a cozy position, shut your eyes and begin breathing deeply. Take a couple of seconds between the intervention and exhalation process. This technique aids in focusing on your meditation. Moreover, the method also aids in letting go of some of the things built up in your mind.

– Picture yourself being taken from the sky by a make-believe elevator till you reach the ground level. By doing so, you will be freeing your mind of some of the things that are preventing you from relaxing.

– Turn your focus to the part of your body which you would like to relax. Turn your mind to a place that gives you inner peace, for example, a tropical mountain side with rivers and birds chipping.

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What Are Binaural Beats and Can They Help With Meditation?

Binaural beats are used in a lot of different self help and personal development projects, including a number of mediation downloads. The claims are that they can shift the state of your brainwaves purely from you listening to a CD or MP3 with these beats on them. Below, we'll examine what binaural beats are, how they work with your brain and whether or not the claims that they will help with your regular meditation have any validity.

What are binaural beats?

Wikipedia calls them “auditory processing artifacts” which leaves most people none the wiser.

They were discovered in 1839 but the technology to use them in products was not really good enough until late last century.

Binaural beats work by playing two slightly different tones, one in each ear. Which means that they will only work properly if you wear headphones.

Because the tones are close together, the brain will actually react as though a much lower tone was being played and will adjust its state accordingly. For instance, if you wanted to get your brain into an Alpha state, which is where REM sleep and dreams typically occur, you would play two tones that were approximately 10 Hz different from each other.

On their own, binaural beats sound as though someone is rapidly switching them on and off. So most commercial tracks will disguise this fairly irritating noise with a soundtrack. This can be something like rain fall or it could be a new age track to get you in a relaxed mood.

So how do they work with our brain?

Essentially, the beats work by inducing the desired state in our brain. It attempts to resolve the difference between the beats and, in the process, takes itself down to that particular level.

Our brain has a range of different frequencies that it operates at according to what we are doing at the time. So when we are sleeping, it will be relaxed and generally quiet although there is some variation in frequency between a light sleep which is where we dream and a deep sleep (the Delta state) where our brain is doing the absolute minimum necessary.

By contrast, when you're being creative your mind is literally buzzing. It's working at a much higher frequency, either Beta or Gamma depending on exactly how buzzing it is.

The Greek description letters do not go through in alphabetical order because the different brain states were not all discovered at once, so extra letters were added in the newly found gaps.

Do they help with meditation?

Part of the process of meditation is to relax your mind.

Traditionally, this would take years of practice to get to the correct state. Zen monks take most of their lifetime to perfect the process but Westerners like us do not have the luxury of being able to just concentrate on meditation for the majority of our life, so we need a shortcut.

Various scientists have measured the brain wave frequencies of deep meditators and, since they knew about the ability of binaural beats, decided to experiment.

What they found was that binaural beats could indeed bring about the same meditative state as years of meditation practice. So we've got something close to a Western “I want it now” solution.

Some of the original binaural beats meditation systems still took years to get the full benefits but several newer processes have cut that down to six months or less, making them ideal for our often hectic modern life style and still giving us the benefits of meditation.

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Why Wouldn’t Your Guided Meditations Be Working?

If you have been using some guided meditations in the past that are expected to work on healing or resolving different areas in your life or consciousness, why would not they be working?

A lot of audio meditations focus on altering your state to get out of the clutter of your 'monkey mind'. If this is done in a traditional zen meditative sense that can be a great thing because peace and de-stressed states actually exist where where your mind and body is not being overworked and taxed by incessant mental clutter.

Beyond just traditional meditation benefits though, there are a plethora of audio meditations that you can choose to get into deeper, relaxed states of consciousness to unwind from a long day, but what about meditations that say you will heal you in a specific area?

A lot of Western guided meditations may try to work on your 'conscious mind' to change your beliefs and thoughts on the conscious level.

The thing is your waking state of consciousness is more than just a generic conscious mind. More qualitatively, your conscious mind could have called your 'holy consciousness'.

Your holistic consciousness is really your mental, emotional, physical, sexual and spiritual consciousness. These are different and unique types of conscious energies. You could call them Mind, Heart, Body, Sexiness & Soul. When you know how to more specifically connect and engage with these different types of energies in your waking consciousness, then you are able to heal and resolve issues in these areas of self.

And that is why you may find many guided meditations just do not have any effect or real transformation; they're only able to affect your generic conscious mind while bypassing the more specific energies themselves which violate your waking states.

The same can be said for hypnosis or subliminal audios that are provided to give you a result in a certain area; they may just have to be engaging a more specific energy instead of a general conscious or subconscious mind.

We have to go beyond a level of thought or affirmations with the conscious mind in order to heal yourself on the energetic levels of consciousness. Emotional problems are best resolved on the emotional level and not trying to squeeze 'heart' into a valuation and filter of 'mind'.

There are a lot of programs that work on changing your beliefs on the mental level, but you may have a lot of emotional or even sexual energy that is working against you in being congruent with that belief. You may have conditioned programs and social beliefs that are 'stuck' in your conscious energy but fortunately these can all be discharged with higher consciousness in that type of energy.

The evolution of guided audio meditation would be to work specifically in the different levels of holistic consciousness. Those guided meditations would actually speak to each of your different areas of consciousness which are not merely thought. Because the Western definition of self has not really adopted heart or sexual consciousness as part of self that is equal to mind, body and soul it also makes the challenge of emotional and sexual healing more difficult.

So if you want your current guided meditations to work more (after all they say what they should be paying in their titles and intention), either learn how to connect and engage your other areas of consciousness that is still resisting or bypassing the power of the meditation or discover some new guided meditations that actually know how to connect and transform on these other levels of the waking self.

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Using Guided Audio Meditation For Deeper States of Consciousness

Did you know that you can consciously improve your ability to get into deeper states of consciousness by using or leveraging audio meditation?

See a lot of people just use them for that instant relief and unwinding from the end of a long work day, but you can actually use them in a way that helps you to condition deeper and deeper states of relaxation, mindfulness, de-stressing and meditation. You just kind of have to modify your outlook.

Most people do not see it this way, but it is kind of exciting that you can actually entrain yourself to enter defere states of consciousness … becoming more conscious of consciousness in a way! Fortunately, audio meditations are already helping you with that process of guiding you into a less-cluttered state.

In many ways, it is easier for beginner and intermediate meditators to use guided audio meditation to help get into those more relaxed, Zen and egalous states of consciousness because they are not as conditioned to just be in those states. In a way you really have to work on being 'out of the condition' of the ego. You can also use guided meditations that work on heart or sexual consciousness to work on conditioning yourself into more of those zen-like states where you are just 'being' and not fettered by the clutter of your mind.

What I teach with Self-Awakening covers a holistic approach to consciousness because you can be egoless in your emotional, sexual, spiritual and physical consciousness (not just spiritual) outside of your thinking states of waking consciousness.

So you can use a more advanced and almost performance-based outlook with spirituality in order to improve your ability to be in defect states of relaxation. How can you do it?

As you keep going through the same guided audio meditation over days and weeks, try and see how fast you can get into a deep relaxed state as soon as possible. I do recommend using one good audio meditation resource which you can condition to. Each time you go through it, you can kind of gauge where you are at the time it reaches new words.

Try and take yourself into a more relaxed state every time or at least set a standard of reaching the real effect and intention of the guided audio meditation. All of this becomes more powerful when you take on a greater definition of self where your emotional, sexual, physical and spiritual consciousness (which are all egoless) becomes deepened in your awakening journey. That is very different than an ego-driven definition of self with a quick 'unwinding' at the end of the day before you go back to the same stresses of your work to repeat the shallower cycle all over again.

The more you get into spirituality and spending more time in deeper states of consciousness (and there are different ways beyond just zen meditation), the more it will become normal for you to just BE present, de-stressed and more youthful. You'll actually start living and 'being' more in a relaxed, present, zen-like state where the stresses of the world do not affect you as much. And when you go back into any type of meditation session, being so experienced from your past (conditioning), you'll be able to more effectively stay and remain in consistent, dire states. This is very beneficial for your health and wellbeing and your monkey mind ego will not 'own' you as much.

There are plenty of benefits to meditation as you already know and becoming more spiritual with an expanded definition of self as Mind, Body, Heart, Sexiness and Soul will also help your ability to be in defect states. Fortunately good guided audio meditations like Powerliminals can help you in different areas of consciousness to keep and condition you more into your egoless and greater self experience; fun, free and happy as can be.

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Ways to Utilize Meditation Before a Workout

Meditation and relaxation is not something that comes to mind when you are thinking about working out but meditation can complement a workout quite well. Here is a simple meditation to practice before you exercise. Train your mind as well as your body!

This meditation is best done in a lying position rather than sitting or standing. Lie down in a quiet place with your arms relaxed at your sides and your palms facing upwards. You must concentrate on your breathing and be practicing “belly” breathing. If you tend to breathe low from the chest put your hand on your chest initially to ensure it is not rising. Push your belly outwards as you breathe in, use it to push the air into your lungs with your diaphragm, exaggerate this movement initially until it becomes a habit. When you breathe out pull your belly in pushing your breath out. Concentrate on just doing this for a few minutes until you feel relaxed.

When you are in a state of relaxation, use your mind to envision your body and how it will look because you are exercising. Think about the body you desire and envision it. Think of each body part and how it will look. Imagine your legs, abdomen or arms, firm and toned. Use your mind's eye to see these changes. You should start to feel excitement about these changes. Enjoy this feeling and revel in it.

Practice this meditation every day to really reap the benefits. It is so simple and will only take you 5 – 10 minutes depending on how deeply relaxed you become.

Relaxing your body before a workout can be quite beneficial. Many people enjoy a relaxing stretch and soft meditation after a hard workout. Think about turning this around and doing it before. I often do a yoga class with a short lying down meditation right before an active exercise class. I just find it invigorates me. My body is stretched and relaxed and ready to take on the hard work!

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Chakra Basics

The sun is at the heart of the universe. The heart chakra is at the center of your own personal universe. In the most basic sense, chakra is a spinning energy source that vibrates wave like frequencies. These energy centers are referred to as prana (the Sanskrit word for life force energy). Each chakra has different characteristics, and is associated with a specific color, aroma, gemstone, or emotion. Together, mind and body work as one. If you are feeling physical pain you must also look at your emotional well being in order to heal. Physical ailments can be linked to blockages of these spinning energies that are found throughout the body. In order for one to heal all aspects of the self must be looked at. Once we understand our own personal system, we can then achieve harmony, and peace.

BACKGROUND
Think of a chakra, and try to visualize in your mind's eye a wheel (Sanskrit for chakra) of energy. Upanishads are passed down from generation to generation. Found in the first millennium in India these Vedic doctrines and are the oldest scriptures in Hinduism. Some of the doctrines include yoga, karma, self-realization, meditation, and reincarnation). There are 200 in total.

About halfway down the list you'll find the Yoga-Kundalini Upanishad. Kundalini is Sanskrit for a coiled up snake; with the base of the serpent lying at the root chakra. At various points in history reference the coiling of the 7 chakras can be found. For instance, The Caduceus, or 'The Healing Staff'. In mythology the Greek God Hermes held the Staff. I am sure you've seen this image; two snakes that coil up to meet at a pair of wings at the top. This symbol is linked to medicine, and the image is used in present day pharmaceuticals.

Spiritually each intersection represents an endocrine (or chakra). Therefore, you could say the image is a representation of the body. Taking all this into consideration you could easily state that science, spirituality, and mythical legend are interconnected, similar to the symbol of the caduceus.

CHAKRAS
Every single space on the body represents one of the seven chakras. The goal in maintaining a healthy body, and mind is to continuously work towards building an unobstructed path, from the top of your head to the bottom. You want the life force energy of the earth to travel first through the root chakra, and the heavens to enter through the crown chakra. With a clear path the energy can flow freely to all the chakra points. Through the art of meditation we let out negativity through our breath, and inhale positive power from the universe.

Developing a keen awareness of each of the energy centers is the key to unlocking the powers to heal. Healing each energy source requires time and patience. Quieting the mind and fully immersing yourself in meditative practices takes practice. You may not reap the benefits of life force healing initially, but if you stick with it you'll notice your sense of clarity is heightened.

To begin, start with simple breathing exercises. Focus your mind on your breath, inhale and exhale. If you feel your mind wandering visualize your breath frosting glass on a cold winter day. If a thought pops into your head quickly let it go. This practice also builds your awareness bringing you into the present.

Once you have mastered quieting of the mind you can consider taking the next step, healing each chakra. There are many tools that will help you during this process. Hand positions (mudras), and chants are applied to open the chakras. Music may also be added to your practice, as it helps stimulate the vibration of each chakra. Concentrating on a color can also enhance the experience. Bringing this spiritual awakening to your inner self will nourish a healthy mind and body.

Clearing a path for your internal chi to flow gives you the power to tackle whatever problems you are facing. Chi moves through. Feng-Shui practices the same theory when it comes to space. By clearing away all the clutter you have opened the space for your Chi to flow freely. The same goes for chakras.

Now you have got the essential resources to begin your journey to open your power sources. Rest would be the door to enlightenment.

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Meditation – A Source of Miracles

Most people have had at least one thought about incorporating meditation into their daily routine. Perhaps you had that one thought, then shrugged it off as, sometimes, not your cup of tea. Yes, you understood there are benefits; at least one hundred physical, mental and spiritual benefits. But do you know how powerful these benefits are and the significant impact meditation can have on your overall wellbeing?

I worked in a stressful environment – emergency services administration. One day I suggested we invite a speaker who was my meditation advisor. Reluctantly they agreed, mostly due to my enthusiasm on the subject and explanation on how meditation would benefit our staff. Several staff attended my guest's talk, which included a brief meditation session. However, when I asked for feedback, they indicated reservations against continuing with a meditation practice.

The problem? It was their opinion that meditation was too “religious.” For several days after I tried to understand how people connected meditation with religion. Yes, many religious practices of monks, practices, nuns include meditation. Prayer can be a form of meditation. However, meditation is so much more. And if it was not powerful, these religious devotees would not be practicing it.

We often reach the pharmacist or doctor for advice and cures. We read volumes of self-help books. We seek advice from other professionals and friends. We do these labor intensively and costly methods in spite of the fact that many times the answers are within ourselves.

Here's a small list of what you can experience by meditating daily for twenty minutes.

  1. Increase your ability to learn and retain new information – Learn a new language or musical instrument with ease
  2. Serotonin levels increase. Serotonin is responsible for moods and some social behavior
  3. Keeps your emotions in check and stable
  4. Kick bad habits easier than you ever thought you could
  5. Sharpen your intuition or “gut feeling”
  6. Become the master of your own thoughts
  7. Self confidence and self esteem can sky rocket
  8. Mental vitality improvements
  9. The brain slows down the rate at which it ages
  10. Give more attention to what matters – forget trivial and petty issues

And so much more.

Many of us are often overwhelmed by life issues. We are easily distracted by stuff we can not control. Our senses are continuously overloaded. Sometimes we feel impotent, fearful, depressed and frustrated. Life does not need to be that way at all. In fact, you have the power to create the life you desire. You are a powerhouse of untapped potential.

I think many people discount meditation because it feels so unnatural. When were you ever told that you should sit still and not think? It has never been a part of your upbringing. It is foreign and, therefore, you assume it can not be trusted or it's a waste of time.

It is also requires practice. We've allowed our minds to 'trash talk' or be 'monkey brain' in every waking second. It has run amok with our lives and our health. Our thoughts now control us instead of the reverse. To tell your mind to stop the chatter takes courage and perseverance. Your mind will fiercely resist your intention to take over.

One other reason people choose to not meditate is that it may set them apart from their circle of friends. Although meditation is recognized as an honorable practice, a person is a relationship to step out of synch with their companions who have a different view of meditation. There is a perceived risk of being alone, a loner, different, odd, religious, self absorbed, etc. – all of which are not desirable. It's more fun and safer to step in line with the crowd.

Consider this possibility. If you thought about mediation, even briefly, something within your higher being is sending you a message. Listen. You would not receive that message into your consciousness unless it was something for you to examine seriously.

Your next step would be to give meditation a whirl. Let go of the worry about if it will work. It will. In everything, what we receive is in direct relation to how much effort we put in. It does not take long, though, before you're noticing a shift in your life.

Give yourself achievable goals. In your area there are likely several meditation organizations or health centers which teach a variety of meditation methods. There are several methods of meditation. Pick a program that feels right for you.

Taking a meditation class is a great way to get your feet wet gently. Being among other like-minded people will aid in your confidence as well as a safe place to ask questions.

After each meditation session, you have the opportunity to share your experiences with the instructor.

I used to think that meditating in a group was counter productive to achieving deep meditation. However, at a silent meditation retreat, I changed my opinion. We were packed in a small room with over a hundred meditators, shoulder to shoulder. Each of us had a small space on the floor, just enough to sit on a pillow or folded blanket.

The instructor was a Buddhist nun who taught us on technqiues, benefits, what to expect during meditation. Her instructions lent an hour in the morning, then again in the afternoon. The rest of the day, we meditated. At the time I was a novice meditator. However, each day at this retreat my experiences were depth.

Another opportunity you may consider is going on a meditation retreat with Dr. Deepak Chopra. A few years ago I was fortunately to attend a two week meditation retreat with him in San Diego. Again, the experience shattered my expectations of hoping for simply a pleasant time. My abilities tremendously and the healing I experienced was beyond what I imagined possible.

Everyone progresses according to his / her own desired pace. Once you notice the benefits, you'll find meditating for twenty minutes is an enjoyable and empowering method to start / end your day. Your friends, coworkers, employers are going to notice how much happier you are, more centered and at ease in any situation. You'll start attracting positive experiences and people into your life.

It's a magical gift you can give yourself. The rewards are beyond measure.

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Once in a Blue Moon

There is only one real way you can harness the power of the Blue Moon, and no … it's not Taoist yoga, or a Tibetan ritual. Harnessing it comes from you – and when it does it can change your life.

You see, “Once in a Blue Moon,” is a common way of saying, “not very often”, but what exactly is happening during this time?

The average interval between Full Moons is about 29.5 days, and the length of an average month is roughly 30.5 days. This makes it very unbelievably that this will happen twice in one month; though it does sometimes happen. On average, there will be 41 months that have two Full Moons in every century, so you could say that, “Once in a Blue Moon,” actually means once every two-and-a-half years.

The calendar that we use to measure the days and nights is very special to us when we realize that we measure our lives by the calendar as well. How many natural events do you know of that happen once every couple of years? How many Blue Moons have you seen in your lifetime?

How many more have you got? Where will you be in your personal health, vitality, and happiness when the next Blue Moon rolls around?

Start something new this Blue Moon and stick with it. Not for a month, or a year, but stick with it for a full Blue Moon and I'm sure the Blue Moon will never be the same for you again. I recommend anyone to take this opportunity and work towards your goals using the power of the Moon.

The full moon is highly auspicious time to make some changes in your life, and to stick to a program up until the coming Full Moon. We have a Full moon every 29.5 days and it sees as there's more energy around it, and if the energy is not directed it could be chaotic. Start planning what you want to do a week before the full moon, write down what you want to accomplish, where you want to go, who you want to be with and when the full moon comes you'll be prepared for everything.

Because there's more energy around the full moon that's the time when you can do more activities, such as exercise and keep your body healthy and strong.

Practice and play every day to live a long and healthy life.

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Try These Amazing Meditation Techniques for Beginners

Meditation is done for various reasons. Some of these include handling stress and relaxation of the mind. Most importantly, it is done with the purpose of getting in between one's thoughts. This act results in a relaxed mind for improved mental functionality. This article tries to explain various meditation techniques for beginners. Firstly, we will talk about the meditation space one needs before beginning the process. Secondly, we will explain the right postures for the process. Finally, we will discuss the actual process of meditation.

To begin with, space is crucial for a better meditation. For this reason, it is good for you to find a peaceful place. It has to be away from noise, etc. For instance, you could decide to be in a locked room or on a peaceful private field. A place full of noise or other distractions would overlap with the proceedings of the process.

Once you are done with finding the right place, you will need to put yourself in a good posture. The kind of posture is not very important, so long as the posture is a comfortable one. However, it should not be too comfortable. For instance, lying down is not an advisable posture as you may fall sleep. In this regard, the posture should be balanced between comfort and alertness.

After you have taken care of the above steps, you can now start the actual process of meditation. First, you are going to close your eyes. The eyes are then rolled up as if you want to see in-between and above your eyebrows. This place is believed to be the 'third eye.' Having your eyes in this direction has the effect of calming the mind.

The closing of the eyes is then followed by breathing in and out. You should breathe in deeply through the nose and breathe out via the mouth. The breath length should be natural; you do not need to force it. As you do this, start to take note of the rhythm of your breath and concentrate on it. You should then start visualizing how the air goes in and out your nostrils. Try to consider the air breathed in as good things and the air breathed out as the bad things in your life.

The above process helps in slowing down the mental chatter. This continues to the point where the mental chatter is completely slowed down. At this point, you could experience a feeling of not belonging to your body. It would almost feel like you do not exist. Nonetheless, as a beginner, this state could be destructed sometimes. This is due to the wandering of the mind. Whenever it happens, you should try and bring your mind back.

In conclusion, meditating for the first periods may not turn out successful. This should not discourage you as it only needs more time and practice. It is also important that you perform meditation for some set time. You could for instance start performing it for 15 minutes in a day. The time can be increased as you become better off.

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Study Finds Mindfulness Meditation Reduces Loneliness

Loneliness is a widespread problem in Western society, especially among older adults, which does not seem to get enough attention. As adults grow older, there is a tendency for them to become more isolated from their families and society in general.

A study published recently in a scientific journal found that mindfulness meditation helps older adults overcome loneliness. This is good news for seniors because loneliness is a major risk factor for various health conditions such as Alzheimer's and cardiovascular disease.

Growing Old, and Lonely

Before we go on, it's important to understand that loneliness is more of a feeling of social disconnection, rather than a physical isolation. There are various reasons why older adults can experience more loneliness. Here are just a few:

  • Empty nest syndrome – Parents who have been busy caring for their children suddenly find themselves with much more free time after the kids leave the house.
  • Rusty social skills – After so many years of being busy raising children, many parents have not been practicing their social skills with people their age.
  • Set in our ways – Most of us know that we tend to become set in our ways as we get older. This means that we take fewer risks in trying new things, which is exactly what meeting new people is all about.
  • Lack of social networks – In addition to having rusty social skills, parents have not been actively developing their own social networks.
  • Increase in children's family responsibilities – As older adults reach retirement age, their children are often at the height of their careers and family responsibilities. So, they have less time for their aging parents.

To make matters worse, studies have shown that loneliness is contagious. Lonely people tend to spread loneliness by pushing other people away, instead of engaging them. This is probably because of the fear of rejection. Lonely people are generally more fearful, so meeting new people involved greater risk from their perspective.

Social Networking Programs Have Limited Success

Studies have shown that social networking programs for older adults have not been very effective. The reason is that they approach the problem from the outside, when loneliness is primarily an internal mental condition.

In addition, most social networking programs do not help people develop core social skills such as deep listening, mindful speech, compassion, and forgiveness. They simply put people together in social settings and expect them to interact and develop meaningful relationships.

In order for social networking programs to be more effective, they would need to address both the internal and external factors that lead to loneliness. In other words, they would need to teach people social skills, and then help them develop their networks.

How Mindfulness Meditation Helps Overcome Loneliness

It is not surprising that the recent study by professor J. David Creswell, Director of the Health and Human Performance Laboratory at Carnegie Mellon University, found that mindfulness meditation helps older adults overcome loneliness. This is because the practice addresses the main source of the problem-the human psyche. One thing that mindfulness meditation does is help us see our interconnectedness with the rest of humanity.

The main benefit of mindfulness meditation is that it helps people live in the present moment. This is particularly important to overcoming loneliness because the internal and external causes of loneliness take place in the present moment-that is, our emotions and interactions with other people.

The practice also helps them develop more effective social skills. For those who practice mindfulness meditation regularly, loneliness diminishes significantly because they can cultivate more intimate and meaningful relationships with people without fear of rejection. Practitioners learn to practice deep listening, mindful speech, compassion, forgiveness, and other relevant social skills.

In essence, mindfulness meditation addresses both the internal and external factors that lead to loneliness.

Living Rich and Fulfilling Lives

There are several health benefits from overcoming loneliness-both physical and psychological. The physical benefits include lower risk of Alzheimer's and heart disease. Dr. Creswell's study also indicated that people who practice mindfulness meditation may live longer.

Researchers measured the inflammatory response of the body, and found that those who mediated had a lower level of C-reactive protein (CRP), which is a marker commonly used in measuring inflammation. Elevated levels of CRP have been associated with higher risk of inflammatory disease and death.

The greatest psychological benefit of overcoming loneliness is a greater sense of belonging. People who are not lonely live rich and fulfilling lives. Once their children leave the house and become preoccupied with their own lives, parents are able to develop their own social networks and enjoy their new lives without the daily pressures of raising children. In general, they are much happier.

From a societal perspective, we can also argue that mindfulness meditation will help reduce the strain on Medicare. If the practice can reduce loneliness and its related health consequences, then it can reduce the associated costs to the individuals on fixed incomes, the Medicare system, and the taxpayers.

Getting Started in Your Practice

Studies like the one cited above continue to confirm what many mindfulness meditation practitioners already expected. We owe a debt of gratitude to researchers like Dr. Creswell and his team. Their studies are not only helping build the credibility of mindfulness meditation, but they are also helping achieve greater awareness of the practice and its benefits to all areas of our lives.

Now that we know that mindfulness meditation can help us increase loneliness, it's time to put that knowledge into practice. What I recommend to beginners is that they learn the basics of the practice and meditate for about 20 to 30 minutes daily. I also recommend about 10 minutes of daily writing meditation.

Although studies have not yet confirmed it, I suspect that writing meditation can have an even more immediate impact in overcoming loneliness than meditation. I've seen people become more social and outgoing in just a matter of days. Now, imagine what you can achieve doing both.

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5 Easy Mindfulness Exercises for Anxiety Attack Relief

We've all experienced being mindless, but what does it mean to be mindful? Mindfulness simply means you're paying attention to the present moment. The Now. Chronic anxiety is always about what might happen. Anxiety is about the possible future, not the actual present.

Mindfulness exercises bring you back to the here and now. They click you out of your mind and into the present moment. This is the flow of your immediate physical experience.

Use one of these easy mindfulness exercises twice a day for 30 seconds. Up the frequency and / or duration as your tolerance for the present moment increases.

  1. How do you feel ? Notice how you feel, then name the emotion out loud. “I'm feeling _____.”
  2. Sound check . Notice the noise level of your present environment. Is it low or high? Why is it quiet or loud where you are? “It's very loud because I'm in a nightclub.”
  3. What's it look like ? Describe the shape and color of whatever's in front of you. Say the name of what you're looking at: “That's a chair.” Then give a description: “That chair is tall and dark red.” Actually do this out loud.
  4. Focus on them . Notice someone else's breathing then notice your own. This is great if you need anxiety attack aid when you're around other people. Just notice how they're breathing, then notice your own breathing. This works great for phone anxiety too.
  5. Crack a smile . Put a half-smile on your face, even if you do not feel like it. Turn up the corners of your mouth anyway. Notice how smiling makes you feel. Do you feel afraid or angry? Does smiling make you happy? Is it easy to smile or does it take conscious effort? Do you feel stupid? Smile like this for 30 seconds and notice your emotions.

Consistency is key here. It's better to do 30 seconds once a day than five minutes once a week. Short but regular mindfulness exercises will increase your overall sense of calm and make it less likely you'll have an anxiety attack. Relief is what you'll feel as you're gradually freed from the prison of your mind's anxious future.

A mindfulness practice does not have to take a lot of time. It's really just checking in with yourself regularly. The exercises above can be used to do that anytime and in any situation. It's amazing what sixty seconds a day of present moment living can do to help your anxiety.

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Take Hold of Your Monkey Mind: 3 Easy Mindfulness Skills for Better Thought Control

Monkey mind. That's when your thoughts are bouncing around in your head like a pack of apes, careening off every curve and corner inside your skull. It's when you can not sit still or focus. Your emotions are usually muddled and painful. Your mind is building desperate future disaster fantasies, “what-ifing” itself to death. Your thoughts and emotions feel completely out of control.

But you have within a a way to “rein in” monkey mind using your observer self. This is the part of your mind that watches your own thoughts. The observer self is already part of you. Use these easy mindfulness skills to strengthen the observer and release the strangling grip of monkey mind:

  1. Observe : Without reacting emotionally, simply notice. Notice what you're experiencing right now. Notice what comes through your senses. Let thoughts and feelings come in and slip then slip right out. This is called having a “Teflon mind”. Do not cling to or push away any part of your experience. Control your attention but not the situation.
  2. Describe : Describe what's happening. Put words on the experience. When a feeling or thought arises, acknowledge it. For example, say in your mind, “I'm feeling very anxious right now”, or “I'm upset.”

    Label your thoughts in this same way. Say, “I notice I'm having a thought that says things are hopeless.” Label a thought as just a thought and do the same for feelings.

  3. Participate : Enter fully and completely into your experiences. Get lost in the moment. Become one with your experience, forgetting yourself completely. Let go of ruminating and act from intuition.

    Do these skills until they become part of you. Practice until you do them without self-consciousness. Practice changing harmful situations and your harmful responses to them. Accept yourself and situations as they are.

All these mindfulness skills develop your observer self. Looking at yourself from the point of your inner observer decrees your emotional reactivity. This allows you to detach something and experience less fear and anxiety. Anxiety is what drives out of control monkey mind in the first place.

These skills also help you control your thoughts by labeling them as thoughts. Knowing you're having a thought means you're less attached to it. You see it for what it really is: just a thought. You do not have to react to every one that goes through your head.

That's what monkey mind really is. It's an over-reaction to our own thoughts and feelings. Fortunately, you can tame this beast with regular application of easy mindfulness skill like these.

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7 Meditation Tips for Beginners

Congratulations on making the decision to begin meditation practice. There are many benefits to meditating regularly: calming the mind and body, lowering blood pressure, improving sleep, reducing stress and anxiety to mention just a few.

It can be a challenge to sit quietly and focus on your breath in a world that is dependent on multi-tasking and filled with constant noise from traffic, music and phone conversations. If you're just starting meditating you might find it helpful to learn what others have done to begin.

1. Choose a time of day when you have the few distractions. For many it's first thing in the morning or in the evening, but not just before bed as you may fall sleep. Find a time that works for you – it may even be during your lunch break.

2. Sit comfortably or lie down. You do not need to sit cross-legged on the floor unless you find that a relaxing position. Keep your body erect – no slouching. And if you lie down, try not to fall sleep.

3. You can close your eyes, but keeping you eyes opened and focused on an object or spot on the wall will help keep you awake if you're afraid you'll fall sleep.

4. Set a timer so you do not have to keep looking at a clock or wondering if you've meditated long enough. Aim for 15 minutes to start, but do not worry if you can only sit for 6-8 minutes at the beginning. Just keep practicing and eventually the 15 minutes will stretch to 30 or more.

5. Begin by focusing on your breath: inhale through your nose and exhale through your mouth. Try counting to 4 as you breathe in and 5 as you breathe out. If you can, breathe deep into your belly.

6. Whenever you find your mind wandering, refocus on your breathing.

7. Make meditating a regular habit, like brushing your teeth.

It's easy to start meditating by generating little moments of “awareness” during your day. Just breathe in and out slowly and pay attention to the breathing rather than what's going on around you – you can even do this at a stop light while driving. This momentary break in your routine can help reduce stress and improve your outlook. I'm sure you've heard, “Just stop and take a deep breath.” as advice when things are hectic. The more you do this, the calmer you'll become and your meditation practice will improve.

Do not get frustrated and stressed that you're not doing it right. Like anything new, it takes time to become familiar with a new routine. You might find it helps to join a group or do meditation with a friend. Even read meditation books or get a CD to guide you.

Just remember that you're a beginner and you will not know everything or “do it perfectly” the first time. Like riding a bike, it takes practice until you're effortlessly sitting quietly and meditating for what looks like no time at all, even though your timer goes off after 15 minutes.

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