Answering the Question How Do I Meditate?

Any time I see this question asked I see basically the same answer given by a thousand different people. “Find a nice quiet place, sit comfortably, relax and watch your breath while you clear your mind.” Now this is a basic outline of the answer to the question, but in this article, I want to answer this question with a few tips I think are key to how you meditate successfully. In order to get everything out of your meditation practice, make sure you have these elements covered before you start to learn meditation.

1. Commitment – Work meditation practice into your schedule. We all have busy schedules now days but regardless of whether it's in the morning or the evening, work 15 minutes in for practicing your meditation.

Just make sure it is at the same time every day for your practice. This way your body will get used to the scheduled time.

2. Attitude – You have to approach learning meditation with the mindset that “yes, this is something I can do” So many people start things with the attitude that it is too hard or they can not really do it. This has you at a disadvantage right from the start no matter what it is you are trying to do.

3. Understanding – Make sure you learn each step and why it is important. Some things you may think are small or trivial but that is because you may not yet understand how they fit into learning meditation or how important it can actually be to you progressing.

4. Dedication – Make sure you practice and practice consistently. Be it every day, every other day, but like when learning anything else, you only get better and more comfortable at it with practice

5. Proper Focus – No expectations of what you think should be happening, or trying too hard. Do not concentrate on what you should be getting from the exercise you are practicing, just do it.

This would be just like when you are in a hurry to get to work because you are running late. When running late for work your thoughts are more focused on the outcome, or what will happen getting there late instead of concentrating on the journey. This is how accidents happen and when learning meditation, this one wrong focus can really hold you back. Focus will be crucial in later meditations so practice and then think about on what you may feel after your practice. A good teacher will never tell the student what to expect but rather ask the student to explain what they feel to gauge wherever they are really “getting” it.

So these are my tips I give to my new students when they come to me to learn meditation, when they ask me, “How do I meditate?” By applying these tips to their learning they will have the proper mindset when it comes down to later learning the mechanics of the practice and will be able to gain so much more from it. I hope these tips have given you a little different perspective into how you should approach your meditation and answering the question “How do I meditate?” The mindset is by far the most crucial aspect of learning meditation, or anything else for that matter. These are the kind of things being passed from teacher to student that you do not really see a lot of on the internet.

Copyright 2014 – Meditation Mind Source – All Rights Reserved

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Guided Meditation CDs: What Are Binaural Beats?

For many beginners in meditation, developing that deep, relaxing mind state can be difficult. Guided meditation CDs and mp3s offer a great way for beginners to learn how to meditate. They get a little assistance from the audio to achieve a deep relaxation. Additionally, the format makes it convenient to listen to anywhere, and since you can download the files to your smart phone, it is a great way to keep you accountable to a daily meditation practice.

There are many different types and types of meditation CDs on the market. The complete beginner may benefit from meditation audio featuring gentle nature sounds or music and a soft-spoken guide to help walk you through the exercise of observing the body and breath. However, as you gain experience in your practice, you may find the vocal instruction distracting. At this point, you might prefer a different type of meditation mp3 or CD.

This is where binaural beats and tones come in. Binaural beats were discovered by a Prussian physicist and meteorologist by the name of Heinrich Wilhelm Dove. During an experiment with sound waves of various frequencies, Dove noticed an interesting phenomenon.

When two sound waves of different frequency are played at the same time, they create an interference pattern as those waves collide into each other. For instance if you played a tone at 320 Hz directed at your left ear, and a tone of 330 Hz in your right ear, you would hear the binaural tone, or beat of the sound waves interfering with each other.

To illustrate some of this science, when you use stereo headphones to listen to a binaural beats CD, your brain is trying to process these two competitive tones. As a result, your brain perceives a low-frequency beat or tone, similar to an audit hallucination, as if those two competitive frequencies had been mixed to purposely create the beat. What is eerie is that the perceived tones that most people describe are the exact same beats or tones that one would get if they did indeed mix the two tones.

From an evolutionary perspective, this is one of your brain's adaptations for locating and tracking the source of a sound in 3D space. When our ancestors were required to hunt for their food, this skill was of vital importance. Today, we can tap into that ancient physiology to deepened our meditation, and come closer to our true selves.

Today these beats and tones are gaining greater recognition as a way to aid in relaxation and calming anxieties, achieving deeper meditative states, and increasing your creativity. In fact, studies have proven that binaural tones can help your brain achieve delta and even gamma brain waves, the deepest of meditative states.

While there is little clinical data to pull from, an overwhelming number of people have reported other benefits, such as helping with smoking cessation, dieting, helping people with mental performance such as learning and memorizing information before a major exam, and even things as reaching as erectile dysfunction, improving athletic performance, and increasing or amplifying the effects of recreational drugs.

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How to Relieve Stress With Mindfulness

Are you sometimes stressed? Worrying about trivial things? Anxious about any outcomes? Feeling uptight at home or at work? Restless, sleepless, fatigued? Is your mind chattering too much? Do you know how to truly relax and find inner peace?

If you are like 100 million Americans that according to surveys are stressed daily or weekly, stress is an issue that can take a toll on your mental and physical health. Occasional stress can be a good thing, but it is not natural for the mind-body when it is prolonged joined by induced hormones. The negative reactions associated with long-term exposure to stress are too numerous to mention. Worse even less lack of exercise, a poor diet or environment.

Modern life has a pertinent tendency to create the negative forms of stress that leave us entangled in worry and anxiety as malnourished or paralleled victims of the mental, emotional and physical stress symptoms. If we are to move out of the downward psychological spirals or self-defeating circles – we need to identify what causes the stress and / or take action to avoid reacting to it. We can learn stress management tools that prevent the mind-body from reacting with madness. It is not enough to simply be told to relax.

Key to De-stress

We need the key to unlock the thoughts and emotions behind our stress, and learn to cope to build more resilience, awareness and strength into our daily life. Time is a scarce resource, but the most important we have to manage our human resources.

There are ways to manage time and reduce stress, simultaniously. Most people will say, this is not entirely possible because they are too busy, and do not have the time to use or learn any stress management techniques. The question is can we afford not to, when our mind-body reacts. You can get the de-stress key with mindfulness!

Mindfulness – mindfulness meditation in particular – works to reduce stress. Scientific studies show that Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) can reduce up to 40 percent of our daily stress with many other health benefits. It relieves anxiety, pain and depression, and can help us become more mindful and aware of how we can appreciate life and learn to live in the moment.

Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction

When mindfulness reduces stress it alleviates many of our modern lifestyle's breathless symptoms. Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction works in two ways: It helps your mind and thus body to relax now properly.When relaxation kicks in the adrenaline and cortisol levels associated with instant and prolonged stress decrease almost immediately. This in turn affects the prefrontal cortex so that we can handle emotional triggers, use our planning skills and time ahead more efficiently than when feeling anxious or stressed. In this way we can learn to strike a balance between eu-stress (positive stress) and ordinary (negative) stress due to too many demands on our life and time. Here are ten mindful suggestions to reduce stress:

  1. Exercise – The main thing is to find a physical activity that works for you. For example, a 20-minute jog around your neighborhood can lift your spirits and mood. Walking in the great outdoors can change your perspective and is one of the best forms of exercise. It is also free!
  2. Socialize – Spend time with friends and family. It is all too easy to get talked up in daily life and neglect the people who give you a sense of belonging. Schedule time with family and friends and remember how good it feels just to be you around people you love, unwind and have a good time. Having some fun with them may provide all the stress relief you need.
  3. Identify Stressors – Dedicating a period of time every day to write about what is bothering you may give you stress relief. Keeping a journal can help you solve many problems or find positive angles around the stressors.
  4. Meditate – Learn to practice meditation. Preferably daily before you feel tension rising. Meditation eases and dissipates mental worry when you are able to take a moment to center yourself and ease any negative emotions. The benefits of mindfulness meditation are awesome to your mind, body, and emotions.
  5. Self-Care – Find ways to nurture yourself with healthy food and proper sleep. When tension spikes, it can be tempting to put yourself last, but prioritizing “me time” with healthy eating, relaxing activities, relationships and adequate rest – is necessary if you want to avoid making your stress worse.
  6. Breathe – If you feel stuck or can not leave the work-desk, take a few minutes to focus on your breath and breathing. Take 5-10 slow, deep, full breaths or step outside. This has an immediate calming effect on your mind and body. Taking the time to breathe properly improves your mood and helps you de-stress and relax.
  7. Kindness – When you catch yourself thinking negatively about yourself or others, turn your thinking around. Say to yourself: “He / she can not help it” or “I am doing the best I can in this moment!” Be kind or loving! It's too easy to get talked up in daily life and neglect yourself. Treat yourself to a nice cup of tea at the end of the day, an occasional body massage, or a holiday with loved ones.
  8. Simplify – Life can be full of too many distractions – like gadgets and things. If your life is cramped up or overloaded with stuff try to find ways to get rid of what you do not want or really need! Learn to disengage from entanglements.
  9. Thankfulness – Showing that you appreciate people and things for the good and support they bring to your life has a powerful, positive effect. It is impossible to feel negative when you are feeling grateful for the things you currently have in your life. Being thankful gives your life perspective and contracts more of what you are joyful or happy about.
  10. Allow Change – Sometimes the best way to relieve stress is to remove your source of tension. If you are working at a pace or in an environment that is objectively difficult because of your boss, collections, and so on to earn more money, you might be better off doing something else.

Mindfulness can help improve your awareness in relation to the above and much more. Once learned, it is always at hand anywhere, anytime.To receive more info or discover a simple guide to mindfulness meditation and learn how to incorporate mindfulness into your life, please visit:

www.destress-now.com

Copyright © 2014

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Meditation for Athletes – How to Use Meditation to Achieve Your Goals

The Brain and Athletic Performance

Using principles of meditation and visualization, an athlete will achieve his or her goals faster and with less effort through what is known as neural plasticity. Neural plasticity is a term used in neuroscience to describe the brain's ability to form new neural pathways and increase the rate of communication between brain neurons. Using practical application of this known phenomenon of the mind in conjunction with an athletic meditative practice athletic performance is oftentimes improved.

Numerous studies have been done on athletes using sophisticated EEG and muscular equipment in order to study the brain's connection with muscle tissue. Some have gone even further and have studied what happens within the brain and body during athletic visualization exercises. Their findings have shown that while in meditation and visualizing an athletic performance, the brain still sends real impulses to the muscles and organs as if it were actually in the event.

Being Present for the Practice

Runners would have told to visualize a race. Football players were told to visualize making the winning catch. Tennis players would serve a shutout match. In each study, it was shown that during visualization the brain makes physical connections with the muscles used in performing the action. Through repeated visualization and neural activation within the needed muscle groups, the brain learned to respond faster to these events during real athletic performances.

Studies also displayed that the mind sends signals to prepare the muscles for use up to 3 milliseconds before the muscles were to be used. With training, an individual can use these same principles to achieve faster muscle contraction and performance up to 3 milliseconds than competitors. In sports, even the smallest amount of time can mean winning the game or crossing the finish line first.

Focus on Your Purpose for Winning, Then Visualize.

Meditation for sports performance is the same as most standard goal setting and visualization techniques with the exception of the focus on physical presence during visualization. For athletes using meditation to achieve their goals, the vision of the performance in their mind should be set with the purpose of winning.

Next, visualize and let your mind show you what it does to help you through each moment of the athletic performance. Practice the event as if you were truly in the moment with complete presence. This technique allows you to practice mentally, even when your body is tired from physical practice. For some, this could produce the needed edge.

What is your purpose for winning or gaining the edge? Be as precise and as meaningful as possible. Why do you REALLY want to win? Do you wish to have the feeling of victory? Do you desire the fame of being a popular athlete? Do you want to be paid for your athletic talents?

Your purpose must be strong enough to make you desire the goal intentionally. Your purpose must engage you, and it must be related towards your personal growth and your desires. You must do it for you, and not for your coach, teams, or fans. Although teamwork and a great deal of cooperation is always required, the most powerful goals will be the ones that activate your inner soul.

Set the Goal. Meditate. Visualize. Succeed.

With the same principals that professional athletes use to win games and develop athletic skills, any person can practice these techniques. Although some may be born with more natural ability, we all have the ability to go within our minds to achieve things that may seem impossible.

Once you set a strong athletic goal and begin to meditate on its achievement and stick to the plan magic can happen. Once you learn to relax, meditate, and mentally picture yourself winning and performing at your best you will see an increase in peak performance.

This is not magic or myth. This is not gossip. This is simply the neuroscient behind the brain's ability to grow and to learn new things. This is one of the ways that you can train your brain through meditation to make you a better athlete. Winning truly does not begin within the mind.

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3 Simple Ways to Do Meditation for Beginners

Meditation has been proven by many research to be one of the practice that offers a lot of benefits to our mind and body, such as: to relieve stress, to improve concentration, to prevent dementia, etc. However, beginners may find out that it is not an easy practice as there are many ways of meditation available out there. For beginners, here are 3 ways of meditation that are simpler and easier to follow:

1. Mindfulness Meditation

In daily life, our mind is often living in the past or in the future. We forget that the only real thing in this life is the present moment. The past has been passed, while the future is yet to come. That is the reason why during the mindfulness meditation practice, we want to train our mind to be in the present moment. What we do is to try to be aware of what is happening in our environment, our body and mind, here and now. For example: be aware of the blow of the wind that comes from the fan, be aware of the sound of the air conditioner, be aware of our body posture, etc.

2. Breath Meditation

In breath meditation, the object of our meditation is our breath. Through the meditation practice, we try to be aware of our breath. We could pay our attention on the rising and falling of our belly or we could also pay attention on the air coming in and out of our nose. If there is one thing to take note about breath meditation, it is to breathe normally and as natural as possible. Do not let our mind to interfere / control our breath!

3. Loving Kindness / Metta Meditation

In loving kindness meditation, we wish everyone to be well and happy. We start by wishing ourselves to be free from suffering, to be well and happy. Then, we wish different groups of people starting from people who are very close and dear to us. The idea of ​​this type of meditation is to get rid of cruelty from our mind and develop a good feeling of washing everyone to be well and happy without string attached. Is world peace something that is achievable? It may be possible, but it is definitely tough to achieve. Because influencing other people to be in peace is beyond our individual control, so instead, why do not we start developing our inner peace through loving kindness meditation?

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How to Use Meditation to Help You Get Over Addiction

Mindfulness and Addiction

Addictions are the side effect of a grasping mind. When we try to cling to things beyond or reach or moments in our lives that have passed, it can sometimes lead to negative emotions or trigger unhealthy feelings. Generally, it is when individual traits excessively helplessness situations in his or her life, addictions and other coping mechanisms can form to help deal with the emotions.

Unfortunately, in many cases it can be hard to truly see what is causing the emotions and what an individual is gratifying for or reaching towards. This is where mindfulness meditation can begin to help with the discovery of the root causes for most addictions.

Meditation and practicing mindfulness can help us learn a greater capacity to see further into ourselves to explore our emotions and thoughts. Life can be full of many confusing and conflicting emotions. On occasion, an individuals core values ​​can be violated by the actions or words of another which can also lead to addiction and the need to cope.

Depression and addiction are two very close relatives who usually take residence at the intersection of hope and desire. Through mindfulness and learning how to focus the mind and its desires, it is much easier to cut through the mental fog that can sometimes cloud the understanding of self and cause the need to drown out our emotions with things or substances. Addictions are not all drug related. Addictions to possession, power, food, sex, money, and many other compulsive behaviors can also benefit from mindfulness and meditation.

Altering the Brain Through Meditation

For a number of years many scientists believed that once the human brain entered adulthood and beyond it could not grow or change. They believed that neuroplasticity (the brain's ability to create new structures and learn) was reduced after childhood. With new research in the field of neuroscience, we now know that the brain never loses its ability to grow new structures as we age. However, some parts can become atrophied from a simple lack of use.

Research by Sara Lazar, a researcher at Massachusetts General Hospital, shows that through the practice of mindfulness meditation the brain becomes thicker. Her research has shown the pre-frontal cortex and the mid-isolated regions of the brain become larger and more active with meditative practices. Her research, in addition to the work of others in the fields of science and medicine, have all shown that when you begin to change your thoughts and habits the brain will develop new pathways. This means that it is possible to change the brain's pathways and its impulses simply through intention and mindful attention. If the desire is there to end an addiction and meditation is chosen as a solution, success is likely to occur.

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Tips for Meditation – For the Busy Professional

Adopting a daily meditative practice has been shown to reduce stress, improve mood, balance emotions, increase memory, and promote longevity. A modern fast paced society can present numerous pressures and challenges daily. Even though meditation can play an important key role in maintaining a stable balance and preventing burnout, time is often limited. There are literally over one thousand types of meditation and multiple ways to equally perform each. This can make the task of finding time appear even more daunting to some.

Securing a Daily Space

No stranger to the stresses of the modern professional climate, I've often struggled with this myself. Securing a daily space for your meditations can be a challenge, especially in an office environment. The trick is to find a time and place that you can commit to daily.

Whether you choose to sit quietly at your desk with headphones on or you choose to escape to your car for quiet time, setting a time and place is important. Not only will a proper time and place provide your practice with structure but it will also provide you with a goal to achieve each day. It will give you something to look forward to. This will be your quiet time that you owe to working on yourself.

10 Minutes of Mindful Presence

Can you secure just 10 minutes of time for yourself through the day? Although longer, deeper meditative sessions can produce great results it is possible to achieve success with shorter 10 minute segments as well. During this time, effort should be placed on breathing with eyes closed. Breathe in for a count of three, and exhale for a count of three. Many find that within a few minutes of mindful breathing (placing your focus on breathing) the mind tends to break away from stressful thoughts or anxieties.

While breathing, try to breathe into your stomach region as opposed to your chest region. You should see your belly rise and fall with your breaths as opposed to your chest. If you see your chest rise and fall with each breath, place your focus on belly breathing. This is a more relaxed and natural method of breathing that is absent for many. Most people breathe with their upper chest or “puff out” their chest while they suck in their stomachs. This results the body from fully utilizing the breath and is reducing efficient oxygen flow.

Another critical part of the ten minute meditation process is to be present in the current moment. Thoughts will come. When they do, simply acknowledge their presence and allow them to pass. Do not try to hard to remove your mind of any thoughts. Doing so will prove to be counter productive to the process and you may find yourself becoming discouraged or stressed that your mind will not “shut down”.

Simply be present in the moment. Notice your surroundings and then let them fade away. Should a distraction present itself, notice it but let it pass as well. This will train your mind to become more focused on the task of relaxation and allow you to continue your focus on breathing. After only ten minutes of this shortened form of mindful meditation it is possible to rest your mind and allow you to feel more energized once you return to your tasks for the day.

Maintain Proper Posture

Your posture for meditation should be relaxed and proper, but not rigid. Take care to ensure that your spine is as straight as possible and that your shoulders are in an upright position. Imagine your head is attached to a string and that it is held straight and forward in a relaxed fashion. You can also touch the tip of your tongue to the roof of your mouth. Placing your body in this fashion allows your natural energy channels to flow efficiently and allows your lungs proper breathing space.

Think about your post in terms of your mood. There is a physiological link between the position of your body and your mood. Think of when you are in a depressed or upset state. Are your shoulders upright and relaxed or are they hunched over and slack? Does your head sit high or do you hang your head down a bit? Some find that simply by adjusting their body post their move will improve. Mixing proper posture with proper breathing will ensure that your shortened meditations are as successful as possible.

Walking or Standing Meditations

A simple trip to the drink machine can be turned into a meditative experience. Walking meditations are another popular practice among many cultures and can be incorporated into your daily schedule. Instead of sitting in the break room, try to go on a short meditative walk.

During your walk, practice the same posture as described above and retain focus on your breathing. You can even try to match your breathing to your steps. With each step, breath, and be mindful of your entire body. Feel your feet moving across the ground. Bring your focus as much as possible into your inner space.

Find a Practice Right for You

The most important part of meditating as busy professional is to find a time, place, and form of practice that is right for you and your surroundings. Different body types, mental characteristics, and moods will require different types of practice to see optimum benefit.

Do not be afraid to experiment. You can not fail at meditation. In essence, the only true failure in meditation is the intervention involved in never giving it a try. In today's busy and stressful world, why would you not want to try something that could give you more energy, focus, relaxation, and rest throughout the day?

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How to Use Meditation to Bring You Out of a Depressive State

We live in interesting times. On the exterior, we live in a vastly advanced society with impressive social structure and the ability to innovate. On the exterior, we have hundreds of different medicines and procedures to help us deal with a myriad of physical ailments that could affect us. As they say, beauty is only skin deep.

With the recent attention placed on depression with the untimely passing of Robin Williams, we are forced to begin looking more into our interior.

Depression is a formidable opponent for millions. If left unchecked, depression can also lead to stress, illness, feelings of hopelessness, and feeling like there is no way out. Brain chemistry is also affected by depression.

From a neurological standpoint, most affected by depression show reduced alpha activity in the frontal lobes. Alpha brainwaves are one of the most common brainwave patterns among those who meditate. These presences an opportunity to use the advancements of our modern society to help explain how you can use meditation to being you out of a depressed state.

It should be understood that meditation, although simple, will not offer relief as quickly as some modern medicines. If you are feeling depressed you should first consult your doctor. That being said, many medical professionals are now beginning to see more scientific proof that meditation can help with depression. Because of the increase of proof backed by research in neuroscience and many published articles, it is hard for even the most trained of doctors to dismiss its benefits.

Knowing that meditation causes an increase in alpha brainwave activity and that those with depression show reduced alpha wave activity in the frontal lobes helps many place permission in their meditative practice. Learning that meditation is a spiritual practice backed by scientific and medical research can help reduce our inner skeptic. Believing that meditation will help reduce your depression is the first and most important principle of practice. Through your belief in its methods and faith in its practice, many argument that intention alone can promote healing.

In order to use meditation to bring you out of a depressive state, the first thing you must do is believe meditation will work. This trust in its purpose must come from your heart. This is a very important step. You need not know everything there is to know about it just yet, but you need to trust that it can and will work for you.

Once you have the desire to improve your mental health and mood with the aid of meditation, you need to simply start practicing. Find a time of day you can commit to daily mediation that will be easy to adhere to and will not cause stress. If you are stressed out finding time to meditate or a place you will not be disturbed, this can make it more difficult to enter meditation.

Because the alpha brainwave state is the goal and alpha is a state of relaxation, it is important that you be relaxed. Have fun with it, meditation is intended to be a pleasurable and relaxing practice. Do not be afraid to jump in head first and have fun with it. Do not worry if at first you find it hard to clear your mind and relax. If you remember learning to ride a bike, you probably realize not all things are perfected on the first try. The results will come.

While in meditation, visualizing is also an important tool. Close your eyes and relax while trying to picture what you perceive to be pleasurable. We all like different things. Not everyone wants to picture themselves on a beach. While visualizing, it is important to make it personal. What place would you love to visit? What activity might you enjoy doing? Have fun with your visualizations and be playful in their construction. In your mind, you have the ability to be at ease.

You can also mix sitting meditation with relaxation or meditation music to achieve good results. There are hundreds of options available when selecting music for meditation. This music does not always have to be soothing new age music. For starters, think about music you love that always makes you feel good or relaxed. Using meditation to bring you out of a depressive state is a very personal undertaking. Simply go with your intuition. Do whatever feels right and feels good for you. There are thousands of different types of meditation, all with volumes of research and resources.

From the formless meditation called Shikantaza to the more involved zen or mudra meditations, it is very possible to find a practice right for you. The most important thing is to start meditating with the intent of using meditation to bring you out of a depressing state. Believe in your goal and in your purpose. The type of meditation and the details of your perfect practice will then begin to unfold for you with less effort.

You may even find that solutions will come to you. Look for people, places, and circumstances that present an opportunity for you to learn meditation or a related practice. Meditation mixed with visualization, soothing music, and the belief in oneself can have a tremendous impact on depression.

Other forms of moving meditation such as Tai Chi, Yoga, or Qi Gong can very complement sitting meditation. These practices focus on a calm mind, relaxing the breath, fluid movements, good posture. These practices also teach how to discover and control the theorized life force of the human body. In most practices, this life force is called Chi. The confidence gained from learning how to control ones vital life energy and the grace that can come with these practices can help many individuals overcome depression by anchoring accomplishment.

Meditation also has no bad side effects or risks other than the possibility of falling asleep. In today's fast paced world, most do not get enough sleep. I believe we could use a little more rest and relaxation each week.

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Mind Body Healing For The Busy Executive

If you are a business professional, then you are likely under a great deal of stress. With a busy schedule full of meetings, reports and presentations you may find yourself in a constant state of stress. Even worse, there may not be enough time during the day to get all your tasks completed – let alone deal with your stress. Luckily, there is a way to treat your stress that you can actually fit into your day: mind body healing through meditation.

The Mind-Body Connection

As a busy executive, you are working your mind non-stop. Your mind is always racing with thoughts of everything you have to get done, and it is constantly being utilized. Even if your job is not too physical in nature, your physical body will also begin to tire because it goes hand in hand with your mind.

Some of the most predominant mental and physical symptoms of a busy work schedule include:

  • Racing Heart
  • Muscle Tension
  • Insomnia
  • Headaches
  • Mood Swings
  • Depression
  • Chest Pain
  • Trouble Breathing

Meditation has the ability to relate these symptoms and help you prepare to take on the day. Since meditation requires that you clear your mind of all thoughts, you can put racing thoughts and mental stress to bed. As your mind relaxes, your body continues suit – easing muscle tension and pain. The deep breathing can improve your breathing, slow your heart rate and help you sleep better.

By the end of a meditation session, you will have experienced mind body healing which recharges your body. With regular practice you can better handle tasks and get through your day without stress holding you down.

Fitting Meditation Into Your Day

A busy executive like you barely has enough time to get all your work done in the day – let alone meditate. However, effective meditation can be done in as little as 5 minutes. Many people find that starting their day off with meditation and ending their day with meditation is the best way to prepare and recharge their minds and bodies.

As soon as you wake up in the morning, set aside 5 minutes to meditate. This quick morning session will prepare your mind for the day and help you to handle stress as you move through your busy day. Before bedtime, spending another 5 minutes meditating will heal your mind and body of the stress from the day and prepare it for the next day.

If you experience stress during the day, simply close the door to your office and meditate for a quick 5 minutes. Doing this will help you to focus on the task at hand and relate some of the pressure on your mind and body. Just because you're busy does not mean you're too busy to meditate. You will not notice the 5 minutes lost to meditation but you will notice the relief it provides.

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Way to Meditation

In Meditation we become aware of our desires and goals.

According to the Sikh lifestyle designed by Sikh Gurus, one should control and get rid of five vices. The Vices are Anger, Greed, Lust, Emotional Attachment, and Ego. According to Sikhism, our soul is a part of God, it has been separated from God and the purpose of our life is to become one with God just like a drop of water mingles with the ocean. However, we are unclean and in order to become one with God, we have to clean ourselves to become like God.

In meditation you undergo a process not of self-analysis but self-perception. Meditation by itself does not help entirely, because though by meditation you clean your body, your mind and your consciousness, your karmas will still accumulate as impressions. Your emotional personality and thinking will again become misguided. It is something like cleaning the room, and then putting the dirt back again. You are trying to clear your personality of trash, immoralities, errors and tensions but simultaneously karmas are accumulating. On one side you are clearing mistakes and from the other side pressures are coming in and again you are in the same state. It is for this reason that the disciples who practice meditation must also practice Dharma (Anything that helps human beings to reach god is Dharma and anything that hinders human being from reaching god is Dharma). Through karma yoga you stop the effects of samskaras, karmas going into the deepest core of your personality. There is an art to do this-the art is found in the Bhagavad-Gita.

There are hundreds and thousands of people through the world who are practicing meditation, but who are not happy because they look for everything in meditation only. It does help them, there is no doubt about that meditation is about the supreme importance of all remedial techniques. In fact, it is the most powerful method known for enlightening the superiority of life. Through the practice of meditation the karmic impressions which cause the person to feel restricted, instead of free and happy, are released more quickly and without incurring new karmas. As a result, the mind expends and is able to express more creativity, happiness and harmony. Life seems much calmer and realistic when you meditate regularly. Meditation is probably the single most important thing you can do in life to produce greater energy, happiness and spiritual awareness. But along with meditation, karma and Dharma should also be practiced.

The meditation is not restricted to any particular nation, caste or language. It is for all kinds of people of both sexes. The proper meaning of the meditation is control of mind. The constant flows of thoughts are controlled. What are the results obtained by this? The first result is mental peace, a calm mind, not agitated by evil or good, a mind free from anger, lust, greed, emotional attachment, and Ego. There are people who say that meditation is a way to self-realization, for coming together of individual awareness with the highest awareness, but in general this aim of meditation is also extraordinary. Meditation is for self-realization; but this, I think, very few people can explain, fewer can gain, and only the exceptional individual can practice.

Meditation may be the basic goal of life, but it is too early for us to think about it because we are not keeping healthy; our thoughts are low-spirited. The mind is impossible to control. But this does not mean you can not meditate. It simply means you have never learned how to understand or deal with the thoughts that come during meditation.

If you agree with me that meditation is a discipline of thoughts and an awareness of Spirit, and that it is a system through which we can root out the individual anxieties, the unseen disorders and the tensions that are all around us in the physical, mental , emotional and spiritual bodies, then let us go ahead with the subject. You will agree that our behavior, our thinking, our actions and our reactions are guided by the ambition, that is to say, by awareness. This awareness is not pure; it works in association with the situation and other conditions, as a result of which tensions pile up in the different spheres of our personality of which we are unaware, and so we suffer from insomnia, restlessness, anxiety and worry. These individual disorders, the sufferings and troubles which are obvious in our life, are guiding the destiny of the world. The restlessness through the world is an exit of the disorder in the thoughts of many of us.

What is meditation? Simply put: it is an uninterrupted thought flow directed towards Higher Awareness or God without open expression through the senses. It helps us to be aware of the false ego-sense and related negativity and defatement in our minds.

Meditation is a practice in which an individual trains the mind or induces a mode of awareness, either to understand some benefit or as an end in itself. The mind which is always restless and constantly thinking of something or other, when controlled, a man can get some form of power. Meditation is the concentration of the mind, when people are working on the important objects has to be always cautious. Their responsibility is much. When men worked at that time for hours or days also. During this time, his mind is on the particular object only, to see the perfection of the object. There is no other thought during the Woking period. Sometimes he may forget his timely food. The term meditation refers to a broad variety of practices that includes techniques designed to promote relaxation, build internal energy or life force and develop attention, worship, generosity and understanding. A particularly ambitious form of meditation aims at effortlessly sustained single-pointed concentration meant to enable its practitioner to enjoy an eternal sense of well-being while engaging in any activity of life.

All these kinds of work are done for some earnings or present or salary, by whatever name. Whatever may be the name there is an expectation for the act done. Further a particular form of education, training and experience are all required for these. When the same concentration of the mind is applied and turned towards God, without expecting any fruits of action, the mind gets superpowers.

“Meditation is an insight that all goals are false. Meditation is an understanding that desires do not lead anywhere. Seeing that … And this is not a belief that you can get from me or from Buddha or from Jesus. knowledge; you will have to see it. You can see it right now! ” – Osho,

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The Basics of Medtiation (How, When and Where)

How?

Meditation is very simple. Not easy, mind you, but simple. And this is true for whichever type of meditation you do; be it guided visualization, mindfulness (Vipassana as it's called, which stem from the buddhist tradition), or simply focusing on your breath. There are other ways of meditating, but the ones mentioned here are the most commonly used in the west, so I'll stick to those for now. If you feel inclined to try another way of doing it, feel free to do so, but I would recommend starting simple so you can get a hang of it first, and advance further later on in your journey.

When doing a guided visualization you either lie down or sit comfortably with your legs crossed and back straight, and then you listened to the recording where you'll be guided through a visualization which often includes a garden, a beach or some sort of sanctuary or calm and serene place. YouTube has lots of good material, and otherwise you can just search the web and you'll find some you want to try.

Mindfulness is a form of meditation where you focus your attention on your thoughts, emotions and sensations in a non-judgmental way. By being more aware of how your body feels, if the muscles are tense or relaxed, if your breath is shallow or deep, what you can hear, smell, see, touch etc, and doing so in an accepting manner where you do not try to change anything, but simply notice it, you'll be able to be more “in the now”. This is something you can do while walking, standing or sitting down.

If you instead choose to meditate through breath awareness you could either count your in-and out breaths up until ten, or if you prefer; focus on the feeling of the air at the tip of your nose as you breathe in, and then how it feels when you breathe out. The best position for this type of meditation is a lotus or half-lotus with your back straight to keep you alert and prevent you from falling asleep.

When?

Is there a time best suited for doing meditation? And how long should you actually do it, and how often?
The answers to these questions depend on you as a person, as always. Some prefer to meditate first thing in the morning, others do it as a way to calm down and be more centered as well as re-focus during a lunch break, and others still think the best time is before they're going to bed to shut off the endless chatter of the mind. Try them all and see for yourself which one suits you the best. Personally I prefer to do it in the morning, since that tends to set the tone for the rest of the day and I'm able to focus a lot better and will not be hindered by judgmental self-talk.

How long should you do it then? Do you have to sit for hours on end to notice any positive effects? Absolutely not! In fact, if you do it for as little as two minutes, you'll still be able to notice lots of the many benefits which come from meditating on a regular (or not so regular) basis. Start with ten to fifteen minutes, and do longer sessions when you're more used to it or if you want to go deeper in your spiritual practice, but if you use it as a way to relax fifteen minutes should be just fine.

How often you do it is, once again, up to you and what you see fit. Usually three or more times should be fine; it all depends on how heic your schedule is.

Where?

What's the best place to meditate? Any place where you wont be disturbed and where there's not too much noise or things happening around you if need be is my answer. You could even do it at a toilet or by walking away to a quarterer place or part of the room with less people. The most suitable location and place for a meditation however, is outside in nature or if you can create a cozy, calm environment in your home with lit candles, soothing music and a soft pillow to sit on.

Remember; the best practice is the one that gets done, and the same goes for meditation. Have fun with it and experiment to find the best way of doing it for yourself.

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How to Increase Your Productivity in Just 20 Minutes

We've always had gadgets to make our lives easier. Ever since we crawled out of the primordial soup and developed opposable thumbs, we've been coming up with new and wondrous ways to make our lives easier. The I-Rock from the Paleolithic era was no doubt very helpful for breaking open the shells of nuts, the Sony Horse Shoe allowed our four legged friends to take us faster and further afield; and the Blackberry pigeon was a really astounding invention that allowed us to send messages quickly and easily. Whatever problem we seem to have, eventually we'll find a way to do it better, quicker and more efficiently.

The development of technology has increased dramatically over the last decade; we have all manner of gizmos and devices, designed to make our lives more productive. The daily bleeps, boings and buzzes that originate from the numerous devices we all have help us plan, respond and keep our lives ticking along at a healthy pace. Well-done humanity, another step towards efficiency enlightenment.

But, at what point do the constant alerts, messages and reminders become unhelpful. When does the NHS issue a new health warning categorized as beeping anxiety. The incessant prompting from our mobile phones that we still have “stuff to do”.

Every day the average person receives data equivalent to 174 newspapers and spends almost 30% of our time in our inbox. One of the main drawbacks from these constant interruptions is the frequent breaking of our concentration.

Producing good, quality work and being efficient at what we're doing sometimes takes our unbroken focus and attention.

We see it in sport when athletes “get in the zone”, the elusive Shangri-La of sporting achievement. A place where we're so single minded on the task at hand that we produce our greatest performances without even thinking about it: intuition, focus and concentration all combining to help us reach our full potential.

The most powerful device we have to improve this focus is our own brain. Meditation is one tool we can all use to help sharpen and focus our concentration and mental acuity. For years meditators have been professing its virtues and how it can help with both physical and mental health. Modern science is starting to back-up this anecdotal evidence with research and scientific data.

A recent paper in the journal Psychological Sciencetries identified the brain functions that are actually enhanced by meditating. The study shown that intensive meditation can help people focus and sustain their attention over longer periods of time.

On one particularly challenging computer test of sustained attention, students who mediated did 10 times better than a control group. They also did significantly better on timed information-processing tasks that were designed to induce stress stress.

In 2012 the University of Washington examined the effects of meditation training on multitasking in a real-world setting. They asked a group of human resources professionals to engage in the type of simultaneous planning they did habitually.

After the multitasking free-for-all, one group attended a meditation course for eight weeks before they all met again to repeat the tests.

The only participants to show improvements were the group who had practiced meditation on a daily basis. Their ability to concentrate had significantly improved and they switched between tasks less frequently.

Meditation appears to work not just on a behavioral level but actually changes the physiology of our brain. The neuronal connections in the areas of the brain associated with attention are reinforced and this improved connectivity makes us less prone to distraction.

With a finite amount of processing power available and living in a world full of interruptions, the key to productivity may lie in something that's been around for 200,000 years. All we have to figure out is how to download it.

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How To Get Grounded

Grounding exercise is an exercise which is designed to help in focusing attention on the present moment. The exercises do this by reconnecting the body energy with Mother Earth energy. These exercises are most helpful for individuals going through overwhelming experiences which are absorbing all their attention, those who feel dizzy and spacey especially after healing or energy work and also for individuals who feel stressed, panicky or anxious. They can also be very helpful for people who are not able to feel their bodies completely especially the legs.

When you want to fully ground your energy, to fully manifest and to hold the energy and connect to the healing powers of the earth, you will need to develop energetic roots. A solid foundation is found when you are able to ground and develop lower energy which ascends into higher energies which fully fully get embodied in you increasing vibration. The human energy field is divided into two contexts; the one that allows connection between the body and energy of the earth and the other which allows cosmic energy to flow right in. Both have to be opened to allow proper flow of energy in the body. Here is how to get grounded to strengthen your connection to Earth energy and the cosmos:

  • Remove shoes and socks and stand up straight with feet flat on the ground and legs apart to match shoulder width.
  • Slow and deepen your breathing through the nose and out the mouth. Slowly bend your knees closer to the ground and hold attention to Hara point that is below the belly button.
  • Imagine you are an oak tree and visualize the trunk circumference and bark texture and let your imagination see every part from the waist down as your mighty roots and the rest up the trunks and the leaves.
  • Now visualize the roots growing down from the feet and deep into the ground and feel the sparkling diamond dust bits all around you. Imagine the roots absorbing that dust and rising into the trunk.
  • Bring your index fingers and thumbs together to form a diamond shape right about 3 inches below the belly button and continue imagining the dust rising and energizing every branch and leaf.
  • Hold the position for up to three minutes. It may be harder in the beginning, but it should get easier with daily practice.

You can then outstretch the arms and stand with hands in a prayer position over the heart. Now give thanks in ways you feel most appropriate. It may prove to be difficult growing your roots deep by continued repetition will make the exercise easier. You will be amazed by just how grounded you will feel as you become more and more used to this performance. You will start feeling more in control as you become a solid rock every day. You will be in a position to get over your anxiety and stresses and start feeling much stronger when you are fully grounded.

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Provoking Inward Landscapes – Tai Chi Calling

Tai Chi is meditation in motion.

Creative writing is an exploration of inner landscapes with strange and wonderful inhabits, all alive and striving.

The two come together in a rich and subtle dance for both body and ideas:

  • Emotional ideas based on motion
  • Imagistic hands, feet, shoulders, elbows, and wrists

Yes – your wrists. Ah, your amazing wrists

Wrists are actually energy gates that allow, enable, and encourage to opening flower of the fingers to form or sudden fists to flash out at the startled other who appears to oppose you.

Tai Chi – the most silent martial art – enables us to explore other lands in motion, and once there expanding as needed, possibly exploding in conflict-solving sudnessness:

  • Land of stalking panthers and fleeing deer; wise deer that only seem to flee while luring the cat deeper into morning mists, fading away completely into the jungle of silence.
  • Land of mirrored lakes and incredible cliff faces from which you are invited to fling yourself and perhaps fly, of if falling, breath the deepest breath you ever taken.
  • Land of underwater dancers: whale, shark, and squid; and yes, the awesome sea python – improbably huge snake – with coils stretched through the whole length of deep ocean swells; and the mighty stallions rearing up through breaking surf to crash on black rocks of the night shore.

And more.

As the Tai Chi form opens, unwinds, and releases, to guide guide us through these strange shamanic wildernesses peopled with more than dreams, we become more open sourced writers. And more.

Yes, more.

The Chinese consider their square picture-like writing system to be “dancing on paper” when done in the flowing grass stroke style.

Likewise, the energetic flow of the written narrative when showing, not telling, is a form of dancing in imaginary landscapes with imaginary societies and their lead characters.

From where does all this dancing energy come? The Chinese can answer that too. From the basic building energies of the universe – yang and yin, male and female, light and darkness. But how can a writer learn to ride (not to hatred, which is a prescription for writer's block) these entwined surging energies?

That is an open question, with an opening set of answers. Tai Chi – the slow possible form of meditation in motion – invites us into imaginal realms beyond immediate logic. The imaginative motions within the pattern of a formal Tai Chi set can unleash the mind in the process of interpreting each gesture, glance, and posture. Consider well what happens when you master these patterned motions:

  • Waving Hands like Clouds
  • Carrying the Cosmos
  • Single Whip
  • White Crane Spread its Wings
  • Playing the Lute
  • Parting the Wild Stallion's Mane
  • Silver snake slinks down
  • Grasping the Swallow's Tail

As you repeat these moves, over and over again, at first mindfully and then more naturally, and finally mindlessly, you are also transported or released into another time: dancing in slow, dignified tempo with the monks of Shao Lin Temple 1200 years ago; into animal realms with eyes of a tiger, python, crane, and wild stallion; into new turns within the intricate labyrinth of your emerging story lines; into parallel universes awaiting you to emerge, be described, and to release yet more energy through you and your narratives.

Mystical? Yes. Practical? Yes. Suited to your needs as a practicing creative writer? Yes.

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Meditation For Childbirth

Childbirth is one of the most painful events that a woman can go through but it is also the most rewarding. While there are several medications that can help numb the pain, they all carry their own risks to both you and your baby. If you are choosing a natural childbirth and want a way to find relief from the pain, then meditation for childbirth can help you.

The Benefits of Meditation

Regular meditation has several immediate effects on the body and mind which can help you during childbirth such as:

  • Relieve Stress

There is no doubt that your body is under an intense amount of stress during childbirth due to the pain, the changes going on in your body and the reality of a new life entering the world. Meditation can lower your blood pressure, heart rate and slow your breathing which all work together to lower your stress response.

  • Pain Management

Meditation can help you to relax your body by releasing muscles groups and taking control of your body. Natural pain reducers called endorphins are released during meditation which can help relieve the pain of childbirth.

  • Increases Focus

With everything going on around you, it is easy to get distracted and even panic. Meditation helps you clear your mind so you can focus on the task at hand. This can actually help your body to progress and can assist in your child's birth.

  • Improves Mood

Meditation can increase positive energy in you and bring about a sense of inner peace. This will calm you down and relieve you of all the worry you have during childbirth.

Meditating During Childbirth

During childbirth, you likely will not be able to get on the floor in lotus pose to moderate but you can practice meditation techniques from the comfort of your hospital bed. Deep breathing is particularly effective during childbirth. In addition to its ability to relieve stress, reduce pain and help you focus, it can also help you get through your contractions. Pull in deep breaths from your abdomen and then slowly release them through your mouth. As you exhale, imagine your pain leaving with your breath.

Visualization is another effective technique during childbirth because it allows you to focus on something along your pain. Picture a positive image to focus on such as a favorite vacation spot or even of you rocking your soon to be born baby. These visualizations will create a positive energy and will draw your focus away from pain.

By meditating regularly before giving birth, you will be preparing your body to handle the process as best as it can. Likewise, continuing meditation after giving birth can help your body heal faster and can keep your mood stable. Meditation for childbirth is one of the most effective, natural ways of helping you have a positive birth experience.

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