Kindling The Fire Of Your Spirit: How To Consciously Practice Meditation In A Nutshell

First of all, I would like to say that meditation is not sleep. It is also not a state of perfect calm all of the time. Meditation can be many different things, just as there are different forms of consciousness, meditation can be many things. I will go into some of them here, and then after you read the article, you can take it from there.

Indeed, when I meditate, that is when my mind is most active really, for I am visualizing and working on things most important to me in so many ways. I may look “out there” or “inactive”, but it is really when I am my most active. With that statement said: Reality is more than it could ever appear to be on the surface, and that is for starters. Reality as a whole is consciousness at every level, from the subatomic fields to the most active looking volcano or moving vehicle, including the body.

When I personally think of meditation although, I know I am controlling and understanding my reality at its deepest and most personal levels.

As for being rather vague in this article, I am doing that for a purpose, to make you think and fill in your “personal blank areas” and force answers out of many questions about reality that you may have.

Some of the greatest “silent times” in life yield some of the greatest breakthroughs for the reasons I mentioned above. In real meditation you are dealing with the deeper levels of the mind that are less active during times that you are not meditating. As has been said, surface reality is the tip of the iceberg and everything else is “under the water” literally. After all, some of the worst time is when you are angry and only dealing with surface reality when it is going wrong in opposition to those great silent times that honestly feel right.

Some of my greatest moments were being “weird” and meditating, and most of my worst moments were getting angry at “average situations that did not go right”. Removing myself from “reality” after all when it is not going right is always a great start to meditation, I find. For being too immersed in surface things makes a person ever weaker and genially not able to “deal with it”. Strength comes through focus, discipline and courageous thinking and action. Being able to deal with reality also comes from looking at all of it objectively from top to bottom, or from the smallest particle to the largest situation. After all going in blustering and loud helps nothing, but going in cool, calm and collected helps everything for starters. This is where fear ends and meditation starts.

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Of God, Mindfulness, Breathing and Meditation

In a TV series, To Know God, Morgan Freeman set out on a quest to know what people think of God.

To know the answer he crisscrossed the world to have a better and deeper understanding god.

He spoke to ordinary people, archaeologists, religious historians and clerics of the major religions in the world, ie, Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Hinduism, and Buddhism, to know their perspectives of god.

For the record, of the five, only four are considered a “religion” based on the accepted definition of the word.

Religion is:

“The belief in the worship of a superhuman controlling power, especially a personal God or gods.”

Christianity has God the Father, Islam has Allah, Elohim or Yaweh, in Judaism, and the Brahman, for Hindus.

Buddha, in Buddhism, is not a god, but a state of enlightenment. And the goal of all Buddhists is to achieve that level to become a Buddha.

Achieving enlightenment stuck a very nice point for discussion between Freeman and a Buddhist monk. Here is an excerpt of that discussion.

Mr. Freeman: How do you achieve enlightenment?

Buddhist Monk: True and pure enlightenment is a very long and tedious process and can only be achieved through constant meditation.

Mr. Freeman : How do you meditate?

Buddhist Monk (with a smile): The simplest way to meditate is to focus on your breathing.

By breathing, is meant “focused breathing,” the main ingredient of Mindfulness of Breathing , which is one of the two basic meditation techniques taught by Gautama Buddha (the other is Loving-Kindness).

What is Mindfulness of Breathing?

This works on the theory that if you focus on your breath , you become aware of the mind's tendency to jump from one thing to another.

By concentrating on your breath you bring yourself back to the present moment and enjoy all the richness of experience that it contains.

It is a way to develop mindfulness, the faculty of alert and sensitive awareness.

Mindfulness of breathing is a good antidote to restlessness and anxiety; to relax. And it has a positive effect on your physical and mental state.

Is Mindfulness Good for Seniors?

Many years ago, I had a terrible migraine headache.

For weeks I had constant and painful headache resulting to a stiff neck and an excruciating pain when I lifted my right arm.

I tried several cures, to no avail. Then somebody suggested complete relaxation andave me tips how to do it

In less than a week my migraine was gone. Since then I never had to take headache pills and never have sleep problems, too. If I want to, I can be fast sleep in less than five minutes even while sitting on a chair.

You, too, can reap the benefits of focused breathing. Aside from the above, here are a few more:

1. Slows down your memory loss:

Meditation through focused breathing stimulates the hippocampus and the frontal brain lobe which are responsible for long term and short term functions of the brain.

In a study recently published in Neuroscience Letters, it was reported that regular meditation slows down the progress of cognitive impairment which is a prelude to dementia.

2. Improves your digestive system:

If you have a chronic digestive problem, meditation will give you an almost immediate relief.

This is because regular meditation improves blood circulation and increases its oxygen content which is then shared with the other organs, like the stomach and the intestines.

In addition to that, the oxygen-boost through meditation also helps the immune system, and heals the lungs.

3. Makes you feel happy:

Meditation stimulates the prefrontal cortex, the “feel-good” part of the brain.

It is especially beneficial to you if you are in and out of depression caused by your living circumstances.

Your zest and vigor for life will be given a booster shot.

4. It helps you achieve more focus:

With meditation, your left and right brain hemispheres act together improving your focus, creativity and wit.

You become more mentally alert and can function better in society, making you fully enjoy your retirement days.

5. It is the best way to beat stress:

The life of a senior can be a life of constant stress from chronic illnesses, loneliness, loss of a spouse or a loved one, separation from children, limited fiancés and many more.

Dwelling on these for long periods of time can result in chronic stress, which is just a short step from depression, dementia and, extremely, Alzheimer's.

Focused breathing can drive these from your mind. It does not cost anything, and can be done anywhere, anytime.

Granting that it does not completely solve your problems, but it gives you some reply and precious time to think of ways to sort them out.

There are no unsolvable problems. But sometimes we are deluged with so many that logical thinking becomes impossible.

Meditation clears your mind. It removes the chaff from the grain.

6. It drives away loneliness:

As a live alone senior, my biggest concern is loneliness. There are days when tears soak my lunch or supper.

Both my kids are married and living on their own. Although we see each other now and then, and they are just a text message away, but nothing beats their presence, to have a more personal conversation with the people most dear to me.

But that has become impossible. They have their own lives to live, their own schedules, their own spouses.

I have become merely a blip on their screen.

When loneliness becomes so suffocating, I settle on a nice and comfortable place and do focused breathing.

I empty my mind from all the negative thoughts painted by my loneliness, accept my present realities and focus on the moment.

It works all the time.

Skeptics may take focused breathing as nothing more than a first-aid; a band-aid approach to problems affecting most seniors. It is just sweeping those problems under the rug.

Maybe. But it is your best bet against loneliness, stress, and many other age-related problems.

It is cheap and can be done anytime. And even if the relief you get is temporary, it gives you some precious time to think of more concrete solutions to your problems.

Lastly, after covering thousands of miles, Mr. Freeman has observed that all religions share one thing in common: God is peace, god is love and god resides in each one of us.

Take care of god, and god will take care of you.

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As The Spirit Rises

Divine is the spirit so do not be sad when it leaves the body, rejoice because it is now part of the universe, a beautiful journey of the soul expanding into unknown horizons, where the sun meets the ocean, where dusk and dawn are one .ï »¿

My sadness knew no boundaries having lost my mother to cancer and my brother in a freak accident early in life yet I still see them and enjoy their energies when I allow myself to. Life is beautiful and precious and so is every living being on this earth. Why begrudge others happiness when you do not allow yourself the chance of fulfilling your dreams and desires?

How do I overcome the obstacles that I put in front of myself, the walls that I erect, the distance that I create with the ones I love? Being lost in loneliness I search for a path that brings me closer to the divine spirit. I immerse myself in the mantras and meditation yet I am still searching for more. I connect to the divine and I let go, persistence and perseverance where are you?

My work is my passion and is the road to divinity. Building the temple we cleared and created so many obstacles, so what is this path that I am on? Me, myself? I am not selfish yet I am all about myself. The closer I come to him the further he pushes me, the clearer my thoughts become. the physical being, the intellect, the mind and the heart are not one.

Sat Chit Ananda. You understand the concept yet can you align your subconscious with your conscious? The frivolities of life are essential and every second is precious. Take down your guard, believe in the goodness and let your spirit soar. Across the mountains, into pastures unknown and over the seven seas. Gratitude for your experiences and count your blessings. Rejoice in knowing that you can and will be and are one with the great spirit

Om Tat Sat, Mindful meditation is the path to structuring your mind so that it connects to your sub conscious.

Let us connect with Him and rejoice with the vibrations of the Bhagwat Gita – “The happiness which comes from long practiced meditation and stillness, which leads to the end of suffering, which at first is like poison, but at last like nectar – this kind of happiness arises from the serenity of one's own mind. ”

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6 Tips to Fit Meditation Into Your Life Each Day

Believe it or not, Meditation is not a complicated practice. Kids can meditate as well as adults. You do not have to have a certain surrounding, social training, ethnic background or group to profit from reflection. The ancient spiritual practice provides itself to multiple benefits, favorably enhancing how you function psychologically as well as physically.

Since people have such busy lives, it may seem difficult to work time for meditation into your everyday life. It is easier than you think. The following tips will certainly help you have time each day to relax your mind, concentrate on the “present”, and enjoy the many positive effects of meditation.

1. Try to find Time Gaps

Even the busiest individuals have 10 to 15 minute empty spots in their days. So do you. Start checking out your regular daily schedule. You can probably find at least one, if not more, spots in your day where you can use the time differently. Take advantage of this time to moderate as well as provide a mental reset.

2. Do not Worry About Having the Typical Meditation Experience

You do not have to be on a pillow on the floor located in the lotus position, the room full of lavender scent and mystical music. Meditation can happen in the drive-through, while doing laundry, or when you are sitting in your car waiting for the kids to get out of school.

3. Meditate Just Before Going to Bed or Waking Up

If you are like most of us, you use the time before going to bed watching television, checking Facebook or some other less important activity. Swap out at least 15 minutes of that time to use for meditating. In fact, you could go to bed 15 minutes early and simply meditate just before drifting off to sleep. Another option is to set your alarm 15 minutes earlier and use that time to meditate and start your day on a positive note.

4. Make an appointment with yourself

When you focus on something by putting it on your calendar, you improve the odds of getting it done. Because our minds like lists of things to do you can help yourself by scheduling a regular time each day for meditation. It does not matter if you use a paper planner, online calendar or your phone. What matter is that you schedule it in and set a reminder so you receive a little motivation to take the time to meditate.

5. Make it a Part of Your Exercise Routine

Do you take your dog on a walk each day? Do you jog, walk, bike, swim or do some other physical activity every day? If so, combine your meditation with your workout. Meditation does not necessarily mean you need to close your eyes and shut out everything. You can use the time while exercising to focus your mind on the present.

6. You Can Do It With Two Breaths

Before you return a call, check your e-mail, back out of your garage or do some other simple job, take in 2 deep breaths. If you can, close your eyes, and pay attention to your breath. Take each breath in deeply, hold it for 2 seconds, and then breathe out slowly. No matter how busy your day may be, this is a simple method to enjoy several moments of relaxation and meditation throughout the day.

Choose 1 or more of these tips to put into your daily routine and begin to experience the positive changes. After you put one of these into practice you can add a second one to your day to add variety or to at least have options based upon your schedule of activities. You can do this!

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Qigong: An Easier, Better-Feeling, More-Effective Meditation Technique

When you think about meditating, what do you hope to get from it?

Is it stress relief? Feeling more peaceful? Do you want to improve your health and boost your energy? Do you hope to let go of negative thoughts, feelings, and beliefs, so you can manifest what your soul desires? Do you long to connect more deeply with your spiritual path and purpose?

There are many different styles of meditation that promise many of those benefits. These include progressive relaxation, mindfulness, breath awareness, loving kindness, insight, mantra, and various contemplative techniques.

If you've tried any or many of these, what were your results?

Did you find it difficult to relax, let go of thinking, and find that deeper peaceful place? Did you find yourself fidgety or agitated? Did they leave your body stiff, your mind frustrated, or your heart still longing for that spiritual bliss meditation had promised?

What if I told you there is one meditation style that is easier, feels better, and is more effective in achieving all the benefits you are looking for?

In my experience, that technique is Qigong (“chee-gung”) Meditation.

Qigong is an ancient practice with roots in Traditional Chinese Medicine. In China, it is often prescribed as complementary treatment for a variety of illnesses and regular practice is promoted as the best preventative medicine. Many begin Qigong to relieve stress, improve health, or boost their mood and energy.

Yet, as you practice Qigong, you soon discover that the relaxation, health, and energy benefits are just the beginning. Qigong progresses in stages from postural alignment and deep relaxation, to inner peace and positive feeling, to greater self-awareness and insight, to substantial states of connection with your spiritual essence, guidance, and life purpose.

Qigong accomplishes this through a combination of standing and imprisoned postures, using both stillness and gentle movement. You might be familiar with one of the more well-known forms of Qigong called “T'ai Chi.” T'ai chi is a standing, moving form of Qigong that is an elaborate martial arts sequence. Most forms of Qigong are much simpler.

My first experience of Qigong was, in fact, learning T'ai Chi. Yet, in the process of learning T'ai Chi, I began to get more and more interested in the meditative, energetic, and spiritual dimensions-which is what Qigong Meditation is all about.

Here are some insights and tips from Qigong that you can apply to your own meditation practice:

1. Practice good posture, both standing and separated

One thing that makes Qigong Meditation unique is its emphasis on Standing Meditation. Standing Meditation is a powerful way to release chronic tension, relax and align your whole body, boost your energy and immune function, and help you feel more grounded, balanced, and confident. Regular practice of Standing Meditation translates to feeling relaxed and empowered in all your activities and interactions in the world.

Seated meditation in Qigong is done sitting in a chair, which is both easier and more comfortable for most Westerners. Sitting in this way also translates well to feeling relaxed and empowered when you are in meetings, at work, and doing other normally-separated activities.

Posture principles of Qigong, whether Standing or Seated, include:

* Feeling the entire sole of both feet firmly on the ground, parallel with each other

* Aligning your knees, hips, and shoulders with your feet

* Relaxing your shoulders down, while softening and releasing tension in your hands and fingers, and

* Imagining a string attached to the top of your head, drawing your spine gently upright

2. Alternate between persistence and movement

Qigong meditation alternates still Standing Meditation and Seated Meditation with simple movements to release tension and improve energy flow. Not only is this a great training sequence that feels good, it is an important principle to apply through your day.

In general, we sit too much-and that is bad for our health. Your body is made to move and many physical functions (such as digestion, respiration, and circulation of blood and lymphatic fluid) do not work well without you stand and move.

So, it's best to alternate sitting, standing, and movement through the day. This breaks patterns of stagnant energy, stiffness, and lethargy, so you feel loose, fluid, positive, and alive!

3. Focus on inner sensations

Qigong focuses on feeling sensations inside your body-a little-developed inner skill called “interoception.” Focusing on interruptions immediately brings you into the present moment. It also quickly and easily quiets your mind.

The part of your brain that is associated with sensation is deep in the center of your brain, a place that is free from thoughts. Bringing felt feelings into the forefront of your attention allows thoughts to fade to the background, giving your mind rest from the stress of over-thinking.

Feeling sensations also gets you more in touch with your emotions. Yet, it does so in a way that does not overwhelm you. When you feel your emotions as sensations in your body, you tap into the energy and information available in your emotions, without being swept up in the stories of suffering associated with them.

4. Feel the sensation of breathing

Another sensation you learn to focus into in Qigong is your breathing. You tune into the minority rhythm and flow of in-breath and out-breath.

Breath awareness facilitates the insight that all things come and go in a natural rhythm. This encourages you to flow with natural rhythms, rather than forcing things to be the way you want them to.

Breath awareness also leads to subtle energy awareness. In breathing, you draw in oxygen, the energy of life. As you attend to this most basic process, you become aware of the fact that you are a being of energy, fed by the air around you. Your life is intimately connected with your environment.

As you go deeper into the sensation of life energy, you realize that you are intimately connected to the Source of your life. You are embodied Energy, embodied Spirit. You come to know yourself as part of the One, Universal, Life Energy we all share.
Resting in that awareness, you know that all is well. You realize a state of quiet, still, spacious inner peace. It's an awesome feeling!

How would you like to start every day with that feeling?

I invite you to try out Qigong for yourself, either by applying the above principles to your current rituals or by learning Qigong Meditation.

Enjoy your practice!

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Worrying Yourself Sick? Here’s the Cure

No doubt you've felt butterflies before a job interview or knots in your stomach in moments of conflict.

These are momentary events that should subside once that situation is over or resolved. But, what happens when you ruminate on what has happened or dwell on bad things that might happen in the future?

Did you know you can actually worry yourself sick?

Recent research reveals that the stress of chronic worry, fear, anxiety, and pessimism can increase your risk for heart disease by 70 percent, double your risk for Alzheimer's, and increase your risk of death by any disease by 220 percent!

How can your mind and emotions so dramatically affect your health?

It shows that when you are caught up in worry, fear, anxiety, and pessimism, stress hormones signal your body to divert energy away from digestion, repair, and immune responses towards hyper-vigilance to the outer environment and mobilization for action.

If you have a stress-oriented mindset fed by worry about the past, fear of what might happen, and expectations of the worst, you will chronically dampen your immune response and set yourself up for illness.

While the mechanisms are not fully-known, new research shows that the majority of immune response takes place in your gut-and that worry, fear, anxiety, and pessimism increase stress hormones and inflammation that negatively affect gut health and set you up to get sick.

So, reducing your stress just might be the most important step you can take to prevent disease and set yourself up for optimal health!

Fortunately, there's a simple action you can take to calm the stress you feel in the moment, increase stress resilience, and shift how you react to stress in the future. That simple action is meditation.

Here's how meditation helps:

First, meditation initiates your body's natural relaxation response. By consciously relaxing your muscles, re-aligning your posture, slowing and deepening your breathing, and focusing into the present moment, you signal your body that everything is OK right now. This releases you from worry, fear, anxiety, and pessimism into a state of relaxed inner calm.

In this way, meditation lowers your stress several notches and shifts your body into a natural repair and recovery mode in which you can heal. Your body knows how to heal itself. You just need to give it a chance by taking a break and chilling out.

Second, once you have calmed yourself, you are more able to observe the situation you are in from a relaxed perspective. In a state of worry, fear, anxiety, and pessimism you will tend to amplify perceived dangers and blow them out of proportion.

By contrast, in meditation, you consciously adopt a curious observer's point of view that helps you more objectively see what is really going on, so you can make a realistic assessment of positive actions you can take. This lowers your stress even more.

Third, meditation increases your ability to consciously choose what you focus on, which helps you to stay focused on what you can do, rather than being distracted by worries about things that are outside your control. This strong positive focus completes the shift from a state of stress to a state of empowerment.

Finally, meditation familiarizes you with what it's like to be in a relaxed, calm, clear, positive state, so you are able to more quickly recognize moments when slip into worry, fear, anxiety, and pessimism. It gives you the inner skills to step back in those moments, recognize the thoughts that are stressing you out, let those thoughts go, and choose to focus on what you can do to move things forward in a healthy direction.

If it's your health you're worried about, meditation will help you to steer clear of fear and take the actions you know are best to care for yourself well.

So, if you have not yet taken to the meditation habit, I encourage you to check out the link below for an easy, effective way to get started. This simple technique feels great, too!

Enjoy your practice!

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Is Inner Peace Really Possible?

Is your mind working overtime? Are you plagued by doubts, fears, worries, and concerns? Does your brain stream constant thoughts that stress you out and keep you on edge?

Because of that, do you long for just a few moments of peace? Do you wonder what it would be like to have a quiet mind?

Let's face it, life can be unpredictable. The moment you think you have a handle on things, something unexpected and unplanned happens. There's a health crisis, accident, or hurricane, causing you to adapt, adjust, and re-organize.

Maybe if you just understood things better you could predict what might happen and be ready the next time?

Yet, when you investigate deeply, you discover that what causes anything to happen is infinite complex and extremely uncertain. Take for example, election predictions, the rise and fall of the stock market, and the accuracy of weather forecasts. All the high-tech data gathering and expert analysis applied in these areas delivered educated guesses at best-many of which turn out to be flat wrong.

Why is that?

It turns out that the web of causality spreads infinitely, in all directions, across all of time.

Hmmm … that's a lot to fathom.

So, let's see, when you are hit with a bad mood, it may come from what you just ate, what that person over there just said to you, the bleak report you saw on the news, a distant childhood memory that just reached forward and grabbed you in the present, the movements of the planets, and some quirky code programmed in your DNA?

Could it be all of that-and more?

Sometimes that's more than your mind wants to consider in that moment your mood dips. So, you come up with a shorter explanation that you can sink your teeth into. You decide it's because “life is irrefutable.” And you go on with your day, noting again and again how irrefutable life is, and getting more and more upset.

For better or worse, what we're left with is this fact: any attempt to fully explain and predict things is really just telling hypothetical, over-simplified, short stories cut from a much richer fabric of Reality. Reality always acknowledges the stories we tell about it.

About the only thing you can know for sure is that things will change and it's unknown what will happen exactly.

Now, if unpredictable, infinitely-complex change is the nature of life, that leaves you in a state of tremendous uncertainty. In the face of uncertainty, it's natural to have doubts and fears, worries and concerns. It's natural to fear losing what you have, not having what you need, and not knowing if or how you can get what you want.

All of this uncertainty can be stressful. Here, your busy mind trying to figure out what to do.

It's natural to wish things were more predictable, understandable, stable-safe and secure. To that end, you might buy lots of insurance, stock up lots of money, fortify your borders, and make sure your smoke detectors are in working order.

Yet, in truth, none of that means all that much in the face of a nuclear attack, a health pandemic, or a cataclysmic natural disaster. Is there any peace to be found in this world?

Maybe it's just better to set your sights on the afterlife-and the eternal peace waiting for you there?

Yet, what if it's possible to have deep inner peace right here, right now? What if deep inner peace is not only possible, but it's natural. What if it's your spiritual birthright? What if it simply requires a little knowledge about how to access it, grow it, and return to it when you've wandered from it?

Maybe you have such a hard time finding peace because you're looking in all the wrong places?

Inner peace is a state of consciousness. It's a state of being that does not depend on any specific circumstances. It is eternally available and ever-present. It is with you, naturally, when your mind quiets down. Most importantly, you can cultivate this state of peace and learn to live from it as your dominant way of being.

Then, you can bring peace with you, into your interactions here in this world. As you do that, you transform your relationship to anything that happens. You learn that you can be peaceful, no matter what is going on inside or around you. And, as you do that, you can bring the gift of peace to others.

Peace can begin very simply by closing your eyes, taking a deep breath, and letting go of any thoughts about “you.” It can begin by being present with “what is,” accepting it all, and appreciating that you have a choice about how you relate to anything that happens. It can begin by choosing “where you are coming from.”

Peace expends as you realize that, extremely, “where you come from” is still, silent, and spacious. In your deepest Essence you are already peaceful. It's just a matter of spending time in that place, becoming familiar with the experience, and resting in it.

Enjoy your practice!

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How to Meditate? Short and Effective Guide on Zen Meditation

It's a two thousand year old practice of introspection – how to listen to yourself. A few minutes in a day you owe to yourself to sit in peace, relax and control your breathing. Way to completely “reset” your thoughts, discard fears, ambitions, plans, obligations and find yourself.

Position

First, sit on the ground in a cross-legged fashion. Do not sit in a chair, but you can use a pillow if you find it easier. The important thing is your back to be straight. This position is semi-awkward for a reason – to help you not fall sleep.

Duration

The average meditation lasts 10 to 15 minutes. Do not put on yourself precise time frames, just meditate how much you think is good for you. It may be 5 or 35 minutes.

Breathing & Relaxing

The important thing is to relax. Start by deep breathing because it helps you to relax. Breathing as a body function can be conscious and unconscious. We can not willing influence on our heartbeat or to dilute our blood vessels. On the other hand we can move our muscles. Breathing is located halfway, we can manage it willingly, but if we do not think about it, then this function is done automatically by the brain (unconscious). Due to the specific position (midway between the conscious and unconscious), controlled breathing can help us to calm down, relax and slow our heartbeat. Start the exercise by deep breathing, and after a few minutes breathe normally. Try to breathe with your “belly”, not the chest.

Place to meditate

Find a nice, secluded and quiet place for meditation, and keep your eyes half-open. Start the meditation by deep breathing and relaxation. During the first two minutes, you can close your eyes to relax more easily, but try to keep them half-open during the remaining minutes of the session.

Where to look

When your eyes are half-open, try to focus your look to a single point. This can be a point in a wall, grass, rock on the beach, flame from a candle, patterns on the carpet or a shadow in a room where you meditate.

What is Mantra

Mantra is the main point of meditation. A thought on which you should focus your attention, and is then rhythmically repeated.

Different school of meditations use different mantras. They are usually a sound or a picture, and can be internal and external. An example of external mantra can be sound of the steam or a drop of rain. Internal mantra can be sound you repeat in yourself (“oommm”).

When you start to meditate and repeat the mantra, your mind will start to wander all over the place. Then you should become aware of your thoughts and return to the repetition of the mantra. The whole point of meditation is to return your thoughts to the mantra. Do not get upset if your mind wanders as it's completely normal. The important thing is to realize that this is only your mind – not you. These are your fears, hopes, thoughts, worries and the like. In time your focus will be “sharpened” and you will be able to spend more time “centered” (in focus with mantra).

In Zen meditation, breathing is used as Mantra. It does not have any meaning, it is neither positive nor negative, just a simple template that you use to “see”. An anchor used to stop your thoughts from sailing. Mantra “centers” you in the sense that you recognize your thoughts and you disconnect with them during the session. The goal of meditation is to just be here and now.

Meditation and sleep are ying and yang. In sleep you do not control your thoughts, but during meditation you completely control your thoughts. This control will come in time, and then you will transfer it in your everyday life.

What benefits can you expect from meditation

In the long run, meditation changed many lives to the better, in the sense that many individuals that practice this technique have deal with their fears and focused on their goals. Even Arnold Schwarzenegger in one interview said that practicing meditation for one year changed his life.

Along the long term effect, meditation is excellent exercise for stress and anxiety reduction. The practice of meditation is a great way to “gather your thoughts” and that during the session, you are the one who controls your thought.

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Clear Your Mind for a Mental Breakthrough

I asked a long distance runner what he thought about while running for hours on end.

He simply replied, “When I run, I run.”

“So you think about nothing?” I asked.

“You could say that. I'm aware of the rhythm of my breathing, my footsteps pounding on the path and the route that I am following. to work out problems or think about other activities, I will be distracted from running. Then I risk losing my rhythm, stumbling and falling. ”

“How did you learn to this, or did it somehow come naturally?”

“It came over time, but with practice. The more I ran and the more distance I added, the more I found that letting go of all thoughts helped my performance and endurance. . ”

“Fascinating,” I said, “It sounds like you are meditating, letting go of your conscious thoughts to let your subconscious mind take over.”

“Yes,” said the runner. “It is like that. The interesting thing is that I often have some of my best creative breakthroughs or problem-solving ideas after a long run. brains to do the real work. ”

The runner began running for regular exercise and improve his health and well-being.

Over time, his running shifted to becoming much more than simple exercise. He uses running as a vehicle for meditation, where he removes all thoughts and other environmental distractions. In the mental persistence of his running, he finds exceptional peace and calmness and the bonus, improved creativity and problem solving.

As a teenager taking karate lessons, I learned to meditate by sitting on my cross ankles, closing my eyes, and concentrating on removing every conscious thought from my brain. At first, this was very uncomfortable. The pain in my ankles served a useful purpose by giving me just one thing to focus on, but it had to go or I would not master this meditation thing.

The problem with removing the pain was that I suddenly became aware of ambient noise and, in particular, a fan installed near the ceiling of the gymnasium. I slowly learned to shut out all other thoughts and noises by concentrating on the fan. Then one day, the fan noise stopped. I was fully aware of the missing noise and I opened one eye to peek up at it. Sure enough, the fan was still turning. I smoked and went back into my meditative pose.

From that moment on, I learned the value and power of quiet time for the conscious mind. Call it meditation if you like, but any way that you can queaten the mind on a regular basis will help you to recharge your batteries and improve your critical thinking skills. You will not be plagued by the stresses of an over-worked mind trying to solve too many problems at the same time as dealing with daily routines. Practice this and you will soon learn to turn off any distracting noises.

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The Method, Mindset & Power of Experiential Meditation

The Experiential Meditation mindset and method are based on the fact that in order to experience the truth of a thing you have to have some distance from it. For example, you can not read a newspaper held against your eyes. A space in needed. This method gives you that space, that distance or detachment.

Otherwise, you only see with the personal half of your mind instead of the whole mind which includes the subconscious. Consequently you will not see the whole picture. You lose clarity, make mistakes, do not operate to your potential – and do not have a clue why!

This mindset causes you to experience life neutrally or objectively instead of personally. You experience life just as it. Just as it presents itself. You keep your personal bias and opinions out of the witnessing and experiential process.

Practiced during moment-to-moment daily activity, Experiential Meditation is about experiencing a thing while being aware that you're experiencing it – at the same time. It's like a spy watching a spy watching him. Or it's like looking at yourself looking at yourself in the mirror! You're as if once removed. Looking at yourself in the third person.

You're doing two things at once – using both parts of your mind at the same time, the conscious part and the subconscious part. It's like daydreaming while driving. You're conscious of both the dreaming and the driving simultaniously. The conscious mind is on an outer thing while the subconscious is on an inner thing.

This is not “creative” activity because the daydreaming – sometimes of an upcoming work vacation, is not related to the driving. This is just random thinking. It's noisy or uncontrolled thinking of a kind that happens many times during the day and serves no useful purpose.

In order for an action to be creative, the conscious and subconscious must be working on the same thing at the same time. They must be connected. Be literally on the same wavelength. This is exactly what happens when you're in the “experiential meditation” mindset.

You're not only using both minds but are connecting one to the other. You're accessing the subconscious mind, the very source of all knowledge and creative power.

This means that whatever you're thinking, feeling and doing – if you're aware that you're aware, you do it very much better. You think better, feel better, sense better, do your work, hobbies and relationships better. “Better” means more insightful, intelligent and creative.

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Mala Beads and Meditation

Guiding your soul with the mala beads, balancing your chakras in meditation with the help of mantras, spiritual meditation is an excellent healer of the human body. 108 is a sacred number in Hinduism and Buddhism and most malas are 108 plus the Guru Bead. Mala beads are a beautiful tool for keeping count during mantra meditations. Malas bracelets can also be made of 27 beads or 21 beads and can be used for some mantras for balancing depending on the syllables. For example the Gayatri mantra which is an exploration of “OM”, is perfect for a dawn meditation repeated 27 times with the quartz crystal or Himalayan sphatik mala. Some Malas are made from gemstones that match the color of the chakra that you are trying to balance or energize. Yoga Malas are the affirmations of the sacred intent of your ritual, and are placed in altars as a reminder of your beautiful and meaningful positive affirmations. Tibetan Buddhist beads or Buddhist prayer beads, rudraksha beads strung with carnelian and agate, rose quartz and jade, japa mala beads have been used since ancient times.

Aligning the energies scattered in the atoms of our body, connecting to the ethereal soul the mala is a reflection of your journey starting as a very basic grounding tool and slowly winding its way up to the crown chakra where the connection to the spiritual guide is like an effluent flame, bright and blinding, in the pure bliss of complete acceptance. Yoga and meditation go hand in hand with the practice of yoga guiding the body's energies and meditation the connection to the spiritual universe.

Traditional Hindu malas are made with Rudraksha beads associated with Shiva, lotus seeds that reflect the energy of Laxmi, Bodhi seeds of the Buddha Tree, or rosewood connected to Ganesha. Healing chakra malas are made from semi precious gemstones, carrying different wave lengths of energies and colors. Black onyx is a grounding stone and when used with quartz crystal it represents the ying and yang or shiva and shakti. Turquoise, rose quartz, or jade are associated with the heart chakras and emotional stability. Hand made malas are beautiful jewelry gifts as well and should always be treated with sacred care as they carry the energy of the wearer.

The mala in essence becomes what the wearer wants it to be engaging your energy wavelengths through the mantras passing through the beads and with each repetition, your prayers, your hopes, and dreams become manifest.

Sit comfortably, relaxed, yet with the spine aligned, eyes closed, breathe deeply and empty your mind setting forth your intention. Hang the first mala bead on the first, middle or ring finger of your right hand, each finger is connected with different nadis so it will energize a different layer of the body. Hold the thumb on the guru bead and begin chanting your mantra feeling the flow of energy rising up through the basal chakra.Go through the entire mala till you reach the guru bead. To do another round of mantras, turn the mala around and move in the opposite direction completing a full circle of chakra balancing, please do not cross over the Guru bead, as this is the seat of Knowledge.

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Calm Down!

Do you remember when somebody last told you to calm down? Chances are it did not help. We often feel that we, or others need to calm ourselves down in difficult situations but it can be hard to know how to do it. In fact, one of the most common questions I am asked at my mindfulness classes in Whitley Bay and Newcastle is, how do I calm myself down when I feel very emotional? Many of the people who attend these classes have been used to keeping themselves very busy and coping with high stress situations by physical activity of one sort or another. However, when ill-health comes along often these strategies are no longer available.

Mindfulness is about being in the moment – however that moment is. It is not about secretly trying to feel, or stop feeling a particular way. So we would not try to change or control what we experience. However, we can still look after ourselves by choosing where to place our attention. The present moment includes many experiences, some of which we will be more aware of than others at any one time. When we are feeling agitated, angry, anxious or upset the chances are that we are focusing on our thoughts about the situation that has triggered these feelings. At these times our thoughts can have a very strong pull and will probably move very fast. They may or may not be true – it does not matter. It is almost impossible to continue to focus on our thoughts without adding fuel to the fire of how we are feeling. So instead we can choose to take care of our needs in the moment by directing our attention towards another aspect of our present moment experience.

We could choose something about the environment around us, and do our best to direct most of our attention on to an object that we can see or hold. We would do this without trying to 'block out' any thoughts or feelings that kept coming back to us (which they certainly would). We would simply keep redirecting our attention gently back to our chosen object, without giving ourselves a hard time. Choosing to focus most of our attention on the solid feeling of the feet on the floor, while we are standing, sitting or walking can be a really helpful way of calming our minds when we are in danger of being overwhelmed.

Or a really helpful way of dealing with and processing difficult emotion is to pay attention to the feeling of the emotion in the body. So when we notice that we are feeling angry, we can ask ourselves 'how do I feel this in the body?' We might notice some tension in our chest or arms. We can then try to explore this with a really gentle attitude and an intention to simply look after our needs the best we can. We can imagine using our breath to gently explore the detail of what we are experiencing in the body. With practice this can help us to acknowledge and look after our emotions without getting carried away by them to the point where we automatically keep adding fuel to the fire of how we feel.

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Guided Imagery And Its Benefits

Guided imagery is described as a state of relaxation, calmness, and reflection that is achieved with the help of imaginary thoughts and directions. Mainly, it is based on the mind and body concept where you can experience a relaxed state through your imagination. These natural and heightened states of consciousness and relaxation will enhance your emotional, physical, and the mental states through your positive thinking and suggestions. If you make use of all your senses, your entire body would respond to your imaginations as if it is really happening.

For instance, if you are sitting in your garden or in the beach, your body will automatically be in a relaxed state. Also, this deep thinking process will help in enhancing your health, attitude, and well-being. You can be able to efficiently control your anger or emotions by guiding your thought process in a particular direction.

The guided imagery can also be used for treating stress-related disorders and lowering the blood pressure. This was also proven effective in terms of losing weight and quitting smoking. Most importantly, this technique is efficient in eradicating fears of public speaking and calming the speaker's nerves.

Hypnosis Vs. Guided Imagery

Hypnosis is the process where some thoughts occurred in relation to the mind and body. Guided imagery, on the other hand, is an experience that is more than visual. It makes use of imagination with taste, smell, and sounds. It actually has a general theme for finishing specific goals such as quitting bad habits, losing weight, dealing with pain, and many more. Although these concepts have already been around for centuries, it has only gained popularity recently. Indeed, this is an excellent stress buster and a unique relaxation technique that can be achieved through the coordination of physical and mental processes.

Visualization is the term used to describe such process. This imagery state will strengthen your mind just like how exercises can strengthen your body. It can actually create a physical or psychological state if you begin activating your sense or if you imagine yourself in a new environment. This state of imagery has been proven to boost the body's immune system as well as increase the positive thinking within you, reducing depression.

Among the biggest benefits of utilizing guided imagery as a therapeutic tool is that it can easily be accessed. It can be used anytime and anywhere. Also, it is an equal opportunity therapy. Although some training in the techniques may be required, it is accessible to everyone, regardless of your education, economic status or location.

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Overlooked Cause of Anxiety, Depression, Migraines, Heart Attacks, And Cancer

What if true relief from stress, anxiety, and depression could never be found in a pill? What if the cure for migraines, heart disease, diabetes, and cancer could never be found in drugs, surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy?

What if the billions of dollars that we spend on the application of surgical and pharmaceutical cures is simply managing symptoms, while the root of our mental-emotional and physical ills evades us? What if we are failing to address the true cause?

Whether you're aware of it or not, it's likely you have a bias toward seeing everything in terms of physical cause and effect. In fact, this bias may be so ingrained, that you wonder what other possibility exists. After all, is not this what we've learned from science over the past several centuries?

What if this “reduction of everything to material causes” is simply a bias-and one that discounts the very source of mental-emotional stress and all kinds of illness? What if, instead, physical symptoms appear after they have discovered from a more primary layer of your being? What if treating this more primary layer could result in real cures?

In fact, this view is not all that far out. It has been recognized and documented for centuries in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), Ayurvedic medicine, as well as in healing traditions such as Qigong and Reiki.

In all these disciplines it is recognized that the source of illness lies in the energetic dimension and it is communicated through to the physical within the bio-chemical, electro-magnetic, and connective tissue systems of your body.

Before you think that we're talking about placebos and pseudo-science, did you know that Reiki is now accepted as complementary treatment in more than 800 hospitals in the US alone? This is because it works.

Reiki has well-documented research showing that it improves patient sleep by 86 percent, reduces pain by 78 percent, and reduces anxiety by as much as 94 percent. In addition, it has been shown to increase speed of healing by as much as 50 percent. Pretty remark for a simple form of “energy work.”

OK so how does it work?

Reiki, Qigong, TCM, and Ayurvedic medicine begin by seeing the body as an expression of a more primary subtle energy system. Health is the result of the smooth free-flow of methyl energy through the energy body. Disease begins with the disruption of energy flow, with some blockage or tension that causes energy to become stagnant.

The cause of energy disruptions can be physical injuries which cause “emotional shock” such as a car accident or, more commonly, they are the result of tensions caused by mental stress and emotional trauma. When tension and stress overwhelm our ability to handle them well in the moment, they become stored as tension in your “energy body.” These tensions disrupt energy flow. Left unresolved, over time, this is the seed from which sickness grows-whether that is chronic anxiety, depression, migraines, digestive issues, heart attack, or cancer.

Subtle energy techniques aim to recognize, relax, and release that tension and restore the smooth flow of vital energy. This in turn enables your body's own self-healing mechanisms to come back online so your body can heal itself.

Now, this does not mean that there is never a use for drugs or surgery. These can be vital and life-saving first measures. These can manage immediate life-threatening symptoms. However, to facilitate true healing, we must work on an energetic level to restore the free flow of energy which characterizes good health.

What if you could learn to access this minority energetic layer to facilitate your own health and well-being on a daily basis? What if doing this could release layers of tension that have accumulated in your energy body over the years, dragging down your energy, mood, health, and vitality?

That is the promise of energy meditation. Whether it's through T'ai Chi, Qigong, Yoga, Reiki, or another energy-based technique, this is a powerful path to release tension and stress, mental-emotional barriers, and put your body on a path of true healing. You can learn more in the Resource Box below.

Enjoy your practice!

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3 Keys to Calm, Tension-Free Energy

Today humans are subject to more nervous system stimulation than ever before. You can probably feel that in your own nervous system-perhaps as a slight edginess, uneasiness, or maybe as bouts of full-blown overwhelm.

Whether it's being stuck in more traffic, increasing pressures to get more done in less time, incessant advertising, the drive to be consistently entertained, or the demands on our attention from email, texts, and social media, our attention is bombarded from countless directions with little reply.

It's no wonder we suffer record rates of high-blood pressure, anxiety, and depression, not to mention heart attacks and cancer. As a global culture we are added to excessive external stimulation.

Fortunately, there's much we can do to handle this over-stimulation. Over my 30 years teaching T'ai Chi, Qigong, Reiki, and meditation, I've discovered there are three keys to restoring our natural balance of calm, tension-free energy.

1. Activate Your Body's Natural Relaxation Response

Our bodies are made to function in a natural rhythm between stimulation and relaxation, activity and recovery. We seem to have mastered the first part, and are strictly deficient in valuing and practicing the second.

In fact, we've gone so far off the spectrum on the stimulation side of things that we may not even realize how stressed and over-stimulated we are. Our bodies can be in such a constant state of “shock,” that our finer senses become numb and we only feel intense rushes of adrenalin.

However, at a certain point, our bodies must give in. Inevitably, we crash. And, we start looking for ways to recover.

It's at such moments when we look to activities like yoga, t'ai chi, and meditation to help us regain our balance. These activities activate our bodies natural “Relaxation Response.” This calms our nervous system, brainwaves, heart-rate, and respiration and enables our natural repair mechanisms to come online.

It's absolutely essential for physical and mental-emotional health that you consciously activate your body's natural relaxation response on a daily basis. This is different from just passing out and suffering through a restless sleep.

When you consciously activate your body's Relaxation Response while awake, you begin to change how your nervous system functions. You shift out of perpetual stress mode, into that healthy rhythmic balance.

A simple way to do this is to find a comfortable position in a quiet, private environment, close your eyes to shut out visual stimulation, and focus on sensations inside your body, such as the sensations of your breathing. Doing this for even a few minutes will begin to calm you down.

2. Release Tension Stored in Your Body

Consciously activating the Relaxation Response and calming your nervous system is step one. Yet, it is just the beginning. You see, years of accumulated stress have become stored in your body.

So, once you have focused inside and calmed down a bit, you will likely begin to notice signs of accumulated tension. This could come in the form of busy thoughts, uncomfortable feelings, muscle tightness, or pain.

It's not that these things were not happening before. You were just so focused on the outer world that you did not notice. Once you focus inside, what's happening in your inner world comes to the fore-such as all the tension stored there.

Which brings us to the second key: Releasing the layers of tension from your body.
The secret to doing this is to notice whatever is going on inside with calm, relaxed, non-judicial awareness. See if you can notice thoughts, feelings, and tensions without judging them as “bad,” just “witnessing” and accepting them.

As you practice non-judgeally witnessing what's happening inside, tensions naturally begin to relax and release.

3. Adopt an Attitude that Supports Positive Energy Flow

Once you've calmed down and begin to peel away the layers of tension, you'll begin to feel a little lighter, a little less stressed, and a little more free.

You can build on this feeling and grow it by adopting an attitude that supports positive energy flow. It's really pretty simple.

What if you took a moment to appreciate and be grateful for the fact that you took a break and allowed yourself to relax and let go?

Appreciation and gratitude raise your vibration and allow your energy to flow more sturdy. They shift your inner state so that you welcome the opportunity that is available in the moment, rather than always rushing to get somewhere else. They support you to slow down a bit and notice the good things in life, rather than rushing past them on your quest to get everything done.

How may your life be different if you took a break at least once a day to consciously activate your Relaxation Response, release tension from your mind and body, and adopt an attitude of Appreciation and Gratitude for what you have and what is present right now?

Can you imagine what it would be like to live from such a state of calm, tension-free energy?

For a simple technique to get you started, check out the Resource Box below.

Enjoy your practice!

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