Zen Living In Practice

My wife and I are practicing Zen, or meditation. We love our inner empty space, pristine and potential, where there is only the pure sense of existing, and this meditative life attitude is clearly reflected in our outer world and our house is the example. In it, in fact, space dominates, emptiness reigns, and silence is the no-sound more audible.

Even for us, there was a turning point and this manifested in all its grandeur, as a result of excess luggage occurring at midnight on any day at Bombay airport, which now, given the current availability of the Indian phonetics to pronounce any name that reminds the British domination, is called Mumbai. I flew to Alitalia to Rome and she flew to France to Sao Paulo. The two airlines were adjacent to the boarding door. We had lived in India for several years in the Ashram of our Spiritual Master, where we also came to know each other, and although we were both practicing meditation, in all that time we accumulated an indecent quantity of things, essential and optional, regarding meditation, the Master, various techniques we learned, and people we know.

Whereas in view of our return to the West we had spent everything, whatever was the surcharge to be paid would have been an inaccessible digit. We decided then to lighten our huge suitcases of unnecessary stuff and bring them into the allowed weight. In those years, airports in India were more Spartan and neglected than now, according to Western perspective, and there were always people around dedicated to get rid of, or recycle, what was abandoned or lost sight of.

It was fun making a huge pile of books, photo books, clothes, gifts, tapes, videotapes, tunics, meditation stools, brushes, colors and so much more, that I do not even remember, in the middle of the departure lounge. We knew it would not stay there long, much to the delight of those who would possess it. What I kept, in addition to the clothes I was wearing, was my black Les Paul Custom and forty pounds of crystals. She, my future wife, kept fabric for clothes and dolls. It was that, amidst the laughter of those who watched us, that we realized what was most important for us. We are still so, with the propensity to retain only what is necessary and let go of everything else that is just a pleasant entertainment always specific and functional to the occasion that comes and goes.

Now, that we are living across the continents, transforming our homes in the Zen style is a fascinating, artistic process that intensely involves us on different levels and gives our homes, exterior and interior, a more spacious, comfortable, and pleasant look, for us which we live in and those with what we share this present moment in history.

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Guided Chakra Meditations Using Reiki

Guided Chakra Meditation

This meditation procedure is suitable for studying Reiki at any level. As you become more familiar with the chakra system, you can develop this procedure to suit your own style. Sit in the lotus position. Close your eyes and follow your breath coming in and out through your nose. This meditation is a powerful way to review your knowledge of chakras while sending energy to relevant issues. The following example concerns the root chakra. Focus on just one chakra for your entire meditation, which may last 20 to 30 minutes. Each day, proceed to meditate on the consequent chakra. Refer to my other articles on this website for specific information concerning each chakra. Speak to yourself gently yet firmly, maintaining strong mindfulness throughout the session. Your script, although spontaneous, may follow along these lines:

  • Place your hands on your root chakra and ask Reiki to flow
  • Remain silent between each sentence for the duration of 3 or 4 breaths
  • Imagine red light healing your root
  • The root chakra develops during the first year of life; please heal any issues from that time in my life
  • The personal rights of this chakra are to be and to have; please strengthen my awareness and exercise of these rights
  • Maintain awareness of your breathing
  • The root refers to my sense of stability, sense of trust and grounding
  • Physically, the root chakra deals with the bowels and large intestines; please heal these organs for me
  • Emotionally, it relates to issues of abandonment, neglect and security; please heal these issues for me
  • Symptoms of weakness include fear and anxiety; please support me to overcome these weaknesses
  • Continue your meditation, breathing in and out, allowing Reiki to flow abundantly

Positive Affirmation Meditation

Every chakra has its own rights and needs. First, be aware that you need to accept any weakness or shortcomings as a true part of your nature. This does not imply that you must live with those weaknesses your whole life. When you have effectively learned from those challenges and make a conscious decision to release them, you are really ready for healing and transformation. In the following meditation, focus on each chakra for 5 minutes to empower your healing process. A complete meditation on all 7 chakras requires about 35 minutes.

  1. Make positive affirmations for each chakra
  2. Inhale deeply and release tension with each exhale
  3. Place your hands over your root chakra, feel life force and your sense of belonging to the earth; sense any issues of safety and security; affirm The earth supports me and fulfils my needs; let the Reiki flow
  4. Move your hands to your navel (sacral) chakra; sense that your body is well balanced; affirm I deserve pleasure in my life
  5. Put your hands on your solar plexus chakra, draw energy in from the universe to empower your action; affirm I have the right to take action
  6. Place your hands on your heart chakra and feel the flow of unconventional love toward others and feel their love flowing into you; affirm I am lovable and loving; visualize family and friend who love you
  7. Place hands on your throat chakra; confirm your ability to express your being; affirm I have a right to my creativity
  8. Place your hands on your brow chakra and ask Reiki to strengthen your intuition; affirm I see all things clearly ; visualize a creative project that you would like to pursue
  9. Reach to your crown chakra and feel your connection to the infinite; affirm I am guided by inner wisdom

Practice chakra meditations on a daily basis. You can alternate these Reiki meditations with self-healing sessions or silent meditation. Each day, determine which practice will best serve your well being.

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Do I Really Need to Just Sit?

Paul Farrell at MarketWatch recently wrote about meditation in an article. He highlighted the common difficulty met by beginner and wannabe meditators. This difficulty is that of sitting.

You may have known that one of the most common form of meditation is sitting meditation. This is actually breathing meditation, but it is done while sitting down, which is why it is also known as just sitting meditation. Many people find the very idea of ​​just sitting down and doing nothing very incomprehensible.

Of course it is not that you sit and do nothing. You actually do something in sitting meditation, you focus on your breath. But focusing on your breath is purely a mental activity and it does not involve any physical movement. We human beasts are so much used to doing things that involve physical movement.

We have trouble wrapping our heads around the notification that not all activities involve physical movement. And we do not easily lend ourselves to such activities so it is understandable that sitting meditation comes across as a big hurdle for anyone interested in meditation.

Farrell mentions that 80% of people have problems with sitting meditation. Although it is not clear whether out of all the people who try meditation, 80% of them can not do sitting meditation or 80% of the general population are due to not sit and meditate probably because their jobs involve activities that are physical in nature .

Although Farrell's main argument is that just because of sitting is difficult does not mean majority of us do not have any hope of meditation. He points out that sitting is not the only type of meditation. People may not realize, but there are several choices available when it comes to meditation.

There is walking meditation, hearing meditation and yoga or the meditation involving gentle movement. Not only that, any activity of our daily life can be turned into meditation and Farrell is absolutely right pointing this out. He talks about several examples of artists, authors and athletes as well as people from different walks of life using various daily activities like playing music, running and writing as a meditation.

But there is a very important caveat that needs to be discussed here. Before we write off sitting meditation as dispensable. It needs to be known that before one can engage seriously in meditation, there is a certain level of mental concentration that needs to be developed.

Farrell captures this to his credit when he mentions several times that an activity becomes meditation when you are solely focused on the activity itself and do nothing else. I want to caution here, that it is much easier said than done. In order to achieve this “doing just the activity and nothing else” it takes more than just doing the activity.

Although it is not completely impossible. If you just keep doing the activity, it could take really long time to get to the state where you are solely engaged in the activity for the sake of activity itself.

Let me give you an example. Say if you do not take well the sitting meditation, but you like taking walks. So you decide that you will rather not do sitting meditation and continue to take walks. Well, if you just keep taking walks. you would hardly see benefits of meditation and you may wonder what is going on.

It is because even if you are regularly taking walks, there is very little actual meditation that is happening. What is missing is that you need to do something more than just walking. In very simple terms, what happens is that when you walk, by its default nature and long term conditioning, your mind keeps wandering and although you do not realize this and you may think you are focused on just the walking, you are actually lost in thoughts most of the time.

This happens subconsciously and you do not even realize this. You need a gentle corrective training to fix this problem. Although it can definitely be done without sitting meditation. Sitting meditation can come very handy at cultivating this corrective training.

In summary it may be possible to dispense of the sitting meditation but without formal training it is extremely difficult to convert mundane daily activities in the meditation.

Sitting mediation is not a must but it can be a great tool in helping to expand the skills in such a way that one can then turn all daily activities into a meditation.

Do not give up sitting prematurely. Resisting the temptations is a big part of meditation training. Try a few times at least before you write sitting off. There are numerous benefits to sitting itself.

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We’re At Home When We’re In Meditation

Silence, stillness, tranquility, peace of mind, peace of spirit. All of this has to do with the inner dimension and returns to our state of being calm and relaxed. We're there talking about meditation. When we're still and quiet and not involved in any mental activity, we're in a state of meditation. Let's make a brief introduction just to specify that in the original sense of the word, meditation is a state of inner silence, or inner emptiness, or inner peace where there's no mental activity but only presence. Today, however, the term meditation has assumed a multitude of meaning. We often hear talk of guided meditation, visualization meditation, positive thinking, or concentration, or contemplation meditation. Those, who are good up to a certain point, are all subsequent tasks to do nothing, or no doing, especially thinking. All this, however, is understandable. Our mind can not grasp or even understand what it means to be in an active state of doing absolutely nothing, just staying still inside, without sleeping. The mind continues to ask about it.

If we are constantly involved in mental activities and continuously strive to keep our mind active and dynamic, this poor mind, is down, tired, exhausted and no longer shares 100% to our vital needs. Our mind is a part of us and as such, as our inherent biological tool, helps us to fulfill our businesses, build our desires, and above all to create our present, and consequently our universe. When we have an idea and then we put it into practice, we have created something. All that we have in hand, our mobile phone, mouse, binoculars and any other object was first thought, then put it into practice and periodically manifested, then created. If our mind is relaxed, ready, focused and able to take action at a specific time, it makes us much more, it gives us a lot more and we are clearly willing to use this innate feature of our being.

Over thousands of years, meditation scientists have experienced that even the most engaged, relentless and tenacious mind, the most active one of any human being, can not sustain the tension of wanting to control everything and everyone for more than forty-five, forty- eight maximum, minutes. Here, then, that the average time to meditation for an adult human should be around an hour or so. Within an hour of meditation – that is an hour where we are stuck doing nothing, waiting for that fateful, if we get bored, or unwelcome, if we are blessed, final gong – it happens that at some time the mind does not take it anything to continue thinking about what we should do, did, or did not; what should we say or should have said, and switches off. Now we enter into a state of extremely pleasant silence where all is peace and harmony as it should be. We got home; we are in meditation.

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Heaviness or Over-Energized After Meditation?

Meditation on bad emotions, incidences or thoughts can have unexpected results. One might not feel good and refreshed after the meditation and might just say, 'Ohh I am over-energized'

Sometimes, we are really over-energized. At times, there is a large downpour of divine energy and we feel heaviness through the entire body. This is one form of being over-energized as well.

What happens when we are in bad mood and we try to meditate?

When we meditate, there is a downpour of divine energy from the crown (top of the head).
As the energy enters the body, it attempts to clear the blockages. But we are still thinking about the unwanted things that have created blockages in the body and therefore, we experience pain in those areas.

The excess energy must flush down towards the end of meditation. But it does not happen because of blockages.

This again creates the heaviness feeling. Excess energy blocked in various parts of body might manifest as a sickness, pain, emotional, financial, or any sort of trouble in the physical plane.

How to avoid these?

Meditation gurus tell us lots of other things to do before and after meditation, but we tend to ignore them because we think it has no relation with meditation. The list below may not include all, but some things that we can do to benefit from any kind of the meditation practice.

Physical exercise

Light body movements before the meditation will prepare the body for energy consumption and some movements after will help consume any excess energy.

Walking will not suffice, because it does not make use of all body parts. Remember, the blockages, that block the flow of energy, show up in any part of the body. Movement of the body facilitates clearing of blockage and thereby making way for fresh energy in the body.

Recall a Happy Event

Any method to activate the heart center at the beginning of meditation is important to avoid any negative thoughts. One of the simplest method is to recall a happy event. We need to visualize ourselves in that happy moment and re-live the moment.

Grounding

Again this is a very important technique to flush down the negativity and make space for divine clean energy. Grounding is done towards the end of the meditation. One can mentally say, “I am connected and turned to earth” This facilitates coming back to earth or the physical plane.

Blessing

Bless the earth, family, city, country and all the people around and in the memories. Release the excess energy by blessing.

Group Meditations

Whenever possible, do group meditations. This will help connect easily, in-case one feet over-energized, one can take help from people around. One can also distribute energy with the group.

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How to Meditate to Stop Panic Attacks

Will learning how to meditate to stop panic attacks be effective? Yes, it will … read on!

There are a lot of people who suffer from panic disorder and educating your self how to meditate to stop panic attacks have proven to be invaluable. Meditation is a “tool” that you can learn and incorporate into your daily life. One of the great things about meditation is its' simplicity; not only is it easy to learn but you will find the results both calming and peaceful. Thus, learning how to meditate to stop panic attacks will be the perfect answer for you as a way to deal with the symptoms of panic or anxiety disorders.

As you are well aware, the resulting effects of a panic attack almost make you feel like you're going to die! Not good !! The shear fear and dread you feel makes the panic attack worse and you may notice a lot of physical symptoms. For even the strongest person, it's a very traumatic experience. With certain meditation techniques, you can take control of the panic attack before it escalates. When you learn how to meditate to stop panic attacks regularly, you will find yourself spiritually centered and experience inner peace. Also, you will be in a great position for guard yourself against the negative day-to-day stresses in life.

How to Meditate to Stop Panic Attacks:

Physical Basics for an Effective Meditation Session
• Select an environment that is peaceful, calming, with no distractions
• Sit comfortably, ideally with your legs at a ninety-degree angle with your forearms resting on your thighs, palms facing upwards.
• Begin to quiet your mind, focus on peaceful images and thoughts.
• It is a good idea to start with a 15-minute session. Then, gradually increase the length of time if desired.

Suggested techniques for an Effective Meditation Session

1. Breathe Deeply and Slowly
Rapid, shallow breathing can worsen your panic attack. On the other hand, deeper, slower breathing relaxes your body, slows down your heart rate, and tells your body that everything is all right. A good way to notice if your breathing is deep is to check the belly. It should rise and fall as you breathe and you should feel your chest fill with air right back to your spell. You should place both hands over the belly. This will help you feel the air being dropped into your diaphragm. You should make sure your hands rise and fall as the breathing slows.

2. Exhale Slowly
When you slow down the rate at which you exhale, your body feels more relaxed. You should extend the time it takes to exhale. Moreover, you should exhale completely. With each breath, you should try to increase the time it takes to push the air out of your lungs.

3. Do not Blow Out the Candle
This is an excellent way to slow down your breathing. You should pretend there is a lit candle right in front of you. In fact, you can also practice with a real candle. You should blow at the flame gently. It's important to make sure that the flame does not go out. This technique will lower your heart rate, and help you feel relaxed.

4. Exhale Mouth, Inhale Nose
It is quite easy for the mind to wander when you're trying to slow down your breathing. You should try to focus on your breathing. It's important to breathe in through your nose, and exhale through your mouth. This way of breathing is unnatural. Therefore, it requires you to concentrate. This will make sure you're distracted from any anxious thoughts. You will have more control over your breathing.

5. Let your thoughts go
Easier said then done, but do not fight what comes into your mind. So instead of ignoring your thoughts, acknowledge them. Imagine you are watching yourself observe your thoughts … kind of like you are on the outside looking in. This way it is easier not pass judgment or to get emotional about your thoughts. As you acknowledge one thought, you can gently brush it away and move onto the next. Remember, meditation is a peaceful, non-forced practice; with time and repetition, letting your thoughts go will become easier.

6. Re-surface peacefully
When the time has come to end your meditation session, slowly bring yourself back to the 'surface' taking a few minutes to regain your self in the present. Jolting out of a great meditation session will defeat your peaceful purpose.

Meditation opens the door to allow your mind to go deep into itself; in the process you will begin to live in the moment, with depth and optimism. Meditation is about letting go; letting go of anger, the events of the past and even planning the future. With regular meditation, you may even experience that your entire nature has been altered.
For a person who has ever experienced a panic attack or an anxiety episode, meditation is definitely worth considering. For those searching how to meditate to stop panic attacks to eliminate panic disorder, the meditation basics and technique described above will surely set you on the right path.

As you learn how to meditate to stop panic attacks, you will learn to rationalize with your mind. You will also be able to think things through. It will make sure you do not immediately react to the initial fright. With some practice, you will feel more confident. Moreover, your self-esteem will also improve. You will start recognizing positivity in your life, and it will not be controlled by fear and alarm anymore.

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In Meditation You Are Thinking

We are always thinking

Some people think that meditation is not thinking. In reality that is not true. You might not be critic thinking, but you are thinking. As long as you are conscious you are thinking.

The only difference is how much our energy and thoughts are scattered, because your thoughts are energy.

In meditation for example, you pull all your conscious energy into one place. You are thinking, but your focus is on one thing. If you are only focused and thinking about one thing, then you can not extend energy to think about it's qualities.

I had the hardest time with meditation before. I was trying to not think and keep thinking out my head. It was not working. For some reason I did not want to listen to audio or do the type of meditation to focus on my body or an object. It was not until I realized that I am thinking, but I am only entertaining one thought that I understand what mediation is.

I made this article for people who are like me at one time, not understanding that mediation has thought. It has a focus. That's why most forms of meditation tell you to focus on your breath. It is a consistent, necessary motion making it easy to focus on.

You can think about empty space, a part of the body, or just the hum of your air conditioning. It's all still thinking, because thinking starts with a thought and thought starts with focus.

On the other side of meditation is scattered thought. The best example would be a person who can not pull their thoughts together. Although I believe everyone can recover from anything, you would probably find this person in a mental hospital or under supervised care. Sadly that's what we do when people are thinking too much.

More controlled thinking at a high level would be a scientist, air traffic controller, or somebody with a job of that nature causing them to think a lot. Having your thoughts running like this means you are contemplating many thoughts and sensory details at once and back to back.

Honestly, the closest thing to no thought is more likely mindfulness than mediation. If you pull all your energy into the present moment and live from there, you have no energy in your mind. It's like taking your energy that is normally used for thinking in your mind and pulling it into feeling and being.

The point of this thinking article is to clarify mediation for some so they do not spend time frustrated with meditation from a lack of understand. Also it was to give you both sides of the spectrum of thinking. I hope that you enjoyed.

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Why Meditation Matters – Tips From a Magic Monk

“It does not matter … I'm on the path to enlightenment.”

– Buddhist Monk

If you were a fan of the TV series, Seinfeld, you may remember the episode where George Costanza's Dad, Frank, was trying to manage his blood pressure by not allowing him to get angry. But despite his best efforts to practice serenity, whenever something triggered him, he would scream, “SERENITY NOW!”

That hilarious episode is probably memorable because it's so true. Feeling a sense of serenity during a quiet moment of meditation is one thing; having serenity during the noisy challenges of everyday life is quite another.

In fact, it has been my experience that learning to calm the mind through a meditative technique, such as focusing on our breathing, is difficult enough – even when the external conditions are conducive to serenity. Once one leaves that temporary cocoon of quiet and calm, it is remarkable just how fast that sense of serenity can go right out the window at the first sign of a challenge.

Perhaps that's why the Universe decided to send in the big guns, in terms of teachers, to teach me about meditation when it is NOT quiet.

Now, for the past three years, my ever-so-patient massage therapist and good friend, Andrea, has had to listen to my woes, on pretty much a weekly basis, about my noisy neighbors. First it was the pounding bass from the girl's stereo – every day for five hours. Now it's the guy using his beloved band saw in the backyard, outside my office window, and the screaming kids.

Over the years, Andrea (and others) has tried explaining to me that moving is not the answer – because if I do not learn what I need to learn in this situation, I will only find myself facing the same problem in a new location .

“It's you who has to change,” she said.

“But they are the ones who are being noisy,” I said. “They're selfish and disrespectful.”

“So?”

“So then they're the ones who should change!” I sacrificed.

“But they are not going to – until you do. That's how it works.”

Sigh.

“You need to learn how to stop all the drama you're creating around the noise,” she said.

Hmmm …

“The noise itself is not the problem, Maryanne. It's your reaction to the noise … the story you're telling yourself – like how rude and disrespectful your neighbors are. matter. All that matters is that you learn how to deal with the noise so you do not go insane. ”

To this end, Andrea suggested I attend a Buddhist meditation session at the library around the corner from where I live.

“I bet you'll love the Buddhist Monk who leads it,” she said. “The worst that can happen is you do not like him and you never go back.

That was a year ago. Funny how we put off doing the very thing that will probably help us the most.

But then, last Monday, when the new fall meditation session started, I decided to give it a try. Andrea even made plans to join me, so she could introduce me to the Monk … or so she said. She probably just wanted to make sure I actually went!

For Monday morning is prime-time writing for me … I'm at my most rested and alert to get my work done. Taking 90 minutes to listen to a Buddhist Monk and meditate seemed a bit … well, you know – perhaps not the most effective use of a Monday morning.

I was wrong.

Now interestingly, on that same morning I happened to be reading Elisabeth Fayt's book, Paving it Forward; The Energy of Creating, and came across this mantra:

“My environment is perfect for me.”

“Any challenge that is not received in the right attitude,” Fayt explained, “will need to be re-played in the drama of life until you get it.”

And then would not you know it but, as if on cue, the landscaping guys working at the condos behind my backyard started up their industrial strength weed-whackers. They usually show up on Friday mornings to annoy me.

So I calmly put on my runners and walked around the corner to meet my Monk. After Andrea introduced us, we took our seats.

“Oh and by the way,” she whispered, “he has this amazing ability of picking up on the energy of the individuals in the group. comments accordingly. ”

Hmmm, I thought to myself, a magic Monk.

“Happiness is a state of mind,” the Monk began. “When our minds are calm, we are at peace. So what we will be learning in the coming weeks is how to use the tool of meditation to train our minds to be calm, so that when things anger or irritate us, we can always guide our minds back to that calm state. ”

Bring it on, Brother!

“The problem,” he said, “is that we tend to get attached to the feelings we assign to whatever it is that bothering us. We often allow our happiness to depend on what is happening around us.”

Then, I kid you not – a jackhammer starts up outside the library window.

Wow … this guy is good! At first, the Monk did not even acknowledge the noise. He just kept on talking about how easy it is to get wrapped up in our negative feelings towards whatever it is we may be dealing with.

“For example,” he then says, with a smile, “let's say there is a … distracting noise that really irritates you.”

I turned and looked at Andrea, my mouth hanging open.

“You ignore it,” the Monk said, answering his own question.

I looked back at him, incredulous. IGNORE IT ?! How the heck do you ignore a jackhammer outside the window when you're trying to learn meditation?

“The person operating that jackhammer,” he said, “is just doing their job. You could go out and bonk them on the head to make them stop. But that's not the best course of action for all concerned. negative thought that is not going to serve you … or change the outcome. ”

I thought back to the times I'd fantasized about all the nasty things I could do with my neighbor's band saw – or stereo. Oops. That could possibly be construed as a rather negative thought … but it sure felt good at the time!

“No matter what you are dealing with,” the Monk continued, “just remember that it is all part of what you are here to learn.”

The Monk looked around the room and smiled kindly. “So just say to yourself: it does not matter … I'm on the path to enlightenment.”

I smiled back. Message received.

Then we did some breathing meditations where we focused on breathing in and out, in and out. He advised us to just ignore everything else that was happening around us, such as noises and movement, and in us – such as thoughts. Whenever our mind began to wander, we were to just gently bring our focus back to our breathing.

The Monk explained that meditation is simply a tool used to train the mind to be calm, so that when the inevitable stresses, challenges and irritations of everyday life happens, our minds will always automatically default to that calm state – instead of reacting with thoughts, feelings and all the damn drama.

Mastering meditation is obviously not going to happen overnight – or the next decade for that matter. But I am already astounded at the difference in the quality of my day when I choose to walk away, or put in earplugs, whenever an annoying noise starts up around me – instead of allowing it to trigger negative thoughts that lead to feelings of anger and frustration.

In the bigger picture, the ever-unfolding saga next door is brilliant writing material! As such, I'm saving the drama in my head for the page – and have started writing a hilarious play about the situation, aptly titled, The Neighbors.

And speaking of the bigger picture, since we are expected to learn to love thy neighbor, maybe that's why we do not always get the neighbors that are easy to love. Thankfully, I've been blessed to mostly have that kind. But despite the real test is to learn to love the not-so-loveable neighbors? Now that's a worthy challenge.

Why?

Because the hate I have felt for my noisy neighbors is no different than the hate that people at war in all corners of the globe have for each other – and kill each other for.

Peace is peace … and if we can not find it in own hearts and minds then we will never be able to achieve it on the world stage. I learned that in this week's meditation session.

He is a magic Monk.

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The Exercise of Enlightenment

I was listening to an interview the other day with Robert Thurman. You may know his daughter, Uma Thurman.She starred in the movie “Kill Bill”.

I have been following Professor Thurman's teachings for quite a few years. He is a Buddhist scholar and a practitioner as well. He was sitting crossed legged during the interview and they asked him why are you sitting cross-legged? Professor Thurman said, “It is the most comfortable way for me to sit; you bought to try it.” Then he was asked if he works out? He says, “Not in the formal sense, but I do 250 prostrations every morning and evening.”

This stuck my interest so I started doing 3 prostrations each morning and evening before my meditation adding one more each day. If you are not familiar with the term prostration or do not know how to do one let me explain.

A prostration is a gesture used in Buddhist practice to show reverence. Among Buddhists, prostration is believed to be very beneficial for practitioners.

• An experience of giving

• An act to purify the mind of conceit

• A preparation for meditation

• An act to accumulates merit (gives you good karma)

In Buddhism practitioners always do the prostrations before and after meditation.

Typically it's done three times, once to honor the teaching, then the teacher, and then the group you practice with.

Here's how to do a full prostration …

First, stand with your feet about shoulder width apart; keep your toes pointing forward. Place your palms in the center of your chest as if you were praying. Raise your hands just above your head, touching the top of your head (Du 20). Then touch your hands to your third eye point, then your throat and back to your heart.

Next, bend at your waist to the floor and make your arms parallel to the ground with the centers of your palms facing down. Place your hands out in front of you to allow you to bend forward gracefully rise up with ease.

For the third step, allow your knees to touch the floor just after your hands and lie down on the ground. Form a straight line from your waist to your fingertips and keep your face down.

Finally, touch the ground. The 5 points, hands, knees and head must touch the ground in that order.

As soon as your head touches the ground, raise up. Use your hands to push up from the floor quickly. Come to standing position and place your hands in prayer pose again.

This exercise would be considered an internal exercise. As your focus is your meditation, flexibility, and agility, you're acknowledging a spirit or the divine to make your life better. It is the same when we do Qigong practices. In the Flying Crane Qigong we acknowledge the four directions North, South, East and West, allowing the body to move in different position to open the Meridians and Chakras. These practices are all beneficial to one's health and longevity.

I wish you the best in your Health, Wealth, and Happiness.

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When In Meditation We Observe Our Breath

When in meditation we observe our breath, we are also present in all the rest. The observation of the breath is not a technique of concentration and breathing is simply an anchor in the present. If a thought passes and leads us away, that's fine; we have nothing against the thoughts, just that they do not take us away too much. If then a thought passes, about what we should do next or what we have done before, that's fine. When we realize that a thought arose, we leave it there, we try not to bring it to fruition, and we try not to leave room for the mind to complete its process, because it leads now. As soon as we realize that we have left our present, and are connected with the current situation in which we are sitting here meditating, we let that thought exactly where it is and go back into the present.

This is our present, where we are now, and this is the only space-time point in the whole universe in which we are. The rest are just mental states, not complete with all the knowledge of which we are capable. If a state of mind arises, let's leave it there as soon as we realize it. We'll also feel, at that moment, the strong energy rebound of all that energy used to take us to mentally make the tour of the universe that goes back into the present. It will be an elastic effect. Let us, therefore, set apart anything that manifests within our silence and try to cultivate only the inner silence, as much as we can, and grasp that quality which is the state of meditation.

If we feel uncomfortable, and do not do it anymore to stand still and want to change position, let's do it quietly, carefully, and consciously, trying not to perform it automatically. We also try to avoid mechanical gestures like scratching. If we feel an itch and can not resist, then we can intervene, reminding us to make each movement with presence and grace and not unconsciously. It is normal for an outbreak of an itchy nose, or head, or somewhere else, and if we look at it, that itch becomes something gigantic that takes all the space of our consciousness. We then shift our attention from the breath to the itching and see where it takes us. The important thing is to be alert and present. We observe the breath and we observe that itching.

What is difficult is to observe the thought. It is generally stronger than us and able to quickly capture our intention with the minority emotional seduction to lead us anywhere we want. We observe it and eventually it leads us away because it's the one, in fact, leading us to where it wants. It is easier to observe the breath, or itching, until we are able to grasp and observe our inner space. At that point, whatever passes through it is easy to let it go, including the thought, that when it feels of no longer being withheld, reduces in intensity, quality and quantity and we can enjoy the endless void of our presence and the absolute pleasure of the pure sense of existing.

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Meditation Is To Remain Silent Within

Meditation is to remain silent within ourselves and be able to observe everything that happens outside, and especially within our area of ​​consciousness. When we stop the chaotic thinking activity of our minds, we see others; we see the world that revolves around us in its smallest details and perceive all the minority nuances of our moods. We feel that our heart beats, our breath goes in and out repeatedly, cars are passing, we have a temperature, and that maybe we are thirsty. When we stop and are in inner attitude of stasis, an active moment of persistence, in that moment, our consciousness expends and includes within itself more and more things.

If we stop for a moment and pay attention to sounds, we realize that there are sounds everywhere and that our hearing is able to extend very far. If we're thinking about something, those sounds that surround us and are part of our universe, fade into the background and we notice them less or even not at all. Sometimes we are so focused into what we are doing or thinking that we are not aware of where we are, what is happening around us and within us, if we closed the gas or locked the front door. When this happens, it means that our mind is full of activities and needs a reply to be cleared of all that has developed and is developing.

Cleaning the blackboard of our conscience, that often likes to be cleaned of all the activities that overlap and jostle when we think of a multitude of things that should happen or we should do, is called meditation. Children already meditate spontaneously by themselves and it's important to allow them to continue to meditate. When they are firm and apparently not doing anything, they are being charged and rest. When fully taken in what they do, they become part of a cosmic event; there is no separation between them, their doing, and the entire universe which manifests around and within them. They're exactly in the present and in a state ofaware meditation, until leaving voluntarily.

Continuing to meditate, preferably guided by the example of their parents, at the beginning, their unavoidable state of being becomes conscious with age and when adolescents are already know exactly what they're doing and why. Meditation soon becomes a habitual and enjoyable daily activity that clears their mind and relaxes them, allowing to better study, learning faster and easily, and getting new ideas to put into practice at school, at home, and in the social. When teenagers – or future adults – meditate together, they unite in a common ground of understanding, which is the silent inner emptiness, the dimension of pure universal energy without form, home of every possibility, where all is one.

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Our Mind Burns A Lot Of Energy

Our mind burns a lot of energy because, in an instant, is able to take us to the other side of the universe. The more we think, the more we use energy. If we can, during the day, just for a moment, avoid thinking, we reload, or at least prevent unnecessary energy unload. So many times we think the same thing over. How many times we happen to have the same thought in mind, or a tune we hear once on the radio and continue singing through the day. These mental activities burn a lot of energy, and that's our own energy.

Being able not to think about something does not mean we're doing nothing; we're just learning how to tap into that space of inner silence to continue making and carrying out our daily activities and normal life, but from a place of inner silence. It does not mean that we sit under a tree and do not go to work anymore, that we are no longer with our children, and do not deal, to any additional, with everything we have to deal with; it means that we simply do it from a space of quietness, relaxation, grounding, and inner well-being.

A classic, very simple example, runs like this: if we have to go to work and wake up angry, or enraged, we go to work angry. If we wake up bored, bored, we go to work. If we wake up relaxed, happy and cheerful, we go to work whistling, smiling or humming. In any case, we get up and go to work, but one thing is doing it reluctantly, because inside we feel fairly turbulent or with a series of unresolved situations that turn us upside down, another thing is doing it with a quiet inner space in which we are perfectly serene and at peace with ourselves and the world too. We do the same things as always but from different dimensions of being.

Those who meditate or practice yoga, go to work, eat, cook, pay their bills, throw out the trash and wash the dishes, like anyone else. They just try to do it in one way rather than another, with an attitude of positive inner silence. Monks and nuns of almost all religious traditions have this way; they go fetching water from the well, cut firewood, sort rice, plant and care for their vegetable garden. The point is doing it with a positive attitude towards oneself and life in general, towards the environment and anything that is important to us. We bring forth our attitude to life according to our integrity, our desire, and with that certain way of doing that radiates positive energy and well-being, which clearly affects us first, then everything else around us, and eventually the whole. That's it.

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Silence in Noise

The bell rang as I was awakened from my slumber. It was 4am and time to get ready for my first meditation of the day. I was in the Blue Mountains of Sydney at the Vipassana Center.

In slow and conscious moves I got dressed and gathered my things to make it to the meditation hall behind my sleeping quarters. There would be time for freshening up later.

I learned the art of meditation from this ten-day program. Joining one hundred other meditators, the hall smelt of eucalyptus. Dry bark still fresh in my senses, now trigger me into a clean meditative state. I slide right into it easily.

So worried that I would not be able to make it through the vegetarian regime I breezed through it. My next concern was not talking for ten days. Would I make it? I had never done that before.

As my girlfriend and I drve down from the Mountains ten days later we had fallen into the pensive routine of silence. We laughed at how we had lived our lives in the past. Both of us extroverts, we had talked a good portion of the way.

The effort of setting aside time to do this ten-day program had paid off many-fold. As the founder of Vipassana Mr. SN Goenka said “you have to spend a critical amount of time to learn a new skill. Most people want to change their lives but are not willing to spend time in our world of instant gratification”

I did this program at the end of every year as a means to cleanse my inner being. Today I am grateful that I did as the art of meditation has transgressed from my mind to muscle, from understanding the discourses to living them.

Many years later I moved from Sydney to Singapore. The pace of my life multiplied many fold. The hectic pace of Asian life and the travel that I began to do, look my work-life balance.

Having been trained in Neuro Linguistic Programming I knew how to step out of the content of an experience into the context and structure of it. This is where even further value started to occur for me.

The irony of finding silence in noise was an incredible insight for me. As I was thrown even further into a noisy world of consulting jobs, after work parties, good food and wine, I found myself stepping out into the silence.

I would smell the bark of eucalyptus, which had become an anchor for me. This would take me straight into a calm, meditative state. How cool was that? More and more I learnt to step out of the noise into the silence.

I found silence worked for me in tremendous ways. I could create from nothing. My intuition would throw thoughts into my consciousness. Solutions came to me.

My meditation practice came in handy in many ways. I did not suffer jet lag. I was able to command my unconscious mind to sleep when I needed to. When I ran at a fast pace at work I stopped and sat in stillness and silence. I became present to the stress in my body and whooshed it away.

I know that the combination of meditation, being still and seeing context in a situation is very powerful for results. My performance is heightened and results are achieved without trying. An aura of peace and calm also envelope my being. I am able to attend to any situation however negative it may seem.

My silent state has a vacuum-like feel inside me. This is coupled with a light blue color and a soft whistling sound. As I understand the building blocks of my internal experience I am able to access this state any time anywhere.

I know successful people have a strong semblance of what occurs in their inner world. They are thoroughly aware of how to manage their state of mind for high performance.

This is fundamental to achieving success in a person's life. State management sits at the heart of NLP. If you are able to change your state, you are able to change your behavior. A change of behavior in turn then changes your results.

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When Is The Best Time To Practice?

I woke up around 4:30 this morning and made a pot of hot tea and I started my morning meditation. A ritual practice that helps relieves the body of stress and anxiety. The wee hours of the morning are the best time to meditate when everything is still, long before people begin their work day. Most people are sleeping and it's much easier to be still inside when there is less movement around us. The morning sets the tone for the entire day.

I sat for around 30 minutes being grateful for everyone in my life and all that I have. and then left the house to do my Qigong exercises; an ancient Chinese exercise for longevity and relaxation. I often use my Qigong practices as a moving meditation. If you are not a meditator, I suggest you start out by sitting for 5 minutes in the morning and asking yourself this question: “What am I grateful for?” This will keep your mind searching for the answers and put you in a meditative state. Little by little you can increase the time that you sit and open up your meditation practice, and you will notice the benefits are incredible.

I'm only a few blocks from the ocean and if I leave early enough it's still dark and very quite. My morning exercise is one of the best ways to wake up my body and get Qi and blood flowing to the brain. It's far superior to that cup of coffee but if you can not do with that cup of brain juice; drink it after your practice. Some people go for a run or get to the gym, but if you want to keep healthy and increase your chances for a long healthy life learn and practice the internal exercises like Qigong, Tai Chi and Yoga. These exercises will get your Qi and blood flowing to the internal organs the quickest and keep you healthy and happy. I have been practicing Qi Gong for over 30 years. Here are some of the many benefits:

1. Strengthens the Organs

2. Improves Cardiopulmonary Function

3. Strengthens the Nerves

4. Improves Vascular Function

5. Prevents Injury to Joints, Ligaments, and Bones

6. Speeds Recovery Time from Injuries

7. Builds Internal Power

8. Eases Stress and Balances Emotions

9. Improves your flexibly and Balance

The Anti aging exercises like Qigong will improve your health and well-being within weeks of practicing. It has been reported that internal exercises will give you a longer life span, more energy, and a wonderful outlook on life.

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Calming Stress Relief Can Be Found in Meditation

In today's fast moving and modern world, we are constantly being barraged by an overwhelming flow of information and demands on our attention. Whether it is the crying baby, a ringing telephone, or just your never-ending list of to dos, let's face it: You are stressed out. As you have probably noticed, meditation has gained prominence recently as a hugely effective calming stress relief method. However, unlike other ways of relieving stress (exercise, sleep, eating, sex …) meditation has a durable, lasting effect on your stress levels and peace of mind.

Gaining Focus

There are tons of ways to meditate, but all of them involve focusing your attention on something tangible and using this as a way to ignore the incessant chatter of your mind. Try this as an experiment. Find a comfortable place to set and set a timer for 60 seconds. For the duration of the minute, try to think of nothing else but the sensation of the breath coming in and out of your nostrils. If you are new to meditating, you may find that your mind has wandered away to some thought other than your breath in only a few seconds!

This is completely normal. As you continue to meditate consistently, you will notice that you can hold your attention for longer and longer periods of time. This has a direct translation to real world benefits as well. If you can focus intentionally in meditation, you will find it much easier to do so in other facets of your life as well.

Relaxation

Studies have shown that when a person mediates, their body undergoes the same physiological changes as if the person were falling asleep. The heart rate and breathing slow down, the mind becomes clearer and less distracted, and the body becomes relaxed. Many experienced practitioners refer to this as “falling awake”, and in fact, meditation has many of the same benefits of sleep. Many experts report that for every hour that spend meditating per day, they can sleep one hour less that night.

Being Present

Our minds have a tendency to make our problems bigger than they really are. For instance, sometimes your car starts acting funny and you suspect you may need to take it in for repairs. However, before you even have an opportunity to find out how much repairs will cost you start bemoaning the expense, and worry about how you will be able to make ends meet. Your mind may imagine scenes where you and your family are unable to eat or are put out on the street. However, this is simply fear and ego overwhelming your mind.

Meditation helps you be present in the moment and gives you perspective on those seemingly unbearable problems in your life. Sometimes, after meditating, you may find that not only are you less stressed, but your problems seem smaller and less important than they were not even an hour prior. Occidentally, you may find the perfect solution to your problem as an insight or epiphany while you are sitting.

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