Category Archives: Meditation and Mindfulness

Meditation, Mindfulness, Spirituality

Meditation Can be Practiced in Many Ways

There are many ways to practice meditation, which is in essence, a Syncing of the Body and Mind

Meditation doesn’t necessarily require you to sit still, in a lotus pose.

Meditation can be practiced doing any activity that takes All of Your Focus into Yourself and the moment.

Playing music, painting, doing crafts, writing, one on one sports, bike rides,  all of these activities block any thoughts of past or future and puts you in THE NOW.

This is where you want your mind, your thought to be! It is where you are, your very soul, is at all times!

Enjoying, centering, focusing all of your attention to the NOW, the gift of life, in the present moment.  Meditation is what your brain and body need to clear  the negative energy that is absorbed by your very cells, in your body, throughout your week.

Not only does it lift your spirits and free you from a lot of anxiety, meditation actually lowers blood pressure.

So if you feel that sitting still is not the answer for you, but want to feel and understand what all the hype is about with Meditation…figure out what activities you do and enjoy, that engages your complete focus and attention.  Try to incorporate this activity at least 2-3 times a week, into your schedule.  Let yourself be free of thoughts for a little while, let the present moment breathe life into your soul.

These teachings and many more life altering and inspiring concepts,  are those of Eckhart Tolle.  Modern Spiritual Teacher, whom changed my whole outlook on life.  His wisdom in relieving your own suffering and experiencing the world in a different way is recognized by many including: Oprah, The Guardian, The Dalai Lama, Ram Dass and Deepak Chopra.  I urge everyone to check out some of his sessions on YouTube and/or pick up one of his very few books written at your local library.  It offers a powerful insight on the origins of mankind’s continuous suffering and destruction.

This link will take you to a submission of his book, the Power of Now.

LIVE – LOVE – LAUGH – MEDITATE

Holding on to Shame and Guilt Physically Breaks Down Your Body

Recent studies have shown that we really do carry around emotional baggage physically in our bodies. In the connective tissue, fascia tissues, in our bodies to be exact. It is a chemical called IL6.

IL6 is a cytokine protein chemical we all carry in our bodies. It plays a role in fighting infections and regulating metabolism. However, when the chemical is over processed, it becomes the enemy, breaking down immune system.

IL6 shame chemical
IL6 Chemical Protein

Growing evidence links this inflammatory chemical process to autoimmune disease, depression, cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes. Increased levels of IL6 have also been associated with children’s and adult mental health problems.

Studies have shown inflammation (over-processing) of this chemical sets up an individual’s health physically and mentally for health and mental complications. Over inflammation occurs in individuals who have experience extreme stress situations, predominantly in childhood and teenage years. These extreme stress situations along with social class, absence of parental devotion, incest, tragedy and suppression of the negative emotions associated with these risk factors all contribute to those with easily inflamed levels of IL6. images-4

Holding on to negative emotions such as fear, guilt, shame and grudge, over stimulates this protein chemical which in essence, lodges in your fascia tissues. Fascia tissue as described in the link, surrounds all of your organs, bones and nerves. If one does not learn to release their past negative emotions and thoughts of events that have happened to them, the IL6 chemical builds up in the tissue and causes damage, the end result of this damage will vary from one individual to the next depending on genetics, pre-existing conditions and environment.

The bottom line is:

We must let go of our past when it is associated with negative emotions (fear, anger, regret, guilt, shame, grudge). We cannot change the past, but we can change how it affects us now. All humans have an inner instinct to be happy. However, when we carry around these unneeded burdens of emotions, of the past, we are limiting our ability for inner peace and making more undo stress on our body systems. Learn to let it go. Why hold on to it? Does it give you power in some way to feel bad? Does it help today’s situations, joy or stress? No it does not.

Have you ever known someone who has been hurt by another in the past and that person after years, still carries a strong grudge against the other person? Do you see what it does to their face features? Almost like they are shriveling up. How we deal with those who have wrong us, how we deal with past situations we were forced to endure, play a major role in our over all health and appearance in the coming years.

Spiritual leaders have always urged us, as humans, to forgive, have compassion, practice daily gratitude and help one another. When we make these practices part of our daily lives, we ultimately relieve our own suffering and improve our overall health, mentally and physically.

Since this chemical makes it’s home in the connective tissues of our bodies, yoga stretching, meditations and mindfulness all help to release the over abundance of IL6 that many of us are carrying around within ourselves, returning IL6 to it’s normal capacity, which we need to help us maintain normal infection fighting and metabolism levels of the natural occurring chemical.

So do yourself a huge favor. Let the past go, learn to live in the present, right now and stretch your limbs really well a couple times a day, take time to clear your mind and meditate when you can, recognize when these old negative familiar emotions arise within you. See if you can stop the thought process from going back into the past, reliving the negative, over and over. Recognizing what triggers these emotions and learning to release them right away, will absolutely make your feel better, look better and be a better human all together. breathing_fct1024x630_t460

LIVE – LOVE – LAUGH – MEDITATE – GRATITUDE – COMPASSION

Small Miracles Everyday – Are you “Present” enough to notice them?

The beautiful sun, that sets and rises each day, the flowers blooming, the smile of a child, the very breathe that you take. These are all small everyday miracles that deserve your presence and attention.

If we are always running around, if our minds are is always involved in planning, worrying and agonizing, these everyday small miracles will go unnoticed, as if they did not exist.

Eckhart Tolle Quotes
Eckhart Tolle Spiritual Teacher

There are so many wonderful benefits in practicing meditation and mindfulness. The first steps are:

1.) Learning to silence the thoughts in your head

2.) Really understanding the Impermanence of all things

3.) Feeling gratitude for the blessings of the present moment.

These three key practices will open up your awareness of all of the small miracles of life that have the capacity to nourish you and to heal you.

Once you learn to witness the voice in your head, recognize this voice as a tool, and not as the ultimate decision maker in your life and learn to cease thoughts for a few precious moments, you open up a bountiful world of every day small miracles and your begin notice them more often, appreciating them and conjure feelings of gratitude.

This in turn, slows down the aging process, it helps keep you focused in stressful or volatile situations and make clearer decisions.

I can say from personal experience, that learning gratitude and learning to ignore thoughts of worrying that want to play over and over in my head, as literally saved by sanity, my life.

We live in a world so full of itself.  So full of greed and material wealth that we are literally destroying our only planet, that is merely borrowed from our children.  We must collectively has a human race, learn to stop the obsessive, constant thoughts in our head.  Step back an realize what a gift the world and all of it’s inhabitants are.

Take a moment, each day to reflect on what you are grateful for in your life.  When you are stressed, enraged or deeply sad, just stop, breathe and remember what a wonderful world it is we live in.  Humans are the only species on the planet to manipulate and destroy there own environment for waste and wealth.

Meditation Stopping Thoughts

Meditation is not all about stopping your thoughts.  The key is knowing that you can’t stop or control all of your thoughts, but you can decide how much attention you give them.  So stop stressing about thoughts when you are meditating.

Through meditation you can find the quiet that already exists in the space between your thoughts. This space between thoughts is pure consciousness, pure silence, and pure peace.

Understanding how to get into that quiet space and then calmly return there, whenever noisy or unwelcome thoughts intrude, isn’t something most of us know how to do. But it is easy to learn!

Here’s is a simple technique suggested by spiritual guru Deepak Chopra .

Get comfortable: Sit in a position that is comfortable to you – not so relaxed that you might fall asleep, but relaxed and alert at the same time.

Choose an object of attention: Such as your breath, an image or a mantra which allows your mind to relax into the silent stream of awareness.

Don’t judge: When thoughts arise, as they inevitably will, you don’t need to judge them or try to push them away. Instead, gently return your attention to the object of attention:  your breath, your image or your mantra. Continue to do so as often as you need to.

Know this is time well spent: When these thoughts intrude, know that your time is not being wasted. Even if it feels like you have been thinking throughout your entire meditation, there were seconds (or microseconds) when your mind slipped into the space between your thoughts, which means you are still receiving the benefits of your practice.

Simply noticing that you are having thoughts is a breakthrough because it begins to shift your internal reference point from ego mind to witnessing awareness. As you become less identified with your thoughts and stories, you experience greater peace and open yourself to new possibilities. That’s the magic of meditation.

Do not to judge your meditation based on what happens or how you feel while you meditate.  Judge your meditation based on the miracles and magic that happen in your life when you are practicing it regularly.
If you can find 5-10 minutes, twice a day, to practice unplugging for a moment and meditating, you are on your way to relieving stress and developing inner peace.

 

LIVE – LOVE – LAUGH – MEDITATE

What is Mindfulness? Read a simple, yet powerful excerpt from Thich Nhat Hahn

I came across this excerpt from Thich Nhat Hahn, it is an outstanding, yet simple understanding and every day exercise that can remind you of what really matters and help bring peace to your life.  I wanted to share it with you.

thichnhathanhthay-circle

Thich Nhat Hanh on The Practice of Mindfulness

It is such a simple practice, but it can transform your life.

Our true home is not in the past. Our true home is not in the future. Our true home is in the here and the now. Life is available only in the here and the now, and it is our true home.

Mindfulness is the energy that helps us recognize the conditions of happiness that are already present in our lives. You don’t have to wait ten years to experience this happiness. It is present in every moment of your daily life. There are those of us who are alive but don’t know it. But when you breathe in, and you are aware of your in-breath, you touch the miracle of being alive. That is why mindfulness is a source of happiness and joy.

Most people are forgetful; they are not really there a lot of the time. Their mind is caught in their worries, their fears, their anger, and their regrets, and they are not mindful of being there. That state of being is called forgetfulness—you are there but you are not there. You are caught in the past or in the future. You are not there in the present moment, living your life deeply. That is forgetfulness.

The opposite of forgetfulness is mindfulness. Mindfulness is when you are truly there, mind and body together. You breathe in and out mindfully, you bring your mind back to your body, and you are there. When your mind is there with your body, you are established in the present moment. Then you can recognize the many conditions of happiness that are in you and around you, and happiness just comes naturally.

Mindfulness practice should be enjoyable, not work or effort. Do you have to make an effort to breath in? You don’t need to make an effort. To breathe in, you just breathe in. Suppose you are with a group of people contemplating a beautiful sunset. Do you have to make an effort to enjoy the beautiful sunset? No, you don’t have to make any effort. You just enjoy it.

The same thing is true with your breath. Allow your breath to take place. Become aware of it and enjoy it. Effortlessness. Enjoyment. The same thing is true with walking mindfully. Every step you take is enjoyable. Every step helps you to touch the wonders of life, in yourself and around you. Every step is peace. Every step is joy. That is possible.

During the time you are practicing mindfulness, you stop talking—not only the talking outside, but the talking inside. The talking inside is the thinking, the mental discourse that goes on and on and on inside. Real silence is the cessation of talking—of both the mouth and of the mind. This is not the kind of silence that oppresses us. It is a very elegant kind of silence, a very powerful kind of silence. It is the silence that heals and nourishes us.

Mindfulness gives birth to joy and happiness. Another source of happiness is concentration. The energy of mindfulness carries within it the energy of concentration. When you are aware of something, such as a flower, and can maintain that awareness, we say that you are concentrated on the flower. When your mindfulness becomes powerful, your concentration becomes powerful, and when you are fully concentrated, you have a chance to make a breakthrough, to achieve insight. If you meditate on a cloud, you can get insight into the nature of the cloud. Or you can meditate on a pebble, and if you have enough mindfulness and concentration, you can see into the nature of the pebble. You can meditate on a person, and if you have enough mindfulness and concentration, you can make a breakthrough and understand the nature of that person. You can meditate on yourself, or your anger, or your fear, or your joy, or your peace.

Anything can be the object of your meditation, and with the powerful energy of concentration, you can make a breakthrough and develop insight. It’s like a magnifying glass concentrating the light of the sun. If you put the point of concentrated light on a piece of paper, it will burn. Similarly, when your mindfulness and concentration are powerful, your insight will liberate you from fear, anger, and despair, and bring you true joy, true peace, and true happiness.

When you contemplate the big, full sunrise, the more mindful and concentrated you are, the more the beauty of the sunrise is revealed to you. Suppose you are offered a cup of tea, very fragrant, very good tea. If your mind is distracted, you cannot really enjoy the tea. You have to be mindful of the tea, you have to be concentrated on it, so the tea can reveal its fragrance and wonder to you. That is why mindfulness and concentration are such sources of happiness. That’s why a good practitioner knows how to create a moment of joy, a feeling of happiness, at any time of the day.
First Mindfulness Exercise: Mindful Breathing

The first exercise is very simple, but the power, the result, can be very great. The exercise is simply to identify the in-breath as in-breath and the out-breath as the out-breath. When you breathe in, you know that this is your in-breath. When you breathe out, you are mindful that this is your out-breath.

Just recognize: this is an in-breath, this is an out-breath. Very simple, very easy. In order to recognize your in-breath as in-breath, you have to bring your mind home to yourself. What is recognizing your in-breath is your mind, and the object of your mind—the object of your mindfulness—is the in-breath. Mindfulness is always mindful of something. When you drink your tea mindfully, it’s called mindfulness of drinking. When you walk mindfully, it’s called mindfulness of walking. And when you breathe mindfully, that is mindfulness of breathing.