A Complete Guide to the Practice o Meditation

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Getting Your Internal House in Order

“In the midst of movement and chaos, keep stillness inside of you.” — Deepak Chopra

As I watched the news unfold on Thursday about the mass shooting in Thousand Oaks, here in California, a woman on the treadmill next to me at the gym said, “You know, you can’t go anywhere in this country anymore. Nowhere is safe.”

I’ve always known life is fragile. As someone who grew up in a family where two uncles were gunned down, I had that message drilled into me at a very young age. It’s one I have never forgotten.

But the idea that nowhere is safe anymore is a terrifying reality, isn’t it? How does one “live” when one feels that nowhere is actually safe to live? That’s a question each of us must ask ourselves these days.

For me, it’s all just another reminder to get my house in order. I don’t mean my physical house, per se. (Although getting my house in order over the summer really did help center me.) No, I mean my house of relationships. Because the truth is, you just never know.

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Stressed About Your Future? Let Go of Certainty and Control

Like everyone these days I can fall prey to the stress goblins. I typically am pretty chill but during the recent US elections (since I was just in the states) I really got infected by the fear and anxiety about ‘WHAT IS GOING TO HAPPEN?” Oh I know, I’m supposed to have the conscious Universe on speed dial but I fall asleep at the wheel in stressful moments too. Yep, I teach what I need to be reminded of.

How do you react when you’re in the midst of uncertainty and not knowing what’s going to happen next? Do you try to plan, scheme, strategize, and control, all the while driving yourself crazy? Or, do you do what you need to do and then let go the results and cultivate faith in the Divine, faith in the uncharted map yet to be discovered?

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Be Aware Of Progress

Are some things getting better?

The Practice:
Be aware of progress.

Why?

There are always things that are getting worse. For example, over the past year, you probably know someone who has become unemployed or ill or both, and there's more carbon in the atmosphere inexorably heating up the planet.

But if you don't recognize what's improving in your own life, then you feel stagnant, or declining. This breeds what researchers call "learned helplessness" - a dangerously slippery slope. It typically takes only a few experiences of painful entrapment to create it but many times as many counter-experiences to undo it.

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How can we support one another on our spiritual journey?

“The wild geese do not intend to cast their reflection and the water has no mind to receive their image.”

That was the first message I got from the first fortune cookie I opened when I returned from India. That seems like a fitting contract for these writings, and perhaps the full implications of that contract will become clear as we continue.

What I’d like to do is to present a model to you, and the specific model is my own life experience. That’s really all I have to offer to you – of my own experiences. I would like to clarify the reason for doing this.  It is not my expectation, or my hope, that any of you necessarily would undergo the particular journey that I am pursuing. I am not proselytizing for Ashtanga yoga.

But we in the West are faced with a very interesting predicament through a variety of circumstances, some of which are built into the culture like changes in communication media and so on. Some of them are the result of the chemicals that have appeared and been widely used – psychedelics.

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How to Achieve Any Goal With the Law of Attraction

The Law of Attraction is one of the most powerful laws in the universe. Just like gravity, it is always influencing your life and reality. And once you are aware of it you can leverage it to create the life of your dreams.

Simply put, the Law of Attraction says that you attract into your life whatever you focus on and feel strongly about.

So, if you focus on the good and positive things in your life, you will automatically attract more of those things into your life.

If you focus on lack and negativity, then that is what you will attract more of into your life. It’s that simple – and that powerful.

Because once you understand how the Law of Attraction works, you can begin to consciously and intentionally change your results and create a better life.

You can begin to choose to respond differently to the situations that arise during your day.

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Meditate your stress away!

Meditation is is what many people associate with Spirituality and may be considered old fashioned to the very modern thinking individuals who do not want to identify with it.

I personally feel that it is an age old practice, that may or may not be spiritually aligned, but is actually one of the best ways of relieving stress.

Our bodies are experiencing stress situations all through the day in various forms. They are automatically geared to the "fight or flight" response. Constantly dealing with our own inner emotional self can be very self damaging, both in terms of mind and body. We need a technique that will counter the harm done to us by our stress levels.

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10 Tips to Care for Your Soul: At Home and on the Road

Often our plans for our days are full of errands, chores, don’t-forgets, and the usual chaos that makes up everyday life.

How many times have you been right in the middle of a hectic day and longed to be back at your favorite travel destination where you felt calm and your soul was at peace? We so often mistake this feeling for wanderlust, or a need to get away from it all. What if you were able to experience that feeling of peace from your last journey and bring it into your everyday life and all your future travels?

The reason that we often feel more at peace while traveling is because we are nourishing our soul. Filling it full of love and appreciation. We begin to feel more in balance with the world as a whole and appreciate what we have at home. This is just one of the many benefits of travel and spiritual journeys alike. Here are 10 ways you can tap into that feeling of happiness and peace in your soul when you’re at home and next time you are traveling.

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Mark Nepo's Weekly Reflection: All Of It

Often, the delicate grows within

the harsh, the way the milky

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The Importance of Beauty

More than 30 years ago, a new friend invited me to her apartment for a visit.  As we sat in her cozy living room, she served me tea in a delicate china cup that was placed on a beautiful mahogany tray that held a tiny silver teaspoon, a small plate of petit fours, a shiny silver vase holding one perfectly shaped pink rose, and a white lace trimmed cloth napkin. I felt like I was having high tea with royalty!

I told her she shouldn’t have gone to all the trouble as I would have been just as happy with a mug of tea and a paper napkin. She smiled sweetly and said to me, “Darling, this is how I serve myself tea every day.” This elegant woman then explained to me that life is short and that we must insist on having as much beauty as possible in our lives, in every way possible.  

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How To Flow With Change

Change is sometimes uncomfortable, weird, gawky, and stumbling.  It’s a messy thing…and just when you feel you’ve got this life dance thing down, the beat changes as soon as you think you know the steps, then you start to get dizzy and you have to sit down! Next, you discover you were actually playing musical chairs!

Yeah… I know, you thought your guardian angel was in charge of all that. Oh.. wait now we’re doing the cha cha cha?! I obviously didn’t bring the right shoes!  

Why is it that we think change and transformation have to be graceful and sparkly and shiny and liberating as soon as we consider it?  Why is it that when change happens, we recoil in fear and anger and then expect some magic being to fix it (like now please!) when a little time is what we actually need to adjust?

“But I’m spiritual I know these things.. all is well right? The Law of Abundance states… blablablabla… so why don’t I feel good, surrendered, happy, wise, serene, grateful all the time?”   

Seriously evolving out loud is part Presence and Wisdom, part Ridiculous, part Graceful, and mostly chasing it all around like trying to catch fireflies in a jar.

Is it because when we wake up and ignite our inner Light we think enlightenment means we will all of a sudden become creatures of never-ending joy and awareness? Is it because we think opening up to the deeper layers of Consciousness gives us an intuition that will guarantee that we will know how to avoid all obstacles, and pain and slide over our fear and loss like Elsa in Frozen singing Let it Go? (gosh I can’t stand that song).

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Is The Law Of Attraction Real?

You are what you think. Most people don’t realize how powerful thoughts are and how each thought has its own unique energy signature. You’re a magnetic energy being – so that when you have a thought – it’s immediately lodged in your magnetic field, which is more commonly known as your aura.

When that thought remains in this field for any length of time, it often radiates out to be absorbed into the Universe.  It’s easy to imagine what’s likely to happen to someone who constantly fears certain things will happen in their life. They’re consciously thinking about it, dwelling on it, obsessing on it, feeding their precious energy into it. The net result is that they end up sending that stream of fear-based thought out into the universe. It’s like they’re holding up a sign above their head with a giant arrow saying: “Hey, come to me!” So, it usually does. Then you’ll hear them say: “I knew this was going to happen!” It’s not rocket science to see that ‘we attract what we think’.

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Why You Need to Create Intentional To-Do Lists

Have your to-do lists gotten out of hand? Could they easily be mistaken for a short novel? Hey, friend, I’m not judging. I get it. To-do lists keep us focused, right? They keep us moving in a forward direction. Or, do they?

For several years, I took pride in having a long to-do list because it meant I was setting goals. As a writer of several fiction books, I always have some project that I’m in the middle of, another project that I’m just beginning, and a crazy amount of marketing that always needs to be done.

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Lighten Your Load

On the path of life, most of us are hauling way too much weight.

What's weighing you down?

The Practice:
Lighten your load.

Why?

On the path of life, most of us are hauling way too much weight.

What's in your own backpack? If you're like most of us, you've got too many items on each day's To Do list and too much stuff in the closet. Too many entanglements with other people. And too many "shoulds," worries, guilts, and regrets.

Remember a time when you lightened your load. Maybe a backpacking trip when every needless pound stayed home. Or after you finally left a bad relationship. Or just stopped worrying about something. Or came clean with a friend about something that had been bothering you. How did this feel? Probably pretty great.

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Accentuate the Positive, My Mother's Gift

A song written and recorded in 1944 that was popular with my parents’ generation had the refrain: “Accentuate the positive; eliminate the negative.” Those who lived through the Great Depression and World War II often developed one of two responses to life: fear or hope, or perhaps a mix of both. You can see hope in songs like this one. And I definitely saw it in my mother when I was growing up in the 1950s and 1960s. Without fail, she always looked for the positive in any situation, person, or event. If someone behaved in an unpleasant manner, my mother’s response was inevitably, “She means well.” And then she would find something nice to say about the person.

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How to Balance Stress and Experience More Joy

Creating a balance with stress should be our ultimate aim and desire in life. As most of the activities in our lives are so dependent on our reactive state to our own personal stress levels. Of course we cannot completely eliminate stress from our lives, as a certain amount of stress is essential for a balanced lifestyle, and completely eliminating stress would lead to a "couldn't care less" attitude. The most effective balance to stress management would involve ways and means of minimizing the stress we encounter in life. The best would be to create an adequate mixture of thought patterns and behaviors that minimize stress.

CUTTING STRESS

This is by far the easiest solution to effective stress management. Once we understand our own stress patterns, we need to make a conscious effort to eliminate them.

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Mark Nepo's Weekly Reflection: One More Taste

When on the go, there are more

places to go. When stopped, I’m

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What Superhero Are You?

Halloween is this week. Many of us have spent days planning and putting together the perfect costume. I am always fascinated to see the trends in Halloween costumes since I view them as a commentary on what is relevant in today's society. This year, there is no question we will see all sorts of references to what’s making headline news as well as fake news. There will be groups of people representing everything from Disney Princesses to the casts of Black Panther and Suicide Squad. And even though we will have the classic stand-bys like the naughty nurse, Rocky Balboa, or the Addams Family, there is no question that year after year, the most popular Halloween costumes are superheroes. From DC to Marvel Comics to the Avengers, the number and wide array of superheroes that are out protecting, patrolling and partying in the streets are always ever-present on Halloween night!

So, what is it about superheroes that make them so popular? Their superpowers, of course...And the desire we all have to possess them, even if it only is for one night!
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How To Deal With Losing or Outgrowing Friends and Family

It’s never an easy thing when friends or family you were close to or once loved grow out of your life.

It can be quite painful.

You might feel some guilt or false loyalty if you feel you have outgrown them.

Or you might feel abandoned, betrayed, hurt, sad, angry, grief. Or a combination of all of the above.

Understand that you initially attracted your friend into your life because:

A) You were vibrating at a similar level of consciousness and were a vibrational match at that particular time.

B) You had certain lessons to teach each other’s souls. Your friendship was an opportunity learn those lessons and serve each other’s growth.


Friendships last as long as both of your souls need, as long as your personalities think they should.

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The Future Is Accelerating - Will Humans Fit In?

The celebrity inventor, thinker, and entrepreneur has joined other voices who worry about a future dominated by supercomputers and Artificial Intelligence (AI). In a widely publicized podcast, Musk announced that Neuralink, a company he cofounded, plans to announce in a few months a brain-machine interface breakthrough that’s “better than anyone thinks is possible" This would be a device implanted in the brain that would communicate thoughts directly to digital sources like the Internet.

In parallel, 60 Minutes aired and then re-aired a story about the futurist Media Lab at MIT where one of the researchers had already devised a headset that can turn mental activity into a message that appears on a computer screen. One aspect of this brain-to-digital conversion is that someone can do a Google search simply by thinking about it and then seeing the answer on the computer.

Musk’s motivation seems to be his fear of the existential threat of AI to humans, which echoes similar fears voiced by leading scientists, including the late Stephen Hawking. What is envisioned is the emergence of supercomputers that not only can out-perform the human brain in speed, storage, and complexity of calculation—none of which exactly looms like a Frankenstein monster—but will somehow cross a borderline to acquire independent “will,” or a simulation of this. What might follow, the worriers fear, is a race of supercomputers with their own agenda, and in keeping with many sci-fi plots, humans will no longer be necessary.



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The Power In Our Connections

In July our son declared he wanted to switch to a different swim team. Ultimately, he was seeking a new type of connection with a swim coach. Our family had been affiliated with his team for six years. This decision would certainly have impact on our everyday life!
 
Finn is 12 years old. He is learning about the power of intentions, connections and meditations. Our family values these practices. As a parent I am showing him how to blend our habits from home into his outside life. 
 
Many People are in the process of blending their internal practices with the outside world. 
 
Watching Finn make the transition from where he discovered his passion for swimming, to a new environment, held challenges for me as a parent. We experienced the transition differently. 
 
I talked about the process of letting something go. I asked Finn what his expectations were for his new coaches. What type of connection did he want and what did he need to do, to make the connection happen? 
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30 Simple Ways to Create Balance and Connection

Join Soulspring for conscious insights...

...on all things life, wellness, love, transformation and spirituality...

 PLUS! Get your FREE Guide: 12 Mindfulness Practices to a Peaceful Mind