A Complete Guide to the Practice o Meditation

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What Does This New Year Hold For You?

"I Wish" is enough of a statement. As we step into a New Year, we always have mixed feelings."I want this" "I wish I could have this" "My this year's resolutions" "My this year's activities "

Each one of us comes up with our own Wish List and our own unique ideas on what the New Year holds for us. Which direction do we choose, or do we choose at all. In today's world I feel every thinking individual does like to believe that he is giving himself a chance for the better, in every which way.

Each one of us is geared towards getting the maximum from their own lives in terms of happiness and success.

According to me, I will give my readers an insight from my own personal perspective on which direction they should take, and how to go about achieving a happy and stress free life.

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Crush the Box

Learning to live outside the box is essential to living your authentic life. This is difficult because we often have perceptions of reality imposed by society. Our western model of success (a house, kids, picket fence, two cars, etc..), may not bring the fulfillment and happiness you’re looking for. Our high-tech, low-touch society doesn’t promote your unique brilliance. But there is something greater and unique within you, waiting to get out of the box.

Have you ever been told that you weren’t good enough? Have you ever felt that your ideas were unimportant? This happens all the time. Belief in judgement and unrealistic expectations limit your potential. Your belief of these lies needs to be transformed into realization of your full potential. Your beautiful, unique expression lives outside the box.

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Acquire Goodwill

Ill will creates negative qualities whereas good will creates positive qualities

Do people ever make you mad?

The Practice:
Acquire goodwill.

Why?

As the most social and loving species on the planet, we have the wonderful ability and inclination to connect with others, be empathic, cooperate, care, and love. On the other hand, we also have the capacity and inclination to be fearfully aggressive toward any individual or group we regard as "them." (In my book - Buddha's Brain: The Practical Neuroscience of Happiness, Love and Wisdom - I develop this idea further, including how to stimulate and strengthen the neural circuits of self-control, empathy, and compassion.)

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How to Achieve Your Missed 2018 Goals in 2019

With the New Year comes a time to reflect on the goals you achieved in the previous twelve months – as well how to overcome failure of not achieving some goals in 2018 – because your failures are just as important for your growth as your successes are.

Failures teach you extremely valuable lessons you need to learn in order to be better able to create the life you want in the future.

But you have to be willing to acknowledge your failures and then analyze them in order to extract new awarenesses and wisdom from them.

Here are 5 tips to overcome failure and achieve your missed 2018 goals in 2019.

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Who I Am Today is the Possibility of Magic. Who are You?

The ideas I embrace about who I am, and what I believe myself to be, mold a paradigm, a way of thinking that determines what is and is not possible for me as I create and live my daily life.


When I woke up for life today, I found myself asking the question, who did I really believe myself to be? Maybe this was because it was my birthday, and I was curious to know who I had grow up to be in these past thirty three years of life. Upon further reflection I observed is that, since the day of my birth, I had been told by others who I was. Therefore, since the day of my birth I realized that others have determined what is and is not possible for me and my life. But on this birthday morning, awakening into a newfound sense of self-awareness, I began crafting a story of possibility, one that would shatter inherited paradigms and forever change what I believed possible.

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Mindful Resolutions for a Happier 2019

Did you glide through 2018 with a big smile on your face?

Was 2018 a year of grace and ease under pressure?

If not, here are some amazing tips for a kinder, gentler 2019.

My friend Julie Potiker, author of  Life Falls Apart, but You Don’t Have To: Mindful Methods for Staying Calm In the Midst of Chaos,” offers super useful tips to make sure 2019 is a year of serenity and mindfulness.

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23 Questions to Celebrate Your Year & Set New Year Goals for 2019

As you set your new year goals for 2019, it’s a good idea to take stock of the progress you’ve made toward your goals this year. For many people, this review is unpleasant and can even lead to a downward spiral.

If you didn’t achieve all of the goals you set at the beginning of the year, you may feel like you have failed. Our self-esteem can take a hit, we can become disheartened and discouraged, and our motivation drops. Some people actually become depressed.

If this sounds familiar, it’s time to reframe how you look at success. Zeroing in on accomplishments that didn’t happen puts your focus on what you lack, rather than on what you have (the things you did experience and accomplish). This subtle mental trap leads to a host of negative consequences, which usually leads to attracting more lack.

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FULL MOON REPORT: December 22nd Full Cold Moon 10:48 AM in the Sign of Cancer

I always love the energy of the full moon – well … almost always. Sometime it gets a bit intense, which is why I ask people that tune into moon energy to let me know, in advance …  what to be mindful of. I’m one of those types of people that would rather have awareness ahead of time … than not …  so … Here is some great info for this month’s FULL MOON by Melissa Corter – Enjoy – SDJ ♥

This Cancer Full Moon can be considered the Full Moon of family and blessings of prosperity! This moon stirs up feelings of home, deeply fulfilling connections and relationships, and a loving connection to self. The element of Cancer is responsible for igniting the desire to give and receive. Anyone who chooses to tap in to the nurturing aspect of their being will see things manifest in beautiful ways; intuitively they will channel the soul of giving. The wisdom of this Moon is in knowing how and when to give, but more importantly, the energy behind the intention of giving.

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Put Your Psychic Ability To Work in 2019

Did you know that using your psychic ability is the same as using any muscle in your body? But, most importantly … you have to use it to strengthen it. In this Soul Inspirations, I am giving you an exercise, which I often use in my workshops. It can be very helpful and fun to do. So here goes …

Pretend you’re already psychically aware. Then choose someone (maybe a spouse, family member or friend) that you feel naturally drawn to. Now tell this person any information you’re receiving, even if you feel you’re making it up.

Try not to think too much or let your conscious mind interfere, so just say what you feel. When you’re feeling free, there’s no pressure to be right and above all, just have fun doing it!

In this case, your imagination and psychic ability work hand in hand to create a natural flow of information. It’s not uncommon for the spirit of a loved one to slip into your mind when you’re not pressured to perform or to be accurate.

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Open the Window to Kindness

One of my friends posted on social media a fantastic advent calendar. Do you know what they are?

I’m not sure if it was just a German tradition but my mom would buy us a big beautiful one at the “German store” (that’s what she called it although I’m sure it had a name) where they sold products and specialty items imported from Germany. It’s also where she got her special DR. Oetker powdered sugar and pudding powders to make her special cakes you could not buy in a Canadian store.

I used to love my advent calendar growing up. Every year my mom would take me to the “German store” and show me the ones I could pick from. I always got the one with the most glitter on it and when I got home we had a little ceremony to tape this special magical calendar into my window on Dec 1st. Every day I would find the little number of the day and I would get to open up a “window” that revealed a tiny gift. I can even still smell the store we got them from.

Then, of course, we celebrated St. Nicholas day too on Dec7th. That was when (I know I wrote about this before but its timely!) on Dec 6th we would put our shoes outside our bedroom door and find them stuffed with chocolate and marzipan and chocolate marzipan and little marzipan pigs, and some marzipan fruit um did I say marzipan?? Oh and an orange. meh.

So Dec 7th (which was this year’s new moon) became an interesting day as my blood sugar would rise and fall with each piggy and chocolate Santa and it would be a day of dramatic highs and lows and a need for water.

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5 Holiday Survival Tips For Sensitives

Here we are! The “almost” end of the calendar year, stepping into the last month of 2018 and winding down to regroup again for 2019. This is holiday party- gift-giving- peppermint schnapps snorting- eggnog and cookies snuffling- too much of everything time etc. etc. And, even if you are all gung-ho for the festivities, if you are a highly sensitive person, or an empath this is not the easiest energy for you to manage.

What? You don’t like to be at the mall surrounded by crowds of people grabbing for sale mittens and toaster ovens and that wrong cologne you thought your other half liked? It’s true some people can handle the holiday rush but others- not so much!

If you are like many sensitive people, going shopping amongst a throng of busy frantic people might be emotionally and energetically debilitating. And, because sensitive people have porous boundaries, turning into sponges and soaking up the energy of the world whether you can see it or not could make even going to the grocery store a huge anxiety event. Ever walked out of a store because you got too overwhelmed by all the stuff? I have to say even at the quietest times of the year I still can’t handle the big home specialty store (starts with an “I” and ends with “kea” hint hint) well. I always have to have a nap after the hours of hypnotic Swedish named gadgets turn my brain to mush and because I need to clear off the energy of the shoppers that feel like invisible invaders creeping under my skin with feelings that are unlikely mine own. What on earth? Whose yucky energy did I pick up in the sofa section? OMG, I got lost following the floor arrows.

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A Moment of Decision

“The unending paradox is that we do learn through pain.” — Madeleine L’Engle


There I was last Sunday, sitting on my porch reading, when I came across a fascinating and inspiring article in the newspaper. (My porch is my favorite spot to sit, think, read, reflect, dream and write.)

The article, which appeared in the LA Times, was about Madeleine L’Engle, author of the wildly successful children’s book “A Wrinkle in Time.”

As a married mother of three, L’Engle spent years pursuing her passion for writing on the side. But, as the article states, she felt “spasms of guilt” for trying to write and never having much success. At age 40, L’Engle reportedly almost gave up writing altogether. But then, she had what she called her “moment of decision.”

That moment, according to the article, was when L’Engle realized that she had to keep writing for herself, even if she never successfully published another book again. And so, she began anew.

L’Engle got the idea for “A Wrinkle in Time” while on a family camping trip. She wrote the book, submitted to her editor, and then the rejections started to pour in. “A Wrinkle in Time” received “forty-odd rejections,” according to the article. L’Engle called each one “a wound.”

Nevertheless, she persisted, and “A Wrinkle in Time” went on to become the bestselling phenomenon that it is today.

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Do You Need Inspiration?

I firmly believe there are two things that motivate people, one being inspiration and the other being desperation. I full appreciate there are times when people are in pain or they’re hurting so much that they’re forced to do something out of desperation. By the same token, there are people who realize that change is often instigated by inspiration.

If you’re struggling to find inspiration in your life, then I urge you not to give up. Seize the moment and go out and find it. I often find the smallest thing can give me inspiration in the strangest of places. For example, I might see a child playing, or overhear a conversation in the supermarket, or it can be as simple as a line from a movie or TV show, which resonates and acts as a catalyst to inspire me to take action. For me, this often happens when I’m just day dreaming! You know … those times when you’re not really paying attention to anything in particular. You never know when inspiration is going to come knocking at your door!

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This is The Moment: GAME ON!

Anyone who has ever played on or followed a sports team knows THE MOMENT. That crucial moment when the team is down, the clock is running out, and it looks like the game is over. At that moment, a team with character rallies. The players tell themselves: “Its game on, not game over!” They cheer each other on. They gather energy. They inspire themselves to win.

We are facing such a moment in national and international crises. It’s easy to convince ourselves, “there are just too many problems; they’re way too big.” We can persuade ourselves to give up by citing the many physical crises – the fires, floods, wars, famines, hurricanes. We can see people divided by attitudes toward race, religion, politics, climate change, immigration . . . and throw up our hands. In the US, we can cite the horrifically vitriolic mid-term elections. Every country has scapegoats to offer.

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Is the World Over-Whelming You?

Is the world around us getting to be too much to handle? You only have to watch television or read the many feeds on social media to see that there's so much going on around the world. Extreme weather conditions, drama in politics, people losing their lives from many different reasons, homes being destroyed by fires or nature taking a turn for the worse. It seems to be getting too much to take in and for some, people are scared and nervous.

When this happens, I always advise people to pull away from the news and social media, at least for a while. By doing so, you're not pretending there's nothing happening, or choosing to ignore it! What you're actually doing by pulling back is: you’re remembering who and what you are and acknowledging that you're made of soul energy. You're a soul that comes with a body ... not a body that comes with a soul. You are a soul first, and stronger than you could ever imagine! And yes! One person can make a difference!

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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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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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Mark Nepo's Weekly Reflection: All Of It

Often, the delicate grows within

the harsh, the way the milky

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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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The Meditative Space

All the meditative traditions encourage us to be still and to drop our thoughts and feelings, so we can breathe our way below all trouble into the flow of life-force that carries us. This is wise counsel. It gives us perspective and sometimes peace. But being a poet, I enter that Universal space and just take notes. I lean into the stillness with an open heart and listen to everything, including my thoughts and feelings and the entanglements of life. For I believe the mutual goal of meditation and poetry is not to have us remove ourselves from our human journey, but to have us live our lives more completely in relationship to the flow of life-force that carries us.

The poems and all that I write are simply the trail and record of what I see and feel in the meditative space. All my writings arise from peering from the edge of our humanness into the bareness of being that permeates all life. I have intuitively worked this way, even as a boy, long before I knew about meditation or poetry. I believe that poetry itself resides at the holy juncture where our humanness touches the bareness of being that holds the Universe together. This is the only place I write from, whether I’m alone in the woods or being jostled on a crowded subway. It is the lens through which I meet life. It is the place I return to in order to renew this endless conversation. It is listening in this space that keeps me fresh and sane.


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