A Complete Guide to the Practice o Meditation

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Remember the Important Things

reflecting Remember the Important Things

In every life, reminders arrive about what's really key.

What matters most to you?

The Practice:
Remember the important things.

Why?

In every life, reminders arrive about what's really important.

I’ve received some myself, as I’m sure you have, too. Perhaps it was news of a potentially serious health problem, the death of a loved one, or an accident that could have turned fatal. These are uncomfortably concrete messages that sooner or later something will catch up with each one of us.

When I’m pierced with one of these reminders, it’s like there are three layers in my mind. The top layer is focused on problem-solving. Beneath that is what seems like a furry little animal that’s upset and wants to curl up and be hugged. The bottom layer feels accepting, peaceful, and grateful.

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Four Ways To Find The Silver Lining

dreamy-hippie-girl-gives-thanks-picture-id970864210 Four Ways To Find The Silver Lining

While everyone knows you should be practicing gratitude on a daily basis, it can be difficult when times are tough. But it is during these challenging times that you most need to see the silver lining. This is a learned skill, and one that becomes much easier when you’re able to recognize the point where you’re at a crossroads. You can go left, and continue down the rabbit hole of negativity, perpetuating the energy that is surrounding your struggle, or you can go right, and break that cycle of negativity by consciously looking for the good that you know is there.

Here are four ways to discover the silver lining in any situation:

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261 Hits

Organize Your Stress Away

reasons-why-you-should-budget-your-money-picture-id913439122 Organize Your Stress Away
Why must we wait for stress to overwhelm us before we look for a way to keep ourselves away from its insidious clutches. This is general human nature, we wait until things get insurmountable,  and then start looking for adequate measures to handle them. 

As normal balanced human beings,  we need to organize ourselves in such a way,  that stress really doesn't enter our lives. We need to figure what it is that keeps us empowered when we are facing a lot,  and what we need to do to keep us in that constantly aligned state, which facilitates the relaxation mode. 

We have to first delve into our level of awareness,  this is what holds the key to what we need to do to keep us calm,  happy and also find us the means to what keeps us centered, the ongoing techniques and formulas we need,  to maintain the balance. 

IDENTIFYING THE TYPES OF STRESS
This is honestly the first step we need to take,  to tackle our stress situation before it actually starts. 
The human beings natural state is joy,  but because he looses alignment with his own inherent self, he does not allow himself the state of balance and joy,  which is his true nature. He starts letting his environment and circumstances to influence him and then starts playing into the hands of various types of stressors. 
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Mark Nepo's Weekly Reflection: Always Building and Mending

Pixabay Mark Nepo's Weekly Reflection: Always Building and Mending

I start each day by opening the blinds and making coffee for my wife. This way, I enter the day by letting in light and doing something for someone I love. From there, come what may, I’m centered in the strength of light and care. Then I feed our dog and go to work, which for me is re-entering my conversation with life. Like an astronomer who spends his days looking into the galaxy, tracing the movement of stars and planets, I look into the inner galaxy, tracing and mapping what I can.

By midmorning, I take Zuzu, our yellow Lab, for a walk. It’s there that the trees and birds begin to speak. Or rather, I begin to listen, as they’ve been sharing their secrets constantly. Most mornings, I see birds tending and feeding their young, flying to and fro with twigs, or pecking at the ground for seed. They’re always building and mending their makeshift nests. Much like us, going to and fro to gas up the car, and pay the bills, and get the tools we need to patch the roof. Endless tasks that keep us a part of life.

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Moments In Time

erik-brolin-1218513-unsplash-1024x57_20190415-153618_1 Moments In Time

Spring time shifts how the sunlight enters our house.  I returned home midmorning, planning on writing my blog.  As I looked for the perfect patch of light, I wondered what I would write about.  It is almost always a mystery until the words find a way to each other and form a story.  Our small kitchen table was perfect for discovering the unknown   I brought my lap top, calendar, and phone.  My office was complete.  Just the dogs and I were home.   Everything was perfect until I knocked over my mug of coffee and coconut milk all over my lap top key board.  It was totally soaked.

I quickly flipped my computer over and watched the coffee pour off the computer and puddle on the counter.  I still held hope that my computer would function.  After about 5 minutes, I used a hairdryer to hasten the drying process.  That is when I lost hope.  My computer was clearly nonfunctioning. My frustration lasted a couple minutes.  It wasn’t great timing, plus I hadn’t backed up my laptop.  
 
My mind went to why did this happen?  Is there a message from the Universe hidden in this spill?  Or was it just a matter of time for an event like this?  I happen to be in the awkward stage of rebranding my business.  I have a new name, website, and a new facebook and twitter account.  I am trying to consolidate all my accounts. All of my original business information was kept on my lap top.  Maybe I just gave myself a clean slate.  I just closed the door on my old business and opened the door to all the possibilities of my new business.  
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How to Achieve Financial Freedom

woman-watching-sunset-in-retro-car-picture-id163673859 How to Achieve Financial Freedom

If you truly desire financial freedom, you must break the ego mind’s hold over your life.

In fact, true success in every area of your life… relationships, work, finances and health require ego mind training in the high frequency attributes of integrity and trust.

The lack of integrity in the world of business and government is so widely known and deplored that sometimes “corporate integrity” is called an oxymoron. The Global Financial Crisis was triggered in 2008 by a systemic lack of integrity in business, financial and governmental institutions.

Financial challenges can be overwhelming. Ask yourself these questions:

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241 Hits

Act on What You Know Is True

close-up-of-an-acorn-on-a-branch-of-an-oak-tree-in-a-forest-in-autumn-picture-id865673082 Act on What You Know Is True

Truthful principles can only change us when we choose to enact them. Their capacity to restore self-command, grant us a mind at peace, or deliver us from fearful dark states is only as great as our willingness to call upon their powers. That’s why we must do the personal work it takes to put higher principles into practice. Napoleon Hill, one of the early great pioneers of personal development, asserts: “We can become complete masters of ourselves, if we so desire. The main thought to hold in mind is first to gain the knowledge, and secondly to act upon it.” And then act upon it! Wisdom is the seed of freedom, but only in action do we see it flower.

Study the special lessons that follow closely. Little by little, but surely as the acorn becomes the oak, you will know and grow into their power. New courage will flow into all of your actions, and the change will be unmistakable. Instead of reliving old reactions that take you nowhere, your path will become one of ceaseless transformation. And the fuel that drives this upward spiral of self-renewal is simple. You are learning to act on what you know is true about negative states, instead of allowing them to tell you what is true about you.

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Can Your Mind Be Your Friend?

enjoying-the-sun-picture-id909041400 Can Your Mind Be Your Friend?

Although we don’t often put it this way, the most important relationship in everyone’s life is with the mind. The late Stephen Hawking drew the world’s attention by leading a life totally of the mind, his physical activity reduced to eye motion and blinking. The body without the mind is inconceivable, however. We cannot exist without thought. So it’s important to ask how best to relate to our minds.

I’m thinking of the most basic issue: Is the mind friend or enemy? Leave aside for the moment the traits that make it fascinating to be human: love, creativity, intelligence, evolution, and self-awareness. These traits make the human mind unique among all life forms on Earth, but we also suffer uniquely. Our minds are the source of anger, fear, envy, depression, grief, and hopelessness. If a friend brought suffering into our lives, it wouldn’t matter how happy he made us at other times—suffering trumps friendship, especially when you consider that the mind is capable of confusing us so deeply. The last thing the mind seems to understand is itself.

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109 Hits

The Power of Making a Decision

confused-businesswoman-looking-at-arrows-pointing-in-different-picture-id491617258 The Power of Making a Decision

Every moment of every day, we make decisions. Sometimes those decisions are small and inconsequential, and sometimes those decisions are life-altering. In the end, though, the outcome of your day, your year, and your entire life are mostly defined by the sum of decision making and the actions that you take along the way.

There’s power in making a decision – even when you’re not completely sure that it’s the right one. I promise you that once you realize the incredible impact that making decisions can have, you can truly begin to live your best life.

Decisions can be powerful, but they aren’t always easy…

To a degree, almost all of us suffer from decision paralysis at some point in time. Realizing the impact that your decisions can have is often frightening.

After all, if a decision is important enough to change your life, it’s understandable that you’d want to be sure to get it right.

The problem is that many people have a “deer in the headlights” moment when faced with decisions. Afraid of making the wrong decision, they end up not making a decision at all. However, not making a decision is a decision in and of itself – and it’s almost always the wrong one.

The inability to make a decision can leave you frozen in place when changes are necessary. It can also wreak havoc on your confidence, your happiness, and your overall emotional well-being.

Faced with the problem of decision paralysis, it’s essential to realize that – in almost every case – any decision is going to be better than no decision at all.

If you can push past the fear and doubts associated with making decisions, you can start taking control of your life’s outcomes.

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129 Hits

Be Accepting of Difficulty

surfing Be Accepting of Difficulty

Fighting with the hard things in life just makes them worse.

Is it hard?

The Practice:
Be Accepting of difficulty.

Why?

Sometimes things are difficult. Your legs are tired and you still have to stay on your feet another hour at work. You love a child who's finding her independence through emotional distance from you. A long-term relationship could be losing its spark. It's finals week in college. You're trying to start a business and it's struggling. You've got a chronic health problem or a disability. Sometimes people don't appreciate your work. You're being discriminated against or otherwise treated unjustly. The body ages, sags, and grows weary.

Plus there are all the little hassles of everyday life. You're in an airport and can't get wifi (the injustice!). You're at home looking for the ice cream and someone ate the last of it. You're talking to your partner and realize he or she isn't really paying attention.

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Changing Lenses: Essential Teaching Stories from Ram Dass

hand-holding-camera-lens-at-sunset-picture-id1064163632 Changing Lenses: Essential Teaching Stories from Ram Dass

I really worked for a number of years at getting high and not coming down. And I learned a lot of different techniques for getting high by changing the lenses through which I see the world.

If you put on lens 1 and look up here, you see a 55-year-old, balding, attractive-looking gentleman. That’s the physical plane – the plane where lust is, where you just see physical bodies. When you lust, you see everybody in terms of physical bodies – as a potential, a competitor, or irrelevant. As I’ve gotten older, it’s interesting – I’m sure there are streets in Worcester where that lens is worn. I can walk down that street and be totally irrelevant now, like a walking lamppost.

Lens 2 is the psychosocial lens. That’s the lens of personality and social role – of mothers, fathers, lawyers, doctors, social workers, students, seekers after the light, meditators, all the social roles. And all the psychological stuff of the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory: happy, and sad, and depressed. You look up here and you see a warm, charming lecturer, a mild manic-depressive.

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Is your negative self talk turning into a Self Fulfilling Prophecy?

cant-deal-with-this-right-now-picture-id887040204 Is your negative self talk turning into a Self Fulfilling Prophecy?
We all have a habit of self talk,  and it is this habit which makes us perceive things as less stressful or more stressful.  If we tell ourselves that something is difficult, it actually starts seeming so And eventually becomes so, but if we tell ourselves that something is easy and enjoyable,  that is what we begin to attract into our lives.  So we can understand that by using self talk that is optimistic rather than pessimistic, has very many benefits as far as stress management is concerned. That directly affects our behavior and subsequently our productivity and our health. 

LIMITING OURSELVES
Most people have a way if living in their own fortress.  They will give themselves the negative message, that they can't do something.  Then the belief seems to somehow fit itself into that mode,  and you stop looking for a solution. 

POSITIVE SELF TALK
You need to stop negative self talk, which could turn into a self fulfilling prophecy. Tell yourself that you can do a certain thing. Do not be in a space of vagueness,  a "maybe" sort of mindset.  Be positive and sure of yourself,  and you will actually create a self fulfilling prophecy.

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188 Hits

From Loathing to Loving: A New Relationship With Your Body

portrait-happy-smiling-woman-picture-id1059426320 From Loathing to Loving: A New Relationship With Your Body

As we transition to warmer months, you’ve probably started to notice that bodies and skin are showing up everywhere. If you tune into daytime TV talk shows, you’ll start to see bikini fashion shows. On the bestseller list, diet books are on the rise. Gyms are full as people keep their beach bodies in shape. And dietitians are offering discounts to reach your summer body.

It’s no surprise that this time of year can stir up a lot of shadows — the emotions, beliefs, habits, and patterns stored deep inside the psyche that dictate our relationships with our bodies. It’s prevalent in every program and workshop I do. Person after person shares the depths to which they have struggled with body issues and the years they have hated their bodies and thus themselves.

Personally, I’ve struggled with my weight and body image from a young age. The quality of my day used to be determined by the number on the scale. I would only feel worthy of being loved by myself or others if I looked a certain way. I had grown up with the belief that it was not okay to eat so in my book, food was the enemy. I made my body my enemy!

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The Difference Between Manifestation and Magical Thinking

child-with-toy-space-rocket-and-tricycle-picture-id913705186 The Difference Between Manifestation and Magical Thinking

Magical Thinking is something children do naturally and it’s a fun process for them. Believing in Santa Claus is a good example. But when we grow up and mature, engaging in magical thinking will often lead to frustration and disappointment.

Magical Thinking is “wishing” to win the lottery but never buying a ticket.

Magical Thinking is “wishing” for a better job or a new career but never taking real action steps to make it happen.

Magical Thinking is saying you want to write a book but never sitting down to write.

Magical Thinking is hoping you will meet and marry your soulmate “organically,” or wishing and dreaming that one-click Amazon will deliver him or her to your doorstep.

Is it time for you to give up your Magical Thinking and put one of your dreams into action?

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Three Simple Exercises to Invite the Extraordinary Life

hot-air-balloons-flying-over-the-valley-at-cappadocia-turkey-picture-id926425076 Three Simple Exercises to Invite the Extraordinary Life

I can think of no greater encouragement than the self-evident Truth that there dwells in each of us the opportunity to explore and know the Extraordinary Life. The meaning of Extraordinary I wish to convey points to the immutable and inexhaustible source that is the secret center of each of us: a timeless resource open and available to anyone who would seek this Life that sits behind life as we know it. Will we spend our lives in mere dreams of winning a limitless life, or will we do the inner- work of awakening from this dream? Choosing the Extraordinary Life begins with our conscious work to realize it, which the following special practices help to ensure.

1. Let Nagging Questions Go Unanswered: In stressful moments, listen to what life is trying to tell you about you instead of searching anxiously for familiar answers to make life feel "right" again. All fearful, doubt-filled moments are secret reflections of what we have yet to understand about life and ourselves, not life's rejection of us or our wish for happiness. Choose to go consciously quiet whenever there is a riot in you. Refuse to take part in the search to repair what you fear may be coming undone. Let go and watch what happens when you consciously sacrifice the fear-filled self. This new action allows the Extraordinary Life to enter into you where its presence alone proves that all is well.

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Creating a Healthier, Happier World…harmonizing with the divine within!

spirituality-picture-id511101732 Creating a Healthier, Happier World…harmonizing with the divine within!

Research has shown that meditation & prayer are proven practices to increase both physical and mental wellness and support a healthier, longer life.

Meditation and prayer are effective antidotes to stress and support your natural self-healing capabilities.

The Ego Mind Perpetuates Illness

The ego mind is determined to hang on to anger, resentment and the beliefs, ideas and stories of the past that separates us from our own hearts and the rest of the world.

These things perpetuate misery, sickness and suffering. If you truly desire happiness, success and ongoing health and vitality of your body, mind and soul it’s vital you become your own codebreaker!

That way you can break the ego mind’s hold over your life and release the code responsible for negative mind, chatter, anxiety, depression and the desire to hang on to resentment.

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What’s the Matter with Matter?

cartoon-humpty-dumpty-vector-id119141760 What’s the Matter with Matter?

If someone invited you to live in a world where every physical thing—granite, stars, trees, the bones in your body—lost their thingness, would you accept? The fact that things exist is very reassuring, so reassuring that we can hardly do without it. Unfortunately, this reassurance is false. We live in a world where things aren’t really things, whether we choose to or not.

Matter, the physical side of matter and energy, is one half of a duo act. We are told matter is what the universe is made of, and energy is what puts matter in motion. The dance between them constitutes the reality we inhabit, a fact so obvious that modern science relies upon it as the unquestioned basis for doing science, not to mention for leading our everyday lives.

If matter and energy are not what they seem, science could be rocked to its core—but great care is taken for this not to happen. Strangely, a nursery rhyme tells the tale. Like Humpty-Dumpty in the English nursery rhyme, physical matter—solid, tangible inert matter composed of atoms and molecules- took a great fall over a hundred year ago, when quantum mechanics demolished every one of those qualities. It is entirely inaccurate to envision the universe being built up from bits of solid matter—or bits of anything.

The ancient Greek notion that reality can be reduced to a minuscule speck of matter (the atom) was a delusion of logic, and therefore a mental construct only. In reality the elementary particles that comprise the atom have a mysterious existence. They have no measurable weight, position, or any other characteristic until they are observed. Before that, they exist as waves that extend infinitely in all directions. These waves have no properties you can assign to any solid object. They arise as ripples in the quantum field, and the entire structure of the universe is mathematically described as interference patterns among these ripples, like the pattern formed on the surface of a pond if you throw two rocks in at the same time.

The dissolution of physical matter isn’t controversial—quantum mechanics is the bedrock of modern physics--but it turned out to be intolerable for working scientists. They rely upon the reassuring nature of thingness just as much as ordinary people. Theoretically, doing away with thingness should have been the end of the story. As every child knows, all the king’s horses and all the king’s men couldn’t put Humpty-Dumpty together again. Physics, however, managed to do something more mysterious. It ignored that matter fell and broke in the first place.

The billions of dollars spent on high-energy particle accelerators shows the lengths to which jobs, budgets, and complex projects rest on an ability to ignore what quantum physics actually means. There are now eighteen basic particles, with the hope that more will be discovered in the future, dependent on building even more mega-accelerators. But when these vast machines cause a new particle to bounce out of the quantum field for a fraction of a millisecond, using huge amounts of energy to accomplish this, where is that particle really coming from?

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55 Hits

Take the Sting Out of Stress with Mindfulness

close-up-of-meditation-in-park-at-sunrise-picture-id1039533792 Take the Sting Out of Stress with Mindfulness

April is National Stress Awareness Month – a "holiday" of sorts that invites us all to take the opportunity to acknowledge and address the stress in our lives. We all face stress from time to time, and some of us truly struggle with it. In fact, a recent study reveals that approximately 57 percent of people experience paralyzing stress, and 47 percent say their response to stress is to "take it out on themselves." Ouch.

One of the most effective ways we can reduce our experience of stress is through the practice of mindfulness. Mindfulness can be applied in many areas of life, and it offers us the chance to tap into our inner peacefulness in spite of whatever outside stressors we may encounter. Here are some mindful ways to take the sting out of stress this month, and anytime. Try them for yourself and see how much better you feel.

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190 Hits

Financial Fears: Let go of old belief systems and conditioning.

oldbeliefsystem Financial Fears: Let go of old belief systems and conditioning.

Who’s got them? My guess is most of us. They come and go over time, sometimes with more intensity and sometimes less. Why? This comes from our past conditions in the families and communities we grew up in. We learned emotional response systems from those we started our lives with and continue to attract those that reinforce those belief systems. We’re more stuck in our daily groves, with the appearance that it is harder and harder to change the more time flies by.

I’m here to tell you, anything can happen, no matter what age you are, how many failures you’ve had or how many people are counting against you. All you need is the real you to show up…and to recognize why these patterns keep persisting in our lives.

Think of it like this; years ago, I was watching a cooking show. Not one with a huge celebrity chef but a show that brought in everyday people to share their family favorite recipes that had been passed down for generations. This young woman in her early 20s was picked and she was so excited to share her great grandmother’s baked ham recipe. As she prepared the food on live TV she was very methodical going through things step by step. The host that day asked her, “Why are you cutting both ends off the ham before you put it in the oven?” The young woman responded, “I’m not sure, that’s just how we’ve always done it in our family.”

As she continued preparing the ham to go into the oven, the host was still perplexed as to why she cut off the two ends of the ham, and then tossed them into the garbage. The host challenged the young woman. She said, “Can we call your Mom and ask why you cut off the edges and throw them away?” Of course, the young woman agreed. They called mom and she said, I’m not really sure, let’s call grandma. “Grandma, can you tell me why we always cut off the ends of the baked ham when we do our family recipe?” Grandma stated, “I don’t know, that’s just how my mother taught me.” Her great grandmother was still alive and the host asked if it would be ok to make this third phone call to great grandmother to solve the mystery.

Great grandmother was happy to take the call, at age 92, and said, “Oh sweetheart, I cut the ends off the ham because the pan I used for years was too small to fit the whole thing.” Can you believe it? Really! Four generations this recipe got passed down and they were cutting off the edges of the ham and throwing them in the garbage all because great grandmothers’ pan was too small. Crazy!! This is a simple example of how patterns stick in our lives and we don’t even know why and ask if the reasoning is even relative to today.

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Notice Good Intentions

goodintensions Notice Good Intentions

By recognizing positive intentions we feel safer, supported, and happier.

What do others want?

The Practice:
Notice good intentions.

Why?

Hustling through an airport, I stopped to buy some water. At the shop’s refrigerator, a man was bent over, loading bottles into it. I reached past him and pulled out one he’d put in. He looked up, stopped working, got a bottle from another shelf, and held it out to me, saying “This one is cold.” I said thanks and took the one he offered.

He didn’t know me and would never see me again. His job was stocking, not customer service. He was busy and looked tired. But he took the time to register that I’d gotten a warm bottle, and he cared enough to shift gears and get me a cold one. He wished me well.

I can see his friendly eyes as I write now, a week later. It was just a bottle of water. But I feel warmed by his kindness and buoyed by his good intentions.

Recognizing the positive intentions in others, we feel safer, more supported, and happier. And when others feel that you get their good intentions, they feel seen, appreciated, and more inclined to treat you well.

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30 Simple Ways to Create Balance and Connection

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

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