Tag Archives: Mindfulness

Walking Can be a Fine Form of Meditation

He talks the walk. Guest Editor Thich Nhat Hanh believes in the practice of mindful walking, and will lead a meditative walk in the Capital today.
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Walking can be a fine form of  Meditation
“Each step you take is in the here and the now. Combine your breath with your step, see the blue of the sky, the green of the grass, appreciate the colours of the flowers and hear the sweet birdsong… acknowledge and enjoy the miracle that is nature,” says the 82-year-old monk.

He adds that walking can be a fine form of meditation. “Leave the past behind with every step you take forward. You are no longer a victim of sorrow and regret or fear and uncertainty. Walk confidently in the present without worrying about being stuck in the past or sucked into the future,” suggests Thay.

The practice of walking silently is about freedom and solidity. “We are present with each step. And, when we wish to talk, we stop our movement and give full attention to the other person, to our words and to listening.” But, before you think walking together for peace is a protest or a demonstration, Thay explains, “The collective energy of a group ensures each step is solid and free. There is no protest here, no banners… just a powerful, noble silence that urges you to rejoice at the miracle of life. Every step on this earth is a miracle, every step in meditation leads to health and happiness. And when people of different faiths enjoy the process of walking together without any agenda, that, in itself, is a great offering.”

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Source: The Times Of India

 

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Reversed Perceptions

Being Projected Upon
We all have issues, as well as undesirable qualities or traits that we don’t like about ourselves. Most of us realize that we are not perfect and that it is natural to have unpleasant thoughts, motivations, desires, or feelings. However, when a person does not acknowledge these, they may ascribe those characteristics to someone else, deeming other people instead as angry, jealous, or insecure. In psychological terms, such blaming and fault finding is called projection.

When we are the target of projections, it can be confusing and frustrating, not to mention maddening, particularly when we know that we are not the cause of another person’s distress. Even people who are well aware of their issues may find that sensitive subjects can bring up unexpected projections. They may feel insecure about a lack of funds and thus view a friend as extravagant. Or, if they really want to get in shape, they may preach the benefits of exercise to anyone and everyone.

While we can try to avoid people we know who engage in projecting their “stuff” onto others, we can’t always steer clear of such encounters. We can, however, deflect some projections through mindfulness and meditation. A useful visualization tool is to imagine wrapping ourselves in a protective light everyday. At other times, we may have to put up a protective shield when we feel a projection coming our way, reminding ourselves that someone else’s issues are not ours. Although it’s difficult not to react when we are the recipient of a projection, it is a good idea to try to remain calm and let the other person know if they are being unreasonable and disrespectful. We all know that it’s not fun to be dumped on. Likewise, we should be mindful that we don’t take our own frustrations out on others. When we take ownership of our thoughts, motivations, desires, and feelings, we are less likely to project our issues or disowned qualities onto others.

Sources: Daily Om

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Staying Sharp: Meditation – Not Just for Yogis

by Phil Scott

You expect a meditation teacher’s voice to be calm and soothing, and Jim Malloy of the World Wide Online Meditation Center doesn’t disappoint. He sounds reassuring, peaceful   and, dare I say it? ……“ enlightened. For good reason: Malloy first discovered meditation just out of high school, and he’s been teaching it for 33 years now. What he says about it sounds familiar and yet astonishing: Meditation improves heart health and brain functions, makes meditators feel better, and helps them maintain their mental clarity and emotional balance through the day.

.Illustration by Timothy Cook for NRTA Live & Learn.

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According to a 1983 Harvard study of Transcendental Meditation, it increases longevity; cognitive, perceptual, and behavioral flexibility; and learning ability in older adults. In a recent study, University of Kentucky researchers tested a group of students before and after 40 minutes of meditation, napping, exercise, or consuming caffeine. The researchers found that the subjects had improved reaction time after meditating. In addition, those who had gone without sleep the prior evening and then meditated in the morning performed better than others who also hadn’t slept but skipped the meditation.  CLICK & SEE

Check your local meditation or yoga centers; many will offer inexpensive or even free workshops.
Meditation can improve physical health, too. “It can boost your immune system, improving influenza immunity and response to the [flu] vaccine,” says Michael R. Irwin, MD, a professor at UCLA‘s Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior. “Moving meditation can boost shingles immunity.

The Meditating Brain
So how does it work? According to Irwin, when you’re excited or upset you experience an increase in the outflow from the sympathetic nervous system, elevating your blood pressure and heart rate. Meditation produces a counteracting increase in the outflow of the parasympathetic nervous system, which slows the heart, constricts the pupils, and dilates blood vessels. “Chanting a mantra alters brain waves because you’re focusing on the same sound,” he continues. “Like when you sing ‘Ave Maria.’ It regulates the breathing and increases the parasympathetic outflow from the brain.

Meditation doesn’t take special equipment. Unless a mantra counts. “Traditionally in Hindu culture the mantra was passed on from guru to disciple,” Malloy says. But he adds that anything will do in a pinch: concentrating on your breath while saying “Om,” or counting from 1 to 10 over and over. “A mantra is not confined to Hinduism. The Rosary is a mantra; ‘Amen,’ that’s a mantra.” And, apparently, so is ‘Ave Maria.’

Perfect Focus Not Required
After settling on a mantra, sit down and close your eyes. Gently focus your attention on the mantra, your breath. If your attention wanders, to bills, changing your car’s oil, or Dancing with the Stars, just gently bring it back; a wandering mind is a natural part of meditation. “People have misconceptions,” says Malloy.   They think you have to turn off your mind, make it blank. Trying to force your mind to become blank is like trying to force yourself to go to sleep.  But something will happen: Relaxation. Lower blood pressure. Boosted immune system. Malloy recommends meditating for a mere 10 minutes a day. After a month, he says, increase it to 20 minutes, if you feel like it. You’ll begin to reap the benefits right away.

Sources:http://www.aarp.org/learntech/wellbeing/staying_sharp_meditation.html

Meditation

What is meditation?
Meditation is the practice of focusing your attention to help you feel calm and give you a clear awareness about your life. Eastern philosophies have recognized the health benefits of meditation for thousands of years. Meditation is now widely practiced in the West, with the belief that it has positive effects on health.

Two meditation techniques are most commonly used:

1.concentrative.>.CLICK & SEE………. 2.mindful……CLICK & SEE

1.Concentrative meditation:focuses on a single image, sound, mantra (words spoken or sung in a pattern), or your own breathing.
2.Mindful meditation : does not focus on a single purpose; rather, you are aware of all thoughts, feelings, sounds, or images that pass through your mind.
Meditation usually involves slow, regular breathing and sitting quietly for 15 to 20 minutes.

What is meditation used for?
People use meditation to help treat a wide range of physical and mental problems, including:

1.Addictive behaviors, such as drug, nicotine, and alcohol use.
2.Anxiety, stress, and depression.
3.High blood pressure. A report from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) recommends meditation as one of the first treatments for high blood pressure.
4.Pain.
5.Managing hot flashes, which are sensations of intense body heat that affect women around the time of menopause.
6.Most of these conditions also require conventional treatment for best results.

People also use meditation to relieve anxieties from long-term (chronic) conditions such as HIV and cancer.

Is meditation safe?
Since meditation usually involves sitting quietly for a period of time and breathing deeply, anyone who cannot sit comfortably or who has respiratory problems may have difficulty practicing meditation. Some people with mental health problems, such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder or schizophrenia, may not be able to use meditation therapy effectively.

Meditation is not thought to have any negative side effects or complications when combined with conventional medical treatment, but it is not considered appropriate or safe for acute, life-threatening situations.

Always tell your doctor if you are using an alternative therapy or if you are thinking about combining an alternative therapy with your conventional medical treatment. It may not be safe to forgo your conventional medical treatment and rely only on an alternative therapy.

Source: www.everettclinic.com

Becoming A Better Person

At some point in our lives, many of us find ourselves overcome with the desire to become better people. While we are all uniquely capable of navigating this world, we may nonetheless feel driven to grow, expand, and change. This innate need for personal expansion can lead us down many paths as we develop within the context of our individual lives. Yet the initial steps that can put us on the road to evolution are not always clear. We understand that we want to be better but have no clear definition of “better.” To ease this often frustrating uncertainty, we can take small steps, keeping our own concept of growth in mind rather than allowing others to direct the course of our journey. And we should accept that change won’t happen overnight  ”we may not recognize the transformations taking place within us at first.

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Becoming a better person in your own eyes is a whole-life project, and thus you should focus your step-by-step efforts on multiple areas of your existence. Since you likely know innately which qualities you consider good, growing as an individual is simply a matter of making an effort to do good whenever possible. Respect should be a key element of your efforts. When you acknowledge that all people are deserving of compassion, consideration, and dignity, you are naturally more apt to treat them in the manner you yourself wish to be treated. You will intuitively become a more active listener, universally helpful, and truthful. Going the extra mile in all you do can also facilitate evolution. Approaching your everyday duties with an upbeat attitude and positive expectations can help you make the world a brighter, more cheerful place. Finally, coming to terms with your values and then abiding by them will enable you to introduce a new degree of integrity and dignity into your l! ife.

As you endeavor to develop yourself further, you can take pride not only in your successes, but also in the fact that you are cultivating consciousness within yourself through your choices, actions, and behaviors. While you may never feel you have reached the pinnacles of awareness you hope to achieve, you can make the most of this creative process of transformation. Becoming a better person is your choice and is a natural progression in your journey of self-awareness.

Source:Daily Om