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Wellness: True Meditation

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Meditation does not have to be a complicated, frustrating experience if you learn to apply some fundamental concepts to your daily efforts.  The purpose of this article is to provide you with key skills which we hope will not only benefit seasoned practitioners, but also those of you just journeying forth in your paths to enlightenment!

Create A Space

Create a special space for your  meditation practice. It can be either a room or corner, and use it only for  your meditation or contemplation.  Put  there only those things that help you meditate and keep the space clean and  clear. Always enter your meditation space with respect and become refreshed by  its peace and beauty. You should not be in a situation where your mind could be  easily provoked into anger or other emotions. When you create the right  environment, it’s easier to practice and you’ll receive greater benefit from  your time invested.

Meditation Posture

The mind and body are connected,  and the energy flows better when the body is erect (spine not stooped); when  the body is bent, the flow is changed and that directly affects your thought  process.

A comfortable but alert sitting  position is essential for regular meditation practice. Meditation chairs are  designed to help people with limited flexibility of their back. You should sit  upright with the feet touching the ground. The meditation chair provides more  comfort than sitting on the floor or on a regular chair. Good meditation chairs  should have a slight forward-leaning angle to prevent you from bending during  meditation. They should not tilt more than a few inches; a steeply angled  meditation chair causes overarching.

If you are looking not to spend too  much, a meditation cushion may be a good choice. Meditation cushions are easily  portable. Meditation cushions have a wedge profile that tilts your pelvis  slightly forward, helping you maintain the proper spinal alignment. The Zafu  makes sitting meditation easier on the knees, ankles and back. Other pillows  also raise you off of the floor while supporting an aligned posture.

When using a meditation cushion  find a comfortable position with legs crossed and hands resting palm-down on  your thighs. The hips are neither rotated forward too much, which creates  tension, nor tilted back so you start slouching. You have to find a feeling of  stability and strength.

The Buddhist meditation bench is a  small short bench that lifts you off the floor while helping you maintain a  straight-backed posture when sitting. The sloped seat encourages and promotes  good posture.

For sitting meditation the seat is  a matter of style and preference, the basic principle is to keep an upright,  erect posture with your shoulders and hips level. During meditation, you have  to be awake even though you are calm. If you find yourself falling asleep,  check your posture.

Before You Begin

You will find it helpful to do some  Yoga, t’ai chi, or other mindful stretching and gentle exercise. This will help  you to build energy and focus your attention before quiet sitting meditation.  Sometimes, if you find that your mind is too agitated to start, try walking  meditation or mindful walking.

Release Phenomena

As you begin to relax, it is common  to experience release phenomena, which may include various physical sensations.  These sensations range from quivering as if you are falling asleep, gurgling in  the stomach, to mental images and inner sounds. This shows that your practice  has started dissolving accumulated and rooted physical, mental and emotional  patterns. The best way to deal with them is simply let them take place without  distracting your attention.

As you practice, you will become  aware of subtle physical, mental and emotional changes. Eventually, your source  of stored stress will be exhausted, and you will feel lighter, clearer and  better equipped to deal with the challenges of modern life.

Relaxation And Awareness

The majority of us experience  relaxation as a dreamlike state that lacks awareness, and when we are alert, we  are tense and mentally agitated. Both of those conditions are far from the  alert but relaxed state of meditation.

At the beginning, most of the  practice may be spent returning the mind from distraction or sleepiness and  finding this balance of relaxed alertness. Eventually, you will be able to  become deeply relaxed and lucid during your meditation, and in your daily life  you will find that your understanding of the way things are will become more  clear and unconditioned.

Meditation Inspirations

By practicing meditation, we can  realize our full potential. This is why we should work with our minds. The  long-term result of meditation is a much more joyful, intense and complete  state of being.

Life is impermanent, and we don’t  know how much time we have to realize our true self. What we experience today  is mostly the result of our choices in the past; what we do and think today  will become our future. Remember, that not only what you do but how and why you  do something matters. 

Meditation Phases

You start your meditation with  steadying your attention by practicing concentration for a few moments. Then  you apply your mind to the meditation method you choose. During your session,  observe the quality of the focus of your attention. Watch when your attention  fades. If you find that it is too difficult to maintain your focus because of  distraction or dullness, find balance again in concentration meditation by  watching your breath, then return to your main meditation.

Complementary practice

Meditation practice can help you  develop many dormant qualities. You can use the period of your meditation to  develop clarity, understanding, kindness and vitality within, and then try to  bring these qualities into your daily life.

Throughout the day, recall your  feelings. When you begin to rush, pause within yourself, center and move  towards the sense of balance you experienced in your meditation. Brief periods  of meditation are opportunities for you to get in touch with qualities that  will guide your busiest, most stressful activities.

With time, you will find that any  activity can be an opportunity to train your mind and practice concentration,  awareness, patience and understanding.

Daily Meditation

Intention: Before you begin, make  your intention clear to your conscious and subconscious mind and offer a short  prayer or a call for inspiration. Call upon the sources of inspiration in your  life. Remember, you don’t practice “alone;” recall those who share your life.  Practice to help bring wholeness in the world.

Concentration: Use concentration  meditation (we will be including this in a future post!) to focus, use mindful breathing.

Meditation: Continue with a longer  period of quiet meditation using the technique of your choice.

Dedication: End the session with a  brief dedication, using the accumulated potency of your meditation and sending  it with your heart to all beings.

Application: After you finish your formal meditation  practice, make a smooth transition to your daily life with the intention to  carry mindful presence into your normal activities. During the day, pause from  time to time to renew your connection to mindful presence, continue to fill  your life with insight, creativity and compassion that arise from your formal  meditation practice.

Wellness: True Meditation

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There is a lot of interest in forms of ‘meditation’ by people using or espousing the ‘Law of Attraction’ where certain kinds of ‘meditation’ are utilised to help us feel and visualise our desires as a precursor to manifesting them. I myself am a great fan of the Law of Attraction – it is fun, useful and highly rewarding to manifest our heart’s desires. A lot has also been said about the benefits of meditation in bringing us states of calm, confidence, focus, love, etc…

While some or even all these things may be true, I believe using meditation to achieve these personal, ego-based ends is short-selling the practice and yourself, and misses the real ‘prize’.  Certainly as you practice meditation, feelings of calm, love, rapture and bliss will arise, and of course all these things are wonderful.

But as you simply sit, being here and now, breathing gently and allowing thoughts and feelings to arise and pass away, you will also become aware of many negative things – painful experiences from your past, fear, anger, jealousy, guilt – all the unwanted stuff you’ve pushed into the dark recesses of your mind are illuminated in excruciating detail. No-one really wants to experience these things. No-one want to sit and face these things over and over again, with no escape, nowhere to run to and no distractions. Why would anyone freely dedicate themselves to such a practice?

The wonderful thing is that by merely letting these things come up in your awareness without becoming attached to them, simply allowing them to be there without judgement, without grasping them or trying to push them away you find that they will naturally dissipate. For all things that arise naturally pass away (only our habitual thought-patterns keep us locked in to these unpleasant states). It is then that joy and bliss arise, which in themselves are wonderful ‘rewards’ but we must be careful not to become too attached to these feelings either. While there is nothing wrong with enjoying these beautiful states, like all things that arise, they will also pass away, and attachment to them amounts to what Chogyam Trungpa called the ‘Golden Chain of spirituality’.

We can become so fixated on being in these states that when change happens (and change does happen – that is the only constant n this Universe!) we become upset, distressed, depressed, confused… and before we know it we’re right back where we began!  The beauty of true meditation is that as we go through these cycles again and again, we start to see the futility of identifying with ANY state, ‘positive’ or ‘negative’. All ‘things’ (objects, feelings, thoughts, sounds, ideas) are seen to be unreal in the sense that they have no enduring form.

So as we continue to practice, we stop identifying with ANYTHING transitory, and ultimately this is seen to include anything we imagine to be ‘ourself’. This idea can be terrifying to the ‘ego’, which has spent lifetimes building up layers of illusion to convince everyone that you’re a ‘somebody’ but when we pass beyond it, we see with the ‘eye of God’ – we know directly that for from being a mere ‘someone’ or ‘something’ we are everything, the whole Universe, beyond birth and death, containing but not limited to joy, pain, love, light, suffering and bliss.

And this realisation blows away any such idea as personal gain or ‘personal fulfilment’ whatever that might be!  And so by all means, follow your dreams, have fun creating a beautiful, exciting, prosperous, love-ful life. If this makes you happy and keeps you content, if it works for you, stick with it – it’s a wonderful way to live.

Just bear in the back of your mind, if ever you become tired or dissatisfied or bored with it all, if ever you come to a point where you just can’t shake taht feeling that there’s something more, something you’re missing… there is – your own divinity!

For more info, videos, ebooks and downloads on meditation and the Law of Attraction visit WellbeingOnline.weebly.com You can follow the author of this article at Twitter.com/Elfspear

Article Source:  New Age Articles

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Wellness: The Benefits of Meditation

There are so many advantages to meditation.  When I first originally thought of this post, I indeed wanted to make it 100 benefits long (think big right!), however, I wasn’t sure I could find more than perhaps 20-25 benefits.  Well, I made it happen!  Meditation is as powerful as I thought it would be.  Here is the definitive list of benefits that meditation can provide you with:

Physiological benefits:

1- It lowers oxygen consumption.

2- It decreases respiratory rate.

3- It increases blood flow and slows the heart rate.

4- Increases exercise tolerance.

5- Leads to a deeper level of physical relaxation.

6- Good for people with high blood pressure.

7- Reduces anxiety attacks by lowering the levels of blood lactate.

8- Decreases muscle tension

9- Helps in chronic diseases like allergies, arthritis etc.

10- Reduces Pre-menstrual Syndrome symptoms.

11- Helps in post-operative healing.

12- Enhances the immune system.

13- Reduces activity of viruses and emotional distress

14- Enhances energy, strength and vigour.

15- Helps with weight loss

16- Reduction of free radicals, less tissue damage

17- Higher skin resistance

18- Drop in cholesterol levels, lowers risk of cardiovascular disease.

19- Improved flow of air to the lungs resulting in easier breathing.

20- Decreases the aging process.

21- Higher levels of DHEAS (Dehydroepiandrosterone)

22- prevented, slowed or controlled pain of chronic diseases

23- Makes you sweat less

24- Cure headaches & migraines

25- Greater Orderliness of Brain Functioning

26- Reduced Need for Medical Care

27- Less energy wasted

28- More inclined to sports, activities

29- Significant relief from asthma

30- improved performance in athletic events

31- Normalizes to your ideal weight

32- harmonizes our endocrine system

33- relaxes our nervous system

34- produce lasting beneficial changes in brain electrical activity

35- Cure infertility (the stresses of infertility can interfere with the release of hormones that regulate ovulation).

meditation on justruminating men's blog

Psychological benefits:

36- Builds self-confidence.

37- Increases serotonin level, influences mood and behaviour.

38- Resolve phobias & fears

39- Helps control own thoughts

40- Helps with focus & concentration

41- Increase creativity

42- Increased brain wave coherence.

43- Improved learning ability and memory.

44- Increased feelings of vitality and rejuvenation.

45- Increased emotional stability.

46- improved relationships

47- Mind ages at slower rate

48- Easier to remove bad habits

49- Develops intuition

50- Increased Productivity

51- Improved relations at home & at work

52- Able to see the larger picture in a given situation

53- Helps ignore petty issues

54- Increased ability to solve complex problems

55- Purifies your character

56- Develop will power

57- greater communication between the two brain hemispheres

58- react more quickly and more effectively to a stressful event.

59- increases one’s perceptual ability and motor performance

60- higher intelligence growth rate

61- Increased job satisfaction

62- increase in the capacity for intimate contact with loved ones

63- decrease in potential mental illness

64- Better, more sociable behaviour

65- Less aggressiveness

66- Helps in quitting smoking, alcohol addiction

67- Reduces need and dependency on drugs, pills & pharmaceuticals

68- Need less sleep to recover from sleep deprivation

69- Require less time to fall asleep, helps cure insomnia

70- Increases sense of responsibility

71- Reduces road rage

72- Decrease in restless thinking

73- Decreased tendency to worry

74- Increases listening skills and empathy

75- Helps make more accurate judgements

76- Greater tolerance

77- Gives composure to act in considered & constructive ways

78- Grows a stable, more balanced personality

79- Develops emotional maturity

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Spiritual benefits:

80- Helps keep things in perspective

81- Provides peace of mind, happiness

82- Helps you discover your purpose

83- Increased self-actualization.

84- Increased compassion

85- Growing wisdom

86- Deeper understanding of yourself and others

87- Brings body, mind, spirit in harmony

88- Deeper Level of spiritual relaxation

89- Increased acceptance of oneself

90- helps learn forgiveness

91- Changes attitude toward life

92- Creates a deeper relationship with your God

93- Attain enlightenment

94- greater inner-directedness

95- Helps living in the present moment

96- Creates a widening, deepening capacity for love

97- Discovery of the power and consciousness beyond the ego

98- Experience an inner sense of “Assurance or Knowingness”

99- Experience a sense of “Oneness”

100- Increases the synchronicity in your life

Meditation is also completely FREE!  It requires no special equipment, and is not complicated to learn.  It can be practiced anywhere, at any given moment, and it is not time consuming (15-20 min. per day is good).  Best of all, meditation has NO negative side effects.  Bottom line, there is nothing but positive to be gained from it!  With such a huge list of benefits, the question you should ask yourself is, “why am I not meditating yet?”

If you need a point to start from, you should try guided meditation courses.  They are inexpensive and can provide you with a good foundation from which to begin meditating.

Make sure you meditate, there are quite simply too many positives to just ignore it.

Wellness: Smoothies 101

Become a smoothie junkie!  There are a myriad of benefits for popping a meal into your blender.  Here’s what I recommend you start with, a few fundamental tools and essentials, and you’re off and running:

blender

1.  Blender.  You don’t need a $500 blender!  I use the Osterizer.  I’ve burnt out a few cheaper models, this is the one that’s lasted  two years and counting.  It’s $60 and you can get it at any Walmart or Target.  It can handle the load!

torani

2.  Flavored Syrups!  The best is Torani.  They have a great flavor pack of 6 different flavors that will last you forever.  Ya gotta have flavors without the calories, sugars, and extremely low carbs!  These are the very best and dirt cheap.  Take my word for it, get them on Amazon.

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3.  Extracts.  Vanilla, Coconut, Hazlenut, Caramel, Rum, etc.  Flavor, flavor, flavor.  Need I say more?

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4.  Coconut Water.  Make ice cubes out of it.  If you don’t like coconut water, don’t bother.  You can use oj, pineapple juice, etc.

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5.  Juices, Milks, Yogurts.  SUGAR FREE juices, FAT FREE milks and FAT FREE and GREEK yogurts!  The flavor comes in the syrup and the extracts.

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6.  Protein Powder.  YES, everyone needs protein powder.  Unless you are a professional bodybuilder, YOU are definitely not taking in enough protein to maintain your muscle mass.  Period.  For protein powders I only will use About Time.  

About Time is the perfect combination for us because it is only ONE product:  Whey Protein!  Not one other ingredient!  Most other powders are chock full of everything else.  And they offer a nice selection of unique flavors as well.

shaker

7.  Shaker Cup.  Have Smoothie, will travel.  Take that smoothie to go!  Made two servings and it’s only you?  Want to make two save one?  Shaker cups are indispensable.  Buy one, on second thought, buy two!

But, if you want to shop around, try to find one that is as close as possible to this nutritional content:  1 scoop–>100cal–>0grFat–>1grCarb–>25grProt. Go to your nutrition store to find the one that fits your needs the best.  A privately owned one is better than a large chain store (sorry Vitamin Store, GNC).

You are all set to go!  You now have the essentials to build fantastic tasting smoothies.There are endless possibilities and can be used as healthy meal replacements in sensible weight management programs.  They are also fantastic as pre-workout and post-workout options.

I HATE the billion dollar industry marketing all the quick fix garbage products espousing the latest and greatest protein shakes, bars, meal programs.  Wellness is grounded in sensible meal planning with good wholesome food and safe regular exercise.  Period!

Here’s to your wellness!

The Hawaiian:  A Perfect Balance of Carbs::Protein

hawaiin

2 Servings

8oz Tropicana 50% OJ
1/2 cup frozen pineapple chunks
2 cups fresh strawberries
2 tbsp flaxseeds
2 scoops vanilla protein powder
2 tbsp Torani Vanilla syrup
1tsp coconut extract
Blend all ingredients together BEFORE you add ice cubes!
Add 5 coconut ice cubes
Enjoy!

Nutritional Info:

Calories–237
Fat–3.5
Sat Fat–.4
Carb–25.5
Prot–27.2

Wellness: 7 Components

These are the ultimate precious gifts of meditation, yet people are initially drawn to meditation for many different reasons. Some begin meditating because of a doctor’s recommendation, seeking the health benefits of lowered blood pressure, stress reduction, and restful sleep. Others come to meditation seeking relief from the fearful, angry, or painful thoughts that constantly flood their mind. Still others come to meditation to find greater self-understanding, to increase their intuitive powers, or to improve their ability to concentrate.

It is accurate to say that the purpose of meditation depends on the meditator – but it is also true that anyone who meditates regularly receives profound benefits on all of these levels – physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual.

Going Beyond For Focus And Balance

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