Category Archives: Meditation

Meditation…Calming a Turbulent Mind…

Your mind is a thought-generating organ. Thought forms perpetually arise in your awareness. If you try to stop your thoughts with the intention of creating stillness in your mind, your mental activity may quiet for a few moments, but it will almost certainly start up again at full speed.

The activity in your mind is communicated to every cell in your body. When your mind is turbulent, your messenger molecules communicate turbulence to your cells, tissues, and organs. If you can quiet your mind, you can send messages of peace and harmony to every cell in your body. To experience the real essence of yoga – the full integration of body, mind, and spirit – you need to develop the ability to calm your mental turbulence.

Meditation is the technology that enables you temporarily to escape from this cycle. Through the process of gently focusing your attention (known in yoga as Dharana) while innocently witnessing the thought forms that come and go in your mind (Dhyana), you enter into the gap between thoughts, glimpsing the domain of unbounded awareness (Samadhi).  – Deepak Chopra

These gaps between thoughts are what I refer to as – Slivers of Peace – it can be difficult work at first to calm a turbulent mind – but slowly it happens if you work at it – and then these slivers of peace grow into chunks of peace, longer and longer – and it also becomes so much easier to find that peace within yourself. It is definitely worth the time and effort.

Yoga Is…

Flow by Sarah Benning…the process of replacing old patterns with new and more appropriate patterns. ST Krishnamacharya

Image

Chakra Meditation…

Energy Centers

On Wellness in the Workplace…

Study after study shows that high levels of stress, experienced day in and day out, are significantly detrimental to health and well-being. Scientists warn that stress contributes to health problems ranging from obesity and diabetes to heart disease and infertility. One study shows that working more than 60 hours a week and failing to get regular sleep can double the risk of having a heart attack. But only 28 percent of Americans say that they do a good job of managing stress. Companies are – thankfully – getting involved. Wellness programs are becoming robust within medium and large organizations across the US and throughout the world.

  • DuPont reports a 47% reduction in absenteeism over a six-year period for participants in a corporate fitness program. They also found that such employees used 14% fewer disability days than nonparticipants – a total of nearly 12,000 fewer disability days overall.
  • A study in the journal Ergonomics concluded that “Mental performance was significantly better in the physically fit than in the un-fit. Fit workers commit 27% fewer errors on tasks involving concentration and short-term memory as compared to un-fit workers.”
  • In a study of eighty executives over a nine month period, those who worked out regularly improved their fitness by 22% and demonstrated a 70% improvement in their ability to make complex decisions and compared with non-exercisers.
  • The Canadian Life Assurance Company found that 63% of participants in a fitness program reported being more physically relaxed, less tired and more patient during the workday. Some 47% reported being more alert, had better rapport with supervisors and co-workers, and experienced a higher level of enjoyment at work.
  • At Union Pacific Railroad 75% of employees reported that regular exercise improved their concentration and overall productivity at work.
  • General Motors found that employees who participated in a physical fitness program had a 50% reduction in job grievances and on-the-job accidents, and 40% reduction in lost time.
  • The Coors Brewing Company found that it got as much as $6.15 return for every $1 invested in a corporate fitness program. Companies including Equitable Life Assurance, General Mills and Motorola have all reported at least a $3 return for every dollar invested.

This is all great – I’m so excited to see companies investing in their employees wellness – but at the end of the day – it is our own individual responsibility for creating balance and wellness for our own selves – in our own lives. If you live in high stress, start chipping away at areas where you can reduce this – and counteract those areas in your life that are stressful by adding daily meditation, breath-work, yoga or other mind-body-spirit practices. Eat for fuel, not for emotional reasons. Sleep well. Our society equates success to always being busy – always doing something or you aren’t being productive – but a successful person knows – or relearns – how to sit still and rest – because resting is resetting/recharging/renewing yourself – sitting still you find insights that would have never had surfaced had you not taken the time to sit still and reflect – work when you work, rest when you rest. Your whole wellness – your whole being – will thank you for it.

Gratitude is an idea worth spreading…

Take a deep breath. The breath is not something we just “take”. Breathing is a gift. It is a miracle that is offered to us over and over again, yet much like our health, we often take it for granted right up to the moment we no longer have it.

If you look at life through the lens of love and gratitude you will transform people. You will transform places. And you will transform the way you do things.

The Heartbeat to Eternity

Click here for the Audio version of this.

Drop a pebble in a still pond and watch the ripple travel out in an ever expanding ring.

Thoughts and actions are like stones dropped into still waters.

They create ripples that spread and expand as they move outwards.

Everything we do and think affects the people in our lives.

And their reactions in turn affects others.

The impact you have on the world is greater than you could ever imagine.

The choices you make have far-reaching consequences.

Every transformation, just like every ripple, has a point of origin.

A new millennium is here and a great spiritual awakening has begun.

It resides within your heart.

People everywhere are seeking answers.

To the true nature of our souls,

To what God has to do with our lives,

To whether our small contributions can really effect great changes.

The pond is the world. Your heart is the pebble.

The ripple is the love and positive intention you send out with every heartbeat.

Imagine…

Your heart sends out a ripple

It beats in time with another heart and the ripple doubles.

Which beat in time with other hearts…

And the ripple grows…

Spreading from heart to heart with gradually increasing influence over the community.

The ripple effect is a connection between those in need and those who want to help.

If all of us give just an hour a week to good works,

Or one hour sending out a blessing with every heartbeat,

Think of the combined effect of the growing ripple on our communities and our culture.

Each of us carries within us the capacity to change the world in small ways for better or worse.

We can use the ripple effect to make a positive difference and spread waves of loving kindness that will wash over the world.

Each act of charity. Each thoughtful deed.

Each positive thought can ripple from heart to heart and evoke changes in time and space.

Bringing heartbeats to vibrate in time.

The momentum of your influence will grow as your ripple moves onward and outward,

The ripple growing in size as your heart connects to another and their contribution is added.

The ripple becomes a wave. The wave growing in strength as more heartbeats begin to resonate together.

Rippling out to reach countless souls.

As our heartbeats vibrate in time and space.

The wave becoming a rising tide sweeping across the globe.

Each choice we make causes a ripple effect in our lives. When things happen to us, it is the reaction we choose that can create the difference between the sorrows of our past and the joy in our future.

Each individual must believe in their ability to use their heart as the pebble in the pond.

To send a ripple outward with every heartbeat.

To touch the lives of everybody they come in contact with. And outward to everyone those people come in contact with.

And outward. And outward.

Until the hearts of all humanity create a tide that will raise the level of consciousness on this planet.

Encouraging change and transformation through inner energy and resonance…

This butterfly wing mosaic is in a set of two that tells the story of a handicap artist. Suffered from polio, she was a burden to her family. Didn’t accept her destiny, she pursued the path of embroidery artisan, and, unbelievably, made it.
That valiant lady now flies with her own spirit’s invisible wings.
Now, she can support not her own self, but the whole family as well.
This organic mosaic is made from real butterfly wings, all farm-raised.
Everything is handmade, covered by UV-protection glass and wood frame.
All the butterflies are farm-raised and were recycled to the artworks only after their natural death.
Medium size: 8×12

Change is transformation; things transform or change because they contain that into which they change. Qi is that connection, that common thread, between one form of the existence and the next. Change occurs through resonance. A caterpillar contains the seed of a butterfly, but for metamorphosis to occur there needs to be a resonance between that caterpillar and its butterflyness. When the weather begins to cool and the days grow shorter, the caterpillar begins to feel the change. A resonance between it and the butterfly, which it both is and will become, begins the transformation. In the same way, we contain many seeds of possibility. When we are sick, we also contain the seed of wellness. It is the job of the healer – often our own selves in our own yoga practice – not to try to force a change from sickness to wellness but to look for that which encourages the resonance between the two. In the same way, while recognizing that we contain joy and sadness, peace and violence, courage and fear, we need to find a practice or a way of life that will help us to water the seeds that bring us to our true heart’s desire. Our path. – Inspired by Biff Mithoefer

Relax…

Relaxation is the basis of meditation. When you relax, all tensions are dropped. In a meditative mood, things happen. Discoveries of all kinds arise out of meditation – not out of mind. Mind is a small mechanism in you – a technical device that can answer technical questions and solve technical problems. Insights come from beyond the mind. Meditation takes you to the center of insight. (inspired by Osho)

Don’t ask yourself what the world needs…

“Don’t ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive and then go do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” – Howard Thurman

Mindfulness…

This delicate and deceptively simple pen drawing of a curled gum leaf is from the Meditative Studies 2012 series.

This delicate and deceptively simple pen drawing of a curled gum leaf is from the Meditative Studies 2012 series.

Paying attention during our yoga practice, we build our awareness muscles so that we can pay attention at other times during our lives when we find ourselves suffering or living unskillfully. We can awaken to the realization that we have a choice. We don’t have to live life on auto-pilot and we can choose whether we want to react or act in any given situation. We can choose how we want to feel and whether our feelings should or could inspire action or reaction or simple stillness. There are psychological and physiological benefits to mindfulness as well. There are many studies that show that mindfulness – just simply paying attention to what is actually happening – can reduce our stress level, calm the heart, reduce blood pressure, reduce inflammation, improve insomnia, lessen anxiety and depression, heal chronic pain, improve energy levels, improve exercise tolerance, improve concentration, among many other benefits. When we have mindfulness, we gain all of these benefits. When we are mindful in our yoga practice, we build all of these benefits along with the benefits that come from being in the pose itself. – inspired by a video from Bernie Clark