Alternative

Mediation, for people who can’t meditate

Mediation, for people who can’t meditate

By: Nitin Agarwal on Oct 18, 2013 | 218 Views | 5 Responses

The author is deeply influenced by ‘A Course in Miracles’, ‘The Power of Now’ and ‘Tripura Rahasya’, and gives various suggestions keeping in the mind the learning received from these books.

 

I am unable to meditate. When I sit to meditate, my mind wonders more wildly. I have tried it all but found no benefit. What do I do now?

 

Mediation is a great tool to enlightenment, but it’s not the only one.

 

What are the other ways?

 

If meditation has not worked for you, don’t worry. Try other means to switch off your mind.

Play, dance, sing, run, walk in the woods, eat, take a bath, enjoy sex, work, do anything that you would normally do, but with little caution.

Do what you are doing, but make a conscious effort to be fully involved in the doing.

 

I don’t understand this..

 

Observe your mind. See how it wonders uselessly. The mind will always tell you that what you are thinking is of extreme importance. Most of the time it will tell you that something has gone wrong in the past and you will have to face the consequence in future or get it right in future.

 

Is that not the right way? Should we not be introspecting and take necessary steps to improve our future?

 

All you are thinking about is the past or the future. Introspection is fine, but just see how much time is required for the same.

Constantly thinking about the past or the future, you miss the present.

Focus on the present, and do what you are doing. This is a 24 hour meditative state. You won’t need to sit and close your eyes and try to meditate.

 

Is it as good as meditation?

 

In meditation, you give a certain dedicated time. Being in the present, is taking benefits of meditation, while doing all your daily activities.

 

Will there be any spiritual progress?                     

 

God resides in a quiet mind. Meditation is a way to achieve a quiet mind. Being in the present is another way of keeping your mind quiet.

Inner truth: Meditation Unplugged

Inner truth: Meditation Unplugged

Thursday, Oct 10, 2013, 8:21 IST | Agency: DNA

Meditation is largely prevalent nowadays because it is seen as an antidote to stress. However it is much more than just that.  Meditation is a way of life. It is to be lived. We have a vast reservoir of energy in us, lying unused, untapped. Once we get in touch with this energy, our life changes from just being an ordinary to a Divine one. Meditation is being in tune with our inner energy source.
It is about moving into the inner zones of emptiness, where stress can never touch you. It is to explore the inner space where you remain absolutely untouched from the ill-effects of the mind. All that is needed is the right method to move into that space. Being there is like being in an ocean of joy. Releasing ourselves from the clutches of our mind is called meditation.

Interestingly, meditation is not about doing something, but rather it is about doing nothing. The life of today’s man or woman is so hectic and fast paced that there is no time when one does absolutely nothing at all. To begin with, find a comfortable and quiet place to sit for 10-15 minutes every day. Stop all movements of body and mind to simply be by yourself, be still. The transformation that comes from the regular practice of meditation is gradual but certain to happen.

The author is a guru, mystic, contemporary spiritual master. For details, visit http://www.gurumaa.com

Confession of a Fidgety Meditator: HuffPost

Confession of a Fidgety Meditator

Posted: 10/07/2013 1:11 pm

Author and fitness expert

In my childhood home, each person was assigned a specific task. My dad’s job was to wash dishes after dinner. In retrospect, it’s not surprising the memory remains so vivid to me. I remember watching him as he lovingly handled the job every night. He was so methodical, never varying his routine. First he put on an apron, next he filled the sink with soap and water. (This was before most kitchens had automatic dishwashers.) Making sure the temperature was just right, he gently lowered each dish into its soapy place. The last step was setting out a drying towel on the counter. The preliminary work done, it was time to get on with the task at hand.

From the moment he completed the pre-routine, dad went on automatic. Today I realize that in his own way, this was his meditation — a time when he could be fully present. Nothing to think about except the rhythmic movement of lifting each dish out of the water, making sure it was clean, rinsing it off and placing it on the drying towel. His mind didn’t ask, “Hmm what’s my purpose here? What’s my next step? Can I quiet my mind? What is it I have to do after the dishes are done?” The calm radiated from his eyes, but I knew it was birthed in his heart. He was at total peace.

How can washing dishes put someone at peace and how can it be a meditation? By definition, meditation is continued or extended reflection or a fixing of thought on something… the ability to maintain a single-pointed concentration that promotes a sense of well-being. This labor of love was something he could count on. He knew if he did the preparation, he’d be in the “zone.” Same time every night, same place, same preparation, same results. Everyone knew this was dad’s quiet time, so nobody bothered him. Dad was perfectly happy in his domain, focused on the task and nothing more.

I’m not suggesting you hand wash dishes. I’m suggesting that meditation is not mysterious, it’s not a woo-woo religious experience. It’s simply being able to still the “monkey mind” long enough to relax into a feeling of well-being, not concerned about the outside world. There is no new skill to learn. You already know how. Ask yourself where in life you get that incredible feeling of peace and well-being that comes from one pointed intention and total relaxation. Is it painting, cooking, soaking in a hot tub, riding a bike, singing? Once you determine your particular nirvana, create a pre-meditation routine that will transport you into the same space — the one my dad was in every night after dinner, and use it before you “officially” meditate — at the same time, same place, every day. Just as the soap and water washed away the debris of our dinners, your meditation time will wash away the cares of the day.

How easy is it to start or restart a meditation practice? No need to leave the house. No worries about bad hair days, no class fee and no pre-requisite training. You can meditate anytime, day or night. Just boot up your laptop. How easy it that? Don’t put off giving yourself the gift of meditation. It will change your life dramatically. Find a series that is about to begin, register online and embark on a wondrous journey to your real self.

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Meditation made easy: How to sleep more serenely

Meditation made easy: How to sleep more serenely

By Madonna Gaulding

 

Experts suggest that we need a minimum of eight to nine hours to be at our best physically and mentallyExperts suggest that we need a minimum of eight to nine hours to be at our best physically and mentally

Madonna Gauding, author of  The Meditation Bible, gives you a beginner’s guide to serenity.

This week, a meditation to relax you  before bedtime…

BENEFITS: Sleep deprivation is a serious health problem in our overly busy, stress-filled world.

Experts suggest that we need a minimum of eight to nine hours to be at our best physically and mentally.

Realistically, though, we tend to get more like seven hours sleep a night.

This meditation will help clear your head and induce relaxation and sleep, thereby strengthening your immune system.

TO START: Make sure your bedroom is quiet, get into bed and turn off the lights. Ensure that your curtains or shades are closed to keep out any lights from the outside world.

STEP ONE: Stretch out on your back and get comfortable. Tense up your body as much as you can and then relax. Repeat this exercise three times.

STEP TWO: Slowly and deeply breathe into your lower abdomen 20 times.

STEP THREE: Now, with each in-breath, breathe in peace, and with each  out-breath, breathe out all the cares of your day.

Release your worries and welcome pleasant dreams. Surrender to deep relaxation as you let go more and more. Feel yourself sinking into a deep, healing and rejuvenating sleep.
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2437668/Meditation-easy-How-sleep-serenely.html#ixzz2gWhfsBm5
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5 Alternatives To Visualization And Meditation by Melody Fletcher

5 Alternatives To Visualization And Meditation

Post image for 5 Alternatives To Visualization And Meditationby Melody Fletcher on September 26, 2013

 

Awesome Sophie’s burning question: “Is there any way around visualizing and meditating to achieve what you want?  I can’t quite get myself to do it consistently.” 

Dear Awesome Sophie,

We have to always remember, and I’m happy to remind you over and over again, that both visualization and meditation are merely tools, to help us achieve certain vibrational states. While both are extremely helpful, neither one is required in order for us to consciously and deliberately receive what we want.

When you can’t visualize or meditate

Some people just aren’t visually inclined. They don’t “see” their dreams, fantasies or desires. They don’t create visual images of the things they want. Does this mean they can’t manifest anything? Well, considering that everything in our current reality was created for and drawn to us by us, and I do mean EVERYTHING, and considering that we probably didn’t visualize every single detail that showed up in our world today, it stands to reason that visualization isn’t necessary for manifestation.

In my article on What Visualization Really Is, I explain that the act of visualizing is simply a way for us to ferret out and release resistance. When we visualize, we are able to “see” what our vibration is in the process of creating before it actually becomes physical. By changing the visualization and practicing the new vision until it feels good (not discordant), we are actually able to change our vibration. As such, visualization is certainly a fantastic tool. But again, certainly not the only one in our metaphorical tool box, and not even necessarily the best one.

Likewise, meditation, while incredibly useful, is also merely a tool, which allows us to stop doing what it is we’re doing that’s keeping us from lining up with Who We Really Are (and everything we want). You see, our natural state is one of well-being, alignment, super-duper happiness and happy shiny puppies. If we are not currently living that reality, it’s not because we’re not doing enough to make that happen, it’s because we’re doing something that’s keeping that from happening. When we meditate, we stop thought, and by doing so, we automatically stop whatever thought is currently contradicting our highest selves. Meditation is an extraordinarily effective tool to help us practice the state of allowing, that state in which we’re not contradicting what we want. The more we practice that state, the easier it is for us to allow what we want to flow to us.

But what if you don’t like to meditate? What if you find it boring, can’t quiet your mind, fall asleep every time, or simply feel reluctant to do it? Does that mean you’re broken, too resistant to help yourself, or just not ready to join the enlightened crowd? No. Many of my clients have issues meditating. They just don’t like it. And you know what? That’s totally ok. There is no one way to do ANYTHING that works for everyone. We each get to find our own joyous path. Why would attuning ourselves to our higher selves be any different?

The tools we use aren’t important. What’s important is the state they help us to achieve. So, if you’ve always had trouble visualizing or meditating, here are 5 alternatives that will help you to achieve the exact same states of mind, and which you may find more effective for you:

#1 – Meditation Alternative: Music

You may not have ever thought of music as a tool, but it’s actually a great way to deliberately feel better. All pieces of music have their own vibration. Listening to a song LITERALLY helps to attune you to different frequencies. Are these wanted or unwanted frequencies? Well, if the music you’re listening to makes you feel better, then you’ve chosen wanted frequencies. As you can see, this is a very subjective thing, and will even change from day to day or moment to moment for the same person. Thank Gawd we have so many different kinds of music! Choose music that makes you feel really good, make a playlist of it and listen to it often. Make sure you update this playlist regularly, and switch out any songs that no longer give you that boost. As you acclimate and raise your vibration on a permanent level, the music that once uplifted you will just leave you feeling kind of blah. When that happens, you’ll have to upgrade.

Spending time listening to music that makes you feel really good and losing yourself in it, will be just as beneficial to you as formal meditation. In fact, that feeling of losing time signifies that you were fully present in the NOW, which is another way of describing what meditation helps us to do. When we are fully in the NOW, we no longer resist the NOW. The benefit of music is that it can also help to move you up the emotional scale, no matter where you are. If you’re stuck in powerlessness, then anger will feel good to you. Choosing songs that help you feel that anger so it can be released will help you to feel a lot better. Screaming profanities to the sounds of death metal may not seem to have anything in common with the calm of meditation, but if that’s what you need in order to shift your energy to a higher place, it will serve the same purpose (when a person in that state meditates regularly, it will increase the anger that comes up the rest of the day, therefore assisting that individual with having their necessary anger release.)

#2 – Meditation Alternative: Zoning Out

People who have trouble formally meditating are often overthinking it to the nth degree, putting stress on themselves to find time when the kids aren’t bugging them, sitting in the “correct” way, choosing the “right” time of day, and trying to get their minds to shut the hell up. Amidst all that judgment and restriction, meditation becomes next to impossible.

If this sounds like you, let me ask you the question I ask my clients in this situation: are there any activities such as housecleaning, gardening, doing the dishes, ironing, golfing, walking the dog, etc., during which you just “zone out”? Do you ever just go all spacey, while continuing to do some mundane activity? Do you ever just kind of lose yourself in the moment? If so, congratulations, you’ve achieved the meditative state. Will this be akin to the deepest possible states which practiced Yogis achieve? No. But unless that’s your passion, there’s no need for you to go that deep. Remember, it’s all about stopping those contradictory thoughts. When you go all blank and dreamy while watering your plants, you’re there. You’ve almost certainly “meditated” quite successfully many times in your life. And yes, it really is that simple. Everything that truly works, is. People often spend years and years doing very complicated things to learn just how simple the workings of the Universe really are.

Seek out the activities that help you zone out deliberately and on a consistent basis, as a way to help you get into a calm state, and you’ll be supporting your personal growth just as much as if you spent time in the lotus position every day.

#3 – Visualization Alternative: Positive “What If” Questions

This is a technique I explored on this blog fairly recently, but it’s so incredibly effective, it bears repeating. The whole purpose of visualization is to help you figure out where your current vibration is at, and then facilitate the shifting of it by changing the envisioned experience to one you prefer. Asking positive “What If” questions is a great way to accomplish the second part of that equation (asking yourself how you really feel and answering honestly, as well as looking at your current physical manifestations, allows you accomplish the first).

When you actively try to defy one of your beliefs by simply stating its opposite, your brain may well rebel. If the belief isn’t very strong, it might just crumble, but if it’s a pretty practiced one, you’ll have a fight on your hands. An affirmation such as “I love myself!”, will simply garner a “No, you don’t!”. You can’t just bombard your brain with messages it “knows” not to be true and expect it to simply roll over and surrender. Your brain is made of stronger stuff than that, and besides, it’s doing what it thinks is best for you, based on the rules you and those around you fed it. But, if you ask yourself “What if I loved myself?”, your brain has nothing to fight. This is not a statement, it’s a question and your brain wants to answer questions (your brain is actually very helpful). If you haven’t been positively focused in a while, you may not get an instant answer (let your mind shift gears first), but keep at it for just a few minutes and you’ll be able to affect some powerful shifts in a very small amount of time. It’s the fastest way I’ve ever found to stop negative momentum and turn someone’s energy around on a dime.

#4 – Visualization Alternative: Vision Boards

I know, I know, you’ve all heard about vision boards. Everyone and their mom has a blog post or video about doing vision boards. I promise not to bore you death with the same old details, but the process of making a vision board can be a powerful tool to help you align your vibration with what you want. Notice, I said “the process of making the vision board”. Once the vision board is done, it can actually lose a lot of its oomph. Just as a particular song can uplift you for weeks and then suddenly leave you flat, a particular vision board will often work for only a limited amount of time. Don’t worry, this is normal.

The basic idea of creating a vision board is to choose some images or even just words that represent the feeling of what you want. Remember: the goal is to achieve a certain state, so choose images and representations that actually give you a little charge, not ones that just seem like they should work because they basically represent the thing you want. Finding just the right images can take a considerable amount of time. But in doing so, you’re defining what you want in great detail (as opposed to what you don’t want) and actively looking for “evidence” or representations of those manifestations. You can then paste these images and words onto a poster board and put it someplace where you’ll look at it every day. For some people, looking at the board on a regular basis really helps them to reinforce the feelings they want to achieve. For others, the board itself does very little. I maintain that the real “work” is done in the creation of the board and in the finding and choosing of just the right images. Spending a couple of hours (or even a few days!) focusing in such a positive way, can create a lot of powerful, positive momentum.

#5 – Visualization Alternative: Play Acting

I’ve saved the best for last. This is my favorite technique. Consider it visualizing on steroids. And don’t worry, you don’t actually have to get on a stage or involve other people (although you can, if you want to…).

Essentially, this technique is all about playing pretend, just as you did when you were a kid: Imagine that you’re in a situation in the future, and you’re telling someone about this thing you want, from the perspective that it’s already happened. You can pretend that someone is interviewing you, or that you’re at a party and telling a friend about it. Instead of having to “see” yourself in these situations, you can actually act them out. The more you get into character, the more fun this will be. Smile, laugh, joke about how easy it all was in the end, how you see now that there was never any way it wouldn’t work out, how amazingly it all came together.

Now, just as with visualizations, watch for any evidence of resistance. For example, if you find yourself telling the story of how hard you worked, how many obstacles you overcame, or how you made it despite the odds being against you, you’re playing out a belief that struggle and suffering are components of success. If you catch yourself going down that road, make a deliberate effort to change the script and talk about how easy it was, how relieved you are and how you learned to let go and trust and enjoy the ride early on.

If you want to take this exercise to a whole different level, you can invite some like-minded friends over and have a “Future Party”, where you all agree to support one another in your manifestations. So, for example, I might declare at the beginning of the party that I’ve just published my 5th best seller, and instead of picking the story apart and challenging how I did it, the people at the party would simply congratulate me and ask questions that would allow me to bask in the glory of my “accomplished” goal (for example: “How does it feel to be a famous author?”, or “After so much success, what inspires you now?”). I once read Jack Canfield attended a party with other now very famous people, where they all pretended that their 5 year goals had all come true. They had actors playing paparazzi, wore evening gowns and had waiters. In other words, they went full out. The account went on to state that every single person who had attended this party went on to meet and/or exceed those goals.

Of course, in order to express to someone what it is that you’ve accomplished, you have to get clear on what it is you want. Don’t worry about filling in too many of the details. For example, I can pretend to have published my 5th book without knowing what the title or even subject of that book would be. Or, I can make up a temporary title which feels good to me, with the understanding that it could change to something even better. For example, people at Jack Canfield’s party apparently even went so far as to crate props, like actual mock ups of their books, etc., to make it even more real. Not only is this technique fun (SOOOO fun!), but it totally works. And really, what have you got to lose? Why not get “interviewed” today?

Bottom line

Visualization and meditation are amazing tools. This is why almost every spiritual teacher talks about them. But they’re by no means the only way to achieve the desired results – and that’s really the point. The tools themselves are kind of irrelevant. If one doesn’t work for you, find another one. The point of the whole exercise is what those tools do for you, what states they help you to achieve. Stubbornly forcing yourself to use techniques that don’t resonate with you, just because others have found them useful, is really missing the point. Remember: this is supposed to be fun. All of it. You don’t have to “suffer” through the process in order to get to the fun someday. The fun starts NOW. Right here. So relax and enjoy yourself. That’ll already get you half way there… :)

For many, meditation is key for fighting stress, finding peace Video

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For many, meditation is key for fighting stress, finding peace

Meditation is a mind-body practice that’s existed for thousands of years, yet it still attracts people looking for solace, healing and spiritual enlightenment today.

Verna Sausman of Louisville was among those who gathered at a recent meditation session at Wellness 360 studio in St. Matthews. She sat in a chair with her eyes closed and her legs crossed beneath her as Dr. Peter Buecker guided a small group through a meditation session.

“This is my healing; it works for me,” said Sausman, who was using the 45-minute session to cope with the loss of a loved one.

Though some people think they can’t quiet their mind enough to meditate, “anyone can learn to meditate,” said Buecker, the studio’s owner. “… The quiet or calm mind is the product of meditation, not the prerequisite for it.”

There are many different kinds of meditation, but most have some common threads, according to the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, part of the National Institutes of Health. People usually meditate in a quiet place in a specific posture, such as lying or sitting down, with an open attitude and a focused mind, the center says.

The Rev. Joe Mitchell, a priest and meditation teacher who is executive director of the Passionist Earth & Spirit Center on Newburg Road, explains meditation this way:

“Meditation is cultivating a steady and focused awareness by letting go of thoughts and desires to abide in a place of stillness and silence.”

Mitchell, who teaches mindfulness meditation from the Christian and Buddhist perspectives, said, “It’s about turning down the volume of the inner chatter in the mind.”

Buecker, an orthopedic surgeon, opened Wellness 360 in January to offer meditation and a variety of other mind-body services, after realizing that “a pill, or an injection, or a procedure isn’t always the answer” for patients going through personal crises, such as parenting, spousal and care-giving issues.

Many times, people are caught in a vicious cycle of stress that leads to tension and pain, then to the need for “more and more medicines at higher and higher doses,” Buecker said, but meditation helps give them basic skills to get their life back into control.

The Himalayan Times : Meditation in common motions – Detail News : Nepal News Portal

Added At: 2013-06-30 9:18 PM

RAMESHWAR BARAL

The dictionary meaning of meditation is a mind under control to escape from the outer world realities to be in short, strain-free moments. A meditating mind comes to the centre stage achieving a blank phase.

In the phrase of spiritual gurus, meditation is but a complex workout. They make it a difficult move although here I basically differ. Meditation is not an abstract management. It is not religion or holy war nor is it dhyana or yoga.

Meditation is the mind together with concentration on specific motions for a conscious goal. Concentration is the motion again to be single-minded which may be a flash or formal that an individual performs or completes at one sitting. Take a simple case of brushing your teeth in the morning. First take out your toothbrush from the brush holder, grasp evenly, wash with water, put a dab of paste, rub along the teeth-line above, below, side to side, and in and out with due care, and blah, blah. You are careful to spend as little water and toothpaste as possible.

Imagine contrarily a slight move of the rash fingers. Either you scratch your gum which bleeds profusely. “Now, this is a formal task,” you may say. But you know there’s always a risk of losing the attention. When the mind flies, i.e. loss of attention, for other imagined motions of the future or past, it proves hazards for the present.

Not under control for one long minute, you know the mind flies against a motion from tree to tree, branch to branch, and leaf to leaf, real or not, what meditation is not here. To bridle it, some sing in the bath and some tend to stand in front of the mirror. Singing or listening to music and viewing yourself on the mirror are just some instances of how

to hang on to conscious concentration. On the mirror, the value of one’s face and body comes to the viewer.

Meditation happens in common motions. Eating food with active mind bite by bite is delicacy and heavenly. The eater here just eats with focus on taste and thinks or makes no other interrupting moves. The past does not bury him nor does a future worry. The eating moments catch him in a grand breathing sans strain.Meditation is a going concern with interest and attention aimed at pleasure and mental deliverance. This is where the mind forgets other motions and attains relaxation during the small moments. Here one requires no guru or supervision or stunt categorically. Practice, patience and persistence are the uninterrupted parts of meditation. Be they students or white-collar workers, meditation puts any career strain-free with bliss of the mind in return.

rameshwarbaral@yahoo.com

via The Himalayan Times : TOPICS:Meditation in common motions – Detail News : Nepal News Portal.

‘Let’s all Meditate’ – WSJ.com

MILTON KEYNES, England, June 28, 2013 /PRNewswire/ —

New Milton Keynes business promotes role of regular meditation and massage in increasing individual wellbeing, business performance and economic growth.

Up to 90% of all illness is stress related. Inspired by this shocking statistic, Reiki With Ria, a holistic therapy practice based at Bletchley Park, Milton Keynes, is on a much overdue mission to change the way we think about our health and to place wellbeing at the heart of our daily lives. Bolstered by the government’s recent commitment to engage people for success in the working world while increasing wellbeing, Reiki With Ria is now expanding to provide wellbeing solutions for business.

Ria, the founder of the company explains: ‘The business was set up to help people improve the quality of their lives, by offering relaxation practices that have been scientifically proven to both counteract the negative effects of the stress response and to enhance physical and psychological health. To begin with, we sought to empower individuals: encouraging ownership of one’s own health and re-establishing it as a priority at all times – not just during times of ill health, is essential. Now, we feel it is time for a two-tiered approach, whereby businesses make a commitment to encourage and enhance their staff’s wellbeing recognising the correlation between employee wellbeing and increased profitability’.

Reiki With Ria offers Reiki, Massage Therapy, Stress Reduction and Meditation. Massage therapy, has for a long time been a firm favourite with the public, ‘people often perceive massage as a luxury- it can be, however this widely held belief restricts people from utilising the full extent of its health enhancing abilities’.

Meditation has gained much popularity of late, but as Ria points out, ‘many people have misconceptions about what meditation actually is. We believe that everybody can, and should, meditate and we always seek to demystify, simplify and make the practice relevant to ordinary people with ordinary concerns’.

If recent research is anything to go by, the case for developing a regular meditation practice is compelling. Benefits of meditation include stress reduction, pain management, improvement of immune function, regulation of emotion, improvements of focus and memory and anti ageing properties. For businesses and individuals it seems the research is clear – ‘Let’s all meditate’.

Reiki With Ria offers high quality massage and reiki treatments from their base at BletchleyPark. They hold regular meditation workshops and courses for complete beginners and more experienced mediators. From August 1(st) 2013 they will officially open their Wellness @ Work division,offering on-site massage,meditation instruction and support in developing workplace wellbeing programs.

Find out more at: http://www.reikiwithria.co.uk

Any questions should be directed to the Founder:

Ria Richardson

+44-(0)7580-541229

info@reikiwithria.co.uk

Bletchley Park, Sherwood Drive, Milton Keynes, MK3 6EB

SOURCE Reiki With Ria

via ‘Let’s all Meditate’ – WSJ.com.

Where To Meditate: 11 Surprising Places To Find Some Zen

Where To Meditate: 11 Surprising Places To Find Some Zen

In search of simple, quick and cheap stress relief? Meditation is what you’re after.

Often associated with Eastern-world practices, meditation has been making headlines and infiltrating the West. It’s no mystery as to why: Just 20 minutes has been shown to decrease stress, help with depression and even lower blood pressure.

Best of all, there’s no catch: Meditation is free, and you can take it anywhere (all you need is your head). We were curious where you take your meditation; while we might typically think it’s a practice for stillness and silence, it turns out there’s no place too loud or exclusive to find peace of mind.

We asked on Facebook the strangest place you’ve found yourself practicing, and from your answers it’s clear: Meditation can happen in motion, and is often helpful in times we anticipate feeling tense. Check out some creative and brilliant places to meditate below, then tell us in the comments where else you like to clear your head.
“In a tree.” — Marty Daymunde
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“In the middle of a rock concert.” — Jane Sayre
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“On the NYC subway!” — Lauren Loma Calixte
on subway

“On a plane.” — Sandrine Laurent
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“In the car.” — Heather Hunter
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“Public restroom!” — Jane Sayre
bathroom stall

“While running on a treadmill.” — Travis H Heinrich
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“While in an MRI. It helped keep me calm in the tube.” — Katherine Nobles
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“In the middle of the airport.” — Sky Can Horn
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“In the dentist’s chair.” — Sean Mac An Ultaigh
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“In a bar.” — Denise Helberg Snider
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For more on meditation, click here.

Where To Meditate: 11 Surprising Places To Find Some Zen.

Shifting our Perception with Meditation – Ram Dass

Though you can start meditation at any time, it’s harder if your life is chaotic, and if you’re feeling paranoid, if you’re overwhelmed with responsibilities, or if you’re sick. But even starting under these conditions, meditation will help you to clear things up a bit. Slowly you reorganize your life to support your spiritual journey, At each stage there will be something you can do to create a supportive space. It may mean changing your diet, who you’re with, how you spend your time, what’s on your walls, what books you read, what you fill your consciousness with, how you care for your body, or where and how you sit to meditate. All these factors contribute to the depth and freedom that you can know through meditation.

You are under no pressure to rush these changes. You need not fear that because of meditation you are going to lose control and get swept away by a new way of life. As you gradually develop a quiet and clear awareness, your living habits will naturally come into harmony with your total environment, with your past involvements, present interests, and future concerns. There need be no sudden ending of relationships in order to prove your holiness. Such frantic changes only show your own lack of faith. When you are one in truth, in the flow, the changes in your life will come naturally.

You start cleaning up your life when you feel that you can’t go on until you do. Cleaning up your life means extricating yourself from those things which are obstacles to your liberation. But keep in mind that nothing in and of itself is an obstacle; it’s your attachment to it or your motive for doing it that is the obstacle. It’s not an issue of eating meat or not eating meat; it’s who’s eating it and why.

If your senses can be caught and held by something, you are still chained to the world. It’s your attachment to the objects of your senses that imprisons you. Failing to break off the attachments of the senses ultimately holds you back. The minute you aren’t preoccupied with what’s out there, then that pull is lost. You are free to go deep in meditation.

It’s not easy. It’s a stinker to get to that level of purity. You start out with things like what you eat, who you sleep with, what you watch on TV, what you do with your time. Many people fool themselves and imitate someone else’s purity. They do it in an imitative way, one of fear of being unholy. Abstaining from something for the wrong reason is no better than doing it. You can’t pretend to be pure; you can only go at your own speed.

As changes occur through meditation you find yourself attracted to things that are inconsistent with your old model of who you are. Usually, for example, after having meditated in a rigorous (and somewhat righteous) fashion, I have then taken time off to wallow in television, go to movies, take baths and relax. Then, to my surprise, I found myself not being attracted as much as before to these diversions, but being pulled toward just sitting quietly. This new way of being didn’t fit with my model of who I was. It was as if I were living with somebody I didn’t know very well. My models of myself hadn’t changed fast enough to keep up with who I was becoming.

“Inside yourself or outside, you never have to change what you see, only the way you see it.” – Thaddeus Golas

– Ram Dass, excerpt from Journey of Awakening: A Meditator’s Guidebook

via Shifting our Perception with Meditation – Ram Dass.