The Power of the Mind and Meditation

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Originally posted on http://www.yourzenlife.com

Our mind is a powerful tool. Most of the time, we tend to believe what our mind is saying. We hear a voice in our head and we tend to identify with it. Yet whatever is being said isn’t always true. But if we believe all that we hear in our head then our happiness will only depend on our positive thinking. It is great if we are a naturally born optimist but challenging if our mind is wired on fear or self-criticism.

Also our emotions are strongly linked with our thoughts. If our mind tends to worry about something in the future, we then tend to experience fear in the present moment. It does not mean that this worry will actually happen, it may or it may not. But in the meantime we have created stress for ourselves by listening to those thoughts.Whatever the mind is saying, it will create an emotional response in our body.We have a tendency to spend most of our life reacting and responding to our thoughts without questioning. Yet what if it could be different?

We hold the power within ourselves to change our thoughts and even to stop our mind at once.And when we become able to control our mind, we also become in control of how we experience life.The best tool I know that can bring us this new quality of life is the practice of meditation.

With regular practice, we slowly start managing our thoughts. We become more aware and conscious of all the incessant chatter inside our head. And then we can learn how to completely stop it. Of course it takes time but the peace and happiness that result are definitely worth it.

With meditation regular practice is essential. We can learn different techniques and practice the ones that suit us best. We can join a meditation class in our neighbourhood or enrol in a meditation retreat for a quantum leap in our practice!

Here are 7 Reasons why meditation is good for us and we should start today!:

Health: A stress-free body will repair and heal itself quicker than a stress-full body. Meditation is like fresh air, like healthy food, like physical exercise. It keeps our body and mind in perfect shape and condition.

Happiness: If we learn how to control our mind, then we know how to stop our negative thoughts and replace them with positive thoughts. We then have the power to choose happiness over unhappiness.

Freedom: Meditation will free us from the illusion of the past or the future. It keeps us in the present, the only reality.

Power: Meditation empowers us. We become our own master and we discover the power to create our reality.

Peace: A quiet mind. A peaceful mind. Peace. We can be peaceful no matter what our outside circumstances are.

Charisma: It changes our energy. Our light radiates. We attract and empower other people.

Life: We can start living, really living. We become present. We enjoy life here and now.

Here are a few tips for starting a meditation practice:

Daily practice: This is very important. A minimum of twenty minutes at the beginning is good. But if we have time the longer the better!

Discipline: Doing it at the same time every day can help with the discipline.

Will power: Not listening to all the excuses that our mind will try to bring forth to get out of the meditation. We should do it no matter what!

Right place: It is good to find a quiet place for our practice at home or outdoors and it is better to switch off all our mobile and wi-fi devices.

Persistence: Not giving up! Like everything in life, it can take time before we start experiencing results but as always when they come we are glad we persisted!

Basic technique: A good technique to start with is putting all our attention on our breath. Taking long and deep breath-in and breath-out and just watching it. Becoming conscious of the air entering our lungs before escaping again. And every time we notice ourselves caught in the stream of our random thoughts we just have to come back to watching the breath.

Enjoy!

K.Wilson

4 Ways To Let Go Of Stress And Become Present

Originally Posted on LaMav Blog on February 23, 2016

 

Get Rid Of Stress & Find Inner Peace With Karen Wilson


Meditation teacher at  Awaken Meditation Retreats and author of 3 books, Karen Wilson is definitely an inspiring figure you can learn a lot from.

In her mid 20`s, Karen has practiced long periods of meditation which completely changed her health, happiness and the quality of her life. Since then, she has been passionate about spreading the benefits of meditation to the world, to help people find their true self and their true power.

Today, the woman behind ‘7 Illusions: Discover Who You Really Are’ , ‘Meditation Workout: 30 Days – 30 Meditations’, and ‘Awaken: Mindfulness Musings for the Soul’ is here to share with our readers her basic, bu essential, tips on achieving inner piece and balance, without losing contact with your true self. Let’s see what she has for us…

Stress has become a common part of our lives. It is just there and somehow we got used to living with it. There is always something to be concerned about, whether it be our health, our job, our relationships or our finances. It sometimes seems like as soon as a ‘problem’ is resolved it is soon to be replaced by another one. Then we have something else to be worried about that need to be fixed. And most of the time we can’t totally relax until “our main big problem” is solved. But it never seems to end and instead we start accumulating too much stress that will also create more health, family or financial problems. So how can we find some kind of peace in the middle of our mayhem?

It often helps to understand that most of our fears and worries are in our minds. They are often concerning a ‘future’ situation we are trying to avoid. We want to feel secure, in control of our lives and have everything all perfect so we can finally enjoy it. Unfortunately that is not how life works. We will never have it under our control, and our future will never be secure no matter what our minds are trying to make us believe: “once I get that job, all will be well”, “once I buy a house, I will be safe”, “once I get that raise, I will be secure”. Understanding that we can’t really create security helps us let go of the pressure of trying to fix everything to get it perfect and secure. There is nothing to be fixed. So what can we do instead?

First, It is good to know that stressing over the future or any situation won’t help. For example stressing about money won’t make us richer. The best we can do is to first assess if there is anything in our power that will improve that situation, and if there is then we can act on it. But if there isn’t it, then we just have to let it go, stop worrying about it and trust that the situation will take care of itself. So how do we just let go?

The problem when we worry too much about our lives and our future is that we tend to miss out on our present. We tend to be so caught up in our minds that we forget to just live and enjoy the precious moments in our days. In order to let go of our stress we need to come back to the present moment. How can we become more present? Here’s a few tips:

1. Breath

Every time we notice ourselves caught into the maze of our thoughts we need to remember to take a deep breath. That deep breath will bring us back here, now, in the present where we stand, and where we are safe. In that moment our future worries are not ‘there’, they are not ‘real’. But WE are here, now, and we are alright.

2. Awareness

We can become more present by paying attention to what’s around us NOW. Right now: what am I seeing? What am I hearing? What I am feeling? What am I tasting? Reconnecting with our five senses shifts our attention from our illusionary thoughts back to our experience of the moment. Then we can really make the most of it and enjoy it fully.

 

3. Nature

Taking some time in nature is important for each of us. It is soothing and grounding. It helps reconnect to a slower pace of living which we used to have before fast paced cities and technology. It is important to make some time to slow down and enjoy a forest or beach walk, or just sit in a park if we are in a city. We always feel better after having spent half an hour in nature.

4. Meditation

Taking up meditation is not the easiest thing to do. Our busy minds don’t like sitting down for half an hour and like giving us all kind of excuses to avoid it. Yet learning to meditate, and practicing regularly will help us to become in control of our mind instead of being controlled by it. Moreover,meditation can help us access these moments of deep peace which happen when all thoughts stop.Meditation may seems like hard work but on the long term it is one of the best way to de-stress and enjoy a more peaceful life.

In the end no matter what our favourite way of de-stressing is, it is necessary to incorporate it in our daily life. Our mental wellbeing is very important and to be honest we are not going to miss out on anything if we take half an hour time out daily in nature or in meditation. Our ‘problems’ may still be there when we come back but our thoughts about them would be gone. And that’s what peace is all about!

Positive affirmations to change subconscious thought patterns

Learn meditation

The repetition of affirmations can on the long term reprogram the subconscious. The subconscious mind is about 80% of our being and is responsible for manifesting our reality. It is programmed around our BELIEFS. These beliefs have been mostly programmed during our childhood through our parents, schools, society and through our own perception of reality then. 

By changing our minds, consciously and subconsciously, we can change our reality NOW. We can release the beliefs that do not serve us anymore and create another reality for ourselves, manifesting what we want.

Meditation is one of the best tool we have to do just that.

This meditation is an extract from my last e-book: Meditation Workout: 30 Days/ 30 Meditations, click here to download all meditations.

AFFIRMATIONS

  • Sit down comfortably
  • Take a few deep breaths
  • Now repeat over and over a positive affirmation
  • In your mind or out loud
  • Anything like:
  • I am powerful
  • I am beautiful
  • I love myself
  • I am abundant
  • I am loved
  • I am confident
  • I am successful
  • You are allowed to use as many as you want during these twenty minutes
  • As long as it starts with “I am” + positive affirmation
  • You can be anything you want

Click HERE to download Meditation Workout: 30 days/ 30 Meditations

How to meditate: listening for mindfulness

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Simple meditation technique

This meditation technique is very simple yet can bring great results.

Again, start by finding a nice place to meditate and sit comfortably for twenty minutes or more.

Have a few deep breaths.

Then listen.

Start listening to any noise that you can hear.

Close or far away.

Birds` songs.

Car horns.

People chatting.

Rain.

Only focus your attention on listening to what is being said right now.

Every time you catch your mind wandering in imaginative situations just stop that thread of thoughts where it is and start listening again.

Do not put a name on what you are hearing “oh that`s a bird”, “that`s my neighbor starting his car”, “that`s a plane”, etc

Just listen

No judging, no labeling, no story telling from ”the noise”.

Just be aware

Just listen

Just be mindful

Just be

You are in the moment, you are present, you are listening.

 

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How to meditate: A simple visualization technique

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There are two types of meditation: one uses the mind, the other tries to let go of it.

Visualization is a meditation technique that uses the mind.

Today technique aims to train the mind to be more focused, more under control while experiencing with energy at the same time.

This simple visualization technique uses colors.

After sitting in a comfortable meditation position, we will take a few deep breaths for a couple of minutes.

Then we visualize, or imagine, or think (if we can`t “see”) of a color.

With each in-breath we imagine breathing in this color and filling every cells of our body with it.

With each out-breath we imagine this same color leaving every cells of our being bringing with it all fears, pain, and any negative emotions or problems we are having.

We can do that for 10 minutes, then for another 10 minutes we just stay in meditation without trying to do or control anything.

We can experience with any color.

you can try this simple meditation for a week, with a different color each day.

Try red- orange-yellow- green- blue- indigo- white. (The colors of the chakras).

Notice how you feel after each meditation.

Notice how different you feel with each color.

Enjoy 🙂

 

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How to meditate: 4 important steps

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1.  The right place

You need to find the right setting first. A place where you will not be disturbed. No one is supposed to walk in the room to ask you what`s for dinner. Tell your partner and kids that for the next 20 minutes you are not here. No phone. No music. No outside distractions. You can meditate inside or outside. Meditating in nature is wonderful, the energies there support the process. But if you are outside make sure your mind will not be worried about insects/ snakes/ spiders that could crawl on you while you sit with your eyes closed. That would spoil the fun. If that`s the case, stay inside.

Now sit down (cross-legged is better), or sit on a chair. Don`t lie down or you`ll fall asleep. Make sure you are comfortable. You can use pillows to support your hips or knees. You need to stay there for a minimum of twenty minutes.

2. The breath

Breathing is very important in meditation, especially at the beginning. The quicker and shallow your breath is, the faster your mind will be. Meditation aims to slow, quiet and silent the mind. So first concentrate on slowing down your breath and on having deep breaths. Do that for a few minutes, until you feel calmer. After let it go, let it be.

3. The techniques

There are different meditation techniques available. But there all can be grouped into two categories: visualization or mindfulness techniques. One uses the mind, the other tries to dissolve the mind. Both are equally good and beneficial. Some meditation schools prefer their students to focus on one single technique until they master it. I teach my students to practice both so they can master both. You can learn how to use your mind properly when needed and also how to stop the mind when it is not needed. You choose what you want to do. There is no right or wrong.

I will share different meditation techniques as we go. Right now you can sit down, breathe and enjoy the feeling of peace that meditation brings.

4. The discipline

This is the most important step of all. If you want to learn meditation, regularity is necessary. If you want to know what meditation can do for you, no need to read books about it, you will have to experience it. Regular practice is vital. Nothing may happen for a while, or you may find it too difficult, but if you commit to it you will one day feel the benefits. Start with 20 minutes daily, wake up earlier if you have to. Enjoy, this can change your life.

 

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