This is achieved through repeating a special mantra given to you by a qualified Transcendental Meditation teacher. The mantra is repeated internally in your mind, and you place your focus solely on your breath and the sounds of the mantra. When other thoughts arise, you let them be but do not engage with them.
If you are looking to renew your vitality, reset your focus, and recharge your body, daily meditation is the tried and true path that will lead you to the fulfillment of these goals. Here’s how.
For the vast majority of people, 2020 has been filled with unexpected challenges. Pandemic-induced health concerns, career turbulence, loss of routines, and future uncertainties have left many individuals with a generalized sense of unease.
Fortunately, stepping into a space of renewal does not require a retreat center stay nor an elaborately planned vacation. Meditation can provide the necessary escape that will allow you to hit your reset button.
Consciously resting in stillness while releasing resistance to the present moment is a powerfully accessible tool, which research has shown can reduce the effects of stress and equip you to better handle whatever experiences lie around the corner.
For some people, meditation may conjure images of Buddhist monks sitting in lotus posture for hours. However, modern practice looks much more like business executives pausing for five mindful minutes prior to meetings or parents coming into the present moment before responding to a child.
Whether you are meditating in a forest or an office, for hours or minutes, using mantra or mindfulness, the practice of meditation has been linked to potent physical and neurological benefits. The following is a small sampling of the myriad ways that meditation can renew your body and brain.
Decreases the Risk of Chronic Disease
The first notable effect of meditation is that the parasympathetic nervous system (PNS), which is sometimes called the “rest and digest” system, is activated. This system begins in the brain and sends messages to the body that tell it to lower the heart rate, decrease blood pressure, improve digestion, reduce stress hormones, bolster immunity, and relax muscles.
When the PNS is turned on, the body allocates its resources to removing damaged cells, neutralizing toxins, and destroying free radicals. Unfortunately, most people live with mild-to-moderate stress that turns off the PNS, compromises immune function, and contributes to chronic diseases.
By regularly entering a state of physical and mental relaxation via meditation, you can support your body’s natural health processes, and thereby mitigate the risk of disease.
Dr. Ilya Monosov, Ph.D., of the Departments of Neuroscience and Biomedical Engineering at Washington University in St. Louis, MO, discovered that anxiety is highly linked with uncertainty.
When you know something unpleasant is going to occur, you are actually better able to neurologically adapt than when you do not know for certain. Meditation can help to calm the anxiety that bubbles to the surface when presented with life’s uncontrollable factors.
Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid, or GABA, is a naturally occurring amino acid that is increased through meditation. GABA attaches to receptors in the brain to produce a calming effect that tones down the effects of stress and anxiety.
In addition to increasing GABA, meditation reduces anxiety by decreasing activity in the amygdala, the part of the brain responsible for activating fear, anxiety, and stress responses. In one Harvard study, researchers found that meditation decreased activity in the amygdala, thereby pacifying anxiety response patterns.
Daily Meditation Improves Sleep
Meditation prior to sleep naturally increases levels of melatonin, a hormone that regulates the sleep-wake cycle and contributes to refreshing rest. In addition to promoting sounder sleep, melatonin is credited with enhancing immune function and lowering blood pressure. Recent research even suggests that melatonin may protect against the neurodegeneration seen in Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases.
Maintains a Youthful Brain
A study from UCLA found that long-term meditators maintained more youthful brains than their non-meditating counterparts. A more youthful brain equates to quicker recall, increased focus, easier learning, more enthusiasm, greater adaptability, and better problem-solving skills. By slowing age-related gray matter loss, meditators were able to halt the aging process within their brains.
Calms Activity in the Default Mode Network (DMN)
In a study from Yale University, researchers found that meditation helped to quiet down the incessant mental chatter that is typically associated with decreased happiness.
By settling activity in the DMN, meditators were able to stop dwelling on past and future thoughts and be present more often. And even when their mind did wander, the new neural pathways created through meditation helped individuals to come back to the present moment more quickly.
Increases Life Span
Dehydroepiandrosterone, or DHEA, is a hormone that counteracts the damaging effects of the stress hormone cortisol, as well as provides building blocks for estrogen and testosterone production. A 12-year study found that DHEA levels were significantly correlated with mortality in men over the age of 50. The less DHEA measured in the test subject’s blood, the shorter their life span was.
Fortunately, DHEA is naturally increased through the practice of meditation. In simple terms, that means that meditation helps you live longer.
Leads to Feelings of Renewal in Two Months of Practice
You may be thinking that you would have to practice meditation for a long time in order to reap all of its benefits. But Harvard University researchers found that the structure of the brain can actually be changed with just eight weeks of meditation.
Harvard professor Sara Lazar discovered that the hippocampus, the part of the brain that controls memory, learning, and self-regulation, becomes significantly thicker with just two months of mindfulness practice. That means that in just eight weeks you can create changes in your body and brain that will enliven your physical, mental, and emotional well-being.
If you are looking to renew your vitality, reset your focus, and recharge your body, meditation is the tried and true path that will lead you to the fulfillment of those goals. You don’t have to go anywhere or spend any money.
In fact, you can begin by simply deepening your very next breath. Then when you finish reading this article, close your eyes, and continue those full, nourishing breaths for 10 breath cycles. Notice how just a few minutes of mindful breathing can initiate the renewal process. It really is as simple as that.
Let daily meditation guide you to a better body and brain. If you do daily meditation, you’ll feel your body will change. Daily meditation lightens the burden of everyday struggles. Let these steps on daily meditation be your every day guide to make yourself feel better.
Original article by Erin Easterly.
Meditate & Read these too:
Total Meditation: Your Positive Emotions in a New Light
Your positive emotions matter…
The wellness movement has been taking hold for more than a decade. By increments, certain aspects of people’s lives have improved, while in others it hasn’t. Smoking is down, for example, but millions of people are stressed. Insomnia, overweight, anxiety, and depression remain at a troubling high level.
The 3 Obstacles to Positive Emotions
With this spotty record of success in mind, let’s ask what has gone wrong. There are three major things that haven’t worked out well.
- Thinking in terms of risks.
Standard prevention is based on reducing your risk of illness, which sounds reasonable. But the motivation behind risk prevention is the fear of something going wrong, and fear is a bad motivator.
When they forget to be fearful or grow tired of seeing life thorough anxious eyes, people stop complying with what they know is good for them.
A piecemeal approach.
There are so many parts to a wellness program that you could spend the whole day attending simply to diet and exercise for yourself and your family while attending to the demands of work and everyday duties.
Millions of people race against the clock every day and are lucky if they can squeeze in time for yoga, meditation, relaxation, and finding a source of enjoyment that feels fulfilling.
Once wellness becomes complicated, it is hard to adopt the right priorities—there is too much to choose from. Between trying to do the right thing and backsliding, countless people turn to pharmaceutical drugs for sleeplessness, worry, and depression. Fast-food chains continue to thrive, as do packaged-and-processed convenience foods at the supermarket.
This picture of a lifestyle rife with confusion and fragmentation can be turned around, beginning with a new starting point. If you see yourself first as infinite consciousness expressing itself as a mind, body, and spirit, you are in a new position.
You can base wellness on the totality of your awareness. From this starting point, practical benefits derive not by struggling to lead the “perfect” lifestyle but by discovering for yourself that consciousness can take care of you.
Embracing Infinite Consciousness
Right now, you may believe your mind is taking care of you, but your mind isn’t the same as consciousness. The mind is filled with activity while consciousness is unmoving and unchanging.
The mind experiences good and bad ideas, emotions, memories, and desires. Consciousness simply is. The mind is personal, shaped to fit your story and no one else’s. Consciousness is universal. It allows you to be free of your story and all the problems it has created, which include many kinds of limitations.
To get down to particulars, a wellness strategy based on the totality of consciousness puts its highest priority on being conscious. I’ve devoted a forthcoming book, Total Meditation, to this issue. The main thesis is that if you are aligned with the infinite field of pure awareness, life will begin to display the most important values that have their origin in pure awareness, namely:
- Creativity Intelligence
- Inner peace
- Personal evolution
By putting these values first in your life, you will be coming closer to your source.
The secret of total well-being is to live as close to your source as possible. This represents a major change of direction in almost everyone’s life. Constantly immersed in mental activity, a typical life attempts two impossible things: First, to create wholeness out of bits and pieces. The state of fragmentation and separation cannot be cobbled together into wholeness.
Second, people attempt to find fulfillment by thinking and desiring. Thoughts and desires are constant companions. They come and go, having no stability that you can place your trust in.
You can, however, place your trust in consciousness. In everyone’s life, there are glimpses of consciousness through the values just mentioned, beginning with love, compassion, and beauty.
But a large quotient of your days may be spent in unconscious living. You are bound up in habits; conditioning; fixed beliefs; self-defeating attitudes; the practice of avoidance, delay, and denial; and the struggle to get ahead. Well-being consists of reversing the quotient so that your daily life is more conscious than unconscious.
How to Cultivate Total Meditation
To achieve this reversal, it helps to set time aside for meditation, but that alone isn’t enough. A hit-and-miss approach to meditation provides a small oasis of calm during the day, but that’s not your real goal.
Your real goal is to be present, aware, alert, and restful without stress. In that light, I am recommending something new: total meditation. Its basic principle is that the mind wants to be calm, centered, open, alert, present, and free of stress.
Therefore, your daily life should be focused on noticing whenever you are distracted, stressed, fatigued, worried, or in any way displaced from a sense of feeling centered and content. This new focus represents a big change, but there’s an axiom to keep in mind: You cannot change what you aren’t aware of.
Awareness brings you back to yourself with calm clarity. Being centered is possible at any moment. You simply sit by yourself quietly, close your eyes, and take a few deep breaths. Place your attention in the center of your chest and relax. Usually, this centering exercise works in a few minutes.
Repetition is critical. You need to center yourself as soon as you notice that you have lapsed into unconsciousness. Each time you center yourself, you are calling upon pure awareness to rebalance the whole mind-body system. In essence, you are reminding yourself, and all your cells, that you are first and foremost a conscious being.
In time, this will become your truth more and more. Total well-being is possible only through total awareness, yet every moment of waking up has its short-term benefit, too. That’s the beauty and promise of wellness as a total project that anyone can undertake here and now.
You can think of positive thoughts and make positive emotions rule your life. Having positive emotions will give you the wellness you deserve. Let your positive emotions shine and be the light. Others will see these positive emotions. Once you exude these, you’ll become an inspiration to all.
Original article by Deepak Chopra™, M.D.
Read these too:
How to Do Chakra Cleansing and Free Your Energy
When you feel your energy is low, learn these chakra cleansing techniques and get your energy on track.
If you’ve been feeling less vital and energetic or in an emotional funk, it’s possible that you have a chakra that is clogged or stuck. Contrary to popular belief, chakras are not the newest fad in the yoga world, but rather an ancient system for understanding your body’s energy.
The chakras are located in the central channel of the energetic spine, sometimes referred to as the sushumna. This major route of energy flow (nadi) starts at the base of the spine and runs up to the crown of the head.
What exactly are each of the chakra meanings, where are the chakras located and how would you know if you were stuck?
Signs of Blocked Energy at Each Chakra
1st Chakra: Being depleted of first chakra energy feels like a survival crisis. You can’t get grounded because you are stuck in your head. By contrast, if you have too much energy at the root, you can become greedy or excessive in behaviors. These are misguided attempts to get grounded.
2nd Chakra: When someone is stuck in their sacral chakra, they struggle with being ruled by their emotions or the opposite of this, which is feeling numb or out of touch. There’s also a correlation to sexual desire (or the lack thereof) at this level. Creativity and pleasure are both found at this energetic level.
3rd Chakra: This chakra is often considered the power center, and when out of balance, self-esteem may be low and decision-making can feel out of control. Temper flare-ups are also common when energy isn’t flowing well here.
4th Chakra: The heart chakra, when flowing with energy, feels filled with love, compassion, forgiveness, and acceptance. When there’s a blockage at this energy level, anger, jealousy, grief, or self-hatred can be more prominent.
5th Chakra: This chakra is the source of speaking your most authentic truth. When energy is blocked or low here, fear of not being accepted or of being judged becomes a problem. You might also feel out of touch with your opinions and desires and have challenge in making choices.
6th Chakra: The word Ajna means “beyond wisdom,” and when this chakra is open, you experience expanded imagination, clairvoyance, and intuition. When there is a blockage at this level, there can be a tendency to be over-involved in fantasy or imagination. Lack of focus or clouded judgment can also occur.
7th Chakra: The crown chakra connects you to the wider universal energy, so when this area has a block, isolation or emotional distress can occur. This may present as an inability to set or follow through on goals or an overall lack of direction and feelings of disconnection.
How to do Chakra Cleansing & Get Energy Flowing
When energy is stuck in a particular chakra, help get it flowing again through these tips:
1st Chakra (Root)
- Element: The root chakra is associated with earth, so walking barefoot in the sand, grass, or dirt can be beneficial. Any time spent in nature is helpful for this chakra.
- Nutrition: Eat healthy red foods like tomatoes, beets, berries, and apples.
- Wear and Decorate: Use accents of red and wear red jewelry, clothing, or shoes.
- Sound: lam
2nd Chakra (Sacral)
- Element: The sacral chakra is associated with water, which means swimming or spending time by bodies of water like lakes and oceans is beneficial.
- Nutrition: Eat orange foods like carrots, oranges, melons, or mangoes.
- Wear and Decorate: Surround yourself with orange accessories or tones.
- Sound: vam
3rd Chakra (Solar Plexus)
- Element: The solar plexus chakra is associated with the element of fire, so enjoy sitting around a bonfire or soak up bright sunlight.
- Nutrition: Eat yellow foods like bananas, ginger, turmeric, pineapple, and corn.
- Wear and Decorate: Wearing yellow clothing, jewelry, and accessories would be beneficial.
- Sound: ram
4th Chakra (Heart)
- Elements: The heart chakra is associated with air, so breathing deeply will help to clear the energy at this level. Drive with the windows open, fly a kite, or take a boat ride.
- Nutrition: Eat green foods including broccoli, avocado, and leafy greens like kale or spinach.
- Wear and Decorate: Accent your life with all shades of green.
- Sound: yum
5th Chakra (Throat)
- Element: The throat chakra is associated with ether (similar to spirit), so sitting in an open space under a clear sky is a fabulous way to get this energy flowing appropriately.
- Nutrition: Eat blue foods like blueberries, currants, dragon fruit, and kelp.
- Wear and Decorate: Use all blue tones.
- Sound: ham
6th Chakra (Third Eye)
- Element: The third eye chakra is associated with light. To balance and open this chakra, sit in stillness in the sunlight or relax in a window as the sun pours in.
- Nutrition: Eat indigo foods including purple kale, grapes, and blackberries.
- Wear and Decorate: Wearing indigo clothing or jewelry and decorating with accents of this color will be useful.
- Sound: sham
7th Chakra (Crown)
- Element: The crown chakra is affiliated with all the elements, so connecting with your wholeness rather than a single element is the recommended practice. Spend time in meditation, chanting, or prayer.
- Nutrition: At this level, the nutrition is no longer for the physical body. This chakra is not nourished with food, but with spiritual practices. Practice self-reflection and curiosity.
- Wear and Decorate: Wearing violet clothing or jewelry and decorating with accents of this color will be useful.
- Sound: om
The best way to free your energy is learn chakra cleansing. You need to do chakra cleansing in order to re-focus your senses. Once you do chakra cleansing, you think straight and it lightens up your mood.
Original article by Tamara Lechner.
Read these too:
5 Ways To A Meditative Mind You Need to Know About
Find ways to have a meditative mind right now…
Meditation has come a long way since it first became popular in the West during the 1960s. Some of the most popular and effective methods are now backed by scientific evidence, showcasing the benefits meditation has on the body and our mental health. While meditation has been around for ages, only recently has it become a part of popular Western culture.
Currently in the modern world, there are five meditation practices that have stood the test of time. The reason for this is that they provide the most successful results, some of which can be felt after only one session.
In this article, you’ll learn what these five methods are and how you can benefit from practicing them. Each of the techniques should be practiced for at least 20 minutes to have maximum impact.
Mindfulness was developed to help us place our attention fully in the present moment. It doesn’t have a focus on spirituality; its sole purpose is to teach the student awareness of presence.
What are the benefits of this? When we learn to become fully present, we can see our thoughts as separate from us, meaning we don’t have to engage with every one of them. Learning to watch negative thoughts come and go without harming us is one of the foundational principles of mindfulness.
Popularized by Jon Kabat-Zinn, mindfulness teaches us to avoid secondary suffering. Secondary suffering is where we enhance our own pain by thinking about something negative that’s happened to us and then replaying it like a mental movie over and over again.
Through developing mind awareness, we can learn to tune out secondary suffering and most negative thoughts, helping us to live in a happier, lighter and healthier state of being.
Transcendental Meditation was popularized by the Maharishi in the 1960s when he met The Beatles and taught it to them. The purpose of this method is to silence the mind and transcend to the source of all present-moment awareness.
After a while has passed, you will find your mind activity is very quiet and peaceful, and you will have transcended to the core of your being.
This is the purpose of this technique. A certified Transcendental Meditation teacher is the only person qualified to teach you this method, as he or she knows what mantra is right for you and how to show you the process in its latest form with complete precision.
Walking meditation is a fast-growing meditation method that provides a unique experience to most other techniques. Typically, it involves slow, mindful walking in nature, where the student can use her surroundings to anchor herself in the present moment.
This technique can be great for beginners to meditation as the grounding apparatus is very influential because your senses are far more active. You feel the wind and air passing across your face and the contact between your feet and the ground.
This method is typically practiced on nature walks; however, you can use it wherever you wish as long as you feel comfortable in your environment. Meditation teaches us that anything can be used as an anchor into the present moment; therefore, this particular technique could even be used in a busy city center!
Mantra Meditation To A Meditative Mind
Similar to Transcendental Meditation, mantra meditation uses a word or series of words repeated over and over again to quiet the mind. Mantras can be repeated aloud or internally depending on your environment and how comfortable you are with chanting out loud. There are hundreds of different mantras all with different meanings.
Mantra meditation is typically practiced while sitting in a meditative pose, using slow relaxing breaths. The same principle applies as for most meditation methods where you allow everything to be just as it is in the moment.
Thoughts and distractions will arise, but the trick is to know that that’s okay. Let everything be as it is, and simply focus on your mantra. You’ll find that if you concentrate on the process of mantra meditation, all distractions will melt away naturally over time.
Mala Bead Meditation
This meditation method involves using mala beads. Mala beads are usually made out of wood but can also come in the form of precious gemstones. An authentic mala bead necklace has 108 beads. The student is supposed to count each bead using a mantra.
The entire mantra is repeated on each single bead, meaning the mantra is stated in its entirety 108 times. Mala meditation should be done slowly with deep breaths. Once you reach the end of the beads on the necklace, you’ll find that your mind activity has decreased and you’re in a state of peacefulness and contentment.
Overall, these five methods have proven themselves to be the kings of the world of meditation. You can learn more details about each of them online via YouTube videos, blogs, and other sources.
After learning more about these techniques online, you may wish to take things further and deepen your meditational practices. The best way to do so is to seek out a teacher who’s experienced in your chosen method and learn directly from him or her.
Meditation helps in your well-being. Having a meditative mind can be achieved with these meditation practices. When you have a meditative mind, you’ll be able to have a fair decision in life. Be open to change and create a meditative mind at all times.
A meditative mind makes you calm. A meditative mind makes you stronger. You can see more with a meditative mind.
Original articleby Diamond, a keen meditator whose favorite methods are mindfulness and transcendental meditation. She enjoys developing awareness by helping others find the right kinds of meditation to suit their needs and personality types.
Read these too:
5 Steps to Setting Powerful Intentions Everyday
Create powerful intentions every day…
Intention is the starting point of every dream. It is the creative power that fulfills all of our needs, whether for money, relationships, spiritual awakening, or love.
Everything that happens in the universe begins with intention. When I decide to buy a birthday present, wiggle my toes, or call a friend, it all starts with intention.
The sages of India observed thousands of years ago that our destiny is ultimately shaped by our deepest intentions and desires. The classic Vedic text known as the Upanishads declares, “You are what your deepest desire is. As your desire is, so is your intention. As your intention is, so is your will. As your will is, so is your deed. As your deed is, so is your destiny.”
An intention is a directed impulse of consciousness that contains the seed form of that which you aim to create. Like real seeds, intentions can’t grow if you hold on to them. Only when you release your intentions into the fertile depths of your consciousness can they grow and flourish. In my book The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success, the Law of Intention and Desire lays out the five steps for harnessing the power of intention to create anything you desire.
1. Slip into the Gap
Most of the time our mind is caught up in thoughts, emotions, and memories. Beyond this noisy internal dialogue is a state of pure awareness that is sometimes referred to as “the gap.” One of the most effective tools we have for entering the gap is meditation. Meditation takes you beyond the ego-mind into the silence and stillness of pure consciousness. This is the ideal state in which to plant your seeds of intention.
2. Release Your Powerful Intentions and Desires
Once you’re established in a state of restful awareness, release your intentions and desires. The best time to plant your intentions is during the period after meditation, while your awareness remains centered in the quiet field of all possibilities. After you set an intention, let it go—simply stop thinking about it. Continue this process for a few minutes after your meditation period each day.
3. Remain Centered in a State of Restful Awareness
Intention is much more powerful when it comes from a place of contentment than if it arises from a sense of lack or need. Stay centered and refuse to be influenced by other people’s doubts or criticisms. Your higher self knows that everything is all right and will be all right, even without knowing the timing or the details of what will happen.
4. Detach from the Outcome
Relinquish your rigid attachment to a specific result and live in the wisdom of uncertainty. Attachment is based on fear and insecurity, while detachment is based on the unquestioning belief in the power of your true Self. Intend for everything to work out as it should, then let go and allow opportunities and openings to come your way.
5. Let the Universe Handle the Details
Your focused intentions set the infinite organizing power of the universe in motion. Trust that infinite organizing power to orchestrate the complete fulfillment of your desires. Don’t listen to the voice that says that you have to be in charge, that obsessive vigilance is the only way to get anything done.
The outcome that you try so hard to force may not be as good for you as the one that comes naturally. You have released your intentions into the fertile ground of pure potentiality, and they will bloom when the season is right.
Make powerful intentions and use it all day. Keep these powerful intentions in your heart and apply it to yourself. The steps here will make it easier for you to create those powerful intentions.
Original article by Deepak Chopra, M.D.
Find good reading here too:
5 Reasons To Consider A Daily Meditation Practice Right Now
Let us learn why daily meditation practice is important these days…
The fight to end systemic racism is by no means an easy feat. It requires emotional labor, constant education, and untangling implicit biases—all of which takes consistency. Which is why keeping our minds primed and sharp is essential to keeping our collective foot on the gas.
Meditation teacher and mbg class instructor Light Watkins certainly agrees, as he tells me on this episode of the mindbodygreen podcast just how crucial a regular meditation practice is for everybody right now (for more reasons than you think).
Here’s Watkins’ take on why you should consider slowing and clearing your mind:
1. It helps you move through grief.
In this time of deep social unrest, people are outraged, anguished, and grieving—and rightfully so. And according to Watkins, meditation can help your body navigate the stages of grief in a healthy way. It’s not going to get rid of those stages, no, but it may speed them up.
“Meditation puts you on a bit of a fast track as you’re moving through the stages of grief,” he notes. Think a couple of days for each stage versus a couple of months or years.
That’s because meditating creates a sort of release in your body (backed by research, too) that helps you let go of the stress response sooner rather than keeping it tucked inside. “So you can keep moving, progressing, and staying available to opportunities that are before you,” Watkins explains.
At a macro level, meditation helps you wind down your mind, allowing you to slow down and see the bigger picture—a top-down point of view, if you will. As we restructure our systematically racist society, a “bigger picture” outlook may be just what we need.
Meditating, according to Watkins, clears the mind and gives you internal space to see that bigger picture, leading to better decision-making. “That’s what everyone ultimately wants,” he tells me. “Is to see beyond your own bias.”
3. It reconfigures your way of interacting with the world.
“If you haven’t trained yourself to think differently, your mind and body will revert you back to old ways,” Watkins explains.
On the other hand, meditation can help you truly reconfigure your thinking; research even shows that meditation can enhance learning and memory, improve focus and attention, and enhance empathy and compassion. Needless to say, it’s a pretty powerful practice to quite literally alter the brain—and untangling subconscious biases may just require a few brain shifts.
4. Daily Meditation helps you access bliss.
“Bliss is a real thing,” Watkins notes. It might not be a constant state of joy, per se, but you can access that perpetual feeling of lightness the more you take the time to clear your mind.
And if Watkin’s book (titled Bliss More: How To Succeed in Meditation Without Really Trying) has anything to say about it, you don’t necessarily need hours upon hours of reflection: Just a few moments to yourself can make all the difference, “if you are being consistent and available to whatever is happening in the moment.”
5. It’ll equip you to handle whatever is going on in the world.
Here’s the thing: The world offers tons of obstacles (looking at you, 2020). But instead of panicking every time we take the hit, a consistent meditation practice can help you cope with whatever is going on in the world before you start to feel the panic start to creep up.
Rather than meditating to quell anxiety, make meditation a daily practice, says Watkins; that way, you’ll be better equipped to handle said anxiety whenever it crops up.
“Meditation should be a daily practice regardless of whatever is happening in the world because things are going to happen,” he says. “Give yourself the benefit of regular exposure to the very powerful restorative effect on your nervous system so your body can stay adaptable to ever-changing times.”
It’s not the only action item we need to end suffering and systemic racism for good, but the inner work certainly doesn’t hurt. Plus, a little self-care is imperative during this emotionally taxing time; being kind to your mind and body is essential for keeping up the necessary work.
Free your mind and meditate more. Daily meditation will help you think straight and focus on what matters. Find the reasons here about why daily meditation is important. Daily meditation will help you look at life fairly. Practice daily meditation now.
More articles here:
The 5 Stages of Spiritual Awakening We All Need To Learn
While a spiritual awakening is often considered a journey, it’s not necessarily a journey of physical travel or pilgrimage; it’s a process of going beyond your boundaries and taking the next evolutionary step.
In the course of a human life, few experiences can be as profound and transformative as those of a spiritual awakening. Identifying with and directly experiencing your divinity represents a paradigm shift of the highest order. A spiritual awakening has the potential to rip apart the fabric of reality as you’ve known it and pull you forward into a new life of conscious growth and evolution.
As the term implies, you “wake up” from the dream of everyday, mundane material-level, ego-based awareness to a higher reality of spirit. And as if emerging from a deep sleep, you can see the dream for what it is—an illusion to which there can be no going back.
A spiritual awakening represents the lifting of the veil of ignorance or avidya, which in Sanskrit means “incorrect understanding.” This ignorance shrouds your true nature and keeps you operating in the dark of lower levels of consciousness. This is a state of not knowing what you don’t know.
At the heart of this ignorance is tamas, one of the three gunas, or primary qualities of the universe. Tamas embodies darkness, dullness, inactivity, and entropy and binds you in the physical, mental, and emotional quicksand of inertia. Fortunately, though, the process of spiritual awakening runs directly counter to the currents of avidya in your life.
The evolution of consciousness generates a forward pull, a momentum toward growth, transformation, and change that is one of the most powerful forces in the universe. Like a spaceship achieving escape velocity, spiritual awakening punches you out of the limiting gravity well of ignorance and on toward the ultimate destination of cosmic self-realization.
But how does this happen? Well, if you accept that all human beings, and perhaps even all sentient beings, are hardwired for evolution, then it stands to reason that spiritual awakening is your birthright—something you are destined to achieve. And if this process is mapped into your consciousness and your body, then there must be clues or steps to indicate you are on the path to awakening.
The Vision of Your Spiritual Awakening Journey
One of the most useful metaphors for describing the stages of spiritual awakening is that of vision. In this model, five different qualities of sight represent unique steps on the spiritual journey:
- Glimpsing: The call to adventure
- Closer examination: Choosing a path
- Seeking: Following the path
- Loss of sight: Losing the path
- Seeing: Merging with the path
Let’s explore each of these stages in greater detail.
1. Glimpsing Spirit: The Call to Adventure
The celebrated mythologist Joseph Campbell defined what is known as the hero’s journey, an evolutionary path of growth and transformation woven into all great myths and stories: “When we quit thinking about ourselves and our own self-preservation, we undergo a truly heroic transformation of consciousness.”
At the start of any hero’s journey is the primary pushing off point known as the call to adventure. The call to adventure represents a break from everyday life, a signal that bubbles up from the subconscious, catches your attention, and leads you in a new direction. A call to adventure is the spark that triggers a spiritual awakening.
Every life has a moment, if seized, that will change that life forever. The call to adventure is an awakening incident, a new perception that compels you to look at life differently. This spiritual experience can take countless forms—a trip to a faraway land, the loss of innocence, an illness, a challenge, the death of a close friend, a near-death experience, or the loss of a job.
Regardless of the particulars, the experience shakes your worldview and you see the world with new eyes. You are called to live the ordinary life in a non-ordinary way.
At this pivotal point, Joseph Campbell teaches that you face a choice, to either accept or refuse the call to adventure. In reality though, refusing the call truly isn’t an option, because at the deeper level, your own soul is beckoning you to transform.
If you refuse the call, thanks to your unique karmic influences, the opportunity will only recycle itself like a skip on a record, patiently waiting for you to accept the call to a new life.
In addition, once a transformative and deeply awakening incident has been experienced, there can be no going back. Your eyes have been opened and you can’t un-see the vision of the higher reality calling to you, no matter how much you might want to deny it.
Once you have answered the call to adventure, you step into a larger world. You become a conscious participant in your spiritual growth and evolution. Responsibility becomes the operative word as you begin to navigate your life toward opportunities that further expand your awareness. A subtle shift in perception has taken place and everything feels the same and oddly different simultaneously.
2. Closer Examination: Choosing a Path
Faced with the realization that your limited worldview can no longer contain your expanding awareness, you come to recognize that your life is on a spiritual journey, an awakening of your consciousness.
While it can be an exciting time, this stage can also feel unsettling and unfamiliar. Everything you once accepted as fixed and stable (ideologies, worldviews, sense of self and others, relationships) can be called into question. You are in search of answers—a means by which you can repeat or return to the glimpse of spirit that initially shifted your perspective.
At this point, you may set out to find a new way—a new philosophy, a different tradition, or practice that will help to contextualize or re-map your worldview. This is when many begin spiritual exploration in earnest.
Often marked by a period of information gathering, self-study, and delving into world religions or psychology, you are drawn to practices and methods that align with your unique personalities and dispositions. According to Vedanta, there are four paths or yogas back to the unity you seek:
- Bhakti Yoga: The path of love and devotion
- Jnana Yoga: The path of science and the intellect
- Karma Yoga: The path of action and selfless service
- Raja Yoga: The path of meditation and all its related disciplines
Each path provides a distinctive vehicle for self-discovery and realization. Some may choose one, others may explore multiple paths simultaneously; there are no absolutes or set rules for discovering your path.
What matters is that it feels right for you and serves as an appropriate vehicle for growth. No one can or should tell you what path to follow; only your own intuitive heart can guide you to what method or vehicle will suit you best.
At this stage you would do well to remember the wisdom of the Hindu proverb that states:
There are hundreds of paths up the mountain, all leading to the same place, so it doesn’t matter which path you take. The only person wasting time is the one who runs around the mountain, telling everyone that his or her path is wrong.
3. Seeking: Following the Path
The next stage calls you to be a spiritual seeker. Having found your path, regular practice, study, and discipline serve to take you deeper toward the greater vision of expanded awareness. The Sanskrit term for the discipline of spiritual practice is sadhana.
Sadhana is the spiritual routine that takes your practice from an isolated exercise to a way of life. You are dedicated travelers on the path, familiar with its twists and turns, up and downs. As your practice deepens, you become increasingly more adept and more knowledgeable, not only of the tradition or practice you follow but also of yourself.
This stage is marked by the birth of self-referral, the process in which your identity begins to shift from external references (such as positions, possessions, and ego satisfactions) to the internal reference of stillness, intuition, and higher guidance. You know yourself as a spiritual being living a human life while fostering the progressive growth of your consciousness.
As you travel their path to expanded awareness, there are two markers, two clues that hint spiritual progress is underway.
- The first is an increasing sense of lightheartedness. With consistent spiritual practice, happiness and joy become your ground state. You take life less seriously. Hysteria and melodrama have less influence over you. Carefreeness and detachment flow from you spontaneously and you feel much more at ease in life.
2. The second marker of spiritual progress is the ease in which your desires are fulfilled. Regular spiritual practice removes mental, physical, and energetic blockages that obstruct the manifestation of your desires. As these obstacles fall away, life becomes easier; you step into the flow of life and experience synchronicities, little miracles, and experiences of grace that lead you closer to your life’s spiritual purpose.
4. Loss of Sight: Losing the Path
The spiritual path is not without struggle, however. By its very nature, the path of awakening confronts you with your shortcomings, self-deceptions, cognitive biases, and resistance to change. Growth can be an uncomfortable process at times.
As your chosen path challenges you to change thoughts, emotions, speech, or behavior to be more expansive, compassionate, forgiving, or kind, it is not uncommon to struggle with being in this world but not of it. Worse yet are the external influences that assault the spiritual seeker with temptations to give up the quest for awakening and return to a conventional life.
The most formidable challenges on the path come in the form of what Joseph Campbell called threshold guardians. Threshold guardians are the barriers (literal or symbolic) that stand in the way of important turning points in your life.
They can be enemies, rivals, life circumstances, limiting beliefs, or setbacks that block your progress forward toward a higher level. These antagonists can repeatedly knock you down, test your resolve, and make you question your chosen path. Such setbacks make you doubt yourself and your commitment and may even persuade you to give up the quest.
At this stage, you may feel lost or helpless, as if you have succumbed to spiritual blindness. However, what you often don’t realize is that this blindness or challenges are the subterfuge of your ego—your small self that fears its own extinction in the ever-expanding field of spirit.
Seen in this way, your spiritual challenges, or dark nights of the soul, become as spiritual teacher Ram Dass would say, “grist for the mill of enlightenment.” Every setback then becomes an expression of your inner doubts and fears—trials and hurdles on your personalized and self-made obstacle course.
Undoubtedly, this stage requires both fortitude and courage to stay on the path as you remember poet Robert Frost’s words: “The only way out is through.” Fortunately, it is from this darkness that you can emerge fully into the light, continue your spiritual development, and become awakened.
5. Seeing: Merging with the Path
At last, the seeker breaks through to a new stage; visionary, transcendent, and sight beyond sight. At this level you have gone beyond sadhana; you have become the practice. No longer striving to see, you exist in a state of unity in which seer, scenery, and that which is seen merge.
A permanent shift has taken place and you awaken fully to your true identity—the infinite, immortal, unbounded, God-force existing everywhere and in everything. You wake up fully to being the divine observer—the ever-present witness-self of the entire universe.
In this stage, you come back home to yourself, but surprisingly, the process isn’t one of accumulation or gaining more knowledge or experiences. Instead, it’s a process letting go, of continual decrease.
Like peeling the skins of an onion, the “you” gets smaller and smaller until only pure being-ness remains. It’s a journey of insight from here to HERE. This is the sign of spiritual awakening.
The path of spiritual awakening is the grandest adventure you can ever undertake. You are deeply privileged just to recognize the truth that such a journey stands before you. And embracing it is nothing less than following the heroic call of your life purpose and destiny.
Original article by Adam Brady.
More articles to read:
What Enlightened People Do
Rock Your Boat Pose with These 7 Fun Navasana Variation
Total Meditation: Your Positive Emotions in a New Light
How Daily Meditation Renews Your Body and Brain
7 Simple Ways To Find Micro-Moments To Take Care Of Yourself When You’re Low On Time
7 Simple Ways To Find Micro-Moments To Take Care Of Yourself When You’re Low On Time
Total Meditation: Your Positive Emotions in a New Light
How Daily Meditation Renews Your Body and Brain
Rock Your Boat Pose with These 7 Fun Navasana Variation
What Enlightened People Do
Check These Out as Well
Wellness3 years ago
201 Yoga Quotes to Inspire your Daily Rituals
Quotes3 years ago
301 Rumi Quotes – Why You Can’t Help But Enjoy Rumi Quotes
Enlightenment3 years ago
301 Meditation Quotes to inspire your practice
Inspiration3 years ago
This Too Shall Pass
Personal Growth3 years ago
The Greatest list of Bucket List Ideas Ever
Stress3 years ago
206 Stress Quotes to help you to find Relaxation
Inspiration3 years ago
Live From Gratitude
Uncategorized3 years ago
Do It Now Syndrome