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How To Start A Daily Meditation At Home

Polly Stevens



How To Start A Daily Meditation At Home

Teacher Norman Fischer proposes a two-week trial run to get your meditation practice started and looks at how to deal with some of the obstacles you may encounter.

Thousands of people over the years have asked me for advice about how to establish a daily meditation practice at home. Although there are thousands of Buddhist meditation centers around the country, most meditators do some or all of their practice at home on their own. In many cases, this is a practical matter.

Most people don’t live close enough to a Buddhist center to meditate there regularly. Or, for one reason or another, they don’t feel comfortable with any of the local centers available to them. Or they feel that for them meditation is a private and personal matter, not a communal religious practice. Anyway, most meditators, for a variety of reasons, meditate at home. I do myself.

It wasn’t that way when I began Zen practice. The conventional wisdom then was that you could never practice on your own. You needed to practice with others—that was the way it was done. You needed instructions from a teacher. You needed support—maintaining the disciple to sit on your own would be too difficult. Besides, meditating alone could be dangerous.

Conventional wisdom has changed. These days many people find that it is entirely possible to meditate on their own. Not that lack of discipline is unknown—keeping up with regular practice remains a struggle for some. But many go beyond struggle to find enjoyment and ease in their daily practice.


How To Start A Daily Meditation At Home


When people ask me how to get a home meditation practice started, here is what I tell them: the practice begins the night before. Before you go to sleep, set the alarm for half an hour earlier than usual, and say to yourself: “Tomorrow morning I am going to get up to sit. I want to do this, and it is going to be pleasant and helpful.” Hold that thought in your mind. Then, as you are falling asleep, say this: “Am I actually going to wake up early and meditate?”

And answer yourself: “Yes, I am.” And then question yourself again: “Really?” Take this seriously. Think a little more and answer yourself honestly. If the answer is, “Yes, really,” then you will get up. You are serious about it. But if the answer is, “No, I have to admit that I am probably going to reset the alarm and turn over to get that delicious extra half hour of sleep,” then save yourself the trouble. Reset the alarm now and don’t even try to get up.

This little exercise may sound silly but it is very important. It addresses the main difficulty we have with self discipline: we are ambivalent. We both do and don’t want to do what we think we want to do in our own best interests. We find it difficult to take our good intentions seriously, especially when it comes to our spiritual lives.

We have confusion at our core about whether we are capable of confronting ourselves at the deepest possible human level—maybe if we do we will find ourselves to be unworthy, trivial people. Since we imagine that meditation promises a self-confrontation at this level, we are deeply ambivalent.

Benefits Of Daily Meditation

Most of this convoluted thinking is not conscious. This is why the before-bed self-dialog is important. It provides a simple way of confronting the issue. “Really?” It’s a way to surface what we really feel and, gently and honestly, deal with it. Otherwise our long habit of sneaky self-deception will likely prevail. We will not do what we’re not really clear we want to do, which will give us further evidence that we can’t do it.

Assuming you do get out of bed in the morning, splash cold water on your face, rinse out your mouth, put on some comfortable clothes (or stay in your sleeping clothes if you want), and immediately sit on your cushion. Do this before you have coffee, before you turn on the computer, before you activate your day and realize you don’t have time for this.

Burn a stick of incense to time yourself, or use a clock or one of the many excellent meditation timers now on the market (which will prevent clock-watching). Decide in advance to sit for twenty to thirty minutes. A bit more is good if you can do it.

Try this for two weeks, taking a day or so off each week. If you miss a day, that’s OK. Don’t fall into the unconscious trap that “Since I missed a day I guess I can’t do this, so I might as well not even try, or try less hard tomorrow because this missed day has weakened me.” This is the way we think! So anticipate this and don’t fall for it.

Be gentle with yourself, but firm. Imagine that you are training a child, or a puppy—a cute little creature who means well but definitely needs adult guidance.

Here is more information on daily meditation…

Decide in advance that you will meditate for two weeks. It is much easier to commit to meditating almost every day for two weeks than committing yourself to meditate every day for the rest of your life. After two weeks, stop and ask yourself, “How was that? Was it pleasant or unpleasant? What impact did it have on my morning, on the rest of my day, on my week?”

Usually positive results are apparent, and, seeing that the practice has been beneficial, you develop a stronger intention to return to it. So then, after a hiatus, commit again to practice, maybe now for a month, with the same break built in for evaluation. In this way, little by little. you can become a regular meditator. Taking breaks from time to time doesn’t change that.

Many people ask, “Is it necessary to do this in the morning? Is there some magic to the morning? I am not a morning person.” Yes, I think there is magic to the morning. Monastic schedules the world over include early morning practice. Practice seems most beneficial at that time of day, when your psyche is in a liminal state and the world around you has not quite awakened.

Also, you are more likely to do it in the morning, before your day gets engaged and you remember all the things you need to do. In the middle of the day it is harder to rein yourself in, and at the end of the day you may be too tired or wound up. You may feel more like a glass of wine than meditation practice, which will likely feel pretty uncomfortable as your body notices all the aches and strains and kinks of the day.

Actually, practice at the end of the day is very good for just this reason—while often uncomfortable, it does help you process all your stress and feel calmer afterward. But if you are trying to establish a fledgling practice, thinking you will sit restfully at the end of the day is probably not going to work as well as catching yourself at your weakest (which is to say your strongest): in the morning, when you are both more and less yourself, before you have fully assumed the armored, heroic personality with which you feel you must approach the world of work and family.


How To Start A Daily Meditation At Home


(I must note here the obvious fact that all of this might not be true for you: we differ enormously as individuals, and in these intimate matters one size does not fit all. I am describing what I have found to be true for myself, and for many other meditators).

Approaches Of Daily Meditation

There are many approaches to meditation. In my tradition, the Soto Zen tradition, meditation is not considered a skill that we are supposed to master. It is a practice that we devote ourselves to. So if you are meditating in the morning feeling half asleep, with dream-snatches passing by, and your mind not crispy focused precisely on the breath, the way you think it is supposed to be… this is perfectly all right.

Get more tips on daily meditation here…

It is considered normal and possibly even beneficial. The biggest obstacle to establishing a meditation practice is the erroneous idea (firmly held by most people who want to establish a meditation practice) that meditation should calm and focus the mind. Therefore, if your mind is not calm and focused, you are certainly doing it wrong.

Struggling with something that you are consistently doing wrong, and in your frustration can’t seem to get right, does not inspire you to continue (unless you are a masochist, and there are more than a few meditating masochists).

Better to assume the Soto Zen attitude that meditation is what you do when you meditate. There is no doing it wrong or right. That is not to say that there is no effort, no calm, no focus. Of course there is. The point is to avoid falling into the trap of defining meditation too narrowly, and then judging yourself based on that definition, and so sabotaging yourself. You evaluate your practice on a much wider and more generous calculus.

Want to get more on daily meditation? Here’s an additional reading for you: 5 Ways to Practice Mindfulness When You’re Busy

Not: Is my mind concentrated while I am sitting? But: How is my attention during the day? Not: Am I peaceful and still as I sit? But: Is my habit of flying off the handle reducing somewhat? In other words, the test of meditation isn’t meditation. It’s your life.

Dealing with the various practical obstacles to regular meditation is easy compared with the deeper self-deception issues I have been talking about. Once you get a handle on these, the practical problems are easy. Kids get up early? Then get up half an hour earlier than they do.

Read more to find out ways about your daily meditation…


How To Start A Daily Meditation At Home


But that’s not enough sleep? Well, that half hour of sitting will be much more important for your rest and well-being than the lost half hour of sleep. Or you can just go to bed half an hour earlier.

No place to meditate? There is always somewhere—all you need is the space for a cushion on the floor. But better to have a clean and well-cared-for spot, even if only in a corner of an otherwise busy messy room. Keeping that corner neat and clear is a preliminary to the meditation practice itself.

Your spouse doesn’t want to meditate and resents that you sneaking out of bed to sit? Patiently explain to your spouse that the main reason you are meditating is to become a more loving and helpful person. You are sneaking out of bed not to assert your independence but for the opposite reason: to be more loving.

Have that conversation (lovingly) with your spouse. Ask them to help you do this two-week experiment and evaluate the results: have you been more loving, have you helped around the house, with the kids, etc., more than usual, with more willingness, more cheerfulness? (Of course, having had this conversation, you now have to do these things.)

In short, if you want to meditate there is virtually no excuse not to. But human confusion is very clever, so it is still possible to talk yourself out of it. If so, be my guest. Sometimes that’s the way to finally begin serious meditation practice: by not doing it for ten or twenty years, until finally there is no choice.

As the world speeds up and history’s trajectory becomes more drastic, more people are feeling the need to do something to promote well-being and foster a sustainable attitude. It is difficult to remain cheerful if you are under stress, difficult to believe in goodness and happiness if the world you live in doesn’t offer much support for them.

Gentle and realistic, meditation practice can provide the powerful attitudinal boost we need. It doesn’t require pre-existing faith or excessive effort; simply sitting in silence, returning to the present moment of body and breath, will naturally bring you closer to gratitude, closer to kindness. And as you commit yourself to these virtues you will begin to notice, to your surprise, that many people in your life are also doing this, so there is plenty of companionship along the way.

Finding your worth can be done through daily meditation. it takes a lot of courage to be in the moment of meditating. A daily meditation will help us live in the present times. It calms the soul. Daily meditation makes life worthwhile. you need not pay a lot to do daily meditation since you can do it at home. the tips stated here are helpful.



9 Inspiring Morning Routines For a More Productive and Enjoyable Day Ready, set . . . go be awesome.

Wise Life Lesson



Morning Routines

The days are getting longer here in the Northern Hemisphere. Spring is still a long way off, but with more sunlight in the early hours, right now is a great opportunity to revamp your morning routine. What routine, you ask? If you don’t have one, you’re missing out. As tempting as the snooze button is, the alternative—getting up and getting going—has much longer-lasting benefits. Here’s where to start.

01. Set Boundaries

Arguably an essential element of creating and maintaining a morning routine is claiming it as your own. University of Houston research professor and author of The Gifts of ImperfectionDaring GreatlyRising Strong, and Braving the Wilderness, Brené Brown, urges the importance of “the willingness to let go of exhaustion as a status symbol and productivity as self-worth.” She believes it’s “healthy” and “smart” to set boundaries between professional and personal time and to stick to them. To have a successful routine, the first person you need to hold accountable is yourself.

02. Breathe

Verily contributor Haruka Sakaguchi starts each new day simply by opening her bedroom window. “Fresh air cleans our lungs and soaks our brains in oxygen, allowing it to function at a significantly higher capacity,” she writes. That clarity means you’re more prepared for whatever the day might hold.

It sounds as effortless as breathing, but how many of us really drink enough water throughout the day? Keeping a bottle or glass of water by your bed to drink first thing starts you off on the right track. Take in some H2O before your coffee or tea and you probably won’t be looking for caffeine with such desperation later in the day. We wake up dehydrated after a full night’s sleep, and it’s critical for our mental and physical wellbeing that we remedy that before it gets worse.

04. Postpone Screen Time

When we say we’re just doing a quick news or social media check, time often slips away as we scroll. Arianna Huffington, author of The Sleep Revolution: Transforming Your Life, One Night at a Time, doesn’t believe in having electronic devices in the bedroom at all, whether for work, pleasure, or even the alarm clock function. The same blue light and temptation to engage in endless browsing that she argues makes it difficult to fall asleep can also make it challenging to start your day on a positive, intentional note. Pick a time and skip the screens until then. You may be surprised by how much else you accomplish.

05. Glow with Your Greens

A girl’s got to eat, and while most of us won’t opt for a salad when the sun’s still rising, that doesn’t mean you can’t get your greens in. Reese Witherspoon chooses Kimberly Snyder’s Glowing Green Smoothie, which combines spinach, romaine, celery, apple, pear, banana, and more in a preparation that allows your body to get the greatest nutritional benefit possible. If cleaning the blender every morning is a roadblock, mix up a big batch on the weekend and freeze portions for convenience.

Laura Vanderkam, Verily columnist and author of What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast, believes that the morning hours are the best time to work out, since you’re likely to be in the most control of your schedule. Not much can interfere with a plan made for seven AM, whereas afternoon meetings can run long and evenings can be prime slots to catch up with friends. Prioritize a workout before other obligations have the opportunity to compete.

07. Think of Your Skin

Both Nicole Kidman and Emma Stone are ardent sunscreen users, and it shows in their smooth complexions. Kidman reports that she “smothers” Neutrogena’s lotion on each morning. What started as an attempt not to develop freckles as a kid turned into a serious effort to avoid the skin cancer that both her parents had. Dermatologists agree that the stuff is important every day. A sun protection factor (SPF) of 30 is typically adequate for daily use, even when you’re not planning to spend a significant amount of time outdoors.

08. Do Something Creative

Reading a short story, painting a few strokes, listening to music? As with working out, morning is the ideal time to devote to something artsy. Allowing something that satisfies your creative side a chance to stretch has been shown to reduce psychological stress. Engaging with creativity—both by creating and by taking art in—adds another dimension to your morning that can help you maintain a peaceful, balanced perspective throughout the day.

09. Go to Sleep on Time

Committing to a consistent sleep schedule (even on the weekends) is crucial to continually productive early bird hours. Messing with your circadian rhythms by going to bed and waking up later on the weekends means you’re not likely to wake up Monday morning feeling refreshed. When you do hit the hay later than usual, make up for lost sleep an hour or two per night, rather than all at once.

We all know that rushed, chaotic mornings don’t set the tone for a healthy and happy day. Taking the time now to consider what you’d like to achieve and creating a plan to make those things happen could be the best thing you do for yourself this year.

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6 Steps To Meditate For Better Brain Health

Wise Life Lesson



6 Steps To Meditate For Better Brain Health

6 Steps To Meditate For Better Brain Health

What exactly is the right way to meditate? Well, in truth, there’s no right or wrong way to meditate. While it can be intimidating to do meditation the “right” way, it’s actually a personal practice, meaning that you learn as you go.

In addition, most people will think that it’s hard to meditate, due to their thoughts interfering with their concentration. However, thinking is part of the process, meaning that a perfectionist mindset simply won’t suffice.

Like running, the body is about training and practice, regardless if your mind is calm or hyperactive. And, like going to the gym, meditation is a routine that you’ll get used to after a while. Just keep in mind, like regular exercise, don’t push yourself too hard – take baby steps.

In this article, we’ll introduce you to the 6 simple steps on how you can meditate to the best of your ability, and how you can keep practicing it to where you’ll have better brain health.

  1. Find A Quiet Place

“First, it’s important to find a quiet and comfortable environment to meditate in,” says Michael Lackey, a lifestyle blogger at Australian Help and Essay Roo. “Once you’ve found a good place to meditate, then be sure to eliminate any disruptions. That means putting away any electronics that may distract you. And, you should dim the lights, if you can.”

Plus, make sure that when you sit on the floor or on chair, your feet are on the ground and that your back is straight. Or, if you want to lie down, then you can.

  1. Eyes Closed

Closing your eyes allows you to get into the mood, and to prep yourself for relaxing. Once you close your eyes, relax your body by staying still and make yourself loose and less tense.

  1. Breathe

Once you relax, start focusing on breath. As you focus on breathing, feel the sensation of doing so. Take notice on your inhales and exhales. Inhale and exhale deeply, and feel the sensation of the air going in and out of you – inhale through the nose, and then exhale through the mouth.

Once you have a good rhythm from breathing, pay attention to your chest. Notice how your chest expands and contracts as you breathe.

  1. Don’t Silence Your Thoughts

When you start meditating, it’s normal for your brain to stir. In other words, you may hear a lot of “chatter” going on in your head. But the truth is, racing thoughts are part of the process, because you’re not used to having a calm mind in the real world. And now that you’re meditating, it’s time to get everything back in order.

But with that said, don’t try to stop thinking, or else you’ll waste time quieting your mind when you should be calming yourself while meditating. Therefore, let your thoughts flow through your mind. Just acknowledge your thoughts being there, but don’t try to engage with them.

The important part is to focus on breath. Whenever you find yourself drifting away in your thoughts, just return and find your breath.

  1. Stay Calm And Focus

“There are two simple ways to stay calm and focused, as you meditate,” says James Margolin, a content writer at State of Writing and Paper Fellows. “You can either continue to focus on your breath, or you can use a mantra or a prayer that you’re familiar with. Focus on either or, and be sure to be calm as you do so.”

  1. Be Consistent

While the recommended time to meditate is normally a minimum of 15 minutes, according to most meditation experts and gurus, in actuality, you can spend as much as you want meditating. However, if you do so in less than 15 minutes, then that’s okay too.

Plus, it’s normal to struggle with this routine at first; but as you set some time to meditate each week (and each day, if desired), you’ll soon make it a habit to do this. The goal here is to be consistent in your meditating, and then you’ll feel the results (i.e. a clear and relaxed mind).


Since meditation is all about self-discovery, it’s okay for your mind to wander. But eventually, you’ll be able to keep your thoughts in order, as you focus on being calm and on breathing. Remember: focus on the experience, not your brain.

Kristin Herman is a writer and editor at UK Writings and Academized. She writes articles for online publications, such as Boom Essays. As a tech enthusiast, she blogs about the latest trends in technology and meditative practices. And, as a project manager, she has overseen many writing projects nationwide.

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5 Natural Ways To Relax & Get Centered




Natural Ways to Relax

5 Natural ways to relax and get centered.Yes, there are plenty of ways you can de-stress, unwind, enjoy time with your self and get centered. Getting centered, it sounds a little offbeat to those of you who don’t meditate or practice other self-awareness rituals. Maybe the word mindfulness is better. Either way, hear me out.

We all have a busy and hectic life, throw in kids and it gets even crazier.  So how do you destress? I know you have a girls night or even guys night out to unwind and blow off steam.  Aren’t their ways to do this without the potential use of alcohol and a hangover? The next morning is never any fun.

No need to be wary this doesn’t require guru knowledge on meditation, yoga just open-mindedness.   Being centered merely means being at peace with who you are, in every moment. Stillness and quiet are what that means for me. To thine own self be true.

These five things will help you to de-stress and allow you to exhale.  The key is to be in the moment and let your feelings, energy and mind flow in all of these exercises.

5 Natural Ways to Relax and De-Stress


journaling-natural ways to relax and get centered

First, let’s discuss journaling. Yes, we are going back to the “dear diary” days but a more grown-up version.  Pick out a journal or notebook, whatever you like. You may ask “what do I write once I open the notebook (love that movie BTW, the book was even better)?”

To start, looking at a blank page can be intimidating if you’ve never journaled before.  The first thing I like to do is start by writing the date at the top of the page. On days you have a lot of feelings to get out just start writing. You’re not getting graded on these entries so don’t worry about how to properly get started and use correct punctuation and grammar.  Just let yourself flow.

Start with “I feel…” and go from there. The entries can be short or long. I’ve written pages upon pages before and then only a single page other times. Really allow yourself to be in the moment and let your emotions flow. Something happens during this process that is therapeutic.  You’re able to self reflect and analyze a situation better, step back and see things differently. Read how to do automatic writing or journaling here.

You can do this at the end of my day, or when the mood strikes you.  I believe getting emotions out and not holding them in helps to heal your spirit. At the very least, it helps you to be calm and learn about yourself.

So pick up a pen and notebook and start de-stressing.  Journaling is for your personal use only. No one ever has to read it or see it, unless you want them to.  Over the years I’ve used many different kinds of journals. I’m currently using this moleskin journal. I love the feel of the paper and smooth writing.

Walking in Nature

5 natural ways to relax
nurture, relax, serenity

Nature is an all-encompassing cure for feeding the soul.  A simple walk in nature can alleviate stress, calm you down through exercise, and feed your soul.  Listening to birds chirping, wind rustling through the leaves of tall pine trees, water gently waving in the lake as the reflection of the sun bounces off the water.

That my friend is relaxing and total de-stresses the best of us.  Nature almost forces you to be still and quiet. Listen to the sounds around you and lookup. Oh my gosh, the joy of just looking up! We don’t take the time to just look up and observe.

Look at the trees swaying in the wind, geese flying over information, clouds moving pass. Do this and take a breathe and exhale. The simple things we don’t pay attention to because we look down, at our devices. Busy rushing through from one stop to the next.

Take that walk in the park, listen to the sounds, and breathe.  Breathe and walk with intention. It’s more of a stroll rather than a timed fast walk. Try not to have your headphones in the entire time. It’s tempting, and some days I do it myself.  Or I listen to audible but nonetheless I’m still observing nature and taking it in. If you live in a busy loud city then turn on calming music.

Taking the time to do this a couple of times of a week or more, if you can, helps bring you back to being centered. Quiet on the inside to where you can hear your true self. Not the restless chatter that you hear all day.  Give yourself a break and take a walk.


There are so many different types of meditation from mindfulness, transcendental, guided, sound and the list goes on and on.  I’ve tried a lot of these, read about it here, to see if there was one that worked best for me or that I connected to most.

As I mention throughout my blog, no two people are the same therefore no two people will meditate or do anything for that matter the same.  We will all have different experiences with meditation. Trying different types will help you not only learn what you like but also allow you to practice meditation itself.

I have found that mindfulness of breath meditation is best for me. It is bringing awareness to your breath.  I prefer to be in a quiet room where I will not be interrupted, hard to find these days with 2 little shadows.  Don’t be surprised if you catch me in the closet trying to get some meditation time in, just sayin’ do whatcha gotta do.

You can use an eye mask, to make it dark, I find this helps me to relax and focus.  You’ll have to try again and again before you learn to really quiet the mind.

This is a learning process so please keep on the path and don’t give up.  Start with a few minutes at a time and build up from there. You’ll notice over time you can meditate a little longer each time, and it becomes easier to get into that state.

Read More – How Meditation Affects Brain Aging in a Positive Way


Natural Way to Relax
Don’t be intimidated by the postures, everyone learns at their own pace and becomes more advanced in time.

Everyone should practice yoga, at least once.  You have to try it to know if you like it. My yoga journey started around 16 years ago or more.  I will admit that I haven’t done it continuously during those 16 years. There were some years that I didn’t practice at all.  Other times I would attend a yoga class 4-5 times a week. Currently, I practice yoga in my bedroom with my favorite yoga youtube channels.

Just like meditation, there are many types of yoga styles.  As a result, I’ve tried many of them and learned which ones I like best.  You do the same.

Yoga has many physical benefits such as increased flexibility, muscle strengthening, lower blood pressure, reduce stress and the list goes on. As far as de-stressing, well this helps with that too.

You don’t even have to leave your own home to try, especially if classes aren’t your thing.  With that yoga classes have a different environment than other “gym” type classes. Everyone is focused on themselves and their own practice. There isn’t that feeling of everyone is watching me.

The flow of the poses is very soothing once you learn the salutations or sequences. That word mindfulness comes in again. It’s hard to not be during yoga.  You become very focused on your pose and breathe that this, in turn, becomes its own meditation.  It never ceases to amaze me how quiet the mind gets when you are practicing yoga. It’s almost effortless.

Looking to Improve – Rock Your Boat Pose with These 7 Fun Navasana Variation

 5 – HTP

5–Hydroxytryptophan (5–HTP) is an amino acid that your body already produces. It’s derived from an African plant known as Griffonia simplicifolia.  It helps to increase the serotonin levels in your body thus boosting your mood. Allowing you to be more mindful and less stressed and preoccupied.

It’s a natural supplement that offers numerous benefits including a calming effect.  To learn more about 5-HTP as a natural stress reliever read the article that goes into more depth.

There you have it 5 natural ways to relax and take a moment for your self. Self-care is a buzz word that we’re hearing everywhere right now. Don’t think its not for you or you don’t have time. Making time will only improve your daily life and mental health.

Being mindful during any of these activities will bring you to a more relaxed state and bring you into alignment. Find what works best for you and continue to develop your own self-care routine.

This article is republished by under Creative Commons license. Read the original.

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Total Meditation: Your Positive Emotions in a New Light

Tara Christie



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


Total Meditation: Your Positive Emotions in a New Light


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.

  • Confused priorities.

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:

  • Love
  • Compassion
  • Beauty
  • 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.


Total Meditation: Your Positive Emotions in a New Light


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.

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How Daily Meditation Renews Your Body and Brain

Tara Christie



How Daily Meditation Renews Your Body and Brain

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.


How Daily Meditation Renews 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.

Reduces Anxiety

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

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.


How Daily Meditation Renews Your Body and Brain


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.

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How to Do Chakra Cleansing and Free Your Energy

Tara Christie



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?


How to Do Chakra Cleansing and Free Your Energy


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


How to Do Chakra Cleansing and Free Your Energy


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.


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