Category Archives: Meditation

Integrative Health: Learn The Mind-Body Benefits Of Yoga

By Dr. Joseph Mercola, mercola.com

According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness,1 16 million adults in the U.S. had at least one major depressive episode in the past year, and it is one of the most common mental disorders in the U.S.2

The diagnosis of major depressive disorder is more than feeling sad. Diagnosis requires a medical evaluation, and symptoms include both physical and cognitive functional changes.3 However this number pales to the number of people who suffer any form of depression.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) nearly 24 million people experience some form of depression, costing over $210 billion in 2010.4 The financial burden included the cost of lost work, direct and indirect medical costs and suicide-related costs. Continue reading Integrative Health: Learn The Mind-Body Benefits Of Yoga

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“Hygge”- 4 Simple Ways To Incorporate A State of Mind Practice Used For Centuries In Denmark Into Your Life

By Alexa Erickson, Collective Evolution

The concept of “hygge” (which is pronounced hoo-gah) is a restorative state of mind practiced for centuries in Denmark (by way of Norway). Usually translated into English as “coziness,” it’s about finding warmth and intimacy in everything you do.

Though very old, hygge is just now gaining traction outside of its origins. Perhaps because Denmark has topped the latest UN World Happiness Report as the second happiest country on earth, people are intrigued by the lifestyles its inhabitants enjoy.

With hygge meant to promote a feeling of contentment, its no wonder people around the world are interested in the concept as way to create more happiness, friendliness, and wellbeing in everyday life. Continue reading “Hygge”- 4 Simple Ways To Incorporate A State of Mind Practice Used For Centuries In Denmark Into Your Life

Relaxation Liberates Awareness

By Steve Beckow, Golden Age of Gaia

I imagine that some people may find it difficult to discuss relaxing.

They may be in pain. They may be in want. It’s hard to think of a subject like this at a time like that.

I was in pain for several months either from the operation or from arthritis in the knee. And it was hard to think of anything except the cessation of pain. Continue reading Relaxation Liberates Awareness

5 Scientifically Backed Reasons to Chant ‘Om’

By Christina Sarich, The Mind Unleashed

Let’s get this straight right up front. ‘Om’ chanting is not religious. It may be practiced by Hindus, and even co-opted in yoga classes all over the U.S. and Europe, but every single religion in the world has its own version of Om chanting, which I’ll detail more completely in a moment.

The chanting of ‘Om,’ or more specifically, Au, Oh, and Mmm is a scientifically-backed system of becoming more in touch with the infinite creative energy of the Universe. This isn’t a metaphoric energy, but a real, grab-a-hold-of-it-and-look-it-in-the-eyes energy which is absolutely alive and pulsating through everything. Continue reading 5 Scientifically Backed Reasons to Chant ‘Om’

Meditation For Beginners: 20 Practical Tips For Quieting The Mind

By Todd Goldfarb, Body Mind Soul Spirit

Meditation is the art of focusing 100% of your attention in one area. The practice comes with a myriad of well-publicized health benefits including increased concentration, decreased anxiety, and a general feeling of happiness.

Although a great number of people try meditation at some point in their lives, a small percentage actually stick with it for the long-term. This is unfortunate, and a possible reason is that many beginners do not begin with a mindset needed to make the practice sustainable.

The purpose of this article is to provide 20 practical recommendations to help beginners get past the initial hurdles and integrate meditation over the long term:

1) Make it a formal practice. You will only get to the next level in meditation by setting aside specific time (preferably two times a day) to be still.

2) Start with the breath. Breathing deep slows the heart rate, relaxes the muscles, focuses the mind and is an ideal way to begin practice.

3) Stretch first. Stretching loosens the muscles and tendons allowing you to sit (or lie) more comfortably. Additionally, stretching starts the process of “going inward” and brings added attention to the body.

4) Meditate with Purpose. Beginners must understand that meditation is an ACTIVE process. The art of focusing your attention to a single point is hard work, and you have to be purposefully engaged!

5) Notice frustration creep up on you. This is very common for beginners as we think “hey, what am I doing here” or “why can’t I just quiet my damn mind already”. When this happens, really focus in on your breath and let the frustrated feelings go.

6) Experiment. Although many of us think of effective meditation as a Yogi sitting cross-legged beneath a Bonzi tree, beginners should be more experimental and try different types of meditation. Try sitting, lying, eyes open, eyes closed, etc.

7) Feel your body parts. A great practice for beginning meditators is to take notice of the body when a meditative state starts to take hold. Once the mind quiets, put all your attention to the feet and then slowly move your way up the body (include your internal organs). This is very healthy and an indicator that you are on the right path.

8) Pick a specific room in your home to meditate. Make sure it is not the same room where you do work, exercise, or sleep. Place candles and other spiritual paraphernalia in the room to help you feel at ease.

9) Read a book (or two) on meditation. Preferably an instructional guide AND one that describes the benefits of deep meditative states. This will get you motivated. John Kabat-Zinn’s Wherever You Go, There You Are is terrific for beginners.

10) Commit for the long haul. Meditation is a life-long practice, and you will benefit most by NOT examining the results of your daily practice. Just do the best you can every day, and then let it go!

11) Listen to instructional tapes and CDs.

12) Generate moments of awareness during the day. Finding your breath and “being present” while not in formal practice is a wonderful way to evolve your meditation habits.

13) Make sure you will not be disturbed. One of the biggest mistakes beginners make is not insuring peaceful practice conditions. If you have it in the back of your mind that the phone might ring, your kids might wake, or your coffee pot might whistle than you will not be able to attain a state of deep relaxation.

14) Notice small adjustments. For beginning meditators, the slightest physical movements can transform a meditative practice from one of frustration to one of renewal. These adjustments may be barely noticeable to an observer, but they can mean everything for your practice.

15) Use a candle. Meditating with eyes closed can be challenging for a beginner. Lighting a candle and using it as your point of focus allows you to strengthen your attention with a visual cue. This can be very powerful.

16) Do NOT Stress. This may be the most important tip for beginners, and the hardest to implement. No matter what happens during your meditation practice, do not stress about it. This includes being nervous before meditating and angry afterwards. Meditation is what it is, and just do the best you can at the time.

17) Do it together. Meditating with a partner or loved one can have many wonderful benefits, and can improve your practice. However, it is necessary to make sure that you set agreed-upon ground rules before you begin!

18) Meditate early in the morning. Without a doubt, early morning is an ideal time to practice: it is quieter, your mind is not filled with the usual clutter, and there is less chance you will be disturbed. Make it a habit to get up half an hour earlier to meditate.

19) Be Grateful at the end. Once your practice is through, spend 2-3 minutes feeling appreciative of the opportunity to practice and your mind’s ability to focus.

20) Notice when your interest in meditation begins to wane. Meditation is hard work, and you will inevitably come to a point where it seemingly does not fit into the picture anymore. THIS is when you need your practice the most and I recommend you go back to the book(s) or the CD’s you listened to and become re-invigorated with the practice. Chances are that losing the ability to focus on meditation is parallel with your inability to focus in other areas of your life!

Meditation is an absolutely wonderful practice, but can be very difficult in the beginning. Use the tips described in this article to get your practice to the next level!

Untangling the Knot of Fear

By Wes Annac, Editor, Openhearted Rebel

Meditation is wonderful.

By bringing your attention to your subconscious, it helps you become aware of things deep within that either help or hurt you. If you meditate for long enough, it’ll reveal the answers to your deepest questions.

Without meditation, I don’t think I could receive the guidance I’ve needed to get through countless problems in life.

Meditation was there for me each time I realized I can’t find what I need in the material world. By becoming silent, still, and willing to listen to the nothingness, I discovered a higher consciousness and the potential to plunge deeper.

Within the meditation-induced nothingness, you discover the intuitive stream of thought that leads to positive places through positive choices. If you can tune in and listen to this intuitive thought stream, it’ll help you stay on the right path.

Continue reading Untangling the Knot of Fear

Love Bubble Meditation

By Gregg Prescott, M.S., In5D.com

The following is an easy meditation that anyone can do, any time!

1. Envision that everybody around you is part of your family.  You can think of it as a family reunion.  By doing so, you will eliminate any judgments or preconceived ideas about any person you may encounter.

2. Imagine your aura expanding outwards. If you are on a city street, you may want to envision your aura covering the entire sidewalk that you are on or even the entire street.  No matter where you are, you can make your aura as large or as small as you like. Continue reading Love Bubble Meditation

How Your Brain Changes After Mindfulness

By Michael Forrester, Prevent Disease, Thanks to The Mind Unleashed

Mindfulness-based teachings have shown benefits in everything from inflammatory disorders to central nervous system dysfunction and even cancer. Training groups in mindfulness has become a powerful tool in preventative intervention. Researchers at the University of Cincinnati (UC) are studying how cognitive therapy that uses mindfulness techniques serve as an alternative to pharmaceuticals. Continue reading How Your Brain Changes After Mindfulness

How Music and Meditation Address Memory Loss

By Josh Richardson, Prevent Disease, Thanks to The Mind Unleashed

Meditation training program can have measurable effects on how the brain functions even when someone is not actively meditating. The effects are even more pronounced with music. In a recent study of adults with early memory loss, a West Virginia University research team lead by Dr. Kim Innes found that practice of a simple meditation or music listening program may have multiple benefits for older adults with preclinical memory loss. Continue reading How Music and Meditation Address Memory Loss

True Meditations Should be Effortless – Are Yours?

By Frank M. Wanderer, The Mind Unleashed

“Meditation is a subtle, barely perceptible stream, in which you will experience a radical shift of the center of gravity. The manifestation, limited in time and space, thick and heavy, that you have formerly regarded as yourself, changes into a weightless but ubiquitous point without limits and dimensions. The massive creature, bound to the earth that used to be you, is now free from its bonds and begins to soar.” Frank M. Wanderer

An Effective Remedy for the Overburdened Mind

Our Mind is one of the most sophisticated, most complicated instruments in the world. In this modern, rushing world, however, the Mind is bombarded with information to the extent that it virtually overflows. On those occasions the amounts of unprocessed information whirl in the Mind so fast that we are sometimes afraid of going mad. All the unprocessed information demands our attention, naturally, every single idea may appear to be very important for us. Our body reacts to the rushing stream of our thoughts, and sometime we fall ill because of the stress caused by our overburdened Mind. Is there anything that we may do to alleviate the burden of our Mind, is there a medicine to treat the problem? Continue reading True Meditations Should be Effortless – Are Yours?