1

Missing Lisa: A Lesson In Presence

Guilty

I found myself guilty of a serious offense. I didn’t understand the seriousness of this offense until I saw others doing it. There I was. In Paris. In the Louvre, arguably the finest art museum in the entire world. I stepped into the room where the legendary Mona Lisa is enshrined on her own wall, guarded behind bulletproof glass and a guard rail around her. This renaissance rock star even has bouncers. As I entered the room, eager to see perhaps the most famous painting in the world, I found leagues of people crowding all around her craning to get a glimpse of the famous painting. Then I noticed something strange. Nobody was looking at her. Not really.  Everyone was looking at the view finder on their cameras. People would fire off 10 or so photos and then scurry off to some other masterpiece to do likewise. What for? To go home and document the art that they didn’t really look at? The art they didn’t take the time to connect with. The art they never really experienced?

Are you ever guilty of this: you are experiencing something extraordinary and your sense that it will end and the extraordinariness will be over. So what do we do? Like a thief, we try to take it. We want to own it somehow. So we try pull out our camera phone and take a shot and post it on Facebook or whatever. I’m the first to be guilty of this. But have you ever come back home and tried to show some innocent, unsuspecting person your photos? It goes like this: “Here’s the Grand Canyon, only it’s so much bigger than the picture suggests, and oh, you should see it. Here’s the great restaurant we ate at, but oh you should taste the amazing food, this photo doesn’t do it justice.” Just as unsuspecting observer‘s eyes start to glaze over and they start looking at their watch, telling you that they fear that they may have not cleaned the lint screen on the dryer and need to get home immediately, cuz if someone broke in and decided to do a load of laundry, it might catch fire, you decide you’re going to holster the photos because they don’t do the experience justice anyway. Besides, if you spend the entire time behind the lens of your camera to try to take the moment, to own it, you’ll come home and realize that you’re trying to remember something that you never really experienced in the first place. You were never really there. At least not present, anyway.

What to Do?

So never take photos, right? Never post anything on Facebook? No, that’s dumb. Maybe try taking a photo and then put your camera away and then really try to experience it. And sometimes maybe try allowing yourself to simply experience it. Maybe sometimes even without the camera. Soak it up and experience it to the fullest. Be 100% there. Let your sense really open up to it. Smell it, breathe it, see it, feel it, taste it (although if you try to taste the Mona Lisa you better be prepared to lose your tongue. Besides, that salty broad is a vintage that is much to refined for my pallet.

What I’m getting at is that yoga helps us to practice this presence so that when we are in an extraordinary experience or even a seemingly mundane experience that with awareness could prove to be incredible, we are totally there, senses alive, ready to experience it. Like hanging with our kids, focusing on a project, experiencing a concert, or looking at the MONA LISA. Sometimes in a yoga class, I see the fidgets, the distant stares, and absent mindedness of someone whose mind is somewhere else. I want to say, come back. We’ve missed you. Be here, now. Be there later.

Sounds like Mr. Miyagi wisdom and probably is. But hey, that snitchy-snatcher can break boards with his forehead so that’s gotta count for something. You can’t do that while thinking about balancing your checkbook.

 

Photo by Alex Adams

Scott Moore is a senior teacher of yoga and mindfulness in the US (New York, Salt Lake City, LA) and abroad and the author of Practical Yoga Nidra: The 10-Step Method to Reduce Stress, Improve Sleep, and Restore Your Spirit. When he’s not teaching or conducting retreats, or traveling to teach, he also writes for Conscious Life News, Elephant Journal, Mantra Magazine, Medium, and his own blog at scottmooreyoga.com. Scott also loves to run, play the saxophone, and travel with his wife and son. Check out his yoga retreats and trainings in places like Tuscany, France, and Hong Kong , his online Yoga Nidra Course and his Yoga Teacher Mentor Program. Scott just moved back to Salt Lake City after living in Southern France with his family.




WATCH: All Is Well Meditation | Gabrielle Bernstein [Awesome 5-min Video]

Video Source: Hay House

In this video, Gabrielle Bernstein shares a positive affirmation meditation to keep you upbeat, spirited, inspired at this time.




Your Tranquility Took Kit

Blessings!

Wherever you are in the world, I hope that you and your family are faring well. I hope that you are able to manage the many ramifications of the COVID-19 pandemic, be that health, financial, and isolation. This is the time to use everything that we have in our tool kit to help with troubled times. 

I want to remind us all that we CAN do hard things. YOU can do hard things. 

 

Unique Times Call for Deeper Compassion

It’s truly a unique time to draw inward and cultivate the tranquility that is possible despite events and circumstances. Perhaps, through all of this, we may open up our minds and hearts to see and learn what we may become through this experience, both individually and collectively.

Truly this time is not about success in any traditional sense of the word. We all are affected by this global pandemic and regardless how we are impacted by this pandemic, we must all go inside and learn to find our strength within. We must have compassion for everyone involved in this thing, understanding that we may all have different opinions and experiences regarding this pandemic. No one is above learning valuable lessons from this experience.

Your Tranquility Tool Kit

Photo by David Newkirk

This is the time to dig deep into our tool kit and use everything we’ve got to keep our spirits high. 

I’ve compiled a free tool kit that you can use any time you need to keep your spirits high. It’s a digital download that will give you access to all the things that can help you find your center during these times.

 

Here’s what’s in this tool kit.

 

  • For stress: Yoga Nidra for Stress recording (34 minutes)
  • For sleep: Yoga Nidra for Sleep recording (25 minutes)
  • To help you breathe: Stress Free breathing practices
  • To relax and connect to your body: Gentle Yoga Practice (60 minutes)
  • To move, strengthen, and erase stress from your body: Moderate/Intermediate Yoga Practice (60 minutes)
  • Feel-good music for these times:
    • “Let It Be” by Megan Peters and Scott Moore
    • Link to some incredible musicians’ Facebook and recordings of music
      • Megan Peters
      • John Louviere (find his Cabin Fever Covers on March 22, 2020)
    • Here’s a link to an amazing musician, MNEK, from Britain, who wrote and produced some absolutely STUNNING acapella songs about Coronavirus that are simultaneously hilarious and incredibly soulful. 
    • “Bored”
    • “Quarantine”
    • “Selfisolation”
    • “Stay Your Ass Indoors”
  • Reading pleasure: Selected posts from my blog
    • Walking Into The Fire
    • Seeing the Finger of God: New Directions in Jazz
    • On The Corner of Justice and Compassion
    • Lionel Richie is My Guru
    • Grand Theft Auto: A Study in Mindfulness
      • Part 1 
      • Part 2

 

There is no better time than now to employ all the tools in our tool kit This is the time that we’ve been preparing for. It’s time to dive deep into your tool belt and use everything you’ve got. 

 

Blessings! Stay safe. Stay sane.

 

Photo by Alex Adams

Scott Moore is a senior teacher of yoga and mindfulness in the US (New York, Salt Lake City, LA) and abroad and the author of Practical Yoga Nidra: The 10-Step Method to Reduce Stress, Improve Sleep, and Restore Your Spirit. When he’s not teaching or conducting retreats, or traveling to teach, he also writes for Conscious Life News, Elephant Journal, Mantra Magazine, Medium, and his own blog at scottmooreyoga.com. Scott also loves to run, play the saxophone, and travel with his wife and son. Check out his yoga retreats and trainings in places like Tuscany, France, and Hong Kong , his online Yoga Nidra Course and his Yoga Teacher Mentor Program. Scott just moved back to Salt Lake City after living in Southern France with his family.




Vibrational Alignment Guided Meditation with Esther Hicks

Video Source: HayHousePresents

In this empowering and uplifting guided meditation with Esther Hicks, you’ll discover how to attract what you want by becoming a vibrational match to the qualities you seek. When you practice the thoughts of what you want, what you want comes to you by the laws of the universe. All you seek is already available to you once you are in vibrational alignment with the source.

By focusing on what you do want and seeing what you want, instead of focusing on lack or what you don’t want, you’ll begin to realize your power in having what you want. Use this short meditation frequently each day to focus on and attract more of what you do want. This is an effective way to change your thoughts so that they are a vibrational match to all you desire.

There is great love for you here. Esther Hicks has been sharing messages and lessons from the wise consciousness known as Abraham for many years. Esther and her late husband offered seminars to help people understand and use the law of attraction.




Ancient Cultures Suggest Morning Meditation May Lead To A Deeper Experience

By Anna Hunt | Waking Times

According to the beliefs of several ancient cultures, the early morning hours may be ideal for meditation and spiritual reflection. New age and spiritual circles will also claim that if you wake between the hours of 3 am and 5 am, you may be going through a spiritual awakening.

Although it’s difficult to prove if any of these claims are true, I would like to share some beliefs of the Secoya tribe of Ecuador. This indigenous tribe’s way of life is entwined with its traditions and ceremonies, even today, when most of the world has become Westernized.

Spiritual Hours of Shamanic Healing Ceremonies

The shaman elders of the Secoya conduct powerful healing ceremonies using plant medicines. In their culture, they plan these gatherings during late night hours and early morning. They believe that each night, at around 3 am, benevolent spirits descend upon the earth. As well, the spirits of most of the earthly creatures are finally at rest.

The shaman elders believe that the angelic spirits are compassionate. They are here to help in our journey of self-healing and preservation. It is during the hours of 3 am to 6 am that the shaman will sing the most effervescent icaros, medicine songs, to invite these spirits to the ceremony.

Time of Letting Go in Chinese Medicine

The Secoya are not alone. Many non-western cultures place esoteric significance on different times of the day and night. Another example is in Chinese medicine. The 12 meridians in the body rejuvenate with qi – the life force or energy – during different hours. As qi cycles through the body, each organ meridian is most active for about 2 hours during a 24-hour period.

In Chinese medicine, the hours between 5 am and 7 am are ideal for meditation. This time is when qi cycles through the large intestine meridian, closely associated with letting go. It is the time we are best equipped (energetically, at least) to deal with issues of distress, confusion, compulsive habits, rigidity, irritability, and depression.

Source: fiveseasonsmedicine.com

Morning Meditation in the Modern World

Even some modern psychologists agree. A daily morning meditation practice sets a positive tone for the entire day. Laura Maciuika, a clinical psychologist and author of Conscious Calmstates:

Before breakfast is generally a good time to meditate. But for beginners, especially folks who are feeling stressed out, meditating at all can be daunting. In that case, I recommend simply putting your attention on slower, deeper breathing—even for just five minutes—early in the day before getting busy with anything.

Morning meditation can be very beneficial. Even if you don’t buy into the ancient beliefs of the Secoya and the Chinese, consider a very practical perspective: during morning hours, the mind and body are calmer. Most importantly, there are often fewer distractions.

Of course, you have to consider your life responsibilities and work and family schedules before committing to meditation practice. I have three children, so I get those mornings can be busy. If you can only meditate at 7 pm, then, by all means, don’t pass up the opportunity. It is better than not doing it at all.

If early morning just does not work for you, plan to sit down daily at any other time. If your schedule is completely sporadic, meditating at different times each day is fine, too.

Consider, though, that meditation may not be as effective when you are overly-stimulated, tired or hungry. When meditating right before bedtime, the brain may think you are just winding down for sleep. The goal of meditation is to invigorate and wake up the brain – not to shut it down. Finally, try not to meditate right after eating because the body uses lots of energy to digest food.

Final Thoughts

There really is no way to know if any of the ancient beliefs or new-age claims about morning hours are true. Meditation and other spiritual practices are extremely personal. Thus, only the individual can assess if the time of day affects what they experience in meditation. Furthermore, it often takes a seasoned practitioner to notice the subtle nuances of the different approaches to spiritual and esoteric practices.

What I do know is that mounting scientific research is showing us that meditation heals. It restores the body and heals the mind. A morning meditation, even if it’s only 10 minutes, is a powerful self-care tool. And there’s a bonus: if you get it done in the morning, then you don’t have to stress out about making time for it during the rest of your day.

About the Author

Anna Hunt is a writer, yoga instructor, mother of three, and lover of healthy food. She’s the founder of Awareness Junkie, an online community paving the way for better health and personal transformation. She’s also the co-editor at Waking Times, where she writes about optimal health and wellness. Anna spent 6 years in Costa Rica as a teacher of Hatha and therapeutic yoga. She now teaches at Asheville Yoga Center and is pursuing her Yoga Therapy certification. During her free time, you’ll find her on the mat or in the kitchen, creating new kid-friendly superfood recipes.

This article () was originally created and published by Waking Times and is published here under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Anna Hunt and WakingTimes.com. It may be re-posted freely with proper attribution, author bio, and this copyright statement.

Disclaimer: This article is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Views expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of Waking Times or its staff.

Read more great articles at Waking Times.




Dark Side Integration Meditation

By Debbie Canavan Holmes

While our lives are on hold during this pandemic crisis, it’s a great time to work on our personal and spiritual growth. It feels to me like a gift from the Universe to allow us time to reset and heal ourselves. The following is a mediation that helps to integrate all parts of ourselves so that we may bring forth a better version of ourselves into the new world that’s emerging.

The Dark Side

The dark side of our psyche is the repository of all of our shame, regrets, emotions we couldn’t express, fears, thoughts we choose to deny and that hide the fullness of our being. It keeps us from expressing what we’ve come here to express, to do and to be.

In order to experience and express our wholeness, we need to honor and integrate our dark sides into the light of day – into the self that we show ourselves and the world.

The truth will set us free. We are as sick as our darkest secrets.

When we keep our dark sides hidden, it doesn’t mean they aren’t still perceived. It comes out in many forms. Personally we can experience crippling anxiety, self-doubt, and sickness. Externally we may unconsciously affect others with our negative moods, words, and actions, ultimately attracting the negativity back to us and keeping us from living out our best lives.

The following meditation is a great way to begin working on exposing your dark side to make room for the light to enter. 

Disclaimer: Be prepared to experience emotional pain as the emotions and feelings come forth to be cleansed. It’s a good idea to have proper supports in place before you begin this meditation– a friend loved one or health care professional- someone you can call upon if it feels too difficult to handle facing the dark side on your own. In fact, it’s even more cathartic to share your experience and findings with someone else to further cement this new part of yourself into your current reality. You can also use this meditation in combination with the Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT), tapping out any distressing feelings as they surface, and/or journaling out your findings as they arise if journaling is an outlet you enjoy.

Dark Side Integration Meditation

To begin, sit in a quiet place with no distractions. 

Ask for protection from your spiritual guides or angels and imagine surrounding yourself with a protective bubble of white light.

Picture yourself as the moon with its dark and light sides. (I like to picture being split in the middle with the dark on the left and light on the right but you can do it however it works for you).

Imagine your dark side is comprised of everything you are afraid to express. Let different thoughts or images come to mind – the embarrassing situation you’ve been secretly keeping to yourself since childhood, the abusive remarks or experiences you’ve endured from parents, teachers, and friends. Don’t forget to also include the injuries you’ve caused to others. All of these things are taking up precious space in your psyche and are draining your energy field of much-needed resources that you could be devoting to other things that are more in alignment with the higher path that you came here to travel.

As you bring to mind each of these memories, each of these secrets, imagine them being exposed, one by one, as the sun slowly moves over and gently illuminates the dark side.

As you think of each experience, accept each one knowing that it was part of your past but that it’s just a memory now. Accept that it happened and that there’s nothing you can do about it, except acknowledge the impact it’s had on the person you are today. Forgive yourself for anything that you did and give thanks for the lessons it taught you.

Next and most importantly, imagine standing there in front of everyone you know while they view all of your exposed secrets. Ask forgiveness of those you’ve harmed and imagine being offered forgiveness from those who’ve hurt you. 

Feel all of the feelings that emerge, including any shame and guilt. Watch as the negative feelings melt in the heat of the sun.

Stand there, bravely facing everyone while they cheer you on with unconditional love, support, and acceptance.

Bask in the glow of your new life unfolding. 

Do this meditation on the night of the full moon for extra impact. Or, do it daily and eventually, your own light will shine fully like the sun.

© 2020, Debbie Canavan Holmes. All rights reserved.

Debbie Canavan Holmes is a healing artist and aspiring writer who makes ceramic healing amulets cast from authentic 600 B.C. Egyptian molds, and memorial portrait oil paintings. You can visit her at www.dholmesart.com.  




Types of Meditation That You Can Benefit From In a Meditation Online Class

Meditation is a highly recommended activity because it allows individuals to sync their bodies with their minds. As a result, you get to manage stress and reduce excess weight. It is also one of the best ways to ensure that you are active throughout your day. Physicians recommend meditation because it allows for pregnant women, the elderly, and people with pain issues to still work out safely. There are concentrative activities that need you to focus on objects within your environment. Non-concentrative meditations are much broader and require you to focus on your body and your environment at the same time. Here are some ways that Glo recommends that you use to achieve the most success with meditation online.

Zen meditation

This is the meditation that needs you to be seated. It is a Japanese technique that is deeply rooted in Chinese Zen Buddhism. This method of meditation dates as far back as the 6th century. It requires you to sit on the floor and cross your leg. You can also sit on a chair, whichever is most comfortable for you. You will have to be in a lotus or half-lotus position. Ensure that your posture is correct, and your back is completely straight. Keep your gaze fixated on an object. You will focus on your breathing as directed by your instructor on meditation online classes. Count your breaths and concentrate on the moment. Be aware of any thoughts that pass your mine and the surrounding environment.

Vipassana meditation

This literary means to see clearly and have insight on issues you are facing. You will have to be mindful of your breathing and concentrate on a thought. This method allows you to focus on your reflection and help you find a solution to issues in your life. Think of each moment individually and do not cling to anything. You need to focus on every moment of your life and the movement of your chest as you breathe. It requires you to note every change in your breathing and emotion. You will address why issues you think about affecting your emotions. It allows you to take a step back and really examine your reaction and emotions on the subject and people you think about. You will have an awareness of your environment even when your thoughts are still running through your mind.

Mantra meditation

Mantra meditation, just as the name suggests, is the type of meditation where you repeat one word over and over throughout the meditation session. You will be required to whisper the mantra slowly throughout the session. It will help make your concentration on the activities even better. It will ensure that you keep your mind focused on the instructor and the goal of the session. Most mantras are just one word or a phrase. They are often encouraging and are meant to improve your mood. It allows you to fight off the overwhelming thoughts that may go through your mind as you meditate. The mantra will change with each session, and it will also vary depending on the instructor you choose for your meditation online.

Conclusion

As with everything today, you can lose weight and clear your head with meditation online classes. These make it easy for you to have the clarity of thought that you need to ensure you gain all the benefits from the classes. You will always find an instructor online for a class. Therefore, whether you need just five minutes or an hour of meditation each day, the instructor will guide you and help you learn more about being aware of your body and your environment.




6 Signs Overwhelm Is Taking Over and How to Reclaim Your Inner Calm

peace-meditate-relax-calm-stress

By Liz Smith | Always Well Within

When I rewind back several years, I was one of many doing the juggle between raising a young family, running a business, dealing with ill health and all that life throws at you. Amidst the daily goings on of life, there were moments when I felt that I was surely going to buckle under the pressure of it all. As a quiet introvert, I never intended to lead a frantic life, yet somewhere between newborn babies and an ambitious brain that just wouldn’t quit, I found myself knee deep in overwhelm.

Related Article: The Simplest Way to Create More Calm in Your Life

My story is not unique, in fact, I know it’s a sad re-account of countless women and men everywhere, all pushing and striving just to get through the day. When you examine the truth of it, most of us know the current pace of life is not working, yet the idea of slowing down appears more frightening than our frantic attempts to keep up.

Common Signs of Overwhelm

When you live in a constant state of overwhelm, consumed with anxious laden thoughts, there is literally no room for anything else. If you long to experience less overwhelm, firstly let’s take a look at what overwhelm may look like in your life.

1) Poor focus – Do you find it hard to focus on one task at a time or prioritize one task over another?

2) Frequently rushing – Are you rushing through your day? Do you watch the clock and constantly worry about not getting everything done? Do you hold a belief that you must do it all or things will not get done?

3) Dread and disconnection – Do you wake up with a sense of dread some mornings or a lack of enthusiasm as you move through your day?

Related Article: 3 Steps to Inner Peace: Meditation Techniques to Quiet the Mind

4) You can’t say no – Do you find it hard to say no? Do you agree to tasks and activities that you know you don’t have time for? Are you worried about letting others down?

5) Tears and tantrums – Are you emotional often? Are feelings of helplessness, stress, confusion, and frustration familiar to you? If someone were to ask “are you okay?” do you feel like you might break down and cry?

6) Indecision and inaction – Do you find it hard to make decisions and procrastinate on taking action?

If you find yourself reading along and nodding in acknowledgment of these signs of overwhelm, I understand. This was me a few years ago, trapped in a mind that didn’t know how to slow down and a body that was willing to be dragged along for the ride.

The problem is, deep down I knew my state of overwhelm was a choice. In my heart, I wanted a life of deep, soothing, serene calm. I craved the bush hills of my youth, the dirt beneath my feet and the stillness in which to revel in it. It was this inner calm that my heart has been calling me towards, countless times throughout my life. It turns out I just needed to teach my mind and body how to get there.

Related Article: Feeling Overwhelmed? Remember You Are a Servant of an Unstoppable Force

READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE…




Sex & Meditation Have the Same Affect On Your Brain

By Vicki Howie | Chakraboosters.com

sexI recently discovered a study that suggests that orgasm has an effect on your brain that’s almost identical to meditation.

This means you can sit alone on a tiny cushion or jump into bed with your lover, and get similar benefits to your general zen-ness and overall brain bliss.

Very cool.

I’ve long considered sex to be a sacred act, and I’m excited that we now have a little bit of scientific proof.

The study, summarized in Scientific American, says similar regions light up in the right-brain during orgasm and meditation.  But, according to the article, there is one key difference:

“Unlike meditation, orgasm seems a heightened sense of being within one’s body rather than the sense of being outside of it.”

As a lover of tantric philosophy, I just want to say — finally, there’s evidence that we can experience sacred bliss by going deeper into a physical experience, rather than moving away from it.

The bias over a few thousands of years of classical yogic thinking has been that “enlightenment” comes from moving away from one’s lower (temptation-oriented chakras) towards the upper, more “spiritual” chakras.

The word itself – “enlightenment” – contains “light” because of this preference for moving into the lighter (higher) chakras.  We also have words like “ascension” and “higher self” that refer to supposedly greater states of spirituality.

But maybe, just maybe, we don’t have to go “upward” to get in touch with our divine essence.  Maybe we can experience profound spirituality by being more deeply present and aware in our body as we share a loving, physical connection with another.

And maybe our lower chakras are as big of a part of our spirituality as our upper chakras.  I for one, am all for chakra equality.

vicki howie

Vicki Howie is the Creator of Chakra Boosters Healing Tattoos™ (find out what inspired her to create them here). Check out her new book “The Key to Your Chakras” here on amazon.com. Vicki is also the Creator of Chakra Love and the Chakra Life Cycle System®, as well as the Co-Editor of Conscious Life News. You can visit her website chakraboosters.com, facebook page and youtube channel for lots of free chakra info and gifts. Vicki’s biggest joy is to help you unleash your full chakra power and step into your highest potential.

 




Empath Rescuer Meditation: Healing the Addiction to Fixing and Rescuing Others

Video Source: Steve Nobel

By Luminita D. Saviuc  | Purpose Fairy

“The empath rescuer has learned that taking responsibility for other people’s actions and rescuing them is a sure way of receiving love and attention.” ~ Luminita D. Saviuc

The Addiction to Fixing and Rescuing Others

The empath rescuer has learned early on in life that taking responsibility for other people and rescuing them from their actions is a sure way of receiving love and attention. Therefore, they give so much of themselves away to the point of self-sacrifice.

Blinded by the programs of their past, they can’t seem to realize that helping is fueled by Love and Empowerment while rescuing by fear and insecurity. In their eyes, rescuing and helping, are the same thing.

Rescuing is a very toxic way of helping that keeps one stuck in a world that is dark and painful. A world infused with shadows, fear, and insecurity. In fact, behind this need to ‘save’ others hide all kind of fears, fears that hurt and harm, not only the ‘rescuer’ but also the ones who are to be ‘rescued.’

Rescuing is not helping, and it surely isn’t Love.

If you are ready and willing to free yourself from this unhealthy pattern of ‘saving’ and ‘rescuing’, use this meditation to move in that direction.

READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE…




Conscious Writing: Using Mindfulness for Writing and Creativity

By Grace Cater

In a world where life is always hectic, it’s more important than ever to take time out for yourself. People do this is a lot of different ways, but a method that has become increasingly popular recently is stream of consciousness writing. This free, unstructured process allows the mind to meander along, connecting feelings and images, allowing you to dump any emotional baggage onto the page. It’s best to try and do this when you have nothing else to do for a good while, so you can properly relax and focus your energies on the exercise.

The idea of this exercise is to help you slow down, and focus on yourself. To do this, you should start with a simple breathing meditation. “During your breath meditation, choose a topic that you would like to focus on,” says Jenny Adams, writer at Essay Roo. “A subject will probably emerge fairly easily if you allow yourself to relax.”

Put on some relaxing music, take some deep breaths to cleanse you from the inside, and really feel every portion of your body – where do you feel the stress building up? Where feels tight? Use these deep breaths to relax all these tense areas. When you feel physically relaxed, imagine yourself staring into a thick, dense fog; when an image pops into your subconscious, notice what this means or what is associated with it, and it can help you to think of a topic to write about. When you feel ready, open your eyes and begin writing.

The writing process itself should ideally be by hand. ‘While handwriting may seem alien to a lot of us now we use computers for almost everything, it is an integral part of this process’ says Martin Gere, health blogger at UKWritings. ‘Writing by hand slows us down, forces us to think about what we are writing and gives us time to process these thoughts, keeping our brains engaged’. Go with the flow, and let your thoughts meander wherever they wish. Nothing is unrelated, and nothing is meaningless in this exercise.

Make sure the space that you’re in is clear and tidy. When it comes to trying to be creative, being in a cluttered, messy space can result in a cluttered, messy mind. Take care to be somewhere where you feel comfortable and at ease, take regular breaks to air your mind out, and get some fresh air. It may sound cliché, but it really does help!

Staying organized when writing for your own benefit, or for work, is essential. A lot of people find it very difficult to begin writing without any structure, and keeping track of their ideas. Having a dedicated notebook to keep with you all the time, so that you can jot down ideas as and when they come to you, is a great idea that a lot of writers use, to save them the frustration of scrabbling around for notes.

Planning out your work can also help you to free up your creative energy; it can enable you to properly see where your ideas are going, and how they can develop. If you are tasked with writing a reaction paper, you should first read about what is reaction paper.

Planning your work can also help these ideas to flourish, as you can continue to jot down different elements within your plan as you go along. Additionally, using some writing tools such as Simple Grad, BoomEssays, My Writing Way, and Big Assignments can really help to improve writing style – and also banish the lingering fears that your writing is lacking a certain something!

Obviously, the biggest key is to simply take action. You can plan as much as you like, in the most elaborate ways, but ultimately, if that doesn’t lead to putting pen to paper, then it is all done in vain! Keep our goals and aims clear in your mind – what do you wish to achieve from your writing? Having this end point in sight (even if it is simply a personal journey) will give you the motivation to write.

Finding your voice and being mindful through writing can be very therapeutic, and very beneficial in a number of ways. Not only are you benefiting your mental health, but you could also be creating something beautiful at the same time!

About the Author

Grace Cater is a content manager at Australian Help and Eliteassignmenthelp.com services. She works with a team of proofreaders, curates freelance editors and crates marketing tactics. Also, Grace is a tutor at Revieweal, academic website.




The Yoga Nidra: The Meditation Practice of Sleep

Photo by David Newkirk

The Yoga of Sleep

I absolutely love Yoga Nidra! Yoga Nidra is the transformation so-called “yoga of sleep,” a very approachable yet effective way of experiencing the Oneness of your being through the process of a relaxing journey through deepening layers of Awareness. Yoga Nidra acts kind of like a guided meditation, where practitioners lie down, close their eyes and listen to a facilitator (teacher) lead to experience themselves as Awareness itself. The fact that Yoga Nidra is so easy to practice and often leaves practitioners feeling rested, illuminated, and calm, makes this a popular, simple, and effective way of exploring one’s higher Self. Yoga Nidra is like napping your way to enlightenment!

Yoga Nidra: Shaping Lives

I’ve been practicing Yoga Nidra since 2005 and have been teaching it since 2008. Yoga Nidra has taught me more about myself and the Universe than perhaps any other practice. It has also personally facilitated some of the most illuminating, spiritual, healing, experiences of my life and has truly shaped me into who I am today. 

I have also seen Yoga Nidra transform the lives of countless students, facilitating everything from spiritual growth such as connecting with their Eternal being to tapping in to a wise inner teacher to hear vital personal direction. Students love telling me about how Yoga Nidra has helped them with practical issues like getting better sleep, managing stress, and lowering blood pressure, to name only a few.

I truly believe that Yoga Nidra can change the world by helping people to be the very best and illuminated versions of themselves. Sharing Yoga Nidra is one of my primary missions in life and I’m thrilled to be spreading the news of this transformational practice around the world.

Seeing Past the Illusions

Yoga Nidra is but one practice that leads people to experience their highest Selves and to come to the ultimate state of Oneness with all things. The explicit purpose for Yoga Nidra is to layer your attention through the illusions of the ego (the mayakoshas) in order to dis-identify as the ego and instead identify as Awareness itself. These layers of illusion are:

  • Anamaya kosha, or animal layer
  • Pranamaya kosha or energy layer
  • Manomaya kosha or emotions/thoughts layer
  • Vijnanamaya kosha or dreaming, unconscious, beliefs, and symbols layer
  • Anandamaya kosha or bliss layer

Yoga Nidra helps a person to recognize these parts of themselves to explore the part of themselves that can simply witness these parts. Soon a person appreciates these changeable parts of their being as the primary way to illuminate that which is unchanging, their True Nature, that of Awareness itself. Doing so heals what I feel is the fundamental human problem which is feeling separate from Source.

I believe that wellness is the byproduct of Awareness and as such, the Awareness a practitioner may experience through Yoga Nidra can catalyze myriad other kinds of transformations in many practical and useful ways such as help with stress, grief, setting goals, starting your day, getting great sleep, achieving a state of relaxed alertness, and even creating abundance in your life. These are just a few of the many topics you’ll find in my Yoga Nidra recordings

 

Photo by Alex Adams

Scott Moore is a senior teacher of yoga and mindfulness in the US (New York, Salt Lake City, LA) and abroad and the author of Practical Yoga Nidra: The 10-Step Method to Reduce Stress, Improve Sleep, and Restore Your Spirit. When he’s not teaching or conducting retreats, or traveling to teach, he also writes for Conscious Life News, Elephant Journal, Mantra Magazine, Medium, and his own blog at scottmooreyoga.com. Scott also loves to run, play the saxophone, and travel with his wife and son. Check out his yoga retreats and trainings in places like Tuscany, France, and Hong Kong , his online Yoga Nidra Course and his Yoga Teacher Mentor Program. Scott currently lives in Southern France with his wife and son. 

 




Let Mindfulness Provide a Pathway to Civility

By Ora Nadrich

In today’s challenging times, we’re in great need of cultural change. When cruelty or condescension rule the day, it’s time to re-evaluate what we, as humans, are about. The civil discourse that enables us to find common ground has been lost. Now, as the mudslinging and finger-pointing rhetoric become heightened in the election season, civil society is realizing that we need a new approach to help us bridge the deep fissure between perceptions of “us and them.”

But any change in attitude and behavior requires each of us, as individuals, to explore our motivations and behaviors more thoroughly. To embrace our need for change, we must look inward and connect to our most authentic self. This type of awareness is called Mindfulness, which is being in the present moment with total awareness. When we know ourselves and determine who we are authentically, we can stay on the path of awareness, rather than continue our objectionable behaviors through ignorance.

Just like when our car’s windshield becomes dirty and the view obscured, and we must use our windshield wipers to clean it, we also have to do a thorough sweep of ourselves to find out what’s dirtying or obstructing our reality. A Daily Mindfulness practice of connecting to our most authentic self helps us to recognize and face who we are and how we want to show up in the world. It keeps us present and aware.

If or when we might feel an impulse to be inauthentic, Mindfulness reminds us immediately that falseness of any kind feels wrong with every fiber of our being. When we’re mindful, we have heightened awareness, and with heightened awareness, it’s hard to be dishonest with ourselves or make snap judgments about others. It’s like having an inner lie detector, or truth barometer that goes off inside us and makes it almost impossible not to pay attention.

This awakening puts us in touch with a feeling of inner peace and soulful enlightenment. It is much richer and more deeply textured than what we can observe by operating on the surface of our thoughts.

Focus on these changes as you allow Mindfulness to provide a pathway to awareness and compassion:

1. Change negative self-talk to positive. Much of our inner talk begins with, “I’m not,” “I can’t,” or “I’ll never.” The authentic self knows its strengths and weaknesses precisely, but it doesn’t define itself as inadequate, unqualified, or anything that boxes itself in by limited beliefs.

2. Be in the moment, whatever it brings. Even though Mindfulness can be the messenger of bad news, we must not “kill the messenger.” A moment is simply doing its job, and when it brings us pleasure and joy, we’re pleased with what it gives us. We can even say with satisfaction, “I got completely lost in the moment.” But even a difficult or painful moment can leave us with a strength we never knew we had — or an awareness of how to move through our pain in a more accepting, conscious way. No matter what difficulty or pain we may experience, by asking our spiritual being to pull us up, it will help us move through any challenges or hardships we face.

3. Explore the beauty within. Yes, there’s beauty around us, in nature, sunsets, and more. But you can turn to the beauty within as well. Sit quietly, breathe, and go within to the most magical place of all: ourselves. If we keep going out of the moment, thinking that another one will be better, we’re missing the magic. Find the inner stillness. Find acceptance. Find gratitude. And most of all, connect to the internal beauty located within each person.

4. Take a present moment break. So often we live our lives on autopilot. Finding time to stop the “busy-ness” and connect more to our spiritual cores will bring us back to our inner wholeness, which, in essence, is the authentic self. By taking the time to connect to and acknowledge our true nature, we’re saying to ourselves, “I recognize that which is worthy, divine, and holy in myself.”

5. Recognize the world’s oneness. Saying or doing things impulsively instead of thoughtfully can add hurt to the world instead of promoting healing. Through Mindfulness, we recognize our connections to the world’s oneness. As we aspire to become more aware and compassionate, we’ll become more in touch with our benevolent natures. We’ll understand awareness that what we do through our thoughts and actions has an effect on everyone on the planet.

What would we be doing here, if not to discover who we are, and what this life means? Mindfulness gives us the power to change negativity into positivity in ourselves and toward those around us.

Ora Nadrich is the founder and president of the Institute for Transformational Thinking and author of Live True: A Mindfulness Guide to Authenticity, named in the 100 Best Mindfulness Books of All Time by BookAuthority. She is a certified life coach and Mindfulness teacher, specializing in transformational thinking, self-discovery and mentoring new coaches as they develop their careers. Contact her at theift




How to Flex Your Psychic Muscle to CHANGE Your Life Right Now!

You wouldn’t go to the gym with the aim of getting in shape, but stop after a few weeks and say, “There, I’m done now. All set!”

The same applies to strengthening your psychic muscle. Building that often atrophied ability is an ongoing process, but according to my guest, author and renowned paranormal researcher Rosemary Ellen Guiley, once you commit to a continuous practice of building your psychic strength, you can use it to consciously and proactively affect all aspects of your life.

In our chat about using “practical magic” to positively influence your life, we discussed ideas like meditation and how everyone who has an interest in utilizing their paranormal faculty must make some form of meditation a regular part of the psychic work-out. But she didn’t just give the same ‘ole, same ‘ole about meditative practices that we typically hear about, oh no. Rosemary shared some secrets on how to do more engaged or active meditation to conjure the results we’re looking for, and in some cases, even bring about psychic effects while engaged in the actual meditation itself.

What about finances? Who isn’t interested in learning how to increase their abundance? Can we wield our psychic ability to multiply the digits in our bank accounts? According to Rosemary, the answer is absolutely yes! But is there a specific formula for doing this? Rosemary lends great insight to this big question.

Watch/Listen to the full interview HERE or below

We also addressed the use of mirrors, crystals, and other tools to beef up our psychic practice. I for one have always been interested in just why mirrors and other reflective surfaces have been known to open doorways or portals to other (spiritual) dimensions. The explanation she offers simply amazed me!

Lastly, we cover the importance of protecting ourselves from psychic “attack.” Now that our extra-sense is primed and ready to put to work, how can we use it to shield ourselves from unwanted outside influences?

Indeed, this interview is packed with great info. that you can put to work right now!

Get relevant links from this episode and download the audio on-demand.

 

iTunes3

If you haven’t already, be sure to subscribe to our show on iTunes!

alexisheadshotv2Alexis Brooks is the #1 best-selling author of Conscious Musings, writer/editor for CLN and host of the award-winning show Higher Journeys with Alexis Brooks. Alexis brings over 30 years of broadcast media experience to CLN. For over half of that time, Alexis has dedicated her work to the medium of alternative journalism, having researched and reported on the many aspects and angles of metaphysics, spirituality and new thought concepts.

This article and its accompanying media was originally created and produced by Higher Journeys in association Conscious Life News and is published here under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Alexis Brooks, HigherJourneys.com and ConsciousLifeNews.com. It may be re-posted freely with proper attribution, author bio, and this Copyright/Creative Commons statement.




Yoga Nidra: Bridging Your Conscious Mind with Your Inner Wisdom

Photo by David Newkirk

A Different Kind of Meditation

 

Yoga Nidra is one of my favorite forms of meditation. It’s taught me more about myself and the Universe than any other practice. It is varies quite a bit from other meditation disciplines in some important ways. For one, it acts like a guided meditation for the most part. For two you are encouraged to lie down on the floor and close your eyes when you practice it You had me at lie down! And for three,  it uses relaxation instead of fierce focus to lead practitioners to Awareness

 

One of the most fascinating things about Yoga Nidra is that it acts like a bridge, connecting seemingly separate parts of our being so that we can experience the non-dual part of us, that which eternal, the grand Singularity of the Universe, Awareness itself. Stay with me… 

 

Yoga Nidra as a Bridge

 

Yoga Nidra bridges the waking and dreaming mind. In fact, Yoga Nidra means the practice of coming into Oneness (Yoga) by using the Nidra (sleeping) state of mind. While Nidra is often translated as sleep, in actuality it means something closer to daydream, specifically that hypnagogic, liminal state between waking and dreaming consciousness. 

 

Yoga Nidra acts like a bridge between your infinite and finite parts of being so you can experience the transcendent feeling of being BOTH an infinite being, Source, the Everything of the Universe AND a finite expression of Source that has a body, opinions, and has to wake up early on Tuesdays cuz it’s your turn to carpool the kids to school. 

 

Using this in-between state of consciousness, Yoga Nidra also helps to bridge your conscious and unconscious mind. Sometimes when you build the bridge between these two states of your consciousness, the two sides can have a conversation together and your conscious mind can  sometimes hear your own deep inner wisdom speaking from deep within your unconscious mind.

 

Yoga Nidra has taught me volumes about myself. It’s help me to bridge the gap between my practical and spiritual self, helped me to bridge the gap between feeling separate from and one with the Universe, and because of the bridge it’s given my conscious and unconscious mind to converse, I’ve learned some fascinating things about myself taught to me from my own deeper inner-wisdom. 

 

The Bridge to What You Already Have

Lastly, one of the coolest things about Yoga and Yoga Nidra is that it’s not giving you anything that you don’t already possess. These practices merely uncover the blinders from you seeing your True Self.

 

May we always be searching for our most true, infinite, and wise self. If you’re interested, here’s a free Yoga Nidra recording that leads you to hear the wise inner teacher inside of you. Enjoy and please tell me what you think.

 

Scott Moore Yoga (Photo by Alex Adams)

Scott Moore is a senior teacher of yoga and mindfulness in the US (New York, Salt Lake City, LA) and abroad and the author of Practical Yoga Nidra: The 10-Step Method to Reduce Stress, Improve Sleep, and Restore Your Spirit. When he’s not teaching or conducting retreats, or traveling to teach, he also writes for Conscious Life News, Elephant Journal, Mantra Magazine, Medium, and his own blog at scottmooreyoga.com. Scott also loves to run, play the saxophone, and travel with his wife and son. Check out his yoga retreats and trainings in places like Tuscany, France, and Hong Kong , his online Yoga Nidra Course and his Yoga Teacher Mentor Program. Scott currently lives in Southern France with his wife and son.