the basics

What is Meditation?

Meditation is not so much a ‘what’ but more so a ‘why’. Meditation can be defined in many terms – ancient, futuristic, mystical, religious, practical, or as I like to teach it, common-sensical. Meditation is as essential to a healthy life as eating, sleeping, and most importantly, Breathing. I teach the simplicity of focusing on the Breath. When we do so, we allow for not only the nutritive effects of oxygen to take hold of the cells of our bodies, we also cultivate a personal channel of Positive Energy, the effects of which are limitless. Meditation reduces stress and lowers blood pressure, enhances brain cognition, improves emotional health, relieves and helps to prevent a plethora of modern day maladies and concerns. No longer a ‘whoo whoo’ idea, modern science is proving the actual brain changes (neuroplasticity) that occur in people who meditate. It’s all good.

What is Mindfulness?

Mindfulness is becoming a new buzzword in our Americanized culture. In my experience, Mindfulness is a byproduct of Meditation. Mindfulness manifests in subtle ways and can be tough to describe but you know it when you feel it. You can’t fake Mindfulness and you cannot affirm it, command or teach it. You can only allow it, experience it and Be it. Mindfulness provides greater clarity. As mindfulness shows up, we begin to notice more, perhaps enhanced colors of nature, the pureness of the water in your glass, what might seem like out of the blue appreciation for a loved one or the catching yourself in an automatic verbal response. One who suffers from PTSD and lashes out unexpectedly, for instance, may find relief in developing Mindfulness. It can provide a type of coping mechanism, a pause or pattern-interrupt between the action/reaction of the moment. Mindfulness is often referred to as present moment awareness or being in the now. Mindfulness helps people get a handle on life in positive, healthy and loving ways. It’s only natural.

mindful election

NOW more than ever, we are wanting to be mindful. We are wanting to be in our right minds and feeling good about our decisions. When we elect to meditate we integrate our mind and heart. We become mindful. The most direct and integral path to our natural and (if you’re so inclined) God given mindfulness is through the practice of meditation.
The election to silently meditate… simply sitting comfortably and gently breathing… just sitting there doing nothing… just breathingFive skinny little minutes… every day… every day… every day…
Adding a few minutes more… every day… every day… every day… THAT is what cultivates mindfulness.
Meditation is not about how long you sit still and breathein one day. It’s all about taking those skinny little minutes  (gently building to the ideal 15-20/day)   to just sit… and breatheevery day… every day… every day….
The Universe does not care what you say. The Universe responds to what you mean.  What you mean is about how you feel. Your Power is in HOW you feel Right NOW.
It is our natural inclination to feel happy. In electing to meditate, mindfulness comes to us very naturally. It feels like happiness. We feel the excitement of subtle noticing. We notice, both on a visceral and intellectual level. We’re mindful of where we’re at on the (ever variable) feeling scale. We notice HOW we feel. We have more control. We are enabled. And, we make better decisions.
HOW you feel matters more than anything else – in this very NOW NOW NOW. Ask yourself, ‘what do I want?’ and ‘why do I want it?’
“Whether it is a castle or a button, if you are using it as your object of attention, it is summoning Life Force.  It is the feel of the Life Force that life is about. The reason that you are summoning it is inconsequential.”
The law of attraction is like the law of gravity. It is always working. The USA is GREAT, NOW. It always has been GREAT and always will be GREAT. Elect to be mindful this election season. Make the decision to meditate… every day… every day… every day... It’s only natural.

 

Dyer visit

Going a little askew today – I have to share a dream…

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Dr. Wayne Dyer & Patricia A. Lentz Omega Institue for Holistic Studies – October 2000

Wayne came by to take me for a ride on his modified trike. We were going out to buy hair color – FOR HIM!

Keep on meditating folks. Just 15 minutes every day, sit and BREATHE – for the SOUL purpose of FILLING your BODY with AIR. Let the mindfulness take you to places of humor and fun! It’s only natural.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

the science

Featured

Welcome back! Taking a long and sporadic hiatus during the summer months much is knocking at the mind’s door anxiously awaiting to be expressed. We’ll start this new academic season with science. More and more documentation exists proving out the benefits that a gentle, silent meditation practice can offer. My associate, Andy Kelly, theBostonBuddha.com, is among the first guinea pigs for this type of research. Having all kinds of electrodes attached wired monk to his head while he meditated, science now can definitively declare that meditation is good for us; and not only that, meditation leads to mindfulness and mindfulness is what makes the world go ‘round in very pleasing and positive ways!

theiapolis.com (2)We’ve come a long way since relying on our philosophers and holy types for this valuable information. I find it odd that often, people need published, peer reviewed results before they will take the time to breathe for a few minutes every day. Well, to all you nay-sayers out there – go for it! The science is real. #Meditation & #Mindfulness – It’s only natural.

PRO-gress/CON-gress

Oh my Gahd! These politicin’ daze – they are a’happinen’!!!

Thankfully, I meditate. It keeps me off the deep end.

A quick aside, as I RE-gress, before I carry on about the benefits of meditation. I love Mother Earth and all of her inhabitants. In this realm I am particularly partial to loving my home, the beautiful United States of America. Earlier, I posted ‘mindfulness ‘ist’ revised‘. It l-ist-ed several types of ‘ist‘s. There are a few ‘ist‘ words our culture is seeing more and more of, though.  Maybe if we knew their true definition we would be seeing these types of ‘ist‘s less and less. I am a relatively educated woman. I CON-fess as I DI-gress and RE-dress, even I needed to use the dictionary. So, here you go:

misoguynist – (a person) who dislikes, despises or is strongly prejudiced against women.

racist – (a person) having or showing the belief that a particular race is superior to another.

xenophobe (ist?) – (a person) with intense or irrational dislike or fear of people from other countries.

xylophonist – (a person) musician of the xylophone; a percussion instrument consisting of a series of wooden bars graduated in length to produce the musical scale, supported on belts of felt, and sounded by striking with two small wooden mallets.

Meditation is fun. We are: Quieting and OPENING – mind and BREATH – Breathing and Allowing – daily and consistently – Infusion of Energy – In and Out – back and forth – one bean at a time – inhale and exhale . . . . 

Gentle and Easy may you be. Have your coffee – Drink your tea – comfy and quiet – cultivating glee! Mindfulness, baby – and it’s FREE!! It’s only natural.

 

 

mindfulness ‘ist’ revised

There is a shift occurring in the mass consciousness, in this very moment, as we breathe… We are acknowledging our Natural states of Being. Athe ist, Chr ist ian, Buddh ist, Tao ist, Agno sti c, Hindu ist, Islam ist, Dude ist, Modern ist, Active ist, Art ist, we need not be any type of ist on the l-ist to recognize and be mindful of our Energetic or Organic Essence. No matter how you slice it, we each have our own twang and basically harmonize in different languages. We are indeed ALL ONE. Science is clear as mud on that.

Mindfulness through Meditation flies directly to the good stuff. Living in Mindfulness allows for the choosing, moment by moment, how free flowing are our lives, right now. Observing and processing from above the fray… playing in the Gap – in Pure Potentiality – the Field of Limitless Possibility – the Vortex – the Quantum Field – Heaven on Earth – the Playground – Consciousness – Christ Consciousness -subconsciousness – unconsciousness – SourceEnergy – Zen – the Zone – the ZenZone – BREATHING – warmth/LOVE  – BREATHING IN-BREATHING OUT – Breathe IN hold Breathe OUT hold – feeling gentle air – through the nose – air in-hold – air out -hold – Appreciating the BREATH… the Breath…. the breath….. the breath. . . . . .

Meditate and m-ist mindfulness into your ‘ist’. It’s only natural.

 

Finding Cougan

Early 1970, a New England wintery mix showered into the frosty sinking woodlands. Evening darkness had long fallen near 4pm. I could hear him. Way out there… almost imperceptible – Listening… Listening…  “Did you hear that Dad?” He slowed the car as we entered the tunnel, the thick canopy of oaks, maples and white birch that hung over Ledge Road. The enchanted vortex spanned nearly a quarter mile before giving way to a glimpse of sky that peeked atop the hill where a quick curvy descent ensured momentum.

Mom’s beloved Doberman pinscher, Cougan, had broken his run once again. He was far away this time. I could feel it. Cougan routinely did not return to our beckoning calls and was more inclined to bolt in the opposite direction. He was a Nervous Nellie type of canine in that way. We had to listen for him. Listening… Listening… He had to be found.

Adopted from the shelter just months before, Mom quickly brought him back to health, with a lustrous rich coat of deep red satin. A bit pudgy around the edges, let’s say Cougan was at his full potential. Though his four stick legs held him tall, I knew his collar was likely dragging six feet of broken chain. With the thicket hefty and the temps threatening to plunge, a quandary like that could spell disaster. The consequences of not finding this short-haired oversized lap dog that night were near dire.

I just knew he was within reach. The terrain nested years of lain and freshly fallen branches braided across the unkempt fields of soft dirt and spotty swamp land bearing granite boulders. The quagmire was in essence, the quintessential briar-patch. I just knew that Cougan was probably tangled somewhere. I could feel his connection.

My parents were skeptical. It was a school night and before my 9:30 bedtime. Exhausting the local search, Dad and I jumped in the car and drove way up past Croteau’s house, calling out “Cougan! Cougan!” Turning around we re-entered the tunnel. No houses, just overgrown and forested pastures divided by dilapidated stone walls.

“Cougan! Cougan!” I called and called from the backseat window. Later learned, Dad was readying to call it quits for the night.      …the sound ever so faint, ever so far, if even there at all. “Dad, pull over here, please!” “…yip…  …yip…”  “ I think I hear him!”  “Sure Honey,” he said, turning off the engine.

We were stopped and it got quiet outside, real quiet. And then, more silence… We could hear all the natural sounds that surrounded us, the raindrops from the trees, the creaking of their limbs, the inspiring gusts whistling through space like tumbleweeds as it chilled the air. I was compelled to get out of the car and start trekking. I was drawn straight in. Off I went with Dad following close behind. “Be careful, Honey”, he said as I leaped over the stone wall, raising my feet high as my legs would allow, taking tall steps through the entanglements. Finally reaching a second stone wall, Cougan was not to be seen nor heard.

By this time Dad is getting concerned. He’s not so sure he ever did hear anything. ‘It’s pretty dark and wet out here and we aren’t dressed the part. This may be a wild goose chase!’ Attempting to reconcile a sad inevitability, I just knew Cougan was out there and we were going in the right direction. A moment later our heads raised to attention, “…Yip!..Yip!!” “ Did you hear it, Dad!?!” Excited, we both leapt to our feet with renewed enthusiasm. “Come on Honey. Let’s keep going.” Invigorated and resolute, we trekked further in with stronger knowing. Though the land could be rugged it held great beauty and peace in the dark twilight. Across the old field we spied yet another stone wall just inside the next tree-line. We halted. We called out. We listened. Listening… Listening… Listening… “…he has to be here,” I whispered to myself.

Very naturally staying open to the feeling of positivity and optimism, in a rush of energy I found him. “He’s over here!”      Cougan was certainly in a pickle. The chain was tightly embedded within the jumbled granite that wrapped around an ancient evergreen with ingrown barbed wire. He was confined in his space, unable to move right, left, up or down. He could only sit on the rock and shiver. Needless to say, Cougan was very happy to see us. His little stubby cropped tail and pointy ears were glistening wiggles. I checked his paws and sure enough, he had gashed one pad. He was just plain pitiful. We knew Cougan’s tendency may be to run once freed.  Loving on the dog in reassuring tones, Dad carried him all the way back to the car.

That night held one happy reunion, I’ll tell you. Arriving home many cigarettes later, Mom had the woodstove burning at full tilt.  Cougan got the royal treatment being dried off with a family bath towel and given his favorite digestible treat. Flattered and complimented, my Father validated my power as he recounted our adventure.  Describing his perspective of previously unfolding events he said, “If Patty hadn’t heard him, I would have never stopped. He would be lost for sure.” I was elated! I had helped in finding Cougan. I absolutely knew it was possible. I just knew it – all because, I got quiet… And, that is a really good feeling all around.

 

What I take away from the experience is this. Tap into the silence. Meditation is the name of the game, in all aspects of wellness.  Meditation nourishes mindfulness and cultivates the alignment with that really good feeling vibration. The evidence tangible, our life gets better and better and better.  Personally, I appreciate the ongoing benefits reaped and wisdom gleaned after spending a few minutes every day, in silent meditation. …pausing to b-r-e-a-t-h-e,   b- r- e- a- t- h- e,   b – r – e – a – t – h – e… It’s mindfulness that creeps in and makes the difference. In mindfulness, we tap into the types of answers that we prefer to see and to hear and to feel. Fun realizations and positive expectations regularly come to the foreground. Meditating consistently, the how of things always takes care of itself.

Clarity comes incrementally. Sit comfortably and gently close your eyes and breathe. Notice your breath in and your breath out. It’s that simple. Through science, we know that meditating, for just sixteen seconds at a time, holds tremendous value in our overall health and well-being, even on a molecular level. Work up to meditating for five minutes to the ideal twenty minutes a day. Meditate and appreciate. Start now. You need not wait to be in a pickle to take up a meditation practice. Though on occasion, we do find ourselves sealed in the jar. At that point we are committed to the energies’ momentum. You may as well take a nap and start again.

Sometimes, we think about the undesired and then notice that we are thinking about the undesired. Pat yourself on the back for the noticing. That’s mindfulness at work! Noticing you are noticing is a big deal! Now, you have some control. Cultivate it. The more mindfulness we develop the more we perpetuate and thrive in our personal power. It’s all good!

Leading lecturers tell us we are “pre-paving our experience.” Covey said, “Begin with the end in mind.” Simply put, we get what we think about. Take it easy on yourself and meditate. It’s in mindfulness we naturally become a discriminating gatekeeper at the door of our own minds. Reading these words, right now, we point our focus. ‘Energy flows where attention goes.’

Meditation centers us. Watch as your joy is mirrored back to you in gratifying ways, uplifting those you touch. We are always aligning. Cultivate your flow of happiness. Dream big, you are phasing into a more desired experience. I usually ponder fun, upbeat, and feel good kinds of things. Mom would say, “It sure beats the alternative.”

It is fun noticing my thought then very quickly seeing it divinely manifest.  Recently, after finishing the kitchen chores, the picture of a new car flashed across my mind. The experience was pleasant. I thought to myself, “Oh that would be good.” Next thing a couple weeks later, not one but two new cars in the driveway!

Make meditation and mindfulness a priority in your daily routine. Keep it right up there with eating, sleeping and breathing. How easy it is to take a few seconds now to breathe-in and breathe-out. Silently meditate, letting your inner cork float. Feel yourself relaxed within the flow.

When we practice meditation, we open to feeling the grace of alignment with appreciation and love, which begets feeling the grace of alignment with appreciation and love. We are meant to feel good.         Aum… Listening… Listening…Finding Cougan and we lived happily ever after, I just knew it! It’s only natural.

core intellect

025I’m taking a 100 hour meditation teacher training which will ‘qualify’ me to share a type of meditation that everyone can utilize. I love it. Oddly, I’ve always been qualified but over the years I had allowed the opinions of others to jade my self- confidence.

We are such people pleasers, we humans, that most of us have trained ourselves right out of our own innate and natural well-being. We’ve allowed the intellect to take over our lives forgetting that we are an energy field at our core walking around in these garages we call a body.

When we meditate we are cultivating that core. It is a distraction for the intellect, which says ‘yes’ to everything we feed it. In meditation we tune in to our inner world where inspiration, simplicity and goodness reside. Meditation leads to mindfulness. Cultivating mindfulness through meditation is a powerful tool for daily living. We are able to soothe that which does not serve us and our perspective shifts.

Emotions are simply the indicator of the direction of our thought. Our thoughts, thought often enough, turn into beliefs. The intellect is comprised of our beliefs. Contrary to what the programmed intellect may offer, it is natural for us to feel good. When we meditate we become equipped to notice if we’re feeling good or if something is feeling off. It is that noticing, that mindfulness, that allows for us to consciously change our minds. We are enabled to slow or stop feeding the off-ness our energy/attention and it slows the momentum.

010.jpgIt is the daily practice of focusing on the breath, the breath, the breath that gently breeds mindfulness. The intellect conforms to mindfulness and you will find your behind in the proverbial sling less and less and less. If you’re in a pinch, breathing and focusing elsewhere, like your big toe for example, helps to find that place of well-being. Overall, once a consistent meditation practice gets a foothold on the intellect, feeling good becomes normal and life gets better and better.

007Cultivate your core and meditate. Open the channel telling the intellect, “I know I have the ability to focus.”  Bring your attention to the breath, the breath, the breath. Feel a type of detachment from the physical environment letting your inner cork float. The more you do it the more you want to do it. It’s all good AND It’s only natural.

power pause

Deep breath in to the tippy top, holding briefly and a strong exhale out the mouth. Allow a sigh. One more time – inhale and exhale. Now, just breathe normally noticing the rush of air coming in and going out. Just noticing. At the beginning of a practice, meditation students  are often instructed to silently ask themselves three simple questions.

Now, in your mind, as you breathe ask yourself,  ‘who am I?’ breathing in and out, ‘who am I?’ very gently offering the question – breathing in and breathing out. Next question, ‘what do I want?’ And, again breathing in and breathing out, ‘what do I want?’. Ever so easy, ever so natural ask yourself ‘what is my dharma/purpose? What is my purpose/how may I serve?’ And then, let the questions go, breathing in and breathing out. Inhale in the luscious air, savoring it and then exhaling out what no longer serves you.

How easy is that? Very! Now you have launched your practice for the day. Enjoy the peace of natural breath for a few minutes more. Make the best of the rest of your day and watch what comes. ‘Seek (the good stuff) and ye shall find.’ It’s only natural.

Crumple Zones

I loved my car. It was a 2001 Audi A8, 4.2 liter, the perfect green with Luxury all the way. I bought it used with only 25,000 miles on it. All-Wheel Drive, Triptronic transmission, with a salvage title; it was in near perfect condition. The guys at work called it a ‘swimmer’ because it was taken from the edge of an insurance-designated flooded lot.

I was thrilled to be driving a car like this and enjoyed much long distance travel. In detailing the interior, deep inside a crevasse I found a paper placard. Carrying a literal watermark, it was rippled dry as a bone. It indicated that this car very likely transported dignitary types in Washington DC. For the first few months I would find some new feature that would delight to no end. The car had every state of the art option available that year and a few custom features as well. The original book value, new in 2001, was well over $65,000. Man oh man, could that thing cruise!

Sometimes it’s the things you don’t see that make all the difference. The side impact was severe. What would normally have been an extremely violent and likely deadly situation was diffused, literally, by crumple zones – custom crumple zones. We live in a space in time here on Earth. I’m discovering that in life we are surrounded by crumple zones.  Time is the biggest crumple zone of all. If you follow my ramblings here at TCA  you can only imagine the condition of ‘my second toe’ had it not been for crumple zones. ‘Improvement is steady’ in crumple zones.  Now, I’m ready – for all the great features of my Audi with the size and height of my pick-up truck – cream colored please.