To quote a line in Aaron Sorkin’s The Newsroom, “…Throughout our history America’s darkest days have always been followed by its finest hours.” I’ve had it pretty good lately. Especially for someone who, a few months ago, stopped practicing what she preached. Things felt a little rocky. I started reminding myself to just breathe baby breathe even if only for a few minutes. The rest of the time I’m trying to be mindful and appreciate the heck out of things. When I picked up the stick again, seemed in an instant everything changed, reshaped and improved upon the improvements! It never ends!
Meditation, silent meditation particularly, automatically creates mindfulness. If you are reading this you likely have some kind of meditation practice going. I find that adding a silent practice, with consecutive minutes of focusing on the breath, gives us exponential benefit. Our brains literally morph, changing shape enabling a happy life experience. When I’m in the pits I can be mindful of it. The finest hours are at hand. With a few minutes of focusing on the breath, bingbangboom I’m in a better feeling place!
I’ve noticed it’s as though we create a reservoir of sorts that holds limitless energy and wellness to flow easily through life. Even when we’re in a meditation dry spell we can pull from the reservoir. I am amazed at how naturally endurance and resilience and unencumbered fortitude is at our fingertips. Moving forward, we are now in our finest hours. Meditate and make the most of it. It’s only natural.
COVID19 is like a GIANT STD and the human population is in the pandemic throws of a global orgy, especially here in the good old USA. We may as well make the best of it and meditate. Meditation is the name of the Wellness game. Just a few short minutes of meditation every day changes everything.
There is no bigger virus than that of fear. When we quiet down for those few short minutes and we focus on our breathing, our well-being activates. Our brains literally change and our immune systems strengthen and anxiety diminishes.
The realization of effective global silence has manifested in unique and wonderful ways. For example, the Himalayas were seen from parts of India for the first time in 30 years after pollution dropped due to the lockdown. And seismologists observed that the Earth is literally vibrating less than when we were in our normal mindless fever pitch lives.
Imagine. If we can collectively quiet and calm the Earth then we can, as individuals quiet calm our Self. We will come out of this. In the end Nature will win. Keep with nature and meditate. It’s only natural.
Preparing to write, I lightly pondered the current state of affairs. Like most, I immediately went to the dark side. Thankfully, mindfulness quickly took over and I snapped out of it! We perpetuate what we focus upon and I want to perpetuate feeling good and having fun.
I’m reminded of the essence of TCA’s mission:
“Start telling a better-feeling story about the things that are important to you.”
United States of America – that’s important to me. For starters, it is so beautiful …and BIG! And with the recent spring equinox, feeling the shift of the season is imminent. The wildlife is important to me and exceptionally wild this time of year. The creatures are getting randy and the frolicking birds are everywhere! I am awestruck at their color and variety and sounds and songs.
Did you know that raccoons scream during their mating rituals? They scream like a human might if in deep distress. They are in their own special scientific category: SweetSlumberInteruptous. Somewhat nocturnal and so loud and shrill the screech, raccoons have the uncanny ability to glue a sleeping adult human to the ceiling in a high velocity launch, between the hours of 2am and 4am.
“…tell the uplifting, fanciful, magical story of the wonder of your own life”
Life experience has shown me that our bodies are self-healing mechanisms, always correcting – always healing – all the time – all by themselves – naturally. This is especially true when we can provide it with proper tools. Of course, it’s just common sense that one must be conscientious and consistent in the consumption of quality nutrients. Another crucial component in the toolbox – MEDITATION.
Our natural state is to be well. In our daily lives we open our toolboxes and abide by our constitution. We take the time for personal hygiene. We adorn our bodies. We don’t really think about it as something extra we must do. It’s not usually a topic of general discussion during the day. We just do it. And, we are ALL better for it.
MEDITATION in the toolbox is crucial to realizing a thriving physical apparatus and mental acuity. Trillions of intelligent cells make up our bodies. The imperceptible silences during meditation allows for our cells to hear their calling. BREATHING… in… and out…. that’s all… just BREATHING… in… and out…. and when you notice your mind has wandered bring your attention back to your BREATHING… in… and out…. Cultivating five to twenty minutes of MEDITATION a day into your toolbox; We don’t really think about it as something extra we must do. It’s not usually a topic of general discussion during the day. We just do it. And, we are ALL better for it.
“…meditate – meditate – meditate…”
There is no better recipe for cultivating self-reliance, happiness and prosperity than practicing a few minutes of silent meditation every day. Here’s a tip – Unless you are a special prosecutor, if you don’t like the smell of what is around you then get your head out of the garbage, turn off the TV/step away from the phone, go outside and breathe. Life does indeed get better and better and better when we meditate – especially when we meditate on a regular basis. You just can’t fake the ensuing mindfulness. And believe it or not – It’s only natural.
Everyone can learn to meditate. It’s as natural to meditate as it is to eat, breathe and sleep. With our world seemingly spinning out of control, we often feel the stress of it in our daily lives. When we meditate, the momentum of that stress tends to subside. We feel more tenable and attainable, happier and relaxed. In our lives and in our world we are enabled to tap into our natural well-being. Science is discovering why this is so.
In 2011, an eight week study was conducted at Massachusetts General Hospital to determine the effects of meditation on the brain. They applied the MBSR program (Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction, Jon Kabat-Zinn, Ph.D) to an experimental group and measured the structural elements within the brain before and after the eight-week course. The findings revealed the profound physical, mental, social and emotional impact of meditation. They observed:
Thicker cerebral cortex in areas associated with attention and emotional integration
Increased grey matter in the hippocampus, associated with learning and memory
Decreased grey matter density in the amygdala, which links to anxiety, fear and stress
Decreased grey matter in the insula, related to self-awareness
A few minutes of silent meditation changes everything. Benefits Include:
Social/Emotional – Improves relationships, emotional intelligence, emotional regulation, Increases sense of connectedness, empathy and Reduces stress and risk of depression
Physical – Increases energy level, Improves sleep, Supports weight loss goals, Lowers blood pressure, Relieves IBS symptoms, Prevents stress induced ailments, Wards off dis-ease, Slows the progress of HIV
Mental – Improves memory and test scores, cognition and vital functions, concentration and attention, Increases productivity, Protects against mental illness (i.e. Alzheimers), Strengthens areas most susceptible to cognitive decline
It takes only two months of meditation to experience measurable changes in the brain associated with memory, sense of self, empathy and stress. It takes just a few minutes a day to meditate and you will notice the difference right away – you will notice that brilliant, alive and openness of mindfulness. Meditation is a simple solution to improving anyone’s quality of living. It’s only natural.
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.
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 silentlymeditate… simply sitting comfortably and gently breathing… just sitting there doing nothing… just breathing… Five 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 breathe… in one day. It’s all about taking those skinny little minutes (gently building to the ideal 15-20/day) to just sit… and breathe… every 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?’
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.
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 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!
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.
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.