mission recall

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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.

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more basics

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/EmotionalImproves relationships, emotional intelligence, emotional regulation, Increases sense of connectedness, empathy and Reduces stress and risk of depression
  • PhysicalIncreases 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.

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

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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.

toilet paper

     We all experience points when life takes that turn and everything really starts to go our way. We feel lighter and freer. But – so often we’re encumbered with a sense of guardedness, feeling like this is not going to last, while we wait for the other shoe to drop. We have grown so accustomed to the struggle and daily grind that when good things happen we’re not used to it and we think it is an anomaly.  Well, I’m happy to report that this type of stinkin’ thinkin’ is all in your head. It is only natural for us to feel good and everything is supposed to go our way.
     To prove this point, consider your toilet paper. I have lived in many different locations over the years. Each abode, of course, had a holder for the toilet paper. In one place I became accustomed to turning toward the left to gather this precious reserve. It became automatic to lean in that direction for the much needed item. After a while I didn’t even think about it. The brain pattern was in place and I could be totally mindless when it came time to acquire this useful tool.
     Moving to a new place, I found this valuable commodity to be on the right. How odd it was to automatically be reaching left, reaching left, reaching left. I realized, though without fanfare, that if I wanted to utilize this important resource, I had to open myself to a new way of thinking. I had to allow and create some new brain wrinkles. I had to be mindful and reach right. Those little subtleties can change everything. In mindfulness, the shift is always for the better.
     Meditation cleans things up. When we meditate we cultivate mindfulness and open ourselves to all that good stuff. Each time we meditate we, little by little, train our ever agreeable brain to lean in the direction of our natural inclinations. We become mindful.  We begin to notice that we are turning left when what we want is on our right. We recognize our passions and our brain re-patterns to accommodate our wishes.
     Test your toilet paper today. Take a few minutes each morning to meditate, breathing in and breathing out; paying attention or being mindful of your breath, your breath, your breath. The shift is incremental and it does not take long to become used to and normalize. Life is supposed to feel good, without compromise. Meditate and let it in. It’s only natural.
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(artist unknown)