Breathing Meditation – Your safe harbour in a storm.

Breathing meditation is an exercise in mental awareness, not an exercise in physically controlling your breathing.

Breathing Meditation – Your safe harbour in a storm.

Breathing meditation is one of the simplest and easiest mindfulness exercises. Focusing awareness on your breathing takes your attention away from the raging tempest of thoughts and emotions that usually swirl around inside you during times of great stress. When you feel like you are spiralling out of control on the way to rock bottom, breathing meditation can be a lifeline around your sanity. Let’s take a look at how easy and effective this can be.

An Overview of Breathing Meditations

Breathing meditation is an exercise in mental awareness, not an exercise in physically controlling your breathing. Thus, if you suffer from breathing difficulties, such as COPD, this isn’t something you’ll do with your physical therapist. While mindfulness is generally an excellent antidote to stress, if the struggle to breathe is itself the cause of your stress then this may not be the best mindfulness exercise for you. But for most people, the process of breathing is controlled beautifully and unconsciously by the autonomic nervous system, and makes for an excellent anchor for our attention.

To begin the exercise, place yourself in a comfortable position, relax each part of your body in turn, and then close your eyes. For the next five to ten minutes, focus only on your breathing. If your mind wanders – which it will – just gently bring it back to your breathing. To help you focus (and stop you from going in the other direction and spacing out) keep a running count of each out-breath, from one to ten repeatedly.

After numerous sessions of counting your out-breaths, switch focus to your in-breath, counting before you breathe in. This makes you aware of the different feel of the in-breath – one of gathering energy – in contrast to the release of the out-breath.

When you feel you are ready, drop the counting altogether and just focus on your breathing. While counting can help you focus, it also breaks the seamless flow of breathing into a choppy, discontinuous series of individual breaths. Try to feel the air at the rims of your nostrils, and even on your upper lip.

This level of sensitivity may take a while to develop, but one of the purposes of mindfulness exercises is to enhance the richness of your present moments, bringing to consciousness fine details that are usually missed. In other words, mindfulness makes you more alive in the here and now, and over time this becomes apparent across your entire waking life, not just during meditation itself.

Dealing with Distractions

The issue of distractions brings us back to our primary purpose. When you are distracted by all those random thoughts or emotions that impinge on your awareness, you are like a car driver who allows an obnoxious passenger to take hold of the wheel. You are no longer in control, and this is not an acceptable state of affairs. But it is vital not to become annoyed or disappointed with yourself; in fact, there is something to celebrate here.

At that precise moment when you realise that you have lost your focus and become distracted, you are taking the passenger’s hands off the steering wheel and putting yours back on. You are becoming more aware; you are learning that you have a choice about the contents of your mind. And with choice comes freedom.

Thus, whenever you bring your attention back to your breathing after a rude interruption, do not judge yourself. Take a moment to pat yourself on the back for rising above the distraction. (Don’t overdo it, though, since this little celebration can itself become a distraction!) In a sense, the right attitude to adopt toward yourself is one of loving-kindness, which we have discussed in companion articles on this website. Breathing meditation is, in fact, a prelude to more advanced Buddhist meditations such as loving-kindness, and the calmness it will give you is a necessary precondition for insight.

Using this simple exercise, you will always be able to regain inner control and restore your sanity with just a few minutes to spare.

Richard M. Frost – About the Author:

Effective though it is, breathing meditation is only the beginning of the most fascinating journey you will ever take – the journey within. To see what happens when ancient meditation techniques are enhanced by a thoughtful application of modern neuroscience, visit Meditation Audio Reviews.

How to stay grounded

How to stay grounded.

How to stay grounded

As a clairvoyant and healer, I understand the importance of grounding myself on a regular basis. When you possess the ability read energy from a higher conscious place, it’s so easy for your soul to automatically transition into Spirit. In other words, you want to be in the place where you are channelling energy. Yet, we live on Earth so we must remain present here in our daily lives.

So what are the symptoms of not being grounded? Here are just a few that you might identify with:

  • Feeling like your head is in the clouds
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Forgetting things often
  • Losing track of time
  • Not living in the Present.
  • Feeling constantly in worry mode
  • Being accident prone
  • Frequent mood swings.
  • Avoiding life by excessively sleeping, reading, video games, drinking, TV etc..
  • Feeling drained by other people

Here are a few tips that will keep you grounded, and make you feel like you’re on planet Earth once again:

Complete a Grounding Exercise

When you wake up every morning, place your feet on the ground, and imagine the roots of a tree, wrapping around the tops of your feet and going to the center of the core of the earth. You may also repeat this several times a day or simply say the words “Grounded” out loud or in your mind. My feet always tingle when I do this.

Eat earthy foods.

Avoid processed foods whenever possible eat whole grains, vegetable proteins such as legumes, root vegetables, minerals like calcium and iron., and red coloured foods that activate your root chakra.

Breathe!

This may be obvious but so many people hold their breath when they are stressed out. Take several time a day to take several deep breaths, and allow the oxygen to flow into every cell of your body. You will feel revived and refreshed.

Take a Hot Bath or Shower.

After an emotionally draining day, take a hot bath and sprinkle some epsom salts. Water itself is purifying and the sea salts work to detoxify all of the accumulated negative energies that you have gathered throughout your day. Always rinse the salt off of your body before you get out. If you are showering, sprinkle some epsom salts onto your lufa, and imagine all of the negative energy going down the drain.

Be with Nature

Nature is one of the most powerful healing agents in the world. Spend time with the forest, ocean, rivers and mountain peaks. Nature’s energy is incredibly healing. Have you ever leaned up against a tree and felt the energy of the tree healing you? Mother Nature has the ability to repair the cells in your body. It’s such a gift and it’s right outside your door!

Extra Tip: For an even stronger grounding and healing connection to the Earth, take your shoes and socks off.

Remember that we all need to stay grounded in order to live a happy and productive life.

Maxine Friend – About the Author:

Voted as most popular clairvoyant in Vancouver, Maxine dedicated much of her time and energy to noteworthy causes.

Maxine is a member of the Canadian Association of Psychics, and is also an active member of the Scleroderma Association of British Columbia. Maxine is a level II Certified Reiki practitioner; specializing in Usui Reiki Ryoho. In her spare time, Maxine mentors other developing clairvoyants.

another thought for the day

You may believe that you are responsible for what you do, but not for what you think. The truth is that you are responsible for what you think, because it is only at this level that you can exercise choice. What you do comes from what you think.

By A Course in Miracles

Thoughts…. (be careful what you wish for)

Thoughts…. (be careful what you wish for) How many times do you think about someone you have not seen for years and they suddenly contact you?

Thoughts…. (be careful what you wish for)

How many times do you think about someone you have not seen for years and they suddenly contact you? How many times do you ring someone only for them to say they were just about to ring you? How many times do you pick up on what others are thinking? Or does someone else say what you are thinking?

Thoughts are the most powerful energy that we have. Every time we have a thought we are sending out a message to the universe saying this is what we would like to happen. That is why it is so important to think positive thoughts. There is a saying that ‘like attracts like’. Nowhere is this more true that in our thoughts. Positive thoughts attract positive energy. Unfortunately the reverse is also true. Negative thoughts attract negative energy.

Every time you worry or visualise something terrible happening you are sending out a message saying that this is what you would like to happen. We also need to look at the way we phrase our thoughts and how we ask for help. If you ask for help you will always get it but you do need to be careful what you are asking for. How many times do we say ‘give me strength’ when things are difficult?

The problem with this is that you only become stronger by dealing with situations that make you strong. So asking for strength is like asking for all sorts of difficult situations and experiences that will literally ‘give you strength’! It is also pointless saying you ‘want’ to lose weight. Saying you ‘want’ something just gives you the experience of ‘wanting’. You have to say ‘I choose’. But be careful how you use the word ‘choose’. All choices have consequences and if you are not specific you may get what you asked for but not in the way you meant!

For example: If you say ‘I choose to lose weight’ you have to make it clear that you mean through willpower, exercise and healthy eating otherwise you may find that you have a load of emotional or physical problems that result in you losing weight! Another example of not thinking choices through is mankind’s desire to control the planet and its weather. We are now at the point where our life styles, industries and technologies do exactly that, but presumably the mess the planet is in is not what we intended! So, we should always choose with care.

However, it is not all bad news. Saying ‘I choose to improve the world in which I am living’ could change your life in so many ways that you will look back on that moment as the defining moment when your life changed for the better. Why not try it and see!