A Three-Minute Vacation: Ocean Meditation


Please join me (Charlene) to practice ocean meditation in order to bring more joy and peace into your life by watching the video above. Also enjoy a seagull, who flies through in the video. May your rest of the week be filled with joy. If you’re interested in learning how to mediate or deepen your meditation practice, please visit:
http://www.meditatebeherenow.com/classes/
Link to Learn to Meditate YouTube Channel: http://bit.ly/2ty7Eco
Link to Ocean Meditation: https://youtu.be/Rqk4URwyUA4
Link to Walking Meditation – Part 1: https://youtu.be/YMf3H5q4MtQ
Link to Walking Meditation – Part 2: https://youtu.be/VooibHMAShk

Gratitude Is The Key To Happiness

Why Do We Practice Gratitude?

The idea of gratitude isn’t a new one – you can find the concept in the oldest of the world’s religions. That’s because gratitude is a transformative practice that takes the focus off of your own personal needs and let’s you instead look at the needs of the world around you. There may be no greater method of achieving a harmonious life than to be appreciative of what you have and have that “attitude of gratitude” that so many only have right around the holidays! Here’s why:

What Is the Cornerstone of Gratitude?

In order to practice the art of gratitude, one must first be content with what they have in life. As Paul the Apostle once wrote, he learned that there will be times of sufficiency and times when there are dark valleys that seem inescapable. Rather than dwell in the good and fight hard to get out of the bad, he learned to be content with whatever his circumstances happened to be. In that, he was able to establish a lifestyle of gratitude.

Why is contentment the cornerstone of gratitude? Because without contentment, we are always striving to have more. To be better. To accumulate more things. We do this because we have this inner urge to be satisfied. We think that if we get just one more thing, or take one more career step, or achieve just one more success, we can finally be grateful and happy… except no one ever is. There’s always something else on the horizon!

With contentment, you’re not looking to the horizon – you’re living in the moment.

How Can Gratitude Be Practiced Daily?

The easiest way to eliminate gratitude from one’s life is to be judgmental of yourself and of others. It could be as simple as coveting that brand new 60” LCD your co-worker is talking about buying in the break room. It could be more complicated as you may look at someone else’s circumstances and feel inferior to them. When you shift your focus away from these negative things toward contentment and then gratitude, some amazing changes happen within your body:

  • your brain begins to become more balanced;
  • your heartbeat becomes stable and rhythmic; and
  • your body creates biochemical changes throughout to create a happier you.

In other words, stress is reduced when you focus on being grateful now in whatever your circumstances may be. Research even shows that a regular practice of gratitude can help a student’s grades?

Where Do You Get Started With Personal Gratitude?

Becoming content in whatever circumstances you find yourself in can be difficult. Life can throw each of us a nasty curveball that seems impossible to hit! When that happens, there are still things to be grateful about in life: a friend who is always there for you, that triple chocolate fudge ice cream in the freezer that’s waiting for you, the smile of a child, or even just the warm sunshine on your face.

By focusing on the little moments and be grateful about them, gratitude in the larger things will naturally flow from you as well. Take a breath, find something to be grateful about right now, and begin the process of repairing, restoring, and harmonizing your universe.

A Three-Minute Vacation: Walking Meditation – Part 2


Please join me (Charlene) to practice walking meditation in order to bring more peace and happiness into your life by watching the video below. May your weekend be filled with joy and peace!
If you’re interested in learning how to mediate or deepen your meditation practice, please visit:
http://www.meditatebeherenow.com/classes/
Link to Walking Meditation – Part 2: https://youtu.be/VooibHMAShk
Link to Walking Meditation – Part 1: https://youtu.be/YMf3H5q4MtQ

3 Tips: How To Focus When Feeling Unfocused

Have you ever entered a room, intent on accomplishing some task, but forgotten what that task was? This happens to me. I’ll be struck by an idea that I feel is brilliant, get up to implement that idea, and then promptly forget it.

It happens to the best of us. The human mind wanders about half of the time it is awake and active. When we try to engage the world during these moments of wandering, the end result is typically forgetfulness.

What happens when you go back to the last point of focus? You often remember what you were supposed to be doing, right? This means you can encourage the mind to become focused once again, even if you are currently feeling unfocused.

Here are some of the ways I’ve discovered that the unfocused mind can decide to start focusing once again.

#1. Decide right now to manage your time wisely. Distractions are everywhere these days. Advertisements, social media notifications, text messages – the list is enormous. Each of us has certain distractions that pull at our focus. The best way to manage this issue is to make the decision to manage these distractions, these temptations, so a more focused control can be obtained.

Block websites you might want to visit. Unplug your internet if need be. Turn off your smartphone. Spend a specific time in your email each day and no more. The issue here is seduction. These distractions seduce your mind into believing that an unfocused state is better than staying focused. Your job is to convince your mind that the opposite is true.

#2. Take a moment to evaluate before taking action. Ever notice how some people are always throwing “word bombs” on their social media accounts? Written words are just as powerful as spoken words, maybe even more so, yet so many don’t give a second thought to what they post on their profiles. People will take you seriously when you say, “If you believe this, then don’t speak to me again.” Or “If you vote a certain way, you are no friend of mine.”

Careless words create disorder and mayhem because they are a result of an unfocused mind. Before saying something or writing something, step back for a moment and give it a second thought. How will other people perceive what you’re about to say? Consciously tell your mind to be focused. I’ve found this simple act can help avoid saying words that might be regretted one day and be able to return to the more important tasks that may need to be completed.

#3. Place an emphasis on mindfulness meditation. Mindfulness meditation can be practiced anywhere and at any time. Stop for a moment and feel the wind on your skin. Remember a favorite memory and experience every detail. Feel your breath move in and out of your chest. Endure the silence which may be around you.

This has been my biggest struggle. The unfocused mind rebels at the thought of being more focused just like your muscles rebel during a long workout when exercise has been neglected for a few days. If you keep your will strong and continue this habit, however, the rebellion subsides over time and a more consistently focused mind becomes the end result.

Sometimes we need to feel unfocused just so we can have an escape from the day. There’s nothing wrong with that. It’s a natural defensive mechanism. It becomes an issue when being unfocused interferes with the goals that we have in life.

These are the ways that have helped me to find my focus more often each day. How do you find your focus? I’d love to hear about some of the ways you’ve been able to focus when you’re feeling unfocused.

 

A Three-Minute Vacation: Walking Meditation – Part 1

Please join me (Charlene) to practice walking meditation in order to bring more peace and relaxation into your life by watching the video. May your rest of the week be filled with joy and peace.
Mantra mentioned in this video: Om Mani Padme Hum (ohm-mahnee-pahdmay-hoom). This mantra means: joy, happiness is within you.
If you’re interested in learning how to mediate or deepen your meditation practice, please visit:
http://www.meditatebeherenow.com/classes
Link to Walking Meditation: https://youtu.be/YMf3H5q4MtQ
Link to Mantra Meditation: https://youtu.be/1UY2ew0eTqI
Link to Peace Meditation: https://youtu.be/mLCGVy-eI6g

 

A Day Visit at Yosemite National Park

“It is by far the grandest of all of the special temples of Nature I was ever permitted to enter.” – John Muir

I recently did a day trip to Yosemite National Park. It was a perfect August day. The temperature was at the high 80s. I took Route 120 into the park. My first impression was the park is filled with interesting rock formations. However, no one rock is like another. The park is also full of Ponderosa Pine. The cinnamon-red bark of these pine trees are handsomely marked with irregularly shaped plates separated by dark crevices. Ponderosa pine lives to 300 to 600 years.

I felt my worries from the week melted away simply by being in this beautiful park.

Tenaya Lake

Around lunch time, I arrived at Tenaya Lake. The lake is surrounded by granite domes and forests. The water is blue and clear. I got a sense that I could see every rock in the lake because the water is so clear. When I looked out to the lake, I felt quiet and peaceful. I secretly wished I could sit by the lake for the rest of day. It was around lunch time. Lots of people were picnicking and enjoying their sandwiches by the lake. Quite a few people were swimming in the lake. Of course, almost everyone was taking a picture of the lake using their smartphone. I was very happy to see so many people were enjoying nature and having a good time.

Tuolumne Meadows

The air is pristine and crisp. The area is quiet. The meadow, creeks and surrounding granite mountains are spectacular with remarkable rock formations. Every rock seems to be just at the right place. It is tranquil and peaceful. It was also a good break from the crowds. I spotted two young mule deers with their mother on the meadow. It was an amazing feeling to see three deers up close and personal. It was a highlight of my trip.

Lembert Dome

Lembert Dome is a gigantic rock formation situated at the east side of Tuolumne Meadows. The dome is hugged by Tuolumne River and surrounded by Alpine trees. On a sunny day like the day I visited the park, with the blue sky as the backdrop, it is simply a Kodak moment. Lember Dome trail is a moderate to strenuous hike because of its elevation and rock climbing to the top. Once you get to the top of the dome, it will afford you a panorama view of the Tuolumne Meadows.

Yosemite National Park is truly a magical place. I sincerely hope you have an opportunity to visit this amazing park in the near future. The visit will transform you.

Link to the August 19th online meditation class: http://bit.ly/2upf3ql

A Three-Minute Vacation: Peace Meditation

Please join me (Charlene) to learn how to meditate on the quality of peace to bring more peace and stillness into your life by watching the video below. Give yourself a gift of three-minute vacation by meditating. If you’d like to learn more about how to meditate or deepen your meditation practice, please click the link below to sign up a meditation class. Happy meditating! May your day be filled with peace and joy.
Link to the August 19th online meditation class: http://bit.ly/2upf3ql
Link to the video: https://youtu.be/mLCGVy-eI6g

A Three-Minute Vacation: Flower Meditation


Please join me (Charlene) to learn how to meditate with a rose to bring more happiness and love into your life by watching the video below. Give yourself a gift of three-minute vacation by meditating. If you’d like to learn more about how to meditate or enhance your meditation practice, please click the link below to sign up a meditation class. Happy meditating! May your day be filled with happiness and love.
Link to the July 29th meditation class: http://bit.ly/2u26LaM
Link to the video: https://youtu.be/6VtKt7_otPI

A Three-Minute Vacation: Learn to Meditate with a Mantra


Please join me (Charlene) to learn how to meditate with a mantra to bring more happiness and joy into your life by watching the video below. Give yourself a gift of three-minute vacation by meditating. If you’d like to learn more about how to meditate, please click on the link below to sign up a meditation class. Happy meditating! May your rest of the week be filled with joy and peace.
Link to the July 22nd meditation class: http://bit.ly/2uk161b
Link to the July 29th meditation class: http://bit.ly/2u26LaM
Link to the video: https://youtu.be/1UY2ew0eTqI

3 Tips to Celebrate Summer Solstice 2017

Happy solstice! Today is the first day of summer in the northern hemisphere. Summer solstice is a very powerful time, which means there is extra energy during this time of the year. In India, there are tons of celebrations through meditation, chanting, scripture reading/recitation/discourse to welcome the beginning of the summer.

For practitioners of meditation and mindfulness, how can we best use the energy of summer solstice to accelerate our practice?

  1. Re-start your meditation practice

Shunryu Suzuki says, “In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities, but in the expert’s there are few.” Take a fresh look at your meditation practice. Examine every detail. For example, is your meditation space neat and clean? Your physical surrounding is a reflection of your mind. It is a good time to tidy up your meditation space. Another example, if you meditate with music, how about using different meditation albums that you have not used before to bring in new energy?

  1. Review and set your career goals for the next 90 days

Direct the energy you gain from your meditation practice to your career (or work, school work, projects that you’re working on). Use your career as a focus and concentration exercise while you’re not formally sitting down and meditating. Write down your career goals (including your educational goals) for the next 90 days. You can further break down your goals to the monthly goals and weekly goals. The study shows people who set goals tend to accomplish more (click here for the details of this study). Goals give you concrete targets to focus your energy. If you’d like, you can place a copy of your written career goals on your meditation table.

  1. Radiate love and kindness

Endeavor to have positive thoughts, speak positive words, and have positive actions throughout the day. For example, give the biggest smile you can when interacting with cashers at the checkout counters. Send silent prayers and blessings to everyone you meet (either online or in person) today. Hold the door open for someone today when you go to Starbucks. These random acts of kindness will fill you with love and joy and make the world a better place.

May your summer 2017 be filled with joy, love, and peace. What is the first step you’ll take today to implement the tips listed above? Please share your comments below.

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