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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

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 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

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.

6 Tips to Open Your Heart Chakra to Welcome Joy into Your Life

1) Exercise before you meditate

In general, you’ll have a better meditation experience if you exercise before you meditate. We recommend yoga, running, swimming and walking. Please check with your doctors first to determine a particular exercise regimen that works for your current health condition(s). The key is consistency. Doctors recommend working out at least four to five times per week and at least 30 minutes per session for a healthy adult.

Yoga has roots in helping meditation practitioners improve their meditation practice. Body, mind and spirit are interconnected. Through yoga movements, your body achieves a state of relaxation prior to your meditation practice.

Running is great. Not only do you increase your heart rate, but you also let go of your day.

Swimming is a whole body workout. Swimming is exceedingly beneficial when you have a lot of stress in your life. When you swim, you immerse your body in water. Water neutralizes your energy body. After a swim, you feel the weight lifted from your body.

Walking in a park gives the benefits of exercising and spending time in nature. Studies show spending time in nature reduces stress.

2) Volunteer

Volunteering is a key to open your heart chakra. Volunteering is an act of selfless giving. When you engage in an activity for the sole purpose of the welfare of others, it transcends your state of mind and makes you happy.

Pick a volunteering event that is close to your heart. We volunteered at Second Harvest Food Bank (http://www.shfb.org/) in the past. We believe everyone in America should be fed and sheltered. Through this volunteering event, we learned more than 250,000 people rely on food from Second Harvest Bank every month in Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties, including 100,000 children. As a community, together we can end the hunger.

The miracle of doing volunteer work is that you feel the openness of your own heart. Volunteering is selfless giving. When you give selflessly, your problems and concerns fade away temporarily. You realize your problems and concerns are insignificant compared to others’ suffering.

You realize it is a privilege to help others. The goodness you feel through volunteering will carry you into a state of gratitude and joy. Try it. It works!

3) Chant

You can spend a few minutes chanting prior to starting your meditation practice. You can chant a mantra such as Om Mani Padme Hum (pronunciate as ohm mah nee pahd may hum). Om Mani Padme Hum means the jewel is within the lotus. Happiness and joy are within you. You can listen to this chant by Mercedes Bahleda.

You can chant devotional songs such as “O God Beautiful”. This chant, written by Guru Nanak, was translated into English and made known in the West by Paramhansa Yogananda.

4) Read books that inspire you before you meditate

Swami Brahmanada encourages us to read devotional scriptures before we meditate. Read a few pages from books and teachings that are written by enlightened teachers, such as “Whispers from Eternity” by Paramahansa Yogananda, “The Eternal Companion: A Guidebook for Spiritual Practice” by Swami Prabhavananda or “The Song of God: Bhagavad-Gita” translated by Swam Prahavananda and Christopher Isherwood, prior to your meditation.

5) Meditate!

Mediation will make you happy and open your heart chakra.

6) Opening the heart chakra is a process

Opening the heart chakra is a process. It takes practice. It takes patience. Constant practice will open your heart chakra.

Pick a tip listed above. Practice it. If you have other tips that you practice to open the heart chakra, please share them via the comment box below.

 

Need a Vacation? Try Meditation!

MeditationonBeach

Sitting out on a sunny beach, cocktail in hand, with no worries in the world would feel good right about now. Some of my best memories involve the times I’ve made time for a vacation. It’s a way to kick back, relax, and leave stress behind.

The only problem with taking a vacation is that one day it will be over. We go back to the daily grind, with stress seemingly always on the mind. Wouldn’t it be nice to always experience the benefits of taking a vacation – even if you don’t really go anywhere?

Thanks to the power of mindfulness meditation, you actually can.

Regular Meditation Helps with Stress and Depression

We all know that regular meditation can help with stress. I’ve talked in the past about how it can help with depression when included in a thorough treatment plan. Now there are studies which have followed people over several months to show that not only are the improvements profound, but they are long-term in nature.

In fact, the people who benefit the most from regular meditation are those that have never really practiced meditation in the past.

Over the course of 10 months, a small study included volunteers who were divided into three groups. One group was experienced at meditation, the second were beginners, and the third group was told that they could just go on vacation. Everyone got to do some fun stuff in the sun, they listen to some health lectures that were probably a little boring, and practiced self-reflective exercises over the course of a week.

Then those given the “vacation” role in the study got to quit. The meditators kept on going. And in 10 months, here is what they found.

Beginning Meditation Offers Significant Improvements to the Aging Process

I think what is so striking about the results of this study is that it shows how any effort at getting away from stress will improve personal health. Even those in the “vacation” group showed significant benefits when they were away from their stress. The only problem was that once they stopped being on vacation, their stress-relief benefits stopped as well.

Those who were already meditating regularly also saw significant benefits in the 10-month study period. It was those who were beginners that saw the most benefits in this study. Not only did they experience the mental benefits of meditation, but there were physical changes as well. There were improved immune function marker and healthier aging indicators.

What does this mean? That if we can take just 15 minutes to meditate every day, then the mind is given the opportunity to go on vacation. You might be surrounded by the noise and stress of this world. Your mind, when meditating, has kicked back on a beach and is enjoying some sand, surf, and sun.

In addition to meditation, Yoga has been found to be able to enhance these benefits even further. So if you can begin to meditate or add some Yoga to your routine, you’re giving yourself a mini-vacation every day.

What has helped you find time to meditate every day?

Meditation Can Bring Joy and Contentment to Your Life

How-To-Meditate

Ever have that “overwhelmed” feeling from the moment you wake up?

In today’s world, it is easy to feel like you aren’t smart enough. Or good enough. Or beautiful enough. Dreams are meant to be chased, but only by those who qualify for the chasing.

With meditation, you can transform your life into whatever you want it to be. No matter what your story is, meditation doesn’t discriminate. You are smart enough. You are good enough. Your beauty on the inside and out is always present.

If you’re ready to change how you see your reflection in the morning so you don’t always feel overwhelmed, here’s how you can make that change happen through meditation.

#1. You get to start your day on a positive note.

Some people spring out of bed before the alarm goes off. I’m not one of those people. I’ve replaced alarm clocks because I’ve broken the snooze button on them.

With meditation right away in the morning, you get to begin a day with positive energy. This is because you’re taking time to center yourself. Something as simple as stopping, breathing deeply, and focusing on something which doesn’t cause worry can really change your entire day.

Life can seem like it’s out of control sometimes. Morning meditation helps me wrestle back that control.

#2. You can become more energetic.

If you think that meditation makes you sit in a specific position or hum something you have no idea what it means, then let’s explore an alternative.

There are literally hundreds of different types of meditation. Some people walk. Some like to meditate while they stay in bed. I know a fellow who meditates with the TV on in the background because he can’t focus well in a quiet environment.

Everyone is different. That means meditation which focuses on you can improve your energy.

#3. You will notice an uptick in your confidence.

I found success when I found my confidence. It was difficult for me to find my confidence until I found meditation.

When you meditate, there’s a certain authenticity about the experience that cannot be duplicated. There’s no need to pretend to be something you are not. In that moment, it’s all about you.

The realization that what you can do and who you are is enough is a profound experience that supports you through even the toughest of days.

#4. You will feel less anxious.

“Good job, you stupid idiot.”

Negative self-talk is incredibly destructive. Many times it is our own inner voice that is our own worst enemy. This negativity comes from a feeling of anxiousness or fear. It’s literally part of our fight or flight mechanism.

With meditation, you can access the mental tools necessary to deal with the triggers that cause this negative emotion. A few deep breaths will naturally calm the tense nerves while the mind shifts the focus off of the emotional reaction to the fear.

Then, even if you do make a mistake, meditation helps you to say, “Let’s try this again,” instead.

#5. You get to know yourself better.

We all hide things from ourselves.

There are difficult memories. Poor choices. Moments we’d long to forget. Meditation helps us to stop forgetting these things. It transforms these difficult times so we can see how they have shaped us. Helped us to become the people we are today.

It’s not always easy to get to know yourself better. I still have moments I’d like to forget. But now I can use those moments to my own daily advantage.

How do you cope with a difficult day? What have been your experiences with meditation? I’d love to hear how you self-manage difficult circumstances.

How to Meditate When You Hate Meditation

How-To-Meditate 

The benefits of meditation have been proven repeatedly. Yet for so many people, the idea of actually meditating is one that they hate.

I know I had this love/hate relationship with meditation when I first began to practice it. I loved the idea of what it could do for me. I hated the fact that it made me sit still. It seemed like such a waste of time.

As the days and weeks passed, however, I began to discover that there were other ways to bring meditation into my life so that I wasn’t forced to find a quiet place to sit somewhere and feel like I was doing nothing. It has helped me to hate meditation less, love it more, and I’m feeling better because of it.

So here’s how you can meditate if you hate meditation like I once did.

#1. Incorporate meditation into your current routine. What I finally decided to do one day was meditate while taking a shower. I bleached the shower floor first [who wants athlete’s foot on your posterior?], then plunked myself down until the water turned cold. It was an amazing experience! That’s when I realized that meditation could happen while taking a walk, while eating breakfast, or even while washing dishes. Being more mindful can happen at any time and in any location, so try to incorporate meditation into your current routine.

#2. Meditate on a single point that’s actually interesting. Like many, my first attempt at meditation was to stare at a lit candle. That was the most boring experience of my entire life – and I once had a 17-hour layover in Buffalo, NY without any cash to my name. So then I began to think. If I just need to focus on a single point of something to meditate, could it be anything? I focused on poetry the next time because I love Hemingway. It was much more rewarding. You could focus on prayer, scriptures, music – anything that is important to you. This makes meditation a lot easier.

#3. Nothing happens during or after a meditation session. I don’t know what I was expecting. Maybe magical unicorns spraying tension removal dust on my brain while singing songs about rainbows. When I first started meditating, I expected real, tangible, and immediate outcomes. Instead I didn’t experience anything. Over time, I’ve learned that a wandering mind while meditating can be a good thing. Sure – come back to your focus. But also let your mind wander. That was you always feel like you’ve been productive while meditating.

#4. It’s always a to-do list while meditating. I still have this problem from time to time. My mind wanders to the chores in the house that need to get done. Or my project at work that has a tight deadline. As I generate a mental to-do list, my chest fills with that all-too-common feeling of worry. Instead of taking a deep breath and trying to let that list go, finish it. Otherwise your focus will be on the list during your meditation instead of your single point of focus. Once finished, then you can set it aside.

#5. Find your own starting point. Sometimes you just have to staple your pants to the ground and begin to meditate. Throw on some music if you wish. Sit in a beanbag chair. Do whatever it takes to create a comfortable environment that makes you want to meditate. Even if that means the only place you meditate is in the shower every day.

What struggles have you encountered when trying to meditate? How did you overcome those challenges? I’d love to hear your ideas!

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