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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.

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.

 

Learn to Meditate with Your Third-Eye Chakra

Please join me (Charlene) to learn how to meditate with your third-eye chakra to bring more clarity and focus into your life by watching this video. Give yourself a gift of three-minute vacation by meditating. If you’d like to learn more about how to meditate, please click here to sign up a free introduction to meditation class. Happy meditating! May your week be filled with joy and peace.

A Three-Minute Vacation: Learn to Meditate with Your Heart Chakra

Please join me (Charlene) to learn how to meditate with your heart chakra by watching the video below. Give yourself a gift of three-minute vacation with a heart chakra meditation. If you’d like to learn more about how to meditate, please click here to check out & sign up my upcoming online meditation classes. Happy meditating! May your week be filled with love and joy.

A Three-Minute Vacation: Learn to Meditate with Music

Please join me to learn how to meditate with music by watching the video below. Give yourself a gift of three-minute vacation by meditating with music. If you’d like to learn more about how to meditate, please click here to check out & sign up my upcoming online meditation classes. Happy meditating! Have a joyful and peaceful week.

About Charlene
Charlene has over 20 years’ experience in the art of meditation and mindfulness. For over 15 years, she leads meditation classes around the U.S. to inspire others to experience joy of their own beings through the practice of meditation.

 

 

5 Ways to Boost Your Meditation Efforts Today

boost your meditation practice

Do you wonder if you’re meditating in the right way? Or feel disappointed because your time with meditation feels imperfect? Believe it or not, these are feelings that even long-term practitioners of meditation struggle with from time to time. I still experience them on a regular basis.

Instead of focusing on the way you think you “should” be meditating, embrace your own experiences every day. Stay committed to the process, incorporate meditation boosters, and it will become a little easier.

#1. Get into meditation right away. There are a lot of distractions that can eat into my meditation time. I might want to find a more comfortable pillow. The light might not be just right. I could be thinking about my deadlines instead of trying to focus my mind. I’ve found that when you just get into meditation right away, the need for perfection tends to go away. Having a meditation time that is “good enough” is, well… good enough.

#2. Don’t overdo it. I will always recommend striving toward at least 20 minutes of daily meditation. I’ve found that this amount of time tends to provide some of the best benefits. Sometimes, however, I just can’t put together a 20-minute block for meditation. Instead of forcing the situation, reduce the time commitment for that day. Instead of 20 minutes, try 10 minutes instead. If 10 minutes is too long, try for five minutes. If meditation is stressing you out, then it won’t be providing the mind with many benefits.

#3. Keep an open mind. I used to think meditation was a bunch of baloney. Once I opened up my mind to the possibility that meditation could be real and beneficial, it sparked my curiosity. I began to explore a little more of what it was about. We often seek to become masters of the skills and talents we embrace, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Meditation can be fun. You must be willing to allow it to be fun before that will happen.

#4. Give yourself a chance to succeed. I face a few challenges every day when it comes to meditation. I hate getting up early in the morning, but that’s the best time for me to meditate. So I structured my day to accommodate how slow I can move in the morning. I get up 15 minutes earlier and then made it so that I can come into work 30 minutes later. I take a half-hour lunch break instead of a full hour to make up the difference. When you give yourself a real chance to succeed, you’re one step closer to success.

#5. Take it one day at a time. You might try to meditate, but then forget about making time for it. Or you might sit down to meditate and nothing happens, so you give up. This is okay. Just try again tomorrow.

Meditation shouldn’t be a headache. It shouldn’t be a stress trigger. These are the ways I’ve found that help me to be more consistent with my meditation time.

How do you manage your schedule to accommodate meditation?

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