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A Three-Minute Vacation: Sunset Meditation


Please join me (Charlene) to practice sunset meditation in order to bring more peace and stillness into your life by watching the video above. May your weekend 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 Sunset Meditation: https://youtu.be/VIyoLr-P9xs
Link to Ocean Meditation: https://youtu.be/Rqk4URwyUA4

 

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: 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

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.

Why Mindfulness Can Be an Excellent Diet Plan

Woman having pub lunch, eating salad and reading magazine

 Around the holidays, food seems to be everywhere. Then, when the new year comes along, resolutions for weight loss become popular.

Sometimes food is used for comfort. It’s a brief moment of joy in a world of sadness.

Whether you’re always dreaming of what you want to eat or you’ve just been to one too many family events this year, the solution to the expanding waist line could be mindfulness. I find that when I’m more aware of the world around me as I eat, I’m more conscious of the reasons why I am eating.

I also pay more attention to what food goes into my mouth.

If you’re thinking about how to apply mindfulness to your eating habits, here are the 5 steps I follow with every meal.

#1. Give thanks.

I think it is important to be grateful for a meal. Not everyone gets three meals per day in our world. Food is often taken for granted. Whether you say grace, thank the universe for its bounty, or have another spiritual or personal ritual that you follow, embrace it. Be present in that moment.

#2. Get rid of the distractions.

I used to like to watch the news while I ate dinner. I felt like I was multitasking. Then I realized that I stopped caring about what I was eating because I was more concerned about what was on the TV. Maybe for you it’s the smartphone. Or it could be the internet. It could be this very article. Whatever the case may be, I’ve found that by getting rid of the distractions, it becomes easier to enjoy the food being eaten and that makes every meal more satisfying.

#3. Use all of your senses.

Eating is more than just flavor. It’s even more than just its smell. How the food looks, what it feels like, and even its savory components are extremely important to the eating experience. Allow your body to enjoy every moment of a meal with every sense. For me, I’ve found that embracing umami, the sixth tasting sense, has really helped me to stay present in the moment. Find what can work for you in this area and your approach to mindfulness will change.

#4. Have the courage to stop.

This one is simple. Once you feel full, stop eating. I grew up in a home where you had to clear your plate in order to be excused from the table. Allowing myself to be finished with a meal where there was still food present was one of the toughest things I’ve ever taught myself to do.

The opposite is also true. If you’re still hungry, then get more food. The goal is to be satisfied.

#5. Keep a journal of what you eat.

By understanding what you eat, it becomes easier to control how much weight you are able to lose – or gain. Sometimes we eat certain things without giving them a second thought. I’m that way with certain candies. If you keep a journal, then you become more aware of what you are eating… and that allows you to make healthier decisions.

How do you stay mindful when eating? Do you have any tips that have helped you stay present in the moment while you improve your eating habits?

How Mindfulness Can Rejuvenate Your Career

meditation-in-the-workplace-1 

Everyone has a bad day or two. But maybe you’re stuck in a bad month or two. Or maybe it’s been a year or two. These things happen.

Mindfulness isn’t a magic pill you can take to fix everything. It is a form of meditation that can help you gain more control over your thinking. This is important for those times when you’re stuck in a rut because thinking leads to feelings. Feelings lead to choices. Choices lead to actions.

If you try to stop a poor action by making a different choice, but do not address the thinking and feeling behind the choice in the first place, then your odds of success will be quite low. Mindfulness can be used to address those thoughts and feelings so that your career choices can be better.

This is why mindfulness can make a bad day better. It can even rejuvenate your entire career.

Why Is Mindfulness So Popular in Today’s Workplace?

There are many reasons why mindfulness meditation has become popular in today’s workplace, but the top reason is that it provides a retreat for the busy professional. By scheduling in time for mindfulness, you’re really scheduling time for yourself.

When was the last time you had 30 minutes without an interruption? Without your phone, computer, or TV? Where you could just sit in silence and not need to worry about what is next on your schedule?

It doesn’t happen often. Since almost 3 of every 4 dollars in the US is spent on stress-related expenses, it needs to happen more. We’re literally working ourselves to death. That’s why mindfulness is being embraced by many companies today.

It’s not about making people more productive. It’s about saving people so they can actually have a career.

How Come Thoughts and Feelings Need to Be Addressed?

We could talk about how mindfulness improves your focus or boost your creativity, but the real benefit comes with an improvement in your emotional intelligence. This is how you manage your behavior, both personally and with others. When you know how you are thinking and feeling, then you can make a better choice to take a more effective action.

If you didn’t get a lot of sleep last night, you probably reach for the coffee pot first, right? Or maybe it is an energy drink. I tend to crave waffles in these circumstances. Our choices are not the same as they would be with 7-8 hours of sleep because our thought patterns are affected by fatigue.

The same principle is found in the modern workplace. People are fatigued at work. They feel burned-out.

What mindfulness meditation is able to do is help you and I be able to recognize this fatigue, identify problematic thoughts that may be generated because of being tired, and then stop those thoughts from becoming feelings that we all act upon.

I’ve found that mindfulness has helped me get through the toughest days at work because it gives me a better perspective of life. Work is important, but so are the personal moments with family and friends.

Have you tried mindfulness meditation to deal with the stress in your career? Has it helped you be able to save your job? Your career? I’d love to hear your story!

What Is Destroying Your Focus? Here Are Two Common Issues and How to Fix Them

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I wake up every morning and turn on my coffee maker. It’s my morning ritual. Sometimes I don’t feel the need for coffee, but I make some anyway just in case I might want a cup or two later in the morning. Without the smell of coffee in the air, it is difficult for me to focus on anything because I’m so used to that routine.

For many today, their habits and routines are destroying their focus. The last thing they do before going to sleep is to check for emails or notifications and then it’s the first thing they do when waking up in the morning. Sound familiar?

Don’t worry. You’re not alone. In survey after survey, executives are reporting more anxiety and distractions than ever before. Their leadership is affected, your day feels unproductive, and no amount of coffee can solve the problem.

Here are the two issues we face when it comes to focus destruction:

Hyper-connectivity. The average person consumes digital content in some way for 12 hours per day. That’s double the amount of time many people sleep. It’s difficult to stay focused when we have virtually no time to recharge the mind, refocus our efforts, or even just process the information we’ve received during the day.

Meaningless interaction. Some employees spend up to 55% of their productivity time in meetings. This default form of communication with one another creates activities that most people will ultimately find to be meaningless. Now here’s the catch: when you’re in a group chat or a comment chain online, you’re really just having a meeting. It’s just a digital one instead of having everyone sit around a really big table in a really stuffy room.

For this to change, we must all focus on restoration in some way. I know when I can stay focused with the smell of coffee lingering in the air, there is an impressive amount of work that can be accomplished. In order to maintain that focus, I do my best to keep these “focus repair tools” readily available.

#1. Mindfulness. There is a lack of focus today because many of us have lost touch with ourselves. I know it’s easy to focus on others first when you’re checking in with family and friends online to see how their day has been. That’s important stuff – but so is checking in with yourself to see how your day has been. I like to give myself 20-30 minutes each day to do this through mindfulness meditation. Some days I don’t meet that time goal, but that’s okay. It’s the effort which counts more than the actual amount of time spent.

#2. Organization. I’ve been guilty of being disorganized throughout most of my life. Like many, I thought I was being organized, but what I was really doing was allowing everyone else to book appointments into my daily calendar. Instead of taking care of my to-do lists each day, I was taking care of everyone else. You need dedicated time to focus on yourself in order to be creative.

Then there needs to be a focus on boundaries. I feel more refreshed and confident when I decide to set aside my online connections for a few minutes every day. That break gives me time to process the information I’ve received, grab a cup of coffee if needed, and then jump back into the rest of my day.

Find your cup of coffee. Take control of your schedule. Get in touch with yourself each day. When you can do this, you’ll find that it will be very difficult to destroy your focus.

How have you worked to regain your focus in this age of information? I’d love to hear how your ideas or how you’ve implemented the strategies discussed above.

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