Join Us for A Special Online Meditation Class!

Join us for a special online meditation class on Saturday, 4/29, 10:00AM PDT. Learn how to meditate from the comfort of your own home. Please sign up here by 4/28: http://bit.ly/2pXFnGP.

What you will learn in this online meditation class:
1. What is mediation vs. what is not meditation?
2. Powerful, simple, and effective meditation techniques to help you relax, be at peace, and gain clarity
3. A step-by-step guide to set up a meditation practice at home
4. How to experience joy, peace, happiness within yourself through the practice of meditation
5. Q & A session

The benefits of meditation can include:
• Focus on the present
• Build skills to manage your stress
• Increase self-awareness
• Reduce negative emotion
• Increase productivity
• Encourage creative problem solving

Please share or tag a friend if you feel they would benefit from this class.
I look forward to sharing this class with you.

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.

Using Peace & Harmony Prayer to Bring Peace to Yourself and to the World

 

While at work last Friday, I learned that an attack possibly linked to terrorists took place in Stockholm, Sweden. I was shocked. I found myself enveloped by sadness, hopelessness after reading the news. I paused and began the Peace & Harmony prayer. Within two minutes, I regained my centeredness through this prayer. After the prayer, I noticed the air seemed to be sparked with light from the vibration of this prayer.

What motivated me to learn the Peace & Harmony prayer?

I vividly remembered the day I began the Peace & Harmony prayer was November 13, 2015. The date that an attack took place in Paris. After reading the news of the attack, I asked myself inwardly, “How can I help?” I wanted to do something to contribute to world peace in the light of Paris attack. I was very surprised to hear the answer in my own heart, “Be more at peace with yourself.” I intuitively understood the answer means world peace starts with being at peace with myself. At the very same night, a friend of mine introduced me to the Peace & Harmony prayer.

What is the Peace & Harmony prayer?

Peace & Harmony prayer was taught by Paramhansa Yogananda, who was the author of Autobiography of Yogi. He originally taught to use this prayer to heal the conflicts in relationships.

Peace & Harmony prayer to heal troubled relationships: you pray, “Lord, fill (the name of the person who you have conflicts with) with peace and harmony, peace and harmony” for 1 minute.” See this person surrounded by light. You then pray, “Lord, fill me with peace and harmony, peace and harmony” for 15 seconds. See yourself surrounded by light. Countless people have reported miraculous results of using this prayer to heal troublesome relationships at work and at home.

Peace & Harmony prayer to heal the world: you pray, “Lord fill the world with peace and harmony, peace and harmony” for 10 time. You continue to pray, “Lord, fill me with peace and harmony” for 3 times. You may choose to include a visualization with this prayer. Prior reciting the prayer, visualize waves of peace emanating from your heart. Peace surrounds you and your home. Waves of peace expand and surround your neighborhood, your state, your country, and the world.

How has this prayer helped me?

  1. Help me feel peace and centered

This prayer is like a smoothing balm. I end my morning meditation with this prayer. It helps me to start my day with the intent of peace.

  1. Help me make choices throughout the day based on peace

Being at peace with myself is a choice that I consciously make throughout the day. For example, I listen to music that does not make me feel restless. In addition, many scientific studies have     shown calming background music can significantly reduce stress while music with high volume induces stress.

  1. Help me be at peace and contribute to world peace at the same time

It is the highlight of my day to say this prayer. It also makes me smile in my heart to accomplish two things through this prayer. This prayer is perfect to help me feel at peace.
At the same time, I do good by contributing to the healing of the world.

This prayer can help you, too.

I invite you to try the Peace & Harmony prayer for 21 days if you’d like to be more at peace with yourself and to live in a world filled with peace. See it for yourself. Please share how the Peace & Harmony prayer has helped you after you have a chance to practice it.

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.

How You Can Meditate Even When You’re Busy

How many times have you heard that you should meditate for at least 20 minutes per day? And how many times have you laughed at that?

I’m often reminded of the old saying about meditation that goes something like this. “You should meditate for 20 minutes each day, unless you feel you’re too busy. Then you should meditate for an hour.”

Although we all live busy lives in our own way, we can find time to meditate. Here are some of the methods I’ve used to make sure I find my 20 minutes per day.

#1. Become a morning person.

I’ve found that the best time of day for me to meditate is in the morning. I’m not a morning person, but I could never really find time at the end of the day to squeeze in some meditation. By making sure that I meditate right away every morning, it gets done. Worst case scenario: you set the alarm clock for 20 minutes earlier.

That’s doable, right?

#2. Keep a timer.

When I first started to meditate in the morning, the first thing my mind would always think about was, “How long do I have to be meditating. I have things to do!”

So I started to set a timer. That relieved my mind of the “burden” of reminding me how much time I might have left to meditate. In return, it made the process of finding my focus faster and easier, making my meditation time more rewarding.

#3. Don’t feel bad if you think about your to-do list.

Ever been told that your mind should be blank? That you must always focus on one point only? And then what happens when you start to think about what needs to get done during the rest of the day?

You feel bad. I know that I sure did.

I’ve learned over time that my mind likes to wander a little. I’ll think about the tasks or chores that need to get done. This is okay as long as I acknowledge them and then let them drift away. If I refuse to acknowledge a thought, it becomes a screaming menace that will not be ignored.

#4. Deep breathing will be your best friend.

Even on the days when I really can’t find a good focus during meditation, I feel better if I’ve been able to do some deep breathing. If your thoughts stay focused on your to-do list and won’t let go, then just breathe deeply for as long as you can. There’s a good chance that you’ll get back into the rhythms of meditation.

If not, you’ll still feel better afterwards.

#5. Be forgiving of yourself.

Mistakes are going to be made. I had many days where I felt terrible because I tried to meditate and it didn’t feel like I accomplished anything. Or there were days when I didn’t hear my alarm and I had to power through my morning routine just to make it to work.

As with any new habit, there will be hiccups along the way. Forgive yourself if a mistake is made and just try again the next day.

When you stick to it, meditation can happen even when the days seem super busy. Follow these steps and you may just be able to successfully meditate.

How do you make sure to fit in some meditation time when you get busy? What tips have worked the best for you?

Relax, Renew, Recharge by Spending Time with Nature

Zuma-Beach

Nature does not hurry, and yet everything is accomplished. – Lao Tzu

One of my favorite things to do on the weekends is to spend time by the ocean. I pack my backpack with an inspirational book, a writing journal, and something to sit on. Off I go to a local beach.

The entire time I am at the beach is a meditative experience. When I get out of my car, before I begin my walk to the beach, I spend a few moments inwardly to say hello to the ocean and thank her to give me this opportunity to spend time with her.

I love strolling down the beach. The sound of ocean immediately transports me to a place of happiness and joy. The view of ocean reminds me eternity is ever new, limitless, and expansiveness.

After the walk, I like to find a quiet spot on the beach to sit and just be. My sitting (meditation) usually starts by gazing at the ocean. I am always amazed when I look at ocean waves. Ocean is an ancient being. She is over billions of years old and yet she is never tired of letting her waves rise and fall over, over, and over again. Have you noticed: not one single wave is the same as the other one?

With my eyes either opened or closed, I then switch my focus to listen to the sound of the ocean for a few minutes. Just let the sound of ocean to envelop every port of my being. The sound of ocean soothes and comforts me.

If it happens to be a sunny morning or afternoon, with my eyes closed, I then switch my focus to the point between my eyebrows and a little bit above where the third eye chakra (a chakra is an energy center) is located and feel the warmth of the sunlight around the third eye chakra for a few minutes or as long as I can. I end my meditation by silently saying “thank you” in my heart for the opportunity to be able to meditate by the ocean.

I warmly invite you to find time this week to spend time by the ocean to walk, to meditate, or simply to enjoy the view if you can. You’ll be pleasantly surprised your body, mind and spirit will be relaxed, renewed, and recharged by spending time with nature.

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.

 

Special Meditation Class in Pasadena

Happy Friday! Please join me for a special meditation class on Saturday, March 25 in Pasadena, CA to renew and recharge yourself in celebration of Spring. Here is the link to sign up the class: http://bit.ly/2mpyR9O I look forward to meeting and meditating with you tomorrow. Have a nice weekend.

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. Meditation Test

Happy Spring Equinox!

Park in Spring Time

Today is the first day of the Spring in the U.S. Spring is here. Can you feel it?

Spring flowers are in their glory in my local parks, beaches, and neighborhood. I enjoy taking time to stroll through a park to watch and observe spring flowers after a busy day at work. By focusing my attention on the beauty, the vibrant colors of the flowers, the tension and stress falls to the background of my mind. Also allow myself to fully breathe in and out of the fresh air and to fully take in visually with the green grassy field and the blue expansive sky. Within less than 10 minutes, I am in the state of calmness and expansiveness.

I invite you to take 10 minutes this week to take a walk in your local park and to experience peace and calmness that Nature awaits to share it with you!

Also join me for a special meditation class on Saturday, March 25 in Pasadena, CA to renew and recharge yourself in celebration of Spring. Here is the link to sign up the class: http://bit.ly/2mpyR9O  I look forward to meeting and meditating with you this weekend …

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?

Here’s What Will Happen To Your Body, Mind & Soul When You Meditate

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For most people, meditation is a practice to help calm the busy mind. While this is true, we often overlook the other useful benefits that meditation has on our body. So what really happens to the body when one meditates? Our meditators at BookMeditationRetreats.com share with you 5 amazing things that will happen to you when you meditate!

Your Immune System Strengthens

Regular meditation practice will increase your body’s immune system by boosting the presence of antibodies in your bloodstream. This increase in antibodies helps the body better neutralize viruses and bacteria that attack. A study by UCLA showed that HIV positive patients who meditated regularly better maintained their level of CD-4 cells – white blood cells that protect the body from infections – than those who didn’t.

You Improve Your Breathing

As you meditate, you quiet the mind and focus on the breath.  This helps you come into the present moment instead of focusing on your challenges and stress. As you focus on your breath, your breathing becomes slower and more regulated. Your resting heart rate also slows down. A slower heart rate and regulated breathing will lower the risk of a great number of diseases including high blood pressure, heart attacks and strokes. There are many breath-focused meditation practices that you can try out to attain this benefit!

You Get Better Sleep 

With the constant stress in our fast-paced world, many of us suffer from insomnia and our lack of sleep has become detrimental to our overall health and well being. Meditation will help you get better sleep as it brings about relaxation, which will enable the body to sleep. Stress inhibits the production of melatonin hormones – a neurochemical that is essential for sleep – making it difficult for us to sleep at night. As meditation brings about relaxation and reduces stress, our bodies will be able to produce melatonin naturally, helping us to get that deep, invigorating slumber we all crave for!

You Actually Want Healthy Food

A big part of meditation is mindfulness and understanding how your body works and what nourishments it needs. When you begin practicing mindfulness, you will slowly see that your mindfulness practice will encompass all aspect of your life, including your diet. Instead of junk food, you will opt for healthier options. As they say “The body is the temple where the soul resides in”.

Furthermore, much of our over-eating habits stem from emotional eating. We tend to overindulge when stressed or anxious. Meditation practice calms the mind, allowing it to enter into a state of calm and quiet. Eliminating stress will inadvertently eliminate our unhealthy eating habits, leading to a healthier lifestyle!

Your Outlook on Life Changes for The Better

By being present and focused on the here and the now, you learn to let go of the past and the negative emotions associated with it. You also learn to not worry about the future and all that might be. You start living your life in the now, appreciating and enjoying your environment as it is.

Meditation also teaches us to take note of our emotions, and let it come – not suppressing them. While we allow our emotions through, meditation also teaches us to not react extremely to them. It gives us the ability to experience but not grasp onto our emotions.

About

Elaine Clara Mah

Elaine is a Contributing Writer for BookMeditationRetreats.com. She is a firm believer in meditation and sets aside at least an hour a day for silence.

You Can Change Your Life in 7 Minutes and Here Is Proof

what to do before meditating 

Life is a self-fulfilling prophecy. If you think about success, then you’re likely to find it. If you feel like you can’t succeed, then you won’t find success.

To change your life in 7 minutes, the first step you need to do is change your approach. I look at this process like the approach one makes when shopping on Black Friday. You plan out what stores to shop at, which deals are the most important to you, and then you decide to make things happen.

The same thing can be done with this morning routine, if you’re willing to give it a try.

#1. Prepare for your day before it starts.

Find a quiet place. Don’t be like me and think your desk is the best quiet place there is. Eliminate all distractions. Then bring along a journal or diary, a writing utensil, and a watch or a timer. After all, if you’re going to change your life in 7 minutes, it helps to have proof that it can actually happen.

#2. Clear your head.

This isn’t about meditation, prayer, or any form of religion or spirituality. In our modern world, clearing your head means shutting down your devices, ignoring your email, and stopping the social media notifications. I find that it is helpful to spend just one minute of being mindful of what is happening in this very moment.

#3. Breathe.

Deep breathing has a naturally calming effect on the body. No matter how much stress you might be experiencing, a deep breath can offer some relaxation and provide you with a better focus. I try to spend at least one-minute practicing deep breathing. Try to get 7-10 good deep breaths in during this 60-second period.

#4. Express yourself.

Now spend time with your creativity. This is what your journal or diary is for. Spend three minutes writing, drawing, or expressing yourself in this private book in some way. I personally like to doodle in mine, drawing animals, flowers, or whatever else strikes my fancy at that moment. There are no rules here except for this one: let your creativity flow.

Don’t think about it. Heaping pressure on yourself to write or draw something specific will result in a creativity blockage. Just grab your pencil or pen and put it to use.

#5. Debrief.

Once you’ve spent three minutes with your journal or diary, you are ready to review your work. I find it helpful to close the book before starting the 60-second debrief. This small transition helps me to shift gears from creativity to analyzation.

Take a close look at what you’ve written or what you’ve drawn. Think about why that is what your mind felt was necessary to express. Then make a brief plan to accomplish an outcome that is associated with what your creative side expressed. Choose just one outcome. Address it. Focus upon it. Be intentional about finding a way to make it happen.

And that’s it. Using this routine will cost you just 7 minutes and it will change your life. Want proof? Implement it today and see what happens.

Have you tried this 7-minute routine? What results were you able to achieve?

Could Meditation Be the Answer to Cancer?

How To Not Turn Meditation Time Into Thinking Time 

Science is finally realizing what those who have practiced meditation have known all along: that the positive impact it can have on personal health is a powerful effect.

I’ve felt this effect personally in my life. There is a definite positive difference in my energy, my attitude, and my emotional stability on the days when I make time to meditate.

For more than 5,000 years, meditation has been practiced by those who are spiritual, those who are not spiritual, and everyone in-between. Yet despite these widely accepted practices, the idea that meditation can provide medical benefits is often dismissed without a second thought.

There are 5 key reasons why meditation could be the answer to cancer for some.

#1. Meditation naturally decreases stress. One of the risk factors for cancer development is the presence of chronic stress. Thanks to cortisol, the stress hormone, the body is unable to produce the number of T-cells it needs and this weakens the immune system. There are direct benefits to reducing stress as well, including less anxiety, better sleep, and a reduction in digestive tract symptoms.

#2. Meditation can improve cellular health. When compared to those who do not meditate, the molecular signature of those who regularly meditate is very different. Not only does this improve cellular health, but it also shows benefits for a person’s overall mental health. Research published in 2009 by the Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences indicates that meditation may even improve cell growth.

#3. Meditation allows melatonin levels to rise. This hormone helps people go to sleep, but it offers more benefits than just 8 hours of rest. Healthy melatonin levels help to strengthen the immune system, reduce the risks for heart disease, and are considered to be beneficial in the fight against cancer or even diabetes.

#4. Meditation improves your emotional state. This is the most powerful component of meditation in my opinion. Stress is essentially the result of an emotional trauma that occurs in your life. If your boss yells at you, that’s a traumatic event and causes stress. If your car breaks down, that’s a traumatic event as well. Although we can’t control these events, we can use meditation to limit the damage that stress can cause in its aftermath. Harboring hatred, anger, or grief can contribute to worsening health, but with meditation, these negative emotions can be released.

#5. Meditation helps you to make healthy choices. When I can meditate regularly, I find that many of my daily habits tend to reflect a desire to be healthy. I’m more active when I make time to meditate. I make better eating choices. I spend more time in contemplation and less time with mindless entertainment. Not only does this help to keep the weight down, but it also limits chronic stress triggers and the potential for future disease development.

Could meditation be the answer to cancer? That really is up to a medical provider to decide, but the bottom line is this: adding meditation can only help, no matter what you’ve got going on in your life.

Have you added meditation to your daily routine? What are the direct benefits you’ve seen come about from your daily practice?

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