Meditation

“The true value of a human being is determined by the measure and the sense in which they have obtained liberation from the self.

Our task must be to free ourselves; by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.”

 Albert Einstein, 1954

 

Meditation can move us closer to promoting compassion within ourselves and those that we touch.

Through meditation we become more responsible.  This responsibility lies in the balance we discover by unlocking the synergy of our mind….. our heart….. and our inner spirit. We propose that through a continued and ongoing dedication to a personal meditation practice, great strides are possible for ourselves, our relationships, our family, and our society.  It allows us to subdue the self.  It allows us to “just let go”.  In doing so, a remarkable thing happens.  We do not cease to be.  We do not lose control.  We do not lose self; instead we liberate it.  We find a beautiful place of peace, harmony, and balance.  We now frame the self within a much purer form of loving and nurturing energy.  We begin to see a clearer picture of the world and our place in it.  We learn the art of alchemy in converting passion into compassion.  Our decision making process then incorporates a powerful and far reaching wisdom.  We are in tune within a rhythm of life, our surroundings, and those we touch.

“Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them humanity cannot survive.”

 Dalai Lama

A great soul once responded when asked the question, “What is the most important time?” 

The response went somewhat as follows, “The most important time is this present moment.  It is the only time that we will ever have control of.  It is what we do in this present moment that determines the direction of our lives.”

We can use this time wisely and responsibly or we can diminish its value.  Remember this; the value of this present moment is colored by our deepest feelings and subsequent thoughts and desires.  Any decision in life will have their imprint.

 

“There are two basic motivating forces: fear and love. When we are afraid, we pull back from life. When we are in love, we open to all that life has to offer with passion, excitement, and acceptance. We need to learn to love ourselves first, in all our glory and our imperfections. If we cannot love ourselves, we cannot fully open to our ability to love others or our potential to create. Evolution and all hopes for a better world rest in the fearlessness and open-hearted vision of people who embrace life.”

John Lennon

 

Ask yourself these questions:

Who am I?

Where am I going?

How will I get there?

Who am I?  Where am I going?  How will I get there?

These very important questions take on a very different response when we open our heart to discover its secrets.  Through the act of quieting the mind, we allow the content resting deep within the heart to awaken.  When we contemplate our awareness and again ask these same questions after cultivating the heart, our responses are altered and given a much deeper meaning and significance.

 


 

 

 “Kindness in words creates confidence. Kindness in thinking creates profoundness. Kindness in giving creates love.”

Lao Tzu

 A “loving kindness” meditation

After a long day, including some difficult personal encounters we tend to build stress within our bodies and our mind.  Our mind keeps going over the situations reviewing the negative pictures and the emotions attached.

Take the time to brew yourself a cup of tea, preferably green or herbal, sit down in a comfortable and quiet setting, alone by yourself.   

Sip your tea and inhale, filling the lungs while lowering the diaphragm with breath, enjoying the beverage.  Review the day, the good and the bad.  Continue enjoying the tea and the review.  After a few minutes…..close the eyelids…..

Inhale, filling the lungs lowering the diaphragm…..on the exhale…..say the word “listen” quietly on the exhale letting it last as long as the exhale itself.

Inhale, filling the lungs lowering the diaphragm…..on the exhale…..say the word “observe” quietly on the exhale letting it last as long as the exhale itself.

Inhale, filling the lungs lowering the diaphragm…..on the exhale…..say the word “value” quietly on the exhale letting it last as long as the exhale itself.

Inhale, filling the lungs lowering the diaphragm…..on the exhale…..say the word “embrace” quietly on the exhale letting it last as long as the exhale itself.

Inhale, filling the lungs lowering the diaphragm…..on the inhale…..say the word “I”….. then say the word “love” quietly on the exhale letting it last as long as the exhale itself.

“I…….Listen”

“I…….Observe”

“I…….Value”

“I…….Embrace”

“I…….Love

Repeat the above, quietly feeling the impression of each word, surrendering to the emotional impact of each word and each breath.

After a few rounds, just say the word, “I” on the inhale and “love” on the exhale, surrendering to the ebb and flow of the breath.  Start to let the breath find its own rhythm without any personal effort.  Allow the breath to breathe you.  Surrender to its mastery of the moment itself.  Now is when the meditation begins.  Now is when we listen to the breath…..we listen to the awakened heart.  Do not be concerned when you find the mind begin to wander.  This is normal.  It’s what the mind does.  Gently bring the attention of the mind back to the breath, back to the mantra.  The mind is like a young excited child.  Be loving, kind, and gentle with it.  The words on the inhale and the exhale help to still and calm our mind.  The relationship between our awareness and our breath is our goal.  This relationship unlocks the secrets of our heart.  It is only when we subdue the mind can we discover what the heart has to say.  It is as if the mind is a like a pond that has stones cast into it relentlessly.  It is only when the stones are stopped that the surface of the pond finds its calm.  It is then that we can see the beauty hidden beneath its surface.  The breath will guide us.  The heart beckons us upon our journey.  We just need to listen, then observe, then value, and finally surrender and embrace what we find.  In this moment we are open to the very magic of the heart.  Rediscover, in the solitude of your being, the very private and special tenderness that goes before no other soul.  Let this place and this moment embrace you with its wonder.  Let the Love and Grace found within your being expand to every cell, every breath, and every moment.  Breathe Love – Be Love.   Let it last as long as you will.

Upon completion of this meditation, revisit the problems of the day with this affirmation:  “I let go….. I listen….. I love….. I forgive…..  My heart – My love, extends to all that I meet in loving kindness.” 

 What do we hear when opening our heart?

…..Listen to the silence.

What do we see when opening our heart?

…..Observe the stillness. 

What do we find when opening our heart?

…..Value the fullness of this moment.

What do we do when opening our heart?

…..Embrace this moment with the compassion of loving kindness.

Listen to the silence of a loving heart, observe the stillness of a loving heart, value the fullness of a loving heart, and then, embrace this special moment in time with compassionate courage, generosity, and humility born from loving kindness.

 I listen, I observe, I value, I embrace…….I am…….I love…….In thee, I am…….In thee, I love.

“Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.”

Proverbs 4:23

The act of meditation has not the goal of gaining anything.  The purpose of meditation is to surrender, to release, to “let go”; to just listen and observe.  We then value and embrace what remains.

What do we find when we still our mind?

…..Love

 

“Our knowledge of God is perfected by gratitude: we are thankful and rejoice in the experience of the truth that He is love.”

Thomas Merton

When do you recall ever having taken the time to explore the depths of your own heart?

Will the discovery of the secrets lying dormant within your heart alter the direction of your life’s journey?  Have you ever wondered which fork in the road to take?  Have you done all the necessary preparation to make the choice valid?

May we extend this invitation to self examination.  

We are all given gifts at birth.  Discover them for yourself and their ultimate power for personal transformation.  Explore how their cultivation can add meaning to your life and the lives of those you touch.

“I always begin my prayer in silence, for it is in the silence of the heart that God speaks.  God is the friend of silence–we need to listen to God because it is not what we say but what He says to us and through us that matters.”

Mother Teresa


 

Meditation and the Aging Brain by B. Grace Bullock, PHD & mindful.org

How Meditation Protects the Aging Brain from Decline

A string of recent research suggests regular meditation practice may boost mental flexibility and focus, offering powerful protection against cognitive decline.

Soul wind/Adobe Stock

Most of us begin to misplace our keys, forget people’s names, or solve math problems less readily as we approach middle age. This is often referred to as age-related cognitive decline. Years ago, scientists believed that this decline was inevitable, but extraordinary research in the past two decades has shown that the adult brain changes with experience and training throughout the lifespan—a phenomenon known as neuroplasticity.

Neuroplasticity isn’t a given. Epidemiological research finds that how a brain ages depends on a number of factors including diet, physical exercise, lifestyle choices, and education. The healthier and more active one’s lifestyle, the more likely he or she will maintain cognitive performance over time. And meditation may be a key ingredient for ensuring brain health and maintaining good mental performance. Here’s what recent research suggests about how mindfulness meditation practice may help keep aging brains fit and functional.

How Meditation Encourages Neuroplasticity

To maintain mental acuity, it’s important to keep what researchers call your neural reservein good working order. This “reserve” refers to your brain’s mental efficiency, capacity, or flexibility. Emerging evidence suggests that the consistent mental training that occurs in mindfulness meditation may help to keep that “reserve” intact. For example, one review of the evidence linked regular meditation with positive improvements in brain function such as heightened attention, awareness, working memory, and greater mental efficiency.

Studies are showing that daily meditation impacts both brain “states” and brain “networks.” Brain state training involves activating large-scale networks within the brain that affect a broad range of emotional and mental processes. A clever example of this can be found in a recent study published by a group of researchers at UCLA, who reported that experienced meditators have higher concentrations of tissue in brain regions most depleted by aging, suggesting that meditation practice may help to minimize brain age and protect against age-related decline.

Brain network training, on the other hand, is more focal in that it improves specific cognitive abilities by repeatedly activating a network associated with one function, like paying attention. This is equivalent to repetitive mental bicep curls. Both state and network training are believed to be important ingredients for keeping the brain sharp.

The Agile Aging Brain

Meditation may provide another added benefit—increased mental flexibility. For some, age can come with a rigidity of thoughts, feelings and opinions, and the inability to flow with the challenges and obstacles that are part of the tide of life. That can be a source of stress, and potentially even illness. Because most meditation practices emphasize developing an awareness of thoughts, feelings, and physical sensations without creating a narrative or judgment about the experience, mindfulness mediation may help to lessen a person’s attachment to fixed outcomes, increase mental flexibility, and add to one’s neural reserve.

Although encouraging, it’s important to note that this research is in its infancy and results are mixed. For example, a number of studies have reported that older meditators outperform age-matched non-meditators, or function comparably to younger participants on a number of attention tasks. Others have shown little or no change in cognitive function following a mindfulness intervention for older adults, or report that improvements are not maintained over time.

What we do know is that long-term engagement in mindfulness meditation may enhance cognitive performance in older adults, and that with persistent practice, these benefits may be sustained. That’s great news for the millions of aging adults working to combat the negative effects of aging on the brain.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

B Grace Bullock PhD

B Grace Bullock, PhD, is a psychologist, research scientist, speaker, educator, and author of Mindful Relationships: Seven Skills for Success – Integrating the Science of Mind, Body and Brain (Handspring Publishing Inc, 2016). She is Founding Director of the International Science & Education Alliance (ISAEA), an organization devoted to innovative research, program evaluation, assessment design, strategic planning and capacity building to support effective leadership, decision-making and social change. She is Contributing Editor for Science & Research at YogaU Online, former Senior Research Scientist at the Mind & Life Institute, and former Editor-in-Chief of the International Journal of Yoga Therapy. For more information see www.bgracebullock.com.

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Didgeridoo Meditation by JBC & bhavaziva.wordpress.com

DIDGERIDOO MEDITATION AND HEALING

“Meditation is a simple and effective tool to keep your mind and body in tune with each other, and the world around them” – JBC

By definition, meditation can overwhelm and confuse and may seem heavy and unapproachable, though given enough information, it becomes very clear. Meditation happens when you renounce all of your expectations and realize that whatever happens in meditation is the best thing that can ever happen. Meditation is, in a simplistic kind of sense, a form of waking up; of renouncing all dreams and projections and realizing the purity and beauty of the moment in which you are constantly living. Meditation is the gateway into the self.

By allowing the mind to rest, or rather, be still, we become aware of ourselves in a way that ordinary consciousness cannot tap into. By witnessing ourselves in a state of deep meditation, we look deeper inside, and cease the need to search. All of our potential and purity is inside, and meditation helps unlock our true enlightened being.

When we give ourselves the chance to meditate we release the mind from the tricks and games developed by thought and turn it over to its most basic function, triggering frequencies within the brain that allow us to tap into other conscious plains. Here we engage with the organic, naturally instinctive sides of our beings. We can also re-engage our mind/body connection, and directly ask the body to heal a particular injury, ailment and full organs. Meditation also gives us a chance to connect with the inner wisdom of our subconscious mind. In deep meditative or brainwave states, internal, external and universal wisdom’s become more accessible; they harness the information that guides you.

Didgeridoo Meditation

The breath is one of the key functions of meditation. When practicing didgeridoo meditation, it is important to become aware of the state of your breath. By focusing your mind on the breath, and synchronizing it with the frequency and movement of the didgeridoo, you will enter a state of trance, or deep meditation. That is what we are trying to achieve.

One of the key elements of didgeridoo meditation is the overtone frequency. This is better described as the resonating pulse that is heard when one or several didge’s are played together. This ‘overtone’ is what creates the trance like state.

Didgeridoo meditation comes in many different forms and varies from practitioner to practitioner. Individual sound meditation, sleep improvement and relaxation practices are the biggest areas of work for me and my didgeridoo. While being still and focused, you are opening the doors of your conscious and body to every vibration. It helps heal, calm, regenerate and relax the body in ways that no other instrument or music can. It is the rooting sound which stems from the earth and through that grounding sound one is able to experience a state above normal reality and consciousness.

Below is a detailed chart showing how different overtone frequencies resonate with different parts of the brain.

Sound Healing

Ranging from deep sleep to intense mental activity, various states of consciousness are experienced by humans everyday. This continuum of consciousness correlates with electrical activity in the brain; the frequency of brainwaves can be measured in cycles per second (Hz) with an electroencephalogram (EEG). These brainwave states are categorized as the following:

Beta: 12-30 Hz. Normal waking state in adults. Active thinking and planning. This is where the ego resides.

Alpha: 7-12 Hz. Reflective, relaxed state usually with closed eyes. A day dream state.

Theta: 4-7 Hz. Deep meditative state. A place of creativity and envelopment in the present. A dream state associated with REM sleep.

Delta: 0.5-4 Hz. Deep sleep. A place of regeneration and healing.

By simultaneously combining the sounds of two didgeridoos, a desired state of consciousness can be induced in the listener. For example, when one didgeridoo is played in the key of Bb (fundamental frequency of 58 Hz) and a second didgeridoo is played in the key of C (65 Hz), the difference between the frequencies is manifested as a subtle pulsing (in this case 7 Hz). The listener’s dominant brainwave state will sync with this pulsation in a frequency-following response known as brainwave entrainment.

(frequency information courtesy of Didge Project)

Chakras & Sound

Chakra is a Sanskrit word, meaning, “wheel.” The chakras are “wheel-like” vortices that exist within the centralized body radiating outward.  There are seven primary chakras that flow through a human body. These energy centers, from top to bottom are:

7 the crown chakra

6 the third eye chakra

5 the throat chakra

4 the heart chakra

3 the solar plexus chakra

2 the sacral chakra

1 the root chakra

Sound and the Chakras a linked through many different equations. Listed below is a basic chart showing how we balance the chakras through the different key notes of the didgeridoo, in order to achieve the maximum potential in your meditation.­­­­

               

CLICK TO ENLARGE!

The energy centers in our body are like pools of water allowing energy to flow from one to the next as if they were connected by a small stream. Blockages in the flow of the pools can cause distribution in the natural flow of this energy preventing our vital organs the opportunity to have access to vital life energy. Over time this energetic blockages can begin to create a disconnect between the physical and energetic body leading to the occurrence of illness or disease in organs surrounding the blockage. By removing blockages within our chakras we are able to remove blockages we maintain our optimum connection to vital life force throughout our entire physical and energetic body.  This healthy connection to vital life force allows us to maintain optimum physical health and mental balance keeping us open to universal health and wisdom.

 
 
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