Breathing meditation

Mindful Breathing Meditation – 7 Minutes

Use this meditation twice daily to develop better focus, attention and a greater overall sense of clarity and calm over time.

Mindfulness is the practice of awareness of the present moment, enabling us to disassociate with notions of past and future that trigger rumination and stress. With mindful breathing meditation, we use the breath as an object of meditation, concentrating deeply on the rhythm and sensation of our most basic life force. Think of it as an exercise for your brain that strengthens your “attention muscle” by forcing your awareness inward and challenging you to stay focused.

In perhaps the most significant mindfulness study to date, a team of Harvard researchers found that after 8 weeks of daily practice, mindful meditators reported a sense of increased peace and clarity while non-meditators did not. Not only that, but their MRIs showed an increase in grey matter in parts of the brain associated with focus and attention and a decrease in grey matter associated with stress and anxiety (non-meditators remained unchanged).

The practice: Sit comfortably with a long, straight spine and find a slow, oceanic breath. Begin counting your inhales and exhales from one to ten (inhale one, exhale one; inhale two, exhale two; etc.). When you reach ten, start again but count backwards to one. Repeat this cycle five times. When you’ve completed five cycles of breath-counting, simply continue to breathe at this calm, steady pace, for two-to-three minutes, visualizing the breath moving through the respiratory system and appreciating its physical relationship with the body.

Article By Sarah Vaynerman, Huffington Post

Non violence – Tao Te Ching

Good weapons are instruments of fear; all creatures hate them.
Therefore followers of Tao never use them.
The wise man prefers the left.
The man of war prefers the right.

Weapons are instruments of fear; they are not a wise man’s tools.
He uses them only when he has no choice.
Peace and quiet are dear to his heart,
And victory no cause for rejoicing.
If you rejoice in victory, then you delight in killing;
If you delight in killing, you cannot fulfill yourself.

On happy occasions precedence is given to the left,
On sad occasions to the right.
In the army the general stands on the left,
The commander-in-chief on the right.
This means that war is conducted like a funeral.
When many people are being killed,
They should be mourned in heartfelt sorrow.
That is why a victory must be observed like a funeral.

Deepak Chopra on ego

The ego is our self-image, not our true self. It is characterized by labels, masks, images, and judgments. The true self is the field of possibilities, creativity, intentions, and power. We can go beyond the ego through self awareness – awareness of our thoughts, feelings, behaviors, and speech. Thus we begin to slowly move beyond the ego to the true self. Deepak reads a beautiful poem by Rabindranath Tagore, entitled “Who is this?” which describes the ego as “my own small self.” Can you go beyond your own small self, your ego, to discover your true self?

The Paradoxical commandments

The Original Version:

The Paradoxical Commandments

by Dr. Kent M. Keith

People are illogical, unreasonable, and self-centered.
Love them anyway.
If you do good, people will accuse you of selfish ulterior motives.
Do good anyway.
If you are successful, you win false friends and true enemies.
Succeed anyway.
The good you do today will be forgotten tomorrow.
Do good anyway.
Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable.
Be honest and frank anyway.
The biggest men and women with the biggest ideas can be shot down by the smallest men and women with the smallest minds.
Think big anyway.
People favor underdogs but follow only top dogs.
Fight for a few underdogs anyway.
What you spend years building may be destroyed overnight.
Build anyway.
People really need help but may attack you if you do help them.
Help people anyway.
Give the world the best you have and you’ll get kicked in the teeth.
Give the world the best you have anyway.

© 1968, 2001 Kent M. Keith

“The Paradoxical Commandments” were written by Kent M. Keith in 1968 as part of a booklet for student leaders.

Life lessons

Life Lesson.

Sometimes people come into your life and you know right away that
they were meant to be there…to serve some sort of purpose, teach
you a lesson or help figure out who you are or who you want to
become.

You never know who these people may be but, when you lock eyes with
them, you know that every moment they will affect your life in some
profound way.

And sometimes things happen to you at the time that may seem
horrible, painful and unfair but, upon reflection, you realize that
without overcoming those obstacles you would have never realized
your potential, strength, will power or heart.

Everything happens for a reason. Nothing happens by chance or by
means of good luck. Illness, Injury, love, lost moments of true
greatness and sheer stupidity all occur to test the limits of your
soul.

Without these small tests, life would be like a smoothly paved,
straight, flat road to nowhere. Safe and comfortable but dull and
utterly pointless.

The people you meet affect your life. The successes and downfalls
that you experience can create who you are, and the bad experiences
can be learned from. In fact, they are probably the most poignant
and important ones.

If someone hurts you, betrays you or breaks your heart, forgive them
because they have helped you learn about trust and the importance of
being cautious to whom you open your heart to. If someone loves you,
love them back, unconditionally, not only because they love you, but
because they are teaching you to love and open your heart and eyes
to little things.

Make every day count. Appreciate every moment and take from it
everything that you possibly can, for you may never be able to
experience it again.

Talk to people you have never talked to before, and actually listen.
Let yourself fall in love, break free and set your sights high.

Hold your head up because you have every right to. Tell yourself you
are a great individual and believe in yourself, for if you don’t
believe in yourself, no one else will believe in you.

Forgiveness

Forgiveness

To forgive a person in any circumstances costs us nothing. Say that they have defrauded me, injured my reputation, attempted my life; and suppose such an enemy is in my power, what does it cost me to forgive them? Let us see: To reduce them to poverty would make me no richer; to destroy their peace would not restore my own; to hurt them would not heal me; or to cast a blot on their reputation would restore no luster to my name; to take their life would not insure me against the stroke of death; nor lengthen my life by a single hour.
It is a happy memory that remembers kindness and forgets offenses. It is far more noble to conquer one’s passion than to crush a foe; and sweeter than gratified revenge are their feelings who, when their enemy hungers, feed them; when they thirst, give them water. In so do, people exhibit somewhat of the nature, and taste something of the happiness of God.
From; Stepping Stones to Recovery.

To keep a lamp burning we have to keep putting oil in it.
Mother Teresa

Achieving happiness

Achieving happiness

1. Give people more than they expect and do it cheerfully.
2. Memorise your favourite poem.
3. Don’t believe all you hear, don’t spend all you have, or don’t sleep all you want.
4. When you say, “I love you”, mean it.
5. When you say, “I’m sorry”, look the person in the eye.
6. Be engaged at least six months before you get married.
7. Believe in love at first sight.
8. Never laugh at anyone’s dreams.
9. Love deeply and passionately. You might get hurt but it’s the only way to live life completely.
10. In disagreements, fight fairly. No name calling.
11. Don’t judge people by their relatives
12. Talk slowly, but think quick.
13. When someone asks you a question you don’t want to answer, smile and ask, “Why do you want to know?”.
14. Remember that great love and great achievements involve great risk.
15. Call your mom.
16. Say “God bless you” when you hear someone sneeze.
17. When you lose, don’t lose the lesson.
18. Remember the three R’s: Respect for self; Respect for others; Responsibility for all your actions.
19. Don’t let a little dispute injure a great friendship.
20. When you realise you’ve made a mistake, take immediate steps to correct it.
21. Smile when picking up the phone. The caller will hear it in your voice.
22. Marry a spouse you love to talk to. As you get older, his or her conversational skills will be as important as any other.
23. Spend some time alone.
24. Open your arms to change, but don’t let go of your values.
25. Remember that silence is sometimes the best answer.
26. Read more books and watch less TV.
27. Live a good, honourable life. Then when you get older and think back, you’ll get to enjoy it a second time.
28. Trust in God but lock your car.
29. A loving atmosphere in your home is so important. Do all you can to create a tranquil harmonious home.
30. In disagreements with loved ones, deal with a current situation. Don’t bring up the past.
31. Read between the lines.
32. Share your knowledge. It’s a way to achieve immortality.
33. Be gentle with the earth.
34. Pray. There’s immeasurable power in it.
35. Never interrupt when you are being flattered.
36. Mind your own business.
37. Be wary of a person who doesn’t close his or her eyes when you kiss them.
38. Once a year, go some place you’ve never been before.
39. If you make a lot of money, put it to use helping others while you are living. That is wealth’s greatest satisfaction.
40. Remember that not getting what you want is sometimes a stroke of luck.
41. Learn the rules, then break some.
42. Remember that the best relationship is one where your love for each other is greater than your need for each other.
43. Judge your success by what you had to give up in order to get it.
44. Remember that your character is your destiny.
45. Approach love and cooking with reckless abandon.

Author unknown

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The 4 R’s

R R R R

Rest – This is one of the hardest things for me to do, as evidenced by this post at 11:00 PM on a work night. I find that I don’t need a ton of sleep every single night, but 4 out of 7 nights, I really need my 7-8 hours of sleep to feel completely refreshed and recharged. Your mileage may vary, but 7-8 hours should be enough. One thing that I find really hurts me is oversleeping to try to catch up. These 10 hour power snoozes don’t help, and in fact they end up making me more tired than before. I’ve found that focusing on the 7-8 hours is enough for me. You’ll find your sweet spot, and once you do, do everything you can to stay in it!

Reflect – I find that taking the time to reflect on what’s happening in my life every few days helps me keep things in perspective and stops negative thoughts before they get out of control. Contrary to what some think, my life is not perfect, I have bad days too. I just try to make time to think about why they’re bad days, and try to make sure I keep those things out of my life as much as I can. Of course some days are easier than others, but taking the time to reflect will at least help understand how you’re feeling, and hopefully why you’re feeling that way. It takes practice, to be sure, and it’s worth it!

Read – I read as much as I can, some for pleasure, mostly for self-improvement. I couple this with some reflection time, and I find that this is some of the best part of my day. You don’t have to read a novel to get away; find a blog you enjoy, an online newsletter that pumps you up, or just an old e-mail from a friend. Think about the words and really immerse yourself in whatever you’re reading. It will help you de-stress and re-charge!

Relax – We all relax differently, some by reading, some by reflecting, some by resting, and some by doing something altogether different. Whatever you find is your most relaxing thing, or is your most relaxing place, make time to do this or get there at least once a week, and you’ll notice a difference in your energy level.

Phil Gerbyshak leads a team of IT help desk professionals in Milwaukee, WI, and finds that sharing his knowledge is a crucial component in his success as a leader and as a person. Phil’s personal philosophy is paraphrased from Tim Sanders’ fantastic book Love is the Killer App: “Share your knowledge, your network, and your love. The rest will follow.” Read more of Phil’s ideas at http://makeitgreat.org

Be careful

BE CAREFUL

Be careful of your thoughts
for your thoughts become your word.
Be careful of your words
for your words become your actions.
Be careful of your actions
for your actions become your habits.
Be careful of your habits
for your habits become your character.
Be careful of your character
for your character becomes your destiny.

-Unknown

Symptoms of inner peace

SYMPTOMS OF INNER PEACE
Author Unknown

* A tendency to think and act spontaneously rather than on fears based
on past experiences.

* An unmistakable ability to enjoy each moment.

* A loss of interest in judging other people.

* A loss of interest in judging self.

* A loss of interest in interpreting the actions of others.

* A loss of interest in conflict.

* A loss of ability to worry (this is a very serious symptom).

* Frequent overwhelming episodes of appreciation.

* Contented feelings of connectedness with others and nature.

* Frequent attacks of smiling.

* An increasing tendency to let things happen rather than make them
happen.

* An increased susceptibility to the love extended by others as well
as the uncontrollable urge to extend it.