Dealing with the end of life and the decisions that accompany it bring critical challenges for everyone involved-patients, families, friends and physicians. In fact, "managing" the progression toward death, particularly when a dire diagnosis has been made, can be a highly complex process. Each person involved is often challenged in a different way. Communication is the first objective, and it should start with the physicians. In their role, physicians are often tasked to bridge the chasm between lifesaving and life-enhancing care; thus, they often struggle to balance hopefulness with truthfulness. Determining "how much information," "within what space of time" and "with what degree of directness for this particular patient" requires a skillful commitment that matures with age and experience. A physician's guidance must be highly personalized and must consider prognosis, the risks and benefits of various interventions, the patient's symptom burden, the timeline ahead, the age and stage of life of the patient, and the quality of the patient's support system. At the same time, it's common for the patient and his or her loved ones to narrowly focus on life preservation, especially when a diagnosis is first made. They must also deal with shock, which can give way to a complex analysis that often intersects with guilt, regret and anger. Fear must be managed and channeled. This stage of confusion can last some time, but a sharp decline, results of diagnostic studies, or an internal awareness usually signals a transition and leads patients and loved ones to finally recognize and understand that death is approaching. Once acceptance arrives, end-of-life decision-making naturally follows. Ongoing denial that death is approaching only compresses the timeline for these decisions, adds anxiety, and undermines the sense of control over one's own destiny. With acceptance, the ultimate objectives become quality of life and comfort for the remainder of days, weeks or months. Physicians, hospice, family and other caregivers can focus on assessing the patient's physical symptoms, psychological and spiritual needs, and defining end-of-life goals. How important might it be for a patient to attend a granddaughter's wedding or see one last Christmas, and are these realistic goals to pursue? In order to plan a death with dignity, we need to acknowledge death as a part of life-an experience to be embraced rather than ignored when the time comes. Will you be ready? Mike Magee, M. D., is a Senior Fellow in the Humanities to the World Medical Association, director of the Pfizer Medical Humanities Initiative, and host of the weekly Web cast "Health Politics with Dr. Mike Magee."
Meditation has been practiced around the world for thousands of years. It is a techiniqe used to quiet the mind and body, and release stress. It can also bring focus and clarity, and often, after meditating, problems that you have been struggling with, miraculously become solved. Meditation has also been known to inspire people to write, and to spur lucrative business ideas, as your subconscious comes to light. One simple form of meditation, requires you to sit in a quiet room, either on a pillow, or cross-legged on the floor, or in a comfortable chair, making sure your spine is straight. It is advised that you use the same place every day. It is also suggested that you personalize your spot, by beautifying it with candles, flowers, and pictures of the people that you love. The idea is to sit quietly, with your eyes closed, and focus on a point inside of your forehead. Try not to think of anything in particular, but don't try 'not' to think either, allowing your mind to become calm, and peaceful. If you find that your mind is 'chattering', don't try to control it, just let it finish what it is that it is working on, it will eventually quiet down. It is also recommended for beginners to begin with ten to twenty minute sessions, each day. After awhile of doing this, you will start to feel deep relaxation and joy during these sessions. The first step to this self-hypnosis is to sit in a quiet, comfortable spot, making sure you are facing a wall about eight feet away from you. Pick a spot or object on that wall, and make that spot or object your focal point. Looking at your focal point, begin counting backwards from 100, one number for each breath you exhale. As you do this, imagine yourself floating, and feeling very relaxed. You will begin to feel your eyelids getting heavy, and may begin to blink. Let your eyes slowly close, and as you continue to count backwards, imagine yourself as limp as a ragdoll, totally relaxed, and floating in a safe and comfprtable place. Stop counting, and just float in your space. If any disturbing thoughts should come while in your space, just let them flow out again, and allow yourself to continue to feel safe and relaxed. This technique can help you to cope with stress, and discharge the tension that accumulates during stressful situations. When you are ready to come out of this self-hypnosis, you can either let yourself drift off to sleep, or you can count from one to three and exit. First, count one, and get yourself ready to exit. At two, take a deep breath, and hold for a few seconds. At three, exhale and open your eyes slowly. As you open your eyes, continue to hold on to that relaxed and comfortable feeling. You may then want to increase the length of your sessions to thirty minutes, or maybe even an hour. In our highly active lifestyles of today, it is imperative that we include a brief time for meditation in our daily schedule. For more self-help techniques and tips, please visit my website.
Optimizing your brain with just your set of headphones! Binaural beats are unique sounds recorded in such a way that they re-adjust the brain wave frequencies of the listener automatically. Through a technological technique that has been named brain entrainment, binaural beats can change the mental and physical state of anyone who listens. Analysis has shown that some brainwaves, like intense relaxation, are ideal for learning and retaining new information while delta brainwave states promote relaxed healthy sleep. Until the adaptation of binaural beats tapes, CDs and MP3s, the only technique to create deliberate changes in your brainwave patterns was with deep meditation. For thousands of years this type of meditation has only been possible for practitioners of meditation with over 20 years experience, such as Zen Buddhist Monks. However, by using binaural beats it is now possible for every person to enter these kind of meditative states within minutes only by using good headphones and a specifically recorded pre-made binuaral beats recording. Although the science consists of brain entrainment is a bit complex to explore the basic premise is easy to comprehend. Binaural beats were discovered by Heinrich Wilhelm Dove when he was an Assosiate Professor at the University in Berlin. Prof Dove discovered that when 2 similar sounds, that differ only slightly in frequency, are presented separately to left and right ear (Binaural) they will cause a pulsation or beat type effect to occur in the brain. It was in the late '70s when Scientific American published the research paper by Dr. Gerald Oster called "Auditory Beats in the Brain". This paper showed how Dr. Oster took Prof. Dove's discovery and through research found that by utilizing these binaural beats he could direct the brain processes of the listener to match the internal beat created by the binaural beats. When this occurred the brainwaves of the listener began to resonate with the same frequency as the binaural beats. Thus Oster found that through this technology he was able to change the brainwave frequencies of the listener and bring about deliberate mental states. To the normal person this would just be another scientific discovery that has lnothing to do with real life and our everyday routines were it not for the fact that everything you do in life has a corresponding brainwave pattern. Most times the effects you wish to create are affected bycorrespond to the state your brainwaves are in at that moment. The things you do have a dominant frequency associated with each and every one. When you are in a state of deep relaxation when asleep your brain has a specific frequency associated with it with specific patterns such as Theta waves. When you a physical state where you are alert and intensly concentarting your brain is engaged in Beta or even Gamma frequency patterns. When you enter a state of focused relaxation like enjoying TV, imagining or while under the influence of hypnosis, you are in the Alpha state. This is also the state experienced with most forms of meditation. However men and women with year of meditative experience, like Zen Buddhist Monks, can enter Theta and Delta states while staying extremely aware. These states, would normally take an entire life to achieve by pratcising meditation, can be prompted within minutes using binaural beats. "This all sounds great", you may say but how does it affect me? It is possible to induce meditative states at will using binaural beats? Is this relevant to you and me? In order to answer that question it is best to look at the benefits of meditation. Some of the benefits of meditation include: 1. Deep relaxation. 2. More profound more restful and energizing sleep. 3. Higher levels of creativity. 4. A slower aging rate. 5. Releasing of past negative emotional turmoil. 6. Relief from Stress. 7. Heightened physical energy. 8. Heightened focus and concentration. 9. Better retention of learned information. 10. Faster recovery times after surgery. This list is a small sample of the benefits of meditation and this list is certainly not extensive. It is evident then that the benefits of having a technology that can induce desired brain states that correspond to beneficial changes in mind and body is very advantageous. We are very blessed to live in a time where we have access to different forms of this technology from Holosync and Brain Entrainment, designed for major self improvement, to individual Binaural Beats recordings designed to create definate states in mind and body. The experiments conducted into binaural beats and its effects shows that this technology produces results and can be used very successfully by any person. I have listed some resources that i have found for your interest.
This article is designed to give you some insight into the relatively new technology of Binaural Beats. Binaural Beats are specific frequencies that can bring you into a profoundly deep state of meditation within minutes using the latest innovations in sound technology. They utilize a specific audio mixing technique designed to alter the listener's brain wave activity. By sitting or lying down in a quiet environment and wearing headphones these beats can be used to create Alpha, Theta and Delta brainwave patterns. When brainwave patterns change it has been documented that there is also a change in chemical reactions within the body which can have a profound effect on your entire physical structure. In effect these beats have the same impact and benefits of a deep meditative state akin to hypnologic trance or transcendental mediation. Now very few people can enter such deep states of hypnosis and transcendental meditation takes a lifetime to perfect. So the immediate benefits of using binaural beats is apparent. An added benefit of using such technology is that the states it creates allow you to access the subconscious parts of the mind. Those parts that are subliminal and just below the conscious threshold. Binaural beats can be used with many other self improvement tools (such as subliminal recordings, affirmations or visualization etc.) to increase your personal development dramatically as it creates deep states of relaxation and can put you into Alpha and Theta states. Therefore they can be used as an aid to alter beliefs, heal emotional issues or create behaviour changes. They can even be used for a quick energy boost. It is believed that by using binaural beats you can: 1. Create deep states of meditation. 2. Boost your intelligence and creativity. 3. Slow aging. 4. Create remarkable emotional changes at a very deep level. 5. Eliminate Stress & anxiety. The beauty of binaural beats is that they can be used to induce these states and create these changes with no effort on the part of the listener. You just wear a set of headphones and let the sound technology do the rest. The discovery of binaural technology is mostly accredited to Dr. Gerald Oster. Oster first published research about binaural beats in 1973 in Scientific American after he had conducted extensive studies. However, this is not as well known, binaural beats where in fact first discovered as far back as 1839 by an Associate Professor, at the University of Berlin, called Heinrich Wilhelm Dove. Dove accidentally discovered that when two similar sounds, that are only slightly shifted in frequency, are given separately to left and right ear they cause a pulsation or beat type effect within the brain. However, it was Dr. Oster who uncovered the full benefits of using this new technology when he discovered the effects that binaural beats have on the mind and body. There are many producers of binaural beat technology competing in the market today. It is possible to create your own with the proper software. However, an in-depth knowledge of brainwave patterns and their effect on the mind and body is advisable before ever trying to create your own. There are many forum threads on the web that claim binaural beats have had a negative or even damaging effect on certain listeners. For that reason I believe it is safer to stick to the tried and tested pre-made recordings that are available for a reasonable fee. You can purchase separate binaural beat recordings to induce almost any emotional state or you can even enrol on a binaural beat program for self improvement that takes several years to complete. I, myself, have no experience of any damaging effects due to the use of binaural beats. However, if you are using binaural beats for personal development purposes their use can be uncomfortable. All my experiences have been extremely positive, although not always pleasurable. Let me explain. ECC machines have been used in the past to monitor the brain activity of life-long meditaters. While in a deep meditative state, these meditational experts, displayed alpha, theta and delta brainwave patterns. These are the very states that binaural beats create. Alpha wave patterns in the brain occur in a relaxed state and during this time we are very susceptible to suggestion. This is the state that you enter during hypnosis. Theta brainwaves allow for the absorption of huge amounts of information while Delta brainwaves are most apparent when you enter a state of deep but dreamless sleep. It is the Delta state that is the main aim of such practices as transcendental meditation. Although for many entering the delta state while fully conscious can be very relaxing, for most it is not, for it is during such brain activity that internal change occurs. By bringing the listener into this extremely deep state of meditation, binaural technology, can activate major positive changes in your emotional, mental and physical make-up. Now this can be a profoundly life altering experience. You will find past buried memories resurface as the beats direct your brain to restructure its neural network and raise your "comfort level" to a new high. After several listening session you find yourself less stressed out than before and your reaction to situations, that in the past would have sent you screaming round the halls, much more composed. The technology literally eliminates negative emotional, mental and physical patterns. The discomfort I spoke of earlier comes from the restructuring of your brain’s neural network as old buried uncomfortable memories are triggered in the brain before the connecting emotional response is wiped away. You are still left with the memory of the event but you no longer have any emotional attachment to it. Don’t worry, for some reason, it doesn’t affect positive memories! It may be due to the natural state of the mind and body, for this system of mind/body is always seeking equilibrium and harmony, which tends to lead to feelings of joy and happiness. Binaural beats is a proven technology that can create brainwave changes which alter your mood and changes the chemical reactions in your body to encourage faster healing and harmonious interaction between cells. However, there is currently research being conducted to determine if these beats can actually direct the brain to reformat DNA encoding. If this is possible the possibilities are almost limitless - decrease in illness, genetic disorders, a reversal of aging etc. If personal development and self improvement isn’t your main aim for investigating binaural beats (and don’t want to get younger) then the single recordings designed to induce specific mind/body changes is enough. You can get recordings for an energy boost, meditation, to spark the creative areas of the brain, induce deep sleep and even one that acts like a digital drug! All these changes happen effortlessly and easily. All you need is a pair of stereo headphones and a comfortable chair. The recording does the rest.
Binaural bests were first discovered in 1839 by Heinrich Wilhelm Dove. However, Dove didn‘t realise the full potential of this technology, he merely observed that it occurred. It was another 134 years before Gerald Oster penned an article called "Auditory Beats in the Brain" which was published in Scientific American in 1973. It was proposed that a binaural beat occurs in the brain if you apply slightly different frequency sine waves independently but simultaneously to each ear. This beat affect is created by the brain itself and is largely due to the structure of the brain's internal wiring. These binaural beats are auditory brainstem responses, originating in the superior olivary nucleus of each hemisphere of the brain due to the interaction of the two different impulses. The frequency of the two tones is between one and 30 Hz. Lets take the example that the difference between the two tones is 10 Hz. This 10 Hz difference is experienced within the superior olivary nuclei as a beat . The brain has a tendency, through the frequency following response, to resonate at the same frequency as the auditory stimuli being presented. In our example this would be 10 Hz, which is that frequency of the Alpha state. If we offer a binaural frequency of 5 Hz, the brain will begin to resonate with that and produce Theta brainwaves. If we present a binaural beat of 3 Hz, Delta brainwaves are detected. Alpha, Theta and Delta brainwaves are connected to altered states of consciousness that can be used to reprogram the subconscious mind, eliminate negative thought schemas and release emotional connection to memories. In layman’s terms all this means is that you can relax, put on some stereo headphones and let your mind synchronize with the binaural beat frequency to create real measurable changes in your mind and body. There are immediate benefits of using these beats such as the creation of relaxed states, aided sleep or even energy boosts. However, this is not the limit of binaural beat technology. It is also possible to produce very unusual states of consciousness like lucid dreaming, creativity, out-of-body experiences, and transcendental meditation, to name but a few. However, there are also very real permanent benefits from using binaural beat technology. This technology has been used to create some very dramatic life changes. The Monroe Institute have over forty years experience changing effects on states of consciousness with the use of binaural beats in their audio sound patterns, called Hemi-Sync. Centerpointe have conducted a lot of research into the use of binaural beats also. They created a program called Holosync which concentrates more on self improvement and achieving a higher level of conscious interaction, by creating desirable emotional, physical and environmental changes through a reduction in your anxiety threshold. They use their technology to reprogram your brain, remove old emotional thinking and negative emotional connection to long buried memories. You can even create your own affirmations later in their course to reprogram your beliefs. These technologies can be expensive but the overall benefits of there use are immeasurable. However, there are cheap alternatives to both the above mentioned. Binaural beats in audio technology now come in affordable one CD sets. These can be used to instantly create a variety of different states such as sleep, meditation, creativity, lucid dreaming etc. You can also get your hands on software to create your own binaural beats but I believe, when dealing with brain entrainment, this should be left to those with more experience. The technology is fascinating and it works but you really won’t know that until you try it yourself.
How do you connect chakras, the energy centres of the body in Eastern tradition, and flowers, pretty, ephemeral, bright, cheerful manifestations of nature? …by way of color therapy.. yoga energy balancing techniques…meditation… and a simple way of making yourself feel better and reenergized even if you don’t really believe in any of the above. There are seven main chakras (as well as several others) in a line from the base of the spine to the crown of the head and one more newly recognised chakra just above the head which I believe is important. Each one is associated with various areas of physical, emotional and spiritual well-being. When the energy flow in one becomes blocked it can result in certain symptoms and vice versa. By keeping the chakras open and the energy flowing, we can maximise our body’s ability to keep well and heal itself. One way of stimulating energy flow is by a simple visualisation. Each chakra has a colour of the spectrum linked to it. Focus on that colour and imagine that colour light pouring into the chakra and saturating it in pure coloured light, then visualise the chakra as a spinning disc of colour. Take 2 or 3 deep breaths as you do so. You can also repeat a mantra or affirmation to intensify the positive energy you are creating. Work through each chakra (see below for summary) in turn from Root to Crown to rebalance your whole energy level. So what about the flowers? Whatever you use to visualise the colour would work, paint swatches, coloured stones or crystals, an image in your minds eye, but beautiful photographs of flowers saturated in the pure colour of each chakra can bring some extra flower energy into your life as well. Flowers raise the vibrational energy around them, which is why they have long been associated with celebrations, brought as presents to new mothers, sick people, loved ones. Weddings and funerals are lavish with them. We are rarely aware of the spiritual connection these days, we just know that flowers cheer people up and make them feel glad. So flower photos as visualisation aids make sense and are beautiful to have around. aflowergallery has a whole section devoted to chakra flower photos. There are books written about the chakras going into far more detail than there is space for here, as it is a deep and complex subject, with infinite, individual interpretations, but here is a basic, brief summary of the chakras and their associated areas and colours. 1. Root - Red Situated at the base of the spine. Emotional grounding and ones roots. The excretory and reproductive systems and the immune system. Mantra “I am in touch with the earth, my roots” 2. Sacral – Orange A hands breadth down from the belly button. Sexuality, creativity, financial issues, honour and ethics, one to one relationships. Genital and urinary systems, bladder and prostate. Mantra “I am a creative, sexual being” 3. Solar Plexus – Yellow Over the solar plexus at the bottom of the rib cage. Self-esteem, self-confidence and how you see yourself. Digestive system, worries and fears, the stress of responsibility. Mantra “I believe in myself” 4. Heart – Green Over the heart. Love, forgiveness, unconditional love. Relationships. Circulatory and immune systems. Heart and lungs. Loneliness. Mantra “I can give and receive love” 5. Throat – Blue Centre of the throat Communication, self-expression and will power. Thyroid problems, sore throats, addictions(due to lack of will) Mantra “I speak my truth” 6. Brow - Indigo Centre of forehead Intuition, intellect and mind, inner vision. Brain and nervous system, eye problems. Mantra “I see clearly” 7. Crown - Violet Top of head. Spiritual awakening, search for meaning. Our relationship to our spirit and God. Central nervous system, overwhelming fatigue. Mantra “I believe” 8. Soul star – White/crystal Directly above the crown, about two hand’s breadths from the head Awareness of ones soul and its connection to the conscious self. Gives perspective on life and ability to see seemingly random positive or negative events as part of the soul’s journey. Mantra "I transcend" This is a personal, simplified interpretation of the chakras. Use it as a stepping stone to finding out more for yourself. Copyright Kit Heathcock 2005
You have the ability to create your own mind-set. Whether your attitude is positive or negative, is up to you. The ability to change your environment, circle of friends, and attitude, is within your control. Just like a computer absorbs raw data, so does your mind. Within your mind a culture, within itself, has grown. Many people feel like they have no control of their own mind, because this culture has become negative. The negativity is a result of past experiences, being in a negative environment, or being under the influence of unconstructive ideas. Similar to a computer virus, you have to identify it quickly, to avoid letting it spread within your mind. You can also pass this virus of negative thinking to people around you. As a result you are spreading negative energy around, like “weeds in a field.” Much like a farmer, you cultivate too. The energy in your mind is the crop, and it is up to you, whether it is weeds or wheat. If you have a farm and let a field take care of itself; you will be lucky to have any kind of a crop, from it. This is the same with the energy within your mind. You have to option to pick quality seeds: Information, in the form of books, eBooks, DVD’s, CD’s, lectures, courses, workshops, and seminars. This is learning, for the sake of self-improvement, and it results in a positive mind-set. However, your work is not finished, because you must still reinforce the lessons, and keep everything in a focused order. This might be compared to fertilizing, watering, and “weeding the mind.” You have to work at it continually or the weeds will grow back. This, my friend, is meditation, and one of the reasons why we meditate, in the first place. Meditation is controlled focus on an object, thought, or task without judgment. This process makes it possible to look at all situations objectively. You can find solutions, turn negative situations into positive learning experiences, and create your own positive mindset. As a result of this you will make new friends, reach goals, handle problems easily, and develop an indomitable spirit. Remember the last time you made an accomplishment. That feeling, and that ability, are within all of us. It is a formula for success, but you have to take action. Action is something that the vast majority of people will never take. Learn to separate yourself from “the pack,” through education, meditation, and action.
Once Western scientists first began studying the personal effects of speculation in the 1970s, they noticed that heart rate, perspiration, and other signs of emphasis decreased as the meditator relaxed. Scientists, like Richard Davidson, PhD (University of Badger State), have besides been considering the long-term of . In 1992, Davidson received an invitation from the 14th Dalai Lama to come to northern Republic of India and sketch the brains of Buddhistic monks, the foremost meditators in the world. Davidson traveled to Bharat with laptop computers, generators, and EEG recording equipment, thus initiating an ongoing work. Now, monks travel to his WI lab wherever they chew over while in a magnetic imaging machine or they watch disturbing visual images as EEGs record their responses to understand how they regulate aroused reactions. Any activeness--including --will create new pathways and strengthen certain areas of the mind. "This fits into the whole neuroscience literature of expertise," says Stephen Kosslyn, a Harvard neuroscientist, in a New York Times article (14 September 2003), " taxi drivers deliberate for their spatial memory and concert musicians for their sense of pitch. If you do something, anything, even play Ping-Pong, for 20 years, eight hours a Day, there's going to be something in your head that's different from someone WHO didn't do that. It's just got to be." monks pattern three forms of : 1) focused attention on a single object for long time periods 2) cultivating pity by thinking about angercausing situations and transforming the negative emotion into compassionateness and 3) 'open presence,' "a Department of State of being acutely aware of whatever thought, emotion or sensation is present without reacting to it." Knowing the that has on the monks' brains, Davidson decided to realize what effect has on neophytes. He set up a cogitation with 41 employees at a nearby biotech company in Wisconsin River (Psychosomatic Medicine 65: 564-570, 2003). Twenty-five of the participants enlightened 'mindfulness ,' a accent-reducing form that promotes nonjudgmental awareness of the present and is taught by Jon Kabat-Zinn. They knowing the praxis during a 7-hr retreat and weekly classes. During that 8-calendar week period, these participants were asked to think over for I 60 minutes each Clarence Day, six days a hebdomad. Brain measurements were taken before instruction, at the remainder of the eight weeks, and four months later. Measurements showed that increased bodily process in the left field frontal region of the nous, "an area linked to reduced anxiety and a positive excited State Department." Also, at the remnant of the 8 weeks, the participants and 16 controls did not ponder received flu shots to test immune responses. researchers took blood samples from them ace month and two months after the injections, they found that the meditators had More antibodies against the flu virus than the non-meditators.
: Are you stressed out? Do you worry about your physical health? Your mental health? Your spiritual health? Do you wish you had less stress and anxiety in your life and more peace and harmony? Well, I felt all of these things a few years ago and I thought I was going to go crazy or die. I was working 10-12 hours a day, 6 days a week at a very stressful job. I had a wife and two kids at home who wanted, and deserved, my time and attention. I had a mortgage, two car notes, tuition, medical bills, overdue taxes, and credit card debt coming out of my ears! I was running nonstop through my days trying to take care of everything and make everybody happy but I never had enough time to take care of myself. In bed at night, my heart would pound from stress and anxiety. I worried about my job, my marriage, the kids, the bills, the house, my heath, and even my sanity. My health was of particular concern. I felt tired all the time. I was gaining weight. My back was always hurting. Climbing even one flight of stairs left me breathless and dizzy. I felt like I was falling apart physically, mentally, and spiritually. I was really worried about myself but I didn’t know what to do. I tried the gym, several fad diets, home exercise machines, and even time management programs. I had about the same results with each new thing I tried. They all seemed to help at first, but I just couldn’t stick with any of them for very long. I now realize that they didn’t work because they were all short term fixes to a long term problem. I had to change my life. I knew I had a lot to learn, but I couldn’t afford to buy a bunch of books and everything at the library seemed to be outdated. So I made a habit of stopping at the local Barns and Noble on the way home from work each day. I read everything I could find on stress, anxiety, health, diet, and self-improvement. I felt like a cheat just sitting there reading the books without buying them but nobody seemed to mind. I usually bought a cup of coffee or tea just to ease my conscience a little. I read a lot of great books with wonderful insights on improving one’s life. Not surprisingly, one subject came up over and over; meditation. I had tried to meditate several years earlier but had gotten frustrated and quit before really giving it a chance. But, I was desperate and determined to try anything that might help. One book in particular said, “Start right now!” I was too embarrassed to sit in the book store and meditate, but I didn’t want to waste another moment. So I went out to my car, adjusted the seat into a comfortable position, set my watch alarm for 30 minutes, then closed my eyes and started counting my breaths. That turned out to be a defining moment in my life. Of course, I didn’t have instant success. Mediation takes practice and can be very difficult at times. But making the decision to incorporate meditation into my everyday life changed everything for me. I continued to stop at the book store each night for a while and split my time between reading and meditating. Nothing else had changed in my life. I still had a stressful job, my marriage, my kids, my house, and bills but, somehow, I was feeling better—less stressed—even more energetic! No, it didn’t magically solve all of the woes in my life. But once I started feeling more relaxed and less stressed, I was better able to focus on the other things I needed to do to become mentally, physically, and spiritually healthy. I soon started a daily meditation practice at home. I also began a reasonable exercise plan that included walking, a light workout, and yoga. These things combined with eating right (most of the time), have literally changed my life. I’m now happier, healthier, and at peace with the world around me. I hope this story inspires some of you to take that first step and begin incorporating meditation into your own life. This is the perfect time to make the decision. What better New Years resolution than to change your life for the better? There are numerous meditation methods and practices out there and a myriad of resources available to you in book stores and on the web. I’m sure you can find something that works for you. In fact, I’ve compiled a host of information on mediation, relaxation, yoga, and other related subjects at my website: imcalmer. I would also be very happy to share my own experience. Please don’t hesitate to contact me at mikes@imcalmer if you have any questions or comments. In peace, Mike Suzuki
The stresses and strains of everyday life can bring with it a variety of emotional health problems. These can include depression, anxiety, insomnia, irritability and panic attacks. In this article I write about each of these potential problems and suggest solutions to overcome them. Depression I am sure that we all become depressed at different times of our life, I certainly do. It is easy to let things and people get us down. We can start to feel sorry for ourselves and to think that the world is working against us. The brain has two halves, positive and negative. In these periods of depression the negative side assumes control and it can become very hard to get out of this rut. I see the positive side of my brain as an apple and the negative side as a pear. If I only ever eat pears, I will not be able to experience the joy of eating apples. In short I have to give the positive side a chance to help me to reach a state of happiness and I need to learn to ignore the negative. Anxiety and panic attacks At times people start becoming anxious about their future or even about their present situation. This can in certain cases even lead on to panic attacks. In my opinion worrying does not help the situation, it only makes things worse. I have to say that I do worry and that the cloud of doom does descend over my life at regular intervals. When this occurs I try very hard to break the cycle and I even talk to the demons in my head. I have a battle of wills with them. I tell them that they will not win and that I will not stress anymore. This is not that simple but is what I try to do. Insomnia Having trouble with sleeping at night can happen for a number of reasons, the main one of which is stress. Other causes are snoring, an intake of too much caffeine, a noisy environment or depression. I have written about stress and depression already, it is also time to cut down on the coffee. A simple suggestion in potentially solving insomnia, is to read a book in bed before attempting to get to sleep. This book should help you to get your mind away from any anxieties you may have, it should relax your body and should also tire your eyes. Irritability When people lose sleep or work to hard they can become over tired and this can lead to irritability. This can cause people to have a higher pulse rate, making their muscles feel tight and can leave people also feeling anxious and lethargic. It is important to therefore ensure that you obtain a good amount of hours sleep per night (at least seven)and that you only work a certain amount of hours per week. Money is important to people, however in my opinion health should be the priority. Solutions to these emotional health problems I have come to realise that I need to treat myself from time to time. I have always found it difficult to relax and would often feel stressed and under pressure. I now use various methods at different times of the year to help me to chill out a bit and to reward my body. These include aromatherapy, using herbal products, attending tai chi lessons and I have even tried Yoga. I must admit I could never get to grips with Yoga, however have heard it can prove to be very beneficial to people who can. Meditation My favourite form of relaxation is by meditating. I do this by sitting on a straight back chair and by basically concentrating with my eyes closed. I pay particular notice to my breathing and it has certainly helped me to see things in a much clearer way. In conclusion there are many ways of reducing emotional health problems and with determination you are able to see your way to a better and brighter future. Steve Hill
: How to meditate? Breath, and watch your breath. Among the documented benefits of meditation are less anxiety, decreased depression, reduction in irritability and moodiness, better learning ability and memory and greater creativity. That's just for starters. Then there is slower aging (possibly due to higher DHEA levels), feelings of vitality and rejuvenation, less stress (actual lowering of cortisol and lactate levels), rest (lower metabolic and heart rate), lower blood pressure, and higher blood oxygen levels How to Meditate Right Now Here's a simple technique that will give you results in minutes. Sit comfortably, close your eyes, and tense up your whole body. Sigh deeply, then breath deeply through your nose and release the tension from every muscle. Just feel each part relaxing, watching for parts that may hold onto tension, like a tight jaw. If you still have tension somewhere, tense up that part again, then let it relax. It may also help to repeat silently "relax" as the tension drains. This will train your body and mind to recognize relaxation. Later you may be able to relax more easily just by repeating "relax" a few times. Breath through your nose. This is important because it brings in more oxygen by involving your diaphragm more. You can test this. Breath with your mouth and you'll notice that your breathing is shallower. Then breath through your nose and you'll notice that your abdomen extends more. Air is being drawn deeper into your lungs. Allow your breathing to fall into a comfortable pattern, and pay attention to it. Pay attention to your breath as it passes in and out of your nose. Your mind may wander endlessly, but all you have to do is continually bring attention back to your breath. If your mind is still too busy, try naming the distractions as a way of setting them aside. For example, say in your mind, "itchy leg," "worried about work," or "anger," and then immediately return attention to your breathing. Use any way you can to identify and set aside distractions. That's it. Continue for five or ten minutes, or for 100 breaths. Afterwards, open your eyes and sit there for a few seconds. You'll feel relaxed, and your mind will feel refreshed. And you'll be better prepared for any mental challenges. That's how to meditate.
: There are 7 layers in our aura. When we use meditation and try to 'clean' it, we have to clean every layer. Many new age mystics just tell you imagine and visualise a white light coming down and engulfing your whole aura, this sometimes does't work well. I usually clean every layer as I go along. Start by doing some kind of relaxation procedure like counting 1 to 10 or say to yourself, upstairs, downstairs, over and over again until you feel bored and sleepy, or you can get some relaxation music to help you get to alpha or theta brain states. Once you done that, mentally say to yourself " I am at level 1' and move your awareness from head to toe or vice versa, the idea is to scan your level 1 for blockages, once you sense 'something there', move your awareness to it, it should 'melt' or disperse. If it is still there, try breathing it colors, you have to experiment with the color that will remove the block, repeat the same procedure with all other level, eg. I am level 2, I am in Level 3, When you say this, you are telling your mind to adjust to the next level using intent, Intent is the force that changes the level. Some times if you are at level 1, and you sense something 1 feel in front of you and you cannot get it off, and you try the usual color breathing method, This could be due to the fact that this blockage is actually at some other level eg. Level 3 and you can usualy remove the block if you move your awareness to level 3. Sometimes when you move your awareness into the blockages, you get 'impression' like a past event or sometimes it plays like a movie in your mind's eye, this is usually the reason for the block.
When you are unhappy what do you do? Do you go out for a meal? Go to the cinema? The theatre, perhaps? Do you go shopping? Perhaps you like a drink to overcome your unhappiness. Or do you get a buzz from jogging or going to the gym? Whatever it is scientist are in the process of proving that internal change is the only thing that can give you health and happiness. Everything else is an illusion. What does this mean? Your brain is the only thing that can keep you healthy and happy. Richard Davidson, a neuroscientist at the University of Wisconsin and Jon Kabat-Zinn from the University of Massachusetts Medical Centre have just completed some interesting research that can actually be of benefit to you and me and the way we run our lives. They took a group of 41 stressed, but otherwise healthy, individuals working in a biotechnology firm in Wisconsin. 25 were taught meditation. In this case: mindfulness meditation. The group met for a 2.5 to 3 hour meditation class each week. After six weeks they all attended a seven hour meditation retreat. In addition each member was asked to meditate, at home, for one hour a day using a guided meditation tape. The other 16 were held as a control group and did not receive meditation training until the study was completed. At the end of the eight week programme, in November, they also gave all the participants a flu jab. And guess what. “The members of the meditation group had a significant increase in antibody titers” in other words they have less chance of catching flu. The bottom line appears to be. If you want to have good health and overcome the day by day blues and maintain happiness learn to meditate. When you meditate you change the way your brain operates. In addition, they found, the more you practice meditation the better your daily performance. ''What we found is that the long time practitioners showed brain activation on a scale we have never seen before. 'Their mental practice is having an effect on the brain in the same way golf or tennis practice will enhance performance.'' It demonstrates, that the brain is capable of being trained and physically modified in ways few people can imagine. (Richard Davidson) So give yourself the space each day to train your brain. It works. Good Luck Graham and Julie desktop-meditation
: And so the therapy began. My next appointment was the following week for more root canal and the week after that also. Not only that my newly filled tooth was now even more painful than before so more work on my filling ensued (as well as more root canal). To cut a long story short I then chose to have a crown in place of a filling that may, or not, have lasted very long. By now I was helping myself to their filtered coffee and newspaper on arrival. So today, as I again sat in the dental chair I was prepared. I made sure I was sufficiently relaxed, centred and in the present moment before I turned up. What did I do? I meditated before my appointment and then meditated through my appointment! As the shrill piercing sound of the drill reverberated through my head and my face sprayed with water, I simply drifted away to somewhere else – somewhere peaceful. The dentist and the assistant continually asked me if I was okay – I’d slowly nod then zone out again, drifting away and closing the door to the sounds and movements of where my physical body was. And then it was all over! The next time you visit your dentist, it really pays to zone out during your procedure (if possible even before you get there) - especially if you’re nervous about any dental procedure at all like I am. 7 Steps to help you Zone out 1. Get a meditation session in before you arrive for your appointment. If you’re not sure how to meditate, do some slow, deep breathing exercises. I generally take around 4 to 5 slow deep breaths, focusing on the outward breath. 2. Be in the present moment. This is when you’re not thinking anything about the future – even 3 minutes into the future! Nor are you thinking about the past – not even 3 minutes ago. The present moment is now whilst you’re sitting in the dental chair, staring at the ceiling becoming aware of and concentrating on the rhythm of your breathing. 3. Once the procedure starts close your eyes and take your mind within. Focus straight ahead – wherever you perceive straight ahead to be once you have your eyes closed – and think of nothing – just blank – the void – staring at the colours and patterns you can see as you sit in the chair with your eyes closed. 4. If you’re about to receive an injection – as the needle goes in, breathe into that area and continue to concentrate fully on your slow breathing until the injection is over. 5. Once that’s over, resume staring into the blank void that is the inside of your eyelids! 6. If you find it challenging to think nothing, focus on a visual image that makes you feel really, really good about yourself then have a look around and see where you are. 7. Whenever you sense you’re starting to again focus on the drilling or whatever else is happening in your mouth, breathe in slowly and deeply focusing on the rhythm of your breathing and allow every single muscle you become aware of, to deflate and relax. Meditation is a great ‘self help’ tool and when applied during a visit to your dentist – it makes the experience if not enjoyable, at least bearable! Michaela Scherr Transformational Coach