The path of awakening is nourished as we fall in love with the practice itself. But, um…what does that mean—practice? In this Nano-Teaching, we’ll learn:
Emotional detoxing can be just as important for your health as detoxing your physical body Using Energetic Techniques for Emotional Detoxing We often hear about detoxing our physical bodies. It is usually a 2 – 7-day process that we undertake to help the body to rid itself of toxins and impurities that tend to slow our natural cleansing processes down. But, how often do we think about emotional detoxing? Our emotions are a fine-tuned, well-balanced set of processes, which are not only chemically induced, but mentally charged. To fully appreciate this, one must learn to view the body as a vast energy field with positive and negative poles. *Remember: “Energy follows thought.” The imagery of visualization is very powerful! As your client breathes, you may tell them to be inhaling and exhaling through the energy points. This will charge the aura, Chakra and energy centers and surrounding organs with vital energy. Here is a list of energetic techniques to help in our emotional detoxing: Emotional Detoxing Technique #1 – While meditating, you may choose to have them visualize the corresponding color of each energy point saturating and balancing each part of their body. Emotional Detoxing Technique #2 – You may utilize the vibrational power of sound or music during your session. The body will enhance a positive, reconnecting flow of energy, which will allow your or your client to bring up, recognize and clear emotional blocks. Emotional Detoxing Technique #3 – Remember the power of scent can be used to enhance the experience. Use essential oil on the pulse points or diffuse it into the air. Burn soothing incense or one of the many sacred herbs such as sage, cedar, or lavender. Emotional Detoxing Technique #4 – Use Reiki energy, qigong or breath work to increase your healing session…
While difficult times can feel like a deep dark hole that we can’t escape and we often wonder “Why is this happening to […]
The post 4 Important Lessons You Learn Through Difficult Times appeared first on Purpose Fairy.
Eka Pada Adho Mukha Svanasana (One-legged downward facing dog—a.k.a. Three-Legged Downward-Facing Dog (Tri Pada Adho Mukha Svanasana) Whether in a class, a video flow on IG, or integrated into Surya Namaskar, this pose makes its way to almost every sequence. I use it quite a bit because I feel like it’s a great opening pose […]
How to Stay Safe in Three-Legged Dog was first posted on February 24, 2018 at 5:00 am.
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(Note: I am reposting my Self Love Quiz as I have decided to host it on a new quiz platform. It’s now working more beautifully than before. Hence, if you are seeing this post for the first time, you can take the all-new Self Love Quiz (check it out below). While the format is slightly different, the quiz comes with the same questions today!)
Do you love yourself unconditionally?
Do you face challenges with accepting yourself completely – warts, moles, blemishes and all?
Well, when I first started on my healing journey, I have had little idea that I had challenges with loving myself in the first place. I was not very conscious back then.
It’s the reason why I created the Self-Love Quiz after gaining some important insights. I had hoped that it could help someone else out there too…..and…judging from previous feedback, it did!
Hence, if you are wondering how the relationship with yourself is like, take the Self Love Quiz below…
Share Your Results Below
What did the results from taking the Self Love Quiz indicate for you? Share your finding below.
Facing difficulties with loving yourself unconditionally? Learn more about how you can love yourself fully and holistically – in mind, body and spirit.
The post Take A Self Love Quiz: Do You Love Yourself Unconditionally? appeared first on Abundance Life Coach for Women | Evelyn Lim.
“Breathe in, say, ‘Clear mind, clear mind, clear mind.’ And breathe out, say, ‘Don’t know,’” Paul Park politely instructs the dozen of quietly respectful people lining the room. Among them is a neighbor who finally decided to follow through after knocking on the door some 10 years before, an elderly woman shawled in a black hoodie worn backward, and a handful of men in robes as gray as their hair who have clearly heard this orientation before.
“Don’t know doesn’t mean that you don’t know something intellectually,” Park continues. “Don’t know means before thinking mind. Beyond words and speech.”
Despite the serenity he projects, a weight rests on Park’s shoulders. Having been named a lead teacher by Korean Buddhist Zen master Seung Sahn Sunim shortly before his death, it is up to Park and his small community of practitioners to maintain the vital core of Sahn’s teachings while recruiting among the diverse seeking community of Los Angeles.
Yet loyalty is hard-earned among Korean Americans wary of a Buddhism that has obscured its ethnic roots and American seekers distracted by the variety of sacred to secular Zens available. With low Korean Buddhist immigration numbers and the growth of mindfulness practices free of any Buddhist trappings, Sahn’s Kwan Um School, a once vibrant transnational religious movement, now faces an uncertain future. And his Los Angeles experiment of creating two facilities—the Dharma Zen Center for non-Korean seekers and Koreatown’s Tahl Mah Sah Temple for Korean traditionalists—is being put to the test.
Dharma Zen Center sits just off Olympic Boulevard among a quiet stretch of houses in LA’s Miracle Mile neighborhood. Seung Sahn transformed the house into a meditation practice space in 1974 with the revolutionary intention of introducing lay people of any race, gender, or background to his specific form of Korean Buddhism without asking them to abandon their modern, urban lives. It was designed to be a democratization of a Korean Buddhism that Sahn felt was too restrictive, hierarchical, and distant. And while the center has been host to a revolving door of tourists, drop-ins, and occasional residents since it opened, the “Korean-ness” of its ritual practice, as Park puts it, has been both a blessing and a curse since it expanded out of Koreatown some four decades ago.
A three-hour meditation occurs every Sunday, which includes a 40-minute chant and two sitting sessions. For the uninitiated, it can be intimidating.
“The chant is the sound of Chinese characters pronounced in Korean,” Park explains.
“Don’t know” is the point, Park repeats.
The objective is to be present, beyond words. Straight-backed meditators concentrate a couple of inches below the navel. Tan Tien the technique is called. It’s where you keep your energy. Don’t know means focus there.
“What am I?” Park asks before the first silent meditation. The Korean practice of Zen, and Sahn’s Kwan Um School in particular, puts an extra emphasis on this sort of inquiry, which Park calls the “bone of Buddhism.”
Every Sunday the center hosts on average a dozen practitioners from the metro’s population of about 13 million residents. Few, if any, of them come from the city’s thriving Korean American community, which is overwhelmingly Christian. But Park is reservedly optimistic. He senses the city is changing due to American society’s increasing volatility.
“Bad is good and good is bad,” Park says with a grin.
According to Park, some of Sahn’s most popular centers are in parts of eastern Europe, where practitioners are no strangers to suffering. Dharma Zen Center’s future relies on non-Koreans getting serious about confronting existential questions and uncertainty. He’s waiting for a new generation of seekers.
Park first practiced meditation at 14, when his mother took him to Tahl Mah Sah Temple, seeking help for herself. That day in 1972, they approached the temple not expecting anyone to be there. But Seung Sahn invited them in and gave Park a lesson that was the beginning of a lifelong practice. And when Sahn founded Dharma Zen Center two miles west down Olympic, Park was enlisted to be a lead teacher in Sahn’s campaign to internationalize Korean Buddhism. A portrait of Sahn still hangs in Tahl Mah Sah, even though it is now independent of the Kwan Um School.
“Tahl Mah Sah was always Korean,” Park says. “But Seung Sahn wanted more than a cookie-cutter migration of Korean Zen to America.”
Seung Sahn established nearly 40 Zen centers and meditation groups around the world. In places as different as Spain, Malaysia, Argentina, and South Africa, Sahn’s maverick quest to take Korean Zen Buddhism abroad is impressive by the standards of any missionary. After his death in 2005, these centers have been left to greater or lesser extents to determine their own futures—which includes the degree to which they will adapt to their new cultural contexts.
“Who knows?” Park wonders. “Maybe the next generation of Korean American Buddhism will just be American Buddhism.”
In the context of his Los Angeles experiment, Sahn’s disparate currents of Zen—the American center and the Korean temple—face similar problems of recruitment. Yet they remain quite independent in their operations.
Tahl Mah Sah’s temple architecture looks foreign among the neighboring apartment complexes, strip malls, and gas stations. Traffic howls at the intersection of Olympic and Arlington while Jong Hwa Sunim, a visiting monk, leads a simple tour of the temple.
Jong Hwa pauses at a tapestry hanging to the left of the altar; it’s called The Guardian Mural. It depicts dozens of figures ranging from the Moonlight and Sunlight Bodhisattvas calling sufferers to enlightenment to the San shin mountain spirit that inspires Korea’s rural monasteries. There are monks chanting sutras, military spirits, and folk figures both Confucian and shamanic in origin—Zen’s first internationalization in microcosm. All surround a multi-armed figure and a winged-helmet-wearing spirit. Together they are charged with protecting the teachings of the Buddha.
“This has all people in it,” Jong Hwa says in broken English. “Chinese culture. Korean culture. Middle Asian culture. All people.”
Jon Won, a member of the young adult group, spends Sundays at the temple with his father. He mills about Tahl Mah Sah’s parking lot and welcomes guests politely.
“I was born here,” he says of the temple with a laugh. Yet despite coming here for 30 years, Jon Won speaks to the monks shyly. He’s quick to clarify he has a lot to learn.
“Some people just do meditation, or 108 bows every day. I come half for meditation and half for bowing. I don’t feel comfortable chanting.”
When a class on introductory Buddhism lets out, six young people stick around to practice yoga with one of the monks.
“The Bar Exam is approaching,” Jon Won says with a hint of apology for the small number of students. “But about 40 people came to our last wine party,” he adds eagerly.
The students place stretching pads in a loose circle among the basketball-court-paneled floor of the temple. A monk leads them in a vigorous circuit of stretches that Jon Won describes as “moderate exercise.”
While Park ends the center’s morning meditation with a circle talk, Tahl Mah Sah erupts with a Korean drum circle. The center’s seekers go to post-meditation tacos, while those at the temple eat tteok rice cakes. Both end with smiles and bows. Both represent Sahn’s legacy.
As the temple’s visitors file out, Bum, Jon Won’s father, hangs around in the parking lot smiling kindly. He stands by a statue of a long-haired figure in flowing robes.
“It’s Maitreya Bodhisattva,” he says, motioning to it. “It’s a future Buddha, the next generation.”
“Do you know why its hand is raised?” he asks rhetorically. “It’s to say don’t worry. Everything is going to be OK.”
Bum walks the students to their cars, parked in the shade of a four-story business complex built so closely it could share a wall with the temple. Having immigrated in 1981, he’s quick to confirm that K-town has changed.
“That wasn’t there,” he says, pointing toward the business complex.
“But the temple,” he says, “is the same.”
“Maybe we need to change it.”
His original goal was to lose weight for a girl, but the ultimate rewards are the life lessons and skills he gained along the way. All it took was showing up. And that’s just what Jorden Pagel did, over and over and over again. This led him to develop what he describes as “ruthless consistency.” […]
The post This Guy Wanted to Lose Weight for a Woman, But the Ultimate Reward Was Unlocking his Potential appeared first on Goalcast.
So you’ve taken up a meditation practice, maybe listened to some guided meditations, and started investigating mindfulness. However, you don’t know how long to meditate when you practice. One of the most common questions we receive is how long should you meditate for in a session, and how long it takes to see the benefits of practice.
These are not simple questions to answer, and there frankly isn’t a set time that works for everyone. Although it definitely takes time to see the benefits of meditation practice, we can build a daily practice to help train the mind and heart.
How Long to Meditate at a Time
First, we have to look at how long to meditate in a single session. When we go on retreat, meditation periods are often thirty or forty-five minutes. This may be overwhelming if you’re new to meditation, as the mind and body are not capable of benefiting from such long sitting meditation. In our Daily Guided Meditations, we often offer meditations in the 10-25 range as this is much more approachable to those new to meditation practice.
We can investigate for ourselves what is useful. While some people may benefit from a thirty minute sit, others may find the most use in a five minute meditation. We can let go of comparison and ego, and really see what works for ourselves. IF you’re new to practice, a long period of meditation may just produce anxiety and stress.
One thing you can try with your practice is setting an intention for a time and giving it a shot. Set the intention to sit for ten minutes every day for a week, and see how it goes. Can you follow through with this intention? How does it feel to sit for ten minutes after a week? If it is working well for you, you can try adding a minute or two the next week, or just stick where you are!
As we continue to practice, we get to know the mind and body. We see where different meditation lengths serve us. Personally, I know that the mind really settles into practice well when I sit for 30 minutes at a time. If I stop at 15, the mind is less clear and not as settled. In order to calm the mind, we have to give ourselves time.
Tune into your own experience in meditation. Maybe the mind settles relatively quickly, or maybe it takes a few minutes. As the mind collects itself and we’re able to concentrate, we can see our experience more clearly. This concentration can take some time, which is why many people like sitting for 30 or 45 minutes.
When I sit for ten minutes, I get a lot out of it. However, the mind is just beginning to truly settle. With longer sits, we’re faced with the opportunity to work with a calm mind, the difficulties in the mind and body that arise in longer periods, and dive a little deeper. However, we cannot jump right into this, and instead can benefit from investigating shorter meditation periods to start.
Seeing Results from Practice
Now, how long does it take to see the benefits of meditation practice? Working one-on-one with students, we’re often asked how long they need to meditate until they start feeling happier. It’s a valid question, and many people wonder similar things when new to practice. Like many other things that are practices, meditation takes some time.
It’s like going go the gym. The first few times we go we end up feeling sore, seeing little or no progress, and doubting ourselves and the gym. Over time and with repetition, we slowly grow stronger and see the changes begin to take shape. Meditation is like a gym for the mental muscle.
When we first start meditating, we may just struggle, experience some anxiety, struggles with the mind, or physical pain. This is normal, and part of the practice. If the mind was already perfectly concentrated, we wouldn’t need meditation practice!
As Medical Daily points out, meditation practice can take some time to really develop and show benefits. Although it may seem overwhelming at first, with continued practice we can train the mind to settle down. This is why we practice.
Many people get discouraged when they begin meditating and find that the mind wanders quite a bit. Known as papanca, the wandering mind is a normal part of practice. As we continue to meditate, we can learn to work with the thinking mind and settle into some concentration and mindfulness.
I recommend trying to meditate regularly, seeing where it gets you. We cannot just sit once and expect to see the many benefits of meditation practice. If you’re asking yourself how long you should meditate to see growth, start by building a daily practice!
Building a Regular Practice
Although not directly related to the question of how long we should meditate for, building a daily practice is an important thing to do for ourselves. In my personal experience, meditating for ten minutes a day is more beneficial than meditating for 45 minutes once a week. The continuity is key.
As we sit in meditation regularly, we get several benefits. First, we build a habit. If we sit in the morning every day, we will eventually do so out of habit and it will be easier to sit in practice. Instead of dragging ourselves to meditate, we will incorporate it into our days as a normal part of it.
When we sit regularly, we also allow our practice to build. It’s like a snowball effect. Every day we meditate, we are training the mind more and more. This daily habit helps us really train the mind more effectively. It’s like going to the gym! If we go to the gym once a month for a couple of hours, we won’t see as many benefits as if we work out for ten minutes every day.
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Has someone ever sent you an angry email, and then you found yourself, weeks later, thinking about it while you’re wide awake at 2am?
Emotions can be a major source of distraction, according to researchers Richard Davidson and Daniel Goleman, who have chronicled what we know thus far about the meditator’s mind in a new book, Altered Traits, Science Reveals How Meditation Changes Your Mind, Brain, and Body.
In this whiteboard session for Harvard Business Review, Davidson and Goleman talk about one of the most important discoveries: repeated practice helps us untether from emotional cues that keep us mired in distraction — specifically, rumination.
More emotional control
Research suggests mindfulness practice can strengthen the connections between the brain that direct our decision-making and impulses, so that when we encounter a strong emotional trigger, we’re not pulled to immediately react.
“[Mindfulness] strengthens the prefrontal (cortex’s) ability to say no to emotional impulse,” says Goleman. This increases resilience because it helps us hold things more lightly — like that snarky email — and not devote all of our attention to emotional cues. Davidson explains:
The “recover more quickly” is really an important attribute of what we think of as resilience. Resilience is, in many ways, the ability to recover more quickly from adversity. So instead of ruminating about the email that ticked you off for several weeks after, you can come back down and recover.
Goleman cautions that the science of mindfulness — what we know, what we don’t — is still in the early stages of study. There are benefits, but there is a lot of hype as well. Since the early 2000s, research on mindfulness has been expanding rapidly. Here’s a look at 10 leaders in the field, what their research has shown us, and the future directions their studies are taking.
Video from HBR.org