There come many opportunities in a person’s life when they can choose to follow their hearts or continue living in fears and insecurities of the mind. We (Geetha and I) have passed through quite a few and perhaps there lie a few more ahead of us. Most of the times, our choice was of the heart but once in a while we let our fears cloud us and keep us in the same of loop of suffering. We are once more at one such juncture in our lives.
This time the choice was unhesitating and simultaneous for both of us. Now, we’ve both come to a clear realization that further and truer healing cannot happen with conventional therapy but rather through a deeper introspection and awareness. And stepping into pure present moment awareness means we cannot avoid stepping into the unknown that follows it immediately. And to do that we realized we simply have to put in more faith into the life within and trust it to take care of us. And we are doing that. We are going away together to explore and experiment in deeper and truer healing. And, as usual with our lives so far, the experiment is first on us. We didn’t have to go away to let this healing happen, but the moment the realization to heal deeper came for us the universe opened doors for a perfect space to heal!
As a result, we are both taking a long sabbatical and we are closing Purple Room Healing for the public. The leave is for at least six months. The blog and all its articles will still be available for you all. We are also opening a site and another blog to share our onward (and inward) journey and to write about the practice of awareness. We will announce them here soon once we have made the physical transition to our new home and personal healing space.
Thank you all clients and friends who made this journey with us. We learnt a lot from each of you and we hope each of you had equally benefited through the help we could extend.
“The only freedom we’ve got is not to react to anything, but to turn within and know the truth.” – Robert Adams
The recommended times are for getting the best out of this method. They are not mandatory. In fact, I recommend you not to take up all the below at once. That will simply become a burden to you and that will motivate you to give up the meditation practise.
I personally follow these and I do not meditate for no more than two minutes maximum each time. And I increased the frequency of this practise after I fell in love with the meditation, not before.
As soon as you wake up– this is especially good because it can have a great influence over your entire day.
In the toilet – this again is another time of the day where our thoughts and emotions then can affect the whole day. Just a few minutes of this meditation here will help us greatly.
During travel (if you are not operating the vehicle) – this is one of the best times, I’ve found, to meditate. In fact somehow it is easy for me to meditate while sitting in the bus or train. After this technique, I personally began to prefer travelling by bus or train over driving myself because it gives me a long time to meditate. Especially while returning from a day’s work, this meditation in bus has tremendous benefit. There is an immediate flushing of stress and anxiety which I used to carry from work to home.
Before beginning a work – I have found this to be another huge benefit. When you are able to move into ‘being in the moment’ before you start any work, it gives you the calmness as well as the presence of mind required to handle the task effectively. In fact, I found this even improved my performance.
Immediately after eating – If you do this over a few weeks, you will even gain an amazing ability. You will be able to tell if the food that you just consumed is good for you or not. Body has a great ability to communicate what it wants and what it can’t digest. But we never listen. This technique helps you gain back that listening habit. Not only will your stomach tell you if the food you ate is good for you or not, but if you ate something that is particularly not so suitable for your constitution, the few minutes of this meditation after food actually helps reduce the discomfort or indigestion problem. Of course, that does not mean you can continue to eat whatever you like and use this technique like some antacid tonic. When your body communicates, listen to it. Try to avoid that food stuff in future.
Evenings when free – This is the time when I practise this for a slightly longer time like about ten to fifteen minutes. Sometimes, if I find time, I do this in the mornings instead. This helps me become more anchored in that state of peace and calmness, and also helps me get into this practise easily even during most stressful times in the day.
Before going to bed – I sleep with this technique. It will soon help you fall asleep faster.
Getting the Best Out Of This Meditation Practise – Meditation Tips and Advice
Enjoy the meditation – Just be and you will quickly fall in love with this meditation. Whenever you are being in your body, you will find a certain peace and calmness in it.
Let it grow upon you – Let the meditation grow upon you not the other way round! Do not try to overwhelm yourself with doing this too many times in the beginning. You are trying to acquire a habit of regular meditation. And anything that you dislike or are trying to force upon self can be tough to become a habit.
Take it easy – If you take this meditation too seriously (instead of enthusiastically) you are only adding to your stress. Remember you are trying to find peace out of this meditation. The more desperate you grow the less likely you will find peace. Just take it easy.
Skip once in a while – Take a break when you feel like it. The importance of peace and calmness is felt more in its absence. Don’t be a stickler to punctuality and discipline. If you enjoy the meditation it will become a part of your daily routine quickly enough.
Don’t try too hard – Once in a while you may find it difficult to move into the ‘here and now’ when you are too stressed out or emotional. Don’t try hard. With enough practise during other times you will soon, within weeks, reach a state where you can go into the meditation even during high stress.
Don’t empty mind – Again the emphasis is to be your posture and thus enter this moment. Not on emptying your head of thoughts. There is no need to change your thoughts. Move your focus from them to your body.
Stay on the goal – As you become more practised in this meditation technique, you will find some interesting latent abilities of yours getting activated. For instance, sometimes when I am doing this meditation, I become aware of the mood and thoughts of people around me. Stay with the goal. And the goal is to gain peace and be stress-free. If you start pursuing this meditation for the sake of latent powers you will lose both peace as well as the powers.
Experience this moment – Each time you do this meditation you may have a different experience. The goal is to be the posture and experience this moment as it is. Do not try to reproduce the experience of your previous meditations. That is where you can get lost and lose peace.
Do it as you are – Do not try to assume special postures for the meditation. Just move into the posture you have at the moment. Of course you can adjust a limb or two for the sake of convenience. Sometimes you can also realign your posture as a physical way of ‘gathering your mind’. Special postures or asanas can restrict the places and times when you can practise this meditation.
In the last posts (Part 1 & Part 2) I discussed about mental health and the most important time of the day where your emotions and thoughts can set a trend for the day. This post let me share with you a very simple meditation method that will help you reduce stress and anxiety dramatically in your daily life. It can also help you become attain peace and calmness if you practise it every day.
The very word meditation sometimes puts us off. We have, at least some of us, have tried in the past various meditation techniques and have failed to achieve the consistency in practise. Two most important obstacles were time and achieving concentration. We either did not have the time to put aside for the meditation. Some meditation techniques demanded a particular time of the day be set aside for it, especially like early mornings which turn out to be particularly difficult for those who are night birds. Some meditation methods insisted on long durations of practise – sometimes even an hour out of our daily routine. The other reason why we give up a few other meditation techniques is because of its demand of nearly super human single minded concentration which seems to be more difficult than time. Just when we want to empty our minds that all sorts of silly thoughts come into our heads.
The meditation technique which I am sharing is neither time consuming nor requires inordinate amounts of mental concentration. You don’t even need to practise it at a regular time too. In fact, the efficacy of this meditation technique lies in practising it everywhere and anywhere you can.
The technique is deceptively simple. All you need to do is to simply move your awareness into your body and this moment. Let me explain how to do that.
First of all, you do not have to assume any meditative posture for this. Doing that can help you initially if you are used to practising meditations, but otherwise it’s not necessary. Again the best benefits of this technique can be extracted if you do this anywhere in any posture.
Simply begin by watching your posture. This can be done either by closing your eyes or with your eyes open. The goal here is to bring yourself, your mind I mean, into this moment and to ground yourself. It means you are bringing yourself here and now. Becoming aware of your posture or physical presence is an easy way to do this. Be like this for a while.
Become aware of your body from the inside. It means you are going into being the posture. See, all postures are actions like sitting, lying, standing, resting, etc. So go into that doing. Be it. Be the sitting person, be the standing person, or be whatever your posture is doing right now. Do not be deceived by the simplicity of this technique. Try it and you will find tremendous results.
The Thinking Mind
Well, what about the mind? You do not have to empty your mind. Just watch it. Do not try to clear your mind. Neither do you try to hang on to a particular thought. Just let them be – in the background. Your awareness is into your posture. Into being.
It means you are letting your mind be what it wants to be and YOU are going away from it. Yes, you and your mind can be separated like that. By ‘you’ here I mean your awareness. So simply let your thoughts be, let your mind be.
What you are doing is letting everything be. You are not trying to change anything. You are moving into the being of the moment. So, like I said, it does not require extraordinary consciousness. Just plain awareness. It’s easy.
Time and Duration
You can do this meditation anytime and anywhere. And you can do this for any duration ranging from just a few seconds to an hour too. In fact, I would not recommend that you do this for longer duration at a set time of the day like other meditation practises. The efficacy of this technique lies in its time flexibility.
I have noticed that in meditation practises people tend to get the best benefit out of it during their early days of practise and then gradually the benefits seem to disappear. The problem is not with the technique but in our ability to compartmentalize our daily routine. We usually stop the benefits of meditation influencing us in the rest of the day after the meditation. In the beginning days of practise, we are so motivated that we feel the lightness, joy, calmness, or peace that we gained during the meditation all through the day. After the initial motivation wanes, we tend to go back to our worry patterns and even the meditation seems to become a burden at times. So what peace we gain during the meditation practise seems to fade within ten minutes of getting up. Yes, any good meditation practise can change that and affect our whole life positively in a long term practise. But that again takes us back to our initial problem of consistency in practise.
So the best way to gain benefit out of this practise is to do this meditation just about two or three minutes or less and do it number of times per day. As you do not have a restriction of posture and you don’t even have to close your eyes for this meditation, it makes it easy to practise this meditation just about anywhere. While sitting in the office or the class during a break, while travelling (if you are not driving, of course), during brief periods of waiting, in the toilet, just after eating. Read the next part here for some best recommended times that can provide greatest benefit out of this technique.
Benefits of Meditation
The first thing that you will notice is the flushing of stress and anxiety. An instant calmness will come over your body and mind as you become aware of them. When you move into the posture and be the posture, what happens is that you are letting go of your identity with your thoughts. You are not stopping the thoughts, but are not attaching yourself with them anymore. Again, the goal is to move into ‘here and now’. Be only in this moment. Any thoughts about the next moment let them be. Just watch them. Don’t try to change them.
This technique acts a vacuum cleaner for stress and emotions. What I mean is that it can effectively stop stress and bothersome emotions from affecting other areas of your life. So when you practise this regularly, you stop carrying emotions across different areas of your life. Stress of your personal life will not affect your professional area. And vice versa.
Due to its flexibility, this technique can be incorporated in your daily life far easily than other longer methods. Of course you can continue any other meditations and Kriyas that you are already doing or intend to take up. In fact, this practise will aid you in other mind management or spiritual techniques.
A constant state of peace will become yours when you pepper this practise along the entire day. You will notice that you are able to look at problems in their proper perspective and proportion. In fact you will even be able to deal with tougher issues with a presence of mind. Worry becomes lesser.
Every problem that we face no matter how big or small it is arises out of the conflict between our ‘What Should Be’ and what is.
I should have my keys! I lost my keys!
My car shouldn’t have a flat tire! It does!
I should be getting more income! I am getting less!
My neighbor should mind his own business! He doesn’t!
My wife should do all the household chores! She isn’t!
My husband should support me financially! He isn’t!
My spouse should understand me! The spouse doesn’t!
My son should get better marks! He isn’t!
My daughter should dress properly! She doesn’t!
My parents should give me more freedom! They aren’t!
I should be healthy! I am diseased!
She should have been alive! She’s dead!
All the clients that ever came to me, all the problems I ever sought to resolve in my life – everything came down to a conflict between ‘What Should Be’ and what is.
No matter what help we resort to for our troubles, be it Allopathy, Ayurveda, Reiki, Hypnotherapy, Self-Help books, Psychological Counselors, a well-wisher’s advice, Angel Therapy, Cognitive Therapy, Critical Analysis, Astrology, Chakra Healing, Divination, it is always because we cannot accept what is and we have a ‘What Should Be’ in our head.
But have we ever once stopped to question our very ‘What Should Be’ beliefs?
Have we ever once thought why can we not simply accept what is?
We are so caught up in the denying, resisting, fighting with, attempting to change the ‘what is’ that we never for once sat back and asked ourselves why should anything be any other way that it is! We never questioned the standards! We never thought why can’t we simply accept what is!
Which standard says that human being should be healthy always? Is that a biological law? If it is, why, then, aren’t we always healthy? Why then must we die?
Who said that relationships must be the way we expect them to be? Is it a natural law of the universe? Don’t you realize that your relationship is lousy just because you are trying to make the other person confirm to your expectations of that role?
When you look deeper into the problem, we find that all the ‘What Should Be’ beliefs are all acquired standards. We picked them up in the process of growing up and learning to cope with this world. They are all mere beliefs. Yet they become our moral and social commandments of life. We seek to fulfill them at the cost of sacrificing who we are.
Some may say it is a conflict between ‘What I Want’ and what is. I’ve noticed ‘What I Want’ is either defined by ‘What Should Be’ or it becomes that.
The roots go deeper still until they touch our very egos. But we never want to go that deep. We just want to be on the surface and depend on our ‘What Should Be’s to define our happiness.
The truth is there is greater freedom in learning to accept what is. That does not mean we cannot or must not change what is. But in learning to accept, we lose our ‘What Should Be’ and then what needs to be actually done for the situation will become clear. It might be changing the situation or it might be simply being in the acceptance. In some cases if we accept the situation, the situation changes without any apparent effort on our part (except for the acceptance, of course).
Isn’t accepting everything that comes a loser’s way?
Where did you get your definition of losing and success from? Merely another ‘What Should Be’ standard!
And if we accept a situation just because the situation will change by acceptance, then we are still hanging on to a ‘What Should Be’.
Next time you have an issue just, for once, try accepting the reality of what is.
What do I mean by acceptance? Just be! Stop resisting. Just be. And see what happens!
Remember, when you are accepting, you must really let go of your ‘What Should Be’ for that particular situation. Otherwise, you are merely pretending to accept. You still haven’t come down into the reality.
In the last post I spoke of the necessity of training oneself to become aware of their semi-conscious thoughts. This post will look at some simple techniques that can be practised to bring the stream of semi conscious thought to conscious cognizance.
There is a reason why I prescribe the following techniques. The stream of semi conscious thoughts can at times be so subtle that training yourself to directly observe these thoughts can become a trying and frustrating endeavor. These techniques are relatively easy to follow and they teach you to review your thoughts just after you have had these thoughts. With enough practice you can become aware of your semi conscious thoughts as they occur. Reviewing our thoughts just after they occur is easier than being in a state of awareness as they thoughts flow through your mind.
Technique #1: Observe Your Breath
Breath is intimately connected with our thoughts and emotions. Fluctuations in breath indicate variations in our moods and emotions. Even the subtlest changes in our moods is reflected in our breath. This is no new technique. There are hundreds meditation courses that emphasize on this connection between the mind and breath. You would have already observed the fact that when you become angry your breath becomes short, shallow, and rapid. So by making use of this well known fact will help you achieve deeper awareness of self.
This technique is simple to practice. Start by observing your breath as you go about your daily routine. Observe what is your regular rate of breathing – are you a shallow breather or deep breather. Initially it takes a little conscious effort on your part to remember to be aware of your breath. But with a little consistent effort it will become second nature. After a few days of practice, whenever you observe a change in breath from normal, immediately stop whatever you are doing and cast your mind back over what your immediate thoughts had been. If you become aware of your breath sometime after the fluctuation occurred, then just cast your mind back to your thoughts just about the time the breath varied. It would be very easy to do, you just need to devote the time and effort.
Here are a few breath variations that you need to pay special attention to:
Shallow and Rapid breathing – this kind of breathing occurs when the body is undergoing some kind of anxiety or tension.
Sudden sharp intake and Holding of breath – indicative of fear or shock
Tightness in Breathing – this is indicative of fear as well as anxiety
Follow these symptoms backwards to when they started and what you were thinking at that time or just before it and you will easily go to the root thought.
Technique #2: Observe Subtle Body Movements
This technique is relatively easier to follow than the previous one. It also increases your awareness of your body language. Whenever we have negative, anxious, problematic thoughts these affect not only our breathing rate but also our body language. It manifests itself easily in the body extremities like hands and fingers, feet and toes. Practice being aware of these extremities and you will be able to detect variations in mood and emotions easily.
Watch for these movements:
Repetitive movements – like rubbing fingers/palms together, rubbing any object like chair handle, etc
Pressing actions – wringing hands, one foot pressing another foot, clutching objects like chair handle, etc
Nervous actions – watchout for subtle nervous actions in limb extremities
Also of use is the action of biting lips.
All of the above actions are indicative of stress or anxiety. Pressing actions are indicative of stress and continous actions like rubbing are indicative of anxious thoughts in the semi conscious thought stream. As soon as you become aware of them, just stop what you are doing and follow the action back to the time they started. You will easily know what upset you.
As you grow adept in observing your thoughts, you will notice that not only are you able to become aware of your semi conscious thoughts but also you find repetitive patterns in your thoughts. Most anxieties and stressful situations all boil down to two or three major root issues.
Being aware of your subtler thoughts will give you a deeper understanding of your personality, uncovering hidden dimensions of self that you either thought were not there or that you had already worked on the issue. It also gives you immense control over your self and the ability to manifest situations suited to your needs and evolution. Learning to be conscious of innermost thoughts of your being is the foremost step to self healing. Because, you cannot resolve a problem that you are not aware exists.
Student life is one of the most hyper-suggestible stages of life and figures of authority like parents, teachers, and even peers can inadvertently plant negative suggestions that undermine the confidence and concentration of the student. Consecutively, the student develops fears of exam and subjects, study anxiety, lack of concentration and poor memory.
The pressure on students to attain higher ranks and better marks comes from various sources like parents, teachers, peers, relatives and sometimes even neighbors. As the generations are growing more competitive, this pressure has assumed gargantuan proportions and many a student crack under it. The result is the development of various student issues like fear of a particular subject, fear of examination, study anxiety, lack of concentration and poor memory. The roots of these issues are varied yet easy to resolve through Hypnotherapy. Any issue does not usually crop up from a single event; small events over a period of time add to the issue.
It is usually the parents’ responsibility to identify these anxiety issues in the child and address them immediately. But in some cases, it is the parents themselves responsible for the anxiety and are oblivious of it.
Student lifetime is one of the highly suggestible stages and therefore it becomes very easy for a figure of authority to influence them through suggestions. Unfortunately, most of the adults are not aware of this fact and they plant suggestions that undermine the student’s confidence and consecutively her/his concentration.
Hypnotherapy is one of the best methods to very quick and effective to resolve these issues and help the student’s regain her/his confidence back. Under hypnosis, the student can quickly remember the cause of the issues like exam fear, study anxiety, poor memory, and lack of concentration, and with the help of the therapist the student can quickly resolve the issues.
Through hypnosis students not only regain their confidence but can also increase their performance in education, sports and in other areas of interest.