Archive for » April, 2013 «

@ Silencing loud thoughts – from Alfred

See (1) to know about Alfred.

  • Breathe as if breath was a wheel turning slowly. No end or beginning – the transition between breathing in and breathing out, infinite and smooth.
  • Meditation is not work. It is not like stacking fire wood where there is a beginning middle and end. It is a gift you allow yourself. Like eating a bowl of ice cream when you eat it slowly savoring each taste.
  • The goal of meditation is not to stop thinking. Thinking is like breathing and is always there. You can think differently however. You can silence loud thoughts that demand your attention. Redirect your thoughts towards physical sensations. Think of the sound of a woodland stream and imagine you are the water. Try to feel all parts of your body at once. Let these quiet thoughts put you into a calm and tranquil place.

(1) Alfred

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@ Yoga thoughts – From Alfred

See (1) to know about Alfred.

I have not missed a day of meditation yet which tells you that I am valuing it. On some days I am left with ideas which I call “Yoga Thoughts” which I write down and am sharing with you now.

Yoga Thoughts
  • Breathing is an endless spiral, breathing in (taking), pause (stillness), breathing out (releasing), pause (calmness)
  • It is simple and at the same time it is complex
  • One of block to tranquility is excitedly thinking about what you are going to do next. Thinking about your next meal, your next conversation with someone you like, the upcoming trip to the beach, all these block you from the present. When you have these types of thoughts while meditating, you are valuing the future over the present, like a child who whines that they are bored on a long car trip. Being happy in the moment is the greatest show of gratitude and the only way to access grace.
  • It is not profound every time you fill your car with gas.
  • Our thoughts tether us. If you are afraid of flying, hold that thought.
(1) Alfred

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@ Not a sufferer of insomnia any more!

Feedback from Sarah Firisen, a friend of our family:

She read my handouts (1) and attended one class along with her daughter, to get to know the technique. She was happy with how it helped with her sleep problems after a short time of practice. On my request she sent this feedback.

“As a chronic sufferer of insomnia, I’ve found that the Counting Breaths technique enables me to fall asleep easily, have a better quality of sleep and get back to sleep if I wake in the night. I’ve not suffered from insomnia since I began using the technique. I would thoroughly recommend it.”

(1) Documents for download

Related pages
Relief from insomnia – Success stories

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* Feedback from Grade 3-5 Students

The school counselor of a local school searched on-line for Yoga classes to help the students reduce stress before and during the state tests. She found my website and requested me to train the students in grade 3 to 5 in the ‘Focusing on breathing’ technique (1) as an optional after school activity. I conducted two classes on April 17 and 24, 2013 for 9 students.

In the first class I demonstrated different modes of the technique and we all practiced each of the modes on one hand. In the  second class I asked for their verbal feedback on how they practiced the technique after the first class. I asked each of them to demonstrate any one mode and corrected the wrong demos. Several of them said they liked the ‘Staring mode’ (3) or the  ‘911 mode’ (4).

At the end of the first class, I collected feedback from them in a simple form with 3 open ended questions. The scanned images of the completed feedback forms are presented at (2). A summary of their responses is presented below.

When I practiced the breathing in today’s class, I felt … 

  • Calm and relaxed – 3 responses
  • Calm/ Really calm – 3
  • Good and happy
  • Relaxed
  • Relaxed, Calm, Focused

I want to try this technique when I …

  • Go to sleep – 2
  • Am mad – 2
  • Mad or tired
  • Stressed with school
  • Mad at my sister or stressed
  • Mad, angry and stressed
  • Am taking a  test

I think this practice will help me for ….

  • NYS test/ Tomorrow before the state tests – 2
  • Calming down, Stop being stressed, angry and mad
  • After being bullied
  • Getting up in the morning
  • When my sister is mad at me
  • Settling down
  • Falling asleep and calming down
  • A lot of things

The principal also participated in the class and gave the following feedback in the same form –
During the class she felt relaxed, calm, focused and stress free. She wanted to try this technique when she needed to refocus, before running a race and after a stressful day. She felt that this practice will help her in refocusing and training.

Feedback from the school counselor after the first class: “I heard great things about your class from the principal and the students.  You will be here again next week for the conclusion. Thank you for the wonderful opportunity to provide a stress free learning opportunity for our students!”

Honorarium: Before doing the classes the counselor inquired about my charges. I said I loved teaching the simple technique to children and if the school was happy with the classes, they could offer me whatever they like. I am thankful to the PTA (Parent Teacher Association) of the school for the generous compensation they offered me. My plan is to follow up this group of students till they adopt the technique as their own, practicing it whenever they needed to  calm themselves or maintain their focus.

(1) How to be Calm and Focused? – Handout for children
(2) Scanned images of the feedback forms
(3) Staring mode
(4) 911 mode

Related page
Training children

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@ “Today I had a very pleasant meditation” – From Alfred

See (3) to know about Alfred.

“I thought you might enjoy hearing about my progress so far. I am doing the waking up routine (1) every day. I have made some modifications. I have added in some of the moving stretches you showed me and also a few postures which I made up. Instead of counting the breaths using the fingers (2), I have begun to keep tally by focusing my attention on different parts of the body. For example “breathing through” the right ear 6 times, then the forehead, left ear, mouth, nose. I also do the whole body scanning, breaking it up into head, right arm, left arm, right leg, left leg and finally my core. I find focusing on the body parts and the breathing helps keep distracting thoughts at bay.

Today I had a very pleasant meditation. I concentrated on stillness of mind. I imagined that any thought is a loud noise which can be heard by the universe and true peace can only be found by quiet stillness. An analogy is being quiet in the woods so that you can observe the animals unnoticed. Using your example of using the lightest possible touch in the finger posture, I applied that to the counting the thoughts. I tried to count my breaths using the most minimal thought of counting – the smallest thought of “one, two, three” while still not losing count. This created a very peaceful effect. Thank you for sharing these techniques with me.”

(1) Waking up routine
(2) How can I focus on breathing?
(3) Alfred

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