Archive for » June, 2013 «

@ “My distress is all in my head” – Alfred

See (1) to know about Alfred.

Practices

I am continuously refining both my routine and working on improving my concentration and mindfulness.  I still look forward to each morning session and have not missed a day yet.  

Ideas

Some people can really get under my skin. They annoy me beyond reason. I get caught up in a cycle of bad thinking about them; analyzing why they say such annoying things, thinking up rebuttals to their comments, and dreading our next interaction. I realize intellectually that no one is perfect and that I should be tolerant but I also feel resentful for the way they disturb my peace.

What if I was in a daily car pool with a person who was very flatulent?
It occurred to me as I meditated that, if I was in a daily car pool with a person who was very flatulent it would similarly annoy me. I would end up feeling angry at the person and would dread the daily car ride. What could be done in this situation to minimize its bad effect on me? My meditative voice told me that 90% of the distress from this situation is all in my head. The ill effects would include dreading the trip before it started, the anger and resentment I would feel during the trip, and the residual effects of these emotions after the trip was over. If I could overcome these ill effects the only problem remaining would be the bad odor. During the trip I could mitigate that effect by opening a window. I also could bring something nice smelling which I could sniff when the odor became strong. Best of all I could take great solace in the fact that I am healthy, that I do not suffer this flatulence and that soon the trip would be over and I would have fresh air in my lungs again.

By redirecting my way of thinking, resentment and anger could be replaced by gratitude and empathy. When these forces rule a little gas is easy to bear. See (2) for my article with a very similar theme.

Results
  • Gifts from Meditation: Getting beyond preoccupation with my own thoughts and worries is one of the basic goals of my meditation. Sometimes reaching this level comes easily, sometimes it comes slowly and sometimes it does not come at all. Once achieved, and I am in a peaceful and present state, different types of ideas sometimes come to me. These ideas seem to come from somewhere outside of myself which is why I consider them gifts. Often these ideas are clarifications or new ways of looking at familiar things. They are gentle guideposts for living.
  • More flexible: I am now feeling more flexible which has made bike riding much more pleasant.

(1) Alfred
(2) I hated the garbage and I stopped

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Related posts: Alfred’s progress

Category: Alfred's Progress, Relaxation to Meditation  Comments off

@ Improved my relationship with my fiance

Report from a client aged 52 who attended three of my classes over 3 weeks.  He picked up the techniques very quickly, practiced in all earnestness and derived remarkable benefits in just 3 weeks. When I see improvement achieved by such people, I get the thought “How many people are suffering from not knowing these simple techniques or similar ones? Should we not teach them in school and college?”. 

His responses to my standard questions are here. 

  • What were the issues which prompted you do the classes?

* Insomnia: I have sleep apnea and using CPAP machine. I had a hard time falling asleep . I was waking up 2- 3 times in the night.

* How to manage stress

* Managing anger (as it affected my relationship with my fiance)

  • What techniques have you learned and practiced and at what times? 

I practiced ‘Counting mode’ primarily, the ‘Segment mode’ or the ‘Tip mode’. I also practice the ‘Staring mode’ when at a red light (1). I find myself being disappointed when the light turns green, as it interrupts my breathing practice (2). I also use the feeling mode (1) sometimes when at work.

I do the ‘waking up routine’ (3)-.

After returning from work, I lie down on the carpet with a yoga mat under just below the knee and complete four hands using the ‘Segment mode’ (1).

I do the going the ‘bed routine’ every night (4).

  • What improvements have you noticed in mind, body and relationships?

My insomnia has improved dramatically. In just the three weeks practicing these techniques, I have only woken up once in the middle of the night and I fall asleep much faster.

I’m much more patient in circumstances where I’m usually impatient such as waiting at a red light.

I feel much more relaxed. Especially after coming home from work and doing the after work routine. I feel incredibly relaxed after that, like all the day’s tension has gone.

It has improved my relationship with my fiance. I’m much calmer in situations where normally I would react in anger or feel tension rising within me. Instead of responding back to her in anger and frustration, I try ways such as telling her that I appreciate her feedback but I get negative feelings when she expresses it to me in that manner. This has worked in preventing the situation from escalating. I try not to feed the fire.

(1) All the modes are in this page “How can I focus on breathing?
(2) Focusing on breathing during driving
(3) Waking up routine
(4) Waiting for sleep

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@ Seminar at Albany Memorial Hospital for Diabetes Support Group

I offered the first seminar at Albany Memorial Hospital (AMH) for the Diabetes Support Group on June 5, 2013 from 6 to 7.30pm. This was set up by Marcy Pickert form AMH Diabetes Education Group. Attended by total 15 adults –  either diabetes patients or their family members. A set of my key handouts (1) was distributed to every participant. 

Scanned images of the Feedback Forms

Summary of the Feedback

This seminar is …

  • Very useful – 11
  • Useful – 3
  • Somewhat useful – 1

I will use this technique for my (concern) 

  • Agitated moments, Sleeping.
  • Help with sleep & Relaxation (Control less worries).
  • Insomnia, Relieving stressful situation, Helping with stress at work.
  • To help me fall asleep faster.
  • Sleeplessness, Sporadic or interrupted sleep.
  • Try to get up at a reasonable hour in the morning.
  • Work, Relax when facing a new or difficult task at work.
  • Relaxation.
  • Stress management and arguing less, Stop and think.
  • Stress and losing control.
  • High blood pressure, Anxiety and frustration of dealing with diabetes.
  • Relieve chronic pain for my hands. Pinched ulnar nerve in Mar 2010. Hands have not been normal since then.
  • To cool off after getting fired up.

Comments about the seminar 

  • Very relaxing.
  • Interesting relaxation technique (s).
  • I am looking forward to the results.
  • Speak lower as I was getting too relaxed.
  • You were very well understood. Demonstrations were useful. These should be given to high school students especially scholar athletes who need rest.
  • Very well presented.
  • Very enlightening – It shall work.
  • Rather repetitive techniques are common knowledge but presenter was very enthusiastic.
  • Very friendly and welcoming. One hardly thinks of managing such a basic process. But I will try diligently. He reminds me of Feldenkrais.
  • Interesting. No microphone.
(1) Documents for download – All handouts

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@ I finally had a good night’s sleep

Feedback from a young Engineer who just completed his masters and looking for a job. Seeing the great distress he was in, his friend, a patient of my daughter Padma Sripada (1) asked me to help him.  He did three classes at frequent intervals, as he was to leave Albany shortly. He learned the basic techniques – ‘Waiting for sleep’ (2) , ‘Waking up routine’ (3),  ‘Stretching for beginners’ (4) ‘Loosening exercises of Yoga’ (5). After he left Albany, I am continuing to work with him by periodic phone and e-mail contacts.

“Using ‘Focusing on breathing’ techniques helped me handle insomnia and anxiety in a better way. For a long time, I always got anxious during those situations where I had to deliver my best, to achieve success. Unknowingly, I was getting anxious, failed to control my anxiety and over stressed myself. Due to chronic high stress level, I lost my daily routine and had very poor sleep. I became restless, could not focus and concentrate on anything and failed to perform even minor tasks which were easily handled by me, during stress free times. I figured out that I had to get back to good sleep routine to help my mind and body. Even after knowing this fact, no matter what I did, I could not help myself to get sleep, for more than an hour or two at night.

I was advised by my friend, to meet Mr. Suryanarayana Chennapragada (C S). He carefully listened my problem and analyzed my situation with great patience. Later the same day, he walked me through his ‘focusing on breathing’ techniques, one by one. His breathing techniques are “very simple to learn and adapt”. That night I practiced the techniques lying on the bed. After a week of sleeplessness nights, I finally had a good night sleep. During three more sessions, Mr. C.S taught me how to use the breathing techniques in various combinations. As per his strong advice, I consulted a Doctor who  prescribed a medication to bring my anxiety under control quickly. I am continuing both medication and breathing practices. My long term goal is to completely depend on breathing practices, rather than medication.  I totally believe it is possible.  I thank Mr. C S for his “patience and dedication”.

(1) Padma Sripada M.D
(2) Waiting for sleep
(3) Waking up routine
(4) Stretching for beginners
(5) Loosening exercises from Yoga

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