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Meditation demo at Health Fair

I offered demo of ‘Meditation on Breathing’ in two sessions, each of 30 minutes, at the Hindu Temple Cultural Center on Sat April 23, 2017 (1). Total 5 people attended. Dr. Swatantra Mitta, one of the organizers sent this feedback “Thank you for participating at health and wellness fair. My friend from taichi class was praising you. Brenda attended your meditation class. She was so excited that for the first time, she was able to meditate and the whole weekend she was working with her fingers and was ecstatic. Great complement.”

(1) Albany Hindu Temple

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Meditation on breathing at Yoga Bliss

I offered an exploratory session at Yoga Bliss in Schenectady (1). Three people attended: Mary Clare O’Connor, the owner of the Yoga studio. Amit Goel a Yoga teacher at this studio and a client. A set of my handouts was handed over to the participants (2).

Summary of the Feedback

I will practice this technique for my (concern) 

  • For centering
  • Relaxation at work, Sleep

My ‘Take home’ points

  • Practice 2x daily, Just use my existing breath, no strain

Evaluation of the seminar 

  • Very satisfied – 2
  • Satisfied – 1

Comments

  • Fabulous info; Much easier than I anticipated
  • Very nice and easy way to introduce to people and kids to meditation. Accessible to all.
  • Thank you!!

I wish to 

  • Receive ‘Annual update’ on this technique – 1
  • Interested in ‘follow up classes’ on today’s techniques – 2
  • Interested in joining a support group for Meditation – 2

(1) Yoga Bliss – Yoga Studio at Schenectady
(2) Documents for download – Select handouts
Sample testimonials – 16
Thoughts are like ….

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Category: Relaxation to Meditation  Comments off

+ Who said Meditation is difficult?

Many people are put off by the classic perception of Meditation: sitting still for an extended time. They are missing its tremendous potential for relieving numerous problems of mind, body and relationships. Many years back, I stumbled upon the ‘counting breaths’ style of meditation and adapted it to suit a busy lifestyle. It pulled me out of a crippling stress. Here is the essence of it.

Q: I can’t do meditation. My monkey mind wanders beyond my control.

A: This is like a 3 year old saying “What is the point in my going to school when I don’t know A,B, C or 1,2,3?’”. All the novice meditators begin with a wandering mind. It is not a big deal.  We begin training the mind in concentration. We don’t aim at 100% focus.

Q: What else?

A. Our goal is to increase the focusing from say 0% to let 2% which means wandering decreases from 100% to 98%. As our practice continues, the focusing percentage gradually creeps up and the stress level slides down lot more. We become calmer and manage the stressful situations better.

Q. This sounds good. But you know what, I can’t sit still even for a few seconds.

A. Not a problem. In this made-for-beginners style of meditation, we practice lying comfortably on the bed at night.

Q. What if I quickly fall asleep? My meditation will be a non-starter!

A. Relax! This style of meditation is a sneaky entry into the daunting house of meditation. Focusing on breathing keeps the thoughts out, calms the mind and relaxes the body. You will sleep effortlessly. You will get hooked on this practice.

Q. I can’t wait to do this meditation. How do I do it?

A. Here are the 1-2-3 steps.

1. Focus on your in-breath and out-breath. Count each breath to strengthen the focus.

2. Soon the mind wanders. You will realize that your mind lost its focus on breathing. Just for realizing that your mind wandered, your meditation becomes half successful.

3. As soon as you catch your mind wandering, quietly resume counting the breaths. Now your meditation becomes 100% successful! Simply repeat the cycles of success any number of times. No rules or restrictions. Does this make sense?

Sure! I can do this kind of meditation. Who said meditation is difficult?

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+ Mantras For A Cool Mind

Saying these unconventional mantras silently to myself helps me keep a cool mind.

  • Not My Problem (NMP)
  • Mind Your Own Business (MYOB)
  • Nobody Asked For My Judgment (NAFMJ)
  • Nobody Asked For My Opinion (NAFMO)
  • Let Me Keep My Mouth Shut (LMKMMS)
  • Am I telling myself an ugly story without getting the facts? (1)
  • It is all “in here’ not “out there’ (2)
  • It Is OK. (IIO)
  • You may be right. Can you be kind?
  • You may be right. Can you forgive?
  • This Too Shall Pass (TTSP) (3)
  • You can’t change others’ behavior. Don’t even think of changing their nature. But you have total control on ‘how you respond to their (crazy?) behavior’.
  • How can you blame a sick person for his/her sick behavior? And that includes acute and chronic mental sicknesses like Anger, Hatred, Jealousy, so on.
  • Before pointing one finger at anther, point four fingers at yourself.

(1) Inspired by the book “Crucial conversations – tools for talking when the stakes are high” by Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, Ron McMillan, Al Switzer).
Also see my related article “We don’t see the first parts of people’s lives
(2) “In here”: Whatever I am thinking is only in my mind. “Not out there”: Whatever I am thinking does not exist in real life.
(3) This too  shall pass – My article

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+ Kavita Pandit’s secrets for managing stressful emotions

Kavita Pandit’s wonderful guest blog describing her two simple secrets for managing stressful emotions is presented here (1). I received this through her husband Hunaid Qadir who practices ‘Meditation on Breathing’.  Published with her permission. 

1. Re-grounding after experiencing an intense emotional reaction

We all occasionally face situations that cause us to experience intense anger, frustration, fear, or even humiliation. These situations can often be debilitating — everything else flees the mind and one becomes fixated on the issue causing this intense reaction. At such times I find it useful to temporarily separate myself mentally from my physical reactions. I do this by taking a survey or stock of my body. I observe my heightened heart palpitations, the flushing of my face, and heavier breathing. I may note that my fists are clenched or that I have stopped noticing what is going on around me. The very act of taking stock like this helps get me back to my previous mental state, and the disruption caused by the emotional reaction passes in minutes rather than hours.

2. Observing the world through a child’s eyes

How often has this happened to you? You go out for a walk on a pleasant day but your mind is so caught up in the events of the past or the future that you return from the walk and don’t remember anything about it. Your body has had the experience of the walk but your mind was somewhere else! Yet have you ever observed children playing outdoors? They are completely in the moment and their senses are fully attuned to even minute details of their surroundings. So now when I go out for a walk and my mind tries to drift I bring it back by asking “what would a child observe on this walk”? And amazingly I see the caterpillar on the ground, the bird’s nest, a flashy car driving by, or the lights coming on in the skyscrapers in the distance. No matter how trivial the observation it brings one into the magical moment!

(1) Kavita Pandit

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Meditation on Breathing – Update 2017

I Wish You and Family A Happy New Year!

Problem: Busy people don’t have time to practice popular stress management techniques (1).
Solution: One stressed out young man said “I struck gold in ‘Counting breaths’” (2).

Falling asleep and Waking up: ‘Focusing on breathing’ at bedtime keeps the thoughts out, calms the mind and improves sleep (2). Practice lying meditation on waking up, eyes closed, to begin the day calmly (3).

Daytime: ‘Focusing on a few breaths’ when the mind is idle – waiting at the red light when driving, waiting in a line and walking, makes this practice spontaneous (5). Enjoy benefits for Mind, Body and Relationships at no cost of time and money (6).

Finally, try ‘Meditation on breathing’ in the lying position, on waking up in the bed, returning from work or on weekends. You will be impressed with its healing effect. You may be tempted to sit and meditate! Regular meditation dissolves the roots of stress. Your life can move on your dream path (7).

Testimonials – 2016 (8)

Able to meditate, handle thoughts (9)  
Anxiety medication stopped (10)  
Emotional abuse by mother relieved (11)         
Relief-from-anxiety,-insomnia (12)

Ongoing Seminars and Classes

  Monthly classes on Meditation, Gentle yoga and Relationships (13).
  Six monthly seminar on ‘Meditation on breathing (14).

(1) Stress relief for busy people
Stress, Causes, Effects  and Solutions
(2) “I struck gold in the form of “Counting breaths” presented in such a simple manner”.
(3) Falling asleep ‘focusing on breathing’
(4) Waking up routine
(5) Daytime practice

(6) Helping Mind, Body and Relationships (A to Z)
Addictions,   ADHD   Anger,   Anxiety,   Fear and Panic attacks,   Attitude,   Compulsive thoughts,   Concentration and focus,   Courage to take decisions,   Dental work,   Depression,  Driving stress,   Face – grim to bright and smiling,   Fatigue,   Grief,   Hypertension,   Infertility treatments – reducing repeated failure of,   Insomnia,   Migraine,   Obesity,   Pains – Chronic,   Pains – acute   Phobias   Pregnancy and childbirth,   Relationships – difficult,   Smoking and Tobacco chewing,   Stress at home or office,   Stuttering (Stammering),   Surgery – before and after   Willpower

(7) All about my Meditation
(8) Testimonials 2015 – 16
(9) Able to meditate, handle thoughts
(10) Anxiety medication stopped
(11) Emotional abuse by mother relieved
(12) Relief from anxiety, insomnia
(13) Venture Inward on Meditation on breathing (Second Monday, Gentle Yoga stretching (Third Monday), Stressful Relationships (Fourth Monday) at 568 Columbia Turnpike (Rts 9&20) #16 VanDenHouten Square (back entrance) East Greenbush NY 12061  #518-477-6566
(14) East Greenbush Library Next seminar on June 14, 2017

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Seminar – East Greenbush Library

I offered the 16th seminar at East Greenbush Community Library (1) on January 11, 2017 from 6.30 to 8.30 pm. Attended by 12 adults. A folder containing my key handouts  and sample testimonials was given to each participant (2), (3). It was interesting to hear from a participant that she attended the seminar a few years back and the technique helped her sleep. She came this time along with her husband. They both met me at the end and her husband commented “she falls asleep so quickly”. She said she brought him along because he does not sleep well.  

Summary of the Feedback

I will practice this technique for my (concern) 

  • Anxiety and Insomnia
  • Insomnia and to turn my brain “Off” when I want to sleep.
  • Sleep
  • Anxiety and Panic attacks
  • Stress
  • Relax when feeling stressed
  • Increased peace

My ‘Take home’ points

  • 3 Steps/ ways to fall asleep
  • Breathing at bedtime and awakening
  • Practice breathing, Try morning routine
  • Waking up with stretches and breathing, Chanting, Picking something that speaks to my heart
  • I like the ideas of breathing techniques before sleep and after waking
  • Stretching techniques before starting the day
  • Counting while breathing

Evaluation of the seminar 

  • Very satisfied – 9 (only 9 people returned the forms. 2 people left as they had an appointment)

Comments

  • I took this class a few years ago & the breathing techniques definitely help with my sleep.
  • Very useful ideas to use going forward.
  • Too short! I loved every minute. I want to learn more.
  • Counting, Feeling, folding – I will use tonight to relax and sleep.
  • Very passionate about topic, obviously a major part of his life
  • Thank you for sharing from your learning.
  • Great!
  • Thank you!
  • Counting, feeling and folding modes – I will use tonight to relax and sleep. Thank you so much!

I wish to 

  • Receive ‘Annual update’ on this technique – 4
  • Interested in ‘follow up classes’ on today’s techniques – 2
  • Interested in joining a support group for Meditation –

(1) East Greenbush Community Library
(2) Documents for download – All handouts
(3) Sample testimonials – 16

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