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@ A practical no-nonsense approach that really works

Testimonial from Alfred (1) who had great hidden potential for meditation and spiritual growth that was just waiting for a spark to explode (sort of). His experience illustrates the quote in the spiritual filed “When the student is ready, the teacher appears”.

He found my website on-line among other local organizations for Yoga and meditation. He felt that he found what he was just looking for. He attended only 3 classes and took off unbelievably on his own, like no other client.

He has been kind enough to e-mail his insights and experiences (2) and let me publish them under the pseudonym ‘Alfred’. I am learning from his insights. I was puzzled why with all his inherent wisdom, he needed to learn the very simple breathing and stretching techniques I teach. When I queried  him and asked for his testimonial he sent this wonderful description. This is the kind of endorsement I was looking for all these years. These techniques do help people like him with hidden potential, to make a simple beginning and then keep going on their own steam.  I am grateful to  Alfred for this feedback and his periodic insights and experiences.

“I am a middle aged businessman who in most all respects enjoys a good life.  I have enough money to keep me from worrying, my relationships with wife, family and friends are good and so is my health.  Despite all of my good fortune I was aware for some time of some missing element in my life.  I had always been interested in the human mind and have read quite a lot about cognition and psychology.  The one message I received over and over again was that the practice of meditation with mindfulness as a goal is something which many very credible people advocate.

I did a quick Google search and found Suryanarayana Chennapragada’s (CS) web site.  CS has developed a simple meditation technique which combines counting breaths and simple yoga to create a calming disposition.

I met with CS and took 6 (3) private classes.  Since attending those classes, I have only missed 2 days of meditation, both because of international travel.

I like CS’s approach very much because, not only is it immediately effective, but also because it is not steeped in any religious dogma or “new age” philosophy.  It is a practical no-nonsense approach that really works well for me.

I look forward to my hourly morning meditation.  It centers me for my busy days, allows me to turn off the noise in my head and enjoy the present and it has enhanced my personal relationships. “

(1) Alfred 
(2) Alfred’s progress – Posts 
(3) Actually he attended 3 classes but felt they were six. May be because we had a great rapport!

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@ Seminar at the Bethlehem Central Middle School

I offered the first seminar at this school library on May 15, 2013. It was organized by the Bethlehem Healthy Kids Committee. Anna McMahon, a member of this committee and great supporter of this technique was instrumental in setting this up. Seven women, two men and two girls attended. I distributed select handouts from my website to the adults and children. (1) 

 Adults – Feedback

Scanned images of the feedback forms

I came to know about this seminar from

  • Anna McMahon – 2 responses
  • Healthy Kids Committee – 2
  • Husband/ Healthy Kids Committee
  • Posters at the school
  • Times Union – Bethlehem Blog
  • Healthy Kids Committee Face book post

The seminar was …

  • Very useful –  8
  • Useful – 1

I will use this technique to relieve my (concern)

  • Sleep, Stress
  • Sleep and Relaxation
  • Sleep, Stress
  • Stress at work and Insomnia
  • Stress reduction
  • Stress, Anger and Relaxation
  • Headaches, Anxiety, Stress I have with my family
  • Anxiety, Panic
  • Self and Wife

Comments/ Suggestions (if any)

  • I want to practice this and feel better.
  • Wonderful. Very excited to start working on this and looking at your website!
  • Great Presentation.
  • Very practical and user friendly. I look forward to practicing it.
  • I am really looking forward to trying this with stress and sleep.
  • Very helpful. I feel very relaxed after practicing this technique.
  • I had been feeling tense all day, but now I am feeling more relaxed.
  • Helpful. I have used other counting breaths methods but this simplifies the process so the focus is not so much on counting that you forget to breathe and just enough focus on counting and breathing to keep your mind from wandering.
  • Very practical. Great tips and modifications.
 Children – Feedback

Scanned images of the feedback forms

I am in ….

  • Grade 5
  • Grade 4
When I practiced the breathing I felt …
  • Happy, at peace and slightly sleepy
  • Calm and sleepy
I want to try this technique when I….
  • Can’t go to sleep
  • Am stressed at school
I think this practice will help me for ….
  • Sleeping and keeping my cool
  • Going to sleep

(1) Documents for download

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Please send your comments  through the ‘ABOUT – Contact’ page.

Parent page: Past seminars

@ Stress-relief, as easy as 1,2,3

This is a reproduction of the blog post in the Times Union Newspaper by Anna McMahon (1) who is a practitioner of this technique and also its great supporter. She was instrumental in organizing my seminar at the Bethlehem Central Middle School on May 15, 2013. I am grateful to her for the wonderful encouragement.

____________________________________________________________________

Stress-relief, as easy as 1,2,3
Tuesday, May 7, 2013 by: Anna McMahon

Free presentation: Focusing on Breathing, at Bethlehem Central Middle School (Library Media Center)
Wednesday May 15, 2013 7-8 pm

Presented by Suryanarayana Chennapragada (“C.S.”), at the invitation of Bethlehem Healthy Kids Committee.

We all know that modern life is stressful. Work pressures, school pressures, family and relationship pressures…everyone suffers stresses of one kind or another, and too much stress can lead to health issues such as headaches, insomnia, anxiety or panic attacks.

Relief may be at hand – literally. With the Focusing on Breathing technique (2), instructor Suryanarayana Chennapragada (“C.S” for short), demonstrates how stressful thoughts and feelings can be brought under control through a simple process of focused breathing, using the fingers as counters. No pills, no special equipment, no mystical concepts. If it sounds ridiculously simple, well, it is! Even young children can learn it, and people of any age can practice it.

My personal experience includes using the technique successfully to get to sleep, and to calm myself in anxious situations. A good friend of mine has found relief from debilitating chronic insomnia. On C.S.’s website you will find testimonials from people who have used the technique to overcome numerous problems, including quitting smoking, improving blood pressure, building self-confidence and increasing focus for work or study.

Everyone is welcome to attend the one-hour seminar hosted by Bethlehem Healthy Kids Committee. Come and try the technique, and see if it works for you. You have nothing to lose but your stress!

____________________________________________________________________

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(1) Blog link
(2) How to be calm Anywhere, Anytime (24)
(3) Testimonials 2012 (24)

* I am managing stress very well and enjoying sound sleep

Feedback from a Software Engineer who attended three of my classes.

“I am a software Engineer from India, working In USA with my wife and two young boys. I noticed some negative changes in my thinking in early Feb 2012 due to lot of  stress about my residence status in this country and other personal issues. I was spending restless nights for 5 to 6 weeks without proper sleep. The lack of sleep caused depression. All my activities got disturbed – not interested in  work, not enough money etc., affecting my family and my kids’ studies. Although I used medication for depression, I did not see noticeable change. I went back to India, slowly regained my health and returned to USA.

After returning, I thought of taking some precautionary measures to manage stress. This made me a student of Suryanarayan Chennapragada (C S). The course I had undergone was “Counting Breaths” (1). It helps me focus better on my work and also improves my attitude. Now I am managing stress in my life very well, enjoying sound sleep and living peacefully. Now my physical and mental strength has improved and I am perfectly balanced in my life. Overall, I can say that these techniques consume less time and are valuable.  I thank C S for guiding me in proper direction to overcome my difficulties.

(1) How can I focus on breathing?

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* Fibromyalgia pains mostly come down

Here is a remarkable report from a woman who suffered from Fibromyalgia pains for about 10 years and got mostly relieved from them by practicing the breathing and other techniques of this web site. She also experienced significant behavioral change. She attended only my introductory session and then practiced on her own, using the content of this web site.

“I am a very hyperactive person and have been fighting Fibromyalgia pains for about 10 years. For my fibromyalgia, my doctors suggested medication and advised me to be active. I do not like taking medications, hence I ruled out that option. I heard from friends that Yoga would help. I tried it but I kept spraining myself. I also tried meditation but couldn’t control the brain activity.

We live in New Jersey. Our family visited Albany NY in March2012. When our friend there heard about my Fibromyalgia pains, he suggested to talk to Suryanarayana Chennapragada (C S) about the technique called “Focusing on Breathing” that he was teaching. I had not heard of this technique before. When I called C S, he readily offered to teach this technique to me and my husband. During his two hour session, we were taught different ways of concentrating on our breathing.

I have been practicing the breathing technique every day, for the past 3 months. I practice it when I feel like I am getting stressed out. I always practice before going to bed. I use it during work, on my way to work, while driving kids around and when I go to bed. I also practice the ‘Level III – Meditation’ technique described in C S’s web site countingbreaths.com.

I gained these benefits in the last three months:
I have seen a tremendous change in me. It has helped me to be calm. Most of my fibromyalgia pains have come down. My family and friends have also commented about the change they saw in me. What I like most about the technique is that by using it, I can now calm myself on my own and take the stress away.

Even though I was at first apprehensive about trying this unknown technique, I am a big fan of it now. It gives me the independence from pain. It has also taught me to rely on myself. My husband also uses the technique and he says it has helped him as well.

I thank C S for teaching me this technique and having the patience to follow up with me.”

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Related pages
Relief from chronic pains – Success stories 
How to relieve chronic pains by ‘Focusing on breathing’ PDF

* “My family can’t believe the change”

Feedback from a woman who attended two of my classes over 3 weeks. She is a retired hair dresser referred by Teri Hutson-Mulligan, a diabetes educator at Albany Medical Center to help her improve her breathing. Her problems: Insomnia, hypertension, bottled up anger, obesity and diabetes.

“I really believe the whole learning to breathe idea has helped me to take time for myself. My family can’t believe the change in my attitude about everything and I owe it to you CS.”

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* Focus on the Message or the Messenger?

We see this situation often. Consider these scenarios.

  • A sufi teacher (1)  was pointing his crooked index finger, bent due to arthritis, at the moon. He was asking his student to look at the beautiful full moon in the sky. The student was focusing on the crooked index finger. He could not see the moon as he could not detach his attention from the finger. The communication between them was a total failure. Who is responsible? Who is the loser?
  • I receive a partially damaged and dirty envelope from the tax department. I feel like throwing it in the trash bin. But then….What if it is a notice of an audit of my tax return? Or it has a check for the tax refund? Should I ignore the dirty condition of the envelope and open it, pull out the letter and then toss the envelope in the trash bin?
  • I parked my car crossing the dividing line between the two parking spots, close to the entrance of a famous temple and went inside with my family. The adjacent parking space was wasted, as it was risky for any one to park in that narrow space. That being a week end, there were many visitors and the parking was very tight.  When I returned after the worship, I found a paper under the wiper of the wind shield with the pungent message “Stupid! Don’t you know how to park?” I felt very bad. Should I curse the hot blooded person, may be a youngster, for his crude message? Should I regret my negligent parking, depriving another devotee of a convenient parking space? Should I etch this incident in my mind and not repeat the parking negligence any time in future? Should I thank the youngster for teaching me an important lesson that I definitely needed, though in a crude manner? Could I have realized my inappropriate action affecting other people on my own, if I did not get that crude message,from whoever it may be?

(1) Sufism is defined by its adherents as the inner, mystical dimension of Islam. A practitioner of this tradition is generally known as a Sufī.

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Parent page: Articles on ‘Relationships’

* I became so content and relaxed

I gave the hand outs (1) to a patient of my daughter Padma Sripada a few months back. Today I met her and came to know she was happy with the the technique. On my request she wrote out the following testimonial:

“I had a lot of anxiety, stress and sleeping disorder. Sometimes, my body would shake and I would cry for no reason.  I was introduced to the ‘Focusing on breathing’ technique (1) when I came to Dr. Sripada’s office. The first day I tried it,   I suddenly became so content and relaxed. My sleep has become a lot better and I am more focused. It has allowed me to not have to use my sleeping medicine every night. It is great!

I will refer this technique to my family and friends to see how many people will agree with me. You can practice this technique when you are just sitting around or when you are walking or jogging. Trust me it will make a difference in your life.”

(1) How to enjoy quality sleep and conquer insomnia
How to be calm Anywhere, Anytime

Related pages
Relief from anxiety – Success stories
Relief from Stress – Success stories
Relief from Insomnia – Success stories

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