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+ Counting Breaths Meditation – Annual Update 2018

I Wish You and Family A Happier New Year!

New!!!    “meetup groups for Beginners and Practitioners. See (1)

Testimonials – 2017 (2)
“Blessed to have you  in my life” (3)
*** “From a From a ‘Human Doing’ to a ‘Human Being’” (4) ***

 

Who said Meditation is difficult? (5): Counting breaths meditation is different and ideally suited for beginners who want to meditate routinely. It doesn’t demand time or posture, appeals to all and offers assured benefits. Begin humbly and step up at your own pace.

Falling asleep: ‘Count your breaths’ at bedtime to calm your mind by reducing the flow of thoughts and enjoy good quality sleep (6). You will like its doability and usefulness.

Daytime: ‘Focus on a few breaths’ when the mind wanders like when waiting at the red light, driving on a highway, standing in a line and walking. Sporadic but frequent micro meditations will lead to spontaneous meditations in a few months (7)! Enjoy multiple benefits for Mind, Body and Relationships (8).

Try ‘Lying meditation’ when not in a rush: On waking up in the bed, returning from work or weekends, for 20 – 30 minutes and more. You will be impressed with its healing impact on mind and body (9). Regular meditation prevents building up stress and also dissolves the roots of recurring stress (10).

Programs

Monthly ‘meetup’ groups for Beginners and Practitioners (1)
Six monthly seminars on at the East Greenbush Library (11)
Solo classes by appointment (12)

Select Books on ‘Relationships’

Myself and my clients have immensely benefited from the insights and practical suggestions in the books by Susan Forward, Mark Goulston, Kerry Patterson, Adele Faber and Karl Pillemer, Harriet Lerner, Gary Chapman, Harriet B. Braiker and more (13). You too may like them.

I thank you for your patient reading and welcome your comments and suggestions. Have a nice day and a happier year ahead.

(1) meetup groups for Beginners and Practitioners
(2) Testimonials 2017 – 11
(3) Blessed to have you in my life
(4) From a ‘Human Doing’ to a ‘Human Being’
(5)Who said meditation is difficult?
(6) Falling asleep ‘counting breaths’
(7) Daytime practice

(8) 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

(9) Lying meditation
(10) All about my meditation
(11) East Greenbush Library
(12) Solo classes by appointmentat my office
(13) Select list of self help books on “Stressful Relationships”

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Meditation and Essential oils for sleep -2

The second workshop on the topic was jointly done by me and Glenn Kakely at Venture Inward on Oct 9, 2017 from 6.30 to 8.00 pm (1). Four females and one male attended.

I will use this technique for my (concern) 

  • Anxiety, Sleep
  • Sleep, Anxiety
  • Daytime relax, Sleep
  • De-stress
  • De-stressing during the day

I like these ideas

  • Relaxation during the day
  • Can’t wait to try the ‘segment mode’ (2)
  • I enjoyed CS’s method of delivery – Calming voice
  • Waiting in traffic – Stare at the red light
  • Focus on breathing throughout any scenario in the day
  • Will be sharing with others

Seminar evaluation

  • Very satisfied – 5

Comments

  • Very informative and helpful
  • I am looking forward to trying this technique
  • Amazed!
  • Very informative, Kept it simple
  • Very knowledgeable, Humor

Receive Annual Updates?

Yes – 5

Enroll  for ‘Follow up classes’ on this technique?

Yes – 3

Join a ‘Support group for Meditation’?       

Yes – 3

(1) ‘Venture Inward’ Call #477-6566 to register.
(2) Segment mode

Related pages: Public Seminars

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Meditation and Essential oils for sleep -1

The first of the two part workshop on the topic was jointly done by me and Glenn at Venture Inward on Sept 11, 2017 from 6.30 to 8.00 pm (1). Four females and one male attended.

I will use this technique for my (concern) 

  • Sleep
  • Falling asleep and staying asleep
  • Sleep issues
  • Son

I like these ideas

  • Breathing techniques
  • Focus on breathing and counting

Seminar evaluation

  • Very satisfied – 4
  • Satisfied – 1

Comments

  • Seems to work quickly
  • Very informative

Receive Annual Updates?

Yes – 3

Enroll  for ‘Follow up classes’ on this technique?

Yes – 2

Join a ‘Support group for Meditation’?       

Yes – 1

(1) ‘Venture Inward’ Call #477-6566 to register.

Related pages: Public Seminars

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Yoga and Meditation Class – June 11

The second monthly class at Venture Inward was done on June 11, 2016 from 6.30 to 8.00 pm (1). Two women attended. Summary of their feedback is shown below .

Summary of the Feedback

I will practice this technique for my (concern) 

  • Relaxation, Sleeping
  • Stress, Sleep, Relaxation

My ‘Take home’ points

  • Remembering to stretch am and pm & Various postures. Focus on breathing 1 breath

Seminar evaluation

  • Very satisfied – 2

Comments

  • Has helped me in many ways: De-stress/ Calm down with others, Sleeping, Focus and free my mind to give and receive Reiki. (This is her second class)
  • More informative; More effective than expected.

I recommend this seminar to (specify the group with contact details if possible)

  • My daughters, friends.

(1) ‘Venture Inward’ Call #477-6566 to register.

Related pages: Public Seminars

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@ 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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* Sadness, Anxiety & Tiredness reduced

Feedback from a client who attended 4 of my classes over 2 months (1).

What did she practice? 

  • She mostly practice d the ‘Segment mode’ (2) and ‘Waking up postures on the bed’ (3).
When did she practice? (4)
  • Bed time and on waking up
  • Driving
  • Walking
  • Working
  • Exercising

What benefits did she gain?

  • Confidence: “I feel stronger than at any other time in my life”
  • Weight: “My appetite has improved and I gained back the weight that I recently lost due to the tremendous stress”
  • Assertiveness: “Slowly improving with various people in my life”
  • Anxiety: Reduced by 75%. (5)
  • Tiredness: Reduced by 75%. (6)

(1) Her previous report
(2) How can I focus on breathing?
(3) Waking up practices
(4) Day time practice
(5) Relief from Anxiety – Success stories
(6) Relief from Fatigue – Success stories

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* Calmed myself on a scary air flight

This is the first report of its kind. Emily Marynczak (1) shared with me how she used the segment mode of ‘focusing on breathing’ (2) to keep herself calm for about 2 hours, during a scary air flight.

“A year ago I was traveling back home from Ohio. The flight was scheduled to be about two hours long and the weather seemed clear. But shortly after take off, the pilot announced that there was some windy weather that we would have to contend with and he was going to keep the fasten seat belt sign on, until things calmed down. And then the bouncing begun. It felt like the plane would suddenly randomly drop down a few feet – taking everyone’s stomach with it. It felt like the plane was being tossed to and fro- and then up and down. We had non stop turbulence for the entire flight, it was terrifying. (I don’t like flying even on a good day!) It would have been truly horrific for me, had I not had the mental focus that came from ‘counting my breaths’ (2). When the plane first began to bounce, I had my book on my lap but with the first big bounce, my fear began to rise and I was unable to concentrate on my reading. I was starting to feel a bit of panic surface. It was clear that all the people around me were getting very afraid too. I could hear audible gasps with the bigger drops we felt. I couldn’t imagine how I was going to cope.

Then really from a place of desperation, I decided to try ‘counting my breaths’ (2). I needed to focus on something other than the scary thoughts about a plane crash.

I closed my book, closed my eyes and placed my hands comfortably on my lap. I started using the ‘segment mode’ of ‘counting breaths with my left hand (3).

As I finished, I was noticeably calmer. I realized that while I had given my mind the task of moving my fingers with each breath, my mind was occupied and therefore there was no time to worry about the plane falling from the sky. I was so focused on my breathing and my task of moving my fingers that I couldn’t even really take in the stress of the people around me.

I continued counting my breaths in this manner, for the duration of the flight. Every now and then, if the plane leveled off and the winds calmed, I would stop, open my eyes and take in my environment. I took great comfort from knowing that if the wind picked up, I would have a way to cope, something concrete to do that would really help. Sure enough, the winds would pick up and like my life depended on it, I would resume my breath awareness, always starting with my thumb going to my pinky at the top segment. Two hours later, we landed safely.

The passengers on the plane cheered loudly, as they released their stress. As we were getting off the plane, it was obvious that the other passengers were visibly stressed and shaken by this awful flight. But I had a unique sense of calm. I think my calm came from not only the meditative practice of concentrating on my breath and having an anchor for my thoughts with the movements of my fingers, but also from the peace that I got from just knowing that I had something to try, if I felt scared. I am forever indebted to C S (Suryanarayana Chennapragada) for sharing this powerful technique with me. I am forever empowered in my life, to cope with the inevitable stresses that will come my way.

This was the first time that I had really practiced the segment mode of counting breaths on my own.

In my work as a childbirth educator,  I practice this technique as I teach my students, once or twice a month. The version of the counting breaths technique that I had been using a lot, prior to the airplane ride, and still use several times a week, is the version of counting to three, over and over again without using the fingers at all, all in the mind (2).  I practice this technique whenever I want to go to sleep. Sometimes when I start off, I hear the voice of my inner cynic say- “this won’t help you fall asleep.” But I practice it any way and then in the morning I awake refreshed and happy. I know that counting my breaths to three really works. Incorporating the finger movements doesn’t work for me when my goal is to go to sleep. It’s too much effort to contract the muscles of my hand. But as I demonstrated in my airplane story, the extra energy of contracting my fingers in such a deliberate and focused way, was exactly what I needed to use up the extra energy created by the stress I was experiencing.

I am grateful to CS for teaching me these simple yet profound tools.

(1) Emily Marynczak, AAHCC and Bradley Method Certified Birth Instructor #(518) 478-0062. (AAHCC is for American Association for Husband Coached Childbirth)
(2) How can I focus on breathing?
(3) Segment mode’ of  counting breaths as she practiced: “I brought my thumb to the top segment of my pinky finger and with the next breath I moved my finger down to the middle segment of my pinky and with the third breath I moved my thumb to the lowest segment of my pinky finger. With the next breath, I was onto the ring finger and so on, until three segments of all ten fingers had been touched with their own breath.” Also read (2).

Related pages
Seminars and classes 

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* ‘Counting breaths’ during childbirth

‘First of its kind’ feedback from Emily Marynczak, (1) the mom of my grand daughter’s classmate at Robert C.Parker School (2). She herself practices the technique, finds it useful and teaches it to her clients.

“In my work as a childbirth educator, I have been teaching different modes of ‘counting breaths’ technique (3) to my clients. I direct my clients to practice twice a day – once in the morning and once at bedtime. I also direct them to the ‘countingbreaths.com’ web site for further study.

Many of my clients report back that they find the techniques useful on a day to day basis, for calming themselves. I have also had at least a couple of women report back after their births that at various tough moments during their labor, they used counting breaths effectively, for pain management.

When the mind has an anchor, fear is reduced. When fear is reduced in childbirth, the sensations are much more manageable – and potentially even enjoyable.”

(1) Emily Marynczak AAHCC, Bradley Method Childbirth Educator, (518) 478-0062,
(2) Robert C. Parker School, Wynantskill NY
(3) How can I focus on breathing?

Related pages
Emily’s previous report
Lamaze breathing

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