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+ 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 can’t read the alphabets?’”. Meditators’ minds wander to some extent even after years of meditation. As beginners our goal is not being 100% focus without any wandering.

Q: What else?

A. Our goal is to increase the focusing from 0% to let us say 2% which means wandering lesser from 100% to 98%. As our practice continues, the focusing percentage creeps up and the stress level slides down. We will also be able to ignore the stressful thoughts and be calm under stress.

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 work only with the mind when lying in the bed. Our initial goal is to fall asleep while doing this meditation!

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 easy to do steps 1-2-3.

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. What next?

3. As soon as you catch your mind wandering, quietly begin counting the breaths. When you resume counting the practice, your meditation becomes 100% successful. Simply repeat the success cycles! There are no rules or restrictions. Is this doable?

Of course, I can do this meditation. Who said meditation is difficult?

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Yoga and Meditation – Nov 14 Class

The sixth monthly class at Venture Inward was done on Nov 14, 2016 from 6.30 to 8.00 pm (1). Three women and two men attended. Four were new comers and 1 continuer. Summary of feedback  is shown below.

Scanned images of the feedback forms

Newcomers

I came to know about this seminar from 

A friend
A flier in the doctor’s office
Venture Inward newsletter  – 2

I will practice this technique for my (concern)

Anxiety and to focus
Anxiety
Anxiety and Insomnia

My ‘Take home’ points

Counting the breaths using the fingers
Breathe
Tongue behind the teeth technique
Breathe and relax

Seminar evaluation

Very satisfied – 4

Comments

Very helpful
Looking forward to attending another session

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

Receive Annual Updates?

Yes – 3

Enroll  for ‘Follow up classes’ on this technique?

Yes – 3

Join a ‘Support group for Meditation’?       

Yes – 1

Continuers
Meditation on breathing

When did I practice? 

Falling asleep: A few times -2
During the day: When I feel I have too much to do

How did it help me? 

Made me feel relaxed

Gentle Yoga

I practiced

Frequently

Future classes

I want to continue: Yes

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

Related pages: Public Seminars

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+ Able to meditate, handle thoughts …

This is the recent second testimonial from Naveen (name changed), a Software Engineer from India around 30 years age. His first one is at (1). I have been working with him for about 2 years. We used e-mail and a shared google document. We met on Skype a couple of times.

High Body Temperatures

Before: Normally it was high. It was like I was holding the breath most of time before I started the ‘focusing on breathing’ practice 2 yrs back (2).

Now: I feel my body is at normal temperature.

Thoughts

Before: Thoughts would sit in head. I used to give power to them. One thought would give rise to another and another to another.

Now: Thoughts do come but I am able to see them. I choose not to react to those and move my focus back to important things (3).

Focusing on coolness during the in-breath

Before: It was tough at times. I would force myself to feel the coolness and get frustrated. That also meant that exhalation would be short.

Now: I let the inhalation and exhalation happen automatically. I don’t trigger inhalation process and let my body trigger it. This way, I can feel the coolness inside the nose.

Sleeping posture

Before: I used to sleep mostly on my stomach almost everyday.

Now: I sleep on my back or turning on right hand side. Still, at times, I do sleep on my stomach. But it is better.

Confidence in doing meditation 

Before: I never had the confidence that I could do ‘lying meditation’ after coming from the office. Probably with out of fear that doing nothing will trigger lots of thoughts.

Now: I look forward to coming home and doing ‘lying meditation’ by focusing on the breath and relax . Gradually I find myself liking the lying meditation (4).

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(1) I struck gold in ‘counting breaths’
(2) Focusing on breathing
(3) Thoughts are like …
(4) All about my meditation

Meditation workshop at Church

The second seminar at the First United Methodist Church of East Greenbush was set up by Patricia Chartrand, the mom of one of my long standing clients. Attended by 14 women as part of a periodic women’s group retreat. Three of the women attended my first seminar in March 2015. It was so nice on their part to share their experiences on how it helped them and family members. 

Summary of the Feedback

I will use this technique for my …

  • Improve my sleeping
  • Sleep, Pain
  • Insomnia, COPD attacks, Breathing
  • Getting better sleep
  • High blood pressure, Pain
  • Blood pressure
  • Grieving process, Regaining my normalcy and daily function (after the recent death of my husband)
  • Anxiety- children

My take home points…

  • Counting and breathing
  • Like the counting much
  • Counted breathing
  • Breathing one-two-three
  • Use this technique
  • To keep breathing
  • Making meditation a priority, Doing it during any moment of the day.

My evaluation of the seminar…

  • Very satisfied – 9
  • Satisfied – 5

Comments

  • I have tried this here today. It calmed me down.
  • Looking for more info. on this once I have the basics.
  • I am reminded to reclaim these teachings for my “Now” reality as a new widow.
  • Wish it was longer.
  • Thank you.
  • Great ideas. Very helpful ideas.
  • I have attended several meditation groups and found each one very good and lasting in long duration (when disciplined to do it).
  • Only drawback was inability understanding due to your accent.
  • Thanks for coming after a long night of travelling.

I recommend this seminar to (name the group)…

  • Youth group at First United Methodist Church.
  • Schodack senior center
  • Complementary Care Officer (Sharon Wheeler) at Albany Medical Center (who organizes stress reduction classes for AMCH employees.)
  • I will recommend this to others.

(1) First United Methodist Church of East Greenbush

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+ Fear of surgery relieved

Nicole’s feedback after her second class in which she learned the correct way of practicing the modes and some new techniques as well (1).

“I took the supplement “Melatonin 5 mg” and slept soundly all through the night.

This morning I did the “Quick Segment” meditation. It helped clear my fear of upcoming surgery. I was able to call the surgeon and I advanced my date of surgery to July 5th. I need to go forward with surgery sooner than later.

Thank you for all you do to help me. I truly believe in the meditations you are teaching me. I could not have gotten this far without your guidance and empathy. Thank you”

(1) Nicole’s feedback after the first class “Anxiety medication stopped“.

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Category: Relaxation to Meditation  Tags: , ,  Comments off

Yoga and Meditation Class – May 2

The first monthly seminar at Venture Inward was done on May 2, 2016 from 6 to 8.30pm. Two ladies attended. Feedback from one of them as reported by Margaret Kaufman owner of Venture Inward is below (1).

“Sherri said the class was awesome.  That she loved you, your presentation style and all the information you provided. She is using the techniques at work and to go to sleep at night. She is recommending the class to everyone!”.

From next month this on-going class will be held every ‘Second Monday’, starting from June 13 from 6.30 to 8.00pm.

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

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Seminar – Yoga & Meditation

I offered the fifth seminar at venture Inward  on March 24, 2016 from 6.30 to 8.30 pm (1). Attended by 12 people – 9 female and 2 male and one girl. A folder containing my key handouts  and sample testimonials was given to each participant (2), (3). 

Scanned images of the feedback forms (w/o indetities) – PDF

Summary of the Feedback

I will use this technique for my (concern) 

  • Falling asleep
  • Mental relaxation
  • Sleep and relaxing
  • Stress and sleeping
  • Asthma
  • Sleep and relaxation
  • Energy (mental), Focus, Calmness, Sleep
  • Stress reduction
  • Stress, sleep
  • Spiritual health
  • Relaxation, when stress increases
  • Family stress

My ‘Take home’ points

  • To calm ‘Monkey mind’; I like the idea of a back door to meditation. I am going to try this! Thank you!
  • This helped me understand meditation better. Breakthrough!
  • Breathing using fingers, stretching on Yoga mat.
  • Relaxing.
  • Practice breathing.
  • Easy to do.
  • Several of the breathing methods, yoga stretches.
  • Stretches, Great breathing techniques.
  • Practice, enjoy, let it happen.
  • Don’t worry about your breaths. Some are short and some are long.

Seminar evaluation

  • Very satisfied – 12

Comments

  • I live in Cambridge, so it is too far to come for a meditation group.
  • Awesome.
  • I will most likely contact ‘C S’ to further the practice.
  • Very enjoyable, do-able, for all ages/ body types.
  • I thought it was great.
  • Can’t wait to teach the grandkids and use it for myself.
  • Would love to continue more workshops to add to what we have learned and make sure I am doing it correctly, to remember the techniques.

I recommend this seminar to (groups)

  • Yes – 2
  • Friends.
  • As always I do – to Venture Inward folks. (Margaret Kaufman the owner of this business, a clinical hypnotist).
  • Anyone -Seniors – Healthcare providers – Caregivers of ill family or friends – kids.

I wish to

  • Receive annual updates on ‘focusing on breathing’ – 8
  • Enrol for follow up classes on today’s techniques – 7
  • Join a support group for Meditation – 5

(1) ‘Venture Inward’ at 568 Columbia Turnpike East Greenbush NY 12061
(2) Documents for download – All handouts
(3) Sample testimonials – 16

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Related pages
Public Seminars