Posts Tagged ‘Focus’

Meditation: Dying into the nondual; “Beyond Mindfulness” by Stephan Bodian

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Shift your attention from your thoughts to your bodily sensations.

Be aware of the sensations of your body against the chair, your feet against the floor, your hands against your thighs. Be aware of the sensations of your arms and legs, your chest and belly, your neck and head.

Be aware of the play of sensations, how they’re constantly shifting and changing and how your awareness dances from sensation to sensation.

If you look closely, you may come to realize that all you can really know of your body is the sensations you’re experiencing right now.

Everything else is your projection, the image your mind uses to fill in the gaps.

For example, you don’t experience your whole arm, you just have certain sensations in the vicinity of where you presume you arm to be, and you project the image of an arm upon it.

It’s like an impressionist painting. There are thousands of points of color onto which we project a water lily, or a woman, or a building.

In the same way, you project the concept leg or head onto a collection of sensations.

Let go of these projections, these concepts, and just be with the sensations as they are, without interpretation.

Notice that surrounding these sensations is open space where no sensation exists at all.

In fact, there’s far more space than there is sensation, and the sensations are playing or dancing in this space.

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Attitude, a closer look

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I believe we need to do this in all stages of our life, as we age, loss of abilities is normal.

We Assess our strengths and devise a path to follow.

Example: My injuries from a professional career, the rollover car accident, chronic pain, subsequent fusions, nerve killings, procedures and the symptoms from C-PTSD depleted my physical abilities.

70% of my endurance was gone, 50% of my strength lost.

The thought of poor me from this loss crossed my mind. Why me lingered for a week.

Being a jock prepared me for dealing with pain and loss. I assessed the strengths I had left.

Hiking uphill fulfilled my needs for exercise.

Lifting weights aggravated my spinal cord injuries, running agitated my fake knee and I never learned to swim, so hiking uphill was perfect.

I had to learne a different way of judging my daily performance.

Some days my legs were fatigued, on these days I went much slower.

I learned to judge my effort. This changed everything, I stopped judging me, personally.

Judgment was about quality and quantity of effort.

On my tired days my effort was greater to just hike. I found value where loss had ruled.

In the past my judgment would of been harsh, like failure, a sub par performance.

Life is a journey not a goal driven reality.

Assess your strengths and give all out effort without judgment.

Now, I enjoy challenging myself physically within my capabilities.

Knowing this makes life’s challenges easier.

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My Mindfulness Group is not what I envisioned but what I needed

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My mindfulness group meets inside the county mental health building. NAMI (National Alliance of Mental Illness) office is located on the second floor.

Walking through the lobby every Thursday reminds me of the gratitude I need to carry around. I walk through real suffering, homeless elderly women, a lobby full of people in crisis.

My mindfulness group does not draw those looking for happiness, awakening or enlightenment.

Many have depression, PTSD, bi polar disorder, anxiety, etc. and are searching for help. They are taking action, it is rare.

I try to change the judgments they have made about themselves.

Having our challenges does not mean we did something wrong or we caused them.

We are not the center of this earth, life is not against us, pain does not have an emotion, it is not angry either.

There is no fear in our defense mechanism (fight or flight mechanism), it is a physiological mechanism.

We add the fear with our thoughts.

Our worries can overwhelm us or we can let them pass, and be joyful in this moment.

I have financial worries, health worries and worries about my grandkids, but these worries do not steal my present moment of experiencing my grandkids and life.

We have to clear a space without our unworthy thoughts and judgments.

That inner space, void of bias and judgments, is available if we can focus our mind in a specific way.

I know how lucky I am when I walk through that lobby.

This wisdom allows me to release my worry and appreciate all that I have.

Not possessions, but the skills and tools to have a chance at happiness. Healing has given my the skill to help other improve their lives.

Running the mindfulness group has benefitted me more than those I try to help.

Giving is a true boomerang if done without regard for reward.

We share this journey with others, not in competition.

Those awards, possessions and titles are worthless when we leave this planet.

If you want to carry something into the afterlife look at the lives of Mother Theresa, Mandela or Lincoln to see what is valuable. (Givers all)

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Simple Actions Daily are the best Therapy

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If you want to heal, taking some action daily is needed.

It sounds simple, it is simple and this action changes us from victim to survivor.

Our thought process changes when we commit to action.

Write things down, your feelings, emotions and thoughts around your fears.

Write down your schedule for taking action.

Add aerobic exercise if you want to benefit your life more.

Set a time to meditate, to build focus and improve on letting go of thought.

Invest time daily training your mind.

It is free of charge.

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Bruce Lee

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“I fear not the man who has practiced 10 000 kicks once,

but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10 000 times.”

Bruce Lee

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My two cents: Practice following your breath ten thousand times, not 10,000 thoughts.

Specific, concrete and immediate is the path.

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Goals in Meditation

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I was taught at the Zen center to have no goals while sitting. We were taught to follow our inner guide.

Having goals brings thought, judgment and cognition. We will judge our practice, decide if we are successful or failing or maybe languishing.

In my group, our one goal is to build a strong focus to reach a no thought stage. This no thought stage is where all the magic starts, the body and mind start soothing and repairing itself.

In the beginning, we separate engaging with thoughts as we focus on our breath. We can see our thoughts in the distance, passing on through.

Eventually thought ceases and time disappears as we feel the body sensations connected to those thoughts.

My group has learned to use their senses to build focus.

Our visual is the breathing track model, next listening for the inhales and exhales, then notice the aromas present.

These are all concrete, specific and immediate, no thought is necessary.

Knowing what to do when we close our eyes is extremely important.

Counting my breaths did not work for me or most of those who I know.

It is abstract and vague. At the Zen center, we did not know if we were really meditating.

Use this model when you close your eyes. The model is a continuum, no where to get lost.

Meditation is an accumulative practice, like lifting weights, muscle has memory.

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Start at the bottom right corner. Proceed slowly up the blue arrow, the inhale. Next we have a green pause, followed by the exhale (red). Last we pause again to complete one breath cycle. Repeat, over and over.

Ricard again: pursuing a happy life

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“We willingly spend a dozen years in school, then go on to college or professional training for several more; we work out at the gym to stay healthy; we spend a lot of time enhancing our comfort, our wealth, and our social status.

We put a great deal into all this, and yet we do so little to improve the inner condition that determines the very quality of our lives.

What strange hesitancy, fear, or apathy stops us from looking within ourselves, from trying to grasp the true essence of joy and sadness, desire and hatred?”

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My two cents: Do we understand what a “Happy” life looks like?

It is not the pursuit of pleasure, the avoidance of critism or the desire for approval.

Happiness flows out of an internal way of being, a way of being grateful for what you have and a desire to help others on this journey.

Happiness may not be a euphoric, blissful condition, but a moment to moment awareness of our mundane life.

An acceptance of ourselves, totally in this mundane moment, is required.

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