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Mindfulness

An ancient way of living practiced in the modern days. Mindfulness is a psychological term, a philosophy, also called insight meditation and even Vipassana, the Pali word. Pali is the language spoken during the times of Buddha in India. The ancient Buddhist scriptures are written in Pali. Today Sri Lanka is the custodian of these volumes. The Theravada tradition use Pali in their prayers and rituals.

I personally have always believed in being mindful rather than being mindless. Each time I wasn’t mindful or conscious of my step, I did stumble. Even now it happens and I am sure you may concur. When we work on being mindful our life does slow down. I have been accused of being slow all my life. I have always been living in the moment and insightful. I must have done this in many previous lives hence I was born with this nature. I am sure you may resonate to this through your own experience or someone you know of.

This weekend we are attending a mindfulness retreat at our Buddhist temple, the An-Lac Mission. It is being offered by Rev. Yogavacharya Rahula. So what is mindfulness? and what did I learn from this great teacher?

Living in the moment: Our body is always in the present moment. It cannot exist in the past or future. The heart can beat in the present moment, the lungs breathe in the present moment, the nervous system sends signals in the present moment. It cannot happen in the past or the future. So when we watch our breath and connect it with the bodily sensations and the physical vibrations as experienced by the body, our mind will slow down and our awareness expands.

Every action a meditation: Whether we are sitting or standing, getting up or taking a seat, walking or waiting, eating or drinking, we can watch our body as we engage it in the act and be watching our breath. The physical vibrations, the bodily sensations : when we are conscious of them, it slows down our wandering mind and we become mindful.

e.g. tea drinking meditation: we lift our cup to our lips – watch it, the tea flows into our mouth – watch it, our mouth is filled with the flavor, the warmth, watch it, put the cup down and rest your hands in your lap, watch it, swallow the tea, watch it, watch your breath rise your chest, your belly, your exhalation contracts your belly, watch it, lift your hand to your cup watch it… and allow this to continue until your tea is over. This is meditation while enjoying your tea. Something that can help you achieve this, is keeping your gaze lowered and not distracted.

M&M’s Meditation in a minute: Every hour for a minute you can meditate. It does not matter where you are. You do not have to close your eyes. But just watching your breath flow in and out of your body while you are sitting or standing or walking or bending or engaged in any other action you can meditate. Just for a minute. It is a fantastic feeling.

Meditation on a dime: In the loudest of places you can meditate. Allow your mind to go below the noise and distractions and watch your breath and your bodily sensations – this is the best way to deepen your practice and slow down your mind while being aware of all that is going on within you. Of course you must be an advanced practitioner to achieve results, but we have to begin sometime, so why not now, just for a minute. You will love yourself little bit more after your minute of silence in the chaos, I promise you.

OM Namo Buddhaya!

… to be continued

Hypnosis is a trance induced state. In this state you bypass the critical mind to gain access to the sub-conscious. Once this is achieved the trained hypnotherapist uses suggestions to make conscious wishes a subconscious desire.

e.g. every smoker wishes they were a non-smoker. This is a conscious wish, but because of habits which is a subconscious programming, it is difficult, nearly impossible. By the use of hypnotic suggestions the habits to reach out for a cigarette can be changed to a positive habit like sipping water instead and the habit is easily overcome. The conscious wish to quit smoking becomes a subconscious desire.

Usually habit control is a symptomatic relief. When the habit was filling up an emotional void, with the habit controlled, the unresolved emotion will trigger another habit which may not be healthy. Hence working with the habit and the root cause of it is necessary to remove the habit forever.

Hypnosis can help with both symptomatic and causal relief.

Hypnosis allows healing to begin.

Self-hypnosis allows for self-healing.

Hypnosis can be integrated with any holistic profession.e.g. massage, nursing, dentistry, chiropractor, physiotherapy, cranio-sacral therapy

Hypnosis is not meditation.

Hypnosis allows for:

  1. weight management
  2. pain control
  3. sleeping well
  4. stress reduction
  5. habit control (smoking cessation, nail biting, hair pulling, foot tapping, leg shaking etc.)
  6. overcome writer’s block
  7. work through fear and phobia
  8. past life regression
  9. working with pre and post cancer therapy
  10. life’s passages (empty nest, death of a pet or a relative, separation from a loved one, loss of a job)
  11. visualization and goal getting
  12. overcoming anger, sorrow, hurt, shame, guilt, doubts even jealousy

and so much more…

Hypnosis is safe, effective, non-invasive and non-addictive.

Hypnosis is tapping your power within, your subconscious mind, 88% of who you are to create your results, your way.

Anyone can become a hypnotist from a weekend seminar. But to be a hypnotherapist, the practitioner must have studied and learned from an accredited institute for at least a year. A true hypnotherapist must always be learning and growing to bring better results to their clients.

Learning never ends for a practitioner who is always seeking to make it better for their clients.

taken by Anand PatankarIn Sanskrit we call it our prana shakti, loosely translated in english would be our life force. Besides developing virtues in life what else do we need to succeed? We must also refrain from what vices like anger, lust, greed and envy. But is this enough? In ancient scriptures of the orient, it has been been heavily emphasized for each of us to conserve our breath.

We do lose a lot of our energy and spirit through breath. When we breathe heavily we exhaust ourselves and eventually shorten our life span. Our speech also uses our breath. So using fewer words ensures that we are saving our breath.

There is a saying “less is more”. A message that can be conveyed in fewer words does not need further explanation.

Aloha!

Create on demand

This is an image of the east of Anacapa islands. It is a part of the of Channel islands, a chain of islands, lying to the west of Ventura, California. On a clear day, we can see these islands from the ocean front (habor, beaches and pier of Ventura).

I often gaze at this magnificent work of mother nature and wonder. Her brilliance, tenacity and  perseverance is unparalleled. She must have dreamed up this creation of hers and chiseled away at it since the planet took on the form of earth, water and air.

Similarly we can create what we want through deliberate action. This demands for discipline and at times seems not worth the effort. It seems easier to complain than create, right? But chipping away into our subconscious programming and rewiring our neural pathways with new commands, we can honestly create a desired life for ourselves.

Affirmations, dream boards, journaling, meditations are all ways of creating positive changes in our realities. They take time, patience and perseverance. Hypnosis is the most effective and easy way of creating our reality in the quickest possible time. These results are longer lasting and easy to maintain.

It takes 21 times to create a new habit, and 3 times of not doing something that will get us out of a habit. You must know someone or experienced it yourself. When you did not go for the walk or to the gym or stick to the diet for one day and the next day it got harder to get back and on the third day you quit, isn’t it?

In order to create on demand, you must understand how this law works and work it. Stay tuned to learn more.

Until then Aloha!

De-mystify Hypnotherapy

Hypnotherapy is not:
1. Power control: One cannot use hypnotherapy to control someone else’s mind. There is no way a client gives away all their secrets when under hypnosis. The one who is in control during hypnosis is the client. It is very easy to get into a state of hypnosis as it is to get out of it. You are always in control.

2. Using psychic power: Once someone asked me if using hypnosis they could find out things from another time. She had lost her journal and wanted to know where she had left it. There is no way hypnosis can help you with that. To solve mysteries or unsolvable cases, we need psychics to tap into this power, not a hypnotherapist.

3. Mind reading: The first reaction of most of my friends when I enrolled in the school of hypnotherapy was “now I need to be careful or you may find out all my secrets.” A hypnotherapist can never read anyone else’s thoughts using hypnosis. If there are any correct guesses it is just like a mother can tell when a child is lying, which is more intuition and not hypnosis.

4. Learning someone else’s secret: Like I mentioned before, using hypnosis does not allow anyone to sit in a room and find out what some one else is thinking through the practice of hypnosis. If you want to know a secret, go ask their best friend and good luck with it.

5. Predicting the future: We cannot tell what is going to happen to us or others using hypnosis. For that we need clairvoyants and psychic readers who can tap into the future for divinations and predictions. No syllabus of hypnotherapy includes “predicting the future”.

6. Stage acting: There are many shows on cruises and in Vegas and elsewhere where someone saw people getting on stage and under the direction of a hypnotist acted out to entertain the audience. It is true and this is called stage hypnosis. This is not what any hypnotherapist would do to their clients. This is merely what it is called: “stage hypnosis”.

7. Isn’t just about weight loss and smoking cessation: Whenever I tell anyone that I am clinical hypnotherapist, right away they ask me “do you help people lose weight?” or “can you help people stop smoking?”. Hypnosis does help people lose weight and stop smoking.

Weight gain and smoking has to do with unresolved emotions which impact lifestyles and eventually health. When we help with symptoms and not causes, the problem easily recurs.

Hypnotherapy does more than help you lose weight and stop smoking. It hands you back the key to your life. You become the front seat driver.

8. Something that is done to someone else: All hypnosis is self-hypnosis. The hypnotherapist is the facilitator who helps the client achieve the state of homeostasis so as to work through their prior conditioning and create new habits.

9. Is not mere hypnosis: Anyone can read a book or go to a weekend seminar and learn how to hypnotize, but what after that? Only a hypnotherapist can help you overcome your emotional blocks, change your habits and achieve your goals using hypnosis.

Flow Your Strength…

Our strengths come from resistance. Imagine yourself working on your muscles. What will do each day when you go to the gym? You will work with weights that need you to push a little bit harder for your muscles to get stronger, won’t you? Similarly when our flow is resisted, our flow gets stronger. When you see a mountain river, it’s flow is constantly resisted by rocks and boulders. This river seems wild and powerful, for it is overcoming the resistance and continuing to flow. Once the same river has arrived at the planes, guess what? It seems serene and beautiful, gracefully making its way to the ocean.

We are just like this river. Each resistance we encounter, make our mental muscles gain strength. Remember the theory of “survival of the fittest” by Charles Darwin. It is so true in every aspect of our existence. As we work through the resistances in our journey, we gain strength and wisdom. In future when you are in a similar situation, it is no longer a resistance, but a part of your natural flow.

Our conflicts make us stronger. Our enemies are truly a friend in disguise. Though we need our friends all the time, to bandage our bruises, in hind sight they seem to flatter us and of course help us heal. Our enemies instead keep challenging us. Whenever we feel we have overcome one challenge, we realize there is a fresh new set in front of us, only urging us for time and in exchange making us aware of our strength.

With time, we become strong enough to remain in the flow. We also grow wise and know when to take on a new challenge or continue with the flow. Like a yoga practitioner who flows their strength with grace, we have it in us. So when a situation arises, just decide for yourself whether you need to handle it for now or go with your plans and revisit the situation.

In retailing industry, though there may be a plan for the day, one can never predict a day with 100% accuracy. It’s just like the weather. So we must be prepared to work through situations while being strong and retaining the flow. The pace of the flow may slow down because of the resistance, but it never stops, all along making us stronger. Strength and wisdom come only with perseverance.

So for today, decide if you will work through the conflicts, or put them on a pause and flow without resistance. Either way, remember to smile and breathe.

“you see but your shadow when you turn your back to the sun” – from my friend

This morning I received this line and began my reflection on shadows. Years ago I had seen this image widely published in a national geography magazine. What we see as the dark camels in this image is actually the shadow of the camels. The tiny white scars on the sand are the camels. This image fascinated me much and stayed with me. So when I heard my friend say the aforesaid statement, I felt it is time.

I have watched and followed shadows and many a times merged into my shadow when I did not need it anymore. In this image we notice that some of us have the shadow in front of them and some have it behind them. It all depends in whether we are walking towards the sun or away from it.

There are three instances when we cast no shadow.

  1. We are the light. Enlightened beings do not cast a shadow. Anandamoyi Maa was known not to cast a shadow.
  2. We are surrounded by light. When we have light coming at us from all the directions in 360 degrees, we cannot cast a shadow. But it has a blinding effect. Many experience it in dream states, after life experiences etc.
  3. We are in total darkness.

Our shadows are a part of ourselves. Judge them not, for they are you. The more we work with our shadows, the easier it becomes to get closer to light and become the light. In so many ways we are light in many lives. Just like, anyone we look up to is a light in our lives.

Often we find people in our lives, people of the same gender as us, who push our buttons, make us act out. Pay attention to them, for they are our shadows. Take notice of when, how and where they make us irritate or frustrate us. People we envy are usually our shadows. Keep them close for they will help you grow with a deeper understanding of yourself. They are our best teachers and of course our best friends.

It takes time for us to feel that the person who irritates us is our friend, but they truly are. When we are done with our shadow work, either they will be our best friend or go away forever, for we do not need them anymore to grow. A feeling of deep gratitude and fond memory will linger.

Not all our shadows are dark. We have great assets hidden in our shadows. Debbie Ford calls this as “light shadows”. I would love to believe that all our shadows are light shadows, for they are cast only because we are in the light.

So look at your shadow. Dance and play with it. Enjoy!

 

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