Tag Archives: meditation

Connection

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Just as a thousand candles can be lit from one flame, all being separate yet connected, so my meditations are all from one source and are separate but connected. I am at all times connected to the moments of gentle peace and powerful insight in all meditations even though the present one is the only moment in existence. Just as these emotions are connected to moments in my life so too are they connected to others. To every person around the planet who is meditating at that moment I am connected. These fine filigrees of spun-gold spirit reach across time to connect with everyone who has ever sat and meditated, to a monk in the mountains of Tibet, to a priest in ancient Egypt, to a graphic designer in New York and everyone, everywhere in between. Even to a man sat under a tree.

At all times emotions are connected, I feel the pull and sway of them like the tides being moved by the moon. Anger, fear excitement but above and below all, love. It both anchors and frees me, I dissolve in to its ocean becoming more and less than myself. Simultaneously crystallizing in to singular existence and dissolving in to all encompassing nothingness. Freedom and freedom. Being and not-being.

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Oh Meditation, You Are So Awesome

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Oh meditation, you are so awesome. Simply by sitting, breathing and letting go we can promote massive health benefits. Here are seven of them according to the Harvard Medical School (and they’re famous so it must be true).

  1. Increased immunity
  2. Emotional balance
  3. Increased fertility
  4. Relieves irritable bowel syndrome
  5. Lowers blood pressure
  6. Anti-inflammatory
  7. Calmness

There are whole industries built around selling pills and potions to achieve these (not all of the legal, see number seven) when all that is needed is to take twenty minutes a day to achieve this in a much more balance way. You can even go geeky on it with many apps to help you take the time and provide little inspirational quotes. Here is an excellent poster to describe some of the science behind meditation.

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Below is a lovely, simple ten minute guided meditation and if you are starting out this may be very useful to use as your daily practice. Just twenty minutes of meditation can radically alter how you think, feel and react to life. If you don’t already do this now is the perfect time to start!

<p><a href=”http://vimeo.com/16751267″>Kim Eng – Guided Breathing Meditation</a> from <a href=”http://vimeo.com/eckharttolletv”>EckhartTolle TV</a> on <a href=”https://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>

One Thousand

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Today this website reached one thousand hits. As a thank you to you all for being a sign of abundance in the universe I would like to share a game with you. I learned this game from a very wise teacher who has incredible powers of manifestation and is a living embodiment of the notion that we can create reality out of intention.

You are going to be given some money. The rules are you have to spend it all in a day. You cannot save it but the next day you will receive double. Let’s start with €1,000 (or £ or $, or whatever works for you). Thought of what you would spend it on? Easy? For many of us this amount is very manageable and we will go further now. This is fun to do with a pen and paper beside you and doesn’t take long so write down what you would spend your €1000 on.

Next day you have €2,000, what are you going to spend it on? (remember, you cannot save it)

The next day you receive €4,000.

The next day you receive €8,000.

The next day you receive €16,000.

The next day you receive €32,000.

The next day you receive €64,000.

The next day you receive €125,000.

The next day you receive €250,000.

The next day you receive €500,000.

The next day you receive €1,000,000.

The next day you receive €2,000,000.

The next day you receive €4,000,000.

Feel free to continue if you wish. I have played this game with many people and what comes up is fascinating. There is a flow to the universe. To have abundance flowing in you must have it flowing out with an attitude of trust and love. Imagine you have a box. The universe wants to fill this box with all the abundance it has to offer. If you only allow the box to half empty, the universe can only fill it with half or you may just give out the signal you don’t need it filled at all. This game is interesting though because it can help shift your mindset to trust you will receive abundance the following day as well, and that it will increase!

Have a look at your list. What did you notice as the amount gets higher? What feelings came up for you? Is there anything on that list that is within your current means? Have any of these things suddenly become a goal for you? Something to really aim for? Does it help you identify what things are important to you in life? Many who do his exercise suddenly realise that they would not work so they could spend more time with their family, well could that be done without needing all that money? Is abundance more precious to you in the form of time?

It is common to get caught on the treadmill of working because we believe that we have to “do a hard day’s work” to get money. Is that really your belief or an inherited one? Whose voice did you just read the quoted words in? But what is that money worth to you? If you have identified things in your list that don’t really need money (maybe just a little courage) then maybe a lot of these things are more than achievable. You can live in a mansion without owning one, just be creative. If you do have a spare €2,000,000 kicking around though feel free to donate to any friendly and appreciative bio-energy therapists you may happen to know.

One of the common themes to arise from the game is a feeling of “I don’t deserve this”. That is nonsense. Why wouldn’t you deserve everything you want? So you don’t make others feel bad? So you can continue playing the victim so you can confuse sympathy for love? Because someone told you when you were young? All of these are false beliefs. A belief is just a thought you keep thinking, do it for long enough it becomes a belief. So you can change your beliefs on this or just jeep mooching along and blame it all on someone else and avoid taking responsibility. Your choice.

Paul McKenna (celebrity hypnotist, now there is an example of manifesting something unlikely) wrote in one of his books that he shifted his mindset on money by deciding to be really happy and thankful every time he paid a bill, even when he really knew it was a struggle. He said money started to flow to him and the gratitude kept building. Another trick is to imagine yourself standing with arms outstretched with money flying to you and sticking to you (really believe though, this doesn’t work if it is just a half-arsed daydream). You’ll be amazed how quickly this works but the important trick is to give thanks, even if it is for finding 50c on the ground.

In the end though none of this really matters. It will all balance out by the time we die. Chances are if you can read this it means you are educated and can afford to be somewhere with an internet connection so the likelihood is you aren’t going to starve or be homeless. Why spend your life worrying about what you don’t have when you can live it in appreciation of what you do? The abundance will come. And go. And come again. Like the tides on a beach. The beach doesn’t worry about whether the tide will come back in. As always, breath. Let it in. Then let go.

Breathe and let go

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You can live for about three weeks without food, three days without water and three minutes without breathing. Appreciate each breath as it fills you with life.

Like many things in life, you can borrow this breath but it is not to keep but to give back. You have to let it go. Don’t worry though, this letting go allows for new life to flow in.

Practice now. Be still for three minutes and listen to your breath as it flows in and out. Each in breath is a new beginning and each out breath is a complete letting go. Now, where else in your life could this be applied?

Meditate or procrastinate

ImageWe know there are many benefits to meditation; improved sleep, lower blood pressure, increased immunity and fertility, emotional balance and calmness to name but a few. But there is a misconception that meditation needs to be done in a place of perfect tranquility; in full lotus up a majestic mountain or by a river surrounded by flowers and sunlight. Or at least in a quiet room with no noise or disturbances. It is the excuse of not being able to find the time or the perfect place that stops many people meditating. The reality is there is no perfect place, or rather every place is the perfect place. Meditation is, as Sogyal Rinpoche puts it, the process of “bringing the mind home”, of taming the mind and finding the peace that exists within us all. We look to create this peace externally but it is found internally.

The true nature of the mind (and by mind I don’t mean my brain but more my whole awareness of being) is like the eternal blue sky. Thoughts and emotions are like the clouds that are ever changing and flit across this sky, I peacefully acknowledge them and let them pass. There are certainly situations that make it easier to meditate; a quiet room, setting an intention, surrounding oneself with inspiring objects or pictures but there will always be a distraction. I remember at a meditation retreat (which you can read about here) a Buddhist nun was speaking about how she had set up her room perfectly, taken the phone off the hook, locked the door, closed the windows etc but after a while she could hear a clicking. As she was meditating with her eyes open she had a quick look but couldn’t see anything that might be causing the sound. After a short while the clicking returned and she suddenly realised it she could hear herself blinking. The point of this is there are distractions everywhere and it is the skilled meditator that can use these distractions as a means of returning to a meditative state by allowing them to bring us back to present. A technique I use is to always wear odd socks. Whenever I notice the different colours, or when someone points it out to me, I use it to become aware of whether I am off in thoughts of the future or the past and if so to try and be present instead.

Every moment is an opportunity to meditate. I’m not suggesting it is easy but it is simple. You can try it now as you sit and read this. Straighten your back (especially if you are curled like a prawn), relax your jaw so it is slightly open and breathe naturally. Now just feel your breath as it enters and leaves the body (easier if you stick with the sensation in just one place, maybe the nostrils or the belly) and that’s it. If thoughts come, let them come then bring your awareness back to your breath and begin again each time. Each breath in is a new beginning, each breath out is a complete letting go. This can be done when you are sitting at traffic lights, as you are doing the dishes, during the adverts of your TV show, anywhere! We cannot force a baby to fall asleep, we can only create the conditions in which sleep can happen. Similarly, you cannot force yourself in to a meditative state, but you can create the conditions in which meditation can happen.

Knowing or being

Knowledge or wisdom

Knowledge or wisdom

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My name is Drew Mahler and I am a workshopaholic. Or at least, I used to be. For several years I went through a period of near addiction to doing self-development workshops. I went to healing workshops, retreats, courses and coaching; getting all sorts of certificates, knowledge and training. However, the day after one of these workshops I found myself thinking about what I was going to do next. Which new modality could I learn? What other teacher could I listen to to deepen my knowledge of myself and the world around me? And then it struck me, I had just spent the previous four days learning how to be a more grounded and balanced human being yet I was looking to rush off and read the next book or do the next course to try and learn how to be a more balanced human being. I had developed a pattern of frantically looking for external fixes to my internal need to feel calmer, happier and more at peace whilst denying myself the opportunity to do so! This is like a hungry man sellotaping sandwiches to himself. This will never sate his hunger until he learns to internalize and transform this for himself, otherwise he will be eternally hungry. I had been running around collecting a lot of knowledge without taking the time to reflect and transform this in to wisdom. The ability to stop, breath and create space for our minds is essential to this process and meditation can help hugely with this.

Sogyal Rinpoche once told a story of staying at a friend’s house that had a huge library of books (I suppose it wouldn’t be a library of anything else). Many famous titles on healing, spirituality, love and so on. He wondered why someone would need so many books, as it implied that there was a lot of knowledge but not necessarily much wisdom. He then told us it is like a tomato, knowledge teaches us that it is a fruit while wisdom teaches us never to put it in a fruit salad. My take on this is that unless we transform this knowledge it is of little practical use to us. Many of us have books on spirituality or positive thinking or law of attraction or have been to courses on the same. But why so many? If we really embodied what was being taught and took the effort to use this we probably wouldn’t need more than one book, or to do one course. And this is where a problem arises for many of us because, if we are truthful with ourselves, the effort of changing ourselves is more than the effort of looking for another book/course in the hope that it will do the work for us. Sellotaping more sandwiches. It is the difference between knowing it in your head and embracing it in your heart.

Ironically it was on a workshop where this all really crystallized for me. I was doing a coaching workshop with a wonderful man called Marcus McKeown (link here), an inspiring teacher and generally awesome guy. The first thing he told us was “I will teach you nothing you don’t already know”. He taught us how to listen compassionately and pointed out it was something we could all already do. It is just about parking your own stuff rather than barely listening to someone while you wait for your turn to speak, be present and trust intuition. These lessons really sank in, along with some other powerful realizations, and I have really tried to embody these changes.

Workshops and books offer an amazing opportunity for awakening, awareness and personal growth. The paradox is that until you have read the books or done the  workshops and really brought in to your way of being, that you realize you didn’t need the book or workshop in the first place. It was something you knew inside anyway, maybe the path to get there needed a bit of illuminating by someone who has trodden those steps before.

The workshops and books are the means to an end, however, not the end itself. Not that there is an end of course, life is a kick and a kiss, a hit and a hug and a constant shifting maelstrom of thoughts and emotion that will continually challenge us to reach new levels of awareness. We may as well enjoy the ride but bring a good book with you just in case.

Spring has sprung!!

Ahh Spring, the smell of fresh cut grass, the bursting yellow of daffodils and stinging horizontal banshee hailstone winds. This is a strange time of year all right. The changing of seasons of brings with it the opportunity to look at ourselves and see how we too are changing. After all, the only thing that is constant in life is change. Nothing remains the same and all is transformed, “this too shall pass” is a handy motto to live our lives by.

Spring is a particularly transformative season. Just as life around us is starting to reemerge, we too can often feel as though we are reemerging from our winter hibernation. This is, of course, nonsense. We ascribe certain days or times as good times to start something new, whether that is Mondays or New Year’s Day or next week. We are led to believe that life is linear, that there is an inexorable marching of time from when we are born until when we die. It is, according to quantum physics, much more complicated and wonderful than that although that is a post for another day. Change is the topic for today.

Change happens in every moment of our lives. Right now in your body millions of cells are dying and new ones are emerging. The skin cells that you can see on the surface are already dead, this is why they flake off as dust. You are, physically, a completely different person to who you were seven years ago. Every single one of your cells have changed. Change, death and rebirth are natural processes of life. There cannot be life without death. However, for many of us change and be scary. Change reminds us on a subconscious level that we are approaching death, which could explain why many people try to keep their lives as regular as possible. Same TV shows, same holidays, same friends, same conversations.  Yet change is an incredible opportunity to grow; to grow emotionally,mentally and spiritually.

However, change can be painful and it is easy to understand that this can be a reason people fear it. Some of our most transformative moments can come during our most challenging times. This could be the death of a loved one, the break-up of a relationship, failing during sport, acknowledging an addiction or anything that is personally challenging. Big changes can mean the breakdown of our old sense of self, our concepts of the world may no longer fit with our reality and it can place huge stress on our carefully constructed views of “how things work”. Sometimes during these moments we can feel our sense of Self shatter like glass. It can hurt even more to try and pick up the pieces as we may cut our Selves on the sharp edges in this raw state. But that’s OK. It is alright for things to hurt sometimes. We can rebuild this image in to an even better one if we are prepared to be brave enough and admit we want to be different, that we want to change.

I remember when I was young I had a Lego castle. To make it better sometimes I had to only add a couple of little bits to make it more brilliant (usually more dragons to be honest) but sometimes I had to completely dismantle it and start again. Sometimes there was pain too. Unless you have experienced it yourself, I am unable to convey the blindingly annoying agony that comes from standing barefoot on a piece of Lego. This applies to us too, sometimes we only need to change a little bit, sometimes we need a complete overhaul.

As this can sometimes be a big, even daunting, process at time, it may be necessary to see a therapist or counselor. For many years there has been a bit of stigma around this which I don’t really understand. If my washing machine was broken I don’t possess the skills to fix it so I would find someone who did and ask them to help me. If my mind is, for want of a better word, broken then surely it is pretty obvious to get someone to help me with that too? So if you have been thinking that you would like to talk to someone about an issue, maybe a big one, maybe a small one, just do it. Don’t fear change, embrace it as a natural part of life.

An exercise you can try right now. Find a blank wall somewhere quiet. On this wall project a picture of your life one year from now (or week, or day, whichever appeals to you most) as you want it to be. Not how you expect it to be, how you want it to be. It is like going to watch the movie of your life except now you get to write the script. Looking at this picture in full Techincolor, what three things would you need to change in order for that to happen? Learn to drive? Move country? Break up with your partner? Tell that person no? Stop eating cakes? Write down these three things, don’t judge them, put them down or censor yourself. Now, next to these write down when they will be done by and do it. If you want your life to move in a certain direction, you have to embrace the change that will bring that about.  

A friend of mine once asked me if I would have a bath in the same water I bathed in ten years ago. Of course not! Then why would you reuse energy and patterns of belief that you held ten years ago if you want to grow and transform? Spring is springing. Cast off the winter shackles and embrace the budding new season, the new life, the new you. Be thankful for the challenging moments, for the painful moments and choose to see them as the opportunities they are as you use them to build the person you always wanted to be.