Sparking the Creativity, Love, and Playfulness of the Human Spirit

Posts tagged ‘spiritual’

Benefits of Relaxation

Benefits of Relaxation

Relaxation is one of the fundamental traits of good health. As the mind relaxes, a person will feel more at ease. Being serene allows the mind to react to life in more spontaneous and caring ways to others. Having a relaxed mind also fosters curiosity for new experiences and helps add variety to a person’s life. A relaxed mind is also a calmer mind and calmness allows for greater richness of experiences.

Having a calm mind also allows a person to be more composed emotionally. Often times a person’s emotions are triggered from external events or events in the mind. As a person’s mind and emotions become more relaxed and flexible, the thoughts of the mind and swings of emotions will become more even tempered. A person that spends some time actively relaxing will have a greater sense of emotional stability and calmer reactions to life in general.

Some methods that help the mind and body to relax include: meditation, getting a massage, deep breathing, exercise, listening to music, talking to a good friend who is healthy, taking a bath, and making art. Actively relaxing is something that is easier if you give yourself the time and patience to do so. For instance, you may be exercising at the gym with the aim of relaxing after a day of work. In this case, it would be wise to work out at a pace that leaves your body with vitality when the workout is over.

Having a spiritual practice that fosters a ‘relaxed’ spirit or approach to life can help add to the amount of relaxation a person feels during their life. By ‘practicing’ inner skills like acceptance and understanding, a person can nurture their innate ability to react and respond in healthy and affirming ways to different circumstances in life. Even if a person doesn’t have a spiritual tradition, a person can adopt flexible attitudes about being human by interacting with people from different walks of life. Another way to become flexible and feel relaxed in different social situations is to learn about the cultures and histories of different people.

Having a relaxed mind, body, and spirit are vital components of a healthy, vibrant life. While relaxation may or may not be a priority for you, increasing the amount of time spent relaxing can add more satisfaction and peace to your life.

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Fantastic Discussions On A Saturday Night

For the first three Saturdays of the month, here at the Human Potential Center, we have a video. We watch the video, eat popcorn and generally enjoy ourselves.

After the video we have a discussion. This is not your usual chit chat. We are discussing things that are very important to us; ourselves, our feelings and our lives. Some of us can go very deep. I remember one man saying that he couldn’t believe that he had found a place where he could look more closely and discuss his personal issues in a group and end up understanding himself more that he had before.

The movie itself is not the point of the discussion. It is more about the themes in the movie that were the most personally effective. At the end of the movie, we create questions using the themes, whether it be jealousy, anger, or any other feeling that came up for us during the viewing. We learn how to form open ended questions, using I statements, and begin the questions with a what, when or how. Plus, the group assists in the creation of the questions as many of us are new to this kind of thinking. We end up creating evocative questions that help us think about our personal involvement in our lives or life circumstances more deeply.

And we can get the best questions from a light movie. It is amazing how involved our discussions can be after a movie like Green Lantern. This last Saturday we had a great discussion about arrogance, fear and quitting things we love.

I find that even though the person is talking about their own experience, I can always find something that I can relate to in my own life. I love these great discussions which I don’t get in any other part of my life.

Here are the questions we came up with last Saturday. These questions help us to focus our thoughts more clearly on what we want to say about the feelings we had during the movie.

GREEN LANTERN QUESTIONS

1.    If for once I didn’t quit something I cared about, what’s the worst that could happen?
2.    How does my anger originate from my fear, and vice versa?
3.    When have I failed to acknowledge other people’s pain?
4.    What is it about arrogance that attracts me?
5.    What does it take for me to walk away from something I know is not good for me?
6.    In what situations has fear served me?
7.    When have I thought that bad things were happening when I didn’t deserve them?
8.    What am I willing to die for, and why?

So, if you live in or around the Austin area, we would love to have you come and join us, for what always promises to be a great learning experience for all of us.

First three Saturdays from 6 pm to 10:30 pm. The next video will be on May 19th. Check out the video calendar at humanpotentialcenter.org. If you can’t join us this month, maybe we will see you in June. Hope you can make it.

Simple Meditation Techniques to Stumble Upon Peace

In this messy and chaotic life, human has become a highly stressed and disturbed. People are too busy in their professional life or in other activities; they are so busy that they don’t bother about themselves. They don’t have time for themselves. Human’s biggest strength is peace of mind as it gives him strength to think better and act intelligently, and human’s biggest foe is stress, he loses what he wants and becomes an ugly person, he loses sense of humanity, he becomes totally insane. For people with stressed life, should follow the art of meditation.

Here are few simple tips for meditation to gain peace of mind and walk forward towards quality and happy life.

Daily routine of meditation
Make meditation your daily routine. Involve this habit in your life. Make a suitable time, when you are completely free and no one is there to disturb you. Daily meditation helps you to learn self-control and be disciplined.

Stretching before meditation
You should perform some stretching exercises before you start up with the mediation. Stretching helps you to feel relaxed and promoted flexibility. Stretching program releases tension from tendons and muscles. The stretching exercise helps to concentrate better.

Candle gives light
One of the best techniques of meditation is by using candle. Keep a lightened candle and continuously gaze its inner flame (the red part of the flame). Try to concentrate on the flame. While you concentrate on the flame, you forget the world and for few seconds you are fully concentrated on the candle. This is called meditation. This enhances your concentration power and also gives peace to your mind. The state of total null or void is known as meditation. Your mind is free from worldly chaos and worries. It is free from the bad spirits. Daily practice will increase your mediation time and help to improve concentration. This would accelerate your mind activity and your will feel more energetic and happy.

Feel the nature
Feeling the cool breeze through you is also one kind of meditation, for a movement you forget the world and get immerse in a peaceful reservoir.

Focus your breath
Sit straight, close your eyes and breathe deeply. Remove all the thoughts from your mind. Just focus on your breath. This is one of the effective meditations. This meditation cleanses your system as you do deep breathing. Deep breathing removes all toxins through the air. It makes you feel fresh and increases your concentration power.

Sleeping is not Meditation
Don’t think that when you are sleeping, meditation process is on. Sleeping is a passive process, you are taking rest but your mind or inner conscience works in some or the other way, for example dreams. In meditation you are actually giving rest to your mind and this is very active process. In meditation you keep your mind focused to one point and this need extreme concentration level.

Place for meditation
Always be very particular while you choose your meditation place. It should be clean, quiet and calm. Best place for meditation is within nature, like garden or lawn.
Conclusion

Meditation should be your integral part of daily routine. It helps to release stress and make you more active. Always choose a clam place for meditation and fix your time. Daily meditation has wonder effects to for your health.

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About the author: Margaret is a blogger by profession. She loves writing on environment and technology. Beside this she is fond of books. She recently bought cool flash drives. These days she is busy in writing an article on right brain left brain test.

The Aikido of Emotion

The Energy of EMOTIONS, A Guide to Self- Knowledge

I find in my counseling practice that most people don’t want to experience pain, whether it is physical or emotional pain. So we tend to run from our painful emotions, and only want to experience happy and joyous ones. Therein lies the resistance to the experience of our emotions. But, by avoiding our emotional pain, bigger problems get created because the emotional energy has to go somewhere. Either it gets acted out in more serious ways, or we suppress it, and experience physical problems and/or addictions of various kinds. We also miss out on knowing ourselves at deeper levels of awareness because we are unaware that our emotions are the signals or signposts that point to the depths of who we are. Instead of respecting our emotions, we have been taught that emotions are irrational, frivolous, petty and meaningless. So you ask, what can we do?

I like to use a technique I call The Aikido of Emotion. The premise of the martial art form of Aikido is to practice yielding to the opponent instead of using your force against him/her. It is the practice of non-resistance. If we apply this philosophy to our emotions, which at times we might think of as our opponent, then what we want to practice is the art of non-resistance regarding our emotions.

So you ask, how does The Aikido of Emotion work? Imagine you are a vessel or container, and inside of you, you contain thoughts, feelings, and perceptions about your life situation or the events and experiences of your life. If who you are is the container of your thoughts and feelings, then you are not the thoughts and feelings that run through you, you just contain them. The thoughts, feelings, and sensations, are energies running through the vessel or container that you are.
I liken emotions to the weather. The sky is always present, like we are as the vessel. The sky is space that contains the sun, moon, planets, stars, etc. The weather comes in and goes out, changes and fluctuates all the time, and the sky contains the weather which is the content. Notice how thoughts, feelings and sensations come and go all the time. They are not steady or constant. So when we resist these energies that are trying to move through us, like the weather, the effect is that they get stuck. They cannot move through. Have you ever heard the saying, what you resist persists?

Here is an exercise for you. Sit in a comfortable position and close your eyes. Now breathe and let yourself notice your hands. Feel your hands with all your attention. What do you notice? I’ll bet you notice some feelings or sensations in your hands that you would not have been aware of had you not focused your attention there.

Now practice being the vessel or container. Sit again with your eyes closed and feel yourself as the container (empty space or a hollow tube). Now as the container, notice what is present in your experience. Notice the thoughts that are rising and falling in the mind. What do you notice in the body? What sensations or feelings are present? Focus your awareness and attention on a physical sensation or feeling in the body. Notice how it feels. Allow yourself to feel it completely, and give it permission to be there without any resistance or judgment. Allow yourself as the container to expand to include whatever the experience is in your awareness, and allow it to be there. What is happening in your experience?

Most people notice some kind of a shift in the intensity or quality of the content, or what is being contained. With practice, it will get easier and easier to contain more intense content such as anger or rage. My clients are always surprised to find that even an emotion as intense as rage can be contained and not acted on. So another way to say it is, who you are is the context (the sky) and the thoughts, feelings and sensations are the content (the weather).

We have been culturally biased against our emotions for thousands of years. Emotions tend to be defined as ‘feminine’ which is not true since both males and females have feelings and emotions. Emotional content cannot be controlled as the weather cannot be controlled. So in order to be in harmony with our true Selves, we need to learn to work with our emotions, so we can deepen our awareness and experience of who we truly are. Some say emotions are the doorway to the soul, which I have found to be a true statement.
Emotions themselves are not the truth. Emotions are a response to the deeper truths within us. They show us things that are hidden, or under the surface as in the sub-conscious. They point to our unattended needs, wounds, thwarted desires and passions that are yearning and sometimes screaming to be seen and quenched. Emotions reflect our soul’s issues in our heart of hearts. If we listen and follow the reflection to the source, we can learn who we are.

I see the practice of The Aikido of Emotion as a spiritual practice that deepens our awareness of inner truth. Jesus, and many saints and sages over time have professed, “Know thy self.” Have fun getting to know your true Self. I wish for you the best that life has to offer!

If you’d like to experience The Aikido of Emotion first-hand, I’ll be presenting it at The Human Potential Center this coming Wednesday evening. Here’s the link. Hope you can attend!

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