LISA RENEE: “Meditation and Mindfulness Practical Tips”

“Meditation is the skill of focusing 100% of your energy and attention in one specific area in the present moment. The consistent practice of meditation comes with a myriad of health benefits that include increased concentration, decreased anxiety, and a general feeling of well being and connection.”

~Lisa Renee

 

Although a great number of people try meditation at some point in their lives, a small percentage actually are consistent with their dedication for the long-term. The most difficult period of reprogramming personal habits or unconscious behaviors is the first 21 days. If commitment and dedication are disciplined with persistence for over the 21 day period, generally it is much easier for the person to continue to maintain their meditation practice. The benefits and rewards of a meditation lifestyle become exceedingly obvious, and the state of inner peace and balance are much easier to achieve in all life situations. Quieting the mind, becoming present to the now moment are the cornerstones of a balanced human being.

The purpose of this article is to provide practical recommendations to help beginners get past the initial resistance and integrate meditation into your lifestyle:

1) Make it a formal practice. You will only get to the next level in meditation by setting aside specific time (preferably two times a day, am and pm) to be still. We suggest the 12D shield practice as a daily meditation.

2) Start with the breath. Breathing deep slows the heart rate, relaxes the muscles, focuses the mind and is an ideal way to begin practice.

3) Stretch first. Stretching loosens the muscles and tendons allowing you to sit (or lie) more comfortably. Additionally, stretching starts the process of “going inward” and brings added attention to the body.

4) Meditate with Purpose. Beginners must understand that meditation is an ACTIVE process. The art of focusing your attention to a single point is hard work, and you have to be purposefully engaged with the process.

5) Notice frustration creep up on you. This is very common for beginners as intrusive or persistent thoughts interrupt our focus. When this happens, really direct focus in on your breath and let the frustrated feelings go.

6) Experiment. Beginners should be more experimental and try different types of meditation. Try sitting, lying, eyes open, eyes closed, there is no wrong position or method if it works for you.

7) Feel your body parts. A great practice for beginning meditators is to take notice of the body when a meditative state starts to take hold. Once the mind quiets, put all your attention to the feet and then slowly move your way up the body (include your internal organs). This is very healthy and an indicator that you are on the right path.

8) Pick a specific room in your home to meditate. Make sure it is not the same room where you do work, exercise, or sleep. Place candles and other spiritual or sacred objects in your room to help you feel at ease.

9) Read a book (or two) on meditation. Preferably an instructional guide AND one that describes the benefits of deep meditative states.

10) Commit for the longer term. Meditation is a life-long practice, and you will benefit most by NOT examining the results of your daily practice. Just do the best you can every day, and then let it go!

11) Listen to instructional audios, videos and CDs.

12) Generate moments of awareness during the day. Finding your breath and “being present” while not in formal practice is a wonderful way to evolve your meditation habits.

13) Make sure you will not be disturbed. One of the biggest mistakes beginners make is not insuring peaceful practice conditions. If you have it in the back of your mind that the phone might ring, your kids might wake, or your coffee pot might whistle than you will not be able to attain a state of deep relaxation.

14) Notice small adjustments. For beginning meditators, the slightest physical movements can transform a meditative practice from one of frustration to one of renewal. These adjustments may be barely noticeable to an observer, but they can mean everything for your practice.

15) Use a candle. Meditating with eyes closed can be challenging for a beginner. Lighting a candle and using it as your point of focus allows you to strengthen your attention with a visual cue. This can be very powerful to maintain focus.

16) Do NOT Stress. This may be the most important tip for beginners, and the hardest to implement. No matter what happens during your meditation practice, do not stress about it. This includes being nervous before meditating and angry afterwards. Meditation is what it is, and just do the best you can at the time.

17) Do it together. Meditating with a partner or loved one can have many wonderful benefits, and can improve your practice. However, it is necessary to make sure that you set agreed-upon ground rules before you begin!

18) Meditate early in the morning or late evening. It is quieter, your mind is not filled with the usual clutter, and there is less chance you will be disturbed.

19) Be Grateful at the end. Once your practice is through, spend 2-3 minutes feeling appreciative of the opportunity to practice and your mind’s ability to focus.

20) Notice when your interest in meditation begins to wane. Meditation is hard work, and you will inevitably come to a point where it seemingly does not fit into the picture anymore. Chances are that losing the ability to focus on meditation is parallel with your inability to focus in other areas of your life!

Meditation is an absolutely wonderful practice in developing yourself and quieting your mind. It can be very difficult in the beginning. Use the tips described in this article to get your practice to the next level!

 

~via Energetic Synthesis

DERRICK BROZE: “I am ALIVE! Let’s Talk COVID-19”

 

 

~via The Conscious Resistance

DERRICK BROZE: “It’s Time To Reject ‘The New Normal'”

 

 

~via The Conscious Resistance

CAITLIN JOHNSTONE: “The Great Unpatterning Continues — Make Sure You Take Advantage Of It”

“I often hear people in my line of work saying ‘Man, we’re going to look back on all this crazy sh*t and think about how absolutely weird it was!’ No we won’t. Because it’s only going to get weirder. It’s only going to get weirder, because that’s what it looks like when old patterns start to fall away. The human mind is conditioned to look for patterns in order to establish a baseline of normal expectations upon which to plan out future actions. This perceptual framework exists to give us safety and security, so disruptions in the patterns upon which it is based often feel weird, threatening, and scary. They make us feel insecure, because our cognitive tool for staying in control of our wellbeing has a glitch in it. This great unpatterning is going to continue, in many wild and unexpected ways. And things are going to keep getting stranger. Watch for gaps in the armor of the establishment oppression machine. Watch for gaps in the deluded nature of our society. Watch for gaps in the patterns, and use your wisdom and creativity to assist them in unpatterning as the opportunity presents itself.”

~Caitlin Johnstone

 

In an attempt to contain the COVID-19 pandemic the president of the United States has just announced a 30-day travel ban between the US and Europe, the super-rich are flying off to disaster bunkers, and the NBA has just suspended its season.

If this is the first you’re hearing of this, go ahead and read it again if you need to.

This is all news that came out minutes prior to this writing. There may have been many other immense news stories by the time you read it.

This is a level of disruption that the world hasn’t seen in generations. Normal things that had been a routine part of people’s entire lives are just not there for them now, whether it’s normal socializing, watching the basketball game, or buying toilet paper at the store.

I said the following last month in an article titled 2020 Is Going To Get Much Crazier. Prioritize Your Mental Health.“:

“As I said back in November, things are going to get weirder and weirder throughout the foreseeable future. We’re coming to a point in history where the only reliable pattern is the disintegration of patterns, and 2020 has come storming out of its corner swinging for the fences working to establish this pattern with extreme aggression. We’re not going to hit a point of stability or normality this year, we’re going to see things get crazier and crazier and crazier. I don’t know what’s going to happen, but I know it’s going to be nuts.”

 

And by Jove if that isn’t proving true in some bizarre and unexpected ways. I certainly wasn’t expecting the coronavirus to play a role in that unpatterning at the time — in fact I was dismissive of it when it first emerged — but we’re seeing a disruption in collective patterns and routines like nothing most of us can even recall.

Here’s what I said back in November:

I often hear people in my line of work saying “Man, we’re going to look back on all this crazy sh*t and think about how absolutely weird it was!”

No we won’t. Because it’s only going to get weirder.

It’s only going to get weirder, because that’s what it looks like when old patterns start to fall away.

The human mind is conditioned to look for patterns in order to establish a baseline of normal expectations upon which to plan out future actions. This perceptual framework exists to give us safety and security, so disruptions in the patterns upon which it is based often feel weird, threatening, and scary. They make us feel insecure, because our cognitive tool for staying in control of our wellbeing has a glitch in it.

When you’re talking about a species that has been consistently patterned towards its own destruction, though, a disruption of patterns is a good thing. Our ecocidal, warmongering tendencies have brought us to a point that now has us staring down the barrel of our own extinction, and that is where we are surely headed if we continue patterning along the behavioral trajectory that we have been on. Only a drastic change of patterns can change that trajectory. And we are seeing a change of patterns.

This great unpatterning is going to continue, in many wild and unexpected ways. And things are going to keep getting stranger.

All of humanity’s problems are the result of our collective conditioning patterns throughout history. Where there is pattern disruption, there is the opportunity for pattern divergence. Where there is movement, there are gaps. Where there are gaps, there is an opportunity for light to get through.

The clear-eyed rebel’s job, therefore, is to watch for opportunities to help lead us as a collective along a brand new, healthy trajectory. There’s no way to know in advance what those opportunities will look like, because predictability is premised on pattern consistency. But they will appear, from unpredictable and unanticipated new directions. Wherever you see a gap, your job is to pour as much truth and wisdom and health into it as you can possibly muster.

Watch for gaps in the armor of the establishment oppression machine. Watch for gaps in the deluded nature of our society. Watch for gaps in the patterns, and use your wisdom and creativity to assist them in unpatterning as the opportunity presents itself.

2020 is still just getting warmed up.

Eyes wide, beautiful people.

 

~via Caitlin Johnstone

‘NAVIGATING TUMULTUOUS WATERS’ ~ Caitlin Johnstone: “2020 Is Going To Get Much Crazier — Prioritize Your Mental Health”

As I said back in November, things are going to get weirder and weirder throughout the foreseeable future. We’re coming to a point in history where the only reliable pattern is the disintegration of patterns, and 2020 has come storming out of its corner swinging for the fences working to establish this pattern with extreme aggression. We’re not going to hit a point of stability or normality this year, we’re going to see things get crazier and crazier and crazier. I don’t know what’s going to happen, but I know it’s going to be nuts.

In such an environment, it’s going to be absolutely essential to take exceptional care of your psychological health if you want to remain engaged with what’s going on in the world in a positive way.

And I do mean exceptional. Whatever you’re doing now, do more. Start cultivating new habits to keep yourself lucid and serene, and start now before things get super crazy. Work out your issues with your family and with yourself. Remember to move your body in ways that feel good to you. Carve out some time out each day for just being quiet with yourself. Notice the beauty around you. Give cuddles, get cuddles. Take a shower and sing your heart out. Feel your feet on the floor, nestle your bum into your chair and listen to yourself breath like it’s a song on the radio. Yawn. Belch. Stretch. Roar. Put on some loud music and rock out. Whatever you know works for you to get you out of your head and back in to your body, remember to do it, and remember to do it regularly. Make it habitual.

Be proactive with this rather than reactive; if you wait until you have to react to things going ass-side up later on it’s going to feel like you’re fighting to get your head above water. If you do it now you’ll have the mental space needed to navigate tumultuous waters.

This is what will be necessary if you want to engage with the increasingly frenetic narrative matrix in the future. The only alternative will be to disengage completely and throw your attention into escapism, or at least away from politics and news. And if you don’t make the cultivation of mental well-being your first and foremost priority you will be forced, in a very unpleasant way, to disengage anyhow.

And honestly this is something all activist types should be doing anyway. Believing you can help the world without doing serious inner work is like believing you can clean the house while covered in raw sewage. You can always spot the political activists who engage without doing any inner work by the chaotic, unskillful and frequently counterproductive form their actions take. They can’t see clearly enough to operate efficaciously, because their vision is clouded with unresolved suffering and conflict. Get in the shower and wash the yuck off yourself before trying to clean the house.

Above all, be gentle with yourself. We got a ways ahead of us, and we need you fresh and feeling good. You won’t be able to help wake the world up if you let the chaos and confusion drag you down. Know when to take a break from the information stream and all the babbling narratives trying to twist your perception of it. Use your tools to distance yourself from the narratives so that you can perceive them objectively. Ground yourself, find your center, then, when you’re ready, wade back in.

No matter how chaotic things get, your ability to navigate that chaos skillfully needs to be your first and foremost priority. Put your mental well-being first, and everything else will fall into place.

Be the peace and harmony you want to see in the world.

 

~via Caitlin Johnstone