The Mind, Stress and Meditation

 


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How many of you have ever had anxiety? Stress? Depression? Physical ailments? Relationship challenges?

Endless studies have shown that the mind is inextricably connected with our bodies and emotions. Knowing this, we can see that the mind can be a very powerful tool for manifesting change on many levels and since accessing it’s power is both possible and effective, that is where we will focus today.

One main way to release the struggles of the mind is to perform practices that quiet the mind.

Why QUIET the mind?

So why is it that we quiet the mind? Why not speed it up or make it louder?

Quieting the mind offers us several rewards including:

  • Awareness – of what is running in the mind;

  • Control – the more we practice, the greater control we have over the mind and the patterns of the emotions and bodymind that run with it;

  • Through awareness and control, the opportunity to Change;

  • And the bonus of coming home to ourselves in the release of our attachment to the mind-stuff – This is the stage that, when it goes deep enough and clear enough, leads to enlightenment.

    What are some TOOLS for quieting the mind?

  • Meditation

  • Mantras

  • Trancework – including hypnotherapy, shamanic journeying and NLP

  • Body-centered tools – massage, yoga, running, etc.

  • Music (external and internal practices such as toning and chanting)

    We are going to take a look at the use of meditation and mantras in this article.

    On Meditation

    Our lives are lived in a swirl of activity, very often, we feel anxious, insecure, focused on doing/ achievement, and preoccupied with things that are going on around us. Meditation is the opposite of this. To be in a meditative state is to be in a state which is free from the chaos of life. It is a state of inner quiet and equanimity.

    What is meditation? Meditation in it’s simplest form is a practice of deep concentration which allows one to go within in a way that releases the mind-stuff and inner aggravations that cause mental, emotional and physical disturbances. On a soul level, meditation also offers us a way to go inward and connect to who we are and why we are here.

    There are many ways to meditate. One option is to use a mantra to assist in focusing the mind.

    On Mantra

    A definition of a mantra is “that which protects the mind". There are over a million mantras and they are used for many things. The basic reason to use a mantra is to shift something as a mantra shifts energy and creates new vibrations. Some use mantras to change their external world, others to change their internal world. We will focus on the internal use of mantra.

    To use a mantra in meditation, you must first choose the mantra and then decide how to use it. When you chant a mantra inwardly or outwardly you are charging your whole body with the energy of the mantra.

    A Mantra Meditation Practice for the Holidays

    The So Hum Mantra (So = Higher consciousness Hum = Individual Self)

    So-hum is a Sanskrit mantra that means “I am that, " beyond limitation of mind and body: It can also be translated as “I am one with the Absolute. "

    I am choosing this mantra for practice this month because it is a mantra which is naturally occurring through the breath of every living being and, therefore, seems fitting for the season. It is also one of my favorite mantras and easy to use anytime.

    Practicing the Mantra

    To practice this as a mediation practice, begin by sitting quietly with your back gently erect either on the floor or on the edge of a chair.

    Set a timer for the amount of time you wish to practice. To begin, 10 minutes is a good amount.

    As you sit, take a few deep breaths and let yourself settle into your body.

    Then, begin to recite the mantra inwardly or outwardly saying ‘so’ each time we breath in and “hum" each time we exhale.

    Now begin to bring it into your body and each time you inhale ‘so’ feel the energy going up your spine and each time you exhale ‘hum', feel it going down your spine. This is your practice and anytime you feel your mind wander, come ‘home’ to the mantra.

    You may end your practice by giving thanks for the practice and allowing yourself to sit in the beautiful energy it emits, or, as I like to do, ‘sitting in your heart’ for a while.

    I hope you enjoy your meditation practice and the mantra.

    Happy holidays!

    Blessings,

    Jenifer

    Jenifer Shapiro is a proven intuitive and shamanic teacher/counselor professionally trained in coaching, hypnotherapy, NLP, yoga, shamanism and other mind, body, soul therapies. She holds an M. B. A.in international business and is the founder of The Empowerment Centre (http://www.TheEmpowermentCentre.com ) with offices in Pennsylvania, New York and the Midwest. She is also the founder of Satya Business (http://www.SatyaBusiness.com ) and HolisticHometown.com as well as the originator of Integrative Release TherapyTM. She teaches and works with individuals, teens and holistic entrepreneurs to assist them in manifesting empowering, fulfilling lives and businesses. She can be reached at (610) 213-1010 or http://www.TheEmpowermentCentre.com.

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