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Pineal Gland Meditation for Sleep and Awakening

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Pineal Gland Meditation for Sleep and Awakening

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THE BIG SLEEP - SEPTEMBER CHALLENGE : For the month of September, you are invited to do this 15 minutes meditation when you are in bed and ready to go to sleep. Even if you don't fall asleep on the first few attempts, keep doing it for the entire month. Let us know how you get on by commenting below and/or on the Calm Community Facebook Group.


INSTRUCTIONS

The pineal is the master gland, and activating it helps regulate the hormones in the body and is extremely powerful for healing. This technique takes about 15 minutes and should ONLY be done in the evening, preferably before bed. It can be done lying down or sitting up and it is extremely useful for people with sleep problems like insomnia or who wake up tired; they will frequently fall asleep before the 15 minutes is up and enjoy a restful sleep.

For this meditation you will be putting your attention upon and visualising (best you can) the pineal gland. The pineal gland is a small endocrine gland in the vertebrate brain. The shape of the pineal gland resembles a pine cone. It is located in the epithalamus, near the centre of the brain (level with the eyes), between the two hemispheres, tucked in a groove where the two halves of the thalamus join. 

For the first five minutes, focus on your breathing.  Each breath should be through the nose and all breathing should be done with the belly and not with the chest. Try to make each breath smoother and more even than the last. Spend the same amount of time on the in and out breath. Keep your breath connected, flowing, and smooth.

For the second five minutes, keep the breath smooth and envision the inward portion of the breath entering the nostrils and lighting up the pineal gland in the center of the skull like an intensely bright light.  Whether you actually see the bright light or not isn't important. On the out breath envision that the pineal gland is sending the whole body what it needs to be healthy. If there is a specific issue that needs healing, you can focus the attention on just that part of the body.

For the final five minutes, continue the same method for the in breath, but make a sound on the out breath.  At first this should be loud enough so you can hear it clearly, but with practice you can intone the sound quietly enough that someone sitting 15 feet away from you wouldn't be able to hear it. There are different sounds you can use, depending on what needs healing.  If you don't have any specific problems, use one of the sounds for your whole body like OM.


 

SOUNDS + HEALING PURPOSE

Whole Body -- OOM, OM, AMEN

Thymus and Upper Chest -- EHM (pronounced aim)

Thyroid -- MER (pronounced mir)

Sinuses -- MMM

Chest+Heart -- AH, MA

Throat -- EYE (pronounced I)

Brain -- EEE

Prostrate, Genital Areas -- UH

Lungs, Asthma -- SSS

Back Pain -- WOOO

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Merry Mindful Christmas

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Merry Mindful Christmas

Amidst the annual pressures to purchase piles of presents, decorate every orifice of your office or home, manage a social schedule that keeps everyone happy, and still leave enough time for the pursuit of the perfect mince pie… It’s easy to lose sight of the bigger-picture point of what this time of year is all about and end up super stressed.  

Thankfully you don’t have to wait for the Three Wise Men to come knocking at your door to get the advice you need to enjoy a fabulous festive period free from stress.  You just need to be more mindful with the help of these three top tips.

1. REDUCE THE RUSH BY BEING MINDFUL OF THE MOMENT

Time tends to feel limited and stress-levels rise when we stop focusing on what we are doing now and get caught up over thinking about all the things that need done later. The reality is you can only ever do one thing at a time. Through being present by giving all of your attention to whatever you are doing, right now, you will naturally end up even more effective and efficient.

Focus on the task in hand by being mindful of your senses. Notice what you can currently see, tune into the sounds you are hearing and fully feel whatever you are touching.  Wrap each present without giving much thought to the pile waiting in the sidelines.  Properly feel the spoon in your hand as you stir the gravy.  Notice the colours of the pretty Christmas lights that are passing by as you drive to the shops or your next social engagement. 

In essence, fully engage the present moment reality of whatever is occurring in the immediate here and now. You’ll be amazed by how time appears to stretch, you get so much more done, with very little stress and much more enjoyment.

2. AIM FOR AGREEMENT IF ARGUMENTS ARISE

Whether it is the best way to baste the Turkey, the precise timing for the opening of presents or what to watch on the box. Things can quickly become heated and we all want to avoid the family fighting out their differences by brandishing the nearest luxury cracker.

Arguments usually happen because we are disagreeing on the finer details and forgetting to find the collective consensus.  If you sense an argument arising, you want to be a calming influence by remaining mindful of the common ground.  This can be done by rising above the details and recognizing the bigger picture preference of everyone enjoying what they eat, getting along and having fun.

Yes, there are multiple ways to cook the bird. But what matters most is it’s cooked properly and the family doesn’t spend the following week frequenting the toilet with food poisoning.  Yes, you may want to watch a particular programme. But isn’t it more pleasant to use some of your festive spirit to relinquish control of the remote?  I promise the positive paybacks are far more rewarding than getting your own way. (Besides, there’s always iPlayer later.)

3. TAKE A TIME-OUT FROM ALL THE TINSEL

Just because you love them, it doesn’t mean you have to spend every waking moment in their company.  Silence is golden after all and giving yourself the gift of a few minutes time-out can work wonders not only for your serenity, but your sanity too. Find a quiet place in the house, sit down, close your eyes and have a few moments of meditation. 

Even 5-10 minutes of sitting still, breathing in a balanced way and gently exploring the stillness of the space surrounding you, can help you to hit the re-set button and return to proceedings with more calm and Christmas cheer.  

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Warm Your Heart this Winter

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Warm Your Heart this Winter

Five Ways to Connect Deeper and Love Without Limits

For the best relationships, aim to focus on warming up your own side of the fence - instead of trying to fix, change or improve others so they are more loveable.

It is easy to fall into the trap of making relationship conflicts about the other person. What they said or didn’t say. What they did or didn’t do. What they meant or didn’t mean. But to proactively move from conflict to connection, you must remember that your relationships with others are a perfect reflection of your relationship with yourself. Here are my five top tips for keeping your heart warm this winter.

1. Be the person you want to love

People try to take from others what they aren’t experiencing within themselves. If you think that someone else should be kinder, more communicative, giving etc. then ask: Where can I be more of what I want?  When you become the person you have wanted other people to be, many conflicts dissolve away because you no longer resist the lack of certain attributes in others and aren’t attached to them being a better or improved version.

2. Take everything as an invitation to love better

We habitually want other people to change so we don’t have to. However as the saying goes, when you point the figure there are always three pointing back at you. Look for themes in any arguments, disappointments and common feedback you receive from others. Don’t waste time playing the blame game to instead be open and humble. Explore if any issue you have with someone else is an invitation to learn how to love in a more unconditional way.

3. Look for opportunities to give

Service sits at the heart of the most successful relationships. ‘How can I serve you?’ as opposed to ‘What’s in it for me?’ Whenever you feel a problem arising in a relationship, find ways to give and be of service. When you make the relationship about how you can help the other person to be happy, feel loved and have a great day (without trying to fix or change them), then it’s amazing how fluid and fun relationships become.

4. Be willing to share more of yourself

Raising your defensive walls within relationships is a fear-based habit that can be transcended. There is great strength in vulnerability because it takes humility and courage to let your ‘weaknesses’ be seen by others. I am constantly amazed by how quickly conflict evaporates when one party is willing to honestly share what’s really going on for them. ‘When you did that I felt scared that you might leave me’ or ‘when you work late I question if it’s because you don’t want to be home with me’. It’s very hard to be in conflict with someone waving the transparent flag of vulnerability.

5. Don’t go changing trying to please me

Would you feel completely loved by someone if they always wanted you to be different? If you weren’t quite good looking enough, funny enough, clever enough, rich enough or tidy enough, for example?  How loved would you feel living with that kind of pressure to perform? I can only assume, not very much.

My Spiritual Teacher once asked: Are you willing to fully commit to this relationship, even if the other person never changes? Well, are you? Forcing others to live up to your criteria for what’s ‘loveable’ only leads to a fake love with its foundations based in judgement. But if you desire deeper connections then let others be enough, exactly as they are now, it’s the key to loving without limits.

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Love without Awareness is Fear

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Love without Awareness is Fear

Love without Awareness is reliant on the analytical mind and inevitably ends up conditional. The mind cannot comprehend ‘unconditional’ because it operates using reason and check boxes. All of the minds conditions that determine whether someone is loveable or not, is based upon the past, and what you’ve been conditioned to believe is loveable and what is not.

Love from the mind usually includes a silent ‘because’ along with some kind of performance related justification. ‘I love you because… You are good looking, are nice to me, agree with me, or are successful’, for example. But what makes love without Awareness so problematic for so many is that if you aren’t Self-Aware (aware of the aspect of your Self that is Aware), then you will be more inclined to experience a false love that has its foundations in fear and conflict.

Fear inevitably arises when you’re not engaging Awareness.

Being Self-Aware you discover that your Awareness is an unconditional, all-allowing, all-encompassing, all-embracing, ever-present presence of love. Amazingly, you can find that the presence of your inner being is love. Or in other words, at your core, you are the love that you have been seeking from external means. Recognizing this enables you to ‘live in love’, engaging everyone with an attentiveness upon the inner being of love that you are.

Until I discovered this, ‘I love you’ had become a question. I love you? I would graspingly ask it to check that I was loved by hearing the words back. If there was ever a slight pause and the ‘I love you too’ didn’t return as fast as a boomerang on speed, I would freak out. What’s wrong? Are we ok? What can I do? Why don’t you just love me as I am?  I’m a good person, you know! My fear and resultant insecurity, neediness and jealously ruined a series of perfectly good relationships.

Performance-love makes us puppets on the strings of fear.

Growing up, many of us have been rewarded with love and reprimanded by the removal of love.  At the nursery I went to as a kid, if I did something wrong I had to stand and face the corner. Perhaps your penalty was the ‘naughty step’ or being sent to your room?  This conditioning causes many to feel the need to start performing to get love from their parents, partners and peers. Even complete strangers in the street!  

Being unaware of the unconditionally loving presence of your own Awareness, you end up forced to look for, and try to get love outside yourself - through finding your ‘perfect match’ or by making sure everyone who crosses your path loves you. If the source of love is outside of you, then it can be taken away, and fear kicks in immediately. 

Living with the fear of love being taken away from you leads to unhealthy relationship habits like dependency, jealously, sensitivity, neediness, ownership, arguments and loneliness. Again, at the heart of these fear-based behaviours is conflict. Including resistance to love being taken away and attachment to love being attained from every possible external source. It is a recipe for disaster due to the necessity to twist and contort yourself in order to be loveable by others, along with the pressure it puts on the people you are trying to take love from. It is also a lost cause because you are trying to get love from a place that it cannot be found.

Yes, people may love you, but you won’t feel it or fully accept that they do. Frustration, distrust, closing down, distancing yourself, unworthiness, self-dislike and unresolved hurts all end up standing in your way of connecting deeply with yourself and others. However, once you find that the love you are looking for is inside, you find there is nothing to fear and these habits can fall away.

Relationships are given space to breathe, grow, and move on if need-be, and you get to love freely with an open palm. You get to enjoy being free and single.  You get to enjoy being free and in a committed relationship. You get to be free because you’ve moved from conflict to true connection… with your Self. 

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