12 comments on “5 Meditation Practices You Need to Know About”

5 Meditation Practices You Need to Know About

Meditation has come a long way since it first became popular in the West during the 1960s. Some of the most popular and effective methods are now backed by scientific evidence, showcasing the benefits meditation has on the body and our mental health. While meditation has been around for ages, only recently has it become a part of popular Western culture.

Currently in the modern world, there are five meditation practices that have stood the test of time. The reason for this is that they provide the most successful results, some of which can be felt after only one session. In this article, you’ll learn what these five methods are and how you can benefit from practicing them. Each of the techniques should be practiced for at least 20 minutes to have maximum impact.

Mindfulness

Mindfulness was developed to help us place our attention fully in the present moment. It doesn’t have a focus on spirituality; its sole purpose is to teach the student awareness of presence. What are the benefits of this? When we learn to become fully present, we can see our thoughts as separate from us, meaning we don’t have to engage with every one of them. Learning to watch negative thoughts come and go without harming us is one of the foundational principles of mindfulness.

Popularized by Jon Kabat-Zinn, mindfulness teaches us to avoid secondary suffering. Secondary suffering is where we enhance our own pain by thinking about something negative that’s happened to us and then replaying it like a mental movie over and over again. Through developing mind awareness, we can learn to tune out secondary suffering and most negative thoughts, helping us to live in a happier, lighter and healthier state of being.

Transcendental Meditation

Transcendental Meditation was popularized by the Maharishi in the 1960s when he met The Beatles and taught it to them. The purpose of this method is to silence the mind and transcend to the source of all present-moment awareness. This is achieved through repeating a special mantra given to you by a qualified Transcendental Meditation teacher. The mantra is repeated internally in your mind, and you place your focus solely on your breath and the sounds of the mantra. When other thoughts arise, you let them be but do not engage with them.

After a while has passed, you will find your mind activity is very quiet and peaceful, and you will have transcended to the core of your being. This is the purpose of this technique. A certified Transcendental Meditation teacher is the only person qualified to teach you this method, as he or she knows what mantra is right for you and how to show you the process in its latest form with complete precision.

Walking Meditation

Walking meditation is a fast-growing meditation method that provides a unique experience to most other techniques. Typically, it involves slow, mindful walking in nature, where the student can use her surroundings to anchor herself in the present moment. This technique can be great for beginners to meditation as the grounding apparatus is very influential because your senses are far more active. You feel the wind and air passing across your face and the contact between your feet and the ground.

This method is typically practiced on nature walks; however, you can use it wherever you wish as long as you feel comfortable in your environment. Meditation teaches us that anything can be used as an anchor into the present moment; therefore, this particular technique could even be used in a busy city center!

Mantra Meditation

Similar to Transcendental Meditation, mantra meditation uses a word or series of words repeated over and over again to quiet the mind. Mantras can be repeated aloud or internally depending on your environment and how comfortable you are with chanting out loud. There are hundreds of different mantras all with different meanings.

Mantra meditation is typically practiced while sitting in a meditative pose, using slow relaxing breaths. The same principle applies as for most meditation methods where you allow everything to be just as it is in the moment. Thoughts and distractions will arise, but the trick is to know that that’s okay. Let everything be as it is, and simply focus on your mantra. You’ll find that if you concentrate on the process of mantra meditation, all distractions will melt away naturally over time.

Mala Bead Meditation

This meditation method involves using mala beads. Mala beads are usually made out of wood but can also come in the form of precious gemstones. An authentic mala bead necklace has 108 beads. The student is supposed to count each bead using a mantra. The entire mantra is repeated on each single bead, meaning the mantra is stated in its entirety 108 times. Mala meditation should be done slowly with deep breaths. Once you reach the end of the beads on the necklace, you’ll find that your mind activity has decreased and you’re in a state of peacefulness and contentment.

Overall, these five methods have proven themselves to be the kings of the world of meditation. You can learn more details about each of them online via YouTube videos, blogs, and other sources.

After learning more about these techniques online, you may wish to take things further and deepen your meditational practices. The best way to do so is to seek out a teacher who’s experienced in your chosen method and learn directly from him or her.

Happy meditating 🙂

———————-

Editor’s note: This is a guest post by Diamond, a keen meditator whose favorite methods are mindfulness and transcendental meditation. She enjoys developing awareness by helping others find the right kinds of meditation to suit their needs and personality types.

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17 comments on “4 Ways to Become 117 More Mindful Each Day”

4 Ways to Become 1% More Mindful Each Day

Little strokes fell great oaks.” –Benjamin Franklin

When I opened my eyes this morning, I looked over at the corner of the room and took a deep breath. It was the corner near the fireplace, where for the last two weeks, I sat, crossed my legs, and closed my eyes for twenty minutes of mindful meditation.

Now, some people may still consider meditation as a strictly spiritual practice. Something reserved for chakra juggling mystics after new moon parties. However, tons of scientific research credit meditation and mindfulness with reducing anxiety, improving cognition, and decreasing distraction.

In a world where external stimuli chases us down like an avalanche, a mindfulness practice can be a beacon in the snow storm.

Craving the benefits of this so-called bicep curl for the brain, I had enthusiastically committed myself to a 30-day mindful meditation challenge. This morning would have been day 18.

I sat in my corner, felt the heat of the fireplace and wiped the sleep from my eyes. Eager to begin my cerebral scrub down, I set the timer. That’s when it hit me—yesterday came and went, and I didn’t meditate.

I had told myself I’d find the time, yet somehow, the barrage of office emails and hours of mindless internet scrolling took precedence over my mental hygiene. All that time lost in thought, rehearsing arguments in my mind I’ll never have in real life, added up to a day lost and a meditation streak broken.

“What a waste,” I thought, disappointed with myself. I surrendered and said, “Maybe I’ll try again next month.”

This initial feeling that “all was lost” is a misconception that surrounds many things. For instance, some of us might consider dieting one day a week, or lifting weights only once a month, to be pointless. We don’t like to believe lackadaisical regimens can produce the fast, proven, real, extreme results we crave. If we can’t do something correctly and consistently, why bother at all?

What we forget, however, is what Einstein called the 8th wonder of the world—compound interest.

The power of compound interest is simple. In financial terms, it means we earn interest on both our initial investment along with whatever interest has already been earned. If we invest $100 and compound 1% interest every day, in one year we’ll have $3,778.34. That’s an increase of 37x!

I considered this 8th world-wonder and my last few weeks of meditation. I realized how my sense of contentment and emotional well-being had increased not only from when I started the challenge but how it continued to build upon the progress I made from each previous day. While I may have failed the 30-day challenge, all was not lost.

Practicing mindfulness, to put it simply, is the act of pulling ourselves back into the present moment. When we make the decision to stop and focus, to be grateful, to notice our emotions without trying to change them, we not only improve the quality of the present, but invest in our ability to be mindful in the future.

The moments we spend being mindful compound and pay interest in the form of clarity, gratitude, and presence.

Think about the example of compound interest above and consider how becoming just 1% more mindful each day could add up over a lifetime. We may not see 30-day-money-back-guaranteed results, but compounding small improvements every day leads to huge growth down the road.

But just as is it when investing money, compound interest can be a double-edged sword. Markets can crash. Days of enlightenment can be followed by days of darkness. The time we spend lost in thought, emotionally scattered, or ungrateful—those moments compound as well.

That’s why adding up mindful moments whenever we can is so valuable. We’ll need them when life’s storms inevitably come.

There is an old zen proverb that goes, “You should sit in meditation for twenty minutes a day — unless you’re too busy. Then you should sit for an hour.”

While this is noble in sentiment, for most of us, it offers little value in action. Carving out twenty minutes a day for a new habit is hard enough without worrying if more time is needed to even make a difference. We must remember that when it comes to mindfulness, we are working towards clarity and appreciation for the present— every moment counts.

For those of us that aren’t ready to invest an hour a day or even twenty minutes to meditation, here are 4 ways to become 1% more mindful each day without setting aside any extra time.

First. Taste your food.

We’ve all been there, starving as our slice of pizza arrives, ready to devour. We take a bite, pull out our phone, starting thinking about what so-and-so said last night. Before we know it—the food is gone and we have no recollection of chewing.

During your next meal, focus on those first few bites. Notice the smell. Identify the flavors. Tune into your body and mind during the meal. Resist the urge to solve problems or think about your schedule, this is your time to eat.

Second. When you go from sitting to standing—check in.

Moving from one position to another gives us a chance to check-in with ourselves.

When you stand up from your workspace, are you in a hurry? That’s fine, don’t try to change it. Just notice it.

When you sit back down does your mind begin to rush towards the rest of your day before finishing the task at hand? Gently reel yourself back to the present. Close your eyes, take a breath and focus on what’s happening right now. This only takes a few seconds.

Third. Write down 3 things you’re grateful for every morning.

This is a tip I learned from using The Five Minute Journal. For how easy it is and for how little time it takes, I cannot express enough how much of an impact doing this consistently has had on my overall satisfaction with life. If you only incorporate one thing from this post, make it this.

Fourth. When you walk…

Don’t let your monkey mind crawl around the cage while you stroll. Instead, feel the weight of your feet pressing against the asphalt with each step. Notice the temperature of the air on your face and hands.

You don’t even need to make time to “go for a walk.” Do this when you walk to your car in the morning. Do it when you walk towards your bed at night. When you walk, be present.

***

Whether it’s embarking on a 30-day meditation challenge or just remembering to be a little more grateful once in awhile, remember—the power of compound interest is happening all around us.

Will you let it work for you, or against you?

—————–

Editor’s note: This is a guest post by Corey McComb, a San Diego-based writer that focuses on the sweet spots in life where travel and personal development intersect. When he’s not dreaming about running away to South America with his girlfriend, he writes on his personal blog and stares at lunch menus utterly confused. Follow him on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

Artwork by HavocHendricks on Instagram.

9 comments on “What’s new on my yoga bookshelf”

What’s new on my yoga bookshelf

A Few Yoga Books from 2010

A picture of some of my older yoga books…it’s hard to stack up Kindle yoga books…It’s been quite a long time since I last posted about the yoga-related books I’ve been reading. There’s no doubt that my reading habits have certainly shifted the last few years. I used to always have a book on its way in the mail, which still happens sometimes, but for the most part I’ve moved away from holding a physical book in my hands to reading or listening to books on whatever device happens to be nearby. I still love the feel of paper, and for some books the digital version just doesn’t quite do the physical copy justice, but it’s a digital world we live in and so I’ve adapted. Also, the fact that I move so frequently makes it really painful to haul boxes and boxes of books back and forth across the world. For that reason alone it’s a very good thing I live in the 21st century and love my Kindle and Audible books.

This page is an ongoing work in progress to list the yoga-related books in my collection.

If the book has something to do with yoga, meditation, or mindful living I plan to include it on the list. The newest books will periodically be added to the top of the scroll and I’ll continue to add more detail about the books and authors and maybe include some favorite quotes or videos related to each book. The fact that a book is included doesn’t necessarily mean that I read the whole thing or actually recommend it, but for the most part I mainly just enjoy gleaning what I can from any yoga book and don’t really worry too much about being a literary critic… Some of these were sent to me by publishers or authors, which is great, but I bought most of them on my own dime.

I hope you enjoy scrolling through the books–it will continue to grow–and feel free to leave a comment if you have recommendations on what I should read next!


Yoga Wisdom: Warrior Tales Inspiring You On and Off Your Mat by Stephanie Spence

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The Magic Ten and Beyond by Sharon Gannon

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The Life of Yogananda: The Story of the Yogi Who Became the First Modern Guru by Philip Goldberg

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The Harvard Medical School Guide to Yoga by Marlynn Wei and James Groves
Harvard Guide to Yoga


Inner Engineering: A Yogi’s Guide to Joy by Sadhguru
Inner Engineering


Two Turns from Zero by Stacey Griffith
Two Turns from Zero


Go Go Yoga Kids: Empower Kids for Life Through Yoga by Sara J. Weis
Gogo Yoga for Kids


The Teacher Appears: 108 Prompts to Power Your Yoga Practice by Brian Leaf
The Teacher Appears by Brian Leaf


Ready to Run by Dr. Kelly Starrett
Ready to Run by Kelly Starrett


The Mindful Athlete: Secrets to Pure Performance by George Mumford
The Mindful Athlete by George Mumford


The Yogafit Athlete by Beth Shaw

The yogafit athlete--Beth Shaw


Perfectly Imperfect: The Art and Soul of Yoga Practice by Baron Baptiste

Perfectly Imperfect by Baron Baptiste


Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert
Big Magic


Lilias! Yoga: Your Guide to Enhancing Body, Mind, and Spirit in Midlife and Beyond by Lilias Folan
Lilias! YOGA


Yoga for Sports: A Journey Towards Health and Healing by B.K.S. Iyengar
Yoga for Sports B.K.S. Iyengar


A Killer Retreat (A Downward Dog Mystery) by Tracy Weber
Weber_cover A Killer Retreat


The Mind Illuminated: A Complete Meditation Guide Integrating Buddhist Wisdom and Brain Science by Culadasa (John Yates)
The Mind Illuminated


Practicing Mindfulness: An Introduction to Meditation by Professor Mark W. Muesse (From The Great Courses series on Audible)
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10% Happier: How I Tamed the Voice in My Head, Reduced Stress Without Losing My Edge, and Found Self-Help That Actually Works–A True Story by Dan Harris
10-percent-happier


Krishnamacharya: His Life and Teachings by A.G. Mohan
Learn more about A.G. Mohan at his website: Svastha Yoga and Ayurveda.
Krishnamacharya


Health, Healing, and Beyond: Yoga and the Living Tradition of T. Krishnamacharya by T.K.V. Desikachar
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The Yoga of the Yogi: The Legacy of T. Krishnamacharya by Kausthaub Desikachar
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The Science of Yoga: The Risks and the Rewards by William J. Broad
Science of Yoga


Core of the Yoga Sutras: The Definitive Guide to the Philosophy of Yoga by B.K.S. Iyengar
Core of the Yoga Sutras


Light on Life by B.K.S. Iyengar
Light on Life


Guruji: A Portrait of Sri K. Pattabhi Jois by Guy Donahaye and Eddie Stern
Guruji


Yoga Mala Sri K. Pattabhi Jois
9780865477513


The Bhagavad Gita translated by Eknath Easwaran
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The Path of Yoga: An Essential Guide to Its Principles and Practices by Georg Feuerstein
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Yoga Cures: Over 50 Simple Routines for Radiant Health by Tara Stiles
Yoga Cures by Tara Stiles


Yoga for Transformation: Ancient Teachings for Healing the Body, Mind, and Heart by Gary Kraftsow
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The Complete Guide to Yin Yoga by Bernie Clark
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Fierce Medicine: Breakthrough Practices to Heal the Body and Ignite the Spirit by Ana T. Forrest
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The Bhagavad Gita: A Walkthrough for Westerners by Jack Hawley
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The Wisdom of Yoga: A Seeker’s Guide to Extraordinary Living by Stephen Cope
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The Tree of Yoga by B.K.S. Iyengar
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The Heart of Yoga: Developing a Personal Practice by T.K.V. Desikachar
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Yoga as Medicine: The Yogic Prescription for Health and Healing by Timothy McCall, M.D.
Yoga as Medicine


There is No App for Happiness: How to Avoid a Near-Life Experience by Max Strom
There is No App for Happiness


Mindfulness in Plain English by Bhante Gunaratana
Mindfulness in Plain English


Meditations from the Mat: Daily Reflections on the Path of Yoga by Rolf Gates and Katrina Kenison

Meditations from the Mat


Ashtanga Yoga: The Practice Manual by David Swenson

Ashtanga Yoga: The Practice Manual


The Power of Ashtanga Yoga by Kino MacGregor

The Power of Ashtanga Yoga


Ashtanga Yoga: The Definitive Step-by-Step Guide to Dynamic Yoga by John Scott

Ashtanga Yoga

  • Here’s a short, but inspiring, clip of the author demonstrating and explaining Ashtanga yoga.

Being of Power: The 9 Practices to Ignite an Empowered Life by Baron Baptiste

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40 Days to Personal Revolution by Baron Baptiste

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The Yoga Bootcamp Box: An Interactive Program to Revolutionize Your Life by Baron Baptiste
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Journey Into Power by Baron Baptiste
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Yoga for Warriors: Basic Training in Strength, Resilience & Peace of Mind by Beryl Bender Birch

Yoga for Warriors


Teaching Yoga: Essential Foundations And Techniques by Mark Stephens
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Yoga Anatomy by Leslie Kaminoff and Amy Matthews
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Light on Yoga by B.K.S. Iyengar
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Light on Prãnãyãma: The Yogic Art of Breathing by B.K.S. Iyengar
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Yin Yoga: Principles and Practice by Paul Grilley
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Yoga Beyond Belief: Insights to Awaken and Deepen Your Practice by Ganga White
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Yoga
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Yoga and the Quest for the True Self by Stephen Cope
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The Great Work of Your Life: A Guide for the Journey to Your True Calling by Stephen Cope
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The Miracle of Mindfulness: An Introduction to the Practice of Meditation by Thich Nhat Hanh

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Mindful Movements: Ten Exercises for Well-Being by Thich Nhat Hanh
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My Spiritual Journey by The Dalai Lama
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Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind by Shunryu Suzuki
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Buddhist Boot Camp by Timber HawkeyeWhere
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Wherever You Go, There You Are by Jon Kabat-Zinn
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Real Happiness by Sharon Salzberg
9780761159254


Yoga for Dummies by Larry Payne
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The Yoga-Sutra Of Patanjali: A New Translation With Commentary (Shambhala Classics) by Chip Hartranft
9781590300237


The Inner Tradition Of Yoga: A Guide To Yoga Philosophy For The Contemporary Practitioner by Michael Stone
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  • To learn more about the author, Michael Stone, visit his website.
  • Here’s a video of the author describing his approach to yoga.


The Inner Tradition of Yoga by Michael Stone from Toronto Body Mind on Vimeo.


Myths of The Asanas: The Ancient Origins of Yoga by Alanna Kaivalya, Arjuna van der Kooij

  • Visit the author’s website for more information on the Kaivalya Yoga Method.

Yoga Beneath The Surface: An American Student And His Indian Teacher Discuss Yoga Philosophy And Practice by Srivatsa Ramaswami, David Hurwitz

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The Complete Book of Vinyasa Yoga: The Authoritative Presentation-Based on 30 Years of Direct Study Under the Legendary Yoga Teacher Krishnamacha by Srivatsa Ramaswami

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Yoga Body: The Origins of Modern Posture Practice by Mark Singleton
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  • Book review and some good comments on mayaland.

The Subtle Body: The Story Of Yoga In America by Stefanie Syman
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The Yamas & Niyamas: Exploring Yoga’s Ethical Practice by Deborah Adele
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Living Your Yoga: Finding the Spiritual in Everyday Life by Judith Hanson Lasater
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Ashtanga Yoga: Practice And Philosophy by Gregor Maehle
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Yoga And The Path Of The Urban Mystic by Darren Main


The Seven Spiritual Laws of Yoga: A Practical Guide to Healing Body, Mind, and Spirit by Deepak Chopra

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The Athlete’s Pocket Guide to Yoga: 50 Routines for Flexibility, Balance, and Focus by Sage Rountree
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The Subtle Body: An Encyclopedia of Your Energetic Anatomy by Cyndi Dale

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  • Visit the author’s website for additional exploration.

Hell-Bent: Obsession, Pain, and the Search for Something Like Transcendence in Competitive Yoga by Benjamin Lorr
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Yoga: The Spirit and Practice of Moving into Stillness by Erich Schiffmann

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Bringing Yoga to Life: The Everyday Practice of Enlightened Living by Donna Farhi
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The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali: Commentary on the Raja Yoga Sutras by Sri Swami Satchidananda

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  • Visit Sri Swami Satchidananda’s website.

The Living Gita: The Complete Bhagavad Gita – A Commentary for Modern Readers by Sri Swami Satchidananda
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Bhagavad Gita: A New Translation by Stephen Mitchell

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27 Things to Know About Yoga by Victoria Klein
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  • Check out Daily Cup of Yoga’s Review of 27 Things. This is really a great little yoga book!
  • You will also enjoy reading Victoria Klein’s great yoga blog.

The Mirror of Yoga: Awakening the Intelligence of Body and Mind by Richard Freeman
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The Yoga of Jesus: Understanding the Hidden Teachings of the Gospels (Self-Realization Fellowship) by Paramahansa Yogananda

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How to be Happy All the Time by Paramahansa Yogananda

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Man’s Eternal Quest: Collected Talks and Essays – Volume 1 (Self-Realization Fellowship) by Paramahansa Yogananda

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Journey to Self-Realization – Collected Talks and Essays. Volume 3 (Self-Realization Fellowship) by Paramahansa Yogananda

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Autobiography of a Yogi (Self-Realization Fellowship) by Paramahansa Yogananda

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8 comments on “Mixed Up About Mindfulness and Meditation? Here’s your simple guide to blissful living…”

Mixed Up About Mindfulness and Meditation? Here’s your simple guide to blissful living…

Simple meditation at Bongeunsa It’s difficult to pick up a magazine or scroll through our social media feeds without seeing a mention of either mindfulness or meditation. Sometimes it can be confusing, as the terms seem to be interchangeable. Here is a simple explanation on the ways that they are separate, similar, and synchronize together.

We can start with two common myths. Mindfulness is NOT thinking really hard about something–that sounds stressful. Meditation is NOT about shutting down the mind like an off switch–that sounds boring.

They are both tools to access inner peace, which is already inside of you. They rely on our ability to be focused entirely on the present moment. Both offer a way to decrease suffering and increase our level of happiness.

We can’t experience peace when we are regretting the past or worrying about the future. Accumulated stress is being blamed for many modern ailments such as heart disease, hypertension, depression, and eating disorders to name a few.

The addition of mindfulness and meditation into a daily routine can make a huge difference to our overall quality of life. Both are scientifically proven to release and prevent the signs and symptoms of stress.

Mindfulness: Awareness of our Outer Life

Mindfulness, by definition is the informal practice of present moment awareness that can be applied to any waking situation. It is a way of being aware. Jon Kabat-Zinn states in his book Full Catastrophe Living“When unawareness dominates the mind, all our decisions and actions are affected.”

How often have we driven somewhere only to wonder how we got there because our mind was on auto-pilot, while we checked into the past or the future, both of which we have no control over? Most of the things we do are done without full awareness.

We eat our meal without tasting it fully, our bodies get wet in the shower while our minds are elsewhere. How many sunsets and smiles have we missed because we feel compelled to check our phones? Our obsession with multi-tasking is an example of trying to do too much at once without focusing fully on each stage of the experience. Lack of awareness also prevents us from listening to our bodies when they need nutrition, rest, exercise, or hydration.

Mindfulness eliminates stress from a situation because we are fully aware and engaged in the activity, while keeping a perspective free of judgment. We aren’t trying to guess the future or create a mountain out of what is actually a small hill. If we get out of our own controlling way and observe mindfully just what is, without labeling it or placing an opinion on it, we can be free of the stress of expectation and fully accept the moment and all it offers.

Living mindfully means we experience something with what the Buddhists call, “a beginners mind.” That means we are listening to someone with our full attention on their words, voice and feelings, as if for the first time, without second guessing, judging or waiting for a pause in the conversation for our turn to talk. According to the Buddhist Monk, Thich Nhat Hanh, in his book, True Love, “Listening is an art we must cultivate.” He teaches “Deep, Compassionate Listening” as a mindfulness practice for enlightenment and to ease pain and suffering.

Obviously, mindful listening improves our relationships because listening with patience, trust, an open mind, and acceptance is going to be a good thing. Couple that with more conscious control over our emotions, can only be monumental for our own personal growth and relationships. Responding to stress instead of reacting habitually, is what Kabat-Zinn calls, the “mindfulness-mediated stress response.”

The usual arguments don’t trigger us the same knee-jerk way. When our buttons are pushed, our reaction time is slower due to a thoughtful presence, in the present. We don’t take things personally when we are aware of someone’s suffering and deeper needs. Life becomes less superficial and more compassionate.

Merging the Two Practices

Combining the informal, wakeful awareness of daily mindfulness with a formal meditation practice is the most effective way to eliminate stress from our lives. Each enhances the effectiveness of the other.

Closing the eyes and becoming aware of the inner world of your thoughts, bodily sensations, sounds and energy while reciting a silent mantra is using mindfulness as a formal mind training technique. We need mindfulness for example when scanning our physical body by focusing on each part to be able to relax and prepare for meditation. One becomes a part of the other.

Meditation: Awareness of our Inner Life

Meditation is the more formal practice of minimizing outside distractions to go within by relaxing the body, calming the emotions and thoughts. Awareness of peace is achieved when the mental chatter is slowed down. There are many different types of meditation to choose from but they all lead to the same place of inner peace.

While meditating, we are being mindful of our thoughts from the viewpoint of observer without clinging to them. Our thoughts can just float by like clouds while we learn something about our inner selves. We can see how negative our thinking can be or how much time we waste dwelling on the past. This is crucial information for anyone wanting to improve. Making changes in your outer circumstances has to begin first with seeing which thoughts created this mess in the first place.

Witnessing the surprising or predictable type of thoughts that flow by while meditating, without following them is stilling what the Buddhists call The Monkey Mind. Our minds are like wild monkeys that jump from branch to branch because we keep following them. When we give the mind something to focus on like a guided meditation or breathing, or mantra, we can become aware of an inner world of love and peace without following the crazy monkeys.

Meditating twice a day for ten minutes will reap benefits in our outer mindful life. It is the perfect way to let go of accumulated stress resulting in many health benefits such as a good nights sleep, more compassionate and peaceful relationships, strengthened brain function and increased physical vitality. Even our immune system is strengthened from daily moments of deep restful wakefulness that meditation offers.

It won’t take long before we can extend the ten minutes and carry that bliss into our life more and more. Practicing mindfulness and meditation goes hand in hand in creating a happy life, no matter what terminology we want to use.

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stacks-image-94b9edfEditor’s note: This is a guest post by Kathryn Remati. Meditating since age 16, Kathryn is a certified Boston-based meditation teacher and creator of the popular Tranquil Spectrum meditation app for Apple devices. Kathryn completed a BA in Psychology and an MA in Organizational Behavior in Australia. For more information and to retain her services for a guided meditation go to: http://tranquilspectrum.com or follow her on Twitter, Pinterest, and Facebook.

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