Sep 202012
 

My meditation story did not start from seeking enlightenment! but rather in  search of a survival tool first! After hitting a tree skiing and waking up with massive multiple traumatic brain injuries, life looked kind of scary! loss of memory, disorientation, sleepiness, sleeplessness both, panic/anxiety attacks, inability to concentrate or focus on any thing, just to name a few!  forget problem solving! depression from realizing that who I was, had  disappeared, and that now I had to accept who I woke up as… someone who does not know what is coming next. I found myself thinking I was becoming crazy and really sad, thinking I could never be user friendly again, I was lost, scared and angry!!

The recovery protocol from main stream medicine was even scarier and limiting! Pills for sleeping, pills for calming, pills for happy moods. In brief everything to kill the symptoms and not much to get to the root of the problems.

MEDITATION taught me how to BREATHE.

Which  allowed me to concentrate on the breath, that  kept me from freaking out and eventually, I was able to keep a sense  of calm and thus think clearly before moving through the panic attacks and watch them dissolve  to the beautiful rhythm and sound of my breathing, like a wave gently crashing on the seashore!.. so nice!

Meditation also was  a great teacher in being able to become  aware, an observer of my conditions/thoughts and develop the ability to let go..and accept each present moments as they came and went… and find some ease with it. I could go on and on about the benefits of meditation… my life speaks for itself. I learned we really see the world as we are and not as “it is”. It is not what is happening but rather our relationship to what is happening that determine our experiences of life… and  yes our habit patterns/beliefs are debilitating!!! so are our own destructive emotions rising from fear, and anger…

Mindfulness  is the exterminator of those weed thoughts  which keep on crawling up unless we master the art of attention. This is the biggest present we can give ourself, our beloved ones, and humanity. I wish to invite you to explore meditation with a sense of humor. It is the biggest adventure you’ll find yourself in… and… you will learn to BE peaceful and at ease no matter what. Imagine THAT!

I create retreats a la carte to meet your personal needs for your evolution.

Feel free to contact me, if you have any questions.

Blessings,

Love and Respect
Nathalie

DEFINITION OF MEDITATION

The practice of meditation is essential for the development of mental clarity, insight into  conditioned reality, freedom from negative states and ultimately cessation of suffering. Meditation  rests on the development of Mindfulness and on the two keys elements :

Concentration and Insight

Meditation is you new best friend. It  provides you with the time and space to observe your thoughts. To familiarize  yourself with the movement of your own mind. In doing so, you will notice your unconsciously repetitive, negative,destructive thinking/behavioral patterns that keep you enslaved. In a  meditative state, you find yourself fully present. Not judging your thoughts but watching with attention.  This is mindfulness; your act of participation in your own existence.

Self mastery allows you to express: right view- right thought, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right concentration and right mindfulness. You will then be on the path leading to the end of your own suffering. While  understanding that we are, in some ways, ALL suffering and that we are ALL seeking peace and happiness, we can start speaking our own truth with care and wisdom.

THE POWER OF WISDOM  CREATE COMPASSION

When we are compassionate we become part of the solution, the beauty, not the problem. The choice is yours, You always have the freedom to choose the right path.

How do you define what is right?… well,  do your thoughts, speeches, and actions bring kindness to  yourself and others ? Are you peacefully engaged in  present situation with awareness and a sense of calm, not judging… just being… noticing the changes… as you remember that everything is impermanent.

Meditation is action. You may practice, chanting, sitting, walking, focusing on your breath. Ultimately you will bring your calm meditative state of awareness into any situation: when you are stuck in traffic, cleaning, late for an appointment. Whatever the challenge, slow down your breath and see how everything will settle. Your relationship to the world will reflect your state of mind and heart. We see the world as we are not as it is… Knowing that… what will you bring to Life?

Enjoy  practicing, and notice how inevitably you will develop the ability to bring a relaxed sense of ease to every situation.

Creating for yourself a life free from suffering and full of kindness.

Aug 272012
 

imageThis being human is a guest house.
every morning a new arrival.

a joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they ‘re a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.

The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing,
and invite them in.

Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.

Jun 142012
 

an unmistakable ability to enjoy each moment
an unmistakable ability to let go of self-cherishing
loss of interest in judging self and others
loss of interest interpreting actions of others
loss of interest in conflict
loss of ability to worry
frequent overwhelming episodes of appreciation
contented feelings of connectedness with others and nature
tendency to let thing happen rather than make them happen
tendency to think and act spontaneously
rather than reacting from fear based past  experiences
susceptibility to  welcome and appreciate love extended by others as well as
the uncontrollable urge to extend love.

Copyright © 1984 Saskia Davis. All rights reserved. By permission, excerpts reprinted    from  SYMPTOMS OF INNER PEACE. For permission to republish, contact Saskia at http://symptomsofinnerpeace.net.

Feb 012012
 

Read this great article on stress:
http://www.cnn.com/2012/01/17/health/destressing-life-tips/

Here’s the teaser…

(CNN) — The gloomy days of January can be the most miserable and stressful of the year, but it doesn’t have to be this way. If you follow this ten step guide to destressing your life, then the next few weeks just might become the most serene and fulfilling ones of the year.

One step should be carried out on each of the next 10 days. They’re based on the ideas found in the international best-seller “Mindfulness: An Eight Week Plan for Finding Peace in a Frantic World.”

The book uses a program based on mindfulness meditation developed by us at Oxford University in the United Kingdom to relieve anxiety, stress, exhaustion and depression. Mindfulness has proved in some clinical trials to be at least as effective as drugs or counseling for dealing with these conditions.

So what is this mindfulness?

It is quite simply paying full, whole-hearted attention. A typical meditation involves paying full attention to the breath as it flows in and out of the body. Focusing on each breath in this way allows you to observe your thoughts as they arise in your mind and, little by little, to let go of struggling with them. You come to the profound understanding that thoughts and feelings (including negative ones) are transient. They come and they go, and ultimately, you have a choice about whether to act on them.

Mindfulness is about observation without criticism and being compassionate with yourself. When unhappiness or stress hovers overhead, rather than taking it all personally, you learn to treat it as if it was a black cloud in the sky, and to observe it with friendly curiosity as it drifts past.

Scientific studies have shown that mindfulness not only prevents depression, but it also positively affects the brain patterns underlying day-to-day anxiety, stress, depression and irritability. When these negative thoughts arise, they dissolve away again more easily. Other studies have shown that people who regularly meditate see their doctors less often and spend fewer days in hospital. Memory improves, creativity increases and reaction times become faster.

Here are 10 ways to decrease stress and increase mindful meditation in your life:

READ MORE

Nov 242011
 

Mind precedes all phenomena,
mind matters most, everything is mind-made.
If with an impure mind
one performs any action of speech or body,
then suffering will follow that person.

Mind precedes all phenomena,
mind matters most, everything is mind-made.
If with a pure mind
one performs any action of speech or body,
then happiness will follow that person
as a shadow that never departs.

Dhammapada 1.2

Nov 222011
 

How Meditating May Help Your Brain (CNN online Nov 22, 2011)

When you’re under pressure from work and family and the emails don’t stop coming, it’s hard to stop your mind from jumping all over the place.

But scientists are finding that it may be worth it to train your brain to focus on something as simple as your breath, which is part of mindfulness meditation.

A new study, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, is the latest in a hot emerging field of research examining how meditation relates to the brain. It shows that people who are experienced meditators show less activity in the brain’s default mode network, when the brain is not engaged in focused thought.

The default mode network is associated with introspection and mind wandering. Typically, drifting thoughts tend to focus on negative subjects, creating more stress and anxiety. It has also been linked to attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder and Alzheimer’s disease.

Researchers looked at experienced meditators and trained novices. There were 12 in the “experienced” category, with an average of more than 10,000 hours of mindfulness meditation experience (Malcolm Gladwell’s “Outliers” suggests that it takes 10,000 hours to be an expert at something), and 12 healthy volunteers who were novices in meditation.

Each volunteer was instructed to engage in three types of meditation: concentration (attention to the breath), love-kindness (wishing beings well) and choiceless awareness (focus on whatever comes up). Scientists looked at their brain activity during these meditations with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI).

Across all of these types of meditation, the experienced meditators showed less activity in the default mode network than in the novices. The experienced participants also reported less mind wandering than the novices. Interestingly, experienced meditators also showed increased connectivity between certain brain networks during meditation and non-meditation.

“It doesn’t matter what they’re doing, they have an altered default mode network,” said Dr. Judson Brewer, medical director of the Yale University Therapeutic Neuroscience Clinic and lead author of the study. “We were pretty excited about that, because it suggests that these guys are paying attention a lot more.”

From this particular study, researchers can’t say whether meditating is beneficial to the brain. But, viewed in conjunction with other studies showing the positive effects of mindfulness training for depression, substance abuse, anxiety and pain disorders, it seems to have promise. Also, a 2010 study found that people tend to be more unhappy when they their mind is wandering.

“Putting all those together, we might be able to start get at what the mechanisms of mindfulness are,” Brewer said.

But the study does not address the issue of cause: Is meditation changing the brain, or do people who already have these brain patterns get interested in meditation?

“Emerging data from our group and others suggests that some things thought to be result of meditation might be cause of meditation,” said Dr. Charles Raison, associate professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Arizona College of Medicine.

If some people are just better at keeping their minds from wandering, that would also be consistent with the Buddhist idea that your capabilities are the result of your Karmic path, so meditation may be better suited to some people than others, Raison said.

Someday, if brain scans become cheap enough, one day there might be a test to see who can benefit most from mindfulness training, Raison said.

In the meantime, scientists should explore these open questions by doing longitudinal studies, Raison said. That would involve assigning some people to meditate and some people to not meditate, and following the groups over time to see whether a change in brain activity patterns is visible.

Post by: Elizabeth Landau – CNN.com Health Writer/Producer
Filed under: Brain • Meditation • Psychology


Mind precedes all phenomena,
mind matters most, everything is mind-made.
If with an impure mind
one performs any action of speech or body,
then suffering will follow that person.

Mind precedes all phenomena,
mind matters most, everything is mind-made.
If with a pure mind
one performs any action of speech or body,
then happiness will follow that person
as a shadow that never departs.

Dhammapada 1.2