How Could This Pain Have Anything to do With Stress?

Sarah took the Effortless Meditation™ course because she was intrigued by what she heard in the introduction session; however, her primary motivation was to support her sister who enrolled in the course. She knew her sister was in distress and she felt that her sister would be more comfortable taking the course if she participated with her.

The first four classes proceeded smoothly, and when they returned in two weeks for their fifth session, Sarah remarked that she hadn’t had any stomach pain in two weeks.  Since she hadn’t mentioned stomach pain as a concern, I inquired about it.  She explained that during the preceding two years, “I’ve had every test in the book to determine why I have pain every time I eat. It’s gotten so bad, I hardly eat at all.”  None of the tests have found anything abnormal and just last week, her doctor explained that he thought stress could be the culprit.

How could this pain be due to stress, she asked.  Sarah said she thought her doctor was crazy, but now she’s seeing that he was correct.  Her pain is real, it’s not in her mind.  Stress causes tension and muscle contraction.  Hold a tight fist for a couple hours and tell me it doesn’t hurt!  Under chronic stress, muscle tension cause headaches or pain may show up in our jaw, arms, abdominal area, anywhere in the body.

The deep rest and relaxation of Effortless Meditation was relieving the tension in Sarah’s muscles.  Deep rest is an antidote for stress, it relieves the stress response.  The proof, Sarah was without pain that had been plaguing her for years, and she was able to eat again incomfort!

Deepak Chopra, M.D. would explain that this wasn’t magic, it’s based in science.  Sarah was meditating every day as prescribed.  Her smile said she couldn’t be happier.

Greg Schweitzer, MBA, D.Ay., Director of Stress Reduction Resources and Effortless Meditation™ Instructor for more than 30 years

The Best Vacation Ever

A client said, “this Effortless Meditation™ is like a mini-vacation, and I get to take it everyday!”

As the complexity of life increases, the need for balance is greater than ever.  Technology was supposed to simplify our lives, and it has in many ways done that.  For example, who would want to give up the instant information access provided by the internet?   And yet the pace of progress and life today is relentless, overwhelming.

In the area of marketing alone, every week or month there seems to be a new method of delivering your message.  And we’re always encouraged to grab onto the new in order to keep up. At the same time, overwork is practically seen as a professional virtue.  Is it any wonder that anti-anxiety medication sales are at record levels.

Yesterday, I was reading an article from a popular columnist who was saying that while on vacation at a remote island off the coast of South Carolina, his children were at a loss because there was no internet access.  What are we to do, they complained?  This is a sign of our times.  Let’s explore, he suggested, “there are turtles and salamanders in these waters, osprey and eagles in the trees, and an ocean for playing.” The kids weren’t buying it, they were frustrated.

Our children are not the only ones so afflicted.  Adult minds have become so busy keeping up or being entertained that the slower pace of nature can seem boring.  We are over stimulated and the solution is simple.  Regularly give our brain a rest.  Reach beyond all mental activity, that’s a true vacation.  Interior silence, in its essence, is freedom from thought.  We need to transcend the activity of daily life, go beyond thinking, watching, tasting, the activity of the senses, in order to be free.

Try Effortless Meditation, yoga, or just spend some quiet time in nature.  Learn to quiet your mind, and for maximum benefits make this a daily habit/vacation.  Your life will be happier and lighter, and you will become much healthier.

Greg Schweitzer, Director of Stress Reduction Resources and Effortless Meditation™ Instructor for over 30 years

STAYING ON TRACK WITH EFFORTLESS MEDITATION™

After 35 years of teaching, it is very clear that people experience tremendous value from their meditation practice, and yet who hasn’t thought, I don’t have time to meditate today? It’s easy to lose focus on the things that are important to us when we’re running around responding to the relentless pressure of daily life.

What are some of those things that fall through the cracks when we lose focus?  Meditation, exercise, spending quality time with loved ones (building relationships), hobbies and other soul nourishing interests all get pushed out of the way.

Those attending tune up classes find that they help connect them with the power of meditation.  Most would benefit from a quarterly 1.25 hour tune up class, some could use it more frequently than that.  If you’re having difficulty finding the time to meditate, you definitely would benefit from at least a couple monthly classes.  Tune ups will fine tune your practice and jump start it and your life to a new level.

Our computers, automobiles, and homes all need maintenance to maximize the return on our investment.  Our meditation is the same.  As I was exercising the other day at my gym, I was struck by the number of people participating in a yoga class in the mind body studio.  That is good news, people are taking time to refine their practice in group classes.

Small group Effortless Meditation tune up classes are inspiring for all those who attend.  I invite you to join us.  And if you prefer, private meditation coaching is available.

Obsessive EGO-MONKEY-MIND & Meditation Relief

Yesterday, I received a contractor’s invoice for a home service that was totally unsatisfactory. They did not provide much of the service that’s advertised and yet they billed me as if they had.    The “warrior” in me was agitated and wanted justice.   I was determined to right this perceived wrong.

Although my prepaid legal service attorney was very ready to take action on my behalf, I began to feel uncomfortable about his suggested response.  Perhaps I was acting hastily, why was I so obsessed with this?

Eckhart Tolle, NY Times best-selling author of A New Earth and The Power of Now, might say that I was caught up in my ego-mind. The ego-monkey-mind, gets pleasure in running the show, justifying its position vs. others and distracting us from what we really want, e.g. joy and peace of mind.  I had definitely lost my focus and serenity over this issue.

Does such obsessive thinking ever occur in your life? How often?

Certainly, injustices are not fair and ideally can be reversed.  However, a balanced mind and approach to life is my goal.  Is this contractor issue really that important that it should consume so much of my mental energy and focus?

Fortunately, many years ago I learned how to take the steam out of my obsessive ego-monkey-mind thinking with Effortless Meditation™.  Although, as this contractor experience reveals, it’s an on-going process.   Obsessive thoughts still sporadically appear, they grab me; however, their roar and impact is far less today.  In meditation, I effortlessly return to mental stillness, a state of balance and peace.  Through regular daily meditation practice, I’ve experienced a growing internal serenity and freedom that enables me to “let go” of stressors and move on in my life rather than obsessing for long periods over things that I have very little, if any, control!

Injustices, both real and imaginary, are a part of life; however, our responses to them can change for the better.  Today, life is good, very good.  Don’t sweat the small stuff; and you know it’s mostly small stuff!

Greg Schweitzer, Effortless Meditation™ Instructor

THERE IS SOMETHING MISSING IN MOST PEOPLE’S LIVES….

This idea was introduced to me on a warm August evening in 1974, during my introduction to effortless meditation.

“And what’s missing isn’t out there in the world”, the teacher said.  “What’s missing is inside.”  Everyone is looking for this missing element, i.e. peace, fulfillment, enlightenment.  Our problem arises because we’re looking outside ourselves.  As an example, when he was speaking, I was an unhappy Industrial Engineer working for one of the titans of American industry, Kraft Foods.  Did my career bring me peace, NO WAY.  Did my marriage bring me peace, NO. And these, I thought at the time, would bring me lasting contentment.

This teacher, soon to become my meditation instructor, said that nothing “out there in the world” is ever enough unless we’ve developed our inner life. Thankfully I started the quest, acting on the message he delivered that evening.  I felt I had nothing to lose and much to potentially gain; he told us, “develop the inner value of life through this meditation practice, and everything in your life will improve exponentially.”   

To understand this, we just need to contemplate a basic truth of the ancient cultures.  Consciousness, the energy field at the source of our thought, is primary and matter is secondary!  Many labels are synonymous with word Consciousness; Absolute, Being, Higher Power, Source Energy, the Unified Field of Consciousness, Pure Awareness, and some just refer to it as Spirit. The labels aren’t important, the value comes with direct experience of the state, no matter what we call it.

The simple truths shared with me in the presentation on that August evening changed my life, because I took action on the teacher’s message.  I enrolled in his effortless meditation course and began the daily practice.  Then, a few years later, I embarked on the journey of becoming a teacher myself.

When a gardener brings nourishment to the root of the plant, every aspect of it, the stem, leaves, flowers, it all flourishes.  Pure Consciousness or Being is our essence/root.  Regularly bring your conscious attention to this level of life, and watch your life get better and better.  It works, I promise. 

Greg Schweitzer, Effortless Meditation™ Instructor

Effortless Meditation™ and Anxiety, OCD

Sarah needed to stop her endless negative self-talk; it was sucking away her life energy.  She said, “My doctor tells me that I have obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) in addition to anxiety and panic disorder.”

In the preceding five years, her condition had become so debilitating that she could no longer work full-time.  At one point, she was so troubled that she could barely leave the house.

Fortunately, she was spirited and did not give up easily.  She tried medication, cognitive therapy and was vigilant about diet and exercise.  She also regularly listened to self-help CD’s, occasionally attended yoga classes, surrounded herself with crystals and fidgeted with gemstones everywhere to deal with her anxiety.

Compassionately, Sarah’s physician and a few friends enthusiastically encouraged her to take my Effortless Meditation™ course at Twin Ponds.  She was very skeptical, as she said, “I cannot sit still, so how will I ever be able to meditate?”

Sarah eventually acquiesced, realizing that she had little to lose except the course fee.  Once her physician assured her that the course was worth 10 times what was being charged, she was ready to take the plunge.

What was to come took Sarah by complete surprise.  After the third 1.5 hour session, the third day of the course, she excitedly declared to me, “I have removed all my gemstones and crystals from my car and I haven’t carried them with me since I learned to meditate.  She was initially hesitant to discuss these changes but after a few months of being free of her obsessive compulsive behaviors, she freely began to share her story with others.
“When it came to obsessive compulsive disorder, practicing Effortless Meditation™ did for me what medicine, diet and exercise, and cognitive therapy couldn’t, and literally within days.”  To her delight, Sarah’s obsessive mental dialogue has lost its power to control her life.

Greg Schweitzer
Effortless Meditation™ instructor

What can we do about the enormous cost of health care?

Effortless Meditation™

This is a question at the center of attention of both business and political leaders.  At work, employers have for many years expected their employees to do more and more work with less and less assistance.  Payroll has been cut to the bone.  Productivity has risen, and health care costs have skyrocketed.

Although we consider our nation to be the most powerful in the world, there’s much evidence that we are far from the healthiest.  Look at your insurance premiums and you can see why businesses, who traditionally paid all or a lion share of health insurance premiums, are scared as health care costs take up a growing piece of their revenue.

We strongly believe that the wisest thing that any organization can do to decrease their health care costs and enhance the wellness of its staff is to offer Effortless Meditation™ classes. The EM program is a win-win for any employer. Employees love the benefits of meditation.  It is easy to do anywhere and the deep rest is nature’s medicine, as important to us as the air that we breathe.  Employers who have introduced Effortless Meditation into the workplace find that employees are happier, more energetic and productive; this is truly a win-win situation.

If you know of any business leader, manager or business owner who would like to know about the benefits of stress reduction and wellness through Effortless Meditation™, please pass on to me the contact information.  I’d enjoy discussing with them the results of numerous workplace programs that we’ve conducted along with validation for the practice that comes from 40 years of scientific research.
Greg Schweitzer, MBA, D.Ay.
Effortless Meditation™ instructor