Effortless Meditation

Be Your Best Self

Business-Clients-e1465417507182by Greg Schweitzer, MBA, D.Ay

We’re all born geniuses, life degeniuses us.
– Buckminster Fuller

For most of her life, Mary said she felt like a “human doing.” She was constantly striving for greater satisfaction by doing more. The pace of her life was rapid fire and relentless. Now, recognizing that stress was taking its toll, she was looking for relief.

Most everyone wants more in life – more happiness, satisfaction, love, and success. But is it possible to have success without being overwhelmed? The answer is YES, however to avoid burnout, we must be at our best.

How to Become Your Best Self

I recall a provocative statement made by a teacher in 1974. He said that there’s something missing in most people’s lives. The good news was that the missing element is inside us. Explore and nurture it, and everything will get better, he promised.

He was right on. My life significantly improved when I acted on his proclamation. He said that we didn’t have to change our behaviors or beliefs, we just needed to develop our potential for success. The approach that he promoted was meditation.

Although I knew little about meditation, it made sense. If our nervous system is depleted by overwhelm and stress, our ability to perform will be compromised. Also, everything that we achieve will be colored by the tension that we’re experiencing. This should not be the price that we pay for success.

While the stress response hijacks the brain, the teacher explained that the deep rest experienced during meditation heals it. The practice of Effortless Meditation allows our mind to settle down, becoming quieter and quieter, and bringing a level of healing rest to the central nervous system and its control tower – the brain.

People routinely report after beginning an Effortless Meditation practice that they are happier, sleeping better, and thinking more clearly. They’re less anxious and all aspects of their health improve – mental, physical, and emotional. One man said that since starting a daily meditation practice, he was falling in love with life again. A woman was delighted because her brain fog was lifting and her memory improving after just a two weeks.

A Key

A key to being our best self is to bring balance into our lives. Adding two short periods of Effortless Meditation™ each day is a formula to do just that. The practice restores energy, vitality, and well-being.

This is an inside job. Start by healing your nervous system and brain. It can be an effortless and enjoyable process. A daily meditation practice is one simple step that will set in motion a cascade of positive changes. In short order, subtle and powerful benefits will be showing up in your life.

Do You Yearn for Peace?

Anxious-WomanThe world community was shattered again, in a big way, by tragic acts of violence in Europe and around the globe. Fear and sadness abounds and the voice inside us wants to understand.  We yearn for peace. 

Yesterday, I listened to analysts talking about terrorist groups and some of the ways in which they become radicalized. There’s a lot of understanding about the making of a terrorist.  What’s missing is creative solutions to grow peace.

Being the Solution

Did you know that there’s a statement in the UN Charter that says war begins in the mind?

Under chronic pressure and stress, and who isn’t, the fight or flight response rules.  Fuzzy thinking and overwhelm dominate the lives of far too many.  As a coping strategy, we start labeling people familiar to us as US and others as THEM. We divide ourselves.  This divisive thinking is based in the ego’s quest for safety and the desire to be known. It’s the breeding ground of mistrust and hostility.

Without corrective action, we grow in frustration, anger, and resentment. Are we helping the cause of peace when we are holding these emotions and stress inside?  I think not. If you’re not a part of the solution, you are a part of the problem. Is this what you want for your life, for your world?

The good news is there is wisdom from ancient cultures that can help us. They’ve told us how to create peace and live a healthy life. The key is to quiet the mind.  A quiet or still mind does not see differences, it just sees what is. It doesn’t judge itself or others.

Us vs. Them thinking drops away when the mind is still, quiet. There is nothing to fear.  Fortunately today, there’s a growing understanding of the need for bringing peace to our turbulent minds.

The other day I was reading about one such initiative, the work of the David Lynch Foundation.  They have funded the teaching of children in at-risk schools the practice of Transcendental Meditation®. The daily meditation periods are referred to as “quiet time.” Over a couple years, the schools implementing the quiet time programs are transformed. Kids excel and the school environment blossoms.  Both parents and administrators are thrilled with the impact of quiet time in the school day.

Make a practice of quieting your mind and you’ll experience your relationships becoming more harmonious. The practice of quieting the mind cultures more tender qualities of the heart. With a quiet mind, we become better listeners, more attentive and receptive. And a quiet mind brings peace to the body, manifesting as better physical health. Bring enough minds to silence and over time, our outer environments transform as is happening in schools, prisons and other environments implementing meditation quiet time programs. There is an antidote for hostility and stress and it’s easy to implement.

Steps to take now

Peace also begins in the mind, and it starts with each one of us. Here’s several things you can do to create a peaceful world.

  • Spend some time each day quieting your mind. Use meditation, prayer, yoga, painting, just do something to quiet the mind. Try it; you have nothing to lose and much to gain.
  • During your day, look for similarities among people. We are far more similar than different.
  • Reach out and smile. It’s contagious.
  • At the end of each day, list four things that you were grateful for that day.

These may seem like small things but they are big.

Greg Schweitzer 

Director, Stress Reduction Resources

Effortless Meditation™ Lightens Up Spring Heaviness!

It’s Kapha Season

Enjoying the natureNow that we are in the change of season, it’s a good time to take advantage of the wisdom of our ancestors. Ayurveda, the world’s oldest system of natural medicine, gives us insights that can help us deal with change. Effortless Meditation also a powerful practice to accomplish this.

We are in Kapha season (think Spring). The foundational elements of Kapha dosha, earth and water, are heavy (e.g. mixing earth and water makes mud). And during the Kapha season, Kapha more easily accumulates.

By nature, Kapha dosha or energy is dense, heavy, steady, and slow. A virtue of Kapha is dependability and strength; however, if Kapha is over-abundant in your life as it tends to get in Kapha season, this can lead to lethargy, dullness, clinging, possessiveness, an unwillingness to let go, even weight gain. To balance the heavy influences of this Kapha season, do the things that will bring lightness to your life.

Some remedies or antidotes for an imbalance of Kapha dosha or energy are:
• Stimulation from regular exercise and movement
• Enjoying a variety of experiences to help balance the Kapha’s tendency to resist change
• Learning to meditate that helps lighten up heaviness

When in excess, the heavy Kapha influence can lead to depression. Regular meditation is a great help. It will bring lightness and joy to the mind. Effortless Meditation™ makes meditation totally “effortless.” It can be done any place you can sit comfortably and close your eyes – even in an airport.

The above principles apply to all of us; however, they are particularly relevant to those who have a Kapha body type which already has an abundance of Kapha influencing their life. In this Kapha season, these folks are especially vulnerable to the heavy influences of Kapha dosha /energy. So, remember to lighten up in order to balance the forces of nature in this “heavy” season.

Greg Schweitzer teaches Effortless Meditation™ at Twin Ponds Integrative Health Center in the Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania.

Call 610-395-3355 today to learn this particular meditation. It helps people enjoy health and wellness at many levels!

Joy to the World

 

Would you like to have more joy in your life? Who wouldn’t?   The expansion of happiness is a major goal of life, if not “the” goal of life.

So why is it elusive for so many even in this holiday season?  Answer – we’re looking for joy in the wrong places.  We’re looking for it outside of ourselves.  Is your joy dependent upon your relationships, the money that you make, or the place that you live.  If you are dependent upon these externals of life for happiness, there will always be huge swings in your state of mind.  If however, your mind is grounded in peace and joy, you’ll find joy everywhere.

Happiness is an inside job.  Start the work by dissolving the stress in your nervous system.

How do you do that?  It’s not rocket science, you could try this.  Eat healthier food to bring more nourishment to all the cells of your body including your brain.  Get regular exercise.  Surround yourself with positive people who inspire you.  Quiet your mind and deepen your spiritual connection with Effortless Meditation.

A recent meditation client said that he was more patient, more often after just two weeks of meditation practice.  There’s more happiness in our lives when we “practice” sitting in silence with our eyes closed in meditation.  Well-being becomes our baseline experience with repeated exposure to it during our meditation.  There will be more balance in your life.

Whatever appeals to you, a key word is practice.  Wayne Muller, in his very important book, Sabbath: Finding Rest, Renewal and Delight in our Busy Lives, said that we need a “rhythm of rest” in our busy lives.  I encourage my meditation clients to do it daily, ideally twice a day.  Just 10-15-20 minutes at a sitting will strengthen your nervous system by reducing stress and recharge your batteries for the day ahead.  This will bring greater balance and joy to your life.

Philosopher William Campbell had it right when he encouraged us to follow our bliss.  The good news is that bliss and peace is inside you, and it’s waiting to be unlocked and lived. 

Greg Schweitzer, MBA, a teacher of Effortless Meditation™, stress reduction and wellness, and a professional speaker for more than 35 years.



One Day at a Time with Meditation

By Greg Schweitzer, MBA

As I approach the anniversary of the day in 1974 that I embarked on this journey of meditation practice, I am gratified that I have stuck with it. What’s kept me going for these 39 years?

A big part of my perseverance was that I felt happier, more joyful and purposeful from the very beginning. There were still contrasts, some days were better than others, but there was a definite trend toward progress.

And there were, still are, times when I didn’t feel like sitting down to meditate because I had so much that I wanted to do. I realize that I’m not alone. Having taught meditation for the past 36 years, it seems the biggest challenge people face is making the time to sit down to do it.

Here’s a tip. When you are in a mood that says “I don’t want to do this now.” Do it anyway. My first teacher, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, told us that we need to learn to ignore or go beyond our moods and circumstances in order to maximize our success with meditation.

A mood will pass while the benefits of meditation last.

Last evening, a new client commented that she’s noticed that if she ignores her desire to skip a meditation and does it anyway, she’s always grateful that she meditated. In his classic, Think and Grow Rich, author Napoleon Hill said that successful people do what unsuccessful people will not do!

Here’s another tip. Take it one day at a time. You may be traveling or you may feel irritable and have no desire to do anything positive. Try to find a way to spend 5 – 10 minutes in meditation rather than blowing it off. Then later that day or the next day, do it again whether you want to or not.

Putting one foot in front of the other, in this simple way, the days turn into weeks, months and years. Before you know it, you’ll have a life built upon the foundation of a stable nervous system and a quiet, resilient mind. All are the natural outcomes of meditating, one day at a time.

The number of research studies on the positive effects of meditation practice is becoming increasingly abundant as reported in the mainstream media.

Here are a few of the benefits reported by our meditation clients:
• Deep healing and rejuvenating zest
• Release of stress and fatigue, more energy
• Lower blood pressure
• Relief from anxiety and depression
• Improved memory, creativity and focus
• Relief from headaches and pain
• Stronger immune system, less illness and better sleep
• Better moods and increased happiness
• Mental clarity and peace of mind
• Enhanced self-esteem and emotional stability

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

 

Meditation, a Stress Relief Strategy to Ease Allergy Symptoms

Do daily pressures make your allergies spike?

 Anyone with allergy symptoms knows about chronic stress. Common allergy symptoms include: difficult breathing, poor sleep, fatigue, and problems concentrating. While medications may help, they may produce side effects such as: changes in appetite, low energy, or irritability.  All these symptoms are stressful in themselves.

There’s the catch-22, when you’re stressed out, your body releases the hormone cortisol and other chemicals including histamine, a powerful chemical that leads to allergy symptoms – a runny nose, sneezing, etc. So while stress doesn’t cause allergies, it makes an allergic reaction worse. 

Allergy symptoms are said to be an overreaction by the immune system to otherwise harmless substances. Under stress, our immune systems are compromised; they do not function as designed. Our immune systems are not responding appropriately.  A psychologist said that “stress makes us stupid.”  It seems that stress has the same effect on our immune system.

Stress, Allergies, & Meditation

Meditation can help bring our lives under control when we are under stress.

You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to deduce that the level of stress in the world is increasing.  Drive through a yellow light today, and there’s probably 4 cars following you.  Look to your left and right and you will see the driver next to you talking on their cell phone.  And yet, most of us have heard that multitasking while driving is fraught with risks.  Is our priority to live fast or live well?

Here’s some evidence of how we are doing.  In the 1960’s, an estimated 1 in 10 people reported some form of allergy and now up to 1 in 3 suffer from allergies of some kind.  To say something is amiss, is an understatement.  Clearly we need to do better in the way we handle stress if we want relief from allergies.

To reduce stress, making the following lifestyle adjustments will work wonders.  Getting plenty of sleep each night will help us restore balance and heal our allergic bodies.  Making time for some regular exercise is a key to reducing stress and building a strong immune system.  Even during a short walk, your body will release epinephrine which acts as a natural decongestant, helping you breathe easier.

Finally, neuroscientists on the forefront of healthy aging research are telling us that we need to create a healthy brain in order to enhance the quality of our life.  In that regard, the above lifestyle strategies are important.  However, nothing is more important for your healthy lifestyle than relaxation and bringing peace to our brains.  We need to restore ourselves from the frantic pace of modern life.  And, there’s good news.  For over 40 years, scientists having been researching the influence of meditation and the results are conclusive. 

A meditation practice doesn’t have to be connected to a religion or philosophy.  One physician described his meditation practice as a mini-vacation, and then happily declared that he now vacations every day!  This practice restores us and keeps us healthy.  Allergies and many other ailments often disappear for those that meditate regularly; and at the very least, they become much more manageable, less stressful.

Greg Schweitzer, a meditation teacher for more than 35 years, teaches at Twin Ponds Center Integrative Health Center in Breinigsville, PA.

The daily practice of meditation is shown to lift anxiety and depression, restore balance and strength to our immune system, increase energy, improve breathing, reduce stress and so much more.  The scientific evidence is undeniable, people who meditate regularly live longer and healthier lives.

Play the Ball Where the Monkey Drops It

A good friend and business colleague, Wendy Kershner, just sent me this wonderful story that I’d like to paraphrase for you.  The story comes from a book with the above title written by Gregory Knox James (2001).

As the story goes, during the colonization of India, the British settled in Calcutta. They missed their game of golf tremendously so they decided to build a course.  Once it was ready for play, the monkeys moved in as this area of India was home to many of them.  They quickly disrupted the golfer’s pleasure by picking up the ball after it was hit and moving it.

Not to be undone the British built a high wall around the golf course to keep the mischievous monkeys out.  But, this was just a game for the monkeys – scaling the wall, was no problem!  The Brits then decided to trap the monkeys and transport them far away.  This was impractical as there were far too many monkeys, so they gave up.

Then came a creative thought.  They decided to change the game.  The new rules were that you would play the ball where the monkey dropped it. This turned out to be a “win” for both the golfers and the monkeys.

Maybe you have noticed that life does not always go as we plan.  Others do not want to follow our script or direction.  They seem to have a mind of their own.  How dare they?  Anyone with children, a spouse or significant other probably sees this playing out quite often.

So what do you do when the monkey drops the ball far from where you hit it?  Do you grumble, get angry, sulk or worry yourself sick?  Or do you make lemonade, when everything is turning up lemons?

I’ll suggest that you create some “space” in your brain so that creative solutions can come.  An excellent way to do that is with a meditation practice.  Relieve the pressure of daily life and you might just find that life is good.

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

 

Meditation is Personal Hygiene

Who among us would start our day without making time for personal hygiene? At the minimum, we clean our teeth, wash our body, and brush our hair. Why do we take the time? We feel better, we’re healthier and we receive good feedback from those we personally contact!

Meditation is a personal hygiene practice.  It prepares us for the day in front of us.  The day goes more smoothly; it is more enjoyable and meaningful as a result of making the time to meditate.

A few weeks after Mary and John learned to meditate; Mary said that John had changed. He’s much happier when he comes home from work, she said. 

John has a stressful one-hour drive to get to work each day. Add to the stress of the drive a long pressure-filled workday and the same return drive home, and you realize what many of us face every day. We then carry the fatigue and pressure of our workday into the evening hours with our family. Now, since taking the Effortless Meditation™ course, John sits in his car to meditate in the garage for 15 – 20 minutes following the ride home. The deep rest of his meditation releases his tension and stress. He then walks into the house with more energy and he’s happier, he’s feeling lighter.

After 38 years of meditation practice, my most obvious benefit from meditation is the increased mental and physical energy and happiness that I feel. Fatigue and stress wear us down; they dull our nervous system and brain. I’ll never forget watching a busy friend, a small business owner, fall asleep as he was talking! When the brain is compromised by stress and fatigue, it’s impossible to be at the top of our game, and it’s hard to find much to enjoy and appreciate in life.

Effortless Meditation™ practice is an antidote. During the practice, we experience levels of rest that are deeper than sleep. The stress hormones adrenaline and cortisol decrease as we experience a deeply relaxed state of inner wakefulness. Similar to recharging the battery of your phone, this is a preparation for a higher degree of satisfaction and success in life.  

For maximum benefits, all it takes is fifteen to twenty minutes twice a day. For many, this is as essential as any daily personal hygiene practice.

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

 

 

 

Do Less

Accomplish More

The day flies by and at the end, there’s something missing.  You’ve checked many things off your “to do” list and yet that seems like a hollow victory.  You’re not satisfied with the day and what you’ve accomplished.

While many may feel this way from time to time, in my early years, this nagging feeling was always present.  At the age of 26, I was an industrial engineer working for a Fortune 100 company in the Lehigh Valley.  My friends and family thought I had it made. I was young, drove a hot sports car, had a good income and was upwardly mobile in a major corporation.   And yet every workday I was counting the hours till I could leave work and begin my life.

The inner me was sick, maybe dying.  Then one evening, with nothing else to do, I accompanied a friend to a lecture about meditation.  The teacher presenting the talk told us that there’s something missing in most people’s lives.  He said what’s missing isn’t “out there” in the world, it’s inside!

Was I looking for contentment and satisfaction in the wrong places?  I was climbing the ladder of success at work, but was it against the wrong wall?  I was trying to be a good engineer, a good employee, a good son and a good friend.  There was lots of pressure and it was tiring.  My employer, for example, told me that I needed to spend a minimum of 10 hours a day at work if I wanted to get ahead. 

In desperation and with hope, I followed up on my gut instinct that night and enrolled in the meditation course. Almost immediately, I experienced a significant shift toward greater happiness and well-being. Two years later, I found myself enrolling in a year-long training program to become a meditation teacher.   

In training, our teacher frequently told us that we were learning to “do less and accomplish more.” Just sit, close your eyes and be still.  Inside you will find the peace and contentment that you have always desired.  It’s our essence, pure awareness, and it’s found at the source of thought.  Life is not meant to be a struggle. Make a practice of returning to the quiet mind every day. The positive influence on the quality of your life will be magical. 

Let me know if I can help.   

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

 

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