Blog

We’ve Lost our Way – Here’s Hope: Meditation

For years we have seen statistics saying, despite our wealth and material abundance, Americans are far from the healthiest people on the planet. If you need evidence, look at the devastating influence of COVID-19 on our nation.

Check out the news today and it’s obvious something is wrong. While this is a big health topic, I will address just one foundational concern. If we address just this issue, we will see a transformation in the quality of our lives.

Rest and Balance, the Missing Ingredients

The critical need I am referring to is BALANCE, and the place to start is: get more rest! Without adequate rest, we place our lives in danger.

In his classic, SABBATH: Finding Rest, Renewal, and Delight in our Busy Lives, author Wayne Muller analyzes this problem superbly. In our culture, we prize activity and accomplishment above all else. “Don’t just sit there, do something. Go, go, hurry, hurry. Doing something, anything is better than doing nothing.” We’ve all heard it.

Yet, all life is dependent upon a rhythm of rest for its survival. The importance of this most essential rhythm – rest and activity – is lost on us today. Take a look around. How many times have you seen a group of friends, sitting at a table in a restaurant, glued to their phone’s display.

In our world, “I am so busy” is a common refrain. Meanwhile, our blood pressure and anxiety level is rising, and sleepless nights are commonplace.  These are all classic signs of the stress response. The bad news is that stress accumulates over time, and this is a driver of our poor health mentioned above.

Life hasn’t always been this way. When I was a child, life was very different. Personal computers and smartphones didn’t exist. Life was slower and simpler. Sure, there was stress as there will always be, however there was more balance in our lives. Sunday’s were a day of rest, a time to gather with family. Shopping was minimal due to the laws that required most stores to be closed on Sunday.

The Way Back Home

So what can we do to create balance and more satisfaction in our lives? The pace of life is most likely not going to slow down. Fortunately, the solutions are right before our eyes. All we need to do is look to nature for clues as how to live in balance.

For starters, there are cycles or rhythms in nature. All life requires a rhythm of rest. The bustling activity of each day turns into the stillness and rest of the night. The growth in spring and summer turns into the nourishing decay of leaves in the fall and the rest/dormancy of winter. Each beat of our heart and inhalation of breath is followed by a brief pause, a period of rest.

To restore balance, a good place to start is to set up a daily routine that includes adequate sleep. Most experts tell us getting to bed at a consistent hour and waking at a routine hour in the morning are very helpful. Our bodies adjust well to routines especially ones in alignment with nature.

A practice that ties all this together is meditation. Effortless Meditation, in particular, is a simple mental technique that when practiced regularly for 5, 10, 15 or 20 minutes, restores nature’s rhythm of rest to our lives.

The restorative power of deep rest is truly transformative. New meditation clients have said they feel like they are coming home during the practice. Rest heals and revitalizes our mind, body, and spirit. That’s why many meditate early in the morning before work and then after work. After a short meditation, we are good to go!

Everyone is happier, healthier, and at their best when their energy level is high. Meditation anyone?

Greg Schweitzer, Director, Stress Reduction Resources

Get Rid of Anger Fast!

by Betsy Wetzig

Ancient wisdom tells us not to hold onto anger. Science tells us that prolonged anger or holding onto anger is bad for our biochemistry, joints, and general well-being. So why do we do it?

 

The multiple reasons why we hold onto anger are many, including:

  1. fear/self-protection
  2. in part we are incorrect/ we contributed to the wrong
  3. inability to fix the situation
  4. confusing anger with old hurts
  5. using anger to control others or the situation, and
  6. dealing with anger in a purely cognitive or emotional way, failing to realize that anger is a physical and mental behavior

Here are some basic, physical tools for loosening and releasing anger’s physicality. Play with these and you will discover more.

  1. Loosen your joints by shaking, and wiggling. Ye old, “Shake it off” works. Make sure you don’t hold your head or shoulders still as you shake.
  2. Sigh and let yourself feel like you are melting. Let your hands open up. Feel the sense of letting go physically.
  3. Hit something soft like a pillow as you vent. Express your venting verbally, and even use sounds such as a pirate’s “arrgg” or a sob.  Don’t try to edit what you are speaking. Get it out. You can speak to a trusted person or do it by yourself.
  4. Breathe at whatever your comfort level speed is for your actions #1-3. Then start to slow your breath, let yourself feel heavy and relax more, and more, as you add in occasional sighs. The heavier you feel, the more relaxed you are.
  5. As you relax, feel heavy and physically let go at the end of every exhale, and then begin to ponder about your “goodies”… “whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy… at this moment in your life…especially for you.”
  6. AND THEN allow thankfulness beginning to move you any way you want…. Maybe walk, run, sit and write, perhaps sigh and shake off some more. Just let yourself be physical. You might try letting in some music. Repeat anything from #1-5 until you feel a bit calm.
  7. Now you can add to the calmness the more mental, cognitive side of justice, solutions and your own spiritual dimensions. As you do, you can let in and blend the physical tools numbers 1-6…as you like, in your own time.

Practice these tools and the physicality of releasing anger.

Based on Coordination Pattern Training & Dynamics

Effortless Meditation™ Soothes the Soul, Reduces Anxiety

Everyone is challenged by the unsettling influences of the global pandemic. Our senses, which are our windows to the world, are continually bombarded with chaos everywhere we turn – news apps, newspapers, social media… It can easily overwhelm us.

If we are not grounded, it doesn’t take much in our outer environment to disturb any remnants of inner peace and calm. Yet, we can’t seem to put down the unsettling news and images in the media. Why do we torture ourselves in this way?

Meanwhile scientific research tells us under chronic stress our heart rate and blood pressure increase, our muscles tighten, and our immune system weakens – and that is just a few of the negative influences of debilitating stress.

Metabolizing Our Experiences

Deepak Chopra, M.D., a pioneer in the field of mind body medicine said it well, “we metabolize our experiences.” The good news is that we are not victims. We can take proactive action to minimize, even neutralize the impact of stress. The solution lies in balance. It is the key to a healthier, better life.

Here’s where meditation comes in. Every day we have the ability to transcend the chaos in our lives, and experience peace, delight. These are found at the Source of Thought – the most silent mind. A proven vehicle to accomplish this is the practice of Effortless Meditation™ (EM).

When I introduced EM at a local corporation, one of the directors said this is a tool that we can use for the rest of our lives. We don’t have to drive across town to get to a gym to use it, and we can do this almost anywhere. It’s ideal for our needs.

Within a few weeks employees who took the EM training, offered as an employee benefit, were reporting a myriad of benefits. These included less stress, greater mental clarity, improved memory, better relationships at work and home, restful sleep, less fatigue, reduced anxiety, and greater happiness.

A Quiet Room

The company was so pleased that they created a “quiet room” for team members to use whenever they wished to meditate. I taught EM in this company practically every day for six consecutive months. Corporate leaders recognized a need and took corrective action.

Prior to the meditation training, the company had reorganized five times in the preceding seven years. Rapid, relentless change is chronic stress; it wears us down. Adapting to it is exhausting, maybe you’ve noticed! To make matters worse, over time the influence of stress accumulates.

Restful Sleep and Energy

Fortunately, the mind is powerful. A clear mind allows us to accomplish great things, and yet it needs deep rest to repair and heal in order to function at its best. This is one reason that sleep is so important. Rest is preventive maintenance for our mind and body. Without good rest, we cannot sustain the energy needed to have a successful and fulfilling life.

By calming the mind and releasing stress, Effortless Meditation practice helps us sleep better. In addition, every meditation provides us with deep supplemental rest and energy. They are both vital to provide balance, reduce anxiety, and to lighten our day. This is especially true in the turbulent times of today.

Deep rest nourishes us in a way that nothing else can. It is nature’s medicine.

Effortless Meditation courses are regularly offered both in-person and with on-line video conferencing.

Greg Schweitzer, BA, D.Ay

610.670.6700