Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Sensei Charles

Part 2 of 2 for “The Subtle Mind"

I have seen this connection of mind/body/spirit first hand in many areas of my life. I could write an entire blog of my experiences, but I will narrow it down to one.

Twenty years ago, I went into labor at only 20 weeks gestation. My mother rushed me to the ER and while there, the doctors informed me that because my amniotic sac had busted, that I would deliver the baby, and because the fetus was not viable, would die soon after birth. They were preparing me.

My mother began crying and started calling the ladies of the church to put me on the prayer chain, and I went into a deep meditative state. I completely blanked out the beeps and noises of the hospital and went to a waterfall in my mind and kept myself calm.

They brought in a portable sonogram machine, and once I saw my baby's body, the head, the tummy, the legs, and once the technician said, "watch this!" And she pointed out nourishment flowing from my body into the baby's, I knew my child would survive.

The next morning, the contractions had stopped and I was admitted to the hospital. The doctors all expected me to be delivering and leaving soon. But one day turned into a week, and even though I was instructed to "stay in bed" I got stir crazy and would get up to walk for exercise. As soon as I felt cramping, I got into bed and reached for my Bible. My mother saw to it that I had absolutely no stress, and because I worked at home for my step dad, all of my bills and insurance were paid. Mom brought my work to me at the hospital, and I was able to work off my laptop.

About two weeks into my stay, I began suffering severe anxiety. The doctors suggested they give me some kind of medication, but I refused it. I asked my Mom to open my window and help me to the window for fresh air. As soon as I stuck my head out and took in fresh air, my anxiety subsided. It was then that Mom lobbied for, and got me a wheel chair and took me outside every afternoon.

Well, the doctors then began to worry about the baby's lungs not developing because a fetus will swallow amniotic fluid to develop their lungs and this baby had none. So, they gave me steroids to develop the lungs which caused me to be so alert that I couldn't sleep for two days. I got steroid shots once a week. That, to my knowledge was the only type of medication that I did take.

Even though the amniotic sac never closed, I managed to hang on to the baby, and I strongly feel it was, in large part, due to my faith and my ability to keep calm in all adversity, and my Mom. I was told that they never had another woman stay as long as I did with ruptured membranes. And even though I was healthy in mind, body and spirit, their prognosis for a viable baby was still poor.

Well, Charles Daniel Hilbert was born on November 4, 1989, 10 weeks premature and weighed in at 3 lbs. I brought him home when he was 19 days old on a heart monitor. Except for some upper respiratory issues when he started elementary school, and a tonsillectomy when he was 10, he's never sick.

He is a 2nd degree black belt and Sensei in Martial Arts, and the apple of my eye. He received a full scholarship to attend college from his good grades and I thank God every day for my blessing. I think his Dad is pretty proud of him too, and I know his brothers Shayne and Kevin, and his sisters Melissa and Brenda think he's kind of great too.......

The Subtle Mind

This is Part 1 of 2 for this Blog. Please be sure to read about Sensei Charles in my next post.....

Meditation can help lower stress levels, thus help improve the quality of life and health. Previously, I wrote about a "Loving Kindness" meditative exercise and today I am writing about the "Subtle Mind" exercise.

The Loving-Kindness meditation practice gradually diminishes self-centeredness, and opens our heart to others, priming our mind for further development, while the Subtle Mind meditation is a basic daily practice that can progress one to the three levels of the subtle mind, which are:

1) The witnessing mind
2) Calm abiding, and
3) Unity consciousness

The subtle mind evolves over time and gives one a stable mind, less reactivity, greater patience and inner calm. The breath is used to obtain a subtle mind, and is used for two reasons: There is direct relationship between the breath and the mind. A peaceful breathing pattern will lead to a peaceful mind. Still the breath and the mind is stilled. Second, the breath is always with us.

Using the breath, one can learn how to tame and stabilize the mind by developing a witnessing consciousness. As witnessing consciousness replaces grasping and clinging, we progressively experience calm abiding and that eventually evolves into unity consciousness.

As you practice the subtle mind meditation, you will feel such a sense of comfort and peace, that you may not want to come back to the present. This is a technique that I was very happy to learn and one that I will utilize any time, especially in times of stress and anxiety. I feel blessed that I know of this technique because there is a limited culturally learned understanding of our body that is linked to our narrow outer view of our mental and spiritual aspects of our biological body. Most people in the United States are currently in that paradigm.

Science, aka: "traditional medicine," arrives at its understandings by reducing the body to its most physical elements. Traditional medicine has the physical facts of our biology mapped out quite well. But there is a connection of spiritual wellness to mental and physical wellness when we stop looking at the body in segments, such as the cardiologist, the gastroenterologist, the gynecologist, or the oncologist would. The profound mystery of life is encoded into our physical nature. (Dacher, E 2006).

Our biology is no longer a problem to be solved but rather a mystery to be lived and explored first-hand. It is in this way that we discover the higher levels of our biology - the mind/body and the spiritual body.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Loving-Kindness Meditation

My experience with the Loving-Kindness meditation was beneficial to me. I naturally have a loving-kindness personality, but I do become weak and agitated at times when too many things seem to be going wrong at one time, involving too many people. So, for me to be able to reach out and take in the suffering of a loved one and allow it to just “be” and breathe out happiness and health was very uplifting. It helped me reach calm abiding, and gives me the sense of unity with those I meditate on.

I found myself taking in the suffering of more than one loved one, which I am assuming is ok. There is no right or wrong way to allow loving-kindness to manifest in ourselves.

When it was time to take in the suffering of those who are beyond my loved ones, or those I may not know, I thought of those suffering with catastrophic illnesses and I breathed out health and healing and think about their ability to see their illness as a manifestation of something that needs to be addressed either physically or spiritually, or both, and that will be shown to them in a thought or vision.

I also thought of those who live in constant turmoil, agitation, poverty, addictions, and hatred. It is those people who need a distant and divine manifestation to intercede into their lives because they will never find it without that.

I thought of those who are greedy and materialistic, and breathe out a sense of charity to them. At some point, they will begin to understand we are all in this together and to be greedy or materialistic only shuts them out of the big picture.

I feel peaceful when I come back to my surroundings and I have a renewed strength and encouragement to keep faith that my life purpose will continue to manifest and I will continue to have success. I will not doubt my abilities, nor of the Divine’s intentions for my life, and I realize that I am just a grain of sand on the beaches and my worries and my ego have no place in this peaceful bliss I now enjoy, and hope to enjoy again and again. I will practice this meditation at least twice a day, or more as needed, and I hope to be able to manifest that sense of peace in my life at all times of the day.

I definitely recommend anyone to try this exercise. It helps alleviate stress and can improve one’s health, but even more than that, it can help fulfill a sense of unity all of us truly want but may feel is elusive in this world. When that curtain is pulled back and you see the warmth and white light of truth, peace and unity, your life purpose is revealed when you just let go and let be, and allow yourself to be filled with loving-kindness.


Thursday, March 11, 2010

Relax at the Rainbow's End - for your health

Physical well-being involves taking care of the body and that is done through good nutrition, hygiene, and exercise. As a wellness consultant, I have developed a nutrition and exercise program that works well for me to help my body function at optimal level. I watch my simple carbs, eat 5-6 servings of fruits and vegetables daily and always eat a breakfast with protein within one hour of awakening, and I drink ample pure water. I eat very little sugar and I do not use artificial sweeteners. I did smoke for 35 years, but gave that up for good 10 years ago, and I exercise 60-120 minutes per day at least three times per week, and get in at least 30-60 minutes of physical activity other days of the week. I also take quality vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and essential fatty acids. If I had to rate myself on a scale of 1 to 10, my physical well-being would be at around an 8. I still like ice cream and other foods that aren’t good for me, and I love my coffee in the morning, but I don’t think I want to give up everything I enjoy, even if it isn’t healthy for me. I just moderate it and eat healthy 95% of the time.

I have always been in touch with my spiritual side, but my ability to tap into it ebbs and flows at times when I am in a hectic cycle. My goal is to be able to tap into my spiritual side at any time, where ever I am, and no matter what circumstance I am in so that I will be able to reach my goals and handle stressers in the best possible way. On a scale of 1 to 10, my spiritual side is probably at a 7.

Psychologically, I like to look at the world through a set of rose colored glasses and always see the glass as half full, and it frustrates, saddens and bores me when I am around negative people. Negative people drain my energy. My goal is to strengthen my inner resources so that when I am around those who are negative, I am able to persuade them to at least consider letting go of their negative insight and looking at the situation from another angle. On the other hand, I try to be around only those that are like-minded and uplifting. When I was a teenager, almost 40 years ago, I was content to be alone for I knew of no one that thought as I did. I wasn’t lonely, I was self-made. I was accused of being aloof, but my mother saw me for who I was, and said that I was “shy.” On a scale of 1 to 10, I would rate myself psychologically around a 7.

One activity or exercise that I have implemented in my life to assist in moving me toward my goal to help make this world a better place is meditation. Letting go of the “chatter” that goes on in the mind, and letting go of worry and the ego is necessary to allow a more calm and peaceful existence in that will allow healing to begin. There are many ways to meditate, but my favorites include listening to a CD of someone with a calm voice taking me through the relaxation steps. Often that calm voice is accompanied by the sound of waves at the beach and other sounds of nature. One of my favorite exercises is the Rainbow Meditation.

If you would like to go to a different level, you know - have "Scotty beam you up," then go ahead and click here to complete the Rainbow Meditation relaxation exercise I am talking about.

It is said that the rainbow is a sign from God of renewed hope. I can tell you, when you go within and draw from your inner resources instead of rely on external sources, you will feel renewed. Go ahead and click here. Below is a condensed transcript of the meditation………

Rainbow Meditation –

Start out by breathing in and out, the relaxation is the best part of breathing. As I take a nice slow deep breath, I imagine that my body is a beam of light, and as light goes through my body, it is a prism and seven colors separate out. There are seven colors in a rainbow, and these are the colors that are generated through my body now.

I now focus on seven different body regions, one for each color of the rainbow. With each body region and with each color, there is a meditative thought.

I am grounded by a red light that emanates from the base of my spine. From this area is a small window and deep rich red comes from this window. This beam of light shoots down past my feet. I feel safe, comfortable and secure in my environment. I can sway in the wind but still feel stable and I am grounded to the earth. As I exhale, I say, “I feel grounded.”

From my lower stomach a bright orange comes out of my body; this symbolizes the feeling of being centered. To feel centered means to feel very confident and self worthy. As I take my next deep breath, I say, “I feel centered.”

Above that from my stomach is an intense bright yellow, which shoots out from in front of me symbolizing the feeling of love from people and from my environment. I think, “I feel loved,” as I take my next deep breath.

As I move my awareness to my upper chest from above my heart, there emerges an emerald green color, which parallels the yellow and orange colors. The heart is symbolic of the ability “to love.” To love means to share any positive feelings with anyone I choose. I think to send a positive thought to say hello and to wish someone good luck. I think that I have the ability to share love, and I think to myself as I breathe deeply, “I choose to love.”

Now I come to my throat area. There is a small circular shaped window that begins to emit a beautiful aqua blue from my throat. A light projects out from here and is parallel with the orange, yellow and green beams of light. This color aqua blue and this region, my throat, represents my ability to feel I have a meaningful purpose in my life, willpower and creativity. As I use my willpower and creativity, I begin to accomplish those things which have meaning in my life. I take a moment to think of a goal, whether it is just for today, or a life goal, and I see this image of aqua blue light and I think that I have the ability to accomplish that goal. As I take a deep breath, I think, “my life has a meaningful purpose.”

My awareness now comes to my forehead, right above my nose, between my eyes. A very rich, deep Indigo blue comes from my forehead. This color and body region of my forehead is symbolic of finding balance within myself. My sense of balance comes from the right and left brain functions being used together, as well as tapping into the conscious and unconscious mind to find balance there as well. My sense of balance also comes from the ability to tap into my body wisdom. I think, “I feel balanced,” as I exhale.

Now, I go to the crown of my head. There is a big circular shaped window. From this window comes the color violet. This beam of light projects off the top of my head, and this color and body region is symbolic of feeling connected to a bigger part of the universe. I think how good I feel inside when I feel connected with friends and family, with nature, and with the universe. I am not alone, and I am very much at peace. As I exhale, I say, “I feel connected.”

These seven colors of the rainbow separate out when light hits a prism. Now, I bring these colors all together and I am now surrounded by a brilliant white light. As my body becomes surrounded by this white light, I think how calm and relaxed my body is. I take one more deep breath, and I think, “my body is calm and relaxed.”

This is locked into my memory banks and when I am stressed or nervous, I can bring this back into my life. This restores me and calms me. I don’t feel tired or sleepy or fatigue. I feel energized. I have found the proverbial pot of gold at the rainbow’s end……..

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Can you replace tense frustration with a happy energy?

Tension causes all sorts of stress and is the #1 cause of stress. Stress related illnesses are rampant in this hurried society and what is all the hurry about anyway?

  • More materialistic things?
  • A bigger house?
  • A shinier car?
  • A nicer wardrobe?
  • Would it be so terrible to allow those pretty manicured fingernails go natural and start reducing the number of “not so necessary” things go?

“Well, that’s possible,” you say. “I can learn to simplify my life. I don’t have to run so fast to keep up with the Jones’ or have the newest and finest electronic device or iphone, and we really don’t need to eat out as frequently.”

Understand this concept is the beginning of manifesting health into your life. Letting go of all the tension and stress is a crucial beginning point to allow in what is truly important. But it is more than manifesting health, it is about manifesting wellness, and even better than that – Wholeness.

Are you satisfied with a normal life of relative ease and comfort in which you learn how to temporarily and partially minimize, console, and suppress life’s sufferings through advances of modern medicine, prevention strategies, material gain, stress management and other physical remedies and psychological techniques?

As you approach a more profound form of healing, the diagnosis of the causes of distress is more subtle and precise and the antidote or remedy is self-generated, comprehensive and more accurately aimed at the source. (Dacher, E 2006).