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Meditation

There are many ways to describe meditation, and many types of meditation. Meditation is being in a state of stillness with awareness being solely in the present moment. It gives us the power to master our thoughts and emotions and to stop the fluctuations of the mind. It allows us to observe these thoughts and emotions but not get caught up in them, allowing us to have clarity and focus.

If you are centered in that calm place in your mind, you can meditate while walking in nature, cooking, gardening etc. These are all moments of being present – not looking forward to the future, and not thinking about the past. We spend most of our lives looking to outside sources for joy, happiness and fulfillment – we look to other people to makes us happy, or to food, experiences, to material things such as clothes and cars. Through meditation, we discover that the true source of happiness is actually inside us.

Private Meditation Instruction

Initial Visit

During your first session, we will introduce you to the world of meditation and will provide you with your personal mantra. You will leave with a general understanding of meditation and how to implement it into your daily routine without stress or anxiety.

Subsequent visits

These sessions will help guide you into a deeper understanding of meditation and how it relates to your life.

Group Meditation Instruction

We offer 45-60 minute guided meditation sessions in a small group setting. Types of meditation will vary with each class.

Please visit our class description for more information

Meditation FAQ's

WHY MEDITATE? THE STRESS CONNECTION.

Research shows that chronic stress leads to a multitude of serious physical and psychological threats including insomnia, depression, anxiety, high blood pressure, cancer, obesity, heart disease, and digestive issues, just to name a few. This chronic stress is characterized by the ‘Fight or Flight’ response, which arises from a very primitive part of our brain. Think back to the caveman days – when faced with a raging animal (or potential dinner), the caveman would need all his muscles to be in peak working condition in order to fight or run. It was all about survival.

WHAT IS THE FIGHT OR FLIGHT RESPONSE?

Stress is a normal physical response to events that make you feel threatened, whether it’s a real or perceived threat. It’s your body’s automatic way of protecting you – by increasing your heart rate and blood pressure, increasing respiration rates, elevating glucose levels and redistributing blood flow from less necessary areas (such as the digestive system) to more necessary areas (such as your heart, lungs and muscles), you are prepared to either stay and fight or run from the threat.

The problems start when you are under constant stress – your body can’t recognize the difference between a life-threatening challenge (being chased by an angry bear) and the “I’m late for work” or “I’m stuck in traffic” psychological stress, and therefore reacts continually. When this happens and your body is in a state of constant ‘fight-or-flight’, it eventually leads to damage to your health, your mood and your quality of life.

These physiological changes are brought about by the release of adrenaline – a direct response to stress.

There are hundreds of medical studies done and articles written showing the positive effects of meditation (mindfulness-based stress reduction) on stress management and other chronic health issues.

http://nccam.nih.gov/health/meditation

http://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/meditation/in-depth/meditation/art-20045858

http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/272833.php

http://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2014/03/27/enlightening-our-universities-and-medical-schools-about-the-health-benefits-of-meditation/

http://www.forbes.com/sites/alicegwalton/2014/01/07/for-depression-treatment-meditation-might-rival-medication/

http://news.harvard.edu/gazette/story/2012/11/meditations-positive-residual-effects/

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-11-22/harvard-yoga-scientists-find-proof-of-meditation-benefit.html

WHAT HAPPENS DURING MEDITATION?

During meditation, as we are focused on the present moment, and not on what happened yesterday, or last week, or last year, and not on what might happen later on today, or tomorrow – we are in a state of calm and anxiety-free.

During this time, all the physiological effects caused by stress are reversed - your heart rate decreases, respiration quietens, stress hormones reduce, perspiration reduces, immune system strengthens and blood pressure normalizes.

WHO MEDITATES?

Every year, the list of corporations and other businesses who incorporate meditation into their daily activities grows boundlessly. Here are just a few…

Many Fortune 500 corporations such as Apple, Google, Time Warner, Nike, Target, P&G, HBO, Yahoo, General Mills and Deutschebank are catching on to the global trend and are offering on-the-job meditation areas for their employees.

The sports world is also implementing meditation techniques to help their athletes reach peak performance. Teams such as the Chicago Bulls and the LA Lakers, as well as athletes including Joe Namath, Arthur Ashe, Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, Michael Jordan, Derek Jeter, Misty May-Trainor and Kerri Walsh and Ricky Williams are all incorporating meditation.

Of course, there’s always the list of Hollywood celebrities as well…Oprah, Tina Turner, Sting, Leonard Cohen, David Lynch, Goldie Hawn, Russell Brand, Howard Stern, George Lucas, Stevie Wonder, Paul McCartney, Ellen Degeneres, Hugh Jackman , Eva Mendes, Sheryl Crow, Katy Perry and Richard Gere, Clint Eastwood, Moby, George Harrison, Martin Scorsese, Gwyneth Paltrow – not to mention political celebrities such as Bill Clinton.

WHAT IS MANTRA-BASED MEDITATION?

Mantra-based meditation is simply a meditation using a mantra - a word (or phrase) repeated silently over and over again during meditation. The word or phrase is usually sacred in nature, stemming from ancient Sanskrit, designed to not only focus the mind but help achieve spiritual advancement as each mantra carries a subtle intention. Repeating a mantra helps to take the focus off the endless train of thoughts that fill our mind, and enable us to flow into the ‘gap’ between thoughts.

Because mantras are energy-based sounds (or vibrations), they also create mental vibrations that allow you to go deeper into your consciousness. As there are direct correlations between Mantras and the Chakras (energy centers) in the body, different mantras can evoke different responses in the body.

Simple mantras can include “SO HUM”, translated as “I AM”. Mantras with more meaning and designed to evoke a response within our consciousness can include mantras for healing, for prosperity, and for love. Our mantra-based meditation is customized to your individual life circumstances, whether it be insomnia, anxiety, depression etc.

Mantras can have any rhythm, but they don’t need a rhythm in order to work. You can follow your breath or heartbeat if that’s easier for you, or you can just let it go. Your mantra should be like a whisper in your ear, or like a gentle breeze blowing – you don’t need to work at it. Just let it flow.

WHAT IS VIPASSANA MEDITATION?

Vipassana style meditation is the foundation of Buddhism and mindful awareness. In this class we quiet our minds to deepen our awareness of our true selves through body scanning. We train our minds to become aware of the subtle sensations of our bodies, consciously releasing pain, doubt, and fear that gets stored in our muscle tissue. You will begin to heal naturally from trauma and pain while releasing yourself from reactionary patterns to begin living your life with action, passion, gratitude and purpose.

This mind transforming technique will help you improve concentration, clarity, emotional balance, and an overall sense of calm. With continuous practice, your newly nourished mind will become profoundly peaceful.

WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN RELIGION AND MEDITATION?

Many people ask us if they can be religious and still meditate, and the answer is absolutely. During meditation, when the mind is quiet, many people receive answers from a higher consciousness, the Universe, or whatever God they might worship. Many Bible verses make reference to meditation, such as Psalm 104:34 “May my meditation be pleasing to him, as I rejoice in the LORD” and Psalm 49:3 “My mouth shall speak wisdom; the meditation of my heart shall be understanding.”

Meditation will only strengthen and enhance your spiritual and religious connections as it helps to quiet the mind.

HOW LONG DO I HAVE TO MEDIATE FOR?

A good starting point is 5-10 minutes in the morning and 5-10 towards the end of your day. This will help you to create the ritual in order to develop a regular meditation practice. You can slowly increase the time until you are meditating for 30 minutes, twice a day. It might sounds overwhelming at first and you probably think you can’t spare that much time, but you might be surprised how easily it happens. Don’t worry about it, don’t think about it – just do it.

WHERE SHOULD I MEDITATE?

Ideally, meditation is done in a space that is quiet, and without interruption. Set a gentle timer as a reminder so you don’t have to look at the clock. If you don’t have a stopwatch, you can use your Smartphone. Make sure to let your family know not to disturb you – or better yet, have them join you!

HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO WORK?

While some people can feel he positive effect right away, the most powerful long-term benefits come from creating a regular daily routine.

WHAT SHOULD I FEEL?

This is the question everyone wants the answer to! As meditation is a quietening of the thoughts that run through the mind, and a gentle return to the breath and body, you won’t necessarily feel anything. You may be aware of needing to shift your body to accommodate for slight discomfort from sitting in one position, but once you are comfortable again you just bring your awareness back to your breath and your mantra.

3 things can happen when you meditate – you can fall asleep, have a thought, or fall into ‘the Gap’.

I CAN'T STOP THINKING!

This is normal, especially for those of us who are in a constant state of ‘rush’. Being aware of the fact that you’re thinking and following your thoughts is the first step…releasing those thoughts and watching them float away as you bring your attention back to your mantra is the next step. You may have to do this many times in your meditations – that’s ok! There really is no such thing as a ‘bad’ meditation.

WHAT DOES 'NAMASTE' MEAN?

The Sanskrit translation of Namaste is “My soul recognizes your soul; I honour the light, love, beauty, truth and kindness within you because it is also within me. In sharing these things there is no distance and no difference between us. We are the same; we are one.”

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