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Stress and Meditation

Monkey Mind No More

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In the eastern culture there is an expression called “monkey mind.” It means that your mind is distracted; racing around all over the place, just like monkey that never sits still. A racing mind that ricochets all over the place is a dangerous mind, because it cannot focus on any one thing long enough concentrate, make important decisions, or have a deep conversation with someone. We don’t have monkeys in the United States, yet we do have squirrels, and they too race all over the place. Same concept! It’s no secret that with all the distractions of modern technology, from smart phones and Ipads to video games and text messaging, humans have a serious epidemic of monkey mind, or squirrel mind (take your pick). It’s actually the ego that steers the mind’s attention in a million different directions, and while some people call this “multi-tasking” with pride, the research is clear: mutli-tasking; the art of doing more than one thing at a time and doing them well, is a myth. Monkey mind no more!

Stress Tip for the Day:

Renouncing the world, moving to a monastery or becoming Amish isn’t an option for most people these days, but there is a proven way to rid yourself of monkey mind. It’s called meditation. In the eastern culture there is an expression that states we need to“ domesticate the ego” (this is code for ridding yourself of monkey mind). If you don’t already have a meditation practice, now is the time to begin. To begin, find a quite space in your home or office and sit quietly for 5-10 minutes. Close your eyes and focus solely on your breathing. Whatever thoughts come to mind, simply acknowledge them and then let them go as you exhale. Make a habit of doing this every day. One more thing that helps with taming monkey mind is keeping healthy boundaries with your technology. Let it serve you, rather than becoming a slave to it, in all it’s many forms. As an example, turn your cell phone off (including the vibration mode) from 9-11 am every day, so you can focus on what you need to do all day without the flood of distractions.

Links, Books and Movies Worth Noting:

For more info on monkey mind, consider checking out these links:

http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/meditation-modern-life/201110/quieting-the-monkey-mind-meditation

http://www.selfgrowth.com/articles/Three_Secrets_to_Stop_Monkey_Mind.html

http://dailyheal.com/meditation-news/train-your-monkey-mind-with-mindfulness-meditation/


Quote for the Day:

“I am burdened with what the Buddhists call the monkey mind. The thoughts that swing from limb to limb, stopping only to scratch themselves, spit and howl. My mind swings wildly through time, touching on dozens of ideas a minute, unharnessed and undisciplined. You are, after all, what you think. Your emotions are the slaves to your thoughts, and you are the slave to your emotions.” — Liz Gilbert, author of Eat, Pray, Love


Photo for the Day:

While in Rio de Janeiro a few years ago, I was able to take a day trip to Sugarloaf Mountain, where I saw these monkeys, and while they may looked relaxed in this photo, believe me, they certainly had monkey mind.

Brian Luke Seaward, Ph.D. is an internationally renowned expert in the fields of stress management, mind-body-spirit healing and stress and human spirituality. He is the author of over 10 books including the bestsellers, Stand Like Mountain, Flow Like Water, Stressed Is Desserts Spelled Backward, The Art of Calm, Quiet Mind, Fearless Heart and Managing Stress (7e) and the forthcoming, A Beautiful World: The Earth Song Journals. He can be reached through his website: www.brianlukeseaward.net

© Brian Luke Seaward, Ph.D.

In Search of the Blue Pearl

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Like so many others many years ago, I too read the book, Eat Pray Love (and then saw the movie). I was particularly interested with the mention of the “blue pearl” that the author, Liz Gilbert, was invited to “find.” The blue pearl, of course, is a metaphor for purity of thought, intuition and divine insight. The blue pearl is found when one masters the art of meditation (increased concentration that leads to increased awareness). While the blue pearl may be metaphoric in nature, it is best represented by the pineal gland, a pea size organ located in the center of the brain. And…while physiologists know that the pineal gland is responsible for creating melatonin, there is much left unexplained of its nature. Rene Descartes (Mr. I think, therefore I am) attributed the pineal gland as the place where the soul resides within us. And while it’s actual color is more red than blue, since it has a neural connection to the eyes in terms of light (also known as the third eye), the color associated with the pineal is blue. (Note: some mystics associate the pineal gland with the crown chakra, too). The search for the blue pearl, the rarest of all pearls, is an inside job. In the words of one mystic: Meditation on the Soul is very powerful. The essence of this spiritual practice is to concentrate and be aware of the “seed of consciousness” or the “blue pearl” at the center of the head, and eventually become one with the higher soul. – Master Choa Kok Sui,

Stress Tip for the Day:
The next time you meditate, place particular attention on the center of your head (between your ears.) In your mind’s eye picture a vibrant blue light emanating from this tiny organ of the brain, the pineal gland. In your mind’s eye create the color blue and let it surround your head. If you can image that blue light enters your eyes, directly toward the pineal gland. In this day and age of multiple distractions, taking time to connect with and cultivate your inner awareness is always a great idea. This meditation theme makes no promises of greater intuitive skills to pick the next winning lottery number, rather it is a clarion call to cultivate a regular meditation practice in which to cultivate a senses of inner peace.

Links/Books/ Movies Worth Noting:
If you haven’t read Eat Pray Love, I highly recommend it. More than just “ Chick Lit” it is a story of the hero’s journey. For those of you who are familiar with my concept of the Seasons of the Soul”, consider this: Italy (the Centering process), India (the Emptying Process), Indonesia (The Grounding Process) and the book itself, the telling of the story (the Connecting process). I also highly recommend seeing the movie. And if you ever get a chance to hear Liz Gilbert in person, you will be glad you did.

Quote for the Day:
“… a brilliant blue light, the size of a tiny seed, that appears to the meditator whose energy has been awakened. The Blue Pearl is the subtle abode of the inner Self. ” — Swami Muktananda

Photo for the Day:
Sometimes symbolic images make for great teaching tools, so I searched around the house for a couple of items that I could photograph for today’s blog entry. Perhaps by sheer coincidence, the shadows of the image gives an image of an eye. Enjoy!

Brian Luke Seaward, Ph.D. is an internationally renowned expert in the fields of stress management, mind-body-spirit healing and stress and human spirituality. He is the author of over 10 books including the bestsellers, Stand Like Mountain, Flow Like Water, Stressed Is Desserts Spelled Backward, The Art of Calm, Quiet Mind, Fearless Heart and Managing Stress (6E). He can be reached through his website:www.brianlukeseaward.net

© Brian Luke Seaward, Ph.D.