«Perhaps you are interested in learning how to meditate or you are meditating already but feel the need to gain new insights or experience a ...»
When eating a meal, notice the smell, taste and colour of each bite of food.
Enjoy the dinner conversation and feel appreciation for Mother Earth‟s rich bounty.
When taking a bath or shower, enjoy the smell of the soap, the warmth of the water and visualize the washing away of inner problems and tensions.
While walking feel the air or wind moving across your face, notice the colours of passing trees and flowers and listen attentively to the passing soundscape.
Welcome meditation into the simple activities of your daily life. It needn‟t always require a quiet room and twenty minutes stolen from the day. You can also ground yourself and focus your awareness by experiencing the sensations of each moment.
Listen to each person speaking to you, enjoy the taste of a piece of warm, buttered toast, smell the rain and feel all of your aches and pains. Observe all these aspects of your daily life, both pleasant and unpleasant, without judging them. While they may not all provide enjoyable sensations, through meditation within activity, you will truly begin to feel more deeply and fully alive.
The great Spanish mystic, St. Teresa of Avila, lived with her sisters in a convent which relied on the charity of others for the partial provision of their food. One day when a whole, fresh fish was left on the doorstep and served during the evening meal, St. Teresa was noticed smacking her lips as she ate with relish. When the Mother Superior admonished her, the saint replied, “Mother, when I work – I work. When I pray – I pray. When I eat fish - I eat fish.” Frequently we may feel that we are getting nowhere in our meditation practice in the midst of activity, whereas a period of quiet withdrawl, while sitting with the eyes closed seemingly brings greater and more instant results. It should never be a question, however of choosing one practice over the other. Strive instead to become skilled in the practice of both.
Mediittattiion On The Spott Med a on On The Spo So often modern life stops us in our tracks as we move ahead with our daily activities.
We meet these situations at some of the following times:
Instead of getting angry, impatient and developing high blood pressure why not view the situation as a small gift and an opportunity to put our engines on idle. Slow down and take several deep quiet breaths. On the inbreath say „I accept‟ and on the outbreath say „I release.‟ Relaxation is all about letting go and this may be something we all consciously need to practice. Let go of your breath, your thoughts and even the effort to relax. Deep regular breathing has a beautiful sensual quality about it. It ebbs and flows within you and massages your body from the inside out. Gradually you will feel the change to a greater sense of peace and balance. When activity resumes again you will move forward with a healthier and more positive frame of mind.
The Giinko Wallk,, a wallkiing mediittattiion The G nko Wa k a wa k ng med a on Japan‟s Buddhist culture has gifted us with a beautiful form of walking meditation known as the Ginko Walk. Alone or in the presence of others, usually with a notebook and pen (and even a digital camera), people walk meditatively in nature in anticipation of an „a-ha‟ moment waiting to express itself. When a particularly arresting flash of beauty is experienced, a haiku (a very brief three line, free verse poem) is written. The haiku describes the personal effects of the moment on the writer or reflects poetically upon it. One may also capture the image on camera to create a haiga, (working later with computer software to embed the haiku within the digitally enhanced photo). A haibun may be written as well, (a short, terse prose description, followed by a haiku. While unfamiliar to most readers in the West, this prose/poetry literary form is very common throughout the East). On its completion the participants share their memories and writings with each other over refreshments. Through the Ginko Walk, a meditation on nature can also become a creative expression of the fine arts.
Every day drink deeply from the beauty that surrounds you, as you allow it to rejuvenate and elevate your entire being. Pause frequently for a moment to admire the beauty of small things as you express your gratitude and thanks to our Great Creator and to Mother Earth, for their precious gifts.
The Search ((a haiibun)) The Search a ha bun The day ends with a late afternoon meditation … time for a „walk about‟ in nature to dream, touch, smell and capture a last haiku moment. Armed with notebooks and pens we set out, as a sliver of pink and gold widens on the rim of the horizon.
ginko walk ringing with resonance bell birds Our pace quickens as rich foliage deepens into shadow. The bushland suddenly falls silent, the horizon flames into orange red, the open sky provides just enough light to guide us back safely.
setting sun each treetop wears a golden halo Usiing Musiic tto Enhance Mediittattiion Us ng Mus c o Enhance Med a on The maternity ward in Kosice-Saca Hospital in eastern Slovakia, discovered the perfect way to ensure harmony among its new arrivals – by playing them the music of Mozart. Lined up in their cots the infants are a picture of contentment. Headphones are connected five times a day to the babies as the staff discovered that music helps newborns recover from the trauma of birth. The music therapy begins five hours after delivery and when the babies hear classical music they fall asleep or lie quietly. This music keeps them healthy and relaxed.
Of recent times a new phenomenon called the Mozart Effect has surfaced. The Mozart Effect is an inclusive term signifying the transformational powers of music for health, education and well-being. It represents the general use of music to reduce stress, depression and anxiety and to induce relaxation and sleep. Research with Mozart‟s music began in France during the 1950s, when Dr Alfred Tomatis began experiments in auditory stimulation for children with speech and learning disorders. Mozart‟s music has been sequenced by Dr Tomatis for different activities: high frequencies for stimulating the auditory system and slower tempo works for relaxation. He found that Mozart‟s structural patterning and subtle emotional expression helped to clarify time/space perception. The rhythmic qualities of Mozart‟s pieces mimic rhythmic cycles in the brain. Mozart‟s music is not overly stimulating and his classical forms such as the rondo, sonata and variation present basic ways in which the brain becomes familiar with the development of simple ideas.
Dr Georgi Lozanov, a renowned Bulgarian psychologist, developed a method of teaching foreign languages that used Baroque music (that is music written during the 17th and 18th centuries) with a beat pattern of about 60 beats per minute. While listening to this music, students increased their normal retention of vocabulary and phrases. Dr Lozanov proved conclusively that by using certain Baroque musical pieces, foreign languages could be mastered with 85% effectiveness in thirty days.
This occurred because students using Mozart and works by Vivaldi, Handel and Bach, recorded at 60 beats per minute, felt calmer, could study longer and indicated a higher retention rate overall. Why was this so? These special pieces recorded at just the right tempo activated the right and left brain hemispheres simultaneously. Music activated the right brain as the words one was reading and saying aloud activated the left brain.
When the body hears only a few beats per second of Baroque music the heart rate and pulse immediately relax to the beat. While one is in a relaxed and alert state, the mind can focus and concentrate more easily. During heavy mental work our pulse and blood pressure rises and it often becomes more difficult to concentrate in this physiological state. Listening to Baroque and Mozart pieces as well as Gregorian Chant, cool jazz, relaxing new age pieces and some popular music will automatically reduce your blood pressure and pulse rate, while increasing your learning ability at the same time. This also becomes more effective when the volume level is tuned in the low to medium range.
Why not experiment yourself with the Mozart Effect? While experiencing the healthful effects of this music you will also reap the added bonus of its sheer aesthetic enjoyment. All of it is so beautiful and uplifting. And once you learn when your mind needs stimulation or relaxation you can develop a variety of ways to use the music to your best advantage. So relax, dream, meditate and enjoy the healing powers of music.
Below are several attractive and beneficial CDs to help you get started.
„Music for the Mozart Effect” CD volume I is entitled, Heal the Mind “Music for the Mozart Effect” CD volume II is entitled, Heal the Body There are a further three CDs now available in the „Music for the Mozart Effect‟ series, from the classical music departments of all good record shops.
Aboutt tthe AutthorAbou he Au hor
Mary Mageau is an Australian spiritual teacher and author. Her meditation classes have been conducted at the Queensland University of the Third Age and for The Pine Rivers Community Education Programs. She regularly contributes articles to spiritual and metaphysical journals, web sites and leading magazines in Australia, the United States, Singapore and New Zealand. Her two books published by Boolarong Press include: Insights – For an Awakening Humanity and A Little Book of Living Spiritually. Grevillea Records has produced her audio CD entitled, Journey Into
Meditation. Mary has also written several additional free e-books. Click on: