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meditation mindfulness

Mini Meditations

Mini Meditations

Breath meditation

Breathing meditation is one of the simplest and easiest of all meditations to grasp, however the untrained mind will find it a lot harder than it sounds. The good news is just like going to the gym regularly you start to build those muscles up so to with meditation you powers of concentration become greater and meditation becomes easier. Always be kind and compassionate to yourself and let whatever happens be ok. Meditation, mindfulness, spirituality, compassion, loving kindness, mini meditations

Sit in a comfortable position with a straight spine, gently relax your shoulders and your neck muscles and softly close your eyes. Take a few long deep breaths and feel yourself relaxing.

Breathing in be aware you’re breathing in, 

breathing out, be aware you are breathing out. 

Count one.

Repeat this for five or ten counts then start again. This is the basics of samadhi meditation. Some points to remember, try to keep the breath as natural as possible. If your mind wanders, be kind to yourself, and bring your awareness back to the breath and start counting again. Try this meditation exercise for ten minutes at first and slowly increase the time over a course of a few days. The most important thing is to always be patient and compassionate to yourself.

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Body scan meditation

This meditation is usually done lying down but if you find you keep falling asleep it can equally be done siting in a straight backed chair. Find yourself a comfortable place, somewhere where you won’t be disturbed, lay flat on your back with a cushion under your knees this help keep your back flat against the floor. Your head needs to be comfortable, if you are using a yoga mat try without a pillow. Start by taking a few long deep breaths, gradually start to feel yourself unwind and relax, slowly, starting from the very top of the head notice any sensation that may arise. it could be itching, aching, tiredness, pain or stiffness, or any number of different sensations. Just notice, don’t interfere, don’t scratch or itch or fidget, just notice and be ok with it. Be gently to yourself, be kind, and be ok with whatever you feel. Maybe you feel no sensation at all and that’s ok to, there is no rule as to what you will feel. Just notice then slowly move down to your forehead, your eyebrows, cheek bones, ears, lips, chin, neck and shoulders, keep moving down through your body checking for sensations. You don’t have to start the way I described either, be inventive a move around your body to each new sensation that arises. Do this for 10 or 20 minutes everyday and you will soon see a remarkable difference in your stress levels.

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Mantra meditation 

A mantra meditation is the repetition or repeated use of a phrase, sentence or saying. In this example we will use the divine Om Mana Padma Um mantra, a Buddhist chant still very much in use today, especially with Tibetans Buddhists. The Dharma Haven Society have a great article on the mantras history and usage. This is the correct pronunciation of the mantra, although the repatriation is more important than pronunciation, OM (ohm) MA (mah) NI (nee) PAD (pahd) ME (may) HUM (hum). It is said the entire buddha’s teachings are within this mantra.

Now sit in a comfortable position with a straight spine, gently relax your shoulders and your neck muscles and softly close your eyes. Take a few long deep breaths and feel yourself relaxing. On the inward breath repeat in your mind Om Mana out the out breath repeat Padma Hum, On the inward breath repeat in your mind Om Mana out the out breath repeat Padma Hum On the inward breath repeat in your mind Om Mana out the out breath repeat Padma Hum. Try to carry out this exercise for 5 minutes minimum the benefits are worth every second invested.

Gratitude meditation 

Gratitude meditation is one of the best ways to overcome past traumas, being grateful for what we have in the moment allows no space for negativity, pessimism, doom or gloom. Finding things in your life to be grateful for may be a little bit harder to do for some, so if you have a little trouble finding things to be grateful for CLICK HEAR, this will help. Some of my personal Seven Wonders I love to meditate with grateful are, my adopted stray dog Marley, sometimes affectionately known as Marley Moo. He really is adorable and the unconditional love he has for me. It will put a smile on my face every time. I also love the great outdoors and enjoy a good long walk, taking in the fresh air is magical.

This meditation can be practiced at home or at work, so long as you can find a quiet place you won’t be disturbed.

Have a few ideas in your mind that you are grateful about, then sit in a comfortable position with a straight spine, gently relax your shoulders and your neck muscles and softly close your eyes. Take a few long deep breaths and feel yourself relaxing. 

I slowly go through my Seven Wonders list spending a nice amount of time feeling all the sensations in my body and across my face. This can be done for just ten minutes and you will feel recharged, full of energy and feeling good about life. Simple yet effective. 

Meditation, mindfulness, spirituality, wellbeing, compassion, generosity, gratitude, self development, self help techniquesTry this simple Seven Wonders exercise to bring instant wellbeing to you day
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meditation mindfulness

The History of Meditation

The History of Meditation

The history of meditation, the oldest form of spiritual awakening there is, could be as old as antiquity itself. It isn’t however until the very first use of a form of the written language do modern historians find there first glimpse into this mystical tradition.

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The earliest found written proof of meditation comes from the sacred Hindu Vedas dating from around 1700-500BC, to put that into perspective, this is from the Iron Age to late Bronze Age, the most famous reference is that of the Vedic Mantra known as “Gayatri” it describes meditating on the divine light of Savitri. The buddhist scriptures state how Gautama Buddha gained enlightenment through mediative techniques of the time, around 563BC, the masters of his time based there techniques on the very same Hindu scriptures. The Buddha however found them to be incomplete on his way to becoming enlightened and so developed his “middle way” meditation as way of gaining higher states of complete enlightenment.

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It is from this period in history do we see that Buddhism gives rise to the spread of meditation, slowly moving from its Indian roots via the Silk Road, first to the East and into China, Nepal, Burma, Thailand and beyond. Confucius 551-479BC developed and further expanded on mediative ideas and techniques and would later pass them on. Taoism then developed from these methods and would spread far and wide throughout the entire of China finally reaching the shores of Japan with Zen Buddhism and zazen meditation around the 12th century.

The spread to the west again uses the Silk Road, at first spreading into Afghanistan, Turkey and then into Syria, it’s not until just twenty years before the birth of Christ and the invention of our calendar that we see the Roman Empire recording of meditative techniques and forms of spiritual exercises of the day, in its great library at Alexandra.

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Islam has reference to meditation and meditation techniques, these first appear around the 8th or 9th century with the practice of Dhikr which involved the repetition of the 99 names of God. By the 12th century breath control was in practice as a mediative technique as recorded in the practice of Sufism.

And the Christians also developed some sort of meditation techniques by the 6th century, however it seems there meditation techniques contrasted all the previously discussed by not involving the repetition of any phrase and required no particular posture, which all the other scriptures without exception had practiced, bible reading according to the christians at this time was considered meditation. It’s not until the 10th-14th century do we see the practice of Hesychasm which involves the repetition of the Jesus prayer.

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The modern western idea of meditation really starts in India in the 1950’s when easier forms of meditation were introduced and presented as relaxation and stress reducing techniques, these new ideas spread quickly to a busy western world, and by the 1960’s the hippy trail had started with young men and women finding there way into the Ashram’s of India, to learn first hand meditation and mindfulness. Famous bands like the Beatles popularised the spiritual meditation and mindfulness practices of today and with many eastern spiritual teachers becoming refugees during the sweep of communism across the east it hasn’t taken long before meditation practices and mindfulness training have become mainstream. It has become increasingly more difficult to find your way through the mind field of information out there. So where do you start.

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Meditating Monk

What is meditation

Meditation as cited by the Oxford English Dictionary is “The action to focus one’s mind for a period of time, for religious or spiritual purposes or as a method of relaxation” and Wikipedia describes it as “a practice where an individual uses a technique of focusing their mind on a particular object”. Meditation in days of old was a passage to gain spiritual enlightenment, however today the word meditation or mindfulness can be over used by a commercial industry selling self help, relaxation and stress reduction.

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The Benefits of Meditation are far more than just relaxation, yes it produces results of calming, compassion, equanimity and a general feeling of contentment, but if used as a regular practice true everlasting peace, contentment and wellbeing can be achieved through meditation and mindfulness.

The numerous scientific studies that have taken place over the last fifty or so years have shed light on The Benefits of Meditation and this mystical practice from the east. The benefits of meditation are far reaching. Increased concentration levels, reducing stress and anxiety, being more attentive, respecting others and nature, becoming kinder and calmer. Increased IQ levels, can eliminate sleep deprivation and will leave you with a deep sense of satisfaction and wellbeing.

So where do you start?

Beginners Basics

In the beginning it’s difficult to know where to start, there are so many types of meditation to choose from wether that’s focusing on the breath, Chanting a Mantra, Walking Meditation, mindfulness meditation or Sitting Meditation to name but just a few. It’s good therefore to have a decent place to start.

No matter if you are looking for meditation to relax and distress or for further enlightenment, the best place to start is by having a regular practice. This can be from as little as 2 minutes a day to begin with and slowly increasing the time the more comfortable you get.

Another important factor is to find a quite place, somewhere where you won’t be disturbed, nature can be an excellent place to meditate but can also be difficult to find somewhere you feel safe and alone. Your own house or apartment is usually best.

For myself the morning is an excellent time to meditate, just after you rise, but equally as relaxing is the evening time, there is no set time just what suits your time commitments.

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Meditation posture

Position and posture

After setting aside a time slot and promising to keep to a regular schedule to yourself, posture and position are next to get right. No matter how old or inflexible you are there is a position for you to meditate in. The usual meditating positions are sitting, standing, walking or lying.

Sitting Meditation doesn’t just involved bending your legs into those funny lotus positions you see in the photos, it can easily be done from a straight back chair. The most important factor to consider is your own comfort. If you do sitting meditation on the floor, you can use either the full lotus or the half lotus positions or the Thailand/Burmese style cross legged position which as you sit cross legged you sit with you legs on the floor not on top of each other, be, this is to help eliminate the pressure to the knees and ankles that sitting with your legs on top of each other creates.

Walking meditation is one of the nicest ways to meditate, and for me personally I find it the most relaxing. First find an area where you are safe to walk, no obstacles in your way. With your back straight and your shoulders relaxed, keep your head and eyes looking forward but slightly down, about 6-10ft in front of you will do nicely. Now walk as slowly as you can, try to really feel the movements of each muscle as you inch forward. Walk for 20 or so paces then slowly turn back around, pause, and walk back again. Try walking slower than a snail, it’s most enjoyable.

Lying meditation is one of the easiest ways to fall asleep and isn’t really recommended for beginners. However lay on your right shoulder, with a hand resting under the head, a pillow can be used as required, legs slightly bent.

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Breath Meditation infographic

Breathing Meditation

Sit in a comfortable position with a straight spine, gently relax your shoulders and your neck muscles and softly close your eyes. Take a few long deep breaths and feel yourself relaxing.

Breathing in, be aware you’re breathing in, 

breathing out, be aware you’re breathing out. 

Count one.

Repeat this for five or ten counts then start again. This is the basics of breath or breathing meditation also known in Pali as Samadhi Meditation.

Some ponts to remember, try to keep the breath as natural as possible. If your mind wanders, be kind to yourself, and bring your awareness back to the breath and start counting again. Try this meditation exercise for ten minutes at first then slowly increase the time over the course of a few days. The most important thing is to be patient and compassionate to yourself.

Meditation for kids

Meditation for children is one of the most beneficial activities you can get them to do, it can boost concentration levels at school, help with socialising, aid in confidence, it will help balancing emotions and will have an overall improvement in academic test results. You can start children meditating from a very early age, however the breath technique, described above, wouldn’t be a good place to start with very young children but teenagers would be able to manage quite proficiently. For younger children it is better to do guided meditations, almost like story time, we get them to use there already incredible imaginations to focus on one particular object of meditation. Games are also another great example. Imagining that as they breath out they are filling a big balloon with air as an example.

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Old meditation joke

Other types of meditation

The other types of meditation that you will find all have great benefit include, Metta or Loving Kindness Meditation, Samadhi Meditation, Vipassana Meditation, Body Scan, Transcendental Meditation and Kundalini Meditation to name just a few. If you are a beginner the best place to start is with the Beginners Meditation or breath meditation as found above. It is a foundation for further meditation techniques that need great powers of concentration. If you are more practiced and have a good routine then you will may feel as though you may want to explore some of the other methods listed. Just for you we have put together a resource page at the bottom which can help you investigate further.

Tips and tricks

When you first start to meditate you will undoubtedly come across a few niggling problems, maybe it’s the pain in your knees or back. Maybe you keep falling asleep, or you mind keeps wandering and you don’t notice. This section is hear to help. I understand first hand the issues with meditation I was a Buddhist monk in Thailand for many years. During the full moons for instance we were expected to meditate from 10pm until sunrise.

When your feeling sleepy rubbing or a light pinch of the ear lobes gives an instant surge of life through the body, try it.

Never sit in any position longer than is necessary. There are meditators that say the pain is a useful experience to learn. Yes it is, but your knees will suffer really badly, there is other pain that can better to learn from and not as damaging.

Make a meditation diary this helps keep you motivated. Make a regular time in your day of 10 minutes or even 20 minutes and keep to the same time, make it a habit forming exercise. It takes 21 days to form a habit and 90 days to make that habit natural.

Always be kind and patient with yourself, the times when you think your meditation isn’t good because your mind is distracted, can be the times of our greatest learning, compassion and kindness go a long way.

Spend a couple of minutes getting settled into a position, wiggle your bottom around until it feels comfortable on the tail bone, also known as the sitting bone.

For more on Tips and Tricks Page to the common problems that can arise in meditation. If for any reason you can’t find the help within these pages then please feel free to Contact Us and we will respond personal as soon as we are able.

kind regards

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Website infographics

I would like to share with you these boards or infographics that I hope will be used in the future for organising this website.

I would love to hear your personal opinion, I know that’s a little more work than you were expecting, honestly you would be doing a kind dead in your day and it will make me smile every time I get a ping to let me know you care.

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There are other good things on this website

CLICK HEAR for optimistic Vs Pessimistic

CLICK HEAR for Quotes of Wisdom

CLICK HEAR for The 7 Wonders of Life

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motivational quotes

Quotes of Wisdom

Quotes of Wisdom

Quotes, quote, sayings, inspirational, words and sayings, motivational

Quotes of Wisdom Aristotle

“Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom” Aristotle

Aristotle 384 – 322BC

An Ancient Greek philosopher and scientist. Along with Plato he is credited with being the father of western philosophy. His philosophies and theory’s, so vast and inclusive, that his contribution to western knowledge, philosophy and physical science has profoundly shaped the very world we know today.

Quotes, quote, sayings, inspirational words, inspirational, motivational, words and sayings, words of wisdom
Inspirational quote Martin Luther King Jr

“Let no man pull you so low as to hate him” Martin Luther King Jr.

Martin Luther King Jr. 1929 – 1968

Was an American Baptist minister and civil rights activist becoming the most central figure in the American civil rights movement from 1954 until his assassination in 1968. An advocate of Mahatma Gandhi’s nonviolent approach to change he was presented with the Nobel Peace Prize for combating racial inequality through nonviolent resistance. Most famously remembered for his “I have a dream” speech. In his later life he was to voice his concerns on poverty and the Vietnam war. Martin Luther King Jr. was awarded after his death both the presidential medal of freedom and the congressional gold medal. Thousands of streets have been named and renamed after him and the Martin Luther King Day is observed as a public holiday every third Monday of January each year.

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Motivational quote John Lennon

“Count your age by friends, not years, count your life by smiles not tears” John Lennon

John Lennon 1940 – 1980

An English singer, songwriter, musician and peace activist famously co-founding the Beatles, the most successful band in commercial history. After the Beatles split in the 1970’s John Lennon pursued a solo career. Moving from London to Manhattan in 1971 he was to criticise the Vietnam war and in doing so caused a lengthy battle with the Nixon administration for deportation proceedings. He removed himself from the spotlight and media gaze in 1975 to raise his child. He re-appeared again in 1980 with the release of a new album and was assassinated only the weeks later.

Motivational quote, quotes, quote, sayings, quotes and sayings, words of wisdom, spirituality, inspiration
Inspirational quote Leo Buscaglia

“A single rose can be my garden, a single friend my world” Leo Buscaglia

Leo Buscaglia 1924 – 1998

Was an American author and motivational speaker, born in America to an Italian immigrant family, he would spend his early years growing up in Italy before returning to the US for schooling. After graduation Buscaglia joined the US Navy and participated in the Second World War. After realise from duties he returned to studying and entered the university of Southern California. After successfully gaining three degrees he was eventually employed as a professor. It was hear that a profound incident happened which made him question the human condition and the meaning of life, he then went on to set up a non-credited class entitled Love 1A, becoming the basis for his much loved 1972 book ‘Love’

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Wisdom quote Jimi Hendrix

“Knowledge speaks but wisdom listens” Jimi Hendrix

Jimi Hendrix 1942 – 1970

American rock guitarists, singer and songwriter developing his own unique style often imitated today. His mainstream career was short, only lasting a mere four years, however the impact Jimi Hendrix has had on popular music is second to none. Considered to be the greatest and most influential electric guitarist in history.

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loving kindness Optimism

The Seven Wonders of Life

Meditation, mindfulness, self help, anxiety, wellbeing, compassion, generosity
Seven wonders of life exercise to increase gratitude, compassion, wellbeing, peace and kindness

The seven wonders of life is an idea I had as a Buddhist monk in northern Thailand, it was a way to try and get the lay people, usually foreign visiting tourists, to realise that there life was a wonderful and amazing life filled with wonders equal as those of the 7 wonders of the world. The seven wonders of life is a simple and quick exercise that can be done in just a few minutes but is more beneficial to spend some time pondering and exploring your very own seven wonders.

Sometimes it’s easy to take life for granted, sometimes there seems so much going in in our lives that we forget to really appreciate what we already have. Our lives no matter how stressful and hectic should never be taken for granted and in this ever faster pace of life it’s more important than ever to take a moment and realise that we have some real joy and happiness in our lives.Meditation, mindfulness, spirituality, spiritual, compassion, loving kindness, positivity, spirituality

Self confidence quote Dalai Lama

There are some obvious real benefits to this idea, and if you really focus your attention on finding your very own seven wonders of life, I can promise, you will immediately start to feel good about life and may even start to smile, I’ve done this exercise many time with may types of people and it’s impossible to do this without feeling happiness and a sense of joy, and with regular practice you will really start to see a positive change in yourself.

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Self confidence quote Nelson Mandela

As a help I have listed below my seven wonders of life, to give you inspiration or a place to start. I’ve been practicing this for many years now and still find it rewarding and gratifying. Over the course of time some of the wonders on my list have been updated and changed, and that itself I find fascinating.

1 Marley Moo 
Marley is the name of the abandoned street dog I found in Portugal, sometimes affectionately known as Marley Moo, who i decided needed my love, in return I have been rewarded with the funniest, most mischievous, intelligent and a loyal companion I could have ever asked for, the pure unconditional love I receive every morning with a massive sloppy wet kiss all over my face is a magical moment filling me with such happiness and love. It also looks like Marley gets just as much out of it as me. This little guy has a gentle nature and loves walking and exploring, he doesn’t like the cold enjoys nothing better than a good snuggle under the blankets at bed time.

2 Walking
I find walking one of the most relaxing and peaceful ways to spend a few hours, walking with a companion such as a dog does make it even more enjoyable. The very art of walking is incredibly meditative and I find this very suitable to my mindset, very quickly I can still my mind and become at peace. Of course spending time in the great outdoors is wonderful form the exercise, Marley is a whippet cross with a lot of other things, and as such requires a lot of exercise, I average 11-12km a day every day. I’m very lucky I have the time and freedom to do this.

3 Nature and the countryside
The beauty of our planet still astonishes me every day, from the majesty of the mountains to the crashing stormy seas, the magical sunsets and sun rises, to the romantic rivers and streams, every drop of air we breath and every sight we see, what a place we really do live. The beauty of nature and the countryside happens to fall very nicely in with both my first two of walking and my Marley.

4 Having freedom in my life
Having the freedom I have at the moment is so amazing, it hasn’t always been like this and it won’t be like this for long but at the moment it is enabling me to do many wonderful things, it gives me time to meditate longer and deeper, walking my little Marley and spending time in the countryside my other three wonders of life. I consider myself to be incredible lucky at the moment to have this freedom and want to cherish it for as long as it may last.

5 Friends
I have deliberately left out family because unfortunately I don’t live near my family or in the same county, I have a brother I love dearly living in Malaysia and another in England, my folks also reside in England, I would love to see them more but are circumstances are as they are. Instead I have a few close friends who I cherish dearly, and enjoy there company immensely it fills me with such a joy and satisfaction to see the people I love succeed wether in love or life, to share there intimate moments in life is a special gift.

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Self confidence quote Nikos Kazantzakis

6 Cooking good food
This fits in very nicely with my last wonder, I love to cook for friends, I get such satisfaction in every aspect, from the preparation of the vegetables, making a mess of the kitchen as I go, the exploration of spices and taste, watching my friends faces to see if the faces it’s a triumph or disappointment. The conversations and silly games we play, great fun and real happiness.

7 Being creative
Generally I’m not very creative, I mean to say that I’m not that artistic, although a admit to having all the paints and brushes to create a whatever medium takes my fancy, I also can’t really hold a note on any instrument, or sing in tune, I do however love to write, I enjoy the challenge of the task and love the way it has an organic development from start to finish, a journey of discovery that all slowly comes together over a few days. I may not be a Shakespeare or a Wordsworth, I just love writing.

Now a call to Acton. I really would like for you to share with me your seven wonders of life.

Maybe it’s that first cup of coffee in the morning, owing your own business, painting or drawing, friends, family, freshly baked bread, driving your sports car, completing the crossword puzzle, playing cards, earring out, maybe going out on a date, your children, grandchildren, maybe it’s just making someone smile, or helping people, the hug you receive of you partner, running or playing sports, it could even be watching live music, or going to the cinema, maybe cuddling up on the sofa watching a movie or an open fire, how about being romantic or dressing smart, you may feel a great sense of happiness in looking good, eating ice cream, how about the weather feeling the sunshine on your skin or the rain on your face. There are so many more wonders in our lives it just takes a moment like today for you to realise yourself how wonderful your life truly is.

If you post them in the comments below gradually over time we will gather a fascinating insight into what really makes us all happy. And I know the results will surprise you all.

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positive thinking quotes

Quotes of Wisdom

Quotes of Wisdom

Optimistic, optimism, mindfulness, meditation, wellbeing, spirituality, spiritual, happiness

Thich Nhat Hanh quote

“There is no way to happiness, happiness is the way”

Thich Nhat Hanh 1926-present

A Vietnamese zen Buddhist monk and peace activist, nominated for the Nobel Peace prize by Martin Luther king jr. in 1967. Thay as he is affectionately known was refused entry into his native Vietnam also in 1967 and moved to France where he set up his plum village monastery, now home to over 150 monks and nuns. His numerous literary works include ‘peace in every step’ ‘the miracle of mindfulness’ and ‘old path white clouds’.

A truly extraordinary man who I personally had thought privilege to meet while at his plum village monastery, to sit in his presents was so calming, you didn’t feel nervous just completely loved. Thay has in recent times suffered from illness and has now been given permission I reside in his beloved Vietnam for his final days.

Optimism, optimistic, wellbeing, spirituality, spirituality, meditation, mindfulness
Optimistic quote Albert Einstein

“In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity”

Albert Einstein 1879-1955

German born theoretical physicist who developed amongst many others the theory of relativity. He is most loved by the public for the equation E=mc2, winner of the 1921 Nobel prize for his services to theoretical physics and the discovery of the photoelectric effect, a pivotal role in the development of quantum theory.

Optimism, optimistic, mindfulness, spirituality, spiritual, compassion, wellbeing
Optimistic quote Mahatma Gandhi

“Where there is love there is life”

Mahatma Gandhi 1869-1948

Leader of the Indian independence movement against the British rule of the time. Most memorable for his non violence approach, leading his fellow countrymen on a 400km march to the salt pans of Dandi in protest of the British imposed salt tax. Living modestly Gandhi wore the traditional Indian dhoti which he hand spun on his charkha. He ate simple vegetarian food and undertook long fasts as a means of both self purification and political protest. October 2nd is Gandhi’s birthday and worldwide has become the international day of non violence, in India it is also a national holiday. A truly remarkable man.

Positivity, optimism, mindfulness, meditation, spirituality, compassion, wellbeing, spiritual
Positive quote Buddha

“Peace comes from within, do not seek it without”

Gautama Buddha lived 2562 years ago as a monk and teacher of which Buddhism was founded. Born a prince of the Shakya clan in northern India, now Nepal. Dissatisfied with his life and that of the human condition he left the royal palace in search of truth. After many years practicing Medici W yoga and other meditation techniques of the time, Sitting ina Medici was state for prolonged periods of time Gautama discovered his middle way or the noble eightfold path as the way to enlightenment. For the remaining 45 years of his life the Buddha taught this path, established the Sangha and monastery’s through out his travels leaving behind a legacy that has endured millennium.

Optimistic quote Horace

“Seize the day, and put the least possible trust in tomorrow”

Horace

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Everyone’s Mind Matters

Optimistic vs Pessimistic 

Optimistic Vs PessimisticOptimistic vs Pessimistic, spirituality, spiritual, happiness, anxiety, stress relief, mindfulness, meditation, wellbeing,

Optimistic vs Pessimistic infographic

What does Optimistic and Pessimistic mean ?

First of all what does optimism mean? Optimism or optimistic originates from the Latin word ‘Optimus’ or ‘Optimum’ meaning ‘best’ or best thing’. Optimism as quoted by the Oxford English Dictionary reads, ‘hopefulness and confidence about the future of success of something’ This is a nice definition of optimism, someone who is confident and hopeful of their future. Wikipedia quotes optimism as ‘an inclination to put the most favourable construction upon actions and events or to anticipate the best possible outcome’ another great example to describe the word optimism. Pessimism or pessimistic on the other hand is the evil twin of optimism, as in every aspect of life there must always be an opposite and pessimism plays this role beautifully. The definition of pessimism is an equal opposite to that of optimism, as quoted by the Oxford English Dictionary ‘a tendency to see the worst aspect of things or believe the worst will happen’ a lovely description I’m sure you will agree. Wikipedia describes pessimism or pessimistic as ‘a mental attitude in which an undesirable outcome is anticipated from a given situation’. A beautifully written explanation.

Optimism quote Winston Churchill

What is an example of optimism ?

A simple example would be the difference in reaction to any given situation. Our problem is a simple break down on your way to work. A pessimistic way of thinking is usually accompanied with anything from anger to rage, frustration and an almost end of the world feel. An optimistic person usually finds the advantage out of the situation, doesn’t panic knows it can be sorted and usually has patience and calmness.

Which is better optimism or pessimism ?

There have been hundreds of scientific studies done over the last few decades and have proven without a shadow of a doubt that an optimistic attitude is far more beneficial to the neurochemicals that the brain produces, many of which are associated with anti ageing properties. These exact nurochemicals that optimistic people produce more of than pessimists are the helper T-cells (‘the conductors’ of the immune system) they direct and orchestrate your immune system amplifying their responses and are now believed to be more important in immunity against viral infection and even some types of cancers. Optimistic people have a tendency to show higher, natural killer cells in the body called ‘cytotoxic cells’ these aid and help the T-cells in our bodies to kill and eliminate the cancerous cells. A pessimistic attitude will dramatically reduce these numbers of beneficial nuerochemicals and in many case we find pessimistic people have larger numbers of damaging neurochemicals associated with stresses, anxiety and disease.

Optimism quote Helen Keller

A fascinating scientific insight that everyone should be made aware of, is the discovery that everything on this planet and our entire solar system as we know, from the smallest of creatures to a shooting star, when broken down to its basic building blocks everything is made up of the same light and energy. What’s more incredible is the fact that everywhere around us this light and energy exists, even in a vacuum this light and energy exists. This you may think is not such an eye opener. However when this knowledge was used in an experiment using a strand of the human DNA helix it left the scientific world speechless. The experiment used a strand of the human DNA helix and inserted it into a vacuum tube, the light and energy that is ever present started to line up and form around the DNA strand in replication. There was further amazement when the DNA strand was removed the scientists found that the energy stayed in exact replication as the strand of DNA it had just been in contact with. We truly do have an amazing impact on the world around us with our DNA having direct influence in the light and energy that is always ever present around us.

To further expand on this idea that we have incredible influence on the energy that’s every present, the United States Army did some increasingly experiments involving physically fit and healthy American soldiers. After taking samples of each subjects DNA, which was then placed in a Petra dish in another room, the soldiers were then subjected to all manner of visual stimuli to induce emotional responses, the results were astonishing. Every time the soldier had a response be it negative or positive one the DNA in the Petra dish, in a different room, would have the same and equal reaction. This experiment was reproduced again and again each time increasing the distance between subject and there DNA sample, each time the results were the same, and a distance of 50 miles was recorded with still a reaction form the DNA. Incredible as it may seem but we not only have effect on the light and energy around us but that effect depends on the era emotional state the mind is in. When you meet a friend you almost always exchange DNA with them in some way or another, a hand shake, hug or kiss will all pass DNA over to the other person. Now think of these two experiments and we should be able to tell what are friend is feeling by there DNA that is present on us. An interesting thought.

What does it mean to have optimism ?

As I’m sure you are well aware by now to having an optimistic outlook on life is not just scientifically proven but it is also highly beneficial to our minds and bodies. Being optimistic is seeing things in a less stressful manner, seeing the lighter side of life, enjoying the adventure rather than worrying what’s to come. Feeling happier and more content with life no matter where you are. And being more present in the moment. Wouldn’t you rather be optimistic?

Optimism quote Nicholas M Butler

Is optimism generic or learned ?

Optimism is a thought pattern that can be taught and learnt successfully, it may be true that they’re are some people born with a more optimistic outlook on life, these guys just have a head start. Optimism can be taught and learnt successfully, just like any other thought pattern, repetition, patience and kindness to yourself go a long way. The good news is that optimism can be implemented into your life almost instantly, the problem usually arises that we forget to implement the optimistic outlook we so promised ourselves. The most important thing to remember is that when something goes wrong or is out of our control, instead of just reacting on auto pilot, try to notice yourself in the situation and choose to think of something more optimistic and positive. Sounds easy? Right? I promise you it really is that easy, however we have all been conditioned into doing things automatically and don’t even notice how we have reacted to any given situation. And this is why it can seem a little difficult to begin with. When I was a Buddhist monk in rural Thailand we sometimes used to ride into town in the back of an open top Land Rover with those bars for a canvas roof. Every bump one of the monks would bang his head on one of those metal bars, not once did I hear a scream of pain or abusive language, every time it happened the monk would burst out laughing. Of course I thought it was strange, until I started to change my mindset and slowly I also found I could laugh at adversity, it even feels good.

I’m sure you are in complete agreement by now, that an optimistic way of life far out ways that of a pessimistic one. The question is how do you shift your unconscious reactions from being pessimistic into optimism? Techniques such as mindfulness and meditation help incredible reduce anxiety, pessimistic attitudes, depression and past traumas reshaping the very way you react to situations. Exercises designed to relieve emotional strain and anxiety will also help develop an inner optimistic quality.

Over the course of the next few weeks the team at 4enlightenment will be putting together some practical exercises to help challenge different mindsets and change people’s automatic response systems. We hope that you will join us as we progress this website into a social platform full of helpful, practical information and advice.

If you can’t wait, then why not try our Seven Wonders of Life exercise, guaranteed to put a smile on your face and bring optimism into your day immediately.

SEVEN WONDERS OF LIFE

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