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Everyone’s Mind Matters

Living with Depression

Written by Guest Author:- Matthew Rigby

Mind Matters, and Depression

Depression; the world’s most inclusive disease. It doesn’t matter who you are or where you are from, we are all vulnerable. We’ve all felt it, but society only seems to be starting to understand.

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Sometimes depression produces such an intense experience that it manifests in physical pain, depression can be as debilitating as paralysis, sometimes it even feels like getting shot, but arguably depression’s biggest weapon is it’s ability to cut you off from everything.

Depression by it’s very nature is competitive. We all want to believe that we suffer the most – and so we do because only you can experience your struggle and it’s all encompassing nature. Suicide remains the highest killer of men aged 20-49 but that doesn’t have to be the end to the story.

We’ve all had those days where you can’t get out of bed in the morning, it feels like you’re bound and tied, the thought of leaving makes you want to bawl your eyes out. There are simple things you can do to help you break the cycle.

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Breaking the cycle

There are endless Benefits of Meditation when struggling with mental health and it can often provide relief in moments of desperation. There are many ways to find relief from the mental turmoil you may find yourself in; while some are considered cliches, I’ve always found exercise to help with my depression – I’m a pudgy 27 year old so not too much! Cycling along the coast gave me great relief on days of despair and cold water swimming might just be my cure for a crippled mind.

Depression makes you lonely; you can’t have friends because you fear they won’t understand and you don’t want to see the friends you do have, resulting in a constant cycle of loneliness. Finding some hobbies is an essential tool to combating this. I always found playing music to provide an outlet that others couldn’t. Find something you’re passionate about and channel the feeling into it – some of the greatest art comes from pain and this inturn can provide your self-esteem a much needed boost.

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The most important piece of advice for a person suffering from depression is to remember you’re not the only one; depression is isolating but with the help of others you can win.

Meditation will help

The Benefits of Meditation have been well documented in the last ten years and with MRI scanners now showing us the actual visible results meditation brings it’s all time we started this wonderful new science.

Meditation has a direct impact within our brains resulting in increased activity within the Anterior Cingulate Cortex, the Ventromedial Prefrontal Cortex and the Hippocampus region which is directly responsible for the grey matter produced in our brains. The possibilities this may have within the scientific fields of Alzheimer’s and memory retention are only just being realised

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The reduction in Stress, Anxiety and Depression are reported in 95 percent of all participants from as little as two weeks of mindfulness meditation training. Imagine the benefits of keeping this wonderful and simple exercise up everyday.

Breathing meditation or Samadhi Meditation is by far the easiest of mindfulness training 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, and so too with meditation you powers of concentration become greater and meditation becomes easier.

kind regards

 

 

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meditation

How to Practice Basic Meditation

The Art of Meditation

The practice and Benefits of Meditation and mindfulness have been well documented, and by now we are all starting to explore with interest this ancient art form that has the potential to relieve us from our day to day stresses and anxieties. The practice of basic meditation and mindfulness can not only relieve stress, Anxiety, Depression and worry but it has the potential to bring a deep sense of joy and wellbeing into our lives. With so many meditation websites and endless mindfulness chatter out there where and how do learn the essentials of basic meditation?

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Meditation is best done in a sitting position, preferably crossed legged on the floor with a straight spine. Meditation once understood can be done wherever and whenever you find you have moment to yourself, standing in a line at the supermarket checkout perhaps, waiting for a lift, in the bathroom or maybe while sitting at traffic lights, are all perfectly good examples.

The basic meditation posture and positions are sitting meditation, standing meditation, Walking Meditation and lying meditation, although the last position isn’t recommended for beginners as the tendency to fall asleep is a common issue. Today we are going to learn meditation at the most basic level, however first we must grasp what meditation is really all about.

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Meditation is a one pointed concentration and in the most usual instance we focus our attention on our breathing. Our breath is used as a focus tool because it is always with us wherever we go, our breath must surely be. To calm ourselves and to reconnect with our breathing it is good practice to take a few slow deep breaths. As you feel your breathing returning to normal keep your attention on the movements or feelings of each rise and fall.

This is the one pointed concentration. Watch closely to the feeling of the in breath as it passes through the nose filling the lungs and expanding the abdomen and chest. Now watch in detail how the reverse process takes place on the out breath. IN BREATH, OUT BREATH

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To start you may find your mind wander from the breath onto something else, a shopping list, a fantasy or start to day dream. This is perfectly natural and ok, always be kind to yourself, never scolding, always patient and gently bring your attention back to your breathing. The more you practice the better you become at anything, and this is the same with mindfulness and meditation.

Now we have the basic idea and grasp of the mindfulness and meditation one pointed concentration we can now begin to use it in our everyday lives. We don’t have to shave our heads, build a shrine and spend hours painfully sitting crossed legged on the floor. This method is best used in everyday situations you may find yourself free, waiting for a bus, sitting at lunch in the park, the back of a taxi or even in a busy cafe. To experience just one moment fully, you automatically feel uplifted and fully energised, to experience that one moment fully brings all the benefits of meditation flooding to you.

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Ajahn Chah, a Thai forest Buddhist monk with tens of thousands of hours meditation experience under his belt and a true meditation master of our time, used to stress

“If meditation was all about sitting for prolonged periods of time, then all chickens would be enlightened”

It really isn’t about sitting for long, long periods, it really is about being 100% involved, occupied, absorbed in the one pointed concentration of your breath. Breathing in I’m really aware Of the air filling my lungs, breathing out I’m really aware I’m breathing out.

Try right now, while your reading this, wherever you are right now, take a couple of long slow deep breaths and relax into following your breath. Let’s start to meditate, let’s start right now to bring mindfulness into our lives.

Kind regards

Dhamma Tapasa

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quotes

Dalai Lama Quotes

Dalai Lama words of wisdom

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“In order to carry a positive action we must develop hear a positive vision”

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“We can never obtain peace in the outer world until we make peace with ourselves”

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“My religion is very simple, my religion is kindness”

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“Choose to be optimistic, it feels better”

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“Silence is sometimes the best answer”

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“An eye for an eye… we are all blind”

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“The true hero is one who conquers his own anger and hatred”

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“The root of all goodness lie in the soil of appreciation”

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“Let is recognise the precious nature of each day”

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“An open heart is an open mind”

Dalai Lama 1935 – present

The 14th Dalai Lama, born as Tenzin Gyatso is the current spiritual leader of Tibet. Tenzin was born in the small village of Taktser in Tibet, selected from a young age as being the possible reincarnation of the 13th Dalai Lama. After careful selection and some remarkable coincidences or fate, Tenzin was chosen as the reincarnation at the age of five. He was 15 years old when he partly took over the political duties of Tibet. During the 1950’s China progressively and violently claimed Tibet as a state of the Chinese and denounced the Dalai Lama as a spiritual leader and all who followed him. The uprising that came and the cultural cleansing preformed by the communist Chinese is one of recent history’s most tragic stories. China was swift and brutal, burning all cultural as religious artefacts, destroying temples and performing horrific acts upon monks and nuns, while the civilised world just watched. The Dalia Lama fled with his life along with a few number of government officials to India in 1959.

Dharamshala has now become residence to the refugees of Tibet and his holiness the 14th Dalai Lama. It is also the capital for the central Tibetan administration (Tibet’s government in exile) from hear the Dalai Lama gives talks and meets and greets thousands upon thousands of tourists and well wishers who have travelled vast distances just to glimpse this truly enlightened man. A true loving example of peace

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meditation

1 Minute Breathing Meditation

1 Minute Breathing Meditation

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Breathing Meditation

One of the simplest ways to unwind and relax and bring ourselves back to the present moment is by following the breath. And this simple 1 Minute Breathing Meditation can do just that.

Sitting, standing or even lying down find a comfortable position trying to keep a straight spine, start by gently relaxing 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.

While breathing in and out either concentrate on the rise and fall of the abdomen or in the chest. You can also concentrate on the tip of the nose as the air passes in and out.

“Being aware is meditation.”

Tips and tricks

When your mind wanders, be kind to yourself, and bring your awareness back to the breath and start counting again. The most important thing is to be patient and compassionate to yourself. Also try and keep your breathing as natural as possible. If counting isn’t your thing then try noting the breath saying silently to yourself

“I’m Breathing in, I’m Breathing out”

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1 Minute Breathing Meditation