Categories
meditation

Words of wisdom and Moral Principles

Words of Wisdom & inspirational quotes

These Words of Wisdom or inspirational quotes have all been selected to try and ease our suffering, to bring about a calm within our minds. There is an unprecedented amount of pain and suffering going on in the world today and it is each of our responsibility to help in any way we can.

personal development through mindfulness, words of wisdom, developing minds, spiritual enlightenment, change your mindset, tales of morality, commit to sit, meditation, how to change, inspirational advice, most important thing to learn,

The world we all live in is an ever changing, impermanent entity and today this seems more so than ever before. Coronavirus or Covid19 has altered our entire way of life in a very short period of time. No matter what country you come from, no matter what colour your skin, no matter the religion you believe or disbelieve everyone has been touched by this deadly virus. Masks are starting to become an everyday aspect of our lives, social distancing is necessary or enforced and millions of people are suffering as a result.

personal development through mindfulness, words of wisdom, developing minds, spiritual enlightenment, change your mindset, tales of morality, commit to sit, meditation, how to change, inspirational advice, most important thing to learn,

Myself, Dhamma Tāpasā, and my adopted stray dog, Marley Moo, spend our time wandering the European countryside, what the Buddhists call Tudong, in search of spiritual enlightenment. Each day we meet scared individuals, frightened for there very lives and that of their families. My job as a Monk and Meditator is to help in anyway I can, through my unique Moral Stories created from real life experiences we come across during our week. We create words of wisdom or inspirational quotes that have been passed down through the ages and we teach meditation and mindfulness techniques to calm the mind from worry and try and alleviate our own suffering. Meditation is more than just a relaxation tool and I urge you to find out more.

personal development through mindfulness, words of wisdom, developing minds, spiritual enlightenment, change your mindset, tales of morality, commit to sit, meditation, how to change, inspirational advice, most important thing to learn,

Learn more about Meditation

To learn more about mindfulness and meditation techniques, we have included FREE within these pages a complete Beginners Meditation guide, advancing to the more sophisticated Vipassana meditation practice. We have sections to help with our posture and sitting position for meditation, mini meditations that can be practiced for people with busy lives. Body scan meditation to learn how are body feels at any given moment, and many many more meditation tricks and tips that help with any problems you may be facing along the way.

personal development through mindfulness, words of wisdom, developing minds, spiritual enlightenment, change your mindset, tales of morality, commit to sit, meditation, how to change, inspirational advice, most important thing to learn,

A New Set of Moral Principles through Moral Stories

I believe the world needs a new set of Moral principals to help us progress, develop and thrive in this 21st century. Our time on this planet is short and at the moment it seems the manipulation of large corporations, the absurdity of immoral sports personalities, lying governments and the wealthy elite are gaining ever more popularity of followers all dreaming that this is the correct way to live our lives.

The results or our Karma following this way of life are very clear to me. With more and more searching for Youtube star sensation and Facebook fame we are all starting to fall victim to an immoral set of principals that only harm others in favour of ourselves.

We share this planet with 7 billion other humans and more than 7 times that number of other mammals, insects and birds, something we have all seemed too of forgotten. If we keep chasing greed of wealth, and the constant wanting of more things and stuff we will be the generation that brings the end to life as we know it.

personal development through mindfulness, words of wisdom, developing minds, spiritual enlightenment, change your mindset, tales of morality, commit to sit, meditation, how to change, inspirational advice, most important thing to learn,

I urge us all to change our ways and learn more about peace, happiness from within ourselves and not from external situations. For none of us can become truly happy by external happiness, only by looking deep within can we truly escape the suffering we are causing ourselves and others.

Morality seems to of been casted aside in this century and I wholeheartedly believe a new set of principles needs to be found by all of us. This is why I try to write a Moral story each week to show clear examples of our behaviour and it’s direct consequences. Most of these short sweet Moral stories are from inspiration on our wanderings, designed to be read by children and adults alike.

Kind regards

Dhamma Tāpasā

Categories
Motivational Mini Stories

Mini motivational stories

Weekly Moral Short Story Collection

Every week we bring to you a short Moral story that has either inspired or motivated us in some way during our week.

Most of our stories have been loving handcrafted by ourselves into short moral stories that we hope inspire as well as teach a valuable moral lesson in life. A few of our stories are old classics and where the original author is know a credit is always given.

These are a collection of some of our previous Weekly Moral Stories, check back regularly for a new Moral Story every week

The Wind And The Moon

good news, spirituality, mindfulness, motivation, meditation, inspiration, mini stories, spiritual, Zen, short story, positivity, Buddhism,
The Wind and the Moon

Once upon a time, there were two very good friends who lived together in the shade of a rock. Strange as it may seem, one was a lion and one was a tiger. They had met when they were too young to know the difference between lions and tigers. So they did not think their friendship was at all unusual. Besides, it was a peaceful part of the mountains, possibly due to the influence of a gentle forest monk who lived nearby. He was a hermit, one who lives far away from other people.

For some unknown reason, one day the two friends got into a silly argument. The tiger said, “Everyone knows the cold comes when the moon wanes from full to new!” The lion said, “Where did you hear such nonsense? Everyone knows the cold comes when the moon waxes from new to full!”

The argument got stronger and stronger. Neither could convince the other. They could not reach any conclusion to resolve the growing dis- pute. They even started calling each other names! Fearing for their friendship, they decided to go ask the learned forest monk, who would surely know about such things.

Visiting the peaceful hermit, the lion and tiger bowed respectfully and put their question to him. The friendly monk thought for a while and then gave his answer. “It can be cold in any phase of the moon, from new to full and back to new again. It is the wind that brings the cold, whether from west or north or east. Therefore, in a way, you are both right! And neither of you is defeated by the other. The most important thing is to live without conflict, to remain united. Unity is best by all means.”

The lion and tiger thanked the wise hermit. They were happy to still be friends.

A Pig called No-squeal

good news, spirituality, mindfulness, motivation, meditation, inspiration, mini stories, spiritual, Zen, short story, positivity, Buddhism,
A pig called No-Squeal

Once upon a time, there were two calves who were part of a country household. Their names were little Red and Big Red, At the same home there also lived a girl and a baby pig. Since the pig hardly ever made a sound, he was known as ‘No-squeal’.

The masters of the house treated No-squeal very very well. They fed him large amounts of the very best rice, and even rice porridge with rich brown sugar.

The two calves noticed this. They worked hard pulling plows in the fields and bullock carts on the roads. Little Red said to Big Red, “My big brother, in this household you and I do all the hard work. We bring prosperity to the family. But they feed us only grass and hay. The baby pig No- squeal does nothing to support the family. And yet they feed him the finest and fanciest of foods. Why should he get such special treatment?”

The wise elder brother said, “Oh young one, it is dangerous to envy anybody. Therefore, do not envy the baby pig for being fed such rich food. What he eats is really ‘the food of death”.

“There will soon be a marriage ceremony for the daughter of the house, and little No-squeal will be the wedding feast! That’s why he is being pampered and fed in such rich fashion.

“In a few days the guests will arrive. Then this piglet will be dragged away by the legs, killed, and made into curry for the feast.”

Sure enough, in a few days the wedding guests arrived. The baby pig No-squeal was dragged away and killed. And just as Big Red had said, he was cooked in various types of curries and devoured by the guests.

Then Big Red said, “My dear young brother, did you see what happened to baby No- squeal?” “Yes brother,” replied Little Red, “now I understand.”

Big Red continued, “This is the result of being fed such rich food., Our poor grass and hay are a hundred times better than his rich porridge and sweet brown sugar. For our food brings no harm to us, but instead promises long life!”

Don’t envy the well-off, until you know the price they pay.

Categories
Motivational Mini Stories Zen Stories

Motivational Mini Stories

Every week we bring to you a short Moral story that has either inspired or motivated us in some way during our week.

Most of our stories have been loving handcrafted by ourselves into short moral stories that we hope inspire as well as teach a valuable moral lesson in life. A few of our stories are old classics and where the original author is know a credit is always given.

These are a collection of some of our previous Weekly Moral Stories, check back regularly for a new Moral Story every week

Four Monks

Four monks decided to meditate silently without speaking for two weeks. By nightfall on the first day, the candle began to flicker and then went out. The first monk said, “Oh, no! The candle is out.” The second monk said, “Aren’t we not suppose to talk?” The third monk said, “Why must you two break the silence?” The fourth monk laughed and said, “Ha! I’m the only one who didn’t speak.”

Motivational, short stories, inspirational, mindfulness
Hindu master

The Hindu Master

An aging Hindu master grew tired of his apprentice complaining, and so, one morning, he sent him for some salt. When the apprentice returned, the master instructed the unhappy young man to put a handful of salt in a glass of water and then to drink it.

“How does it taste?” the master asked.

“Bitter,” spit the apprentice.

The master chuckled and then asked the young man to take the same handful of salt and put it in the lake. The two walked in silence to the nearby lake, and once the apprentice swirled his handful of salt in the water, the old man said, “Now drink from the lake.”

As the water dripped down the young man’s chin, the master asked, “How does it taste?”

“Much fresher,” remarked the apprentice.

“Do you taste the salt?” asked the master.

“No,” said the young man.

At this, the master sat beside the young man who so reminded him of himself and took his hands, offering, “The pain of life is pure salt, no more, no less. The amount of pain in life remains the same, exactly the same. But the amount of bitterness we taste depends on the container we put the pain in. So when you are in pain, the only thing you can do is to enlarge your sense of things… Stop being a glass. Become a lake.”

Motivational, short stories, inspirational
Salt in the lake

The Beautiful Metaphor

Once there lived a village of creatures along the bottom of a great crystal river.

The current of the river swept silently over them all — young and old, rich and poor, compassionate and cruel — the current going its own way, knowing only its own crystal self.

Each creature in its own manner clung tightly to the twigs and rocks of the river bottom, for clinging was their way of life, and resisting the current what each had learned from birth.

But one creature said at last, “I am tired of clinging. Though I cannot see it with my eyes, I trust that the current knows where it is going. I shall let go, and let it take me where it will. Clinging, I shall die of boredom.”

The other creatures laughed and said, “Fool! Let go, and that current will throw you tumbled and smashed across the rocks, and you will die quicker than boredom!”

But the one heeded them not, and taking a breath did let go, and at once was tumbled and smashed by the current across the rocks.

Yet in time, as the creature refused to cling again, the current lifted him free from the bottom, and he was bruised and hurt no more.

And the creatures downstream, to whom he was a stranger, cried, “See a miracle! A creature like ourselves, yet he flies! See the Messiah, come to save us all!”

And the one carried in the current said, “I am no more Messiah than you. The river delights to lift us free, if only we dare let go. Our true work is this voyage, this adventure.”

But they cried the more, “Savior!” all the while clinging to the rocks, and when they looked again he was gone, and they were left alone, and began making legends of a Savior.

Short stories, Zen, Buddhism, motivational, mini stories, koen
Zen Buddhism

Teachings of Zen

The Zen teacher’s dog loved his evening romp with his master. The dog would bound ahead to fetch a stick, then run back, wag his tail, and wait for the next game.

On this particular evening, the teacher invited one of his brightest students to join him – a boy so intelligent that he became troubled by the contradictions in Buddhist doctrine.

“You must understand,” said the teacher, “that words are only guideposts. Never let the words or symbols get in the way of truth. Here, I’ll show you.”

With that the teacher called his happy dog. “Fetch me the moon,” he said to his dog and pointed to the full moon. “Where is my dog looking?” asked the teacher of the bright pupil.

“He’s looking at your finger.”

“Exactly. Don’t be like my dog. Don’t confuse the pointing finger with the thing that is being pointed at. “All our Buddhist words are only guideposts. Everyman fights his way through other men’s words to find his own truth.”

Categories
meditation

Walking Meditation

Walking Meditation

Walking meditation is one of the nicest ways to meditate, the body naturally walks and to experience being both aware of the body’s movements at the same time as being present in the immediate environment can keep us centred and relaxed. The recommended setup for walking meditation is a level, straight path of 20-30 paces, free from debris and somewhere quiet and secluded. The practice is to walk from one end to the other being mindful of each movement, when you reach the end you stand still for a few moments, turn and repeat the exercise to the other end. Walk at a pace that feels comfortable for you, this could be a calm or composed walk or a walk with ease or vigour, feel what is comfortable and as your mind settles your pace will slow accordingly.

Walking meditation, self help guide, personal development tips, inspirational help, spirituality, mindfulness
Walking meditation

Although many people may not have access to the the kind of level path that we recommend for walking meditation, it is still advisable to cultivate this as best as possible within a room, in this instance circumnavigating the room either clockwise or anti-clockwise would be suitable. The ideal location would be a straight path of 20-30 paces in a forest, park, beach or grassland, somewhere you feel safe and secure. The attitude of mindfulness to walking doesn’t have to be confined to just your meditation sessions and once the methods explained hear have been practiced it is possible to be mindful while walking in busy streets or places where there is a lot of footfall. 

The first step begins with composing are attention while standing at one end of your chosen path. Bring your attention to your breath and become present in the moment, spend at least half a minute relaxing and watching the breath. Stand in such a way you can very clearly feel the soles of your feet spread over the ground and rooted to that particular point. Breathing in be aware you are breathing in. Breathing out be aware you are breathing out. Once your calm and you feeling more relaxed and centred, slowly begin, first by gently raising your foot from the ground.

Raising one of your feet try to walk as slowly as you can but at your own body’s comfort. I want you to really feel each and every movement, explore the sensations in your body. Explore the tensing and relaxing of each muscle as it’s being used. Keep everything simple, walk from one end to the other, keeping in touch with your body sensations. 
The minds tendency may be to go into thinking or to get involved with what you see, in either case be gentle and kind towards yourself and bring the attention back to the body as you move each muscle.

Walking meditation, infographic, mindfulness, spirituality, wellbeing, spiritual, compassion, relaxation techniques, stress relief
Walking Meditation infographic

When you are walking you can gather your arms either behind your back or in front of you, gently resting the palm of your hand on the opposite wrist. Recognise the repetitive pattern that goes with walking, feel the sensations as your feet press into the soil, then feel the release of pressure as you raise that foot again. Feel the sensations in your hips and lower back, feel each muscle tense as it moves when required, then relax when not.

Walking mindfully slows the minds rhythm, eventually settling into the physical sensations, the mind becomes calmer and clear. This calmness brings with it a regenerative energy that makes walking meditation feel tireless.

The difficulties that can arise form walking meditation can be a general agitation as the minds wanderings are bought into check and back to the exercise, typical with all meditation. If you feel this agitation start to build, pause and take some deep breaths, always be kind towards yourself, don’t scold, breathing in be aware your breathing in, breathing out be aware your breathing out. Do this for a few moments then resume. You may find yourself standing at one end of your chosen path and go stomping up the other end with little or no regard to mindfulness, or the practice at hand. Once again pause, long deep breaths and return to breathing in and breathing out, after a few moments, feel yourself relax, and start again. 

Walking meditation is a simple and beautiful meditation that is very easy to pick up and understand, it has the ability to centre us and keep us focused and relaxed. You can do this meditation for as little as ten minutes and feel the benefits, it is best to try and build on that and work up to half and hour and maybe even an hour.

Categories
quotes

Words of wisdom

Words of wisdom

Words of wisdom, Ajahn Brahm, Quotes, quote, sayings, life quotes, mindfulness, meditation, spirituality
Words of wisdom Ajahn Brahm

Ajahn Brahm 1951 – present 

Is a British born Australian Buddhist monk from the Thai forest tradition and tutored under the auspicious Ajahn Chah. Born Peter Betts in London, England to a working class family, he was to have a normal upbringing for the time but whilst at school he showed exceptional abilities and won a scholarship to Cambridge university to study theoretical physics. It was at Cambridge university that a love affaire with Buddhism, eastern mysticism and meditation began and after graduation and a brief one year stint as a teacher he followed the hippy trail overland from England to the east finally finding his way to Thailand. At the age of 23 peter was ordained as a Buddhist monk in Bangkok. It was a chance encounter with Ajahn Sumedho that led him to the Thai forest tradition, where he settled and under the guidance of Ajahn Chah he would stay and study for 9 years. It was Ajahn Chah who asked him to help with teaching duties in Australia and together with Ajahn Jagaro they set up Bodhinyana monastery in Perth, Western Australia. This was the first Buddhist monastery in the Thai Theravada linage in the Southern Hemisphere, and still the largest today. In 1995 Ajahn Brahm took over as Abbott of Bodhinyana Monastery which is where he still resides today.

An amazing public speaker selling out concert venues across Singapore and Malaysia, author of two excellent books and credited with translating the Vinaya, the monastic code, into the English language. His easy going nature has earn’t him a large following and his down to earth style and approach make him one of the greatest living teachers of today. 

Words of wisdom, quotes, life quotes, quote, sayings, Eckhart Tolle, meditation
Words of wisdom Eckhart Tolle

Elkhart Tolle 1948 – present

Is a German Canadian spiritual teacher and author, best known for his work “the power of now”. He has been heralded as one of the most influential people living today. Born in a small town just outside of Dortmund, Germany, Tolle himself describes his childhood as depressing. His parents would fight a lot which led to them finally splitting up. He also grew up in a war torn Germany and experienced the devastation left, not just on the surface of bombed out buildings but deep scares it leaves within a nation. He suffered from depression, fear and anxiety from as early as he can remember, that is until the age 29 when living and studying in London, he was to experience an inner transformation that left him with an ever lasting inner peace and tranquility. He describes the experience as a discovery and dissolution of the self. After this awakening he spent a few years wandering in total bliss around London and was at this point he changed his name to Eckhart. He started to write “the power of now” and soon became a spiritual teacher with people seeking out his advice and wisdom. He moved to Canada in 1995 where he still spends most of his time teaching and living a simple life. Eckhart Tolle is not associated with any religion but has been influenced by Zen Buddhism, Hinduism, Sufism and the bible. 

Words of wisdom, quotes, life quotes, quote, sayings, wisdom, Ram Dass
Words of wisdom Baba Ram Dass

Baba Ram Dass 1931 – present

An American born spiritual teacher, author, charity founder and clinical psychologist. He wasn’t know as Ram Dass until later in life and was born as one Richard Alpert into a Jewish family from Massachusetts. Studying hard as a child would see the young Ram Dass complete his education with a Bachelor of Arts, Master and doctorate all specialising in psychology. He took a professorship at Harvard university where he was to write and publish his first book. It was also at Harvard he was to research the potential therapeutic effects of hallucinogenic drugs such as LSD and Psilocybin. The young Ram Dass was dismissed from Harvard just over a year later where he then moved to New York setting up a commune still experimenting with hallucinogenics searching for a route to the higher consciousness. It wasn’t until a trip to India in 1967 where he would meet his spiritual guru Neem Karoli Baba. He was given the name Ram Dass by his guru which means ‘servant of god’. Ram Dass learnt and studied with Neem Karoli Baba until his return to the untied states where he stayed at the Lama Foundation in New Mexico. It was hear that Tolle presented his manuscript entitled ‘From Bindu to Ojas’ to the foundation who would edit, illustrate and lay out the text to what would ultimately become the internationally best selling “The Power Of Now” a personal spiritual journey from psychedelics to enlightenment.

During the 70’s, 80’s and some of the 90’s Ram Dass focused on teaching, writing and founding numerous charitable non profit educational foundations ranging in diversity but all for the welfare of humanity. After a stroke in 1997 he has spent most of his time in residence on the island of Maui in Hawaii, where he still teaches and regularly gives a podcast. In summing up his life he is quoted as saying “I help people as a way to work on myself, and I work on myself to help other people” 

Words of wisdom, quotes, quote, life quotes, sayings, Zen Buddhism, Alan Watts
Words of wisdom Alan Watts

Alan Watts 1915 – 1973

British born American philosopher, teacher, author and commentator he was to popularise eastern culture, philosophy and mysticism with a western audience. Born into a middle class family in Kent, England, where growing up he is said to of always been fascinated with the east, its mysticism and enchantment. From an early age he discovered Buddhism and meditation and at the age of 16 became the London Buddhist lodge’s secretary, at the time the Buddhist Lodge was run by Christmas Humphrey considered to be one of the forefathers of bringing Buddhism to the west. After his marriage to Eleanor and successful publication of his first book “Spirit of Zen” Alan moved to America where he had an eventful and fulfilling life, spending time as an episcopal priest, training in the ways of Zen Buddhism, had 3 marriages and seven children, he produced numerous works on the human conciseness and its experience all relating themselves through Zen, Buddhism and Hinduism. His later life was spent teaching and public speaking touring America and Europe he captivated audiences wherever he went with his philosophical and mystical insights which would have a great lasting impact on the audiences. Still today you can find Alan Watts talks on YouTube, and his talks still resonate truth in today’s world.

Words of wisdom, quotes, life quote, sayings, Buddhism, Ajahn Chah
Words of wisdom Ajahn Chah

Ajahn Chah 1918 – 1992

Was a Buddhist monk of the Thai forest tradition, respected and well loved in his own country as a man of great wisdom, it wasn’t until the arrival of the hippies of the 1960’s that the west finally got to hear of this great spiritual master.

He was born into poverty in the northeast region of Thailand, his parents were rice farmers surviving from day to day. With no real education to be had in the region the young Ajahn would start his monastic training a the age of nine. He spent three years in the monastery where he learnt to read and write. He returned to work on the land of his parents but returned to monastic life at the age of 17. He was ordained at a local monastery where he stayed and practiced meditation until 1946 when he decided to become a wandering ascetic monk, a practice called dutong. He wandered learning from teachers of the time, by far his biggest influence was Ajahn Mun a renowned enlightened meditation master. He spent this time of his life meditating in caves and forests until finally establishing a monastery near his home town where he taught his simple meditation techniques and started to gain a large following of disciples and lay people alike. The arrival of the first western disciple, Ajahn Sumedho saw the development of a new monastery focused purely for the western mind filled with knowledge, the first of its kind in Thailand. A few years later Ajahn Chah was invited to give talks in England where he was to form the very first monastery in the Thai forest linage, called Chittaviveka. Ajahn Chah’s health was in decline by the early 1980’s and he was to suffer a massive stroke leaving him bedridden and unable to speak for ten years. Still in this condition he transmitted the teachings of the Buddha using his own body as evidence enough of impermanence and the importance of seeking refuge within ourselves. Ajahn Chah’s legacy of students continues today with Ajahn Brahm, Jack Kornfield, Ajahn Summadho and Ajahn Amaro to name just a few. 

For more just like this CLICK HEAR

Sharing is caring please show me that you do!

Click one of the icons below to share to your friends.

Categories
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.

Meditation, mindfulness, spirituality, wellbeing, self help, spiritual, growth techniques, self development, motivation techniques

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.

Mindfulness, meditation, mini meditations, self help techniques, self growth, wellbeing, body scan, vipassana, samadhi, compassion

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
Categories
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.

confidence, kindness, personal growth, spirituality, self help, mindfulness, motivation, meditation, spiritual, happiness, positive thinking, relaxation techniques, Buddhism,

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.

confidence, kindness, personal growth, spirituality, self help, mindfulness, motivation, meditation, spiritual, happiness, positive thinking, relaxation techniques, Buddhism,
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.

confidence, kindness, personal growth, spirituality, self help, mindfulness, motivation, meditation, spiritual, happiness, positive thinking, relaxation techniques, Buddhism,

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.

confidence, kindness, personal growth, spirituality, self help, mindfulness, motivation, meditation, spiritual, happiness, positive thinking, relaxation techniques, Buddhism,

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.

Meditation monk, mindfulness, compassion, spirituality, spiritual, self help
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.

confidence, kindness, personal growth, spirituality, self help, mindfulness, motivation, meditation, spiritual, happiness, positive thinking, relaxation techniques, Buddhism,

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.

Meditation, mindfulness, spirituality, wellbeing, compassion spiritual
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.

Meditation, mindfulness, spirituality, spiritual, compassion, self help, anxiety, breath, wellbeing, positivity, loving kindness
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.

Meditation, mindfulness, spirituality, spiritual, yoga, compassion, wellbeing, self help
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