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Everyone’s Mind Matters

The 21 Proven Ways to Beat Anxiety

Anxiety and it’s Causes

Anxiety can be a crippling disease of mind, it’s a feeling of fear or apprehension of something yet to come and in extreme cases is devastating to your life.

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Calming Anxiety

Anxiety disorders can cause your heart rate to rise, heart palpitations, and chest pain. You may also be at increased risk of high blood pressure and heart disease.

The 5 ways of Categorising Anxiety

According to the National Health Service from the United Kingdom Of Great Britain we generally put the effects of Anxiety into 5 categories, these are

Generalised Anxiety Disorder: Described as an excessive amount of worry, stress or anxiety which may include symptoms such as depression. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association Of America (ADAA) Generalised Anxiety Disorder is diagnosed as extreme worry about a variety of things which leads to continuous anxiety and lasts for a period of 6 months and longer.

Social Anxiety Disorder: This is the paralysing fear of social involvement and situations usually leaving the person suffering feeling alone, isolated and ashamed.

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder: OCD is an overwhelming sense to perform certain tasks a certain way over and over again. This experience of intrusive nature of thoughts can give rise to chronic stress.

Panic Disorder: Is characterised by unexpected and sometimes repeated episodes of intense fear, physical symptoms include but not limited too, chest pains, heart palpitations, shortness of breath, tightness of chest, dizziness and or abdominal pain.

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder: Stress caused after a dangerous and scary event. Example would be experiencing war, a deadly storm or almost drowning. This is known as Traumatic Stress and can lead to PTSD or post traumatic stress disorder

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Mind Matters and Anxiety

How to cope with Anxiety

There are many methods we can use to cope and indeed combat anxiety and it’s associated symptoms, here is a quick list that may help, it is by no means comprehensive and if you feel you know something which may help others please feel free to share. I will credit you and add your pearl of wisdom.

  • Take time out

  • Slowly count to 10

  • Try a little basic yoga

  • Eat a well balanced diet

  • Talk to someone

  • Keep a journal

  • Feel the fear and do it anyway

  • Accept you can not control everything

  • Self Awareness

  • Make sure you get enough sleep

  • Maintain a positive attitude

  • Try to get outside in fresh air and the sunlight

  • Limit your intake of caffeine and Alcohol

  • De-clutter

  • Try the gift of giving

  • Accept you are feeling anxious

If you feel there is something left off this list, maybe you have an idea that may help others, then please feel free to add a comment below, I will credit you and add your pearl of wisdom to the list.

Kind regards

Dhamma Tapasa

Categories
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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meditation

Meditation as a personal journey

Meditation is a very personal journey from the path we find meditation on to the journey of personal discovery meditation brings, for each of us has our life story of ups and downs of love and Anger, of loneliness and elation, all squished together over many years to create a tapestry of memories, events and experiences that shape our very existence into behavioural patterns we continually present to the world as Me, I and the Ego

My personal journey with meditation started a long time ago and really took many years before I understood fully what I was doing. For the first few years I suffered with my posture finding the pressure in my knees to much to sit for any period of time. I later found and understand the correct sitting posture helping me to sit for longer periods of time. But if meditation was only about sitting for great lengths of time then chickens would all be enlightened.

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To practice meditation is to be aware, aware of the present moment, to become an observer of the mind in every moment is true meditation, in the observance of mind can we truly uncover the mysteries of the entire universe, the interconnectedness and impermanence of all things and the unconditional love that comes from being present and aware.

To start to meditate is one of life’s greatest challenges and one that can seem incredible scary. My first ever experience of meditation was in a Buddhist meditation centre along with maybe 250 others, with a strict code of silence being observed . The first morning I followed everyone else into the meditation hall and found a cushion and tried to sit. The bell chimed and everyone closed there eyes. I had been given a few simple instructions, breath in be aware your breathing in, simple. I closed my eyes and breathed in, counted one and lost my thoughts, my mind traveled somewhere I cannot say, I do remember think wow this meditation lark is easy and opened my eyes to check the time. 30 seconds had passed, arghh half a minute, I’ve got half an hour of this, calm down, breathing in be aware count one, my mind wanders, collect my thoughts, wow how long was that, 1 minute, what! Calm and I repeated this for a whole thirty minutes.

Not a good start and I’m amazed I kept going. However this can be a common problem when starting to meditate, if you are experiencing anything like this then your not alone.what we need to do is find that pure magic that comes with meditation, we need to feel addicted to meditation, we need to find pleasure.

Like everything, patience and being kind to yourself go an incredibly long way in helping you overcome this initial stage. It’s like any exercise we do to strengthen our muscles the first few times are tough and are muscles ache and seem to scream Stop! Slowly over time we build those muscles and it becomes a little easier, we start to see our progress which in turn spurs us on to ever more success. The exact same is true for meditation only we are training our mind in the powers of concentration.

It has taken many years practicing in countless meditation centres across Europe and Asia and as a Buddhist monk during rains retreats to finally becoming solid in my meditation practice. I now love meditation so much, that given the time I can sit for hours in pure bliss, it has become the first thing I now want to do as I rise from sleep, I used to go for a cup of coffee to kick start my day, I now meditate.

I am not fully enlightened or claim to be, I am on the path to enlightenment and have dedicated my entire life to this endeavour. I have years and years of experience from meeting true enlightened masters to actual real meditation experience. I can help you!

The whole of this website is slowly growing to enable me to help all those who sincerely want to practice meditation. Instead of trying so desperately hard by yourself let this website and myself help and guide you along the path, use my many years of mistakes and lessons learnt as your short cut to your meditation success.

Slowly over time I will be filling the pages of this website with helpful tips and tricks I’ve personally been taught or learnt while meditating. As well as articles on my own meditation journey glimpsing into the contemplative subjects I endeavour to uncover the answers too, and personal reflections into my life and past traumas overcome.

It would be amazing if you could join myself and Marley on our journey 4enlightenment, but we understand if we’re not your flavoured tea! Maybe your not ready!

If you want to know more about Marley and me, Dhamma Tapasa CLICK HEAR

Please feel free to contact me regarding any problems your having with meditation or ideas to make this website more appealing please feel free to use the information found on our contact page CLICK HEAR 

if you have enjoyed this article then please share with your friends and family because after all

SHARING IS CARING

Kind regards

Dhamma Tapasa

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meditation

Body Scan Meditation

Body scan meditation

This meditation is usually done lying down but if you find you keep falling asleep it can equally be done siting crossed legged on the floor or 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 so a small pillow or folded towel will do the trick, but 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 and 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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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
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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.

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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.

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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.

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loving kindness meditation

Loving kindness meditation or Metta Bhavana meditation

Loving kindness or Metta Bhavana meditation 

There are a few methods and ways to practice loving kindness, the method I describe below I find works wonderfully for me. It is one of visualisation, I was a Buddhist monk in Northern Thailand and after many years of meditation practice and guidance I find this is the most suitable way for my western mind.

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Loving kindness Metta meditation infographic

This method however is just one of the three ways to practice which will achieve loving kindness in the heart. Reflecting and auditory are the other two methods used to create the feeling of loving kindness. Reflect on the positive qualities of yourself or a loved one will ensure loving kindness to flourish with in the heart. Using a mantra is the auditory approach and an example could simple be the words loving kindness.

The First thing we need to do is find the love from within ourselves. Now I understand that may sound a little scary to some. Visualisation is a great way to achieve love inside, we all have something we love, something that will bring that feeling back when you start to think deeply enough about it. For me this is my adopted stray dog Marley and the crazy fun things he gets up to. If your still finding difficulty thinking of something that your really love this much, then try hitting this link 7 wonders of life, it will help you find something wonderful in your life to feel that loving kindness and to help with the practice. Now that we have our object of focus, it time to relax.

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Loving kindness infographic

Find a comfortable place somewhere you won’t be disturbed. Now sitting in a comfortable position with a straight spine, gently relax your shoulder and neck muscles and slowly close your eyes. Take a few long deep breaths and feel yourself relaxing.

Let’s start by calmly watch your breathing, don’t disturb your breathing, just let it be natural. Breathing in, be aware your breathing, breathing out, be aware your breathing out. Count one.

This is a great link to learn how to practice Breath Meditation. Relax and do this for a count of ten.
Now bring your object of love to the forefront of your mind and begin to feel the love you have. really start to explore that feeling, the feeling of love. Don’t worry if you feel a little resistance at first, be kind to yourself and be patient. Try to find where the feeling is coming from, do you notice how the feeling grows the more you explore it. Again don’t panic if you feel resistance to this, it is all ok, it just means a little more patience and kindness towards yourself is needed. Now feel that love start to consume you, feel it’s warmth, is your smile hurting you cheeks yet.

If you are having trouble visualising, please still use loving kindness with yourself, this is not going to be easy for some. Tell yourself it’s ok we can have another go later, always be patient and kind towards yourself and even that is practicing loving kindness.
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Loving kindness informative graphic

Once we have the feeling of love flowing within ourselves, it’s time to send out our love to others. We now use a mantra with our loving kindness, to truly send out our positive vibration to the chosen person. First we start with ourselves. Repeat this ten times to yourself, or out loud that’s entirely up to you.

May I be happy 

May I be free from metal suffering and distress

May I be free of physical pain and suffering

May I be peaceful and at ease

Now we are going to give that love from our heart, that loving kindness to someone other than ourselves.

The Four Types of Persons to develop loving-kindness towards are 

  • A respected, beloved person – such as a spiritual teacher
  • A dearly beloved – which could be a close family member or friend
  • A neutral person – somebody you know, but have no special feelings towards, e.g a person who serves you in a shop
    A hostile person – someone you may be having difficulty with
  • Starting with yourself, then systematically sending loving-kindness from person to person in the above order will have the effect of breaking down the barriers between the four types of people and yourself. This will have the effect of breaking down the divisions within your own mind, the source of much of the conflict we experience
  • May (insert name) be happy
  • May (insert name) be free from suffering and distress 

    May (insert name) be free of physical pain and suffering 

    May (insert name) be peaceful and at ease 
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    Loving kindness graphic

    If you find your mind wanders or you notice your loving kindness looses it ferocity, at this point always be kind and patient with yourself, slowly return to the original object of focus, take a few deep breaths and start again. once you have established the feeling again in your heart, continue with the mantra. 

    For a more in depth analysis of loving kindness and it benefits click hear.