Meditation and Fear

May 19, 2010 at 8:24 am (Benefits of Meditation, Visualization, Why do we meditate?)

What is Fear?

Fear is a unique combination of emotion and physical experience. Fear can be associated with a physical circumstance or it can be only in the mind.

While there are many ways to describe it, fear can be defined as the concern, worry or expectation of an unacceptable, damaging or harmful outcome to a present or future situation.

We as humans are unique among species in our ability to anticipate and fear the future or the worry about things that have not happened yet.

This unique ability presents both opportunities and challenges. Anticipation of llikely outcomes, problems and situations is a helpful and useful ability that lets us plan, prepare and enjoy greater success.

Excessive worry about potential problems, ‘boogeymen’ in the closet, all the bad things that might happen and possible failure or rejection is debilitating, hinders growth and stifles creativity and learning.

Is Fear a Bad Thing?

Fear is neither bad or good by itself. It is a natural emotion when we are faced with a real or imagined threat. How much we feel the fear, what we do with it and how much we allow it to control our thinking, planning and actions is the key to the answer to that question.

Fear can lead us to be cautions in a dangerous situation. It can lead to prudent precaution if you drive in the snow on an unfamiliar mountain road. It can lead to better preparation for an important work effort if one worries appropriately about the consequences of a failed presentation. It can lead to moderation in trying a new sport or skill if one has just a little fear of broken bones or injuries.

Generally the problem is not in having too little fear. Mostly we allow our fears control our efforts, weaken our resolve, derail our dreams and slow our progress in many areas.

We are afraid we will fail at losing weight, we don’t think we are good enough to get a promotions, we believe we can never learn to speak or present in public effectively, we are sure that no one will listen to our point of view, we feel small and worthless and so we just quit trying in so many situations.

In this and ten thousand similar ways we allow fear and needless worry to exert far too much control over our lives and success. 

OK, Now What?

In meditation we learn to look at emotions differently. We learn to understand them without their attendant physical effects and then learn to decide when and how much to allow any emotion, especially fear, to control or affect our lives and efforts.

Meditation will teach you to control your fear, to elimanate worry and to master your inner resolve and power. Meditation will give you the tools, courage and resources to destroy you demons and banish your big phobias and silly little worries.

Meditation will give you power to keep a calm assurance about your goals, dreams and daily walk so you have confidence, perspective and are able to live joyously, even on bad days when difficult things happen.

You do not need to be controlled or dominated by fear for one more day. Take the steps you need to free youself of this draining anxiety and controlling worry. Give yourself the power to control your life, feelings and heart. Explore the wonderful tool of Meditation.

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Meditation and Gratitude

May 11, 2010 at 10:20 am (Benefits of Meditation, Visualization, Why do we meditate?)

I read an article this morning in the March 2010  issue of the Ensign by Vaughn E. Worthen, a practicing psychologist, that was a great collection of thoughts on grtatitude, what it is and what it does for us. It has several good points and I wanted to share them along with some of my own experiences.

What is gratitude?

Gratitude is an experience. It is a feeling that we have when something happens that blesses our lives in some way. It can be an emotional feeling and sometimes it is accompanied by a physical sensation.

Gratitude is an attitude. It is the point of view or outlook that is willing to realize and acknowledge good things that come to us either from others, or from circumstance or as blessings.

Gratitude is a also a habit, a cultivated response that guides how we look at things. It is a way of looking at things in a positive and grateful way instead of a focus on what is missing.

Gratitude is a coping mechanism. This is very important and perhaps the hardest to use effectively. When things happen to us that are unexpected or difficult, we can focus on the things we are grateful for. This serves not just a a momentary distraction, but as a real and tangible reminder that there are usually far more positive things than negative things in our lives.

To me this all means that gratitude is a choice. In each of these meanings, we have the ability to choose to experience the feeling, to have the attitude, to cultivate the habit and to employ the coping mechanism of gratitude. We are able to choose this tool to help our lives and feelings and to bless those around us.

Meditation and Gratitude

When we meditate, it is powerful medicine for the soul to experience and fully explore things that have blessed our lives. We can use the tranquility of meditation to fully understand and explore the things, experience or people that made us feel grateful, and then deeply ingrain those feelings, choices and attitudes in our lives.

 The cultivation of habits of recognizing and acting on opportunities to express gratitude, particularly to those who have provided the kindness is a refined and uplifiting approach to our daily experience.

When we go through our day with an intentional focus on seeing the good, being grateful for the blessings, and expressing gratitude with ‘thank yous’ and smiles to those around us, we are lifted from our troubles, we are filled with positive light and we can spread goodness to those around us.

We are then in a position to be the agent of other’s gratitude. We are better able to be of service and blessing to others so that they too can experience the feelings and cultivate the habits and experience the lifting and blessing power of gratitude.

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Meditation and Positive Aspects

May 4, 2010 at 11:39 am (Benefits of Meditation, Visualization)

This might seem like a bit of a strange title for a blog post, but let me explain. I have the good fortune of being associated with a good coach that is in the business of helping people become what they can be and improving all aspects of their lives.

Her name is Dawn Newman and she and I have been regularly visiting for months. She made a suggestion to me one day that has proved very useful and positive in helping focus my meditation sessions and I wanted to share it with you here.

Book of Positive Aspects

This is the title of the exercise that she suggested. It really consists of taking a sheet of paper, or better yet a small book that you can keep and dedicating a page to a single person.

On that page you write down everything that you can think of about that person that is a positive thing. For example, you might describe how it feels to be around them or you might list positive character traits that they have.

You might list how they positively affect others, or things that are uplifting that they might have said or done in your experiences and relationship with that person.

While this is an easy task with a person that you like or you consider a friend, you might also try it with a person who has mistreated you or with whom you are angry.

At first this might seem impossible or at least very difficult, but if you try for a few minutes, you will be surprised at how much you can remember that is positive and something that you feel good about.

Meditation and Positive Thinking

After completing such a list, you then have the opportunity to use the gift and power of meditation to focus more clearly on one or several of these attributes or circumstances.

I completed this exercise with someone in mind who has been extremely unkind and difficult for the past two years. It was a difficult test to say the least.

I can honestly report that it changed my outlook and completely softened my feelings toward that person, even though the situation has yet to change. It removed all anger, resentment and all feelings of having been treated poorly. 

I have not yet been able to remedy the situation but I can tell you that my heart is not stirred up or angry and I am completely at peace regarding the situation.

Better still, through regular meditation, I am completely sure that there will come a time that the situation will be remedied and return to a positive and uplifting circumstance as it once was.

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Meditation and Giving

April 26, 2010 at 10:17 am (Meditation Basics, Visualization)

This is a bit of a difficult post to write. I have a certain feeling or idea in mind, but I am not completely able to articulate it as well as I would like. I think it is important, so I will try anyway.

What is Giving?

Giving is a word that has many meanings in our language. We can give physical items such as objects or money, we can give mental energy such as concentration or attention or we can give emotional energy, such as friendship, hatred, empathy or love.

Why and how we ‘give’ any of these items varies with the individual and circumstances. Sometimes we give concsiously, as when we donate to a charity. We may unconsciously give off signals about our feeligs when we’re frustrated or distracted.

Live and give with intention

What if we thought about eveything we give? What if we intentionally gave every feeling or action to those around us or to the fabric of the universe? What if we lived more intentionally instead of accidentally?

One aspect of meditation is learning to live in the moment. To live fully conscious of the sensations, emotions, nuances and activities of the present moment of where we are, what we are doing and thinking and with whom we are interacting.

Research has demonstrated that we actually don’t multitask very well. The studies demonstrate that the best that happens is that both items in our multitasking window receive poor attention and reduced quality. What if, instead, we focused entirely on the most important thing that was at hand in each moment of our lives.

One Thing at a Time

If we are working on a project, we do it fully, completely and with every fiber of our mind focused on the task at hand with the intention of doing it the best we are able.

If we are feeling an emotion or expressing a feeling, we completely understand the emotion and its nuances in our minds and hearts and pay it full attention. We express if freely and fully without reservation. 

If we are with someone, we are completely with them and every thought and idea is centered on the relationship, the conversation, the feelings and the moments as they pass one at a time.

Meditation will show you that when you do this, the number of moments that you have do not increase. But instead, your life will be much more intense, more full of meaning and more powerful because each moment is so much more meaningful, focused and full of the intention and energy that make up that moment.

Give youself fully to your life. Every moment, every thought. Focus on the seconds of the day as they pass and fill each with purposeful thought and action. Live Fully, Love Freely, Act Boldly.

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Meditation and Surgery

April 14, 2010 at 3:28 pm (Benefits of Meditation, Visualization, Why do we meditate?)

At first, this may seem like a strange topic for a blog post. I have the opportunity to have surgery on my ear tomorrow. It is something that I am looking forward to, and at the same time something that I am a little worried about.

The Situation

I have substantial hearing loss and have had to wear hearing aids for about 10 years. I had always assumed that it was heriditary since my father had hearing loss as well. It has gotten progressively worse over the years.

I was always mostly ‘resigned’ to the fact that I had hearing problems, but I was never angry about it. I did however, meditate frequently on the problem and visualized strongly a world where I could hear. This went on for many years.

Recently I want to a doctor to have another test to get a new set of hearing aids since the ones that I have were not working well enough any more. She tested my hearing, confirmed the increase in hearing loss and then stunned me with the announcement that I was a candidate for a type of surgerty that could restore a good portion of my hearing.

Apparently, I have good bone conduction hearing and terrible ear drum path hearing. This means that a problem in the inner ear with the 3 little bones – (mallus, incus and stapes) is causing the hearing loss and that it could be correctable by surgery.

The Solution

She sent me to a specialist in this type of procedure downtown who did further testing and then confirmed that I could have thie surgery and that it would likely give me a substantial portion of my hearing back.

This procedure is scheduled for tomorrow, and I am excited and a bit apprehensive since I have never had any surgery or hospital time of any kind. It is outpatient, and I will be home in one day. They will do one ear tomorrow and the second ear in 6 months. I will keep you posted on how it works.

The hearing problem has affected my work in some ways, since it was difficult to do the meditation music with the hearing challenges. I have developed over the years a combination of reference music and visual tools to help with the technical aspects of the recording process.

My Feelings

I find myself overwhelmed with gratitude and wonder toward God for the miracle of getting my hearing back. I have meditated on this miracle often since learing of this possiblility a few weeks ago.

I am fully at peace and prepared for both the procedure and the new world that awaits me afterwards.

The possibility of having my hearing back is almost more than I can imagine at this present second.

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Meditation Music

January 16, 2010 at 1:40 pm (Meditation Music, Visualization) (, , )

Today I was thinking about meditation music. That is to say, music designed specifically for meditation. I am a musician, and love many kinds of music. So for me, using music with meditation is natural and right. However, there are many different thoughts on the subject and also many different kinds of ‘music’ or sound that can be used in aid of successful meditation.

In this post I want to talk about two different kinds of music used for meditation. The first kind is music that has some subliminal aspect to it, such as specific brainwave entrainment frequencies, or other subliminal messaging, such as sub-audio threshhold affirmations. The second type of music is simply that – music. It is music that is designed as meditation music to feel good and comforatble to you and to enhance the meditation experience without any ‘axtra injection.’

There has been an explosion of brainwave entrainment music in the last 10 – 20 years. What is brain entrainment music or sound? The basic premis is this, the meditation ‘music’ can be musical tones or nature sounds, seashore waves or wind, but underneath it all, there are a pair of audio frequencies that are designed to gently ‘lead’ the brain or ‘entrain’ the brain to move to a particular frequency. 

Those familiar with brainwave frequencies know that alpha is 7 – 13 Hz and Delta is 4 – 7 Hz and Theta is 0 – 4 Hz. (All these numbers are approximations, as there is always controversy about the exact boundaries.) So an alpha brainwave entrainment (BWE) recording tries to help your brain go to alpha state by creating a frequency in the alpha range. Other recordings are designed to lead you to the other brainwave frequencies.

When we meditate, we take ourselves to one of these frequencies. (Each frequency does different things, and that discussion takes another post.)

I am a recording engineer, a long-time student of psychoacoustics as well as a musician, so I can give a very technical explanation about how this all works, particularly since I have purchased and disected BWE recorings in the studio. But that is not the point. The point is that the BWE recording or ‘binaural beat’ recording tries to lead your brain to the meditative frequency or frequencies.

Subliminal messaging, on the other hand, uses music to mask the repitition of some positive message about your personality, body, money status, self-esteem or other aspect that you wish to influence. The idea is that repeated subliminal hearing of the affirmation will positively affect your emotion and action.

Proponents of both of these methods claim outrageous and instant success and wonderful and immediate life-changing alterations with their use. My experience suggests that they are somewhat effective, and do help to a limited degree. The primary limitation comes from the fact that they are external. They are outside forces trying to get you to do what needs to be done internally.

In my personal practice, and in my teaching, I have found meditation music without the ‘artificial injections’ to be far more beneficial, and to cause far better results. I believe that this is because you are using the meditation music to enhance your own meditation, and your own internal efforts to make thhe positive changes in peace, prosperity, health, relationships or whatever your target is.

The external ‘injection’ method sort of falls into the category of ‘external quick-fix’ that seems to be so much a part of our society and culture in the western world.

To be perfectly clear, I love meditation music, I write many kinds of meditation music, I sell meditation music and I believe in meditation music. Different kinds of meditation music work better for each person. I am simply saying that your own personal meditation efforts enhanced by pleasing and relaxing music that speaks to your  soul is far more important and effective than any external ‘injection’ of brainwave frequencies or repeated affirmation.

The reason is this: – the effort actually used in getting your brain to the meditative frequencies is the pay-off. Then you understand and can make those changes and feelings at will. You are fully in control and in charge of your own progress and empowerment.

So just to be clear, Meditation music is powerful and I endorse it, but I believe it should be just music without the BWE, or subliminal content. When you use meditation music this way, it will be the most beneficial for you and your meditation will improve much faster.

More importantly, the feelings, changes and improvements you are seeking in your life, health, wealth, relationships and personal peace will manifest much faster with meditation music that you choose that speaks to your soul and gives you the experience you desire as you seek your deepest inner voice. Visit this site to access some original meditation music that will help your meditation.

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It’s a Glorious New Year!!

December 31, 2009 at 7:16 pm (Visualization)

So here is my New Year rampage!!!

I love it when new year comes around. I love making plans and dreaming about new things. When this time comes around, we have about three choices and of course, they all have their consequences. 

We can:    1) Do nothing, its another day, its another week and so what! Let’s party and forget it, or let’s go to bed early and forget it, ‘cuz nothin’ matters anyway.

                     2) Look back at the year behind us and remember all the things that went wrong. You know, the promotions we didn’t get, the account we didn’t land, the relationship that went south, the stupid judgements we made, etc. Call it the view of the wreck of the day, the wreck of the week, month or year. We can lament about love lost, money lost, opportunities missed, or bad things that hppened to us or around us.

When we do this, we sometimes go into the ’emo zone’ and immediately we get angry or defensive because all this happened to us or failed us. We might play the blame game or the would-a, could-a should-a game.           OR

                      3) We can forget all that, since we can’t change it anyway, and instead remember the sweetness of being alive. We have a new day dawning, and one day distance from whatever is past. We can set our sights wherever we choose to set them, and lift our vision from the mud to the sky. We write our own ticket in life. We interact with the world the way we choose to, and ultimately we have accountability for how we feel.

I love to choose #3 and set my sights high, and look for every thing that I can that is good for the new year. New goals, new ideas, new energy, and a new vision. Meditation is a big part of that for me, and I love the way it gives me perspective. I am content to own my own life and feelings, and I will take this wonderful new year and make it a winner!!

Check out this visualization tool….

Read more about the power of meditation by clicking here.

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