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Battle of Life

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The one who is well armed for the battle of life - that is, possesses good qualities, becomes successful and prosperous - such a person experiences the real happiness.
Sama Veda *

Of all gains, good health is the greatest. Of all wealth, contentment is the greatest. Among kinsmen, the trusty is the greatest. Freedom is ultimate happiness.
Dhammapada 203-05 *

Life finds its purpose and fulfillment in the expansion of happiness.
Maharishi Mahesh Yogi *

I believe that the very purpose of life is to seek happiness.
The XIV Dalai Lama *

There is pleasure when a sore is scratched, but to be without sores is more pleasurable still. Just so, there are pleasures in worldly desires, but to be without desires is more pleasurable still.

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Realxing With Meditation

Meditation teaches us to live contentedly, which brings us peace of mind even in adverse circumstances

One can achieve deep relaxation, if one follows some simple routines.
 These procedures teach us to relax the body and enter meditation, which can take us into an even deeper state of relaxation of the body and mind, which is our natural condition.

1. Relaxing the body

Stress and unhappiness are stored in the body, so we begin by relaxing our muscles. We can achieve this by systematically tensing muscle groups throughout the body and then relaxing the tension on the out-breath.
We can stretch the body and move into various postures, relaxing as we breathe out.

2. Relaxing the breath
When we are agitated, our breathing becomes faster and more shallow.
When we slow down and deepen our breathing we become calmer. We can harness awareness of the out-breath through visualising tension streaming out of the body as we breath out. We can
cleanse the breath through alternate nostril breathing.

3. Relaxing the voice

When we are happy we may spontaneously burst into song, but it is hard to sing when we are sad or stressed. We can therefore learn to relax through free energetic sound.

We can chant yogic mantras and give ourselves permission to make as much noise as we wish without caring about the harmony or disharmony of our voice. We sing the sound Ahhhhhh for the length of an out-breath and release energetic tension with the sound.

4. Ready for meditation

Having relaxed the body we wish to retain this sense of comfort and calm when we start to meditate.
It is therefore essential to find a sitting posture for meditation in which we can be relaxed but alert. Relaxing the mind is more difficult than relaxing the body. We want to be as physically comfortable as possible so that the body does not distract the mind. The body should be upright, balanced and unrestricted. The spine should be erect but relaxed. The body should be balanced and not twisted or placed in a position that requires effort to maintain. Blood needs to flow freely to all parts of the body and in particular to the limbs without constriction or pressure.

5. Relaxing the mind
Meditation relaxes the mind by letting go of thought to experience mind without thought. Thought is an intricate conceptual mesh that surrounds the still deep quietness of the empty mind and acts as a filter for everything that we experience.

To relax the mind we need to loosen and let go of this mesh in order to discover and understand
mind when it is no longer defined by thought. Thought is a natural process of mind but thought is
not the essence of mind. We can only discover ultimate relaxation if we learn to become familiar and comfortable in the empty essence of the nature of mind. We begin by using the breath as a focus and letting go of thought as we breathe out. Over time, we can let go of the breath as a focus and simply let go of thought whenever it arises.

Gradually, spaciousness develops in the mind and it becomes easy to dwell in the space of mind
without thought.

6. Daily practice

Learn to let go of thought and relax the mind. This calls for commitment and effort. Meditating every day makes the mind settle and let go of thought, and increases our capacity to concentrate and experience spaciousness of mind. It is more productive to meditate for a short period every day than it is to meditate for a longer period more occasionally. The length of our daily practice must be realistic and easily achievable so that it does not become a burden or a chore.

Ten minutes of meditation a day is all that is required for meditation to become a life skill that is
simply part of who we are. At first, we will continually lose our focus and we may find this frustrating, but we must not develop selfdeprecation.
Whenever we realise that we have lost concentration we must celebrate this as a moment of re-emerging awareness. To recognise loss of awareness is to have regained awareness.
Over time a commitment to practising letting go every day will produce startling results.
We will start to understand our relationship with thought and develop increased awareness. We will start to feel more relaxed about who we are.

We will start to feel less pressured by our life circumstances. We will begin to let go of self-centredness and find joy in being kind to others.

7. Further practice

When we have established a daily practice of letting go we can experiment with contemplative practices that change our ordinary view. We can examine our relationship with others through looking at how we interact with a friend, an enemy and a stranger. We can practise purification
visualisation to discover clarity, and we can practise methods of developing loving kindness to enrich ourselves and develop openness and generosity.

Through relaxing the body we feel refreshed and invigorated.
Through relaxing the mind we discover openness and clarity.
Over time, the moments of experience of mind without thought will lengthen and occur more
frequently and this spaciousness of mind will sparkle in our everyday lives. We will start to notice our habit patterns and cease to be their victim. We will discover that we have a choice about who we are and how we live. We will discover emotion as naked energy and our sensory experiences will become enlivened. We will become more open, patient, tolerant and kind.
We will discover open appreciation and awaken to our natural state of well-being.

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Great tips on how to stay motivated when working on a long-term goal.

Here are a few other great tips  on how to stay motivated when working on a long-term goal.

• Love the journey, not just the destination. If we do not inhabit our lives until the magic moment
when we reach that goal – guess what.

 We may never get there.

• Take pride in the small steps. Okay, you may not have won an Oscar as yet, but is that any reason to ignore the acting award your housing society has given you? Rejoice and be exceeding glad!

• Find encouraging friends. If there are too many nay-sayers among your friends and family, time to get some new friends.

Friends who believe in you and are rooting for you and who can get you through your moments
of severe self-doubt.

• Use everything along the way to commit yourself more and more to your goal. So you broke your diet, were unfaithful to your spouse, and binged on the money you had kept aside for buying your dream house? All the more reason to re-commit yourself to the goal. Do not lose hope.
 You will make it if you keep the faith.

• On a related note, please forgive yourself for all the things you have goofed up on. Mistakes are
ok. Failure is ok. Success is a process. Keep going!

• Never, ever give up. That is all it takes. Honestly.

• Give yourself some rewards along the way. Dieters often give themselves an off every Sunday when they binge on whatever they studiously avoid the rest of the week. This frees them of the sense of deprivation. If you are grimly pursuing enlighten ment, give yourself a break from meditation and other spiritual practices.

 Hang loose. Read some nice fiction. See some movies. Take walks in wonderful nature. You will soon be raring to hit the med mat.

• Affirm away, This is a great way to bring your goal closer to you. Visualising is great too.

• Meditate, introspect and catch your mistakes early. Keep check ing to see if you are on course.
Learn from your mistakes.

• Celebrate your success. Because you are sure to get there! Lovely Thoughts for Lovely People Just Like You

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