Inspiration, Tools and Techniques for Living a Joyful Life, Now
In Today's Newsletter:
Article: The Problem with Thinking.
The Holographic Universe: Life is But a Dream
Video: Visionary Artist Nicholas Roerich
More on the Dangers of Antidepressants.
Book Review and Video Interview: Anatomy of an Epidemic by Robert Whitaker.
Bipolar Recovery Coaching and Alternative Bipolar Treatments.
Complimentary 15-minute guided mindfulness meditation available for immediate download,(see the gold buttons below).
Meditation: The HamSa technique (the origin of Mindfulness Meditation).
Ask-the-Therapist Forum. Ask me any question and you may see it posted on the website with my answer (you don't have to give your real name).Ask away!(I'll do my best to give you a helpful and honest answer).
My Program for Natural Treatment of Depression:
Tapping Into Joy: Meridian Tapping and Mindfulness for Depression. This 96-Page eBook covers a wide range of issues and root causes of depression and shows you how to awaken to your natural state of peace and happiness. Program includes 2.5 hours of Audio Book recording, and a One-hour guided meditation.
Special Limited-Time Offer: Purchases made before November 11th 2010 will include a free Webinar on Thursday November 18th at 4pm PST. This will be a Live 90-Minute Tutorial on Meridian Tapping for symptoms of depression, anxiety, trauma, and stress, as well as for success and manifesting your dreams. Tapping Into Joy: Meridian Tapping and Mindfulness for Depression - Available Now.
The Solution to Every Problem: (You Wont Find it in the Mind)
Have you ever had a moment of clarity, when you suddenly realized that you've become a slave to your thoughts, and that if you could just stop for a moment - just turn off the mind - you'd be free and you'd be happy? This is the Truth knocking at the door of your consciousness.
We are mental junkies. Addicted to thinking. Once you start taking your thoughts too seriously, you are doomed to a life of misery, complication and confusion. Ouch! Yes, I know that sounds harsh, but I'm afraid it's true.
Thinking, thinking, thinking. Worrying, ruminating, perseverating, analyzing, computing, reasoning, intellectualizing.... does it ever really make you happy? And if your answer is "yes" -- does it last?
Einstein, the brilliant visionary, philosopher, and scientific genius of the century, had some of his most profound realizations in the moments of letting go of his mind and being in silent contemplation.
“No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it.”
- Albert Einstein
What does this mean? It means that attacking your problems using the same mental/intellectual process that created the mess in the first place, is just adding fuel to the fire.
Thinking your way out of thinking is the hard way to cope.
What's the easy way you ask?
There's more than one way to choose from. But my favorites are meditation and Meridian Tapping (EFT). And doing both is even better. They compliment each other wonderfully.
The main point is to quiet the mind. Meditation, if done regularly, can smooth out the mind like a stone that's been tumbled in a fast moving river. No stone is too large or too rough. The river of Consciousness always wins in the end.
Tapping works on many levels, and can be used both to release the negative, self-limiting beliefs, emotional traumas and expectations from the body-mind, and can also be used to "implant" new positive beliefs, ideas and intentions into the mind so that you can intentionally attract the things you want into your experience and into your life.
Meditation opens you to unlimited potential - to the Source of Consciousness itself.
Tapping is a tool that utilizes the power of the mind to transform itself from a negative, self-sabotaging force, into the magical, reality shifting, dream-fulfilling, visionary tool that it was meant to be.
In the last newsletter, I wrote about the power of "letting go."
That is, and probably will always be my strongest message. I'll say it in all different ways until it sinks in and takes root. The mind gets used to hearing things a certain way, and even if you have an "aha moment" - the light bulb turns on over your head... after a little while it loses its meaning again. That's what the mind does. It deadens reality. Thinking kills reality.
If you had never seen a sunset before - ever - and then someone took you outside and sat you down as the last rays of the sun turned the sky to a sea of glowing fire, pink, and purple and orange vapors spanning the heavens as far as the eye could see - would it be boring? Would you say, "been there, done that, what's on T.V.?" Of course not! You'd be in a state of ecstasy.
But the magic wears off. You might still love a good sunset, but your perception changes. Your vision changes. The lens through which you see is not influenced by past impressions, past experiences, and you no longer experience the sunset as it really is - in this moment - now. We do this with everything - beauty, nature, people, especially the people we're closest to.
What we see is a composite picture of all the past memories, beliefs, ideas, emotions, thoughts, judgments and experiences that we've ever had - superimposed on "reality." We see a world of our own making, rather than the cosmic, divine world that has always existed in it's utter perfection. Not a good trade in my opinion.
"When desires trouble the mind, always remind yourself of this truth: 'When ecstasy comes, everything goes."
My Favorite artist, Nicholas Roerich, (October 9, 1874 – December 13, 1947), was a Russian painter, philosopher, scientist, writer, traveler, and public figure. He created about 7,000 paintings (many of them are exhibited in well-known museums of the world) and about 30 literary works. Roerich traveled extensively in the Himalayas of India and Tibet, and his art is inspired by his travels and the many cultures that he experienced. Roerich earned several nominations for the Nobel Prize.
The Holographic Universe
We would have a much easier time of living if we would see life as more of a dream, and less as hard cold "reality." I know there are people who would love to argue this point til the cows come home - that "all the bad stuff in the world is REAL and you can't tell me it's not!!"
Yes, on a certain level of perception you can call it "real." We all suffer. We see bad things happen and bad things happen to us. We watch our loved one's get sick and suffer and die. We read the news, experience loss and fear and stress, and get very stuck in our despair. But when we get out of that place of despair, everything changes. Everything.
The Mind is the final frontier. Experiment with it. See how far you can stretch the bounds of what you believe is possible. Our beliefs and expectations create our experience. If you're stuck in a negative mental state, feeling the aweful effects of your negative, pessimistic, self-limiting beliefs - and perhaps even recognizing that it is not really the Truth - you are left with a choice: Fight against this belief (and probably lose); Submit to the negative belief (and be bitter and disappointed); Accept yourself as you are, and recognize that you have this belief but you are NOT your belief (this will help a lot if you stay with it); Or take measures to clear the mind entirely - through meditation (passive) and meridian tapping (active) methods, until the positive, life affirming, creative forces within you begin to take hold and shift reality to a much more enjoyable state.
A final thought to consider about thinking and "the Law of Attraction:"
If we tend to create and attract our particular version of "reality" based on our personal thoughts, feelings and beliefs from moment to moment...
is it better to go along with the fast pace of life, always thinking ahead to what's coming, what's next, anticipating the day ahead and feeling like a hamster on a wheel? Or is it better for us to focus on the present moment - to be in the here-and-now awareness of our immediate experience, physically, visually, sensually and so on?
The fear we have, is that if we simply focused on this present moment awareness, we would appear to be spaced out, oblivious to plans and schedules and would be useless. We fear that life would spin out of control and we would lose something, or miss out on something critically important....
But if we create what we think about, then thinking always about future, future, future, just creates more "future" and less Now-ness.
And if we dare to place our complete attention on the Present Moment Awareness - if we are crazy enough to risk it - we will in fact, create more Present Moment. Because that's what we're focusing on. The only Real "Reality" exists right Here and Now. And it's infinite, and eternal - the Now. But the only way to begin to experience the majesty of the moment, is to put your attention there and keep it there - instead of forever chasing shadows and an anticipated future that hasn't happened yet.
Try it, you might like it.
Before Starting an Antidepressant Medication, know the real facts: The Dangers of Antidepressants.
I regularly see and here about people who have fallen victim to the adverse effects of antidepressants and other drugs.
The story usually goes like this:
A usually energetic, creative, successful, intelligent adult, or teenager, encounters some difficulties or a traumatic event, and becomes anxious or depressed.
They go to their doctor for help.
Doctor says they have depression and gives them an antidepressant (no recommendation for therapy..."talking" about problems)
Their energy and mood begin to become elevated - for some, within weeks, for others within the first day.
Doctor says, "It's just the placebo affect -- that drug takes at least 4-6 weeks to work. Just keep taking it."
Patient becomes more restless, agitated, anxious, sleepless or even delusional or manic. Once they've reached a crisis point they end up in another doctor's office, or in the Emergency Room, and the new doctor says:
"Oh my, you have Bipolar Disorder. This is the wrong medication for you. You had an underlying vulnerability and this medication triggered your symptoms...."
New doctor now puts patient on 3 or 4 other drugs - an antianxiety, a mood stabilizer, an antipsychotic, and a sleep medication for their chronic illness, for which there is no "cure."
Patient now has anxiety, depression, mood swings, sleep problems, and all the side effects of the new meds: weight gain, cholesterol and metabolism changes, foggy head, tremors and so on.
Doctor continually adjusts and increases medication to get "the right cocktail" while patient's health, personality and life become increasingly battered. Self-esteem drops. Social life suffers. And for many, disability follows.
This is unfortunately a very common story.
Suspected for years by many, known secretly for years by researchers, drug companies and psychiatrists, and something I've seen first hand time and time again -- Antidepressants are not only ineffective for most people, but can trigger Mania and set up people for life long Bipolar Disorder - even after the antidepressant is discontinued.
“Why are so many more people disabled by mental illness than ever before? Why are those so diagnosed dying 10-25 years earlier than others? In Anatomy of an Epidemic investigative reporter Robert Whitaker cuts through flawed science, greed and outright lies to reveal that the drugs hailed as the cure for mental disorders instead worsen them over the long term. But Whitaker’s investigation also offers hope for the future: solid science backs nature’s way of healing our mental ills through time and human relationships. Whitaker tenderly interviews children and adults who bear witness to the ravages of mental illness, and testify to their newly found “aliveness” when freed from the prison of mind-numbing drugs.”
—Daniel Dorman, M.D., Clinical Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, UCLA School of Medicine and author of Dante’s Cure: A Journey Out of Madness
“This is the most alarming book I’ve read in years. The approach is neither polemical nor ideologically slanted. Relying on medical evidence and historical documentation, Whitaker builds his case like a prosecuting attorney.”
—Carl Elliott, M.D., Ph.D., Professor, Center for Bioethics, University of Minnesota and author of Better than Well: American Medicine Meets the American Dream
Bipolar Recovery Coaching and Alternative Bipolar Treatments
Bipolar Recovery Coaching is an individualized program to assist in your recovery from the devastating symptoms of Bipolar Illness.
"Before starting treatment with Ben, I was at my wits end. My life was disintegrating, and I was very close to driving away the most important people in my life for good. I knew I desperately needed help, but I also knew the standard treatment options being offered were not for me. Therapists and psychiatrists alike said medication was absolutely necessary to regain stability, while something in my gut said just the opposite. I knew there had to be another way to wellness.
Fortunately, in searching for an alternative approach, I found Ben's site. Shortly after starting the steps in his Alternative Bipolar Treatment Plan, I began weekly therapy and EFT coaching sessions with Ben. In the six months since, he has helped me completely change my way of being in the world. I've rediscovered what it means to enjoy my life. My days are once again relatively peaceful, and I no longer live in constant fear of lapsing into another violent episode of mania or depression. There is still work to do, but I now feel confident in my ability to stay on track.
Simply put, Ben is an extremely gifted therapist with an unbelievable ability to get to the heart of the matter using EFT - and he is an expert at providing guidance for bipolar people. He has helped me resolve issues that were unresolved in years of standard talk therapy; many of which were huge triggers for me, making resolution crucial to building a foundation of stability. He listens, he gives his gentle input and guidance, and he helps you develop the tools and knowledge to heal yourself. He is by far the most accessible and transformational therapist I have ever dealt with.
Whether you are at your wits end because standard treatment is not helping you, or you are newly diagnosed and looking for an alternative approach, do yourself a favor and give Ben a call. I will be forever thankful that I did just that (and for what it's worth, my sessions are remote, as I couldn't find anyone supporting an alternative treatment approach locally - this has not diminished my results one bit!)"
-Natalie, Bipolar Recovery Coaching Client 2010
This program is for those who:
Have recently been diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder and don't know what type of treatment plan to follow.
Have been taking a cocktail of psychiatric medications and are still experiencing bipolar symptoms and mood episodes.
Are tired of the debilitating side effects of psychiatric medications and are seeking natural and complimentary treatments.
Reject the idea that Bipolar Disorder is a chronic, life-long illness that will require drugs for the rest of their lives.
Are ready to take full control of their lives and their health by learning to live in a disciplined and balanced manner, giving full support to their mind and body.
Want to try a model of recovery, rather than blindly accepting that traditional approaches are the only way.
A Trauma can be created in a matter of seconds, and with Meridian Tapping/EFT it can
heal in the same amount of time. So let go of your ideas about “deeply ingrained
trauma,”.... it's much easier to change than you ever thought possible.
""... I have already benefited greatly from your guided meditations and your book! I never trust anyone (especially someone I don't even know), but as I used your website and free meditation, asked you a question which you promptly answered, and moved on to your book and began regularly practicing EFT/Meridian Tapping, I began believing in your methods as the results were speaking loud and clear--relief and release from mental and emotional behaviors I have lived with my whole life, and thought I would have to live with forever. I am becoming a new person, seeing life in a whole different context, and actually being happy! While I still have a ways to go with some problems, I know that I can, and I will, make it through--thanks to you and your generosity in sharing your methods. Six months ago I was in a hospital on suicide watch; today I am actually happy and optimistic about the future. Proof that it is never to late!!"
You can listen to a sample from the Audio Book Introduction right here:
(The Full 2.5 hour audio book comes as a bonus, along with my full 62-Minute Guided Meditation Audio, when you purchase the eBook)
Special Limited-Time Offer: Purchases made before November 11th 2010 will include a free Webinar on Thursday November 18th at 4pm PST. This will be a Live 90-Minute Tutorial on Meridian Tapping for symptoms of depression, anxiety, trauma, and stress, as well as for success and manifesting your dreams.
The basic technique is simple to learn. Coming up with the right words or phrases takes a little more practice. Experiment with it and as they say, "try it on everything." It's the only way to prove to yourself that this is actually a powerful tool worth an absolute fortune.
By learning to use Meridian Tapping/EFT for yourself and your family, you will be saving yourself from pain, poor health, and even expensive medical treatments, just by activating your body's own natural healing abilities. You will have a tool that can overcome virtually any emotional or mental obstacle to your peace, happiness and success in life. It pays to be persistent!
"This may be the biggest breakthrough in Medicine and Psychology in the last century."
Dr. Dawson Church - Author of Genie in your Genes
Variously called "Energy Tapping," "Meridian Tapping Technique," and Emotional Freedom Techniques® or “EFT” - tapping is an amazing Energy Psychology technique that can be easily learned and self-applied for an enormous array of problems. It is excellent for depression, as well as virtually any emotional disturbance, phobia, fear, traumatic memory, negative thought, and even for many physical problems (including some chronic problems that may have been unsuccessfully treated for years using all sort of conventional and alternative methods).
By tapping on these electrochemical activation points, the nervous system is balanced, and the emotional center of the brain (the amygdala) ceases it's reactivity to the disturbing negative thought, image, memory, or whatever the case may be. Studies now show that tapping quickly reduces levels of the stress hormone cortisol...
Learn to Meditate: The True Self Is Ever-New Bliss
"The thinking mind is an obstacle to the inflow of higher gnosis and Truth because its analytical and judgmental thought ripples distort the true message of the incoming knowledge. Only consciousness, free from the ripples of thought in the mind's lake, can experience Divinity in all its splendor, all its beauty and all its Truth."
Healing The Apparent Self
Of The Ignorance Of
The True Self Is The Ultimate
Essence Of All Healing"
"The 'here' is everywhere and the now -- always. Go beyond the 'I-am-the-body' idea and you will find that space and time are in you and not you in space and time. Once you have understood this, the main obstacle to realisation is removed."
-Shri Nisargadatta Maharaj
Realization is our true nature. It is nothing new to be gained. What is new cannot be eternal. Therefore there is no need to be doubting whether we would gain or lose the self."
-Sri Ramana Maharshi
"Learn to be calm and you will always be happy."
You always have the ability to go within and to surrender to your own Higher Self - your eternal and ever present Consciousness. Here is the source of your true happiness, bliss and contentment. That which you seek in the world is already here, within you Now.
Try my free guided meditation here and now. Just make yourself comfortable, stop what you're doing and take a 15 minute break to feed your soul:
"I went to your website and found your “guided meditation for depression”. The 15 minute one. I laid down... just exhausted from all the inner pain and the “trying” to make is stop... and "trying to fix it"... and I listened to your guided meditation for 15 minutes. The inner pain went away. I was kind of stunned! (I meditate daily)…so I felt as if some kind of “inner demon” was tormenting me or something, and it was simply gone and I could breathe and felt I came back to myself. I felt like my self for the first time in days. The pain wasn’t just “shouting at me” nor was it simply “lurking in the background”... lurking to come back...it was gone."
This guided meditation audio, along with an additional segment is now available for sale on my website. You can listen to part one (the first 15 minute meditation) for free directly on the site, or by clicking the player below. The second link below will allow you to download the 15 minute meditation for your personal use - only available for free through this newsletter.
Tips on Meditation....the Hamsa Technique - The Original "Mindfulness Meditation"
Mindfulness Meditation is quickly gaining popularity and even mainstream influence as a therapeutic technique for improving mental, emotional, physical and spiritual wellness. Most people think that Mindfulness Meditation (or Vipassana) comes from the Buddhist traditions - which indeed it does - however, its true source is older than that.
The real source of these techniques originates in India, with the Yogic traditions. The "Hamsa" meditation is a technique of mindful breathing, while mentally repeating the word "Hamsa" divided into two parts - "Ham" (pronouced HUM) on the out-breath, and "Sa" (pronounced SAW), on the in-breath. Hamsa literally means "I AM THAT" or "THAT I AM." In the ancient Nath Sampradaya (sect) of India, this mantra has been taught and practiced for thousands of years and this mantra (repeated sound/vibration) is said to be the natural mantra that is going on subconsciously, from the moment of birth, when the first breath is taken.
Witnessing the breath, passively, while repeating HAM-SA with every in/out breath, gradually calms and stills the mind and leads to a blissful state of natural enlightenment, called Sahaj Samadhi. This simple practice is deceptively powerful, yet easy to learn and practice.
This is part of one of the meditation techniques taught to me by living Kriya Master and Nath Yogi - Yogiraj Siddhanath.
Yogic Breathing Techniques to Supercharge and Balance You
Pranayama – literally “life-force control” – are powerful techniques for shifting your consciousness, purifying mind and body, and raising your energy. Pranayama is a core part of several types of Yoga and is an excellent addition to any meditation practice. Pranayama are dynamic and invigorating and you will feel the benefits immediately.
Nadi Shodhana – Alternate nostril breathing: (Balances the subtle life energy of the body and the two sides of the brain, calms the mind and increases vitality; a good basic pranayama for depression and emotional imbalance). Sit comfortably with head and spine straight, close your eyes and relax. Close one nostril with the thumb, breathe a long slow breath (always from the belly) through the open nostril. Then, pausing for a moment, remove the thumb and cover the other nostril with the ring and pinky fingers, and slowly exhale through the open nostril. Then inhale back into that same open nostril, cover it with the thumb again, and exhale through the other side. And so on for several rounds. (Rest the middle and index fingers between the brows). Keep the length of breath even. Try counting to 4 in, and 4 out. To alleviate anxiety and nervousness, inhale to a count of 4, and exhale for a count of 8.
Learn Pranayama techniques - Bhastrika, Ujjai, Nadi Shodhana, Kapalabhati, Surya Bheda and more
My website now offers F*R*E*E answers to your most pressing questions. You can choose to submit them with or without your name, or make up a name. If it's a well written question that I feel our readers can benefit from, I will answer it and post both your question and my answer on it's own special page on my website. Others can comment, or give their own advice too. Where else can you get instant advice from a licensed psychotherapist? Ask Away! I'll do my best to give a helpful answer.
Every life challenge is an opportunity to awaken. There is no situation that is hopeless. Something positive, healing and transformative is possible in all circumstances, even when we can't recognize it at the time. Sometimes we forge ourselves out of the fire of suffering and loss, and it isn't until the end that we realize what a beautiful work of art has emerged within. The glory of waking up can't be experienced if you don't first accept that you are asleep.
May we all find peace. May we all know joy. May we all be liberated from fear, and released from illusions. May we all return to the Truth of our inner Light.
I value your opinions and your feedback. Please let me know if this newsletter was helpful and feel free to ask questions. I update my website regularly, so check the site for new information, and if you like what you see, let others know about it.
Wishing you health and great joy!
Benjamin Schwarcz, MFT is licensed psychotherapist (#mfc35606), meditation teacher, and energy coach with a private practice at 509 7th Street, Santa Rosa, CA, 95401. He can be reached at 707-326-5566.
This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. As with any drug, not all supplements are safe for all individuals and there may be risks and contraindications for people with certain conditions. Always consult a professional health care provider before before trying to treat a serious condition on your own.
Have your say about what you just read! Leave me a comment in the box below.