Inspiration, Tools and Techniques for Living a Joyful Life Now
June 2010 - Issue #22
"Your work is to discover your work and then with all your heart to give yourself to it."
“All that we are arises with our thoughts. With our thoughts, We make our world.
In Today's Newsletter:
Going Blank: When your brain seems to betray you.
Inner Vision: Clearing the Way to Finding your Life Purpose.
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 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).
Official Release of the NEW eBook! 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. Tapping Into Joy: Meridian Tapping and Mindfulness for Depression - Available Now.Going Blank: What does it mean when your mind goes blank, fuzzes out and seems unable to function?
This is a question that many people have when depressed. What I've found in my work with clients is that a high percentage of those with these symptoms are normally heavy “thinkers.” Rather than focusing on emotions or intuition or body sensations, they are more likely to look to their intellect to make sense of their reality and to feel a sense of purpose or self-understanding.
When I ask, “what are your feeling?” they might respond with “I'm wondering how long I'm going to have this depression and trying to figure out why I've gotten myself into this mess...” (wondering, and trying to figure out, is about thinking, not feeling). Feelings are much more simple and direct than thoughts, but for those that rely heavily on their thought process, emotions often seem vague, irrational and out of reach.
It is a common symptom of depression to have poor concentration, poor memory and other thinking difficulties. The medical approach is quick to dismiss these as typical symptoms of a “disorder” that is based on chemical imbalances.
I believe a more useful perspective is to see the body and mind as one unit (so I'll call it the body-mind). The body-mind is an intelligent, ever changing, ever-growing energetic consciousness. Much more than just your brain or the body. We actually have many "bodies" or layers within us (the ego, the physical body, the mental and emotional body, the energy body, and so on. At the deepest core of our Being is the pure essential Self -- pure conscious, thoughtless awareness. The source of all wisdom. We can call this the Self (with a capital 'S'). The Self is aware and yet seperate from thoughts and feelings. Even when you seem to be completely overwhelmed with your thoughts or emotions, the Self is silently watching the whole show, without interfering in it.
Since we tend to incorrectly identify our thoughts as the real Self, we may feel very frightened when our thinking betrays us - when we seem to no longer be able to function - it may feel like we're going to go crazy or even dying. The mind goes blank and you don't know what to say; or you can't remember what you were supposed to be doing. We may get angry with ourselves and believe we're really messed up. We may feel very embarrassed and ashamed of this, and try to cover it up and pretend to function as we used to, all the while feeling panic inside.
But the fact is, very often these symptoms are potentially a good thing if we can look at them another way. We were not made to operate like machines. We didn't evolve inside a cubicle under florescent lighting, with a phone growing out of our ear. We didn't start out in life with a full schedule and no time to play and have fun. We were made to daydream, and to be spontaneous, to have original ideas, to explore the unknown, to express feelings impulsively and to enjoy our own body sensations.
But many in our modern world have lost touch with so many of these vital aspects of themselves. And this is one of the reasons why depression is epidemic in the world today. Fortunately, we cannot go against nature forever, because nature always wins in the end. The mind going blank, is like a system over-ride. The body-mind says, “ok, enough.... if you keep going on this way your going to burn out completely and actually do serious harm to your body; if you aren't willing to stop and smell the flowers, then I'm just going to have to shut you down and force you to stop thinking.”
If you can trust that there is a deeper healing force within you that is guiding you towards wholeness, then you're already half-way there; but if you react to this shutting down of the intellectual mind as a problem to be fixed, then you're missing the point. The first way is your liberation. The second way evokes fear and worry and shame and of course makes everything much worse than it was to begin with.
The next time you are stressed, anxious or depressed, and you feel like your mind is shutting down, try letting go and not resisting it. Just breath, and notice your feelings when you stop fighting for control of your mind. There is no thought that is so important that it can't wait a few minutes to be dealt with. Value the emptiness. If you don't make time to be still and empty, your brain will do it for you anyway. There's nothing to fear.
This is one of my favorite inspirational videos - a lecture by a brain scientist who actually had a stroke - and was able to observe her own loss of the ability to "think" and yet remained conscious - and experienced an expansive state of blissful awareness that taught her more about reality than her critical intellectual thoughts ever could. Enjoy!
(Advanced yogis enter similar states - and more advanced states - at will during meditation)
Meridian Tapping: Learn the Basic Technique
Finding your Life Purpose
One of the most common reasons for unhappiness, stress, anxiety and depression, is lack of purpose. We all need to know our purpose and we need to live a meaningful life. The life we want to live may be hard to find, and even hard to imagine. Everything starts with imagination. Imagination is the greatest power of the mind - as it actually has the potential to construct your external reality to match the internal vision. This natural ability, which we all possess, is all too often disrupted by negative messages and beliefs that we learn from an early age. Most of you can remember times in your childhood when a parent or teacher yelled at you for "daydreaming" - telling you to get your head out of the clouds, get with reality, pay attention, do something useful...
But the fact is, daydreaming is one of the most productive and useful and healthy things a person can do; When that is taken away, and seen as a sign of weakness, we lose one of the greatest powers that we have. Once the mind has a clear vision and you feel passion for that vision, you will have all the energy and motivation you need to create it. But when we spend our energy and time on things that don't really matter so much to us, we find ourselves depleted, hopeless, frustrated and bored.
The Key is to Identify and Remove the Resistance to your Vision
You can test yourself out by seeing if you can allow yourself to fully imagine your ideal life - right now. Just close your eyes, sit back for at least a few minutes and see yourself as you wish to be. See yourself in the life you've always wanted - imagine what it feels like to be there, what it looks like, sounds like and tastes like. What would you spend your time doing in that world? Who would you spent your time with? What would your personality be like? How would you speak and express yourself?
Now if you can do this exercise without any negative thoughts, mental confusion or resistance getting in the way - consider yourself very lucky - and keep doing this every day until your life starts to resemble your vision. If you're like most people, you had some form of resistance within seconds of trying this. Thoughts of "I can't have that," or "what would people think of me if I had all that," or "I don't really deserve that." Or resistance could come in the form of indecisiveness -- too many different ideas and desires all competing with one another - so that there is no clarity to the picture in your mind.
When you identify these areas of resistance, be it guilt, feeling undeserving, feeling that it's impossible, fear of being disliked... whatever it is - you now have a clear path for working on these issues and releasing them for good, using Meridian Tapping/EFT.
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)
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"
"Good thoughts keep off bad thoughts. They must themselves disappear before the state of realization."
"Meditation is sticking to one thought. That single thought keeps away other thoughts; distraction of mind is a sign of its weakness; by constant meditation it gains strength."
"The mind of one meditating on a single object becomes one-pointed. And one-pointedness of mind leads to abidance in the self...
Realization is to get rid of the delusion that you have not realized...
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.
One of the most easy and all-around important pranayama techniques to use while meditating, focusing the mind, or simply seeking to calm your anxiety or stress, is Ujjai.
Ujjayi Pranayama – “Victory Breath” “Ocean Breath” or “Psychic Breath” – This breath is very important and has numerous benefits. An excellent pranayama for depression, anxiety and stress. Ujjayi is very calming and soothing to the nervous system and this type of breathing can be done during meditation, for added benefit and to lengthen the breath.
There is a slight constriction of the glottis, in order to produce a soft whispering sound in the back of the throat. It soothes the nervous system, calms the mind, relaxes the body, relieves insomnia and slows the heart rate.
The sound may be barely audible to another person, buy you should hear it inside your own body easily. The whisper is produced on both the in and out-breath.
This can be practiced safely at any time you wish. After some practice, taking even one breath using Ujjayi, you will find yourself in a pleasant, mildly altered state of consciousness, feeling calm, focused and comfortable in your body.
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.
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