Training The Mind

Meditation + Short talk on the Fourth Hindrance in Meditation: Restlessness and Remorse

What a fun class we had today with our regular meditators and many new faces. We talked about ways the fourth hindrance in meditation shows up in our practice as well as in our everyday life.

Key takeaways:

+ forgiveness is the antidote to remorse and
+ contentment is the antidote to restlessness

I have a recording of today's session as well as a two page PDF handout as well. Take a listen as we share some laughter before and after the meditation session

Handout From Meditation Class:

Fourth Hindrance - Free PDF Download
When you click the link above , you can download and print it freely there.

Watch the Recording below:

Coming up Next Week:

  1. I will be doing live meditations on YouTube for two weeks starting October 1st. I will send you an email invitation to it on Sept 30th. In that email, you will be able to click a link to let me know if you want daily reminders.

    The live meditation will happen at 7 am Eastern and you will be able to interact with me live via chat. But if you cannot make it, you can watch/meditate to it any time in the day or night you like.

  2. The next in-person mediation class is happening on Tue, Oct 1st, 11 am at the Senior Center! We'd love to see you there.

Much love and peace to you,
Sophia + Cristof

Meditation + Short talk on Third Hindrance in Meditation: Sloth and Torpor - Sophia Ojha Ensslin - 3 Sep 2019

We were able to record today's session which was all about the third hindrance, Sloth and Torpor. Take a listen as we share some laughter before sliding into the meditation session:

Also, the handout that goes along with today’s class is here:
Third Hindrance: Sloth and Torpor [PDF]

Watch/Listen Below:

Do join us for next class which is happening on Wed, Sept 25th, 2pm! 

Much love and peace,

Sophia + Cristof

Reducing the Third Hindrance in Meditation: Sloth and Torpor

Yesterday we had a lovely meditation session led by my husband, Cristof, talking about how to handle the third hindrance of "Sloth and Torpor" And thanks to the gentle nudges of Jo Ann, we have a recording!

It is an audio recording of the class so those of you who were not able to make it can enjoy it. I, myself, was not able to attend as I got signed on a big project this month and yesterday was one of the first important deadlines that I wanted to meet. Later in the evening, I had the pleasure of participating thanks to this recording. 

Cristof added his charm and his own approach to leading a meditation class, which I found wonderful and refreshing. I hope you benefit from it too.

Watch/Listen Below:

Much love and peace,

Sophia + Cristof

Why a 15 min daily meditation session is good enough?

Why a 15 min daily meditation session is good enough?

You know that meditation is good for you. But you've got a busy, very busy life. Just finding time to have lunch seems sometimes difficult for you because of all the things that need to get done. Then you here that meditation helps you and that an hour a day is the recommended time for really good results. And you think, "One hour? Are you out of your mind? Just the thought of doing meditation for an hour is making me anxious. I don't think meditation is for me!".
 

Why we need to think of expectations differently

Why we need to think of expectations differently

I grew up around the notion of "expectation". Expectation followed me around no matter where I went and what I did. I was expected to do good in school. Cross that. I was expected to do great in school. I was expected to excel at work and career. I was expected to be a good, kind person. I was expected to be contributing member of society...

Online Guided Visualization Sessions

It is my desire to bring visualizations to those who want it. I posted our services on this really cool site: www.thumbtack.com where people can find us and get access to our online visualizations as well as book a customized session for themselves.

You can check it out by clicking the link below. Also please share it with your network and I will be very grateful.

http://www.thumbtack.com/Guided-Visualization-Meditation-Sessions-Asheville-NC/service/519839">Guided Visualization Meditation Sessions

Much Love,

Sophia

Gratitude and Creative Visualization

Have you ever wondered about the connection of gratitude and creative visualization? In our live visualization gatherings we often begin by sharing what we are grateful for. And it can be something like: "I am grateful to have a warm, comfortable home". Or "I am grateful to have a positive-attitude". Or something like, "I am thankful to have a nice night of rest."

Just becoming aware of what we are grateful for in our life, changes our energy, our vibration and uplifts our spirits. With this renewal of energy, creative visualization becomes even more powerful, effective and transformational. And to help us all to get into gratitude mode, I have created gratitude cards and a video introducing them.

So I invite you to begin your visualization sessions with a simple statement of gratitude or two. Just answer the question: In this moment what are you grateful for?

Visualize Your Life Story

Imagine you are writing the script of a movie. You draw up the characters. You think of the plot and the storyline. You also imagine how the relationships between the characters is going to play out in the movie. You spend some time on the overall plot and the storyline as well as the small details. It is all in the screenplay you are drawing up. You have protagonist who is hero/heroine of the film who has a goal to achieve or an obstacle to overcome. There is drama in the film to highlight this process of overcoming the obstacle. And depending on whether you want to uplift your audience, you find a climatic way to resolve the story that ends with the obstacle overcome and goal achieved.



Now, imagine you are writing the script of your own life. Which character will you be and what obstacles do you want to overcome? Are you the protagonist of your life story? Whose support do you need to achieve the goal of your life, to follow your heart? And what evolutionary changes will you undergo? What will your transformation story be? How do you live a life of contribution? How do fully express and enjoy yourself in this life?

This visualization can entail images, sounds, smells. You can imagine the textures, the tastes,

feelings, the ambiance, in all its facets and dimensions. Try it out. Explore. Experiment. Enjoy.


Do you have an Ideas Folder?

One thing I would like to recommend to you is to work with a place where you collect your new ideas, hints, dreams. If you prefer to have it in a journalist's notebook which you can carry around everywhere, that is great. If you like to have it all digital for easy sorting and finding key words, then absolutely make an ideas folder. This folder can contain one mega-file where you simply list your idea in a phrase or a sentence. Then each of these ideas can have their own file where you can expand and extend and stretch the idea at another point. These idea folders are essential for your creative growth and mind training.

Have Positive Expectations

Expect the positive. Positive Expectation is one more nuance in our positive-thinking tool box. Essentially, it calls us to only expect the positive. It is slightly different than setting positive intentions. Positive intention-making entails clearly setting out what is desired, what do we want to manifest in our day or in our life.

Positive expectation varies from it because of the open-ended factor. It is not predefined and all perfectly delineated. We allow for an unplanned, unscheduled resolution or development of a situation, yet expecting clearly that what happens next will be in the highest good of all involved.

Remember that the positive intention-making and positive expectations are not replacement for action. Infact, they are predecessors to any action. Conscious action is important and necessary for change. But it cannot begin making an impact for good without positive intention and expectations to begin the process of change.

So give it a try and see how expecting the good, the better and the best is a real gift.

Overachievers in a Community of Overachievers!

Have you ever overplanned, cramming in too many things to do into your day, week, month, year???

I have done that in the past leading only to feeling overstretched, out of time, rushed and completely stressed out. Looking back, I have come to understand that being part of the Indian American community has played a role in this pattern. I had allowed pressures to overachieve seep into my way of being and doing things and in the end did not feel satisfied at all. I am very happy that in the last few months and years, I have been able to streamline, focus and scale down.

Being focussed on one thing at a time, has greatly simplified my life. I am now very aware when there are forces that want to pull me in different directions and it is easier and easier to stay focussed on my path. This has allowed for many moments of peace, joy and a sense of well-being that feel refreshing and rejuvenating.

If you were raised in intense communities or families, watch this video below from the Daily Show. It is hilarious to me and hopefully, you can find a sense of humor in this all and make your own choices and decisions about how much you want to commit to. So here it is, a glimpse of this "overachieving" theme in Indian culture from a clip where Aasif Mandvi is portraying some common expectations among Indian families. Take a look:

Resolving negative emotions during meditation

Fears, doubts, annoyances, and other forms of negative emotions can be resolved during meditation. These emotional patterns are very important pointers for us. They serve as lighthouses to show us exactly what we need to resolve, release or let go. And once these are released from our bodies, from our emotional landscapes, we make room for receiving abundance in all its forms.

Try it out. Take your meditation time to dissolve your fears. One absolutely amazing method that I highly recommend is that of Byron Katie called, "The Work". You can go to her website and download the questions that make up The Work and go through them during your meditation. Or for starters just take a look at some of the videos of Byron Katie using her method to resolve negative emotion in people. Absolutely Amazing!

Keep a Calm Mind for a Healthy Life

Meditation is essentially a training camp for the mind. It builds our concentration and focus. It also has a beneficial impact on the rest of our body, both emotionally and physically. As the Dalai Lama mentions in this video, keeping a calm mind is very important because we are not influenced so much by "disturbances". If there is an emotionally wrenching situation, we are more capable to sail through it strongly. If you are exposed to a virus or disease, our bodies are more likely to be immune to them or recover from them.


Listen to this short video straight from the Dalai Lama from Dharamsala, India.
“the benefits of a calm mind”

http://youtu.be/OFn0AX4oZsc