Friday, May 31, 2013

7 Benefits of Buddhist Meditation

1. Meditation helps to improve health: 

Stress Reduction 

Meditation has shown to reduce stress.  In many studies Mindfulness Meditation also helps reducing anxiety disorders including PTSD and also has been shown to reduce the recurrence of depression in patients (Wikipedia).   Since stress impacts the immune system, meditation indirectly helps to improve overall well-being. 

Chronic Pain: 

Meditation helped to reduce pain by 50 % and maintained this result for over 4 years according to Kabat-Zin. (Clinical Journal of Pain (1986) National Institute of Health (NIH) notes that meditation and relaxation therapies markedly improved ease of low back pain problems, arthritis, and headaches.  (Jama, 276 (4) (1996) Insomnia: 75 % of insomniacs were able to go to sleep within 20 minutes after meditating. (Jacobs, Harvard Medical – Say Goodnight to Insomnia, Owl Books (1999) 

Mental Health: 

There was 50 % reduction in psychiatric symptoms, 70 % decrease in anxiety in the inner-city group residents that were suffering from chronic pain, anxiety, depression, diabetes and hypertension.  Roth and Creaser, Nurse Practitioner 22 (3) (1997) 

2.  Meditation helps to improve your focus (one-pointedness concentration): 

Buddhist meditation (Anapana Sati – Mindfulness Meditation) helps to improve your focus.  During the meditation, you will learn how to have a one-pointedness concentration on your breath or abdomen rising and falling.   Calming down and focusing your mind on one object allows bringing about more awareness in your daily activities. 

3.  Meditation helps to achieve inner peace and serenity (equanimity) Buddhist meditation has shown the immediate effect of greater calmness and serenity. With more meditation, you can expect to have equanimity, the sense of inner peace and balance.   Over 100,000 meditators at S.N. Goenka 10 day retreats experienced equanimity within first 3 days of meditation.  Equanimity is an ability to be a neutral observer and see things as they are and not react to cravings and aversions.

Benefits of Corporate Yoga

You had heard of yoga, but what, pray, does corporate yoga mean, you ask?

It is, simply put, the method of integrating yoga at work, enabling more stress-free work environs. Moreover, it has multi-faceted benefits. Read on to know more.

1. Relieved Stress

Yoga at work can do wonders when it comes to relieving stress built as a result of work pressure. A session of yoga during work hours can do wonders for any corporate work force.

2. Enhances Productivity

With exercise taken care of while at work, the human brain is certain to reap the benefits of the relaxation. Energy is also, as a result, likely to get channelized into more productive streams, such as better work output, enhanced productivity and a host of other advantages.

3. Lessens Absenteeism

It is obvious that a body that gets its equal share of workout, while it endures heavy levels of stress, is also a healthier one. The corporate world would have lesser cases of absenteeism if all offices make yoga at work mandatory. Not only would fewer employees fall sick, they are also more likely to enjoy the work environs this way.

4. Helps Maintain Focus

A session of yoga during the rigorous corporate regime can do wonders to the burdened professional’s routine. While it enables physical well-being, it also lets your mind be better focused, allowing you to complete your tasks faster and more efficiently.

5. Enables Better Analytical Skills

A sharp and focused mind is one that experiences a balance when it comes to analysis and well-crafted decisions. And a mind can get this razor sharpness if it gets its adequate dose of physical exertion. What better way to render it than within the confines of the office itself?

Change your game without changing your swing

There’s little doubt that proper swing fundamentals and short-game techniques are important parts of a consistent golf game. Good golf, however, isn’t purely about perfect mechanics; it’s also largely about strategy. Fortunately, there are several key strategies anyone can easily utilize to produce lower scores. Better yet, using your smarts is a lot easier than trying to create a fundamentally perfect backswing or impact position. In this regard, the title of this story holds true—you can score better without changing your swing.

Below are five nontechnical techniques you can employ to achieve more consistent results the next time you step on the course. They encompass the areas of shot and target selection, tension-free mechanics, tempo and rhythm, mental toughness and score-saving (rather than pride-saving) decision making. If you can master these strategic musts, you’ll be well on your way to a decent round even if your swing isn’t in tip-top shape. And when it is, watch out!

1. Hit To The Fat Part Of The Green

Far too many golfers aim for the pin without considering its location on the green. Better golfers understand the importance of playing to their ability and, therefore, think twice before firing at a pin that’s tucked near the edge of the green. This may not leave them with a better chance for birdie, but certainly lessens the chance for bogey or worse.

To make better decisions concerning when and when not to go for the flag, divide your clubs into three categories: 1) “play it safe,” 2) “proceed with caution” and 3) “go for it.” The clubs in the “play it safe” category are your fairway woods and long irons. For most golfers, these are the clubs that present the greatest challenge when it comes to consistently controlling distance and direction. 

The Purpose and Process of Meditation

Frustrated or confused with the process of meditation? Maybe this will help.

Blossom: Good morning to you. Quite a few people write in asking me if I can ask you about how to connect up with you, their guides and angels. I know we have addressed this before and we know the best thing to do is meditate. Yet I wonder if it is possible for you to go into more detail, as I know many find it frustrating and feel that no contact is made.

What a wonderful world you live in. Is it not that you can ‘see’ … actually 'see' the depth of the beauty that is there in a way that was not possible before?

I know what you mean … There seems to be a different energy in the air and indeed the stars in the night sky and the peace surrounding it are noticeably different.

Then this is how we would suggest aiding the self to connect with those not of your Earth. Let us try as best we can to give you pointers towards that which you have asked. When one is in a peaceful state of mind … the energy that emanates from their Being is one that is more compatible with the energy that one is desiring to connect with. When one is of a stressed disposition the ‘lines’ become blocked and distortion interferes.

We know that many put themselves in a peaceful state in order to connect up and yet still feel that ‘no one is home’. Yet we are. What one must accept is that there is ‘no distance’ between us … it is not as if one is in Australia and the other in England.  As we have said before ‘We are but a breath away’.

Golf for Health and Longevity

A new Swedish study finds that golf can be a good investment for physical and mental health.

Researchers from Karolinska Institutet discovered the death rate for golfers is 40 per cent lower than for other people of the same sex, age and socioeconomic status — which correspond to a 5 year increase in life expectancy.

Golfers with a low handicap are the safest.

It is a well-known fact that exercise is good for the health, but the expected health gains of particular activities are still largely unknown.

The study, which is published in Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports, is based on data from 300,000 Swedish golfers.

Professor Anders Ahlbom, who has led the study with Bahman Farahmand is not surprised at the result, as he believes that there are several aspects of the game that are proved to be good for the health.

“A round of golf means being outside for four or five hours, walking at a fast pace for six to seven kilometers, something which is known to be good for the health,” he says.

“People play golf into old age, and there are also positive social and psychological aspects to the game that can be of help.”

The study does not rule out that other factors than the actual playing, such as a generally healthy lifestyle, are also behind the lower death rate observed amongst golfers.

However, the researchers believe it is likely that the playing of the game in itself has a significant impact on health.

Golf players have a lower death rate regardless of sex, age and social group. The effect is greater for golfers from blue-collar professions than for those from white-collar professions. The lowest rates are found in the group of players with the lowest handicap (i.e. the best golfers).

How practising mindfulness in the workplace can boost productivity

Not that long ago, meditation was seen widely as the preserve of hippies and saffron-clad monks, unsuited for the business world. Nowadays, a growing number of businesses are recognising what mindfulness has to offer, including Transport for London (TfL), Google, GlaxoSmithKline, the Home Office, the Cabinet Office, KPMG, and PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Interest in applying mindfulness within the workplace is rising rapidly. In February 2012, hundreds braved the snow to attend the UK's first Mindfulness at Work conference in Cambridge and many delegates are expected at the Mindfulness4Scotland conference in Edinburgh on 10 March 2013, which will explore practical applications and benefits of mindfulness at work. The Mindfulness in the Workplace and Mindful Leadership LinkedIn group is growing fast - it has more than 2,000 members.

Mindfulness has roots in the Buddhist belief system, although there is a tradition of contemplation within most religions and belief systems, including Christianity.

However, what we are now seeing is a widespread secularisation of the approach, thanks to the work of people such as Jon Kabat-Zinn, founder of the Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care, and Society at the University of Massachusetts medical school.

Kabat-Zinn's mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) programme has been widely adapted and implemented worldwide, along with a variation referred to as mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) that was developed at the Oxford Mindfulness Centre.

The National Institute of Health and Clinical Excellence's recommendation of MBCT as the go-to therapy for recurrent depression has also contributed to mindfulness extending beyond the spiritual arena.

Kabat-Zinn defines mindfulness as "paying attention in the present moment, non-judgmentally".

Mindfulness is a way to train the mind, but also includes paying attention to the body and the world around us. It helps us recognise that we are not a slave to our thoughts and that we can choose how we respond, two strands highlighted by the Mental Health Foundation (MHF).

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Thursday, May 30, 2013

Meditation for Real Life

Does the word “meditation” call to mind the image of sitting quietly cross-legged for hours? If you’ve ever thought, “I can’t do that—I’m not a calm person,” you’re not alone. But in fact, anyone can practice meditation, and you don’t have to do it for hours a day to reap the many mind and body benefits.

“What people don’t always get about a meditation exercise is that it really just involves taking control of your attention,” says David Harp, author of Mindfulness to Go: How to Meditate While You’re on the Move. “You have what I like to call mental muscle: the ability to control your thoughts.”

Just like a physical workout, mental exercise can help train your brain to behave a specific way in certain situations. That discipline can override the “fight-or-flight” response our bodies typically have to stress. It’s no surprise, then, that research has shown that people who meditate regularly have lower blood pressure and possibly even stronger immune systems.

Once you’ve made a habit of meditating, it will become easier to call on a feeling of calm when you need it. “Some people decide it’s not practical for their lives because they’re so busy, but meditation teaches you to handle all the different things that are coming at you without getting flustered,” says David Dillard-Wright, author of Meditation for Multitaskers: Your Guide to Finding the Peace Between the Pings. “It’s an empowering feeling even if you don’t have an ‘I feel in touch with the universe’ sense of bliss.”

Here are some mini meditations you can do when you need a moment of peace.

Be Mindful During Mindless Tasks

During the course of a day, you likely do multiple tasks that don’t require your full attention, from brushing your teeth to preparing a simple meal you’ve made countless times.

Tips for Improving Your Golf Game for Beginners

Most recreational golf players do not have the luxury of having an instructor watch their every swing and discuss problem areas. Hiring a golf instructor can be expensive and most of us cannot afford to periodically check-in with a golf pro for pointers. Golfers are always trying to find ways to lower their scores and improve their game.

For those who cannot afford a golf instructor to analyze their every move, here are a few tips for beginners wishing to lower their scores at the game:

Work On Your Swing

A proper golf swing should be driven by the hips and your goal is to wield the club into a pendulum-like manner that creates the widest arc. There are five components to a proper swing. These are the grip, stance, backswing, downswing and finish.

Grip - According to legendary golfer Ben Hogan, the grip is critical because it is the only link between the ball and the body. He suggests gripping the club with the left hand slightly above the right. Also the left index finger should be under the right pinky. The right thumb should point to the left, while the left thumb should point down the shaft.

Stance - Your knees must be slightly flexed as if sitting on a stool. The upper body and back should remain straight while keeping your chin up but relaxed. This allows for proper shoulder rotation during the backswing. Also, your arms must remain straight but relaxed.

Backswing - In a backswing, the clubhead, shaft and hands are first then followed by the arms, shoulders and hips to be followed by a complete hip rotation. At the top swing, try to keep the club as parallel to the ground as possible. At this position, imagine you are pointing your club at the target.

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The Awesome Benefits of Meditation

Isn't it quite surprising that in the modern world which cares more about activity, achievements and results, more and more people are resorting to meditation?

Amidst all the commotion and hustle and bustle people are feeling a pinching need for inner peace, silence and moments of reflection. Meditaion helps us to ease out in our ever-so-complicated lives. Let's discuss some of its benefits:

Reduced Stress

Meditation helps us to switch off from worries that plague us all throughout the day. It gives us the much-needed opportunity to spend times with ourselves, something which we yearn for in these busy lives. This makes us more relaxed and aids in the decision-making process.


In our hectic present-day lives, we come across several situations which are very irritating. For example, many people find it intolerable to stand and wait in a queue. Some of us get really angry at minor mistakes made by others. No matter how hard we try, we cannot eliminate such situations from our lives. We will keep coming across them. The best way out here is to develop a sense of detachment towards such situations and keep things in perspective. And mediation can be really helpful in this process. Now this detachment does not mean indifference. It should be there to help us maintain equanimity in the midst of life's inevitable turbulence.

Spontaneity and Creativity

In these times, when stress levels are at an all-time high, we are always pre-occupied with what went wrong in the past and the worries of the times which lie ahead. This sprinkles dust over our creative capacities. If we can learn to silence the mind, we can have far more potential. If the mind is quiet and at ease, spontaineity and creativity come easy.

Golf improvement and success tips

There’s some repetitiveness here. This highlights the importance of the concepts. Enjoy,
1.    Stop thinking so much.
2.    Practice like you play.
3.    Be clear with your intention.
4.    Don’t panic.
5.    Golf is about hitting the ball to a predefined target.
6.    The walk to the ball is more important (maybe more important than the swing).
7.    The practice fairway is for warming up.
8.    Practice nets are underused by most golfers.
9.    Learn about course design.
10.    Teaching others is the best way to learn.
11.    Stay present.
12.    Your grip should allow you to swing the club with speed.
13.    Look with soft eyes.
14.    Play the game.
15.    Moe Norman.
16.    Visualisation just prior to hitting the ball is not a good thing.
17.    Play the shot you know you can hit.
18.    Write about your experiences.
19.    Awareness.
20.    Ignore Pesky.
21.    Feel the wind in your face.
22.    Smell the roses.
23.    Don’t obsess about the result.
24.    A bad shot doesn’t mean you’re a bad person.
25.    A good shot doesn’t mean you’re a good person.
26.    Why do you play?
27.    Watch a young kid play the game.
28.    Fear is when your brain stops working.
29.    Choking is over thinking.
30.    Help others.
31.    Ignore your playing partners if they offer too much swing advice.
32.    The swing is not the game.
33.    Your subconscious is king.
34.    If you can throw a ball and ride a bike you should be playing better golf.
35.    Your handicap is a stupid number.
36.    Don’t be defined by your handicap.
37.    Play how you want to.
38.    The short game really is important.
39.    Swinging slower doesn’t really help.
40.    Can you feel your swing from start to finish?
41.    Focus on the weight of the club head.

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Golf Swing Tips

Everyone wants a simple repeatable swing that they can count on.  There has been so much written on the mechanics of a golf swing that you can easily become overwhelmed.  If you are a beginning golfer you are probably wondering why such a simple movement has been broken down to such an extent it seems as complicated as building a nuclear reactor.

On this site we go with KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid.)  For the full swing we break down things down into setup, backswing, downswing, and follow through.  Four areas that we will help you improve so you can start hitting long, accurate shots on the course.


Most golfers overlook one of the most important parts of the swing and that is the setup.  You can’t execute a good swing if you are not positioned over the ball correctly.  It all starts with the grip.  In learning how to grip the golf club the keys to remember are do it the same way every single time, keep the club in your fingers, and keep your pressure light.

When standing over the ball you want to have an athletic stance.  Your knees should be slightly bent with the middle of your shoulders being directly over the top of both your knee cap and the ball of your foot.  Your weight should be balanced evenly with your feet, knees, hips, arms, shoulders, and eyes pointing parallel to your target.


Your takeaway should be smooth with the butt end of your club continuing to point towards your belly button.  As your hand travels from the starting position to the right side of your right leg you should not be hinging your wrists at all, the only movement is with the shoulders turning.