Monday, July 8, 2013

Three Common Meditation Myths and How to Overcome Them

There are three common myths or misconceptions about meditation that can block us from realizing the power and benefit of practice. Yet, if we take a moment to expose them, we can easily figure out how to overcome them.
1. Meditation has to be Peaceful (Which Often Doesn’t Happen)

This is one of the biggest obstacles to meditation:the belief that meditation is about cultivating very peaceful state of mind. Sometimes when we meditate, we find our mind is jumping all over the place and we think this means we aren’t meditating and give up. While it is true that many meditators find that the mind becomes peaceful during meditation that is not the goal of the practice.

Sogyal Rinpoche sometimes says that the whole point of meditation is to become spacious. He often made the analogy of being like a great host who accommodates a difficult guest.  When throwing a dinner party, if one of our guests is in a bad mood and starts to act out, will threatening to kick them out of the party likely result in diffusing the situation? Instead, we might ask the guest if they need a special drink or an especially appetizing morsel from the kitchen. Perhaps we might even invite them to relax in a cozy chair while we bring them the finest libation and most succulent food we can offer. In other words a skillful host does not confront a difficult guest but finds a way to accommodate and create space.  In meditation we are not trying to rid ourselves of turbulent thoughts and emotions but to just to bear witness, giving them space to come and to go.

Meditation is about learning to be completely present and aware in the face of whatever thoughts, emotions, sights, smells or sounds arise.

More solid shots out of the deep stuff

As anyone who's played golf knows, it's inevitable that at some point during a round you're going to find yourself in the rough. And while the rough certainly presents challenges that don't exist when playing from the fairway; playing from the rough doesn't have to ruin your round. Below are a few points regarding playing from the rough that will help you keep your round on track.

The first key to playing effectively from the rough is accurately assessing the lie of your ball: how deep or buried is your ball? The club you hit and what type of shot you play are dictated by this because the rough creates resistance as the club enters the grass, causing the club to slow down or decelerate before impact. The heavier the rough, the more rapidly the club slows down. Obviously, the club head slowing down results in a loss of distance. So, judging how much grass is going to interfere with the club head before impact is critical. 

If your ball is sitting where some portion of the ball is above the tallest blades of grass (Image 1 above), the loss of club head speed will be minimal and therefore so will be the loss of distance. In this circumstance, take one more club than you'd normally hit from that yardage and let er' rip. High lofted fairway woods and hybrids can be especially effective in this circumstance.

For a lie where the top of the ball is even with the top of the grass (Image 2 above), you're also going to take an extra club than you normally would for the given distance, but now you also need to alter your technique slightly. In this situation you want to make your swing plane steeper or more upright so you approach the ball with a more vertical angle.

Guided Meditation Techniques

Similar to self-hypnosis, guided meditation techniques instruct you as to what to think about as you enter a meditative trance. This can be done in person or through the use of a pre-recorded DVD or CD. It can be done in a group or individual setting.

Guided meditation works well because you are accessing the subconscious when you enter a meditative state of mind. The filters you normally have turned on when listening consciously are bypassed when you enter a deep state of meditation. This allows your subconscious to absorb the concepts being put forth during the guided meditation.

You can expect the person guiding you to first talk you through a period of relaxation for both your body and mind. You will be instructed to relax specific body parts, listen to your breathing, pay attention to how you feel or clear your mind of all thoughts. You will then be given images to focus on, whether those images are to envision yourself in a beautiful place or imagine yourself healed, changed or achieving something significant.

The guide will help you mentally overcome challenges or release anger or practice making good choices, depending on what kind of guided meditation class you take. For example, if you are in a class aimed at losing weight, you will be guided through thoughts of choosing healthier foods and envisioning yourself lean and fit. If you are participating in meditation for relaxation purposes, the guide will lead you through a series of relaxation techniques and restful thoughts or will have you focus on your breathing.

As you learn to meditate, you will discover what props work best for you and how to best access your inner thoughts.

How to Swing a Golf Iron the Right Way

Hitting the golf ball and making it fly toward the target requires precision on how you grip your golf club, position the ball and stand and maintain a good posture. You may think that professionals have different styles of swinging a golf iron than a recreational golfer. However, the technique is actually the same for every golfer. It is the professionals' execution of the right golf swing that makes it look different.

Step 1 

Adopt the proper grip. The interlocking grip is a standard grip except for when you are putting. If you are right-handed, place your left hand near the top of the golf club and right hand on top. The little finger of the right hand goes in-between the forefinger and the middle finger of the left hand. This grip helps keep your hands as one unit. 

Step 2

Stand with your feet about shoulder width apart with the right foot about 5 degrees to the right and the left foot about 45 degrees to the left and your knees slightly bent. The golf ball should be placed exactly in the middle between your feet. Push your left hip up so that your right shoulder drops. Position the golf club head behind the ball. Point the clubface toward where you want the ball to go. Move your hands near the inside of your left thigh. Swing the club low on the ground away from the ball, just to the outside of your right foot in preparation for the actual swing.

Step 3

Swing the club up and over your shoulder. If you are taking a full swing, the club should be parallel to the ground. For a three-fourths swing, the club should stop about 45 degrees from being parallel. This will naturally twist your body slightly to the right, bend your left knee deeper and straighten your right leg. Keep your arms straight but relaxed, gripping the club firmly. Start the downswing with your weight shifting automatically, bending your right knee and straightening your left knee, and your weight shifted on the left foot. 

10 Tips to Golf and Lead with the Brain in Mind

TRICK 1: Align The Clubface

One of the most common mistakes amateurs make is improper alignment. Some think they should align their feet at the target, others try to get their shoulders parallel to it. Hey, some golfers try to align everything at the target! They’re all wrong. 

The correct way to align your shots is to always begin by first assessing your target from behind the ball. This will give you a perspective of the entire hole and help you aim right where you want the ball to go. Secondly, before you make your actual stance, set the clubface behind the golf ball and align it directly at the target. Do this before, not after, you get into your stance. PGA Tour players have a knack for aligning the clubhead in this fashion. Pay attention to how they do it the next time you tune in.

After you have the right clubface alignment, then comes time to situate the rest of your body. Most players benefit from aligning their lower body left of the target line and their upper body parallel to the target line. There’s actually no right answer as to what works best for you, but one thing is for sure. Aligning your body directly at the target rarely works. It usually leads to crossovers and over-the-top swings. Keep your body aiming left of the target line, and experiment with what works best for you. But be sure to align that clubface first!

TRICK 2: Choose The Right Club

Most amateurs choose what club to use based on length. On shorter holes, they use shorter clubs. Longer holes, longer clubs; and so on. But better players know there’s more to selecting the right club than that. It also includes things like natural shot tendencies, wind, hazards and whether or not hidden dangers lurk in prime landing areas. 

How To Perform The Perfect Golf Swing

Perform the Perfect Golf Swing. If you want to know how to carry out a golf swing or are looking for ways to improve your golfing performance - this is for you. This film will prevent that 'hook' or 'slice' off the tee!

Step 1: Position yourself in line with the flag

When approaching your ball, look out for a nearby leaf, small stone or broken tee which is in a direct line between the flag you are aiming for, and your ball. Imagine a line between these 2 reference points and put your club face square to it. Now stand parallel to this imaginary line. You are correctly orientated to begin the perfect golf swing.

Step 2: Grip your left hand correctly

Making sure your club is naturally on the ground behind the ball, place it in the left hand so that the shaft lies across the top of the forefinger. It should fit under the heel of the palm, to make space for the stability of the club. Make sure that the little finger is around the grip so that there is no room for the club to move.

Step 3: TIP!

Make sure that the thumb is straight on top of the shaft with a natural grip. You should be able to see 2 or 3 knuckles of your hand. This is the correct left hand grip.

Step 4: Grip your right hand correctly

With your right arm hanging naturally, shake hands with the club and settle into the grip. Fold your right hand over the left thumb. The thumb of the right hand on the club should be pointing to the right shoulder.

Step 5: Grip the back of the club correctly

There are 3 different ways to grip the back of a golf club – choose whichever feels better for you. The Vardon or Overlapping Grip is by far the most common method used in golf.