Tag Archives: imagery

The 52: Lesson Eight — Still Judging Others?

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Dr. Wayne Dyer is one of the most prolific writers and teachers on the subjects of psychology, Divine Love, and the spiritual path.  I have enormous respect for the way he blends spiritual truth, venerable writers, gurus, and poet’s quotations, and his own unique humor and personal experiences into such a powerful message that seems to be applicable for all of us.  He said:

You do not define anyone with your judgment.

You only define yourself as someone who needs to judge

I heard Dr. Dyer speak at a Hay House event in New York City.  He held the audience spellbound for nearly three hours as he shared profound spiritual truths in the most simple language.  He described how, as he became aware that he had just judged someone, he decided to correct the situation then and there.  Many of us find judging so normal in our lives that we don’t even notice. We just engage the behavior, gossip, devalue others, pat ourselves on the back for our superiority. Or we notice and “fix” it.  Or maybe we see the judging starting, but we are tuned in enough to delete the behavior right away.  Then there is the step where the judging does not even start.  Where do you fit in this picture?

Let’s make it a lesson:

  • Do you find yourself routinely judging others, complaining, arguing without any conscious awareness of this behavior?  (Well, if it is unconscious, you might not be able to answer this part at all.) Let’s say you are in a check out line.  The person in front of you is slow at everything.  They can’t find their credit card.  You are in a hurry and are seething inside.  You might be calling them names to yourself or sighing and giving dirty looks. You think this is “normal” and you are justified.  What’s wrong with this incompetent fool, you might think.
  • Next step:  Do you see it happening and, rather than letting it go, you put a “check” next to the behavior.  Now you know you are doing it.  You notice how angry you are getting and act just as in the previous description.  But now you have noticed and something does not seem right to you.  You are not behaving “normally.’
  • Let’s say you notice it and it has affected another person.  Can you correct it right now?  You’ve noticed that the person is front of you in line is aware of your behavior.  She has heard you sighing and seen your angry face.  You stop and look at her.  You stop the behavior.  You say something like — I ‘m sorry, I am having a bad day or I don’t know why I am in such a rush or you give her some indication that you have calmed down and you mean it!  Maybe you even try to help her.
  • Now you see the judgement starting and you are aware enough to nip it in the bud. You just plain stop it! You know that this is a situation that would aggravate you.  Your blood starts to warm up but before it can start to boil you relax your body and your breathing and you back off.
  • Let’s say something happens, that would normally trigger your judging, like the scenario we are exploring.  You can let it go.  You can smile within and remember the old judging you and smile again at yourself.  Now the check out line becomes a pleasant and learning experience because YOU have made it so.  Congratulations!

Can you see yourself feeling softer, calmer, more loving.  Do you start to notice that you have a lot to do with how you see and experience your world?  Don’t you feel better?

I used the example of the check out line because it used to be a trigger for me!  My impatience and tight scheduling (along with a big dose of ego) would bring about those reactions.  How about you?  What is a trigger point for you? What might you find to use as a learning experience?  I’d like to know.  But I’m not judging!

With love and namaste, Deanne

For more information, go to www.deannemincer.com

The 52: Lesson Seven — You See and Create the World Around You

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Seven billion pairs of eyes look out on their world and believe they are seeing what is there.  No two of them will see the same thing.  Oh, sure, there may be agreement on the name of an object but what is attributed to that object will not be the same.  This is because we are the ones giving meaning to all that surrounds us.

Pratyahara (the control or withdrawal of the senses) is one of the eight “limbs” of classic yoga as described in the authoritative work that describes yoga, The Yoga Sutras.  This important book, written by Pantajali, holds in its pages much of the essence of yoga.   It outlines the true path, far beyond the way most Westerners understand yoga, as mostly yoga poses and the breath. In the course of our studies, we will give focus to these lesser known aspects of yoga, most particularly dhyana, meditation.  But now for a glimpse of pratyahara:

If you meditate, you may have familiarity with the sophistication of withdrawing the senses.  For those new to this idea, I like to first bring attention to the senses, so that we can begin to recognize their influence, use them for our benefit, and then proceed, if we wish, to withdraw from them completely.

The Truths that emanate from so many spiritual disciplines, like yoga, lead to experiencing the world in ways not generally recognized outside of the spiritual realm.  For most of us, it takes some time to realize that the world is not what it seems to be.  Our rational, left brain thinking is not attuned to “seeing” in these new ways.  Let’s try this:

  • Look around you.  “See” all that is present.  Leave nothing out. Think of the names of all that you see.  You had to learn these, you know, as you grew up.  They were taught to you in your own language.
  • As you see them, ponder any emotional reaction you have to what is around you.  This too you had to learn, through experience and teaching.
  • Now notice that everything you see is defined completely by you – in its name as you learned it and in your emotional reaction to it.  In this sense, you created it as it is.
  • Now see if you can imagine that all that you are seeing is “neutral,” without a reaction.  Let everything be neutral for a while.  Does this seem odd?
  • Relax your eyes.  Let them close.  Is everything still “out there” even if you aren’t seeing with your physical eyes?

That’s all you have to do for now.  Whatever you experience, just ponder it.  All of this that you see seems to be outside of you.  Or where is it?  We are just playing with concepts.  Stretching ourselves a bit.  Testing reality. In time, we will consider “seeing” again.

I hope you are “seeing” these lessons as interesting, entertaining, and maybe even curious.  All of that is good.

With love and namaste, Deanne

For more, go to www.deannemincer.com

The 52: Lesson Seven – The World is as You “See” It

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How DO you see your world?  Is it a place filled with love and light and joy?  Or is it threatening, angry, frightening and full of pain?  Maybe it is a sprinkling of both, depending on the “situation.”   For most of us, it is not “black and white.”

There is a Siddha Yoga guru who has deeply influenced my life.  I never met him while he was in his body, alive in the world, but he surely made his presence known in the most surprising and creative ways.  It seemed as if he “lived” at my house, in my yoga room, for many years.  His name is Swami Muktananda and he said this:

People become what they are according to the attitude they hold in their mind, and that attitude is what they project into the world.  Whatever worth you yourself have, you project that around you, and that is what you see.

In one of his lighter writings he said that you have your own set of glasses and that is how you see the world, so be sure you have the right prescription.  I think of this as a bit of yogi humor.

Do you realize that the way you see the world is different from the way everyone else on the planet sees it?  Your “world” is colored and influenced by every experience you have ever had.  And what you “see” can be altered and changed. You have the capacity to change how you relate to what you see.  You can see the world anew and bring forth that which nurtures and comforts you, that calls forth the depth of your spiritual being.

We are speaking now about the sense of sight — what your eyes “see” — as well as your emotional reactions. Most of us take all of this for granted.  All of this happens “to” us.  But STOP NOW!  There is more to this than “meets the eye.” Later this week, I will write about pratyahara, an important limb of true yoga which deals with the control of the senses.  But, for now, we have something to try.

LESSON SEVEN

“SEEING” YOUR WORLD

Think of all that you see around you, the objects that take up space and flow around you.  Much of this may seem out of your control — what you see as you drive your car, the people walking around you on the street, those who surround you at work or school or in your own home.  In time, we will learn to practice the “art” of equanimity, staying in balance no matter what surrounds you.  You can, for now, choose to surround yourself , as much as possible, with a circle of that which is positive and uplifting..

  • Right now, do some inventory,  We are learning about sensory input.  What your eyes see, in this case.  Think about it. What do you see around you when you wake up?  In your kitchen?  In your office? Are there visual items that are agitating  to you?  That make you uncomfortable?  Do you turn on the news and see (usually, over and over again) images that upset you and make you angry or uncomfortable?  Do you do the same on your computer?  Become aware of what you voluntarily bring into your field of vision.
  • Now think of what you can change or improve in your surroundings. What can you actually put there?  Perhaps you will choose a photo of someone you love.  Each time you see it, it brightens your mood.  Maybe a soothing piece of artwork, of nature, of something with spiritual presence.  How about an object that makes you smile that sits on your desk or kitchen counter. Be aware!  Begin putting into your presence those “things” that can make you lighter and happier. That is, after all, the purpose of this course.
  • Now begin to delete and replace.  Let your sense of sight serve you in a spiritual way.  You need not be some “victim” of circumstance in these matters.  Turn off the TV if is unsettles you.  Shake things up.  See what happens.

I used this method to good effect in helping my elderly mother.  Whenever she went to the hospital or was ill in bed, I  made a special effort to put family photos near her bed, to add flowers, and objects she could see whenever she opened her eyes. It was a little gift, so, if I wasn’t there, all of these reminders of love were there, all the time.  I even found a stuffed toy, a Siamese cat to lie with her on the bed, in lieu of the much beloved real, live Siamese cat she had to leave at home.  Did all of this help?  I like to think so.

Use your own personal history.  Be creative.  What could you be seeing right now that will bolster your happiness and joy?  It may seem like a small thing, but, believe me, it is not!

I would be eager to know what you choose and how you are using the sense of sight.  We can all learn from one another!  Let’s share!

With love and namaste, Deanne

For more writings, check out www.deannemincer.com  and friend me on FaceBook

The 52: Let Your Own Breath Change Your Life!

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Listen, are you breathing just a little

and calling it a life?

These are the words of the highly acclaimed American poet, Mary Oliver.  What about you?  Are you taking full advantage of the energy and power of your breath?  Do you pay attention to how you breathe?  In case you missed the last two posts, go back and look at the simplicity of the breathing exercises.  Just a little tweaking could change your life.

Now I ask you to appreciate the miracle of your breath.  Those with illnesses that affect their lungs know how important it is to be able to breathe.  We can feel grateful that we have this capacity.  Enjoy your breathing.  Feel the rising and falling as a constant wave of light and energy.  It carries the gift of life – oxygen.  In yoga, we say it carries what we call prana, the life force.  This prana flows with the oxygen into every cell of our bodies, replenishing and nourishing each one.  Thank you, you might say, to your breath.

Now we have one more lesson on how we breathe. 

  • For optimal health in breathing, we try to do what is called “diaphragmatic breathing.”  If you are breathing high up in the chest, you are not using your lungs to full capacity. Let’s check it out.
  • Put one hand on your chest and the other on your belly.  Is one hand moving and the other not? See if you can feel the belly hand moving more than the chest hand.
  • Notice this:  When you breathe in, does the belly (or diaphragm) go out?  And when you breathe out, does it collapse or go in?  This is what we want.
  • Many people are reluctant to have anything but a totally flat stomach, so they often learn to breathe improperly.  Mmmmm.  I wonder what is more important.

As always, be kind and compassionate with yourself.  No judging allowed!  Only witnessing!  Be patient.  Everything in “The 52” is meant to help you but is NEVER meant to set up a win/fail situation.  You do what you can and smile all along the way.

Remember to love yourself completely NOW.  After all, you have never in your whole life been apart from the kind of love we will talk about again soon.

I am always in your corner, breathing right along with you!

With love and namaste, Deanne

For more thoughts: www.deannemincer.com and please share this with your friends

The 52: How Are You Breathing Right Now?

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Now to breath! If you have started monitoring and altering your breath, as described in the last post, you are already seeing how this simple awareness can make you lighter and happier.  That’s the promise of this 52 week course in spiritual teachings. 

Most of us take our breathing for granted.  We just do it, without any thought of how we do it.  Did you know that there is an entire science to breathing.  In fact, in my yoga training, one of the books we studied is titled Science of Breath. If you are interested in learning more, I highly recommend this book.  It was written by the people who were my on site teachers in my studies of yoga.  It was a privilege to be surrounded by swamis and medical doctors and psychologists, all of them seasoned in yoga. What a multi-disciplinary approach to the “science” and philosophy of yoga!

Now for more breathing tips you might like to try:

  • While you are breathing, use this visualization:  Imagine that the in- breath is filled with bright healing light.  Feel it flow in through the nostrils, down into the lungs, then sense that it is spreading throughout your body.  You could visualise the light into every organ, tissue and cell — all the way out to the extremities.  Each cell is cleansed and bathed by the breath.
  • Now as you exhale, imagine the breath is carrying away anything you wish removed from your body — illness, pain, toxins, soreness.  Feel it flow out through the nostrils and flow completely away from your body.
  • Here is another:   Let each in-breath be bright with a golden light of love, bathing your entire body.  Then breathe out confusion, chaos, worry, sadness or any negative emotion.

These images can have potent power.  One time, a man was referred to me for special yoga practice.  He was suffering with intense back pain.  He had been advised to have surgery.  We engaged several of these breathing practices.  He described that his pain was totally gone.  Then, as often occurs, his ego and skepticism kicked in.  In a short time, I am sorry to say his pain returned.  He could not accept that something so simple could relieve his pain and that he had the power to do it. I never saw him again but was told that he decided on surgery. 

When the body, breath, and mind work in loving tandem, miracles can and do occur.  See what happens to YOU when you work with your breath.

In a few days, there will be more on the breathing.  Let me know how you are doing.  Remember, even though I have used these practices for a long time, I am following “the 52” right along with you and feeling results anew!

With love and namaste, Deanne

For more thoughts: www.deannemincer.com

The 52: Lesson Two — How Calm and Relaxed Are You Right Now?

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butterflyblueskyThe body is the temple of the spirit.

Amrit Dasai

It’s time to scan your body.  That’s right.  It’s the body that seems to contain your Eternal  and Divine Spirit.  Just how light, happy, and full of love can you be if your body is tight with anxiety, like a twisted knot?  It is important to take every part of our being into account on this joyous ride of Love.  We don’t leave behind any aspect of ourselves, including our physical presence.

LESSON TWO

LOVING AND NURTURING YOUR BODY

This is the focus of Lesson Two — getting to know when and how your body reacts to stress.  Tense muscles.  Tight jaw line.  Scrunched shoulders.  The back held in a noose.  Do you recognize these stress symptoms? Some bodies choose to display stress in one or two or all of these ways at once. Then most of us walk around all day long, unconscious and never noticing.  But, once you know, you can start eliminating the body’s reaction to stress and negativity.  You can have a new dialogue with your body, while being compassionate and kind all the while.

You can talk soothingly to your body, reassuring it and sending it  love.  “Go ahead, shoulders, take a little break.  Soften up,” you might say.  Or “There you go, you tense back, how about a little rest right now.  Stretch out.  Doesn’t that feel good?”  It’s YOUR body, after all.  You can have a friendly chat with it.  You might not want to do it out loud if you are in a public place, but then people will maybe just think you are talking on your cell phone. Or that you are little odd.  No matter!

I used to work in a place that was vibrating with tension.  Executive decisions were made, then rescinded all the time.  It was the land of the ten minute decision — in ten minutes there would be another, conflicting decision.  The stress was palpable and everyone worked in close contact, seated in the same area.  The only retreat was a bathroom stall.  I would go in there and stand for a minute or two and imagine a flow of soothing warm water pouring over my body, washing away tension.  I imagined the stress dripping off of my fingers and pooling at my feet, then flowing away. It worked.  That was then.  Now I don’t need to go anywhere; I can do the scan and the imagery where ever I might be.  You can too, once you are used to the idea.

Remember your body reacts to what you think and say to it.  It knows when you are sending it nurturing and love.  You can love ALL parts of your being at once. Try some of these ideas:

  • Honestly scan your body and be aware of tightness and stress.  give conscious permission to let it.
  • Repeat this scan often throughout the day and even at night in bed, if you are awake enough to notice.
  • You will see that your body reacts to these changes.  Each time it will be easier to calm the body.
  • Think of any parts of your body that have been problematic or are sensitive to negative thoughts.  Actively send kindness and love to these places in particular.
  • Imagine Love and Light massaging and filling those parts of your body. Perhaps inhaling Love and Light and then exhaling away judgement, pain, and anything negative lodged in those spots.
  • Take a class in deep rest and meditation.  I teach Yoga Nidra (sleeping meditation) and it works so well at de-flating stress.
  • See your body, from which you will surely part one day, as another expression of Divine Consciousness, of God.  Treat it with tenderness and respect.
  • Say these words over and over until they ring in your mind — I LOVE MY BODY AND MYSELF COMPLETELY NOW.

I am honored to join you in learning to love yourself more.  It is the true purpose in living, though that thought may, for now, seem unlikely.  but, over time, and with following The 52, you will see the incredible power in understanding this thinking. I am here to help if you need me.  Just ask.

With love and namaste, Deanne

More at www.deannemincer.com and share this blog with your friends who want to be lighter and happier and more full of Love.

(c) A Lighter, Happier YOU in 52 (weeks) by Deanne Mincer, 2013