Спроси у тренера о медитации – Чолпон из Кыргызстана

Сегодня мы задаем вопросы Чолпон Жунусовой, нашему тренеру по медитации.

Чолпон из Кыргызстана начала медитировать с нами онлайн в 2014 году, после чего ее пригласили на первую Bridge fellowship в Грузии. Позже Чолпон приехала в Таиланд на двухнедельный тренинг, который изменил ее очень сильно и она уже не могла не вернуться в Таиланд.

С июня 2016 года Чолпон живет в Таиланде, где регулярно медитирует с монахами, преподает медитацию и йогу и учавствует в международных тренингах, которые помогает организовывать.

Чолпон преподавала медитацию в Таиланде, Южной Корее, Сингапуре, Мьянме и Кыргызстане. Девушка организовала тренинги с другими преподавателями в Японии, Китае и Вьетнаме.

Как ты начала медитировать?

 Первый раз я медитировала в 2014 году в ноябре. Моя подружка сказала, что  нашла программу по саморазвитию и медитирует каждый день. Я тогда не знала  что такое медитация.

Какое самое интересно открытие, которое медитация подарила тебе в жизни?  

Когда я начала медитировать я нашла себя. Поняла, что  более 20 лет не жила настоящим моментом, жила в прошлом и просто упускала момент.  Именно медитация  научила ловить  каждый момент, как говорят “Carpe Diem”. Я наконец-то поняла – все , что происходит с нами, происходит только в настоящем.

Какие у тебя были сложности в создании каждодневной практики медитации?

Конечно как говорят ” Москва не строилась за одну ночь ” – наши первые шаги не всегда легкие. Требовалось много  усилий и силы воли. Я всегда находила себе оправдание не медитировать, даже говорила себе , что завтра буду медитировать. Просто медитация не была частью моей жизнью, поэтому  после каждой медитации поощряла  себя ​.

Какой самый сложный вопрос о медитации тебе задавали? (и твой ответ)

Пока у меня не была такого опыта

Поделись любимым упражнением по саморазвитию.

Самое любимое упражнение по саморазвитию это медитация. С помощью медитации я начала познавать себя, свои скрытые таланты, черты и страхи.  Я начала жить моментом,  отпускать свои страхи, быть благодарным за все, что у меня есть. Каждый день я больше и больше раскрываю новые возможности.

Спасибо Чолпон!

Ребята, задавайте вопросы Чолпон в комментариях.

Спроси y тренера о медитации – Вероника из Чили

Сегодня мы задаем вопросы Веронике Лис, нашему тренеру по медитации. Вероника из Беларуси, и уже более двух лет живет в Южной Америке, сначала в Боливии, а теперь в Чили. Перед этим девушка путешествовала в Индии, медитировала там в ашраме, а с нами познакомилась на программе Bridge Peace Fellowship 2015 в Грузии, после чего приехала в Таиланд, и осталась волонтером.

В декабре 2017 года Вероника вернулась в Таиланд на длинную обучающую программу для тренеров по медитации, и после этого провела свой первый воркшоп в Гродно, Беларусь. Сегодня мы узнаем у Вероники о ее отношениях с медитацией.

Как ты начала медитировать?

С помощью учителя в школе духовного развития Вьет Во  Дао Тхиен Дыонг.

Какое самое интересно открытие, которое медитация подарила тебе в жизни?

Что внутри есть мир, что он важнее, интереснее, первичнее внешнего.

Какие у тебя были сложности в создании каждодневной практики медитации?

Непонимание со стороны окружающих и отвлечение ими.

Какой самый сложный вопрос о медитации тебе задавали? (и твой ответ)

Не кажется ли вам, что с медитацией вместе с негативными эмоциями уходят и  позитивные?

(Это правда, что эмоции становятся сдержанными, более контролируемыми, но чувства обостряются, их спектр расширяется, так что эмоции не то что уходят, а меняется их качество, глубина, они все  больше становятся чувствами. Также меняются определение радости и факторы его вызывающие, это состояние радости становится постоянным, а не краткосрочным.)

Поделись любимым упражнением по саморазвитию.

Осознанное дыхание, наблюдение за положением тела, состояниями, эмоциями и их течением.

Спасибо Вероника!

Ребята, задавайте вопросы Веронике в комментариях.

5 Ways Nature Can Heal You

Have you ever felt that everything is out of order and you need some time off? Time off from work, studies, family, just some time to be on your own and enjoy. This is the moment when it’s good to spend some time in natural environment and get back to the same rhythm with the vibes of our planet.

I have spent the last two weeks in the village in the middle of nowhere in Ukraine, no toilet or bathroom indoors, simple hut and hammocks, using a sleeping bag to keep myself warm at night. During this time I realised several things:

1. Cold is rejuvenating

I met a lady who does projects to promote winter swimming, and she inspired me to start dipping into the cold waters of the Zbruch river. The secret is – when you are going into the water, you need to slowly exhale. At 8 degrees Celcius outside, I am not sure how cold was the water, but it almost burnt my skin, and made the blood circulate fast trying to warm me up. And there I stand, naked in the cold, feeling more alive than ever before.

2. Yellow is soothing

photo by Andrii Lytvynenko

Ever since I read in Hatha Yoga Pradipika that one should practice yoga inside the house, I have been trying to follow this rule, but when you are out in the fields, and the magical mist is all over the place, it feels like magic to practice yoga outside. Autumn is the most magical season for me, it’s like mother Earth playing around with watercolours and decorating my world, just to prepare for a temporary death. Enjoying autumn and enjoying yellow and red leaves is the responsibility of everyone who loves themselves. Go enjoy some autumn if it’s still around!

3. Fresh air is great for slimming

I did not follow any special diet, in fact I ate all kinds of food that I normally consider not so healthy – noodles, pig fat, fried pancakes, sandwiches. When you breath fresh air all day long, it makes you want to move and it burns your calories even when you lay in a hammock. I started moving more – morning jogging and climbing around in the cave, and I started eating more but, but still losing weight. Nature puts you in a shape automatically.

4. Earth is healing

Being close to the earth makes a human healthier and more grounded. I remember myself in an apartment on the fifth floor, lost about what I should do and sad about the end of summer. When I am disconnected from earth, I start eating a lot of sugar as if trying to fill in the emptiness. When in the countryside, one can simply play with cats all day long, plant strawberries, run by the river, hang in a hammock or walk barefeet – and no matter what you do, it will heal your body and your soul.

5. Nature puts you in touch with yourself

Everything in nature is harmony. When one is surrounded by so much harmony outside, a desire appears to create harmony inside. Mindfulness and awareness is indeed a lot of work, and it is not always easy to be honest with yourself, but creating clarity is one of the most rewarding occupations in life.

What are you waiting for? While the autumn is still gold, make yourself a cup of tea and go out into the forest, sit around, pick mushrooms, meditate, and contemplate. Let us know how it feels.

 

 

De-Stress And Self-Express Through Colouring Books

In the past few years, colouring books have become a popular trend, and many people are surely buying them and sharing them as gifts. In this article, we will explore how colouring can be beneficial to your mind and what makes it so popular.

Like meditation

When we do anything with our hands, the attention moves from thoughts to actions, and we concentrate on what we do, letting go of toxic thoughts. This is why handicrafts, knitting, painting and other related activities are so stress relieving. It can also be related to sports, when the whole body is engaged and the attention is moved from the thinking mind to the actions of the body in the present moment.

Reducing anxiety

Anxiety can be caused by many reasons, and one of them is negative thoughts. The good news is that we can only think one thought at a time, and when we switch from negative thoughts to the thoughts of “which colour do I choose? Where do I colour now?” we tend to cool down and relax, and disconnect from our worries.

Pleasurable activity

Since the outcome of colouring is easily predictable and it is difficult to mess up while colouring, it becomes an easy and pleasurable activity, and relaxes the brain. We do not need to worry, we just need to be fully present and flow.

Reconnecting with your inner child

When we think of childhood, we often have good memories of safe and secure environment. The truth is, in childhood we received most of the conditioning  that our mind lives off right now, and no matter useful or not, one can work on his/her conditioning. Going back to your inner child, nurturing your inner child and allowing yourself to play is a healthy practice that will also take good care of the adult in you.

Martina from Slovakia has one of such colouring books and this is what she says about them: “Anytime I come back home, it is there, so I can colour something and it is connected to my comfort zone and precious self space. Once we had a colouring session together with my friends, it actually took the whole weekend and it was pretty relaxing. Did you know that there is even colouring app for your phone? It helps with concentration.”

“I don’t consider the colouring books as art therapy; I consider the colouring books therapeutic, which is not the same thing.” says Drena Fagen, an art therapist.

Photo credits: Google Pictures

There have been studies that show that it is more beneficial for people to create their own artwork rather than colour inside the designs that someone else has created. It indeed sounds more reasonable to unfold your own creativity and allow yourself to be a creative being. When you are too afraid to make the first step, I believe colouring a postcard or colouring a book can be useful too.

Have you ever engaged in this activity? Do you have colouring books at home? We are happy if you share with us in comments.

How Suzane Learnt To Meditate And Met New Friends

When the sun kisses me through the window, I open my eyes and practise yoga. After yoga I relax and meditate on my yoga mat. Brushing my teeth, making my bed, showering and having fruit for breakfast – these are the morning rituals that make me feel balanced and in touch with myself and help me get ready for work.

When I sit at my computer, the first thing I usually do is open the coaching program of the online self development program. One day I heard from someone in Thailand that it is the best to start your day with giving. Then the Universe will give to you. This is why many Thai people start their day offering alms to the monks. I start my day offering support and comments to the people I coach online. I share my meditation experience, my honest opinions and my life with them, and this is how I have found many people from different countries.

Suzane from Tanzania is one of my international online friends. We have never met in person, but I feel like we have been best friends for the past two months. Suzane has finished her online program about a month ago, but we are still in touch, I have introduced her to my friend Gofrey who is also in Arusha (Tanzania), and we chat about life and her exams.

Today I asked Suzane some questions about her experience with the online program and we are happy to share her answers with you.

How did you find out about the online self-development program?

There was an announcement on a website about opportunities for Africans about the Amandla fellowship. To take part one had to start the online self-development program, and this is how I got enrolled.

How was your experience having an online coach?

It was an absolutely great experience in general and I learnt a lot from both of my coaches, Dennis and Katie. I felt as if all the entries I made were reviewed and they made me feel like they take time to read and I sincerely appreciate them for giving me their time of the day and all their attention.

What was special about the program and what did you learn?

The most special thing I learnt throughout the program was meditation. I learnt that through meditation one can control his or her thoughts and can channel positivity throughout the day, hence what we feed the mind with is what the mind produces. If you wake up with meditation, your mind not only relaxes it also calms down in general and if you channel it to think of positivity then in production of the mind it will be positive throughout the day.  I feel that what I got from the program I can’t get it anywhere and the skills I learn, will help me change the world and make it a better place. The 5 acts of self discipline were a life changing experience for me hence; they made me have a full control over my actions and myself.

If you too want to learn meditation online, join us for the online self development program or for weekly Moonfest meditation on Facebook. 

Plan Your Happiness

Do you think it is possible to plan your happiness? Let’s see.

There are some things we can do to make sure we are as happy as possible. This is mostly about our self development, inner work and attitudes. There are also some things out of our control – such as natural disasters, actions of people around us, and to a certain degree – political and social situation. This is mostly about outer things. If we assume that we cannot change outer circumstances, but we are in charge of our inner harmony and peace, we can start a totally new path.

On our path of self love and self acceptance, we do not concentrate on blame, shame, guilt and judgements anymore. Yes, I was born into this family where I was taught bad habits, yes, I live in a country where everyone is drinking, but I cannot do too about it if I start complaining. Instead, I will become in charge of my actions through my words and thoughts. I will change my habits through changing my behaviours and emotions, and I will be in charge of my own happiness to the degree to which it is possible.

So, how exactly do we plan happiness?

1. Make a powerful intention

If you want a new incredible lifestyle, you will have to do things you have never done before. This may be tough, and your habits and lack of motivation may start dragging you back into your old daily routine.

A possible intention may be:

  •  I will meditate every morning.
  • I will practice yoga every morning.
  • I will do a good deed – something for a person who could not do this to themselves – every day.
  • I will smile to those who frown in the streets.
  • I will hug ten friends daily.

Your intention can be about anything, but make sure you believe in what you do and you know it will make you happier. Once the intention is made, never question it again. At least for a year.

2. Choose your power-word that will support you every day. What is it that you need from life the most at the moment? Here is a list of example power-words, or you may choose your own too.

Live. Focus. Health. Purpose. Compassion. Stability. Kindness. Celebration. Confidence. Peace. Mindfulness. Change. Positive. Grace. Consistency. Commitment. Hope. Trust. Courage. Presence. Patience. Meditation. Believe. Be. Freedom. Healing. Self-love. Extraordinary. Action. Routine. Adventure. Integrity. Positivity. Fearless. Work. Growth. Discipline. Listen. Balance. Intention. School. Original. Magic. Harmony. Dedication. Dream. Giving. Calm. Awaken. Faith. Joyful. Equanimity. Accomplish. Gentleman. Partnership. Effort. Persistence. Communication. Alive. Inspire. Passion. Ritual. Learn. Acceptance. Actualize. Playfulness. Aware. Union. Flow. Respect. Intention. Frugal. Social. Wellbeing. Tend. Risk. Travel. Productivity. Complete. Friends. Control. Strength. Fruition. Congruence. Impact. Determined. Resilience. Explore. Art. Bravery.

3. Make a list of activities that make you happy

For someone it may be skiing, for another – it is writing. Once you have written your list, plan to do at least one of these activities regularly and at least one exciting activity each month.

While writing this article I have drafted my Happiness boost year plan and I share it as an example.

To do regularly: find time for writing every week

To do monthly:

July – ride a water zorb

August – ride a hot air balloon

September – go to a meditation retreat

October – practice yoga every day

November – learn how to make chocolate

December – study a new language

Remember – no matter what you do, even the smallest things – everything you read, hear, see, smell and taste – remain in your subconscious memory. Everything you encounter in your daily life constitutes who you are, and it is good to make such resolutions to empower yourself.

Remember – when you make an intention, may it be strong and full of inner responsibility. It is you in charge of your life, and with your power of choice you can always always make it better.

FLEX Alumni Meditate Together

When we met in Global Peace on the Move 19 in Thailand in August 2017, we thought it was not a coincidence that we were three FLEX alumni in a group of 30 people from all over the world, and wanted to share with our alumni friends that meditation may be something they may like. This is how this article came about. Sardor, Irina and Katia took a photo together to promote meditation for FLEX alumni.

FLEX (Future Leaders Exchange Program) was established for the post Soviet countries and sponsored by the US Department of State to support young leaders to study in American high school for a year. During this year, young people from Eastern Europe, Caucasus and Central Asia learn about community service and leadership bringing the good skills back home to develop their communities.

WPI organises many events such as regional and international fellowships for young activists and peace builders. In many of those events we find things in common between meditators. When participants start talking to each other, many of them find out that they have taken part in some sort of US exchange program. In Bridge Peace Fellowship 2017 we gathered 5 of these alumni.

from top to bottom – Aylar Mammetmyradova, Saikal Muratbek Kyzy, Alina Abdisheva, Sardor Shaahmedov and  Kateryna Kulyk

Alina from Kazakhstan shares her feedback from the Bridge Fellowship 2017. “Bridge Fellowship helped me understand the usefulness of meditation. After the given retreat many magical coincidences happened with me in Georgia maybe because of the cultivation of inner peace and happiness 🙂 Also I made so many long lasting friends. Organisers made a great job, thank you all! I will highly recommend Bridge Fellowship to my friends!”

It is possible that Kateryna Kulyk, regional coordinator of WPI for Europe and Central Asia, as a FLEX Alumni, attracts other alumni into the circle. Another version is – FLEX alumni are open minded and curious and therefore pioneer in combining meditation and peace building into their countries.

Meditation is a new trendy practice, yet it does bring you a lot of concentration abilities and peace. It helps relax and be more efficient at work. It basically teaches you how to work hard and play hard, but remain relaxed all the time.

If you would like to learn meditation, but not sure where to start, you may consider joining Peace Revolution free online self development program . There you will have a Peace Coach, a person whom you can ask any questions and who will support you throughout the life changing 42 days.

See you online? Or maybe at a workshop with FLEX community somewhere around the world?

Meditation With A Monk In Armenia

On March 23-25, 2017,  WPI Foundation representatives visited Armenia and organised meditation workshops there for the second time.

In 2015, we have held meditation workshops in Armenia taught by our meditation and mindfulness trainer Anna Oleshkevych, and in 2017 we were lucky enough to bring a real Thai Buddhist monk to Armenia to further talk about meditation and practice it.

During the workshops, WPI team visited three cities – Vanadzor, Gyumri and Yerevan – bringing together 250 people in total.

How did it all start?

We were coming to Georgia for Bridge Peace Fellowship 2017, and had some free time afterwards. This is how our meditation friends from Armenia invited us to their country.

Meditation workshops were conducted by monk John from Thailand. He also answered the questions of all curious participants after the workshops.

When driving to Yerevan on the evening of March 24th, Monk John said he felt like visiting three Armenian cities was similar to visiting 3 different countries. Indeed, Vanadzor impressed us with its natural beautiy and Switzerland-like mountains, Gyumri city centre looked like a small town in Western Europe, and Yerevan welcomed us as a big modern city.

Meditation in Yoga and Pilates studio in Vanadzor

Monk John enjoyed meditating with Armenian participants, was impressed by their interest in meditation and numerous questions that he received during the five meditation sessions in three Armenian cities.

Join us for more meditation

If you too are interested in your meditation question to be answered, please register for our free online self development program at Peace Revolution website, and your Peace Coach will be happy to answer all the questions. You will be able to learn meditation from scratch or learn something new about it if you already have an experience. You are also welcome to join Peace Revolution Armenia Facebook page to receive updates about Peace Revolution events in Armenia. There you will find a group of people interested in meditation who will support your practice.

We are grateful to our hosts – Nona from Yoga and Pilates Centre in Vanadzor, Tamara Khlghatyan from Gyumri, Anna Poghosian and Armenak Minasyants from Yerevan.

Thank you Karine from Lotus center in Yerevan for hosting our workshop, and thank you Grigor Yeritsyan for interpreting it into Armenian.

Check out more photos here.

To organise a similar event please contact Katia at katerynakulyk@wpifoundation.org

Meditation With A Monk In Tbilisi

On March 19-22, 2017 World Peace Initiative Foundation (WPI) organised meditation workshops with a monk John Paramai from Thailand in Tbilisi. The workshops gathered almost 300 people and created a positive new vibe in the city.

Meditation workshops were organised by WPI Regional Coordinator Kateryna Kulyk right after Bridge Peace Fellowship which took place in Rustavi, Georgia for the third time in 2017. Thai teaching monk was invited as a meditation instructor both in the Fellowship, as well as the preceding workshops.

WPI Foundation promotes meditation as a practice of concentration and relaxation for the mind. It is a universal way of training the mind for everyone, regardless of their background, age, gender, nationality etc.

Monk John talking to Tornike who was interpreting the workshop from English to Georgian.

WPI cooperates with Thai monks to teach meditation. Monks follow a life of simplicity obeying 227 rules. This allows them to have more time and discipline to meditate. Teaching monk John, who has a PhD in Telematics from a Norwegian university, practices meditation minimum for four hours every day.

Monk John compares human being to a computer – our body being similar to a hardware, and our mind – to a software. Even though we cannot see the software, it is the key element of a computer. Similarly, our mind operates our body and all of our actions and habits. Therefore, meditation is to be practised as the main method in gaining control over our minds.

During the workshops in Tbilisi, monk John was asked several questions:

Why do you wear orange?

Back in the days, monks lived in a forest and they would use old pieces of cloth in which corpses were wrapped as clothes. This fabric was normally white and dirty, and monks would pick it up and sew together, and then they would dye it using natural colour. Some say that Thai monks wear orange coloured clothes because they wanted to scare away wild animals. Some say that orange was the best and most accessible natural dye.

What’s your relationship with women?

When I became a monk, I renounced worldly life and accepted celibacy. I belong to Theravada Buddhism which is the most orthodox branch of Buddhism, and we are not even allowed to touch women. So since I became a monk, I am not even allowed to touch my mother.

When is the best time to meditate?

According to my master, the best time to meditate is two times per day – when our eyes are open, and when our eyes are closed (laughs). Generally, it is recommended to meditate just after waking up and right before going to sleep, but in my opinion time does not matter, consistency is more important. If you meditate every day at the same time, then you are more likely to get into the meditation routine. For some people meditating right after waking up is the best way to establish this habit.

Can different approaches to meditation have a different influence on the body?

Different methods of meditation are similar to different vehicles that all bring you to the same destination. When you go by car or bicycle to the same place, your ride will be different but you will eventually arrive at the same place. Therefore, different methods of meditation may bring about slightly different sensations, but their goal is the same, and the closer you come to stillness, the more similar your sensations will be.

Do you recommend to listen to the music during meditating?

It is ok to listen to music to relax at the beginning of the meditation, but it is better to switch it off eventually. During meditation we try to switch off all of our senses, including hearing, and music may remain as connection to outer world, preventing us from going deeper within.

Giving interview on radio Tavisupleba

There were many more questions and two interviews on the media – with Radio Tavisupleba  and Georgian Public Broadcasting; TV show “Communicator” by Studio C.

We have cooperated with Yoga Cave Tbilisi, Droni Youth NGO, and Fabrika. WPI is grateful to our partners Olga Ramer, Sopho Gogsadze and Anna Svanidze for allowing us to use their venue and inviting participants, to share meditation moments with as many interested Georgians as possible.

In total, 283 people attended meditation workshops with monk John in Tbilisi, and they received answers to many questions. If you would like to attend such workshops in your country, please follow WPI and Peace Revolution project on Facebook and Twitter and stay tuned in to events in your country. You are also welcome to start our free online self development program, during which your Peace Coach will answer all your questions about meditation, monks and opportunities with WPI.