How 8 Minute Meditation Became 2 Hours Inner Peace Time

I remember the first time I heard about meditation. It was a joke among some people making fun of those who believed in meditation and the way to inner peace. I got curious. So I started searching and looking for the answer to find out whether those meditators were really shallow, crazy hippies as some call them or there was something real in there.

The First Feeling

By coincidence I came across the book “8 Minute Meditation” written by Victor Davich. 8 minutes? Just sitting there in a secluded place with closed eyes. Is this even possible? 

I closed my eyes and went on a trip through my mind, and it was amazing. For a year I was following the 8 minute meditation till someone on the other side of the world was packing bags to visit Egypt, the south of Aswan to do her first meditation retreat called MINA (peace in a local language). It was a complete sweet coincidence to come across the ad about the event “MINA meditation retreat”.

Inspiring Yana

And there I met her – Yana Yaneva, a very strong lady from Bulgaria, who inspires me personally. Yana is a certified meditation trainer and has travelled around the world, quitting the routine life and recovering from life wounds, and sharing her inner light with everyone regardless of their race, colour, genre and religion. Together we went through two days of inner peace time (meditation sessions), yoga and other peaceful activities, such as helping locals in their daily life with cleaning. Different people from different backgrounds could smoothly melt in each other, forming beautiful human reflections while our mobile phones stayed switched off to keep away from the daily hassle that we go through in our lives.

Morning meditation session followed by inspiring reflections.

 

Helping with water

Helping the locals to get their daily water supply. Peace in Peace out.

One of the most remarkable experiences happened while visiting a nice island in the Nile River. The island has no water station, and the locals have to hike almost 3 kilometres ascending and descending to get their daily need of water. Some of us cried learning this, and others experienced a new form of humanity, new form of life.

Yana’s inspiring talks and listening to the reflections have helped me continue my inner peace journey, later travelling to Thailand for a meditation training, then becoming a meditation coach to help my family, friends and everyone to know more about meditation and inner peace.

I want to thank everyone from Peace Revolution Community (Mirette Bahgat & Aya AbdelRahim) for hosting the retreat and helping Yana Yaneva deliver the message of peace to the peace seekers.

Trois techniques pour reconnaître et changer les mauvaises habitudes

Tous les Hommes ont de mauvaises habitudes. C’est quelque chose de naturel qui s’observe alors chez tout le monde. Indépendamment de nos principes et styles de vie, nous venons à être habitués à certains comportements à tel enseigne qu’ils deviennent des habitudes même s’ils ne favorisent pas notre développement socio-professionnel. Cet article aborde trois techniques pour reconnaître et changer les mauvaises habitudes.

Reconnaître ses mauvaises habitudes

Les mauvaises habitudes sont parfois difficiles à reconnaitre. Ceci parce que nous avons pris le temps d’intégrer ces comportements dans notre vie et dans notre façon d’être avec les autres. La reconnaissance de nos mauvaises habitudes dépend donc des types de personnes que nous fréquentons. Parce qu’une habitude peut être acceptée dans une société et rejetée dans une autre. Mais il est aussi important de tenir compte du bon sens et de se fier aux conventions. Car il y a des comportements qui ne sont pas acceptés et sont d’office rejetés en fonction des normes universelles. Pour donc reconnaître ses mauvaises habitudes, l’on peut se poser les questions suivantes : Suis-je fier de ce que ce fait ? Est-ce que tel ou tel comportement répond aux normes de ma société ? Suis-je satisfait des résultats que j’obtiens dans ma vie ? Est-ce que ma conscience me reproche quelque chose après tel ou tel comportement ? Les comportements deviennent des habitudes à force de les répéter au quotidien. Parfois, ils deviennent tellement familiers qu’ils sont difficiles à reconnaître. Se poser les questions précédentes nous aide à les reconnaître, afin de les corriger. Par ailleurs, nous pouvons aussi reconnaître nos mauvaises habitudes en faisant attention aux avis des personnes que nous côtoyons très souvent.

L’auto discipline

Une fois nos mauvaises habitudes identifiées, nous pouvons chercher la manière adéquate pour les changer ou les corriger. Cela peut être également difficile à faire si l’on ne se décide pas véritablement à passer à l’action et à changer les comportements que nous avons pris des années à développer. Se lever très tôt le matin à 5h peut ainsi paraître une corvée pour une personne qui  a passé toute sa vie à se réveiller à 7h du matin. Pareil pour un individu qui a tout le temps cultivé le retard, mangé dans son lit, dormir sans se laver, ne pas mettre de l’ordre dans ses affaires, fumer de la cigarette ou rentrer tardivement à la maison les nuits. Il faut donc de l’auto discipline pour y arriver. Commencer à faire différemment les choses en tenant compte de l’impact ou du résultat positif que nous allons avoir quand nous aurons réussi à devenir une nouvelle personne est une autre manière de reconnaître et de changer les mauvaises habitudes. La plupart des Hommes sont conscients de leurs mauvaises habitudes. Parce que les effets néfastes de ces habitudes se manifestent toujours dans leur vie d’une manière ou d’une autre. Mais sans un engagement véridique et une auto discipline soutenue, nous n’arrivons souvent pas à changer nos mauvaises habitudes.

La méditation comme outil de changement des mauvaises habitudes

La méditation est un outil de développement personnel assez important dans le changement des mauvaises habitudes. Les personnes qui méditent développent une très forte sensibilité et sont capables d’identifier facilement les mauvaises habitudes en eux-mêmes. Sans trop d’efforts, ils arrivent généralement à se donner une auto discipline pour atteindre des objectifs.  En se remettant aussi en cause, ces personnes sont capables d’accepter les observations ou commentaires sur leurs comportements, afin de changer ce que les autres n’aiment pas en eux. Il s’agit des personnes hautement sympathiques avec une ferme humilité. Raison pour laquelle, ils s’auto-évaluent très fréquemment pour identifier leurs mauvaises habitudes et passer à des actions concrètes pour les changer progressivement. Vous pouvez donc envisager apprendre à méditer avec PEACE REVOLUTION où l’on vous offre une plateforme gratuite pour des cours en ligne de Développement Personnel et de la pratique de la pleine conscience ou encore la méditation. Ce qui pourrait aussi vous aider à reconnaître et à changer les mauvaises habitudes.

Photo credits: https://unsplash.com/

Why Taking Time for Yourself and Meditation Is Not a Selfish Act?

“You can’t pour from an empty kettle” is a common saying, but one that nobody seems to live by. Increasingly, it seems that taking time out for yourself is a selfish act. Meditation is often seen as an even more selfish act because modern people don’t often understand the benefits of meditation. The ability to sustain silence, quiet, and look inward is a self-survival tool. In fact, meditation is an effective stress management tool, and stress is linked to a number of diseases. A stressed out person is not operating at full capacity which means every part of their life is suffering from health to all types of relationships.

Stress is not success

Stress has been linked to depression, anxiety, heart diseases, and the exacerbation of countless injuries, diseases, and disorders. Still, we live in an era where “stress” is equated with hard work, and hard work is revered. Another common saying is to work better, not harder, and that “mantra” is often ignored, too. Somehow, we’ve developed into a society where the mark of a “good person” is that they’re constantly on the go and busy. That’s not necessarily the mark of a good or even successful person. It might just be the sign of a person who doesn’t take time for themselves, doesn’t know how to say no, and isn’t giving 100 percent to any of their endeavours.

Taking time for yourself isn’t selfish. Meditation isn’t selfish. Rather, taking time for yourself and giving yourself permission to meditate means that you are making sure your machine is working at top capacity before giving away any of your resources. Consider if you had a collaborative project meeting at six in the morning. However, you were so busy the day before with other tasks that you didn’t go to sleep until midnight. You were so worried about an unrelated event earlier in the day that your sleep was compromised. When you do get to the early morning meeting, you’re tired and might be on your third cup of coffee (the caffeine further stressing you out).

Do you think you’d be a very good or effective team member? Probably not. Simply showing up doesn’t mean that you’re successfully joining the meeting.

Types of Meditation

However, if you take time for yourself, you allow the body to recuperate. Meditation is the practice of sitting in comfortable, sustained relative silence. You’ll have outside thoughts creep in. Acknowledge them and send them on their way. Pranayama, or breath control, can be part of a meditation practice (either before or during). Relaxing pranayamas such as three-part breath allow you to concentrate on counting breaths and the inhalation, hold, and exhalation which helps keep outside thoughts at bay.

Others prefer to meditate with japa beads, which are 108 beads similar to a rosary. You recite a mantra, internally or externally, as you roll the bead between your fingers. The mantra should be positive, short and sweet. Some people prefer to chant the names of Hindu deities, while others prefer a secular but heartfelt saying.

Making Time for Yourself

Making time for yourself and meditation don’t have to eat up a lot of time. You don’t need to travel far or black out a large chunk of time for these mini-retreats. A lot of people prefer to meditate first thing in the morning and right before bed. For newcomers to meditation, five minutes is a great starting point. Moreover, taking time for yourself doesn’t always have to include meditation, though it can. It does need to be a relaxing, enjoyable experience though where you feel the stress in your body reducing. It can be virtually anything from a manicure session to a walk around the neighborhood. The only rule? No multitasking with tasks that can cause stress.

 

You want to give the best of yourself to the people in your life, particularly your loved ones. However, if you don’t take time for yourself, how present will you be at date night? How about at your child’s recital or during that important meeting? Selfish is putting yourself before others regularly with no care to how that affects your relationships with them — taking time for yourself couldn’t be farther from this definition. When you take care of yourself, you’re ensuring a higher quality relationship with yourself and with others. When you meditate, you re-learn how to appreciate and recover by way of quiet and reflecting inwards. Both are important tools in a society where we’re expected to be “on” all the time. Consider them a means of survival and bettering every other part of your life.

This is a collaborative post supporting our Peace In Peace Out initiative.

Du paradoxe Socratique à la libération totale de sa rancœur

Platon[1], un des fervents disciples de Socrate[2], affirme que connaitre le bien veut dire faire le bien. Cette affirmation est, sans doute, écho fidèle du paradoxe Socratique quant à son enseignement éthique. Dans le domaine de l’éthique, on appelle « paradoxes socratiques » un certain nombre de points de vue défendus par Socrate et allant à l’encontre de l’opinion communément admise. Quelles sont ces fameux paradoxes et surtout comment peuvent-ils paver le chemin à la libération totale de sa rancœur ? Les réponses à ces questions, que nous allons donner dans la suite de cet article nous donneront, sans doute, une bonne compréhension d’une liaison très étroite entre les paradoxes socratiques et la redécouverte de soi. D’où un début du processus de libération.

1. Du Paradoxe Socratique à la redécouverte de soi à travers la méditation

Le plus célèbre des paradoxes Socratiques  est celui selon lequel la vertu est une science. Selon l’opinion répandue chez les Grecs, la vertu était un don naturel ou divin, ou encore pouvait s’acquérir au moyen de l’exercice[3]. Mais pour Socrate, la vertu est une connaissance,  c’est-à-dire que savoir ce qu’est la vertu est suffisant pour être vertueux et à l’inverse que pour être vertueux, il est nécessaire de savoir ce qu’est la vertu.

Si Socrate affirme ainsi que «Nul ne fait le mal volontairement, et que l’Homme fait le mal par ignorance »[4], cela ne veut pas du tout dire l’ignorance du mal. Il est très facile de connaitre le mal. Aucune personne sensée ne va pas dire qu’elle ignore que tuer, voler ou infliger l’un ou l’autre mal à son prochain est mauvais. L’instinct suffit lui-même pour apprécier ce qui est mal.  Le paradoxe Socratique fait plutôt référence à l’ignorance du bien.

Selon Platon, disciple fidèle de cette opinion socratique, la vertu suprême consiste dans le détachement du  monde sensible et des biens extérieurs pour aller vers la contemplation des idées et  spécialement l’idée du bien et enfin dans l’effort pour réaliser cette idéale de perfection qui est le bien.[5]  En d’autres termes, la connaissance du bien requiert, selon nos deux fameux Philosophes, un authentique détachement des distractions du monde physique autour de soi qui constituent de sérieux obstacles à la découverte du BIEN idéal.  C’est dans ce processus même que l’esprit, dans son effort de se détacher de ces distractions et des impulsions particulières, amène le sujet à se redécouvrir  soi-même et à découvrir enfin « le bien » idéal.

On peut ainsi équivaloir ce processus à la méditation qui, tout comme dans la théorie platonicienne du détachement du monde sensible à la contemplation  du bien dans le monde des idées, ramène l’esprit de son vagabondage vers le centre du corps. Notre esprit, de part sa nature même, se préoccupe de toute chose dans un laps de temps. Il  s’inquiète du futur, des échecs du passé, des mémoires agréables et/ou désagréable etc.  Ce que nous faisons au fait pendant la méditation, c’est  éduquer l’esprit à se concentrer sur une seule chose à la fois, et qu’il se repose au centre qui est d’ailleurs  sa demeure naturelle. C’est alors dans ce centre que l’esprit peut être tranquille et la personne pourra ainsi être en communion avec soi-même et par la suite découvrir le bien à faire.

 2. Paradoxe Socratique à la source du pouvoir de pardonner  

Si Nul ne fait le mal volontairement, selon le paradoxe Socratique, et que garder sa rancœur est un mal, alors quiconque garde  sa rancœur ignore le bien, les vraies récompenses du pardon. Autrement dit, d’après cette simple logique, la personne qui n’arrive pas à pardonner dérape de ce qu’il/elle appelle le bien. A ce stade du non pardon, le bien semble être plutôt continuer à nourrir sa rancœur.

«Ma femme et moi imaginions que la mort de l’assassin de notre fils nous rendrait nos nuits de sommeil. Or cela n’a rien changé. Ça nous a seulement donné de la compassion pour ses parents qui perdaient leur fils, comme nous. C’était il y a cinq ans et je commence à réaliser que je ne serai en paix que lorsque j’aurai pardonné : à celui qui a tiré sur mon fils, au chirurgien qui ne l’a pas sauvé et à Dieu qui a laissé faire. Mais surtout, et seulement, quand je me serais pardonné, à moi-même, de ne pas avoir été celui qui a reçu la balle fatale (…)» Témoignage d’un jeune couple qui a préféré garder l’anonymat  

Nous devons l’avouer, dépendamment de la profondeur de la blessure,  le pardon n’est pas du tout une chose facile, voir même impossible pour certains. C’est dans son effort de sa rencontre et de communion avec soi-même que l’esprit découvre enfin le bien idéale et de là y trouve son plein pouvoir du pardon. Cela peut être réalisé à travers une introspection en 10 étapes proposées par Fabrice Renault[6].

3. Du pardon à la libération totale de sa rancœur et de son esprit

«Pardonner c’est libérer un prisonnier et découvrir que ce prisonnier était toi» Lewis Smedes (Traduit de l’Anglais).

La rancœur et tous les sentiments de vengeance y associés constituent, sans doute, un obstacle à la paix et à la joie de vivre. De tels sentiments négatifs iront  même plus loin jusqu’à souiller l’esprit quitte à ce qu’il n’ait plus la capacité de percevoir le monde tel qu’il est. Il est à ce moment comparable à de lunettes teintées de saletés qui, à travers lesquelles, il est impossible de percevoir  clairement les choses. Une fois qu’on est parvenu à pardonner, l’esprit regagne sa pleine habileté parce qu’il n’a plus de souillures qui constituaient son obstacle. Il est libéré de sa prison. Bien évidemment, une personne libre peut faire beaucoup plus de choses qu’un prisonnier. De même, l’esprit libéré est créatif et innovant parce qu’il est focalisé. De plus, la libération totale de sa rancœur redonne à l’esprit ainsi libéré, sa tranquillité et sa joie de vivre.

Il n’est pas facile de pardonner son offenseur. La blessure peut être beaucoup profonde qu’il semble même impossible pour certains à se libérer totalement de sa rancœur. Pourtant, il n’est pas impossible; ça demande seulement de prendre une décision radicale à aller à la rencontre de soi pour découvrir le bien à faire et cela à travers la méditation et l’introspection.

[1] Platon,  philosophe grec de l’antiquité (vers. 428-347 av. J.-C.)

[2] Socrate  Philosophe Grec de l’antiquité (vers. 470-v. 399 av. J.-C.), dit créateur de la philosophie occidentale

[3] Voir : Platon, Lachès, 194d, Gorgias, 460b-c, Protagoras, 349d – 361b, Hippias mineur, 375d-e, République, livre I, 350d

[4] Platon, Criton, 49 c-d. Trad. E. Chambry

[5] Louis-André Dorion, « Socrate et l’utilité de l’amitié », Revue du MAUSS, 1/2006, no 27, Pp. 76-77

[6] Renault Fabrice, dans https://www.mieux-vivre-autrement.com/dix-etapes-pour-pardonner-vraiment-et-se-liberer.html

How Meditation Can Change Your Brain

You know meditation is good for you, but did you know that it actually changes the brain in positive ways? Meditation is increasingly being used to overcome addiction because addiction itself is a negative changing of the brain, a chemical addiction. If meditation can alter the brain for the positive, addiction therapy can include more holistic, long-lasting measures. But how exactly does meditation shift the brain?

Neurological Benefits

Meditation comes with a host of neurological benefits, with studies showing that it changes the volume of gray matter as well as minimizing the activity within the “me” hubs of the brain. One study out of UCLA showcased how those who meditated for several years had brains better preserved than those who didn’t. Participants had to have meditated for at least 20 years and were found to have more grey matter in all parts of the brain. Lead researcher Florian Kurth says, “We expected rather small and distinct effects located in some regions that had previously been associated with meditating—instead, what we actually observed was a widespread effect of meditation that encompassed regions throughout the entire brain.”

Yale University released a study that highlighted how meditation retards the brain’s “me” center, otherwise known as the default mode network (DMN). If you find yourself regularly having your mind wander and experiencing selfish thoughts, DMN is at fault. It’s active when we’re not focusing on anything and when we allow our minds to wander. “Mind-wanderers” are considered less happy than others, prone to brooding and worrying. Meditation has a quieting effect on the brain, slowing down this area and offering better concentration.

Anxiety and Depression

Another study out of Johns Hopkins considered mindfulness and meditation to treat anxiety and depression. Researchers found that meditation had the ability to minimize depression, pain, and anxiety symptoms. According to lead researcher Madhav Goyal, those who take low doses of antidepressants experienced just as much help when prescribed meditation. “A lot of people have this idea that meditation means sitting down and doing nothing. That’s not true,” says Goyal. “Meditation is an active training of the mind to increase awareness, and different meditation programs approach this in different ways.”

Harvard researcher Sara Lazar discovered that medication can increase volume in a number of areas in the brain. After eight weeks of a mindfulness-based stress reduction study, it was found that participants had an increase in the cortical thickness throughout the hippocampus, the part of the brain in charge of memory. Emotional regulation parts of the brain and self-referential processing units also enjoyed a boost in volume. Lazar also found that parts of the brain volume decreased, particularly in the amygdala, the part of the brain responsible for stress, pain, and anxiety. Through meditation, Lazar’s team discovered that the changes in the brain also led to changes in how the participants actually felt.

Concentration

Another study considered the link between meditation and attention spans/concentration. A lot of people struggle with concentration, with Google researchers saying that westerners have worse attention spans than goldfish. However, a study found that in just two weeks of meditation training, participants had better memory and focus. The verbal reasoning part of the GRE was used to gauge changes. Their average scores were so much better; it equated to 16 percentile points (something college and high school students would be thrilled to achieve). Focusing attention is at the heart of any meditation program, so the natural increase in cognitive skills is an added bonus.

Social Anxiety

Research studies linking meditation and social anxiety are also well-founded. The mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) movement, headed by the University of Massachusetts’ Center for Mindfulness and director Jon Kabat-Zinn, claims that meditation is a key factor in reducing overall stress levels both mentally and physically. The studies have also reported that in an eight-week course, the benefits are evident even years later (when participants didn’t continue beyond those eight weeks).

Meditation is a true game changer and one of the simplest ways you can alter your brain for the better. We have so much stimulation directed at us around the clock, it can easily overwhelm the body. Meditation is a way to get back to your center, quiet the mind, and let the brain do a little recovery work. It needs rest and proper workouts, too, both of which meditation can provide. A healthy brain is a part of a healthy body.

This is a collaborative post supporting our Peace In Peace Out initiative.

A Few Questions To Help You Care For Your Mind

Inner Peace Time

Our human elements need maintenance. Meditation theory understands that we, as human beings, are composed of body and mind that relate to each other as the hardware and software do in the computer.  And we know that if we don´t pay much attention to any of those elements, illnesses arise and our decaying process speeds up. Our body needs care – water, clothe, shelter, exercise, and nourishment. And our mind, our inner world, our consciousness, needs proper care too. This type of care can be called Mental Health, or, Psychological Care.

In order to sensibilize ourselves about our own health, we require experiencing ailment. There is no other way. Experiencing both sides of the coin gives us knowledge, and by getting sick we understand that we need to take care of a certain aspect of our health to which we didn´t pay attention before. In our body this is easy to see, few days with flu are uncomfortable enough to pay more attention to its causes and take some actions to prevent the same experience in the future. For our minds, when we are burnt out, when we are stressed out and collapsing, creating chaos in any aspect of our lives, is when we realize that we need to learn how to take care of it.

Meditation is one of the most effective ways, a good medicine, to heal our mind from stress and related illnesses (this Harvard Health post talks nicely about it). Relaxation is a key part of the process, it´s actually the foundation of our meditation practice because it is by relaxing that we learn to unload our mind from worries, problems, heavy emotions. Those things are a part of our daily life. Left unsupervised, they cause stress, anxiety, emotional problems, insomnia, digestive problems etc. The list is long.

Medicine is as important as prevention. The cycle of knowledge is not complete, the lesson remains unlearnt until we not only heal but also learn to manage and prevent the same unfortunate experience. We examine the causes and act upon them. If we know that A creates B, and B is not something that we want to experience too often, we develop strategies to prevent A. If I discover that I´m allergic to lactose, I check the sources of it and avoid them, or, if I can´t help it, I take a pill to decrease and manage the symptoms. As simple as that.

What we can do for our psychological health is to ask a couple of important questions in order to check how everything is going. These questions are not exhaustive (there are more that you can try), but these are a good starting point:

  • What gives you mental clarity and inner peace?
  • What stresses you out?
  • How do you relax after a long day?
  • How do you take care of your mind?

The answers to these questions are key to your psychological wellness and can help you a big deal to clarify where to act on to take proper care of your own mind. After all, the things that weigh on our minds have a great impact on the way we deal with our job/studies, relationships, duties and life in general. They can create chaos or peace, it´s up to us.

“Clouds come floating into my life, no longer to carry rain or usher storm, but to add color to my sunset sky” Rabindranath Tagore

Bring The Real Love In, Baby!

Universe Woman

On desiring infinity while experiencing finitude. Thoughts on love. Part II.

Talking and writing about unconditional love is not difficult. What is tricky is to bring that magnificent, metaphysical love into our daily lives, into our relationships. That´s another thing. In moments of crisis, we get into this place where love is not pleasant and joyful, but challenging and uncertain. We [may] love unconditionally but our personalities clash from time to time. Our insecurities arise, we don´t know where we are going, we get all sort of disappointments, satisfactions, doubts, certainties, frustrations, happiness and, yes, sorrows too. There is a bit of everything in there.

In this eagerness to fill my emptiness. / In this eagerness to look and to see what wishfully I am missing. / In this eagerness of my mind to experience you in such a way that I can find myself. / In this eagerness, I forgot and I found in the silence the disintegration of every form: my own reflection.” Yasmín Navarrete [book “Por Descartes”]

When we practice loving-kindness meditation (also known as Metta), we expand our minds and stop thinking only for our benefit, on satisfying only our desires, and we replace, at least for few moments, our thoughts of “I want” and “give me” for “may all living beings experience happiness”, “I wish good to all”. If we really dare to look inside of us and recognize our own demons, we agree that these moments of cessation of selfishness are priceless.

It has been taught by wise people (I learned this from Catholic priests and Buddhist monks) that giving is what makes our relationship grow and prosper, healthy and satisfactory. It is not surprising then that giving is a form of loving-kindness and a way to go beyond the limits of our reactive nature or ego. The way to bring in the loving-kindness that we practice in meditation into our lives is by giving. We expand ourselves and step out of our egotistic nature when giving, even in restricted or stressful circumstances.

But let´s be careful on this: not because giving is the way of development and growth we are gonna tolerate abusive relationships or situations and continue giving at expenses of ourselves. What we can practice is to give, and find creative ways to give every time, not only when we feel good and feelings are reciprocated, but especially when we are under the influence of our own ego, when we want to react, when we want to yell at our partner or friend, when we feel victims of the situation, insecure about the relationship, when we complain, when we judge, when we blame, when we take our relationship for granted. That´s the job that love, real love, guide us to do. It will never lead us to self-destruction, but to a more and more delightful and complete existence.

Ego has no memory of love experience. If you are really in love, for that single moment an ecstasy happens; the ego is not there. Boundaries merge, mingle, meet, disappear into each other.” Osho

The nature of love is unconditional, infinite, but we live in a conditioned reality (we experience material limits, limits of time and space, we have social/cultural conditioning, personal beliefs about how things “should be”, individual needs, our personality etc.). Considering this, writing about unconditional love seems naive, delusional or idealistic, so… what do we do? In the meantime, nothing. Our unique responsibility is to keep our ego at bay, to transform that energy, when it emerges, into something to give, and to become a bit less selfish in the process… after all not only our close relationships benefit from this, but also our occupation: what is better than a business which seeks contributing to society in a good way? Is there anything better than someone who works for the benefit of others and not only for him/herself? We just allow love to flow, to continue its journey and to stretch and restrict us so we can finally start to be open to the possibility that love is not about us or for us, but through us.

You can check the first part of this article here

Credits for the image @spikaartist

Comment s’aimer soi-même nous aide à aimer les autres

Depuis toujours les Hommes ont besoin de s’aimer pour une harmonie sociale durable. Mais que vaut l’amour sans fondement? Peut-on véritablement aimer sans d’abord s’aimer soi-même? Lisez cet article pour comprendre comment mieux aimer les autres en apprenant d’abord à s’aimer soi-même.

« Si l’amour était un arbre, ses racines seraient l’amour propre. Plus vous vous aimez, plus votre amour donnera des fruits aux autres et il sera durable dans le temps » dixit Walter Riso. Ainsi dit, l’amour  de soi-même est le plus important de toutes les formes possibles d’ amour. Nous ne pouvons alors pas donner de l’amour si nous ne nous aimons pas en premier. Parce que l’on ne peut donner que ce que l’on a. S’aimer soi-même est un choix, et lorsqu’on décide de se donner de l’amour, on peut ensuite en donner aux autres dans la mesure qui nous convient. Il est donc question de se reconnaître une certaine valeur, de se ménager, de protéger son territoire intime, sa santé physique et psychique, et de connaître ses intérêts réels. Bon nombre de personnes ne savent pas comment se manifeste l’amour de soi-même au quotidien.  Il est par conséquent utile que nous expliquions dans cet article comment maintenir une vie équilibrée en se basant sur l’amour de soi-même tout en aimant également les autres. Comment se manifeste alors l’amour de soi-même?

S’aimer soi-même est une priorité    

L’amour de soi commence par  le fait de prendre conscience de sa priorité et de se donner soi-même de la considération vis-à-vis des autres. C’est la fondation pour bâtir une relation saine avec soi-même et avec les autres. Savoir s’aimer soi-même, c’est aussi s’estimer et avoir confiance en soi. Dans cet état, l’amour s’exprime facilement à travers des sentiments de bien-être et de satisfaction. Il permet d’éprouver la joie de vivre, de s’apprécier et de se faire respecter. Pour bâtir son amour propre, il est aussi bien de prendre en considération quelques indices qui permettent d’évaluer le degré de notre amour pour nous-même.

Être soi-même: http://bit.ly/2tgE8rX
  • L’acceptation de soi

L’amour propre commence par l’acceptation du corps que la nature nous a offert. En effet, vous êtes ce que vous êtes physiquement. Nous avons parfois envie de changer de peau, se faire un nouveau look ou se donner une nouvelle allure. Tout ceci est normal, mais nous ne devons pas oublier que pour s’aimer soi-même, il est recommandé de ne pas trop se focaliser sur notre physique, mais plutôt sur notre beauté intérieure. Lorsque vous cachez votre corps sous une couche superficielle, celle que vous voulez bien montrer au monde, c’est qu’il y a des parties de vous-même que vous avez du mal à exposer parce que vous ne l’acceptez pas. Le regard que nous portons sur nous-même est le même que celui des autres sur nous. Et de cela dépend la qualité de nos relations avec les autres.

  • Voir le bien en tout

Voir le bien en tout aide aussi dans le développement de l’amour pour soi-même. Cela nous accorde la chance de se respecter soi-même pour mériter en retour le respect des autres. Nous devons alors apprendre à accepter nos forces et faiblesses comme une partie de notre personnalité. C’est notre marque personnelle qui fera la différence dans toutes les choses que nous aurons à faire. Si nul n’est parfait, il est aussi évident que nos faiblesses peuvent aussi devenir nos forces. Tout dépend de nos objectifs, de nos priorités et de nos rêves. De manière simple, il convient donc de se respecter soi-même, de s’aimer soi-même pour se faire respecter et se faire aimer.

  • La connaissance de soi-même

Pour finir, nous pouvons retenir que pour être aimé ou se faire aimer, il faut d’abord s’aimer soi-même. S’aimer soi-même, c’est aussi se connaître. Car nous ne pouvons pas nous aimer si nous n’arrivons pas à avoir une meilleure connaissance de ce que nous sommes. C’est en cela que la méditation nous aide. La méditation nous permet d’apprécier nos forces comme nos faiblesses. D’accepter ce que nous avons sans complexe pour pouvoir donner aux autres le meilleur de nous-même. C’est en réalité un exercice mental qui développe en nous l’amour personnel, la confiance en soi et la compassion pour les autres. Je vous invite à vous inscrire pour le Programme de Développement Personnel que PEACE REVOLUTION offre gratuitement en ligne pour aider les gens à apprendre comment se connaître, afin de développer l’amour de soi-même et des autres.

How Mindfulness Can Irreversibly Change Your Life

So what is mindfulness? Everybody uses this term, but do we really know what it means? A mindful person is someone who lives in the present while calmly accepting their feelings and thoughts, and uses them as a therapeutic technique.

Living in a state of mindfulness is not something you can achieve overnight. It’s not a magic trick that you can perform and transform your entire life in just a second. It’s a journey of self-discovery that might take one year or fifty years.  It doesn’t matter; all the matters is the process. This is how you live in the present.

You Are Not Your Thoughts

A few years ago when I was practicing mindfulness, I’ve received a powerful insight. While I was meditating I had a powerful vision. I saw my whole life revealed in front of my eyes. I understood that time is nothing more than an illusion. We like to think about the past and the future as something that has an influence over us. But that’s totally false. “Live in the present!” is what everybody tells us.

But how?

Just forget about everything that has happened until this moment and focus only on what you are doing NOW. Feel good about yourself while doing it. Only then you will understand that your thoughts do not define you. They are only passing mental phenomena. Try doing the following exercise:  Find yourself the perfect position, relax, and just watch your thoughts. Don’t hang on to them, just let them fly.

You Stop Stressing for the Small Stuff

We are constantly stressing about unimportant stuff. Our child draws on the wall and we are almost having a heart attack. We care so much about every insignificant detail that we forget to look at the bigger picture. We are draining our energy on nonsensical stuff without even thinking. We are programmed from birth to react like this.

It’s not our fault that we are like this, but it is our duty to change and embrace our true reality. Let me tell you a little secret. Everything that happens in our life is something good that is meant to point us in the right direction. We are always growing, so embrace each moment as something that brings you new growing opportunities.

You Appreciate Things More

Paying attention to all the details that surround us can be done only if we manage to maintain a calm and relaxed state of mind. We are always in a rush, but why? We always feel like there is something more to be done or that we haven’t done enough.

Have you ever tried watching a tree grow? What kind of question is this? Who would have time to do something like that? You see, here is the problem. We think that we don’t have time, but time is an illusion. Beauty is everywhere, watch it, feel it and embrace it. When there is beauty inside, there is beauty outside.

Photo credits: http://bit.ly/2HZPgNu

You Understand and Develop Compassion

Some say that awareness and compassion is the same thing. That might be true. Being aware of the present moment will make you much more attentive to the world around you. When we are living in the moment, we are more in tune with other people experiences. We start to understand that everything is connected and that we are all one single organism. So, we help other people, not because we have to, but because we understand that their pain is our pain.

You Learn the Art of Acceptance

We are spending most of our days fighting the present moment, instead of accepting it completely. We are spending time judging every event that’s happening to us, rather than figuring out a way of using it to expand our perception.  Living in a state of mindfulness gives you the opportunity to accept everything that’s around you. You understand that every living being is a part of you, and hurting them will mean hurting yourself.

Acceptance means that you do not resist anything; you embrace it and transform it. Going against the tide will not do any good to you. Because if you manage to understand that you are everything and everyone, you will also understand that you can’t fight yourself.

Conclusion

Living in the moment is your true nature, and everything else is just an illusion. The past and the future are only illusive constructs made especially to restrain your mind from growing. We live like this since our birth. It’s time to wake up and see the world for what it is. Everything that moves and breaths is a part of us, and our duty, as intelligent beings, is to cherish and protect it.

Photo credits: http://bit.ly/2oG6jv0

5 Lessons I Took Home From A Meditation Training In Thailand

Life is a wonderful gift to those who pay attention to its features and all its forms. Paying attention is a skill that requires nobody else but ourselves to master. My second experience with the World Peace Initiative Foundation in Thailand has given me the power that nobody can take away from me. It is the power of being me at whatever scenario. I thought I would be selfish if I didn’t share how my experience in Himawan meditation sanctuary has transformed me. Here are 5 lessons that I took home:

1) Everything you need is you

My experience at the Peace Architect* training taught me one of the most beautiful laws of happiness that goes beyond the beneficiary of happiness of oneself. Detached from the fast material aspects of the world, the environment that gave me time with myself was enough to bring back the natural self in me through concentration, contentment and living in the present. The beautiful nation of Thailand gave me a tool that helped me be myself and stay happy naturally. Three weeks of mindfulness and meditation training were a miracle to realise and appreciate how human beings, as natural as they are, can discover the meaning of life through living with the present and moving with what is available instead of things and wishes of what should be available even if it’s not necessary for our essentials.

2) Witnessing is enough

At times, we can be happy if we just stay calm and witness events as they unfold. This is one of the lessons that I learnt in the peace architect training that I would be willing to share with others. Living in a very fast moving world, we are often tempted to participate even on those matters that do not concern us or that will bring no positive outcome even to those involved. I witnessed the beauty of the nature at Himawan, the calmness of the monks, the friendliness of all international participants, the kindness and love of the Peace Revolution stuff. All these observations were made possible by the spirit of observation and witnessing as events unfolded. If we are calm and observant, we are able to observe the goodness of others. Once we realise that, we respect them and share good memories with them. At times in life we put extra effort only to realise later that not everything needs urgency and power, and at times nothing needs to be done; just be a witness, and observe a watcher. Meditation is witnessing!

3) Success requires a strong willpower

The environment at the meditation and training retreat in Himawan was designed in a way that tests our willpower and endurance to do good. I would say that the willpower is the work with the mind and if the mind is not prepared or is not clear enough to stay focused and concentrate on one mission at a time, our willpower is prone to destruction. The experience gave me the willpower to work harder in every situation that arises and always remind myself that our ultimate goal was and still is to spread loving kindness and educate the world on sustainable peace, to share how to use meditation as a tool for self-development.

4) Celebrating diversity

The presence of different people from different parts of the world made me realise that the achievement of sustainable peace is very much possible if like minded beings come together, share experiences and strategies to implore in different parts of the world, in different contexts. Brought together by the quest to make a world commitment towards peace, the power of collective brilliance came into play through moments of meditation and knowledge sharing.

5) Self-Discovery

One of the precious gifts that comes with living in the moment, having time alone and with your mind focused is a possibility to rediscover oneself through inner peace and happiness. Continuous inner peace time does not only help us be peaceful but also make us discover the purpose of our life through deeper insight and meditation. This goes further to the understanding of others through our deeds and a way of life, and interaction with the universe.

*Peace Revolution Mindfulness and Meditation Instructor a.k.a Peace Architect is the designer of the ‘building plans’ for world peace, which is constructed on the firm foundation of inner peace. Peace Architect will devote him/herself to restore balance and harmony to human society, environment and the world. They are qualified to guide basic Dhammakaya meditation for beginners as well as present, design, and operate peace-building (PIPO) events and workshops.