Mindfulness In Action

If you are struggling with being at home, I would like to recommend something to you, if you haven’t tried it already.

It is called Mindfulness in Action.

It is something that I was taught whilst living in Buddhist monasteries and a way in which we can experience inner peace in every action we perform.

Now, you may have heard of mindfulness before. There are mindfulness meditations, yes, but it is also used in many Zen traditions such as the Japanese Tea making ceremony, where a simple thing such as making a cup of tea is turned into a whole ritual.

‘Why bother doing that?’ you may ask yourself.

Well, this is why.

We live in a world where most of the time we are filled with chores that we just want to get out of the way. So we tend to see feel bothered by many of the things we do rather than seeing them as opportunities to experience deep satisfaction and joy in our lives.

The aim of mindfulness is that no matter what action you are performing, do it to the best of your ability. Turn every single thing you do into a work of art.

For example, when you get out of bed in the morning, make your bed up so it looks as nice as you can possibly make it.

When you take a shower or brush your teeth, do it in a way that causes as little mess as possible and make sure everything in your bathroom looks spotless before you leave it.

When you are making your breakfast in the morning, set everything out as nicely as possible. Try and make the perfect cup of tea using just the right amount of water in your nicest teacup and make sure that when you eat, you do not drop or spill anything on the table.

When you are serving food, do it as though you were working at a five-star restaurant, making sure that it well presented and cooked as well as perfectly as possible.

When you wash up, place the dishes in a way that looks neat and the water drains away in the best possible fashion.

Every single thing you do in your life, do as well as you possibly can.

When you start to practice this kind of mindfulness, you start to enjoy and perfect every action you do.

You feel a sense of pride in yourself and this is something that internally, our psyche craves and attains a great deal of inner joy and peace from.

You will soon notice that you just feel good about everything action you perform and what used to regard as meaningless tasks take on a new appeal that you had never noticed before.

You start to experience the same sort of joy as an artist as they sit and create a beautiful masterpiece from a blank canvas.

I call it creating order out of chaos.

And this is what we spend our entire lives doing. Whether you love gardening, art, business, cooking, martial arts, cleaning, dancing, it is all the same. Creating something wonderful out of nothing.

But don’t take my word for it. Try and see for yourself.

Confused doctor

You are probably bored to tears reading about the coronavirus at present, but here is some new information that may just save your life if you do catch it.

It is amazing that the government completely fail to provide any information on what we can do to prevent coronavirus other than washing our hands.

The truth is that government officials and Medical Doctors know very little about maintaining health so it is not surprising that there is no information out there.

I have great respect for Medical Doctors, please do not misunderstand what I am saying. They train incredibly hard, save millions of lives every year and are essential for those times when we are experiencing health issues.

BUT, be very clear about one thing. They have spent their entire lives studying illness and disease, not how to maintain a healthy body and strengthen your immune system.

Medical Doctors often visit me asking for advice about losing weight, managing stress and to treat them for certain illnesses that western medicine cannot cure.

And sometimes when I have health concerns, I seek their advice too.

We are two sides to the same coin.

But back to the main point of this blog today, and that is providing you with some advice on how you can strengthen your immune system so that if you do catch the Coronavirus, you can brush it off like the common flu.

Now, be very clear about one thing. Eastern medicine has a different approach to western medicine.

When you are ill, western medicine will look at the symptoms and will provide you with medications to manage the symptoms or destroy the bacteria or microorganisms that are causing the problem.

Eastern medicine has a different approach. It will strengthen your immune system so that your body is strong and can fight the infection on its own.

Our bodies have survived millions of years of evolution and are strong enough to fight off almost any infection or illness when the internal environment is right.

But unfortunately, due to poor diet, lack of exercise, polluted cities and towns and an excessive amount of stress in our lives, our immune systems tend to be very weak. And it is, for this reason, we become susceptible to viruses, illness and disease.

So if you want to take care of yourself and prevent the Coronvirus from ravaging your body, follow these guidelines.

1) Eat healthily. 80% of illnesses are caused by poor diets and stress. Most of our diets provide inadequate vitamins and minerals to keep the body in a healthy condition as they often contain too much sugar and not enough fresh fruit and vegetables. Therefore, try and cut as much sugar out of your diet as possible as this reduces the efficacy of almost every internal organ. Also, increase your fruit and vegetable intake, especially green leafy vegetables that are full of phytochemicals that boost your immunity. Every time you eat a meal, try to make sure that 50% of everything that you consume is either vegetables, lightly cooked or steamed and eat the equivalent of 1 desert bowl of fresh fruit per day.

2) Take 1-2,000mg of Vitamin C every day.
Vitamin C is the most important vitamin you need to fight colds and flu. If you look at the government recommended daily dose for vitamin C, it is 65mg. A government recommended daily allowance is complete and absolute nonsense! It means that this is the very minimal amount of Vitamin C that your body needs every day just to function. It is not the amount of vitamin C you need to have a healthy immune system.
The only negative effect of overdosing on vitamin C is that it will give you Diarrhea and this is likely to happen if you take more than 3,000mg. But 2,000 mg is a perfectly safe level. I take 1,000 a day for maintenance, but increase this to 3,000 if I ever feel the symptoms of a cough, cold or flu coming along. The older you are, the more vitamin C you need, so for those over 50, I would recommend 2,000mg per day.

3) Exercise. Your body was designed to move. If you do not move your body, stagnation sets in and it becomes like a stagnant pond. As a result, it becomes like a breeding ground for viruses and bacteria. Exercising and drinking plenty of water flushes the toxins out from the body and keeps your internal organs functioning at their optimum level. Thirty minutes a day will maintain health, and an hour will improve it. Do not over-exercise as your body will not recover adequately to defend itself from the virus.
Qi Gong is especially good for maintaining a healthy body as each movement is designed to increase the blood and oxygen to the internal organs allowing them to function at their optimum level and therefore protect them from viruses and bacteria.

4) Reduce stress in your life. Stress takes an incredible toll on your body and is highly underestimated as the route cause of many diseases. When we experience stress our hormonal system that is responsible for all the communication systems in our body go completely wild. As a result, our immune systems are impaired and function poorly. Learn how to de-stress by learning some simple meditation or breathing techniques, available on my website here: Meditation for Beginners

Your health is your responsibility, not your medical doctors. Although the death rate for Coronvirus is low, you can prevent many of the symptoms by taking these simple steps to reduce its effects.

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“With our thoughts, we create the universe”
Gautama Buddha

Whatever you wish to transform in your life, it should always start with the mind. When we learn how to change our thoughts patterns about something, we can change the choices we make with ease. This is called mind training and when you learn how to change the way you look at things, you can transform almost anything in your life, not just your body.

In order to do this, it is important to first understand that every decision we make in life is based on two things; gaining pleasure and avoiding pain. If we associate a particular action with pleasure, it will be very hard to stop. If we link an action to pain, we will do everything we can to avoid it. So, to change negative old habits into positive new ones, we need to associate pleasure with the new habits and pain with the old.

So how can this help us to transform our body?

The mind works by creating neural pathways in the brain that associate a feeling of pain or pleasure with our actions. For example, if you associate eating ice cream with a feeling of pleasure and then go on a diet and try to avoid it, every time you see ice cream, you will feel deprived and unhappy, because you are missing out on the pleasure that you believe it gives you.
However, if you associate the thought of an ice cream with an unpleasant feeling, you will create a neural pathway that will have negative associations with it and you will therefore have no desire to eat it.

So how do you change your positive and negative associations?

Find a quiet place to close your eyes and relax for 10 minutes. For the first five minutes, imagine the habit you wish to change, for example, eating an ice cream and link it to negative feelings and thoughts. For example, you may visualize an image of yourself sitting with a bowl of ice cream whilst looking overweight, unhappy, lacking in confidence with oily, dull looking skin or any other negative image that springs to mind. Visualise this in as much detail as you can and contemplate how negative you feel. After 5 minutes, allow the colours of the picture in your mind to change to black and white and slowly allow the image to disappear.

Then, for the next 5 minutes, visualise yourself eating something healthy and imagine yourself with a great body, looking happy, confident with clear, beautiful skin etc. or any other positive image of yourself that feels good. By continuously practicing this simple technique every day, over and over again, you will start to override your previous neural pathways of association and start to form new ones that will reflect the new behaviour you desire. As a result, you will be able to control the choices you make in your life.

Remember though that repetition is the key and even when you have achieved you goal of transforming your body, without continual maintenance of the mind, old habits can slowly sneak back in.

Transform your mind and everything else will simply fall into place

Rescue Thai boys from cave


A story that gained the attention of the world recently was the young Thai football team trapped in a cave in the North of Thailand.

BBC News

They survived for 10 days with limited food and water in total darkness, never knowing if they would ever see the light of day again.

They were clueless as to whether or not they would be rescued or whether these were the last days of their young lives.

Just stop for a moment. Contemplate what that must have been like for those young boys.
But to the relief of the entire world, they survived.

It is an amazing story. But one of the things that probably kept their spirits high was that their football coach had spent 10 years of his life as a Buddhist monk and taught them to meditate during their terrifying ordeal.

How would this have helped them?

In the same way it helps millions of people every day cope with the difficulties and challenges they experience in life. It teaches us how to let go of our fears and anxieties and find happiness on the inside so that we can learn to live life more enjoyably.

Many people I speak to tell me they have tried meditation, but they can’t do it.
It is not that they can’t do it, it is because they do not understand what they are trying to do.

They are doing it, they just don’t know it and don’t practice it long enough to reap the rewards.

Many people think that when we meditate, we close our eyes and somehow, all of our problems disappear and we enter some blissful state of complete happiness and euphoria.
Actually, it couldn’t be much different.

Meditation can make you feel very uncomfortable at first.

Why?

Because just like those boys in that dark cave, when you meditate, you have nowhere to hide and there is nowhere to escape the constant ramblings of the mind. And rather than avoiding them with distractions, you have to face them.

Sometimes, negative thoughts or emotions will materialize. These negative thoughts and emotions come from within. They may have been there for many years and keep re-surfing as anger, irritability, depression, stress or moments of anxiety.

And what we usually do is either dwell on those thoughts which gives them more energy and makes the problem worse, or we distract ourselves and try and pretend they aren’t there.

But with meditation, we choose an anchor, such as the breath and keep our mind focused on it. When a thought arises, we watch it, let go of it and bring our mind back to the breath.

What is the point of that?

Because when a thought arises, we stand back, observe it and let the thought go, we take away its power, its energy. Therefore, if we don’t feed it, it starts to disappear. If on the other hand, we keep that thought in our mind and keep churning it over and over again, we give it energy so it remains with us and as a result keeps arising.

The result of regular meditation therefore is that any strong emotions within us, fear, worry, depression, anxiety etc. will start to dissipate, leaving our minds in a more calm, relaxed and peaceful state. And when the mind is calm, we can deal with the challenges in the external world much more easily. However, when the mind is agitated and in a constant state of worry, the smallest problem in the world can feel like the biggest.

In Thailand, it is expected for all men to become monks at some point in their lives, even if it is a short period of only 3 months or so. And when I used to be a teacher in Thailand, before afternoon classes, all the children in the school would sit outside of their classroom meditating. It is so ingrained in Thai culture that it is accepted as the norm. And as a result, Thailand is known worldwide as “The Land of Smiles”.

We have a lot to learn from the Thais.

Wat Suan Mohk - Thai Temple

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to attend a meditation retreat?

Many clients of mine who are interested in learning meditation never really know where to begin.

I originally learned meditation from a book, but when I noticed the benefits, started to visit Buddhist centres in London. Eventually, I decided to move to Thailand where I could deepen my studies which began by attending 10 silent Vipassana retreats.

Now many people often ask me what a Meditation retreat is like, so today I would like to share my experience to give you a better idea.

Some of the retreats I have attended have been more challenging than others, but for first timers, I would recommend Wat Suan Mohk, a forest temple in near Surathani in Southern Thailand. From Bangkok, it is possible to get to Surathani by plane, train or bus, and then it is about a 1 hour taxi or bus ride to the temple.

It is an international meditation centre that provides instruction in English on the first 10 days of every month.
You cannot register on line, but you do so by turning up the day before the retreat begins. The retreats always start on the 1st of every month, so just make sure you arrive there in the morning or early afternoon the day before.

On day 1 of the retreat, you hand in your phones, books, laptops and anything else that may distract you and you are given the only book you are allowed to read for the duration of the retreat; the meditation handbook.

Accommodation is very simple. You will have a small room, with no electricity, a straw mat to sleep on, a mosquito net and a wooden pillow. (N.B. You may want to sneak in a small pillow of your own as the wooden block really isn’t comfortable).
There are communal toilets and showers and you are also assigned a daily duty to help with the running of the retreat. This is to be done using mindfulness and could consist of washing up, sweeping the communal area or helping to clean the living quarters etc.

Daily Schedule

4am Every You are woken by the temple bell
4.15am Morning meditation and lectures begin
6.30am 1 hour yoga class, or if like me, you don’t like yoga, you can go to another area and do your own exercise, providing it is something like stretching, Tai Chi or your own yoga practice.
No other form of exercise is permitted.
7.30am, Breakfast followed by some free time to relax a little or perform daily chores.
8.30am Lectures and meditation begin once more until about 11.30 when you stop for lunch.
Buddhist monks only eat before noon, and this also applies to you. There is no more food served after 12 o’clock. All the food is vegetarian….but absolutely delicious!
1pm Lectures and Meditation
4pm One hour of chanting, \
5pm Evening hot drink which is usually warm soya milk. This doesn’t sound very appetizing I know, but when you know it is all you will have for 17 hours, it tastes absolutely divine.
Just for the record though…I never felt hungry during the retreat.
6pm Meditation and lectures
9pm Meditation and lectures finish
9.30 Bed

As there is no electricity around the meditation and living quarters, bring a torch!

The main meditations that you will be taught are the mindfulness with breathing (which you can learn by following this link to my Beginner’s Meditation Course), standing and walking meditation.

Each 3 hour session takes the form of about 90 minutes of lectures on the principles of meditation and Buddhism and 90 minutes of standing and walking meditation.

What happens to your mind on a retreat?

A 10 day silent retreat can be tough the first time as you realize the mind is always chasing after desires of some sort and when there are no desires around or anything to fulfill them it, the mind can become very restless. It wants information, it wants to read, watch TV, check the phone, experience pleasure, fun and excitement. But when all that is taken away you, you have to learn to just “be”, face those uncomfortable desires that want fulfilling and deal with any emotions and feelings that arise relating to them.

At first these feelings can be powerful which is why about 30% of the people tend to leave in the first 5 days.
But these feelings and thoughts won’t last if you don’t chase them and do the meditation properly.
Observe the thoughts, let them go and bring the mind constantly back to the breath.
As you continually practice this, the uncomfortableness loses its power which leaves you in a natural state of peace, calm and relaxation.
This is hard for westerners at first to do as we spend our lives in the future, trying to achieve something, “doing” rather than “being”.
But stick with it, because you will also start to understand more about your mind and how it works. The result is that you will then be able to work with it more successfully in the future, rather than fight against it.

Another thing you notice is that once you get used to living without all of your creature comforts, you are reminded of how little you actually need to survive and be happy in this world. You really do start to appreciate the simple things in life, such as the beautiful forest, trees, birds, natural springs that you are allowed to bathe in and the beautiful sunrises and sunsets every day.
But that is just my experience. Whatever experience you have, I am sure it will be a very valuable one and there is something very rewarding in completing 10 day silent retreat. It is hard to describe because it can be hard and frustrating at times and then blissfully pleasant at others.

For more information on attending a retreat at Wat Suan Mohk, please follow the link below
http://www.suanmokkh-idh.org/

Depression

Although many people know that in order to have a healthy body you must eat well and exercise, very few people understand how to cultivate a healthy mind.

As a result, there are many people today struggling with depression, anxiety, stress and a host of other psychological issues that can be resolved if they just knew how to take care of their minds.

I believe that 90% of psychological disorders can be eradicated by learning to understand and work with your mind. But these vital skills are never taught to anyone. They are only “discovered’ by people who are on a downhill spiral and desperate to return to a state of normalcy.

But not everyone manages to find these skills and as a result, may struggle with depression for most of their lives.

Now, I am not saying that all psychological illnesses can be resolved from learning to understand your mind as there are definitely cases that require medical assistance and treatments. This is particularly true in the case of psychosis where the person has completely lost touch with external reality.

But I strongly believe that most people who can think rationally are able to change negative thought patterns, as long as they are taught correctly and are willing to put in the time and effort.

And that is why I think 90% of people who are suffering from depression do so out of ignorance (not knowing how the mind works or how to work with it), rather than it being an illness (physical imbalance in the body). And this is something that many medical scientists and doctors agree with.

Please follow this BBC link for further information. What Is Depression?

You also have to understand that physical imbalances are in fact, caused by the mind!! Therefore, in many cases, you can restore physical imbalances in the body by working on your mind!!

Now, this is good news because it means that if you are suffering from depression, YOU CAN DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT!!

You can take responsibility for your psychological health. You can be in control. You can learn to choose your thoughts rather than be a victim of them and you can return to not just a normal state of psychological health, but an even better one than you ever thought was possible!!

BUT YOU NEED TO WORK AT IT!! In the same way that you need to exercise and eat well to remain physically healthy, you need to spend time working on your mind to achieve a state of inner peace and tranquility.

The problem is though, we live in a society where we expect other people to do things for us, rather than putting in the effort ourselves. But the personal effort must be a part of restoring your psychological wellbeing, in the same way as you must put in the effort of going to the gym to stay fit. A personal trainer will help you, but they can’t run on the treadmill for you. Although a hypnotherapist, counsellor or psychologist can help you, it is up to you to put in the effort to change the way you think, but we can be your guides. We can open up the door, but it is up to you as to whether or not you choose to walk through it.

My journey out of a depression happened 27 years ago. I picked up a book on meditation one day that promised me happiness, peace of mind, confidence and better relationships with the people around me. I was in such a bad state of mind that I promised that I would diligently practice everything that the book said until I felt normal again. And that is exactly what happened.

After three months of regular meditating practice, I realised why I had the depression, how it was me that caused it and what I had to do to make my life happy and peaceful again. And so I changed, and my life flourished into the beautiful journey I have experienced ever since.

My depression was not caused by a physical imbalance, but ignorance. When I understood my mind, I was able to change it.

I have practised meditation now for 27 years and there has not been a single day that I have experienced depression or anxiety since.

I do however feel great! I love my life and I wouldn’t swap it for anyone else’s in the world.

Just saying …..

Looking to overcome stress or anxiety? Come join me on a wellness holiday that will change your life positively and permanenetly Mind Coaching Holidays

If you would like to learn how to meditate…please follow this link Meditation For Beginners

Brain training

In my last article, I touched on the concept of Mindfulness and how learning to meditate helps to distance yourself from your thoughts and emotions.
The benefits of mindfulness meditation are:

1) You learn to understand that most of the things you worry about never happen.

2) You realize the thoughts running through your mind have no reality.

3) You cut off your physical response to the mind, allowing your body to relax.

4) As your body relaxes, your hormones responsible for your moods and emotions become balanced, resulting in peace of mind and a healthier body.

5) Old thoughts with strong emotions stop appearing. As a result, you feel a general sense of well-being each and every day.

6) You become more aware of your thoughts each and every moment, which means you have greater control over how you react to things.

7) You become more aware of your personality faults so you can change them.

8) It gives you greater clarity of thought as to who you are, what you are and why you are here.

9) The mind becomes more focused so you can achieve things more quickly and effortlessly.

These are just a few of the benefits of regular mindfulness meditation. Just practised alone, it can help you to completely change the way you think and act. It makes you a more calm, relaxed person which enables you to enjoy the challenges in life rather than fighting your mind trying to resist them.

I call Mindfulness meditation “Passive Meditation” because you are focusing on the breath and just observing your thoughts and detaching yourself from them.

But this is just one type of meditation and I often tell people this it is similar to a mind detox. It allows old negative thought patterns and behaviours to arise, but by paying them no attention, you make them weaker and weaker, allowing them to run out of energy and no longer have a grip on you.

The other types of meditations focus on re-training your brain to think and see the world in a different light.

For you must remember that everything you see in the world is a reflection of what is going on inside of your mind.

Everything you experience in the world is dependent on your 5 senses; sight, sound, touch, smell and taste.

If you take away all of these 5 senses, the world no longer exists.

You ONLY experience the world through your senses.

Your senses pick up on external phenomena and translate it into sounds, pictures, tastes, sensations and aromas which your brain can recognize and identify. You also have a memory and your brain will recall whether the external phenomena has previously given you pleasure or fear.

This is why everyone experiences the world in a different way, it depends on their background and previous experiences in life.

For example, some people may love dogs, whereas other people may fear them.

Some people may love to swim in the deep sea, other people find it terrifying.

These things are not safe or dangerous, it is our attitude to them that make it so.

So when you change your attitude to something, it no longer creates fear or anxiety within you and to change negative thought patterns into positive ones, you have to change your emotional responses to them.

This can be done through mind training or visualizations, what I call “Active meditations” because you are focusing on a particular theme, rather than just observing your thoughts.

Active meditations require mindfulness meditation to first calm the mind followed visualizations on specific areas of your life that need to be addressed.

When you visualize something positive, you create a positive emotion from within, and when emotions are attached thoughts, they become very strong and will move to the front of the “memory storehouse”.

This means after you have finished meditating, positive thoughts continually come to your mind, naturally and without any effort. You feel good, happy and positive all day, every day.
Hypnotherapy works in much the same way.

However, most people tend to focus on the negative, everything that could go wrong. If you continually focus on negative thoughts and attach negative emotions to them, these are the thoughts that will keep churning over and over again in your mind.

You will never, ever find happiness in the external world. No one ever has. The external world can only ever give you a temporary feeling of happiness….it never lasts.

True happiness can only ever be found within….and that happiness is something you have to work at.

So, learn to meditate.

Train your brain
In my last article, I talked about depression and whether people experienced it because of illness or ignorance.

My experience of depression is that many people who I treat who really want to get better, do get better!

I also have some clients who don’t, because they expect me to do all the work for them. After a while, I have informed clients that if they do not put in the work, I cannot help them, because you have to train the mind to think in a different way, in the same way, you have to work out regularly if you want to have a healthier body.

So let me try and explain to you in a short article how your mind works and how you can fix it.

Most people are completely unaware of their thoughts. Their minds are on autopilot for most of the day and they take little notice of what is going on in their heads.

Those thoughts that pass through the mind are made up of our experiences from the past, almost as though we have a storeroom in the back of our minds that has recorded the way we believe previous events have occurred. Though this is only our perception which may be very different from the way others have perceived the same events.

These movies play automatically, just like a TV channel where we don’t have a choice of what programmes to play. So sometimes funny movies play, sometimes dramas, sometimes romance comedies and sometimes horror movies.

Now, if there you have a strong emotion attached to a thought or old movie, those movies come to the front of the storeroom and we play those movies most often.
For example, if you have an argument with someone in the morning and they make you angry, you will probably run that movie over and over again in your mind for most of the day.

Now, every single thought you have, no matter how big or small that thought is, your body reacts to it. The stronger the emotion attached to it, the stronger the thought and the stronger your physical reaction.

For example, if you are churning angry thoughts over and over in your mind, your breathing speeds up and becomes shallow, your heart beats faster and your arteries constrict to allow the blood to flow more quickly to your arms and legs. Also, your hormones go wild as they pump energy into the body in the forms of adrenalin, insulin etc

But as your hormones are responsible for your moods and emotions, the more of them you release into the body, the angrier you feel, which makes you think about the argument even more and the process goes on and on, churning negative thoughts over and over again in your mind as you get stuck in a vicious circle.

And you have no control over it, right?

WRONG.

Because with a little bit of knowledge combined with a little bit of wisdom, you can learn how to deal and let go of these emotions.

The first thing you need to learn is how to stand back and observe these movies replaying in your mind, almost as though rather than being in the film, you are sitting in the auditorium watching them instead. When you learn to do this, you also learn to detach your mind and emotions from the story. As a result, your body stops reacting, your breathing and heart rate slow down, your body relaxes and your hormones come back into balance.

The effect is that your mind becomes calmer.

With regular practice, you will be more aware of the movies playing, and when this happens, you can start to take more control of whether or not you choose to watch them or replace them with happier, more positive films instead.

This is how mindfulness meditation helps you to overcome negative thoughts and emotions.

When you practice mindfulness, all the negative thoughts and emotions that you are carrying around with you every day, start to dissipate.

The result is that every day, you feel calmer and more relaxed. Things that used to irritate or bother you just don’t anymore. You are naturally are in a better mood every day and feel more relaxed and when your mind is calm, the biggest problem in the world feels like the smallest. But when your mind is agitated, the smallest problem in the world becomes the biggest.

If you would like to learn the secrets of really being able to understand and work with your mind, you may begin here, by learning how to meditate. Just click on the link below:

Meditation For Beginners

Alternatively, take some time off the hamster wheel and learn to really take back control of your mind and your life, by taking a holiday and spending a couple of hours a day with me at some of these wonderful resorts worldwide. Click below to find out more:

Wellness Tour Dates

Remember…where there is effort, there is a success.

Art of giving

I rented a house once where the owner had a very nervous dog. Now I love animals, especially dogs, but this one was the most nervous dog I had ever come across. Whenever I tried to stroke it or in fact go anywhere near it, it would turn around and run.

That is until I bought a bunch of dog biscuits home with me one day. Then everything changed.

I was no longer a threat but a source of happiness. The dog understood that I no longer wanted anything from her, but I was there just to give. From that day forward, she used to sit outside
my front door every morning and follow me around everywhere I went.

As for me – I gained a beautiful new friend.

Sometimes, we humans forget we are also animals and are driven by the same forces of nature. When we receive a gift from someone, we follow the same natural instincts as animals. We open up to the giver and regard them as a source of someone who can bring us happiness, rather than someone who wants to harm us and take something of ours away.

Giving is at the root of all real friendships, though many of us have probably never really thought about it.

You see, giving doesn’t necessarily mean money or material possessions as each of us has much more powerful gifts to offer to the people around us.

To learn more, just follow the link below.

If you knew what I know about the power of giving, you would not
let a single meal pass without sharing it in some way
Buddha – Indian philosopher & religious leader (563 BC – 483 BC)

Smile Meditation

Many people I speak to who have tried meditation often tell me how difficult it is and that they can’t do it.

The truth is, meditation is very simple and they actually are doing it, they just don’t realize it.

For meditation is really just training your mind to focus on one thing at a time, which is why occupations such as art, or even fixing a car engine can be similar to meditation as it requires the mind to focus on one thing at a time and nothing else.

However, before you start asking yourself if it is possible to attain spiritual enlightenment by fixing your car engine, it is probably wise I explain a little more.

Although you will not gain spiritual enlightenment by thinking of how to fix your car engine, you will, however, be able to fix your care much more quickly, easily and efficiently. Why? Because giving yourself some headspace to think will allow solutions on how to fix your car to arise more quickly.

This is how the mind works.

When you focus on something in a calm and relaxed way, solutions naturally arise.
This is why meditation is good at helping you deal with difficulties in your life.

BUT DON’T FOCUS ON THE PROBLEM! FOCUS ON THE SOLUTION.

This is what I call “Happy Meditation”.

You must reflect on what you would like the outcome to be.

To perform a “Happy Meditation”, just simply find a comfortable place to sit with your back straight.
Spend 5 minutes scanning your body mentally from head to toe relaxing each and every muscle. When the body is relaxed, the mind can focus more easily and you can access the subconscious mind where the changes need to take place.

Then, just focus on the part of your life you want to change and what your ideal outcome would be.
Enjoy it. Just relax and have happy thoughts about everything going right, your perfect life, and how it would feel. When the mind wanders off, just gently guide it back to those happy thoughts and feelings.
By simply having happy thoughts, you become happy. And as you can choose the thoughts in your mind, you can choose to be happy.

Now the thing is, the more often you take time out to have happy thoughts, the those happy thoughts become a habit.
So when you are going about your daily business without paying much attention to your mind, happy thoughts will continually surface rather than negative thoughts.

Don’t believe me? Good! I hope you don’t!

Never believe anything anyone ever tells you without practicing it for yourself, testing what they say, and then drawing your own conclusions. This is the only way you will experience happiness in life.

So, what are you waiting for? Put what I am saying to the test!

You want to enjoy life, start your happy meditations today!

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Toby Author

About Toby Maguire

Hi, I'm Toby.

I’m a meditation teacher, life coach, speaker and retreat host who has spent more than 30 years studying Meditation and Eastern philosophy.

I have helped thousands of people struggling with stress, anxiety or depression to take back control of their minds and build more manageable, enjoyable and more meaningful lives.

From Olympic athletes and Billionaires to company executives and troubled teenagers, I help people from all walks of life achieve greater peace of mind, clarity of their goals and enjoy the process of achieving them