Friday, 27 November 2009

National Geographic Video on Meditation

I enjoyed watching this video on Tibetan Buddhism. It is an excellent summary of the teachings of the great masters that live in the beautiful mountains of the Himalayas. The reporter does a superb job of taking a journey into the nature of compassion, wisdom and exploring the cessation of sufffering. Includes interview with the wonderful Matthieu Ricard. I hope you enjoy watching it!
Go to Video

Friday, 6 November 2009

Four steps for reducing stress at work mindfully

1. Determine what is the cause of stress at work
You can't easily begin to start reducing stress if you don't you know what the cause of the stress. It could be your boss that is irritating you, and you think he or she is putting too much pressure on you; it could be the fact that you feel as if you've got too much work and not enough time to complete it; it could be that you feel very tired and you just need more rest; perhaps it's other co-workers that are causing distress. Take a moment to reflect and find out the causes of your stress. If you've had a good think and still really don't have an idea what is actually causing your stress, then continue to practice or begin to practice meditation and use that to help you to settle your mind. From this clarity the reason that causes you stress they arise.

2. Make a list of all the things that are causing stress.

The very act of writing stressors down can begin help relieving stress. This is because thoughts which are causing you stress, which are often spinning around in the mind, have been externalised. So go ahead and grab a piece of paper and pen, and jot down all the things that are causing stress. This process may also help to undercover any other hidden causes of stress which only unfolds once you begin the act of writing

3. Giving your mind space to find a creative solution
Now that you've written down the causes of your stress you can begin to find solutions. If the solution is not obvious then a little bit of creativity is required. Of the many benefits of meditation, creativity is one of them. Put your pen and paper down, or push your computer aside, and find a comfortable position. This may be lying down on the floor or sitting on your favourite chair. There are tips on how to do this on this blog or on the website  By practising to mindfulness meditation you're creating a different mind state, an opportunity to begin coming up with solutions. Our unconscious mind is often untapeed butfull of many different solutions. Calming the conscious mind allows us to access deeper and deeper layers of mind from which solutions may arise. So practice in mindfulness meditation for a few minutes or an hour - the length of time is up to you. I would say, the more the better!

4. Take a small baby step.
Once you have discovered the causes of your stress and begun coming to some solutions to reduce the causes of your stress, then you need to take action. This can be the most difficult step. However, try not to be disheartened by taking small baby steps. You are beginning to move in the right direction. Taking small steps is not a bad thing. It is far more realistic to take small baby steps than taking huge leaps. It can also have a snowball effect - small steps slowly begin to grow until eventually before you know it we've made a huge change in the lives for the better.

Good luck! (Let me know what your thoughts are - I'm interested)