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Take a deep breath, slow down to navigate into a richer more fulfilling life.
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The 5 Best Apps to Calm You Down

The 5 Best Apps to Calm You Down | Unplug | Scoop.it
Photo by Elke Seizle/ It sounds counterintuitive, but apps and meditation fit together as neatly as the soles of your feet. $.99 Zazen Bare-bones support for dedicated meditators who simply crave a little structure, this app (named after the term for practicing Zen meditation while seated), is basically a timer with four distinctive bell sounds to let you know when it’s time to start and stop your silent sessions.
Susan Taylor's insight:

Sit comfortably; take a deep breath and relax.  These top 5 apps will help you put some calm back into your day.

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Meditation -- The New SoulCycle

Meditation -- The New SoulCycle | Unplug | Scoop.it
The country’s sleekest and most convenient meditation studio just opened in Los Angeles.
Susan Taylor's insight:

Whether it's losing baby weight; giving traders an edge on the market; or winning the Super Bowl, the "name of the magic pill" is meditation.


And now it's a big hit for "plugged-in, stressed-out millenials, who gather in groups of up to 52 people in the service of quieting an overactive mind".

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The AFTER

The AFTER | Unplug | Scoop.it
Credit Celeste Noche Photography

The last Friday of 2013, I opened my eyes to a very familiar sound: a sound
I had tried to erase from my memory.
Susan Taylor's insight:

Living in Lebanon comes with tremendous stress.  Bombs going off when you least expect it -- killing people and causing destruction.

 

Whether you reside in Lebanon or not, we all have daily stresses.  And after 100 hours of meditation and 300 hours of silence, this blogger passes on to her readers the 6 lessons she has learned:

 

  1. Pain is inevitable
  2. Pain is good
  3. Ninety-nine percent of our thoughts are rubbish
  4. Silence is sometimes a better way
  5. Start with intention (vs. expectation)
  6. The real lesson of listening

 

It is not things, people or even technology to which we are attached.  We are attached to distraction as a way to escape from the here and now -- or pain -- or truth. 

 

How many times do we turn a blind eye to these things which we prefer to avoid?

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All the noise surrounding us hides the reality that is…

All the noise surrounding us hides the reality that is… | Unplug | Scoop.it
craig daniels's insight:

A great thought, meditation is the ultimate mobile device...


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"BE" Home for the Holidays

"BE" Home for the Holidays | Unplug | Scoop.it
It's the most wonderful—and stressful—time of the year. Read on to learn how mindfulness can help over the holidays.
Susan Taylor's insight:

There's no place like home for the holidays.  And if you truly want to "be" home for the holidays, instead of feeling overwhelmed -- try a new approach -- one that involves less "doing" and more "being". 

 

Mindfulness can help!

 

  • Place your attention on gratitude instead of instant gratification.
  • Deal with gift giving and consumption in a more mindful way.
  • Take advantage of less sunlight, contemplating what can only be seen in the dark.
  • Instead of going on autopilot, use the "season for connecting" to do just that -- without technology.
  • Slow down; focus on what is important to you; and spend time sharing with others
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20 Ways Sitting in Silence Can Completely Transform Your Life

20 Ways Sitting in Silence Can Completely Transform Your Life | Unplug | Scoop.it
I've grown to appreciate silence. It's become my friend and my teacher. Here are 20 ways sitting in silence can completely transform your life.

Via Bobby Dillard, The BioSync Team
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The BioSync Team's curator insight, December 13, 2013 10:20 PM


Sit in silence once a week and feel the truth in your heart.

—Samuel Gentoku McCree


Read more ...

Michael Wiener's curator insight, December 17, 2013 9:30 PM

Instead of watching or doing non-sense things, doing this can have significant positive impact on life.

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Compassion & The Art of Having Fun

Compassion & The Art of Having Fun | Unplug | Scoop.it
In the same way that an airline attendant will tell passengers in pre-flight instructions to secure their own oxygen mask before assisting others, in life we need to learn how to feel compassion for ourselves first, before we can be happy or...
Susan Taylor's insight:

"If you want to be happy, practice compassion; if you want others to be happy, practice compassion."   -- Dalai Lama

 

For most of us, this is easier said than done.  But the bottom line is this: Happiness is linked to compassion; and it begins with your own self-view.

 

When "we can feel a deep sense of gratitude toward ourselves, appreciating our basic good nature -- when we feel self-love, self-worth and self-compassion, we are more capable of meeting life's challenges with success and grace,"  This minimizes anxiety and despair.  There is simply no possibility of having fun in life without first generating self-compassion -- what scientific research now calls "self-affiliation". 

 

Self-affiliation can be created at any time through a very simple exercise that this Huff Post blogger shares.  When self-compassion is actuated, "the ground is set for a fuller enjoyment of life, and a greater ability to have fun!"

 

 

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15 Inspirational Up & Coming Meditation Sites

15 Inspirational Up & Coming Meditation Sites | Unplug | Scoop.it
How to meditate? Where can I find useful guided meditations? What is mindfulness? Have a browse through some of these meditation sites and find out.
Susan Taylor's insight:

Interested to learn the art of meditation?  Looking for useful guided contemplations?  What is mindfulness? 

 

ThoughtBrick has done the research to provide you with 15 inspirational and useful meditation sites that have a focus on meditation and mindfulness. 

 

  1. What Meditation Really Is
  2. Wildmind Buddhist Meditation
  3. High Existence
  4. The Soul Agent Blog
  5. Meditation Oasis
  6. Shambala Sun
  7. Simona Rich
  8. Frantic World
  9. Barefoot Beginnings
  10. Tiny Buddha
  11. Good Life Zen
  12. Storied Mind
  13. Blue Earth Awakening
  14. A Year of Productivity
  15. Mindful Balance
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No Technique Can Lead to Meditation

No Technique Can Lead to Meditation | Unplug | Scoop.it
Meditation is a state of being, arrived at through understanding. It needs intelligence, it does not need techniques. It is a question of understanding the subtle workings of the mind.
Susan Taylor's insight:

Meditation is a state of being arrived at through understanding.  It requires intelligence, not techniques.

 

When you meditate, you create brain waves.  "These waves can be created from the outside by technical means. But those waves will not create meditation – this is the misunderstanding." 

 

While these brain waves are indicators that can be studied, there is "no shortcut to meditation, and no mechanical device can be of any help,"  according to the author of this blog.

 

Meditation needs no technique.  "It is not a question of sitting silently; it is not a question of chanting a mantra."  It is simply an understanding -- an awareness of the subtle workings of the mind. 

 

In knowing this, meditation can transform.  It can take you to to higher levels of consciousness and positively impact your lifestyle.  It can help you to respond to situations with compassion instead of reacting to them with anger.  It requires intelligence; not mechanical devices.

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Neurons that Fire Together Wire Together: The Benefits of Meditation

Neurons that Fire Together Wire Together: The Benefits of Meditation | Unplug | Scoop.it

Science underpins what has been common sense all along: Commitment to a regular practice is the single most important key to recognisable progress in almost everything we do.


Via Bobby Dillard
Susan Taylor's insight:

We've known it for thousands of years.  Meditation is serious business for your brain.  And now science has proven that repeated practice allows for "neurons that fire together wire together."

 

Commitment to a regular mindfulness practice is the single most important thing you can do for almost everything you do.  Daily meditation offers tremendous benefits such as the ability to better focus your mind; the capacity to center yourself; find more clarity; and become more fluid in adapting to "life's ever changing nature."  Yet one of the most challenging aspects of meditation is to make the commitment to establish it as a regular practice in your life. 

 

This article shares 5 inspirational tips to help you get started in a regular practice or to re-establish a routine that you can stick to.

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Terry Elliott's curator insight, September 2, 2014 8:31 PM

Famous expression firing and wiring is the key to good habits.

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What Can You Do About Anxiety?

What Can You Do About Anxiety? | Unplug | Scoop.it
Great discussions are par for the course here on Lifehacker. Each day, we highlight a discussion that is particularly helpful or insightful, along with other great discussions and reader questions you may have missed.
Susan Taylor's insight:

How is anxiety different from stress and what can you do about it?

 

Anxiety is when you feel fearful and apprehensive, putting your mind and body on high alert.  "Biologically, it's meant to put us in a heightened sense of awareness so we're prepared for potential threats."

 

Anxiety can look like stress and even arise as a result of stress.  Stress makes you feel sad, angry or worried while anxiety is more realted to a feeling of fear or dread.  External influences often cause stress while anxiety is an internal response, making it difficult to manage.

 

So what can you do about anxiety?  Relaxation techniques seem to be key.  Meditation; listening to relaxing music; and exercising can all help to take your mind off anxiety.  Whichever you choose, "the entire point is to calm the mind and dismiss the errant thoughts that lead to anxiety."

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Online Therapist's curator insight, May 7, 2015 7:59 PM
Learn more about Online Mindfulness Therapy for the treatment of Anxiety and Depression and for Addiction Counseling Online: http://www.counselingtherapyonline.com.Visit my YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/pdmstrong.
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High School Students Begin & End Each Day with Meditation

High School Students Begin & End Each Day with Meditation | Unplug | Scoop.it
'Mindful Moments' Program Has High School Students Begin And End Each Day ...
Susan Taylor's insight:

A high school in Baltimore, Maryland is now making mindfulness a central part of students' lives by beginning and ending each day with meditation

 

Patterson High School has developed a Mindful Moment program with the goal to help students and teachers release stress and enhance focus.  This is all in an effort to create a better learning environment for everyone.  Faculty and kids engage in a 15-minute contemplative exercise at the start and end of each day.  There is a mindfulness room available for students to use throughout the day which is also open before and after school. 

 

Consciously practicing mindfulness in schools has been shown to reduce stress and increase happiness in students as well as fight teacher burnout.  It has also been linked to "increased brain activity in the regions associated with positive emotions."

 

Way to go Patterson High!

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Mindfulness for The Never-Ending Winter

Mindfulness for The Never-Ending Winter | Unplug | Scoop.it
The Never-Ending Winter – a Mindfulness Practice: Winter provides us with so many ways to focus our mindfulnes... http://t.co/xJ49Ba037O
craig daniels's insight:

From sun and warmth to clouds and cold, many of us dread the winter season. This blogger suggests that wintertime provides us with some great opportunities in which to practice mindfulness

 

Don't like the cold, the darkness, or the snow?  Use your mindfulness practice as a way to closely examine why.

 

Truly experience what winter feels like.  Experience the freezing air -- how it feels in your nostrils or against your skin.  Fully see your breath on a cold day.  Take in the smell of fresh fallen snow.  Observe how your body protects you against frigid temperatures.  From a place of curiousity, notice how the light reflects on the icecicles hanging from the roof tops. 

 

Fully engage with your wintery surroundings, noting your thoughts and feelings.  Who knows?  You might even begin to cultivate gratitude about things that previously felt unpleasant.

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Carolyn Williams's comment, November 25, 2013 5:17 AM
Timely. Thank you for sharing
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Today's Mantra: I DON'T HAVE TIME

Today's Mantra: I DON'T HAVE TIME | Unplug | Scoop.it
@waylonlewis on Instagram: Yaffo, Israel, off the beach.   I'm traveling. I don't have time to write my weekly editor's letter. I don't have time to
Susan Taylor's insight:

YOU DON'T HAVE TIME...


You don't have time to work -- to play with the kids -- to breathe.  Heck!  You don't even have time to read this insight!


And what do we do "If there’s a gap of space, of breath?  We reach for our smart phones. 150 times a day, on average. Pretty stupid."


This blogger reminds us that Life is too short.  Life is too sweet.  And  not something to be ignored.


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James Harlan's curator insight, June 30, 2014 1:22 AM

give time and be happy :)

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High-Tech Meditation

High-Tech Meditation | Unplug | Scoop.it
Susan Taylor's insight:

Teachers of meditation suggest that you practice on a daily basis; yet given the busy-ness of our lives, you may feel you don't have the time. This is where high-tech meditation can help.

 

With the use of technology, these CDs "meditate you" every time while:

 

  • Buffering out distracting sounds;
  • Balancing the two sides of your brain;
  • Entraining a meditative brainwave pattern; and
  • Providing a consistent environment, enabling a precise meditation experience every time.
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Stop Negativity From Sticking To You Like Glue

Stop Negativity From Sticking To You Like Glue | Unplug | Scoop.it
Mindfulness means we don't get locked out of our heart and throw away the key. Rather, we can watch how negativity distracts the mind and makes such a song and dance, and we just keep breathing and watching as it goes on it's jolly way.
Susan Taylor's insight:

Anger can keep us prisoners to ourselves.  We have a fight with someone we love; we play it over and over again in our head; perhaps we even become resentful or hold a grudge.  And the negativity from that experience gets stuck to us like glue.

 

Enter mindfulness...an opportunity to be completely present with whatever is going on -- whatever we are feeling -- thinking -- experiencing. 

 

Becoming aware of negative thoughts and feelings can help us to release them.  Like a dear friend who enables us to know and embrace ourselves, mindfulness can help us free our anger "and all the obstacles that limit peace of mind, inner freedom, and true happiness".

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What Could Be; What Might Be; If Only...

What Could Be; What Might Be; If Only... | Unplug | Scoop.it
Imagine, what a relief! Finally, we can live without expectation, prejudice or longing, or the desire for things to be different than they are.
Susan Taylor's insight:

What could be; what might be; if only...We tend to spend our time living in "these worlds."  Slippery, elusive distractions from being in the present moment.

 

Yet the truth of the matter is the past is gone and we never really know what the future will bring.  No matter how much "we plan, plot and arrange..we still never know what will happen in the next moment". 

 

Contrary to what you might think, living in the here and now can be incredibly liberating.  "Being present invites a deep sense of completion that there really is nowhere else we need to be or go". 

 

So take a deep mindful breath and imagine a life without attachment, judgment or yearning.  Just be who you are where you are in this moment whatever it is...as it is.

 

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Mindfulness Meditation Causes Molecular Changes in the Body

Mindfulness Meditation Causes Molecular Changes in the Body | Unplug | Scoop.it
A collaborative study from France, Spain and Wisconsin is the first to show molecular changes in the body occurring following a period mindfulness meditation.
Susan Taylor's insight:

Meditation.  We are constantly reminded about the benefits of mindfulness to our emotional, mental and spiritual well-being.  Now we can add a physical element to that list.

 

"A collaborative study conducted by researchers from France, Spain and Wisconsin is the first to show molecular changes in the body occurring following a period mindfulness meditation." 

 

Of two groups -- one engaged in focused mindfulness practice -- the other engaged in quiet non-meditative activity -- the study revealed that after just 8 hours of practice, the mindfulness meditators showed a "range of genetic and molecular differences".  And these differences were observed only in the meditators.

 

Yet another valuable reason to cultivate calmness of mind.

 

 

 

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Busy-ness is Laziness

Busy-ness is Laziness | Unplug | Scoop.it
Tune in this Thursday at 10 am MST/12 pm EST for a conversation with +Waylon Lewis about integrating mindfulness and meditation into our daily lives and how these tools can improve our business and personal relationships and success.
Susan Taylor's insight:

If you want to improve your business, personal relationships and all around success, you need to do what many consider to be the "soft" stuff -- meditation and mindfulness.  But "soft" is the new "hard".  Living a life of busy-ness is nothing more than procrastination.  In fact, it's downright lazy.

 

Waylon Lewis calls himself a "Dharma Brat" and shares with us his views about integrating mindfulness and meditation into our hectic daily lives and the benefits we can gain from doing so.

 

So if you're "running around, clicking lots of buttons online", hit the pause button and watch this 8-mintue video where Lewis leads a practical (and fun) meditation which will help you to limit distractions and come back to the present moment.

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How to Avoid See-Through Yoga Pants and Farts

How to Avoid See-Through Yoga Pants and Farts | Unplug | Scoop.it
Yoga studios are nice, but what about the pretentious people and their greasy mats—not to mention all the see-through pants and all the farts? What you really need is your own private meditation cavern in the New Mexico desert.
Susan Taylor's insight:

Envision yourself in your own private meditation cavern, hand-sculpted out of solid stone, tucked into the canyons between Santa Fe and Taos. 

 

As Alissa Walker suggests, a grotto in the desert of New Mexico is so much better than a yoga studio full of greasy mats, see-through pants and farts.

 

So if you're looking for some inner peace, this real estate listing "promises an experience that is at least as life-changing as the Holy Grail".  

 

As with all good things, there is a price tag.  For just under $1 million, you can own this 208-acre property.  If you're feeling a bit uncertain, purchase half the lot (including one meditation cavern) for $550,000.

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Does Meditation Increase Synchronicity?

Does Meditation Increase Synchronicity? | Unplug | Scoop.it
Because synchronous events usually take place between two people, and they are rare and unplanned, scientific study of them is few and far between. But that doesn't mean that they are outside our experiences.

Via carol k
Susan Taylor's insight:

Do meditation and synchronicity go hand in hand?

 

You've been told by your coach that if you do not slow down, serious consequences could occur due to your frenetic behavior.  You are then driving home from the office late at night.  A truck spins out of control; and as your life passes before your eyes, you notice two words written on the side of the truck:  "Slow Down".

 

This is the story Dr. Robert Puff shares with us about one of his clients.  Synchronicity?  Or something that could be explained as mere coincidence?

 

According to Dr. Puff, the story he shares is one of synchronicity.  His suggestion as to how to increase synchronous events in your life is through meditation.

 

"The goal of meditation is to slow you down, quiet your mind, and maintain stillness. As you do this, you may find that synchronous events increase."

 

Of course the only one who can validate this is you.  Puff's suggestion?  Be open to meditation.  Give it a try, and "see if life flows better."

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Build the Business of Your Dreams with Mindfulness, Meditation & Happiness

Build the Business of Your Dreams with Mindfulness, Meditation & Happiness | Unplug | Scoop.it
Mindfulness and meditation are the essential keys to conscious creation in any aspect, but most importantly – in this case – your business.
Susan Taylor's insight:

Consciously creating anything can be summed up in just three words.  Feel Good Now.  That's the premise of Tharyn Taylor who writes that mindfulness, meditation and happiness are the "essential keys to conscious creation" in your business (or in any part of your life, for that matter).

 

How to achieve conscious business creation?  Mr. Taylor shares three simple steps:

 

(1)  Keep it simple.  Mindfulness is the “quality or state of being conscious or aware of something”. Meditation is the practice by which you strengthen concentration and is directly linked to an increased sense of mindfulness. Feeling good has a direct link to creating better future experiences.

(2) The formula.  Meditation + Mindfulness + Feel Good Now.  Know it.  Do it.  It's not easy -- especially continuing a habit of feeling good in each present moment.  But if you continue to practice, it's "worth every once of effort".

(3) Leverage every advantage.  A wise business person leverages every known advantage in their business in order to grow.  This includes believing (and practicing) that mindfulness, meditation, and feeling good are fundamental keys to your success.

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Spa Travel Trends for 2014

Spa Travel Trends for 2014 | Unplug | Scoop.it
Health and Fitness Travel has created their exclusive Fusion Fitness programmes with spa hotels for clients needing this tailored approach.
Susan Taylor's insight:

I hate to say it, but the New Year is just around the corner.  And as you consider those resolutions, including how you will allow more time in your life for YOU, consider some of the hottest new spa travel trends for 2014:

 

  • Personalized Wellness Spas are now using a more customized approach
  • Medi-Spas are offering treatment for a variety of conditions by specialized doctors
  • Mental Restoration Spas are teaching about ways to lower stress and renew the mind and body
  • Detox & Weight-Loss Spas are educating about healthier eating patterns that restore and replenish the body
  • Fitness Spas are integrating hot, new fitness crazes into their programs
  • Knowledge Spas offer wisdom on wellness that is shared in a way that can be incorporated into daily life
  • Nature Spas offer programs to reconnect with Nature and the great outdoors
  • Wellness Spas are now incorporating different cultures into their programs
  • Family Spas, where parents are encouraged to bring their children, are becoming increasingly popular
  • Meditation Spas are now using a mindfulness approach towards mental balance and happiness
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What Does it Take to be an Amazing Leader?

What Does it Take to be an Amazing Leader? | Unplug | Scoop.it

In my work as a startup founder over the last few years, I've been fortunate enough to find myself surrounded by some incredible young leaders, be mentored by a few wise executives, and spend time


Via Ivan Berlocher
Susan Taylor's insight:

We are living in a world of profound complexity and unprecedented change.  A world where things seem to turn on a dime.  So what does it really take to be an amazing leader today?  Shane Snow shares with us some of the patterns he has observed from the best leaders in his life.

 

  • Great leaders change their minds and do so often; they have the courage to admit when they are wrong.
  • Great leaders absorb shock; they are "the first to face danger, the first to battle; and shield the group from harm".
  • Great leaders overcommunicate; they confide in their followers, trusting them with all the information.
  • Great leaders think before answering; they do not feel the pressure to have instant answers to everything.
  • Great leaders search for the right path; not the easy path.
  • Great leaders have sacred time for themselves; they know that self-improvement and balance is imperative.
  • Great leaders are in it for others; they are motivated by the desire to help others.

 

If you are trying to become a better leader in your work and life, Shane Snow sums it up beautifully:  "Strive to be the kind of leader you would follow yourself." 

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Diving Into Your Fear? How to Manage Anxiety and Thrive...

Diving Into Your Fear? How to Manage Anxiety and Thrive... | Unplug | Scoop.it
Anxiety can be crippling. All of us deal with varying levels of stress — it's an evolutionary trait that helped us remain cognizant of the world's potential dangers.
J Ruth Kelly's insight:

Derek Beres reveals years of crippling anxiety and the resulting experiences of flight-or-fight panic attacks. Blacking out simply out of fear, waking up in a stranger's lap and other adventures were not uncommon. While the myriad meditation and medication avenues helped a little along the way, there was one approach that proved most effective in managing fear: diving into those fears, bit by bit.


As a long-time proponent of most "face it directly" therapeutic approaches, I found the results achieved in this one man's life affirming. But the truth is, we cannot always improve our anxiety episodes by one simple fix focus. It's possible Beres' improvement techniques readied him for the "dive in" approach which finally set him on a more manageable path. 


Ignoring an ongoing problem doesn't make it go away, but working diligently and lovingly towards effective change, as Beres has done, is key. If you fancy the meditation solution for anxiety, you may appreciate this too: http://sco.lt/6YeuFF

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Sue Pompetti's comment, November 20, 2013 2:56 PM
You are welcome, Craig :)
Shaan White's curator insight, October 6, 2014 10:15 AM

In the years of working as a top level anxiety specialist on Harley Street I've spent my life studying various approaches. At times it can get confusing for us professionals with so many techniques and approaches. In a nutshell I discovered that although we as therapists vehemently defend our approach and methodologies there really is no one size fits all. Rather the best approach is a multi-faceted approach that is tailored to the client. However I would add that the concept of letting go of one's emotional attachment to the problem works well. Really it is a balancing act. Focusing on the positive can give us false hope, and focus on the negative can draw us down into that never ending spiral.  Therapy needs to be results driven, fast, effective with the client being an active participant in therapy and understanding that they must take consistent daily action to achieve the results they are searching for. Thank you for a great article:)