Saturday, July 23, 2016

The Hakini Mudra for Focus

The Hakini Mudra

          Written by Little Flower


Distractions are present everywhere, everyday. 

At home, at work, at the gym, in our pocket and in our minds. 

How do we regain focus and control when this world becomes chaotic with interfering distractions? 

The Hakini Mudra is one answer.


How to:

Touch the corresponding fingertips of the left to the right. Fingers straight, but relaxed. Fingers spaced out. Now, as we go into meditation together, feel where your fingertips meet and the space created between your palms. Take a deep breath in... and let it go. Repeat this deep breathe several times until relaxation sets in.

 

According to Gertrud Hirschi in "Mudras - Yoga in your Hands," this finger position brings the two hemispheres of the brain together as the two hands are brought together. It also increases, improves and deepens respiration - flooding the brain with oxygen to improve functioning.

 

When I have troubles focusing on meditation - due to all of those distractions - this mudra helps to gently bring my focus back to the practice. It has been extremely powerful.

 

Give it a try! (:

 

Namaste.

What is Stress and How do Modern Societalists Cause their own Stress Responses?

Stress is manifested through perceptions, knowledge or lack thereof, and external environmental causes in Modern Society.

                                                            Written by N. Rae Clark, Community Healthcare Educator

 

 Prior to modernization acculturation shifts stressors in comparison were ones of encountering predators, contagious diseases, and hunger. Specifically, the stress mechanisms were designed to adjust our physiology to respond to the stressor or as the author refers to this way as a response to a “short-term crisis” (Sapolsky, 2004) (pgs. 2, 6).The time-frame and ability to project thought into anticipation of the future events in the human contrasts with the stress-response of the Zebra to go from one moment of homeostasis to the awareness of the need to generate a hormonal sequence of events to generate movement to safety (Sapolsky, 2004) (pgs. 6, 7). 


Sapolsky states that the “stress-related disease emerges” as a result that the human activates a physiological response in their systems that originated as a response mechanism to protect continuity of the life force within the human due to an acute or crisis situation (Sapolsky, 2004)(pg. 6). Thus the repetitive behavior of the Modern Societalist triggers the hormone cascade at the manifestation of the human being’s “worry” or overwhelming focus and generates a chronic response presenting itself as dis-ease and can eventually lead to system failures as a result of their internal thought process.

Homeostatic balance is defined as an optimal level of the varying mechanisms within the body and their responses to keep an ideal operating system to maintain the life force (Sapolsky, 2004) (pg. 6). A stressor is defined as any external influence that causes an imbalance of the beings homeostatic (optimal balance) maintenance (Sapolsky, 2004) (pg 6). The stress response is the mechanism by which the body works to return to a state of balance (homeostasis) (Sapolsky, 2004) (pg 6).

 

The projection of expectation known as anticipation is related to stress. This is what is experienced by Modern Societalists when they “overthink.” In other words, when someone believes a stressful outcome might exist they dwell (spend their time in contemplation) sending the energy of their projected negative response into their physiology, the human body responds to the negative surge of hormones released from the endocrine organs such as the adrenals (cortisol, endorphins) as though the situation was occurring in that present moment (Sapolsky, 2004)(pg. 9).

The body adapts to an acute stressor by redirecting the energy of the homeostatic bodily processes through the endocrine system, and halts or inhibits the immune system (Sapolsky, 2004)(pg. 8). Sapolsky states on page 13 of “Why Don’t Zebra’s Get Ulcers?” that the stress-response is more damaging than the stressor itself (Sapolsky, 2004).

 

To learn how to relax and restore the body breathing practices (pranayama, ni, ni'lchi) and yoga (body movements) are important in addition to a spiritual practice of prayer and meditation.


Procrastination by Unity

Procrastination

Written by Unity 

 

            Procrastination is resistance to something that one has to do.  Procrastination is self-defeating and can be a result/cause of low self-efficacy and self-esteem.   When someone is in a consistent state of procrastination they are in a state of resistance to life.   Procrastination leads to unnecessary stress.  When we procrastinate, we are putting more pressure on ourselves.  Life can catch up with you pretty quick and soon enough you are having to procrastinate on the next thing that comes your way before completing last week's procrastination.  The habit and thought pattern of procrastination is a direct manifestation of following and becoming a slave to egoic desires.

 

            When we procrastinate, we are toeing the line of respect and character.  Setting ourself up for failure.  The quality of work is poor because it is completed from a place of stress.  It is not given the proper amount of time necessary to do with integrity.  Procrastination is playing with fire; linear man made time.  It is binds you and makes you a slave to deadlines and the clock.  A farmer who procrastinates is not a good farmer.  He is putting himself before the food he is depended upon to produce.  When you are depended upon by your family and community you cannot procrastinate.  You lose respect. You lose character.   

 

            When you take things as they come you free yourself from the self-inflicted wounds that are a result of procrastinating.  By dealing with your life and what arises directly and promptly you are showing that you are response-able.  This is mindfulness.  Being totally in the present moment, accepting what is happening and dealing with it.   You are able to respond to what comes your way.  Thoughts, emotions, desires, responsibilities. 

 

            Through acceptance of what we need to do, whether pleasant or not, we can overcome the habit of procrastination.  There is always a choice in how we respond to our responsibilities.  Our attitude towards what we are doing (or procrastinating doing) and the environment.  We can approach it with resistance and fear or we can approach it with acceptance and love.  Love lies in our actions.  Love is expressing yourself when needed.

           

            By practicing mindfulness you are showing up to your precious life and your community.  Responsibility, discipline, honesty are ways of showing respect to the community you live in and the world around you.  Without them there is no respect for life including your own.  Procrastination can be overcome by being proactive with your life.  Not waiting for things to come to you or deadlines, but rather seeing things before they come and choosing to deal with them with acceptance.  Taking action when it needs to be done as opposed to when it absolutely has to be done.  Understanding who you are and who you aspire to be helps to organize and prioritize your life to the point where procrastination does not exist.  This is freedom and a deep joy comes from action instead of stress.  We can calmly deal with what arises because we are freed from the stress of procrastination.  Training yourself into a consistent, responsible, proactive person shows love and respect for your community.  Life on Earth is facing a major crisis.  Life needs our attention.  We do not have time to procr