A Pre Meditation Stage

When I started this post I had in mind to post a technique for meditation, but then knowing how hard and lengthy that would be to write about a subject like that without giving it its proper weight, I thought I’d divert a bit and start with the elements that would help prepare you for meditation and provide you as well with an atmosphere of mind relaxation.

The use of Incense and Fragrant Oils:

Incense and oils are highly mind stimulating as well as relaxing substances. A variety of products can be used for aromatherapy uses, to scent candles, in soap making, massage oils, bath oils, etc.

I recommend using incense sticks or cones as well as fragrant oils around the house; in the bedroom, bathroom, and living room and while meditating.

Vital things to remember though:

1- Use oils (not incense) in the bedroom and make sure that you don’t sleep while the burner is still on, take the burner out of the bedroom 15 min before you retire to bed.

2- Use oils (not incense) while meditating and take the burner out of the room 15 min before you start your meditation.

The above mentioned points are really important because while these substances are helpful in relaxing your mind and preparing you for deep relaxation, they can be really hazardous to your respiratory system if not used properly.

I personally prefer using incense around the house for their immediate effect on the mind, but if you are allergic to them or you are asthmatic, please refrain from using them and settle for fragrant oils.

And remember use only 1-2 drops of oil and mix it with water in the container on top of the burner.

Here are some fragrances I recommend for healing purposes, it is better to use each essence separately and not mix them

(All the products mentioned above can be found in most nature shops; try L’OCCITANE/ Sooq Sharq/ Q8):

Anger: Jasmine, Patchouli, Rose, Orchid

Anxiety: Lavender, Patchouli, Rose, Sandalwood, Orchid.

Confidence: jasmine

Depression: Jasmine, Lavender, Rose, Sandalwood.

Fatigue and Exhaustion: Jasmine, Patchouli, Sandalwood.

Fear: Jasmine, Lemon, Sandalwood.

Grieve: Rose, Sandalwood.

Happiness and Peace: Rose, Sandalwood, Orchid.

Insecurity: Jasmine, Sandalwood.

Irritability: Lavender, Sandalwood.

Loneliness: Rose.

Memory and concentration: Lemon, Lemongrass.

Panic and Panic Attacks: Lavender, Rose.

Stress: Jasmine, Lavender, Patchouli, Rose, Sandalwood, Orchid.

Music

Music is the soul’s nourishment, and man has known the effect of music on his mind and soul all throughout history.

As for meditation I recommend the following CD’s of which most can be found in Virgin and The One:

-Zen Peace- AEOLIAH

-Silent Hearts-KARUNESH

– Meditation-Yoga-Reiki and relaxation-Waki

Reiki and Relaxation-Tao of Heaven (1)-

-New Age – Reiki and Relaxation-Tranquility

-Meditation-Buddhist Chant- Prajna Paramita

-New Age-Meditation-Relaxing-Solitudes

Japanese Flute-Yoga-

-Music for Meditation

-Yoga Zone- Music for Meditation

-Yoga Zone- Drum Meditation

-New Age-Meditation-Music for Sleeping

-Yoga- Zen Garden-Kokin Gumi-Feng Shui

-Solitudes-Zen meditation

-Yoga Meditation Four- Buddhist Drums, Bells

-Enya-Celtic Rain

-Vangelis-Himalaya

-Yoga-My Music-Tai Chi Relaxation

-Yoga- Tai Chi -08-Body, Mind&Sperit

-Xena-Tai Chi and Yoga

Mantra:

Mantra is a set of positive, reaffirmation sentences that one usually repeats while starting the mind relaxation session, and I will demonstrate the use of these sentences in my next post when I go through the actual art of meditation, there are so many types of mantras that can be used in a yoga session, all depending on the purpose of the mantra. Some use it as a connection to god, while others use it for some reaffirmation, and each yogi has his own mantra style; that’s why it’s not easily found in libraries or on the net. And like any paragraph; mantra has to start with a beginning, have a body, and an ending, therefore the sequence of mantra is very important. And it is also important to have a soft, mellow tune while reciting the mantra.

Here is an example of a self realization mantra I use in my yoga class:

– I had a hard, hectic day serving others; it is time for me to be with me, to befriend me, to get to know me better.

– I know that my mind is like a naughty child that will soon drift; therefore, I will treat him like a child and slowly deceive him to calmness.

– This time is totally and rightfully mine; I will not allow anyone or anything take these moments from me.

– I gather my thoughts and stack them on a shelf; I know they will be there when I finish, so for now they can stay there, while I enjoy my company.

– Now is time to meet me, the soul. The being that is not conditioned to the cruelties of the world, I am home, this is my origin: the pure me, the loving me, the honest me, the happy me, the witty me, the smart me.

– But wait, this is not all of me, there is also this body of mine, and I know it is beautifully created and I love every part of it, it is a real masterpiece.

– and my credentials, qualifications and accomplishments; let me take a closer look at them; I see that I have done a lot thus far, and I am proud of what I have done no matter how otherwise I was conditioned to believe.

– I know now that I’m already in love with this person who is me. And I know it is not egotism, rather, self worth.

– I deserve to be happy, I deserve to enjoy myself, I deserve the best coz I am the best.

– I know that only by loving myself I would be able to spread this love among others.

-all the noise outside does not belong to me now; I will not let them drift me from my ecstasy.

– it is time for me to drift together with this lovely creature who is me in a world of stillness, a world of calmness, a world of complete silence.

Now, not all yogis use mantra. But I see it very helpful, therefore I always use it. So if you like the idea and want to give it a try; design your own meditation mantra.

How to design your own meditation mantra?

You can tape your own voice by reciting the mantra mentioned above (or creating your own) and choose one of the meditation music as a background, and continue this music for another20 min on the same tape. Prepare this for yourself before we start the next session on meditation.

Candles:

The use of candles is very essential for indoor meditation practice, but make sure you DO NOT use scented candles while you meditate. But you can use them around the house to bring calmness to your atmosphere.

The candles that I recommend for meditation are the small types that come in small tin containers like the ones used for burners as shown in the picture above. They can be used in their cute little cups, but you don’t need containers for them; you can just place them in a glass. You can get them from IKEA, The One, or True Value (100 for almost 1.5 KD), these shops also have some nice varieties of candle cups. Get only three cups coz you will only need three candles in each meditation session.

Ching Ching


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Skilful, Positive Thinking

On Monday, November 8, on my post “Your body is your pharmacy, and you are the doctor (continuation)”, one of my blogging buddies (Peach) have requesting more information about positive thinking, and I promised that I would dedicate a post to that, and here is goes:

The process of POSITIVE THINKING is very complex indeed. Although most of us can IMAGINE what does that mean, we hardly PRACTICE IT on a daily basis, and some might even THINK it’s a very negative, submissive way of LOOKING at things.

We are conditioned through our personal experiences TO LOOK negatively at things. For example: if a dear one was supposed to meet me at a certain time and did not show up, and there was no chance of me getting hold of him/her, I would naturally WORRY. Notice that I said naturally. And although by logic it is not natural to WORRY in this case because there are different PROBABILITIES of his/her delay, and WORRY is a combination of THOUGHTS that are only associated with negative FEELINGS, but most of us DO THAT and we call it natural because It is linked with FEELINGS that we THINK we don’t have any control over.

Notice that I have capitalized some of the words that are associated with thinking process in the last two paragraphs, and no that was not a mistake, I meant to do that to emphasize one thing; how does a human being conducts his life is nothing but a thought.

To clear this argument I will give you an example of the Bon way of thought development, Bon is a religion that was practiced in the Tibet long before Buddhism, only to show you man’s struggle through history to change his thought process and also to clarify how much our thinking process affects the way we choose to lead our lives:

In the ground, the monks would dig a small hole enough for one person standing up. In that hole a person is lowered and the top of the hole is then completely covered. This person would stay in this kinda grave for almost a week, and some minimal water and nourishment is passed to him once a day. They call this process a rebirth, and they claim that the person who goes through this process would change completely; he will be able to recognize his own energies as well as the energies emitted through matter. He would possess the ability to read other people’s minds as if he is listening to the words uttered by them. And can predict weather changes and disasters. He can also miraculously heal physical as well as emotional ailments through using these newly possessed energies.

How could this be done? Let’s think about it for a while as if me or you are the person in that hole.

First thing that would strike me is fear; fear of the darkness, fear of the creatures that might crawl over my body, fear of other metaphysical circumstances that I might encounter, and last the fear that I might not survive. All negative thinking.

Negative thinking is so powerfully destructive that they could actually kill the person.

But survival is a propensity in humans; therefore my thinking process has to change in order for me to survive.

Let’s examine how my thinking process could change:

First; I would have to get physically accustomed to the darkness and consider it a part of my natural state at the time being. Second; I would have to believe that now I am a part of this earth and all the creatures within it, and if I did not harm them and accepted their curious welcome, they would accept me in return and would not harm me. Third; if I did encounter any metaphysical circumstances, this is the chance for me to spread my knowledge above the norm and get accustomed to it. Fourth; I am a survival by nature, therefore I will definitely survive. Finally; the goal, the point of the rebirth in my thoughts is anticipation, yes, I am doing all this for a broader knowledge of my self, my energies, and how I could use them for the benefit of humanity. All positive thinking indeed.

In one of his posts; Marumbahttp://incarnata.blogspot.com/2004/11/mr-descartes-pls-allow-me-sir.html#comments” has defied DESCARTES’s aphorism “I THINK, THEREFORE, I AM” and he restated it as “I FEEL, THEREFORE, I AM..!”, and I do tend to agree with him and add to that ” I FEEL WHEN I RELATE,THEN I THINK, THERFORE I AM”. It’s the feeling that has to be restored so that the thoughts can change. Positive feelings are the natural traits of the soul; purity, love, honesty, patience, wisdom, abundance, mercy.

But you might argue that we are human and we can’t control our feelings. True; but what are the feelings that we could not control, if we have allowed ourselves through negative thinking to adopt those feelings in the first place. Thinking process here is vital to restore my positive feelings and deal with the circumstances positively, just like the person in the hole.

How can we change out thinking process?

This process is very hard considering it deals with CHANGE. Change is not easily done, it takes time, insistence, well power, and lots of practice, but it is worth it.

First; you have to let go of all negative thoughts you were conditioned to adopt.

Second; scratch out all the negative words in your vocabulary.

Third; in your vocabulary, try to minimize the use of two negative words that gives a positive meaning like; not sad, not tiered, not raining, not bad. Instead use the definite words like; happy, relaxed or active, sunny and bright, well.

Fourth and most importantly; learn from the turtle. Yes, the turtle. In Chinese wisdom the turtle is a creature which can separate itself from its shell and look at it from outside (a different perspective), take the load off of your shoulder and look at the problem from other perspectives, in a sense of how could you be a help instead of being a burden.

Fifth; take your time to notice little things in life and appreciate them as if you will die tomorrow and will not be able to enjoy them anymore. After all you never know how long you will live anyway.

And finally; I have chosen for you some wise notes from khalil Gibran’s book ” life’s wisdom” I hope you can treasure and recite them every time you are in doubt:

1- Your daily life is your temple and your religion. whenever you enter into it, take with you your all.

2- Love is the divine knowledge that enables men to see as much as the gods.

3- Life is not only merriment; life is desire and determination.

4- Man struggles to find life outside himself, unaware that the life he is seeking is within him.

5- Know your own true worth and you shall never perish.

6- I look up high to see only light, and never look down to see my shadow. This is the wisdom which a man must learn.

7- Thoughts have a higher dwelling place than the visible world.

8- Children dwelling in the doors of tomorrow, a place where they can never be, not even in their wildest dreams.

Enjoy life; it is worth it, for every thing is nothing but a thought.

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This is another photo of Lebanon taken from my friend’s balcony in Almansuriya, as requested by my blogging friend Shurouq in the last post

Lebanon

I did not know how much I was addicted to blogging until I had this break. I purposely avoided all the internet café’s to get over this addiction, but I missed all my blogging buddies and honestly was a very hard task to do.

This is a note I wrote the first night I arrived in Lebanon:

It’s 4 am and I just got home, I arrived in Lebanon few hours back and felt sad, this quenching feeling you get in the stomach when you come back to something so familiar, yet not familiar anymore. All the half ruined buildings and high rising other buildings is not the place I treasured in memory. A lot has changed since I was last here (before the war). The beautiful, simple Bremana has changed to a tourist area with lots of bulky buildings, the forest (Elgaba), the one I used to wander in picking fruits from treed is no more there.

But that did not last for long; I soon got involved in the essence of Lebanon; it’s people.

I got in touch with a Lebanese friend who works in Q8 and was also in Lebanon for the time and we went out exploring all the goodies of the Beirutian nights. This also has changed; Lebanon is more westernized now.

Well, all in all, I did enjoy my stay and planning to pay another visit soon.

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My 3eediya to you

My blog buddies the ones that acquainted me throughout Ramadan, enlightened my long nights, and brought joy to my days. This is my 3eediya to you; my unconditional love.

I will be stopping for a while coz I’ll be going away, hope to see you all in good health when I come back.

عيـــــــــدكم مبـــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــارك

This poem was inspired by my blogging buddy Maromba and a special dedication is made to him

Unconditional loveYour aura I see

You don’t have to tell me

It’s on your decree

I know you know what I’ve come to know

The smiley face

That shines with grace

To fill the space

I know you know what I’ve come to know

The cooling shadow

The vested meadow

To the blackest widow

I know you know what I’ve come to know

No sky is your limit

No earth to root in it

Yet in love you’re a hermit

I know you know what I’ve come to know

Void of sanity

Surpassed humanity

Abundance and quality

I know you know what I’ve come to know

As much as I inquest

In my constant quest

Your love is the best

I know you know what I’ve come to know

Your love is rare

Beyond compare

No need to swear

I know you know what I’ve come to know

Your love is an incentive

Without any motive

You kept me captive

I know you know what I’ve come to know

Not a stain to blemish

What for you is to cherish

And for me to flourish

I know you know

But I hope that all know what I’ve come to know

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The Dove

by Theus Alayo

Laugh it up

Ok so today will mark the last weekend before Ramadan is over, so let’s brighten our souls with some laughs, here is what I got for you:

That’s me behind my PC waiting for your comments

Heheheheeeeeeeeee ,

ok so I tend to laugh at my own jokes, hit me with your joke 🙂

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The Quest for "TRUTH"

In my long search for “The Truth”, I have always stumbled over some issues. One big question mark always floated on the surface:

Was Islam ever just to women????

Now I’m not talking about all what we got through conventional schooling. Rather I’m questioning its validity .

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Old-Basa

Painting by : Mustafa AlKatrany

Your body is your pharmacy, and you are the doctor (continuation)

In the previous post I have given some brief information about the chakras and their significant importance in inducing hormones in the physical body. It would be appropriate here to have some ideas about nadis and their relationship to chakras.

We can think of the nadis as the energy shield in the body that is associated with breathing, and sometimes they are called the meridians.

Nadis extend from the bottom of the feet to the top of the head and it is through them that breathing as a form of energy (prana) flows. Therefore they are responsible for activating the chakras.

When a person is feeling happy or stressed, for some reason or another, the pattern of his breathing changes. Imagine yourself as being interviewed for an important position; at the beginning of the interview your breathing is more rapid, while your mind is less focused. Unlike when you finish that interview; your breathing becomes steadier, and your mind is alert to go over every little detail of that interview.

The chakras( bakra in Arabic) are activated by the nadis in a circular motion, creating a field of energy around each. When the energy that activates them is positive (through positive thinking) then the motion of these chakras are synchronized creating an atmosphere of harmony within the physical body and visa versa. so it’s a question of the relationship of mind with breath which leads us to prana as the power source of our thought creator.

Purify your nadis:

Positive energies are created by the positive propensity for purity, good deeds, kind words, noble thoughts, a pleasing personality, interest in lofty pursuits. And remember, One single impure thought and the current is disturbed; not only the current but the whole being, since a human being becomes a human being only by this electromagnetic, these seemingly trivial impurities are still coarse enough to block the psychic pathway of the nadis current.

When you feel tension in your consciousness, you feel it in the chakra associated with that part of your consciousness experiencing the stress, and therefore in the hormone disorder. When the tension persists, the physical part associated with that chakra would show signs of decay.

And examples of that are many, we see them everyday, people who are going through prolonged tension develop diseases as mild as hair loss and as strong as cancer.

Yoga can help a lot in enhancing prana through meditative positive thinking and proper breathing, yet you do not have to enroll in yoga classes to do that. Yoga is just a tool, a technique. You can do that on your own by several means; go out for a fresh air, practice deep breathing, appreciate simple thing in life, notice nature and get acquainted with it, practice meditation using incense and music (or just the magic world of complete silence), train your mind to think positively, discard any negative thought no matter how trivial it may seem, for now you know how fatal it can be.

ching ching

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