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Nov 30, 2009

Here are three mini-meditations,
moments to just stop and breathe and remember why you are here. A moment to check yourself out, to look within, and to find what is really meaningful to you. You can get it together even when you think it is all falling apart.
Mini-meditations can be done on a train, walking down the street, at an airport, standing at a bus stop, in an elevator, while sitting in the bathroom (sometimes the only place you can be alone!).
1. Mini Breath Meditation
Sit comfortably with your back straight. Take a deep breath and let it go. Begin to silently count at the end of each out breath: Inhale… exhale… count one, inhale… exhale… two, inhale… exhale… three. Then start at one again. Just three breaths and back to one. Simply following each breath in and silently counting. So simple. Do this as many times as you want, eyes open or closed, breathing normally.
2. Mini Walking Meditation
You can do this walking along a country lane, a city street, in the office or the garden. You can walk slowly, normal or fast, whatever feels right. As you walk become aware of your walking, of the movement of your body and the rise and fall of your feet. Become aware of your breath and see if you can bring both your breathing and your walking together. Just walk and breathe with awareness for a few minutes.
3. Instant Letting Go
Find a quiet place to sit, have a straight back, and take a deep breath and let it go. Then quietly repeat to yourself: “My body is at ease and relaxed… my heartbeat is normal… my mind is calm and peaceful… my heart is open and loving.” Keep repeating this until you have let go of the tension and are at peace. Then take a deep breath and have a smile on your face!
Practice mini Loving-Kindness meditation: 
--as you walk down the street or in an elevator, by silently wishing everyone be well, wishing that everyone be happy.
--in the office by spending a few moments repeating the names of everyone you work with and wishing them happiness.
--on your way home from work by reflecting on your day and generating loving thoughts to all those you met.
--When you send out relaxing and loving thoughts it relaxes the space around you and often any chaotic or disturbing energies will dissipate.
--What you put out comes back to you ten-fold.
Adapted from Care2 DailyAction 3 Ways To Get Through The Day
Book by Ed and Deb Shapiro: BE THE CHANGE, How Meditation Can Transform You and the World

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Posted: Nov 30, 2009 8:53am
Oct 17, 2009
"At every instant of our lives, change is guaranteed. We fight to keep it away, or work to get it here sooner because we think we know what should happen. We are certain (sometimes rightly!) that the change coming toward us will ruin or kill us. We think and hope that the right change will fix us (or them or it) once and for all."
  - "Making Peace with Change" by Gangaji, Care2 link
   "Few admit the enormous failure rate of attempts to change people's behaviour - in marketing, in public policy, in (change) management and in our daily lives. It's really hard to set out to change behaviour - far better to help the behaviour change itself..."
   "(We)...overestimate the role of conscious or directed following. An alternative reading of the literature would suggest that much of the time we do what those around us are doing, think what they're thinking and feel what they're feeling. Our lives, as Wilde put it, are quotations from the lives of others - even if it seems otherwise to each of us."
   - "Herd - the hidden truth about who we are" link
The Stages of Readiness to Change
   This is a 'model' or framework for thinking about change, for people who want/need to change behaviour patterns and habits, e.g. smoking, unhealthy eating and exercise habits. It can also be applied to any major life decision where a person may be 'in two minds' about it, such as whether to leave a job or stay.
In this model, people move 'from being unaware or unwilling to do anything about the problem, to considering the possibility of change, then to becoming determined and prepared to make the change, and finally to taking action and sustaining or maintaining the change over time'. As you can imagine, this is not always a straightforward process.
Proachaska and DiClemente also emphasise that 'moving through the stages of change requires effort and energy for thinking, planning and doing'. No wonder even thinking about change can make you a bit tired!
...   Precontemplation = before thinking about change
...   Contemplation = thinking it over
...   Preparation / Determination = making a decision to change  
...   Action!
...   Maintenance
= keeping going
...   Relapse = slipping back
It is important to remember that people often cycle through these stages a number of times before they successfully change a particular pattern of behaviour, so don't give up the first time - think of it as spiralling upward rather than going round in circles!
Spiral Of Change Diagram

 Timetable details here.
The above is based on information provided by
WHISC - Women's Health: Interventions for Smoking Cessation and from "Motivational Interviewing: Preparing people for change" (2nd Ed) by Miller and Rollnick (2002).
A Behavior Change Model by Prochaska and Diclemente (Changing for Good, James O. Prochaska, John C. Norcross, Carlo C. Diclemente, 1994)
See also
Jun 17, 2008

A book by Khabje Lama Thubten Zopa Rinpoche

"Happiness and suffering are dependent upon your mind, upon your interpretation. They do not come from outside, from others. All of your happiness and all of your suffering are created by you, by your own mind," says Lama Zopa Rinpoche.

Lama Zopa Rinpoche teaches us how to be happy when we are not. He demonstrates how changes in attitude allow us to live a peaceful and relaxed life; and demonstrates how our responses to external circumstances no longer rule us. In Transforming Problems Into Happiness, Lama Zopa Rinpoche writes about this timeless teaching on Buddhist psychology so that it is relevant and beneficial to today's readers.

The newest edition includes a translation of the root text, Dodrupchen Rinpoche's (1865-1926) Instructions on Turning Happiness and Suffering into the Path of Enlightenment, translated by Tulku Thundop

"Anyone who needs to cope with life's problems should read this inspiring book. Transforming Problems into Happiness has benefited me so much. I recommend it very highly indeed."
—Lillian Too, author of The Complete Illustrated Guide to Feng Shui

"This volume will be valuable to everyone, whatever their religious or spiritual background."

Wisdom Publications    The Foundation Store 
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Posted: Jun 17, 2008 7:39am


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Jenny Dooley
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