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Self Improvement

"You're Already Hypnotized: A Guide to Waking Up" book release!

 

My new book is now available! And digital versions are just $1.99! Visit my website to buy the book. I hope you'll take a few minutes to watch this video trailer for the book that my husband Brad made.

 

My greatest spiritual lesson, still yet unlearned.

I have a temper. It doesn't come out very often, years can go by without it surfacing. It takes what I consider a huge injustice for it to emerge. Most people never see it. Most people never suspect I have it. A few unfortunate people have been in its fiery presence: my fiance, a couple of my close girlfriends, an ex-boyfriend of a friend, a guy who kicked his dog in front of me. I inherited my temper from my father. My brother got it, too. It's the most unattractive thing about my father, and it's the most unattractive thing about my brother. And I suppose it's the most unattractive thing about me.

The deal with anger, or other ego qualities, is that we don't necessarily see them as unattractive in ourselves. They are our defense mechanisms. We are blinded by our justification of them. We think we are right. Therefore, our anger, or vanity, or greed, or cruelty, or jealousy, or conceit, or lies, or whatever, can't be wrong. But what isn't love is wrong. It's a mistaken choice, based on fear. Love is eternal. Fear is not. Therefore, fear is an illusion. When we are in fear, we are not in reality. And the way I see it, when we are not in reality, we are wasting time floundering about in illusion. Meaning, we are not serving our highest purpose or the world. We're in a dead space. We're ineffective.

I've been thinking a lot about my anger lately, because it surfaced recently. I don't lose my temper driving or anything mundane like that. And I'm calm in crisis. I lose my temper when I perceive I have been betrayed or when there is an injustice against animals. I've narrowed it down to those two triggers.

Being involved in animal rights, seeing the massive widespread cruelty going on every day, isn't easy. It wears on you. It breaks you. Protesting any social injustice will do that to a human being. It's a slippery slope into disillusionment, sadness, depression, and anger, if you're not careful. I will say that I believe that underneath even angry social protesting, like for human and animal rights, is usually a pure intention, stemming from a belief that something isn't right, that there is a better way for us to coexist, and that belief spurs people into action. That's not a bad thing. I've never believed that love is passive. I see love as a very

active

force. The problem is that that message can turn from a healthy sense of needing to say NO into rage.

Gandhi is my hero. Gandhi pretty much singlehandedly freed India and started the animal rights movement in his country. Yet he did it with peace. I wouldn't expect myself to be joyful if I had surveyed the holocaust, and I don't expect myself to be joyful surveying the holocaust that is going on with animals today. I do believe, however, that I can walk through it with peace. It's a great spiritual practice to be able to walk through the horrors of the world and remain at peace. It's my greatest spiritual lesson.

I can only think of one way to do that and that is through daily meditation and prayer. A daily connection to my highest source, that which I call God, and the ability to bring that with me wherever I go. I believe in reincarnation. I believe we keep coming back until we get it right, until we learn those lessons that are ours to learn. And I don't want to come back. I'm pretty sure I didn't want to come this time. But I am committed to learning this lesson in this lifetime. It's mine to learn. And it's doable.

When I lose my temper, we all lose--the animals, the world, as well as myself. My anger binds me to the consciousness that perpetuates cruelty. In those moments, I am strengthening fear. I need to strengthen peace instead. I need to hold the light, not just for the animals, but for the perpetrator of violence against them. I need to hold the light for my clients who come to me everyday to heal. I need to hold the light for my beautiful, brave fiancé; I need to hold the light for my animal companions in my home. I need to hold the light for myself. I need to hold the light for the world.

It's not about backing away from what is scary or difficult or dark, it's not about denying what is happening on planet earth or in my own life, it's about going deeper into it with the light of God shining by my side.

As I write this, it just happens to be Easter morning. It is the day of my resurrection. It is the day of taking off the thorns of anger I have placed upon my own head. It is freeing myself from this cross I have beared my whole life. It is the day I stop crucifying myself and others and the world. It is time to resurrect into the light, where God would have me be. If Jesus can do it, so can I. It is a Holy day, indeed.

Your Daily Grind is Your India

Hi Friends!


So I'm taking this week off to finish writing my book, YOU'RE ALREADY HYPNOTIZED: A GUIDE TO WAKING UP. Yeah, I know, I've been saying that for years now. But believe it or not, I really do see the light at the end of the tunnel. I'm just working on final, final edits. I've decided to make it an ebook available for download and for electronic readers, so I've still got to get the cover designed and figure out exactly how to go about making an ebook. I have also recorded about forty hypnotherapy sessions that will be available with the workbook section of the book that I need to somehow get on a new site for downloading. (If you have any suggestions or know how to do this, please email me.) In the meantime, here's an excerpt from my book. Thanks for your support. We'll talk soon. Now back to the grind. 


Excerpt from YOU'RE ALREADY HYPNOTIZED: A GUIDE TO WAKING UP.


Over the past nine years as a hypnotherapist, I have seen a thousand clients with a thousand different issues, and though I treat each client individually, at the root, every problem is the same: We are asleep. We don’t remember who we are. We have forgotten our identity as children of God—or goddess, love, our higher self, truth, spirit, source, the universe, or whatever you prefer to call that spiritual apex—and that forgetfulness has caused a sleep-like state that has manifested into myriad specific problems seemingly “out there."


To heal is to awaken. But we must first understand that we are asleep before we can awaken. Only then can we begin the process of undoing the false ideas we have accepted into our mind. Healing doesn’t actually require us to do anything. Rather, we must undo the roadblocks or, as I call it, “de-hypnotize” or “deprogram” ourselves.


The path of awakening is highly individualized. For some, the most spiritual and healing thing they can do is daily meditation. For others, however, it is to get out of the house and get a job, or learn about food and lose weight, or give up alcohol. By tackling the behavior, they develop the self-esteem needed to look at the underlying issue. It would be silly to tell a heroin addict to reflect on his deeply buried psychological and spiritual issues. He couldn’t do it. But if you change the behavior first by getting him clean, he would then have the capacity and perhaps the willingness to look at the cause of his addiction.



I’m not here to decide whether meditating or getting sober or finding a job is the right place to begin your awakening. I don’t have enough information to make that call. That’s why this book addresses common issues from all levels: physical, psychological, and spiritual. How do you determine the most “spiritual” thing to do? It varies with circumstance. It wouldn’t be mindful to pay for yoga classes every day if you owed people money. It wouldn’t be enlightened to follow a guru for months while neglecting your children, or spend hours in meditation in a filthy house. It wouldn’t be virtuous to teach healthy living while secretly living as an addict. Nor would it be holy to care about people, but not about animals and the environment, or vice versa.


This doesn’t mean that we have to be perfect before we do what we feel guided to do or are passionate about. If we all waited until then, we wouldn’t start anything. It just means we must be honest with ourselves. Awakening requires a certain amount of consistency. The outer and the inner need to reflect each other as much as possible. But until we are healed, we will be dreadfully inconsistent.


I remember a client who said her life’s goal was “to achieve enlightenment,” yet as we talked, I noticed she had trouble standing up for herself—she was scared to quit a job she was miserable in and too insecure to leave an unhappy marriage. I wanted to tell her, “If you’re too afraid to change jobs, you’re not exactly ready to transcend mortality.” But I didn’t. In hindsight, maybe I should have. The best I could do for her was to help her gain enough self-respect and confidence to be decisive and communicate her needs. Once she achieved that, her life took off. She switched jobs, got a divorce and a new boyfriend, and is much more fulfilled.


We can’t skip steps up the ladder of enlightenment. Our quest begins right here, today, exactly as we are. It’s true that no one becomes enlightened with a drinking problem. And no one can love herself, yet hate her thighs. No one is free who carries monstrous debt. And no one reaches self-mastery by being duplicitous, hurtful, or despising himself or anyone else. Not because we’re being punished if we do those things, but because our choice to do those things blocks our highest self.


Enlightened people don’t need drugs, food, people, or things in order to do, change, cause or fulfill anything.  They have no lack. They’ve awakened to the truth that all they need is within. Our wounded behavior reflects our sleeping mind. And a sleeping mind is not aware it is sleeping. It desperately and unsuccessfully looks for its identity in the world. Our only real purpose here is to wake up. We begin that process by using whatever is in front of us—addictions, phobias, grievances. Anything can lead to awakening if we follow it far enough.


Carl Jung, the Swiss psychologist, hypothesized that we spend the first half of our lives developing an ego and the second half trying to get rid of it. I interpret this to mean that we must express individuality before we can know oneness. That’s why people rarely seek to know their spiritual self in their youth. They’re too busy figuring out who they are in the world. We first need to know how different we are from everyone else and gain confidence in ourselves before we can see the truth that underneath it all we are all the same. We must develop a keen sense of our individualized, egoic self before we can transcend that self—only then do we become truly revolutionary.


The spiritual journey is an inward journey of awakening your mind, not an outward excursion. You don’t have to trek through India, do yoga, or spend long hours meditating. All those things can be important if you feel guided to do them, and certainly the world would be a better place if we all stilled our minds each day, but everyone’s path is different. It’s a mistake to think the spiritual path is big and fancy and brightly lit or that it involves only what we think of as “spiritual.” The spiritual path is actually quite small and quiet and doesn’t necessarily look good in purple. It’s so humble that we constantly overlook it. You may be expecting a magic wand to change everything while neglecting the potential miracle of growth right in front of you.


Your daily grind is your India. It is the spiritual classroom you chose in order to learn your life lessons. Each new day brings you to a precipice with the opportunity to leap into greater awareness. You just don’t see it because it’s hidden in the mundane like washing dishes after you use them, accepting your body as it is, letting go of addictions, being able to receive a compliment or say “no,” or “yes,” learning to walk away or to stay, choosing love when you want to choose fear, and finishing what you start. Those perfunctory tasks can teach us the mindful qualities of integrity, discipline, honesty, responsibility, and respect—all necessary ingredients for self-realization.


That’s why Buddhist monks lead simple lives: wake up, meditate, eat breakfast, clean, meditate, eat lunch, meditate some more, prepare dinner, meditate again, bathe, and sleep. Their day-to-day routines rarely change. Nisargadatta Maharaj, arguably the greatest Indian sage, was the keeper of a small goods store and lived in a very modest apartment on a crowded street in Bombay. People flocked to his apartment from around the world, crowding each other to sit on his bare floor and listen to the wisdom of non-dualism that flowed. Nisargadatta’s life was uncomplicated and ordinary in form, but extraordinary in content.

Dreams: A Royal Road to Knowing Thyself

 

The interpretation of dreams is the royal road to a knowledge of the unconscious activities of the mind. -Sigmund Freud

We’ve all skidded by on our good looks and charm long enough. In this New Year, it’s time we use more of ourselves, not just to help ourselves and the world, but to know ourselves. That is, after all, why we're all here.

I contend that the subconscious mind is our most highly underutilized tool. We know our conscious mind all too well; it’s always chattering. The conscious mind is the analytical, logical, willful, judgmental, discerning part of ourselves. Necessary, but not who we are.

There is a “hidden” part, the subconscious mind, that holds deeper truths and vast untapped potential. And I don’t mean potential in acquiring things like in The Secret-type stuff. (Aren’t we beyond all that ego-driven “get, get, get” “me, me, me” mentally? That’s all just child’s play that keeps us stuck in the illusions of this world.) I mean, using this hidden part of ourselves that we know very little about to come to realize our true potential.

In short, the subconscious mind is the picture mind and feeling mind because it’s the storehouse of all of our memories—from this life, past-lives, even natal (womb memory)—and it’s the feeling mind because it is the seat of our emotions. It's also a wellspring of creativity, and a link to other states of consciousness and awareness. Through the subconscious we can even access the Divine, amongst other things.

If we use the perennial iceberg metaphor, the conscious mind is the small visible tip of the iceberg above the water's surface while the mass and strength and power and driving force of the iceberg floats below the water's surface. This is our subconscious. We can’t glimpse it with our conscious mind. We need a different type of vision.

Accessing this deeper part of ourselves requires going under the water’s surface. Two ways of diving into those bottomless waters and exploring the subconscious are hypnosis and dreaming. Both are natural states of mind that we experience within any given 24-hour period—one during the day, the other at night.

The hypnotic state is an altered state (as opposed to our usual conscious state) of awareness whereby we have bypassed the conscious mind. Watching television, daydreaming, driving on the freeway, being in the “zone” while playing a sport or painting or writing can put us into this state by collapsing, so to speak, the analytical mind, giving way to the subconscious. We’re no longer thinking critically, rather we are allowing, responding, receiving or creating from a stream of consciousness.

We also bypass the conscious mind through nighttime dreaming. Although both hypnosis and dreaming are natural states of mind that we don’t consciously conjure up, they can be honed and utilized as tools for self-realization, or to just help us find a misplaced sentimental necklace. The possibilities are endless.

Neither state needs to be taught, each needs to be cultivated. Today we will focus on accessing our subconscious through dreams. In a later post, we'll talk about doing it through self-hypnosis.

We all dream, we just don’t remember our dreams, at least not all the time. But that’s only because we don’t care to remember them. If we wanted to remember our dreams, we would. (On a side note, I have noticed in my practice that clients who smoke cigarettes or pot have a much more difficult time accessing their dreams.)

I encourage you to want to remember your dreams. Within your dreaming mind are messages, ideas, potentiality, dimensions of reality, creativity, connection with others, teachers, those that have lived before, time and space travel, your Higher Self, and the location of your lost necklace.

Don’t take my word for it, here is what

Seth

says about dreams:

When I speak of the dream world, I am not referring to some imaginary realm, but to the kind of world of ideas, of thoughts, of mental actions, out of which all form as you think it emerges. In actuality, this is an inner universe rather than an inner world. Your physical reality is but one materialization of that inner organization. All possible civilizations exist first in that realm of the inner mind.

And I like what

Edgar Cayce

says:

Man approaches the more intimate conditions of that field of the inner self when the conscious self is at rest in sleep or slumber, at which time more of the inner forces are taken into consideration and studied by the individual.... It is each individual's job...to understand his individual condition, his individual position in relation to others, his individual manifestation, through his individual receiving of messages from the higher forces themselves, thus, through dreams.

I have been studying and using my dream-state for years. For some reason, in the last couple of years, one thing that state has made me become psychically aware of is earthquakes. In May of 2008, I woke up and said, “There’s been an earthquake.” I turned on my computer and saw that 10,000 people had died in an earthquake in China while I slept. I said the same thing the morning of the Indonesian earthquake.

It might have to do with the fact that when I fall asleep at night I ask my consciousness to be of service to the world in any way it can to whomever needs me during my sleeping hours. Of course, this starts with the idea that 1. I am not my physical body and 2. that my mind is joined to the mind of every mind. In other words, there’s really only one of us here. My understanding of the nature of reality rests on these premises. My point being, we spend a third of our lives asleep, why not use it for healing ourselves and helping others?

I've also used the dream-state to communicate with people who can't communicate with me on the physical level, like deceased relatives, philosophers from times of antiquity, even a little boy I used to work with who had severe autism. He didn't speak, but in my dreams we conversed.

My friends, the resources are limitless.

Here are some of my tips to remembering your dreams.

Before falling asleep:

  1. Put a special notepad just for dreaming by your bed. Title it “Dream Journal.” And write the date. Start tomorrow. Jan. 1. 2010. Or if you’re serious, get a voice-activated tape recorder. They probably have an app for that. (No, I don’t know if they do or don’t.) But with voice activation you don’t have to fumble for a pen and paper or turn on the light. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve written down a long, very important dream in the middle of the night only to wake up and find that I wrote over the same line twenty times. I thought I wrote a whole page of notes, but I scribbled one jumbled, illegible sentence.
  2. Tell yourself before falling asleep, “I want to remember my dreams and I will remember my dreams.” And feel that desire. It’s a desire to know yourself. We should all have a deep desire for that. In fact, that should be our deepest desire. Get in touch with it and say it with all the meaning you can muster.
  3. Then, if you have an issue that needs resolving, talk to your subconscious, “I ask my subconscious to help me resolve ________ through my dreams tonight.” Or “I ask my subconscious to help me know the right thing to do about _______ when I awaken.” Or "Give me the message in my dreams as to what is causing this illness, or how I can begin to heal it." Or something like that. You get the idea.

When you awaken:

Take a moment to check in with yourself. Be still and reflect on the issue that needed resolution. Notice what your instinct tells you to do to resolve it. Usually, it’s not what your conscious mind would say if you asked it after lunch. Upon awakening, your conscious mind isn’t quite back in full-

atencion!

-force; use that leftover dreamy link to your subconscious to know the right action.

Now write down what you remember from your dreams and analyze it. You don’t need a book. You are the best interpreter of your dreams. If you don’t remember anything write “nothing.” At least you’re putting energy in the direction of remembrance. Willingness is the key that opens the door to your subconscious.

If you just have a feeling, write that down. Start somewhere. Then ask yourself, “What is it about myself (or this problem) that makes me feel _______?” If you only remember a color, write it down. “Blue.” Then ask yourself, “How does blue make me feel?” “Calm” or “It reminds me of when I lived near the ocean.” Write it down.

If all you recall is a single symbol (symbolism, by the way, is the language of the unconscious.) write that down, “Tree.” What does a tree mean to you? List some descriptive words for a tree. How do trees make you feel? Do you have a favorite tree? What could a tree be a metaphor for in your life? Protection? Needing to be rooted? Nature?

Then title the dream, “Tree.” And turn the page for the next night’s dream.

Keep doing this and soon enough your sleepy subconscious will shake off the dust and get to work for you. It’s like a beautiful, luxurious car that’s been sitting in the garage for years while you’ve been trekking twenty miles in the snow every day to work because you forgot you had it. It may take a few tries to start the car, but once you do, it will open up a whole new, interesting and fun world.

Sometimes you won’t know the meaning of the dream until months or years later. You will be amazed to look back in your journal only to realize that a particular dream was actually a premonition, that the event unfolded exactly as you had dreamed it.

The subconscious is so much wiser than the conscious mind that the conscious mind doesn’t even know how much it doesn’t know. This year, seek to know what you didn't know you knew. "Know thyself," through dreaming.

Check out these books to learn more:

Edgar Cayce on Dreams

by Robert Waggoner

Interpretation of Dreams

by Sigmund Freud

12 Keys to Life

1. Do not be guided by fear.

There is nothing more detrimental than making decisions out of fear.

2. Seek not to be loved, but to be loving.

My clients are generally single men and women in their thirties and forties. And most of them are unhappy. The rest of my clients are in relationships, and guess what? They’re unhappy too. So who’s happy? Well, I know a few and their happiness has nothing to do with a partner or lack thereof. We have been programmed to believe that if we just find the right partner our problems will be solved. But I’m sorry to say it is an illusion. Sure, you can be fulfilled with a partner but you can also be fulfilled without one. What you seek is within. Everyday my prayer is the same, “Help me become more loving.” Let go of the need to be loved and seek instead to be loving. Only then will you find true fulfillment.

3. Pick a spiritual path.

And stick to it. All of our problems would disappear if we committed to daily spiritual practice. Truth is simple. You can read about this in an earlier post.

4. Read great writers and philosophers.

Studying people who are smarter than us is crucial because there is nothing more important than knowing we may not be right. Here are some books I like.

5. Listen to music.

Crank up one good song a day. Start with this video of Unity by Trevor Hall featuring Matisyahu

6. Clean yourself up

Release your past. Heal your addictions. Let go of debilitating emotions. And don't spend a ton of time and money trying to do it. Go through my $1.99 hypnosis MP3 downloads on a wide variety of topics and begin healing today! 

7. Surround yourself with people who can teach you.

This is easy and the pay-off is huge. Wise people push you. They hold you accountable. They don’t necessarily coddle you, they elevate you. There’s a reason a lot of enlightened people have gurus. Every smart person had a teacher.

8. Give away what you don't need.

Good feng shui and good karma. Your home, your closet, your office--it's all a  reflection of your mind.

9. Maintain integrity.

Your self-respect is all you’ve got. Treasure it.

10. Become vegan.

Becoming vegan is like volunteering. That's how I see it. There seems to be a sacrifice involved but it’s really a gift that comes back to you a hundred-fold. I have not experienced a single choice that has had such beautiful and far-reaching effects, not only in the world, the environment, and the animal kingdom, but in my own life and body as well. Start small. Educate yourself on what you're eating and where your "food" comes from. Check out Go Veg to get started.

11. Don't procrastinate.

The world awaits your gifts. We need your vision, your talent, your perspective, your ideas. I guarantee you, depression is inevitable if you don't apply yourself. Reread number 1.

12. Be of service.

Adopt a pet, or a child. Volunteer. In the least, smile and say hello to those you pass along your way. If there is no love or joy in your life it can only be because you are not giving love or joy.

All of these keys have one thing in common: they are challenging. In this world of complacency and complicity, we have gotten lazy. And it shows. I understand the pull towards indolence, I fight it on a daily basis, but it is a battle that must be fought. It is only through challenging ourselves that we heal, that the world become a better place, and that we achieve greater things. If not you, who? You are the who we are waiting for.


The Quiet Mind

 

In quietness are all things answered, and is every problem quietly resolved. - A Course in Miracles

I have heard it said that prayer is asking for help and meditation is receiving the answer. If that’s the case, we are much better askers than listeners. Everybody has prayed, but few listen. That, however, is beginning to change. Meditation—the process of stilling the mind—has busted out of the closet it’s been hiding in for the last thirty years.

As far as I can tell, its rise in popularity is due to three things.

1. Information. Scientific studies “proving” the benefits of meditation with respect to our physical, mental, and emotional wellbeing are making their way into mainstream media. Transcendental Meditation, for instance, is the most widely practiced and scientifically studied form of meditation with over 600 studies to date.

2. Desperation. I’ve always thought desperation was highly underrated. It has been a driving force for drastic change in my life on more than one occasion. When we’re desperate, we are willing to try just about anything to surmount our problems—whether it be stress, illness, or general life malaise.

3. Increased awareness. There is a rise in the collective unconscious moving toward all things spiritual. In other words, meditation is trendy. We can only hope it’s a trend that sticks. After all, it was in vogue in the 60’s and 70’s but definitely kooky through the 80’s and 90’s.

We see and hear about meditation everywhere now, not just in spiritual circles. Television commercials are even jumping on the bandwagon. I recently saw a commercial for yogurt that featured a woman sitting in the lotus position immersed in meditation. You mean if I spend money on eating dairy I’ll start meditating and become enlightened? Oh, don’t get me started….

Some medical doctors now prescribe meditation for their patients, and Fortune 500 companies offer meditation respite programs for their employees, even professional sports teams are participating in various techniques. These corporations and athletes may not be looking for peace as much as to cure ailments, produce happier employees, make larger profits or secure wins, but whatever the case, they have learned what the wisest among us have known for centuries—meditation makes us better.

When I was initiated into the Transcendental Meditation program, meditation was not commonplace. I learned the technique, but I wasn’t quite sure why I was doing it. I was only seven. I did know two things. 1. It somehow felt meaningful and 2. My family were the only meditators on the block—maybe even the whole city. Meditation embarrassed me. I told my friends it was just about “relaxing.”

Meditation is about relaxing, but it is much more than that. In quietness, we reconnect with our Source. Call that God, truth, love, universal consciousness, or your higher self--it doesn’t matter.

But in those moments something magical happens. We transform.

Quieting the mind redirects our worldly focus within. Through this process, we reach deep levels of heightened awareness. The attainment of this awareness is very important because it reminds us of what is true. Truth is not found in the world. Truth is within. The world gives us a false identity; we look within when we want to know what is real.

In those moments, we break free from the onerous chains of false ideas imposed upon us by ourselves, others, and society. The more we are reminded of that truth, the more freely we demonstrate it in the world. We become different; as a result, our life becomes different.

David Lynch is a good example. You know, the enigmatic filmmaker of Twin Peaks fame and movies like Blue Velvet and Mulholland Drive. He’s different, for sure. And his creativity is beyond. Mr. Lynch has been practicing Transcendental Meditation for over thirty years. We get an insightful glimpse into his world through his short and immensely enjoyable book Catching the Big Fish: Meditation, Consciousness and Creativity.

As he says, meditation is the key to life, peace, and creativity.

I don’t believe we can achieve anything truly innovative, interesting, creative, lasting, worthwhile, or meaningful without first going within. In stillness, our mind expands. We tap in to a well of infinite possibilities, and we listen. Everything is realigned, giving us a proper perspective. When we come back to this world, we can’t help but make better choices because we are in our right mind. And by the way, meditation as I speak of it here is only one way to accomplish that.

Although we access what I like to think of as our natural state in meditation, it doesn’t come easily. First, you have to want it, and not many do. Second, you must place the quest for truth above all else, and only a few are willing. Third, it takes practice, which nobody has time for.

Stilling your mind feels counter-intuitive. We are taught to go out and make it happen. Take the bull by its horns. Be the fastest, the quickest. Get up and get going. The world doesn’t teach us to stop and meditate. This world is a world of ego, and the ego’s edict is Seek and do not find. It’s the opposite of truth’s motto: Go within and find.

If you are looking to quiet your mind, here are a few tips I've learned over the years. By the way, these tips are based on a mantra (word) style meditation, which I find to be the easiest.

  • Pick a time when you will not be disturbed and turn off the phone.
  • Find a comfortable place to sit. Always sit up. Otherwise, you will fall asleep.
  • Take a few deep breaths and with each exhale sink deeper down into relaxation.
  • After a minute or so, introduce a mantra or word such as “peace” “love” or the universal mantra“om.” (“Amen” is actually a mantra as well.)
  • Repeat the mantra in a friendly, relaxed way. Other thoughts will interfere, that’s fine. That's just what your ego and your conscious mind does. Don’t fight them, don’t favor them, don’t try to ignore them, don’t hope they go away, don’t get frustrated, don’t judge yourself, be with the thought, and then when you're ready, gently bring your mind back to repeating your chosen mantra-word.
  • When you get antsy and want to open your eyes, hang on and meditate for another minute or two. I find that’s when I go the deepest.
  • When you’re ready to stop, gently bring yourself back into the room.

Your smallest attempts will change you. Every effort is meaningful. Try at first to meditate for just five minutes a day. A Course in Miracles tells us that five minutes of a stilled mind will save you thousands of years. Begin there. Then extend that practice to as much as twenty minutes.

I think it’s better to be consistent for a shorter amount of time—five minutes every day—rather than longer durations less frequently, like twenty minutes twice a week.

And then forget about it until the next meditation. Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, the founder, along with Guru Dev, of Transcendental Meditation, says meditating is like taking a bath. When you take a shower in the morning you don’t keep thinking about the shower throughout the day. You have done it, you’re clean, now you are free to move forward and focus on other things.

Stilling your mind can be frustrating at first. The ego will constantly interfere, proclaiming your efforts a waste of time. The ego thrives on chaos because it disappears in peace. Meditation means death to the ego. And the ego will do anything to stay alive. When you make any attempt to loosen its stranglehold, it will offer all kinds of distractions. Taking out the trash becomes all-important. Do not be discouraged. Starting anything new is difficult at first. Quieting the mind is no different. It’s like building a muscle that has atrophied.

With time, you will see and feel the results. With consistency, meditation moves from being a chore to a gift you give yourself.

The problem is not one of concentration; it is the belief that no one, including yourself is worth consistent effort.
--A Course in Miracles.