Friday, March 24, 2023

Five common mistakes made in Meditation


5 Common Mistakes Made in Meditation

The word meditation means different things to different people. That said, I would say most commonly it is a period of time that a person sets aside each day to de-stress or bring more peace into their life. Different meditation techniques use different methods to accomplish this goal. To get the most out of your time of practice, here are some things to consider.
  1.  Are you trying to create a mood? Often, we may believe that when we meditate, we should feel a certain feeling. I know I did when I first began to meditate. I would stay seated each morning until I got to that “mood” that I interpreted to be “peace.”  By mid-morning at work, I could feel myself losing it and this was a major source of stress in my life. Evaluating our meditation by the mood or feeling we get from it gives a false sense of security. Feelings come and feelings go. An appropriate mediation tool will take us deeper than the feeling so that no matter what we feel at the emotional level, there is something deeper that is solid within us that will be there when “the going gets tough.”
  2. Are you attempting to hold back all your thoughts and blank out your mind? Thoughts are a natural part of life. Attempting to “not think” actually raises the physiological rate and creates additional stress on your nervous system. A good meditation tool will take you beyond the thinking mind.
  3. Are you using music or aromatherapy for your meditation? While this can give some amount of pleasure and bring a good feeling, one of the most beneficial things that an appropriate tool can give is a rest to your senses. We run our nervous system and our senses at an exceedingly high rate in our society, which is like running a motor 24/7. By bringing the mind inward and allowing your five “outer” senses to rest, your “inner” senses begin to develop and strengthen.
  4. Do you skip your meditation times? We may feel that I’m too ______ (fill in the blank with distracted, busy, tired, etc.). However, these are all good times to meditate. Having a regular time to meditate is a good idea. Using your tool during the highs and lows and in-betweens will assist you in finding what is consistent and True within all of these experiences. If you are frequently “skipping” your meditation time, maybe it is time to consider learning a new meditation.
  5. Do you have support in your practice? It is wise to learn a practice from a teacher who is trained and qualified to teach meditation. Then, every so often, meet with the teacher to review. If you try to learn from a book or from some untrained person, how do you know if you are getting the most out of your practice?
Having taught meditation for over 20 years, the most common error made by the newbie is applying too much effort…. usually one of the above, or a modification of it. Getting feedback from the teacher, one will begin to allow more easily rather than effort in their practice.   If the purpose of meditation is to take you to the Truth of Who You Are, shouldn’t it be simple? And it should not require effort.

If you are seeking a teacher to learn a simple practice, please check out my course schedule, or contact me.  I would love to assist you in finding a course. If you are looking for a new practice, Ishayas' Ascension is extremely simple and effective and can be done anywhere, anytime, by anyone.  

Friday, March 17, 2023

What is Ascension and What is Ishayas' Ascension?

 Ascension vs 

The Art of Ascension as Taught by the Ishayas

This article will give an overview of what we mean by “ascension” in general as well as what Ishayas’ Ascension or Ishayas’ Meditation is. The name “ascension” has been used for many things and some have assumed it means leaving the body in order to go to heaven. Just to be clear, for our purposes, it has nothing to do with leaving the body, but rather bringing greater awareness while in this body.

Ascension is a process where the mind is expanded into greater awareness of Reality or Truth. The goal of Ascension is to know who we are from direct experience [as opposed to an intellectual concept or belief that comes from someone else], and to live from that experience, in absolute freedom.

Ascension occurs in all cultures, naturally, as it is the ultimate desire of all humans. In the west, it may be called the journey to Atonement or seeking the Kingdom of God. In the east, it might be called the process leading to Nirvana or Enlightenment.

The natural process of ascension can move more swiftly or slowly depending on choices made in life. Ascension happens when one lets go of old patterns or beliefs and expands boundaries.

The level of stress in one’s nervous system slows ascension far more than anything else. While we may believe that stress is normal, it is all a matter of perspective and belief. For example, if a child’s tire falls off their toy car, that is normally not a big deal for the parent. However, if you have a flat tire and are late for an appointment, that may seem like a different example. But is it? Or could it be just the thoughts and beliefs about life that created that stress? Worry and fear are not natural, they are artifi­cially learned and main­tained by age old beliefs and judgments about life.

The Art of Ascension as taught by the Ishayas is an ancient Teaching that offers a simple path to higher consciousness by simultaneously expanding the mind and heart. It is a series of techniques to retrain the mind away from limiting and repetitive thoughts and beliefs, in other words, it erases stress from the nervous system.

Ishayas’ Ascension is an extremely simple and fast way to move into higher consciousness through a direct experience of the Source within. Writing, reading, or listening to lectures does not expand conscious­ness; expansion happens only through direct, personal experi­ence.

Ishayas’ Ascension can be done at any time with the eyes closed or with the eyes open. The eyes closed meditative experience erases stress much more quickly than it took to adopt the stress. The eyes open practice, used throughout what could be a stressful workday, keeps stress from lodging in the nervous system.

MSI said in his book, Ascension! An Analysis of the Art of Ascension as taught by the Ishayas,

With the Art of Ascension, the wisdom needed to tread the path to enlightenment naturally develops on the basis of increasing charm of experience. Individual life starts changing more and more quickly as the stress in the nervous system decreases; all the requisite conditions for growth are met as the various part of our personality start cooperating with us. This process is natural and effortless and results in dramatic transformation of every area of human concern.”

Wednesday, March 8, 2023

Observing and Expanding Awareness


Observing and Expanding  Awareness

Attention is a limited resource.  

Billions of bits of data are available in every moment, but we have the ability to attend to a small fraction.  Your brain is designed to present data to you that it believes is important to you.  So if you believe you are unlovable, it will heighten your awareness to information that lends proof of your unlovability and ignores data that shows the love that is in your life.

As the expression ‘paying attention’ suggests, you have a limited supply of cognitive currency.  
Rick Hanson, who wrote Buddha Brain, said “Attention is like a combination spotlight and vacuum cleaner: it illuminates what it rests upon and then sucks it into your brain – and your self.” He also made the statement “the mind is Teflon for positive experience and Velcro for negative experience.”

Barbara Fredrickson, a psychologist at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, found that 
paying attention to positive emotions literally expands your world, while focusing on negative emotions shrinks it — a fact that has important implications for your daily experience.

The ability to manage your attention is a skill called Self-Regulation and governs your ability to make decisions, plan, and function; it ultimately determines your well-being. What if we actually paid our attention? Rather than getting sucked into a self-defeating thought, we have the ability to redirect the mind quickly to a more productive thought.

new study out of Princeton University showed that students who constantly checked on their own levels of attention performed with fewer mistakes and were better at focusing. By checking on their attention, their skill level increased. This proved that our brains possess attentional plasticity — or the ability to improve focus when checked on. 

As the great psychologist, William James, wrote over a century ago: “The education of attention would be the education par excellence.”  
Studies have shown that meditation improves attention regulation. Other studies
 indicate that improved self-regulation reduces stress and improves the immune system. 
In the Art of Ascension as taught by the Ishayas, we teach simple tools or “seed thoughts” to expand the mind.  They can be used anytime, anywhere, by anybody.  By easily introducing these simple “seed thoughts” based on Praise, Gratitude, Love, and Compassion into your life, your mind and perception becomes attuned to these upward spirals and charms the mind into wanting more.  Just by utilizing the practice, your neurons are attracted to more praise, gratitude, love and compassion. 

As part of the practice of Ascension, you learn to observe your attention without judgement.  Our awareness is actually infinite. We know that what we focus on grows.  So, if we become aware of our own awareness, expansion is the result. The more we use the practice of Ascension, the old boundaries and self-limitations begin to fall away.  These simple tools can be used to reduce stress, but they can also be used to find unlimited freedom and unconditional love by attending to our attention and expanding awareness.