Coffee Break? Or Meditation?

Coffee Break

Slow down…

Everything you are chasing will come around

And catch you.

~John De Paola
1

That second cup of coffee calls. I take an extra gulp of fresh air instead. Amazing how breathing can bring balance. We’ve all heard the statistics about meditation, right?

Meditation:

  • Reduces stress
  • Increases acceptance
  • Slows the aging process (Yes, please!)

Hitting the snooze button on our goals seems so counter-intuitive. Yet, the sacred moments taken to listen to our hearts pays off. The mind clears. Inspiration increases. The monkey mind stops chattering. All right, not completely sometimes. But meditation – concentrating on the breath – allows in an intention for peace. And miracles! Countless are the times, a divine idea warrior has vanquished the worrywart in my mind when I surrendered to meditation.

Practice, practice, practice may get you into Carnegie Hall. Repeating mantras like Ani-Hu2 may, however, get you into Heaven! As a beginner, sitting for 15 minutes was excruciating. (Bravo if you are a longtime meditation student and this was not your experience. Maybe you’re a saint.) Meditation is a lifeline to sanity.

Nature is another soother of frayed nerves. Studies at University of Michigan found a stroll with Mother Nature improves short-term memory. Japanese scientists discovered that forest bathing (shinrin-yoku) brings stress levels down and boosts the immune system.

Angelenos may not always have the luxury to run away to Walden Pond (like Henry David Thoreau.) A mini escape is possible. In the heart of the City of Angels, we have Peace Awareness Labyrinth & Gardens. Fountains sing serenity, butterflies kiss flowers in towering bamboo groves. On Tuesday evenings, the Italian Renaissance Villa on the property plays host to events such as an Introduction to Sound & Meditation and  Sacred Mysteries of the Labyrinth.

Put the coffee down. Give yourself a real break.

~Kim Watkinson

 

1.      John-Roger, D.S.S., Kaye, Paul, D.S.S. (2010) Living the Spiritual Principles of Health and Well-Being, Los Angeles, CA, Mandeville Press

2.      Ani is a tone of empathy. Hu is the ancient Sanskrit name for God.

 

Sources:

Huffington Post

8 Ways Meditation Can Improve Your Life

Quartz Media LLC

The Japanese Practice of “Forest Bathing” is Scientifically Proven to Improve Your Health

Business Insider

11 Scientific Reasons You Should Be Spending More Time Outdoors