Everything you are chasing will come around
And catch you.
~John De Paola1
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?
- 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.
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.
8 Ways Meditation Can Improve Your Life
The Japanese Practice of “Forest Bathing” is Scientifically Proven to Improve Your Health
11 Scientific Reasons You Should Be Spending More Time Outdoors