The relaxation and meditation that I [Cynthia Alves] teach through these Lifepower pages and my courses arises from over thirty years of practice, study, and experience. The practices and skills that I have cultivated through my life have been so utterly helpful and wonderful that I want to encourage and guide you. As in my other fields of Lifepower, for relaxation and meditation I promote: simple, safe, easy, inexpensive, and why not fun too! (about 1900 words)
While not bound to any particular school, sect, religion or single tradition, my approach is inclusive of and embraces teachings and techniques both traditional and contemporary - all to help us to relax into consciously knowing and living our creative mind, the love of our being. We generate wellness our own and global, as awareness expands into unity perception, which in turn grows our abilities to truly help others. Whatever age, background and life situation, Lifepower relaxation and meditation bring great treasures for all. Through these times of rapidly increasing uncertainty, change and pressure, meditation is a universal way of health and balance.
The Bottom Line / Why be bothered to meditate? / Lifepower Cards / What do I mean by 'meditation'? / Unpicking misconceptions / My background story / What's to be gained, common benefits / Earth's health is our health / Levels of practice: For daily 'treading water', for deep 'system' changes / Lifepower Meditation courses
"Manage your unconscious consciously, or your unconscious will manage you!" William Bloom
The Bottom Line Meditation and relaxation, can be very simple, really, and we don't need to get too serious about it (though, by my nature, I tend to!). Its how we discover and use, first, the conscious mind, then go beyond to get to know the deeper essential being, the powerful, loving light of Being we all share. The techniques, skills and abilities aren't weird, just easily made to seem so perhaps because of unusual focus on what we mostly take for granted like breathing, and what's going on in thoughts and feelings.
Why be bothered to meditate? Our day-to-day well being and long term health depends much on our ability to relax - including releasing tension stored in the body, living with less resistance to life, 'having a breather', easing up from a whirlwind of activity of the body and mind!
To some extent, a lot of people just 'do it', easing and quietening for getting in touch with inner being, in all sorts of ways and times and routines. There's also another step that involves conscious intention, and using abilities we have far more efficiently, helpfully and profoundly. What I hope for from my offerings through Lifepower is that your sense of connection with your inner wisdom and guidance, and with all of life deepens. This expanded sense of self and knowledge of unity is vital to all other life and the health of Earth. (Why? Read Peter Russell's page about Synergy)
With a few basic, simple skills, a little time of regular practice, and integration into daily living, relaxation and meditation open inner doors to the wondrous mystery and beauty of life, which then radiates out through us and ripples into every daily moment. This is not just 'nice' and for personal comfort, it is the foundation needed for exercising our creative power of mind, healing a planet in crisis.
Lifepower Cards: support for walking our talk. Its easy and common to know in a general way what can help us. Yet when the crunch of a tough day, or difficult situation, or turbulent 'going through' time comes along, do we remember? Or, we think about 'it' but we don't do. To guide and support integrating meditation practices and skills, I have created a set of cards for inspiration and practice. We so easily tense up against life, fearful, guilty, burdened, trying to hold the reins tight, and so on. Designed to help us remember and use our treasures throughout the day, "Relaxing Into Life' cards also include other Lifepower insights and pointers to help us into more ease, trust, being, living with the 'downstream' flow. Part of the integration key is forming strong positive habits of our skills and knowledge, so they become virtually automatic when we need them the most.
What do I mean by 'meditation'? Although meditation is still not yet generally well understood in Western societies, it is seeping into mainstream lifestyle, especially through the rise of 'stress therapies'. Common jargon indicates it has at least got its toe in the mass-consciousness water. Yet 'meditation' is such a wide-use blanket term, it does foster misunderstanding and confusion. For Lifepower purposes, I usually am referring to simple daily practices suitable for anyone such as breathing, pausing and presence, focus and non-judgemental observation, and ability to relax and let go / surrender, and exercise compassion and gratitude. These are basic life skills that give us a foundation for all other forms and kinds of 'meditation', plus nourishing all areas of our living.
To many people, 'meditation' means using the mind to follow a guided visualization, of which there are many excellent recordings. However, first, I aim to help anyone to be able, without needing aids or props, to use the power of their own simple skills anytime, anywhere. Second, most of the relaxation and meditation skills I teach involve relaxing and quietening, rather than using or stimulating the mind.
My own daily meditation practice, as important a part of my basic care as food and sleep, brings me the nourishment of quiet mind, inner listening, and the fruits of observing and exploring mind / awareness, and drawing effortlessly from a deeper source of life energy and guidance. At best perhaps, it is a time to just BE - not necessarily so easy as it sounds, though every moment of 'being' is richly rewarding.
To explore the power and glory of our mind and inner essence, while requiring regular attention, can be simple and easy:
My background story My beginning moment was during my first student year in Brighton. I was sitting with my friend Michael on a park bench in front of Brighton Pavilion. Probably talking about my woes. He said, "You need to learn Transcendental Meditation."
There was a TM centre in Brighton and somehow I scraped together the money and began. Many years later I found out that the writer-teacher I had started secretarial work for was one of the key people in getting TM going for students in England.
I'm not part of a TM movement or group. Through the years since I came to learn and practice a lot more about the basics of classic meditation. What I'm talking about and teaching through LIfepower are basic, simple and easy means that I have found help me be more relaxed and alive in life. And to explore my mind and being, and access experiences of inner peace more frequently. It helps my body too you can find lots of online info about stress / relaxation and physiology. My Meditation Resources gives details of important influences, and what I continue to find supportive and instructive.
What's to be gained: Helping me, healing earth Meditation gives even more than personal gratification and comfort! What is in our mind does effect everyone else and what happens in the world, as well as the individual body and experiences. However, I will be honest about human motivation: with rare exception, we do need to feel assured that something will benefit ourselves (including the 'buzz' and satisfaction of helping others).
Relaxation and meditation certainly does have a long and well-researched track record of a wide range of benefits. Which is great news, because so very much now depends on our increasing ability to relax into life, from the well being of home to international communities, to planetary healing and well being. Here's a list of a few of the common benefits.
If mental and emotional self-flagellation are your current keys to motivation (including should, ought, must, duty, fear-if-not, guilt etc), give yourself a break! Yes, fears and guilt can be motivators, yet they are poisonous means - toxic to your body, relationships and the fabric of life around you. Meditation helps us to find and cultivate a deeper, healthier wave of motivation we can ride.
All in all, I am astounded that so little about meditation is generally talked about or understood in our society; and that basic meditation practices are not offered as part of every school's syllabus. To me its as basic to health and creativity as air, water, food and exercise.
Earth's health is our health Expanding awareness beyond human-centered concerns, we come to see that our well being depends on Nature's health. We learn how to turn the attentions and creative power of our meditation skills and fruits toward the benefit of Earth, the living, awakening planet, and all her forms of life, to the healing of our environments, local and global. Answers to a world in crisis begin from within, from changes in the mind that has given rise to inclusive, loving values and perceptions leading past human greed, ignorance and cruelty. Meditation becomes the place and platform for a change of heart, the evolution of mind, where we find the wholesome ground from which truly creative action arises. Power becomes exercised in balance and consciously attuned to the web of ecology.
Levels: 'treading water', or deep 'system' changes On my Lifepower Meditation Courses page I talk about two levels that I find in relaxation and meditation. They aren't always, or perhaps even actually, distinct. Yet to talk about what I've observed, and to help others to learn, I separate them out. In short, on one level, we can use our skills and practices to help us maintain daily health and release daily stresses. On a deeper level, its like getting into the operating systems that generates what we experience. Attend at this level, and we develop a less stressful, lower maintenance life. With 'level one' practices and intention we don't generally change anything fundamental.
The deeper level of consciousness or wider awareness is also a doorway into unity awareness, because the mind we are taking care of, though individual in its outlook or 'window onto life', is of the same root as everyone's mind. Once this is known and experienced, I can see that what I am is also part of and connected with the same consciousness as every other being and particle of life.
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