Discovering your life purpose, your destiny, is not a destination. It is a lifelong journey. In this workshop we will explore, discuss and experience: The Universal Laws of Cause and Effect, Free Will And Karma · Guided Meditations and Past Life Explorations • Meet The Angel of Destiny and discover your true mission in life • Projection Into Future Lives. No experience required.
For more information contact Judy at 727-391-6321
By Judy Kovatch, eRYT, Certified Hypnotist
What is convenient, cost-effective, has no side effects and helps prevent heart disease? Many physicians now prescribe a daily dose of meditation. A growing body of scientific evidence confirms this ancient practice is good for the heart as well as the mind. Mainstream American medical journals have even published articles stating meditation can reduce the risk factors of heart disease.
Some people think meditation is an exotic, eccentric activity. In fact, meditation is completely normal. It is the mindful quality present in everything we do. Meditation is looking inward, looking at what we really have and discovering the richness that already exists.
The Beatles popularized a style of meditation, Transcendental Meditation, in the 1970’s. In the past 30 years, over 500 studies worldwide have investigated the effect of Transcendental Meditation (TM) on human beings. Conducted by 210 different universities and research institutions in 27 countries the articles have appeared in over 100 scientific journals.
These studies reveal meditation can help increase intelligence, improve memory, reduce chronic pain and promote cardiovascular health.
A study supported by a grant of the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute shows that the stress reduction achieved through Transcendental Meditation may reduce atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) and the risk of heart attack and stroke. The findings were published in the March 2000 issue of the American Heart Association journal Stroke.
According to the research team from UCLA and Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science in Los Angeles, this is the first controlled study to suggest that stress reduction by itself can reduce the amount of fatty deposits in the arteries without changes in diet and exercise.
"The finding that the disease process in the arteries can be reduced though the TM program may have vast implications for the current management of cardio-vascular disease and health care costs" says Amparo Castillo-Richmond, M.D., lead author of the study.
In 1996 the American Heart Association journal Hypertension published the results of another study, which showed TM was effective in reducing blood pressure in people with high levels of stress and multiple risk factors for high blood pressure.
At the time the article was published, the AHA press release recommended, "People with high blood pressure may want to medicate and meditate." AHA spokesman, cardiologist Dr. Richard Stein adds that people whose blood pressure is just beginning to rise into the danger zone might be able to avoid going on medication by practicing TM. "That’s good news for people who can’t tolerate side effects, like drowsiness that come with some medications. There’s no downside to relaxation techniques."
The National Institute of Health thinks the TM findings are interesting enough to merit a grant of 7.5 million dollars.
What exactly is Meditation?
Based in the desire of discovering who and what we are, meditation practice falls into two basic categories:
1. Transcendental Meditation (TM) is also known as "One-pointed" meditation
In the TM method, attention is focused on one thing. Anything else that comes into the mind is seen as a distraction to be ignored. This practice gives rise to deep states of calmness and control of awareness. The practice of TM requires no adherence to any religious philosophy. It’s simple, requires no special equipment and doesn’t consume a lot of time.
Twice a day TM practitioners find a quiet place, sit comfortably and focus their minds on a single word or mantra (a special sound or phrase repeated silently to yourself). For 15 to 20 minutes, they enter a state of conscious relaxation often described as "restful alertness". An example of a mantra would be repeating the words "I am peace….I am peace….I have always been peace… Peace is all that exists."
Details about the scientific studies and the TM practice can be found at the official TM website www.tm.org.
2. Mindfulness Meditation
Mindfulness meditation, known as contemplation or insight meditation is the other major classification of meditation. Mindfulness begins by using the "one-pointed" approach to cultivate inner calmness and strength. It then moves on to a wider scope of self-examination. When thoughts or feelings come up they’re not ignored or suppressed, nor are they judged or analyzed. You simply note and observe them moment-by-moment.
You sit quietly with eyes fully open, half open or slightly open. Some variations call for a special attention to the breathing process, which helps deepen the concentration.
For more information about this type of meditation, you can read How to Meditate an article by Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche available online at www.shambhala.org.
All meditation training will be variations of the two basic categories. Meditation may be taught alone or in conjunction with yoga or martial arts programs. There are many meditation methods and classes available, so it’s best to shop around and seek out the one that’s right for you. For a free online meditation course check out Natural Meditation Initiatives. They present meditation in a culturally neutral format and offer a free self-paced Internet course in meditation. http://natural-meditation.org/
Some points to consider:
- Meditation is an escape to reality, not from reality. Avoid any guru or group that asks you to deny truth.
- Avoid complicated philosophies that require strict absolute rules of behavior
- You don’t need a special diet or fasting or celibacy to meditate properly.
- Don’t make meditation a competition with yourself or others
- Don’t limit yourself to just one teacher. Use teachers as a temporary tool based on science and fact, not on myth and tradition.
- Be patient, persistent and kind to yourself. Meditation takes practice and attention. At first you’ll find it hard to quiet your mind and turn off the inner voice I call "The Babbler".
The author, Judy Kovatch, RYT has 25 years experience with yoga and meditation. Educated in yoga at the Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health in Lenox MA, Judy is a certified teacher of Integrative Yoga Therapy, a program that views yoga as means to achieve total wellness of body, mind and spirit.
American Heart Association
Maharishi University of Management Press Release March 3, 2000 regarding the article in the AHA journal Stroke
Official TM website
Stress Reduction Clinic UMMC
What is karma and what does it have to do with me?
Karma means cause and effect, action and reaction. We reap what we sow, creating our future by our actions. This means past-life relationships, decisions, talents, and events all have an impact on the present life.
Why explore past lives?
Past life recall makes it easier to understand difficult events and mysteries about your current life. Example: you’re overweight and can’t stop overeating. During a past-life regression you discover you starved to death in a former life, which gives you insight about why you feel compelled to overeat now.
Can I change my karma?
It’s up to you. Once we’re aware of issues that block our happiness, we have the free will to decide to change. Many emotional problems and conflicts are resolved by past life recall when we discover and release old beliefs and behaviors that are no longer beneficial.
What happens during the workshop?
First a lecture, discussion and time for questions. Then using meditation and guided imagery the group will gently be guided into a focused, restful state. In your own mind’s eye, you’ll explore several past lifetimes, bringing the memories into your conscious awareness. You’ll learn the purpose of each lifetime, the lessons learned, decisions made and examine them from a higher, spiritual perspective, with emphasis on how they relates to the present life. At the end of each exploration you’ll have time to write in your notebook. Sharing is optional.
Is the workshop right for me?
This workshop is not suitable if this concept contradicts strongly held beliefs or for those who have unresolved or are in therapy for severe traumatic events in this life.
Can I prove my past lives really existed?
Trying to prove past lives through logic is like trying to prove that we dream each night. Some dreams are very real and yet we cannot “prove” that we ever had them! As my teacher Dick Sutphen used to say “It’s absolutely true unless it’s not!” What really matters is if the past life information received helps you in this life.
Can everyone recall a past life?
Any intelligent person with the ability to concentrate can recall a past-life. Most people will recover past life information without difficulty. Rarely past lives are not remembered. Instead, a memory from early childhood related to the issue or current life situations are brought to the surface.
How do I prepare?
Approach with an open mind, not expecting anything in particular. If you “just know” you were once the Queen of Egypt, this notion might get in the way of more relevant past life memories. Use the workshop questionnaire to help define specific issues you wish to explore.