Body Mind Spirit

This category includes Health and Fitness.

The 5-minute Meditator

I have finished a book written by Eric Harrison and titled The 5-minute Meditator, I like it a lot. It is the perfect book for people who ‘have no time to meditate’. The book has about a dozen ‘spot meditations’ lasting from half a minute to five minutes. Short meditations are just as effective as long ones, that suits me perfect since it is easier for me to do several short meditations than a long one.

Meditation is about choosing where you direct your attention. If you focus on something that is simple and sensual, you relax.

The basic instructions are: focus on the sensations of the present – sight, sound, taste or touch – and let your thoughts pass by in the background.

Eric writes that just a few minutes of deep breathing each day can make a difference to our well-being. I do a simple practice of three deep breaths that works very well for me.

You do not have to make yourself relax. You just stand back and let it happen. Meditation is the art of doing nothing. Your body and mind will naturally settle if you give them half a chance. The less you try to do, the better it works!

That sounds easy but it takes practice before it works. Eric says this about staying present:

To stay in the present, focus on one thing in the present. We call this the meditation object. It is your anchor, it is what you persuade your mind to return to when it wanders away.

One thing to focus on is our breath, easy and always available. Eric mentions that a visual object can be much easier to focus on than the breath so your mind is less inclined to wander. The choice is yours, pick an object that is available and do a short meditation.

I work as a coach and I use a short meditation before sessions to unwind, relax and become focused on the session to come. It helps me become more present.

This was originally posted at another (now extinct) blog of mine.

Spirituality made simple

Over at Pick the Brain is an interesting post about Spirituality for Dummies. I fully agree that spirituality does not have to be religious.

Having spirituality simply means believing in something greater than yourself. It can be incredibly powerful to have a sense of spirituality in your life, and very often it can haul you through the difficult times in your pursuit for success, happiness, and fulfillment.

David B. Bohl lists three ways to find your spirituality: going to church, commune with nature and meditate. Nature and meditation works for me, religion does not. I can visit a church as place of peace and calm or because of architecture but religion is not for me.

I work as a coach and agree to the importance of harmony in life as a foundation for achieving other things.

Spiritual and personal development should begin with the goal of creating a better work life balance, enabling you to achieve success in both your personal and professional lives.

This was originally posted at another (now extinct) blog of mine.

Ki, Chi, Qi

Ki kanji sign and logoWhen I started Key Coaching I picked the Kanji-character for Ki as my logo. It’s a beautiful sign. I’m interested in Eastern philosophies and I like the concept of life energy.

Qi, also chi or ki , is a fundamental concept of traditional Chinese culture. Qi is believed to be part of every living thing that exists, as a kind of “life force” or “spiritual energy”. It is frequently translated as “energy flow”, or literally as “air” or “breath”.
Text from Wikipedia.

Ki is an old japanese word which does not translate easily into English. It is used in many common Japanese idiomatic phrases where it conveys a meaning of spirit, energy, power, or air (gaseous). There is an old connection between spirit and breath (air) related to the Chinese word Chi (or Qi) and to the Hindu word Prana. This older meaning of Ki as being a term for the life force (breath) and natural power within us and within all things is how we use the term here.
This text is borrowed from Understanding Ki.

Chi (pronounced chee and also spelled qi or ch’i) is energy – the life giving, vital energy that unites body, mind and spirit. A concept that has its origins in early Chinese philosophy, chi has been likened to the yogic concept of prana and could also be thought of as life force.
This text is borrowed from Chi – The Fundamental Mystery and Miracle.

The Ki / Chi / Qi is part of names like Tai Chi and Qi Gong. Those are practices that involve the concept of life energy. Prana is a concept that’s included in yoga.

Meditation for Beginners

ZenHabits has a guest post titled Meditation for Beginners: 20 Practical Tips for Quieting the Mind.

Although a great number of people try meditation at some point in their lives, a small percentage actually stick with it for the long-term. This is unfortunate, and a possible reason is that many beginners do not begin with a mindset needed to make the practice sustainable.

I do meditations on an irregular basis but intend to be more consistent during 2008 and do it on a regular basis. That is where the post above comes in handy since it provides 20 practical recommendations to help beginners (and us that got stuck…) get past the initial hurdles and integrate meditation over the long term.

This was originally posted at another (now extinct) blog of mine.