meditation

Is Meaninglessness a Malaise of our Times?

A lack of meaning might be called a malaise of our times. When we encounter challenges in life, often we discover that we can’t find a center, a way to cope. What is it all about?

Studies measuring meaning and purpose in life have found that meaning in life mediates uncontrollable stress and substance abuse, depression, anxiety and self-derogation, among others. This meaning or deepest human value, this WHY, points us to reach beyond ourselves, to enrich our lives, and to unfold a deep fulfillment in our work and personal lives.

About The Program – Calming the Storm

This program offers daily ways for you to overcome difficult situations, to help you to find the WHY that will energize and animate your life. In finding your own WHY, in discovering your meaning and your purpose, your pain will be lessened. You will discover ways to unfold meaning, as well as a personal calling through tasks that you can fulfill, relationships that you can strengthen and enrich, and attitudes that you can develop and cultivate.

This practical, inspiring, and potentially life-changing program will take you step by step through a process towards a more fulfilled and enriched working and personal life.

Calming the Storm ~ 30-Day Program

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I am delighted to announce my new partnership with Avanoo Avanoo (pronounced “Avenue”) comes from the words Ava, which is Finnish for “Open”, and Noo, which is Old English for “now”. So Avanoo means being open to all of your potential right now! It is also a road we travel as we move forward in life.

In 3 minutes a day, Avanoo offers dozens of personalized 30-day programs ranging from Happiness to Productivity from renowned experts on those topics.

The 30-day program has been launched on 19-11-2015 called: Calming the Storm: How Discovering Meaning can Change your Life.

See the link below for three previews. I would like to thank the amazing team for all the hard work in bringing this to fruition: Sara Dickinson, Daniel Jacobs, Prosper Nwankpa, Morgan Stanfield, Laura Forman, Jason Waldron and everyone who worked on the program.

Introduction

A lack of meaning might be called a malaise of our times. When we encounter challenges in life, oftenwe discover that we can’t find a center, a way to cope. What is it all about?

Studies measuring meaning and purpose in life have found that meaning in life mediates uncontrollable stress and substance abuse, depression, anxiety and self-derogation, among others. This meaning or deepest human value, this WHY, points us to reach beyond ourselves, to enrich our lives, and to unfold a deep fulfillment in our work and personal lives.

Calming the Storm

What’s Inside

Day 1.
This Too Shall Pass
Day 2.
Finding Something to Live For Is Critical
Day 3.
The Question of Meaning in Life
Day 4.
Love Can Come to the Rescue
Day 5.
Putting Your Focus on a Project
Day 6.
The Power of Your Mindset
Day 7.
Finding Meaning from Suffering
Day 8.
Turn Suffering into a Challenge
Day 9.
Is Fear Holding You Back from Your Calling?
Day 10.
Learning Self-Compassion
Day 11.
Suffering Can Be an Inspiration
Day 12.
Appreciating Life Right Now
Day 13.
Your Watershed Moment
Day 14.
We Are Whole as We Are. We Are All Right
Day 15.
The Call That Beckons Us to Find Our Destiny
Day 16.
Filling Our Unique Life Space
Day 17.
What Is Your Choice of Response?
Day 18.
Finding Something to Live For
Day 19.
Life Questions and Light in the Darkness
Day 20.
The Experience of Love: “The Salvation of Man”
Day 21.
Are You Your Own Best Friend?
Day 22.
Is It Ever Okay to Give Up Hope?
Day 23.
Going with the Flow
Day 24.
Good News! You Do Not Have the Heart of a Mouse
Day 25.
It’s Time for Self Transcendence
Day 26.
Igniting Humor
Day 27.
Access a Power That Is Uniquely Human
Day 28.
Relieve Your Loved Ones from Suffering
Day 29.
Do the One Thing That You Know in Your Heart Is Right
Day 30.
“I Broke My Neck, It Didn’t Break Me”
Photo by Carol Knox.

Song of Reminding Oneself – Bardo Song

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Here is an amazing song about the states of the Bardo, that I came across today, I just love it. It is about life and death. It reminds us to use everyday situations and experiences to improve and liberate our minds. I highly recommend the Tibetan Book of the Dead.

“Tibetan buddhism refers to the six Bardo’s as transitional states; the bardo of this lifetime, the bardo of dreaming, the bardo of meditation, the bardo of dying, the bardo of dharmata, and the bardo of becoming.” See VajraSound

This is also beautifully expressed at Levekunst where you can read the transcript of the audio.

Picture of spring flowers taken just outside of Porterville West Coast Cape Town September 2015.

Mindfulness ~ “…paying attention, on purpose, in the present moment – non-judgmentally” ~ Jon Kabat-Zinn

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The Mindfulness Workshop will focus on mindfulness of breathing and mindfulness of the body. Awareness of the breath and awareness of the body. Mindfulness is about paying attention. In the words of Jon Kabat-Zinn: “…it’s about being where you are and knowing it.” He said, mindfulness is the awareness that arises through “…paying attention on purpose in the present moment — non-judgmentally.”

See Facebook Event: https://www.facebook.com/events/1623709181248986/

Photo taken by Carol Knox.

Befriending Your Mind: Cape Town Mindfulness Meditation

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Announcing our first Meetup and Workshop: Befriending Your Mind: Mindfulness Training in the Cape Peninsula, South Africa. Learn Mindfulness Meditation. Book here:

Learn Mindfulness Meditation

Saturday, May 30, 2015, 1:00 PM

Location details are available to members only.

1 M&M’s (Mountain Meditators) Attending

Announcing our first Meetup and Workshop: Befriending Your Mind: Mindfulness Training in the Cape Peninsula, South Africa. Why Practice Mindfulness?Studies have shown that practicing mindfulness, even for a short while, say a few weeks, can bring a variety of physical, psychological, and social benefits. Here are some of these benefits, which e…

Check out this Meetup →

Why Practice Mindfulness?

Studies have shown that practicing mindfulness, even for a short while, say a few weeks, can bring a variety of physical, psychological, and social benefits. Here are some of these benefits, which extend across many different settings:

Mindfulness is good for our bodies: A seminal study found that, after just eight weeks of training, practicing mindfulness meditation boosts our immune system’s ability to fight off illness.

Mindfulness is good for our minds: Studies have found that mindfulness increases positive emotions, while reducing negative emotions and stress (pdf).

“Mindfulness changes our brains: Research has found that it increases density of grey matter in brain regions linked to learning, memory, emotion regulation, and empathy”.

Mindfulness helps us to focus: Studies suggest that mindfulness helps us tune out distractions and improves our memory and attention skills.

Mindfulness very importantly fosters compassion and altruism: Research suggests mindfulness training makes us more likely to help someone in need and increases activity in neural networks involved in understanding the suffering of others and regulating emotions. Evidence suggests it might boost self-compassion as well, lacking a great deal in our daily lives and so important for improved quality of life.

Mindfulness enhances relationships: Research suggests mindfulness training makes couples more satisfied with their relationship, enables each partner to feel more optimistic and relaxed, and helps them feel more accepting of and closer to one another.

Mindfulness helps schools: There’s some scientific evidence that teaching mindfulness in schools reduces behaviour problems and aggression among students, and improves their happiness levels and ability to pay attention. Teachers with mindfulness training show “…lower blood pressure, less negative emotion and symptoms of depression, and greater compassion and empathy.”

Mindfulness helps fight obesity: Practicing “mindful eating” encourages healthier eating habits, helps people lose weight, and helps them savour the food that they do eat.

Payment can be made via EFT in South African rand: Reduced to R350. Contact me via email.

From the Greater Good – The Science of a Meaningful Life: http://greatergood.berkeley.edu/topic/mindfulness/definition

Happy New Year 2015 | Mindfulness Project Free Resources for You

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Wishing everyone a Happy New year for 2015. Thanks for stopping by and supporting my posts and writing. Here are some wonderful free resources from Mindfulness Project for you to use in your practice of mindfulness in 2015. They range from 3 minute to 10 minute breathing exercises, mindfulness of sound, body scan, sitting meditation, movement, guided imagery, and just bells. All in one place. I hope that you enjoy!

Please visit Meaning and Mindfulness

Image free download from Creative Market

How to Reduce Stress | Readers’ Favorite Review

See my Self-help ebook How to Reduce Stress: Simple Techniques for Reducing Stress available on Amazon here. Great to buy especially over the Festive Season, which can be stressful.

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See my Readers’ Favorite 4 star review here

Reviewed by Katelyn Hensel for Readers’ Favorite

“This world is full of things that can throw you for a loop and bring up the huge stress monster in all of us. We can’t avoid things like bad bosses, job loss, money troubles, children misbehaving, and many many more. Yet there has to be a way to cope with all of the stress that life throws your way without having a big blow out or breakdown. How to Reduce Stress: Simple Techniques for Reducing Stress by Carol Knox is the answer to dealing with the stress in your daily life and offers simple, real-world techniques to bring stress down to a manageable level any time or anywhere. It is clear that Carol Knox is educated on the matter and has done her research on the subject. You can tell through her tone and the way she writes for her audience that she has a very deep sense of caring for people and sincerely wants to help them deal with their stresses…”

To read more follow this link

Work? Optional! – Writing and Trauma Work – Out of the Rain and the Dark and into the Song

singing and triumph

 

Work? Optional! – Writing and Trauma Work – Out of the Rain and the Dark and into the Song

 

If money were out of the equation, would you still work? If yes, why, and how much? If not, what would you do with your free time?

Yes, I would work. I would spend my time writing both non-fiction and fiction, especially short stories.

I would also establish a Trauma Practice and work with those who have experienced life traumas of various kinds. Cape Town, South Africa has the highest levels of trauma experiences of various kinds, including PTSD, in the country. I would like to be able to travel to areas that have experienced trauma or disaster and give assistance there. I would use coaching and Logotherapeutic techniques. I would focus on finding meaning and meaning making. Mindfulness and meditation would also be included.

Stress reduction techniques would marry very well with the above.

I see this as my future work.  Out of the rain and the dark and into the song.

Images from Imagicity

How to Reduce Stress – Using Simple Techniques

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My ebook on Lulu: How to Reduce Stress – Reducing Stress with Simple Techniques.

1. What is stress and how does it effect physical and emotional health?

2. Look at ways to cope with stress

3. Use mindfulness meditation techniques

4. Create positive and meaningful personal contacts

5. Explore ways to create emotional health.

In this course/ebook you will learn to identify stress, establish what situations, thoughts or feelings stress you out and learn ways to reduce this stress. Identifying mind traps, will help you to become more aware of your thinking patterns and enable you to be more mindful of them, allowing you to increase your resilience to stressors and life difficulties.

 

See on Lulu here Support independent publishing: Buy this e-book on Lulu.

Groundhog Week – No, no, no, where have the common niceties gone?

Groundhog Week – No, no, no, where have the common niceties gone?

If you could relive the past week, would you? Would you change anything?

The idea of being able to relive a week, a moment, a year, a nanosecond, does not sit well with me. There is a universal tendency to look forward or look back. We mostly spend so much time in these ways of being or thinking or wishing or hoping, that we entirely miss what is happening in the NOW! Our levels of distractedness are so profound, that we can barely make eye contact with others, let alone observe even common niceties. Our manner of approaching others leaves a great deal to be desired. Are we able to parent, to connect, to be here in a way that is real in the giving of our attention? Our times suffer from the malaise of a disconnectedness, a lack of meaning, a lack of life lived substance.

Give me the now, the profound moment, in which I can be fully present, without judging, just simply being, no back no forward no reliving no hoping for what is to come or longing for what has been. Let’s pay attention. Let’s start now.

Jon Kabat-Zinn calls this mindfulness:

“paying attention in a particular way: on purpose, in the present moment, and nonjudgementally”

 

In a book by Nicholas Carr, reviewed on eLearnmag, he talks about what the internet is doing to our brains, The Shallows, which elaborates on what I wrote yesterday, mainly around the issues of distractedness and meaning.

“He examines reasons we all might be haplessly ignoring the various side effects this is having on our ability to focus, think deeply, and think critically about the things we read, see, and discuss.”

To read more go here, there is an interesting review, evaluation and conclusion to this work written by David Seckman, a great and worthwhile read.