Select Page
Breathe your way to inner peace – Kadampa Life

Breathe your way to inner peace – Kadampa Life

This is the last installment of the how not to worry articles.

Breathing meditations can help enormously in instantly alleviating our worry, and anyone can do them if they have a mind to.

Simple breathing meditation

Worrying affects us physiologically, from shallower breathing and the inability to relax through to full blown panic attacks when we can hardly breathe. When the mind is calm, our breathing tends to be deeper, and vice versa. So one way to confront the problem is to follow our breath and calm ourselves down that way. Here is a simple five-minute breathing meditation you can try anytime, even now!

You’ll get three specific benefits from doing this breathing meditation:

(1) There is a close relationship between our mind and our breath. Our breath is related to our subtle inner energy winds (Skt. prana). We can understand this by remembering what happens when, for example, we are anxious and our breathing quickens, or when we are calm or concentrated (e.g. threading a needle) and it slows down. As we calm the breath in breathing meditation, our mind naturally calms down too.

(2) The breath is a neutral object, so meditating on it temporarily pacifies our worries because we forget about them. It is like putting our car into neutral. We can then move into forward gear by meditating on a positive object such as patience.

(3) Our mind can only hold one object at a time. If we focus single-pointedly on our breath, which is not too difficult an object to find, our worries will naturally diminish and disappear.

Taking and giving mounted upon the breath

As mentioned in the previous article on overcoming worry, we can also combine our breathing meditation with taking and giving, thereby increasing our love and compassion at the same time as reducing our worry and stress.

OM AH HUM breathing meditation

And we can also get two for the price of one if we combine breathing meditation with receiving blessings from the holy beings in the profound OM AH  HUM meditation based on Tantric principles that renowned Buddhist teacher Geshe Kelsang explains in The New Meditation Handbook. This meditation also cleanses our subtle inner energy winds (chi, prana), upon which all our minds are “mounted”. As a result, so-called “wisdom winds” flow and our mind naturally becomes peaceful and positive. You can find out what is behind this profound meditation and how to do it here.

And now some final thoughts on the subject of overcoming worry in no particular order…

Focus on your precious human life and death
Click on picture for blind turtle analogy

Instead of thinking inappropriate thoughts itemizing all the things that can go wrong, we can count our blessings and current opportunities. Victoria Kaya says: “Only through my practice of putting others first before myself do I find the antidote to my worry. Not always easy — however I believe that if I contemplate the suffering of others, and realise how bad things could be, I am grateful for every moment of this very short human life.”

And we can recall: “If I die today, where do I want to be tomorrow?” Ironically, perhaps, remembering impermanence totally reduces our mental stress and helps us to relax. We don’t sweat the small stuff because it just doesn’t seem important any more.

Jb Christy told us of her rather radical approach to remembering impermanence: “Skydiving worked for me. For 9 months after jumping out of a perfectly good airplane, I’d get in situations that normally would cause me to worry, and I’d start to get anxious, and then I’d think “Hey, there’s no planet rushing up to pulverize me,” and then whatever was making me anxious really didn’t bother me anymore. After a few months of that, I got out of the habit of worrying, and really don’t worry much at all anymore. But that might not work for everyone :)” (Ed: and you didn’t read it here!)

Overcome attachment

Why do we worry so much more about our own cat or child than other people’s? Yes, love is in the mix, but the worry is not coming from the love (or the compassion) but from the attachment. It’s worth thinking about? And I am, in some articles I’m writing on whether compassion is a sad or happy mind, with help from Facebook feedback…


Who is worrying?! Where are they? What are they worrying about? Shantideva says:

If there were a truly existent I,
It would make sense to be afraid of certain things;
But, since there is no truly existent I,
Who is there to be afraid?

This is my favorite approach. You can recall the emptiness of the three spheres – the person doing the worrying, the worrying mind, and the object of worry. As mentioned in this article, the sharper our worry, the sharper our sense of a limited self, the bigger our target, and the freer we are when we knock it down in our meditation on no self! Mirja Renner puts it like this: “I tend to look at how worry is just a thought, and how the self that thinks it couldn’t handle the situation (should it arise) doesn’t exist.” Victoria Kaya says: “Interesting, only the realization of the way things really are could eradicate worry from my mind because it is only due to grasping at externals that we worry.”

To conclude…

As mentioned in the first of these anti-worry articles, all the stages of the path (Lamrim) have the side-effect of overcoming worry! As Fiona Layton put it: “Seems like we need to keep practicing the Lamrim and all will become worry free!” These are just a few ways of getting started with some different ways of thinking. As our experience of overcoming delusions, increasing our compassion and wisdom etc grows, our worries grow fewer and fewer until one day we can’t even remember what it is like to be worried about a thing. That’s the truth. In the meantime, we can use our worry to look at our minds and go deeper into its solutions.

Got anything to share? Have we missed anything crucial? Please add your comments in the box below, and share these articles with anyone who might find them useful.

Start the Day with a Chakra-balancing Shower Meditation.

Start the Day with a Chakra-balancing Shower Meditation.

get elephant’s newsletter

One of the main purposes of mindfulness is to awaken all our senses and become consciously aware, so that we feel alive and brimming with vitality in the present moment.

When our senses are alert and our attention is focused on the present moment, we experience how it feels to truly exist in the here and now.

We can start each day in this peaceful and invigorating state of being by carrying out a simple chakra-balancing meditation while showering and therapeutically cleansing the body, mind, and soul. Meditation doesn’t just involve sitting cross-legged on the floor; it can be done anywhere and at any time by engaging the mind and setting the intention to be fully in the moment.

Water is a conductor for emotional energy and is naturally grounding, as it calms, heals, cleanses, restores,and revitalizes us when we are feeling hypersensitive, overwhelmed, or at odds with the world or ourselves. This is why many people have a longing to be next to the sea—either viewing it, listening to it, or swimming in it—and choose to meditate near lakes, taking in the soothing, calming, and balancing elements.

To carry out a chakra-balancing meditation, we focus on the location of each chakra—and at the same time visualize the colour associated with it. The colours of the chakras are the same as the colours of the rainbow, starting with red at the base of the spine (the root chakra) and moving up to violet at the top of the head (the crown chakra). We focus attention on one colour at a time for a minute or two, visualising the colour of the water changing into the seven colours of the chakras, starting at the base of the spine and working up through the center of the body.

To begin the meditation, adjust the temperature of the shower, so that the water feels comfortable against the skin—not too hot or too cold.

Step into the shower, and as you feel the water on your skin, remember that you are made of approximately 70 percent water; be one with the water, and sensually merge with it’s flow.

Wherever there is tension in the body, imagine that golden light is heating up and warming the muscles, and inhale deeply. When we release tension, our energy is free to flow. On the outward breath, release—and notice whatever areas you may be holding pressure in your body. Then, let the grip go.

Continue to breathe slowly and deeply—and as the body feels more relaxed, allow any persistent or repetitive thoughts to float away.

Close your eyes (if it feels safe to do so) and immerse in the feeling of the water soaking the body; bring the senses alive by paying attention to the sensation of the skin as the water absorbs into it. Notice the scent and texture of the soap used and the sound of the water trickling down.

As the soap and water cleanses the skin, we can envisage our anxieties, stress, and worries being washed away and swirling down the drain, clearing out the past and removing any negative energy we may have been carrying.

Then, inhale deeply while visualising a golden ray of light flowing with the water and entering your body through your crown chakra at the top of your head. Imagine the golden light circulating through your entire body, reaching all areas—the shoulders, fingertips, and down to the toes.

The first chakra to focus on is the root chakra, so move attention to the area at the base of the spine and visualise the water changing colour, so that it is now flowing the colour red. The root chakra is our earth element and relates to security, stability, balance, identity, and feeling grounded. It is also connected to survival and generates our fight-or-flight response. Balancing the root chakra is known to reduce stress. When this chakra is flowing freely it stabilizes and regulates energy throughout all of the chakras.

The second chakra to focus on is the sacral/spleen chakra, which is located in the pelvic area just beneath the navel. It is associated with the colour orange and relates to emotions, feelings, desire, sexuality, and creativity. Visualise the water now changing to orange; the hues from this colour balance and awaken energy and help us to remain grounded, release emotional blockages, promote confidence, boost energy, heighten creativity, enhance sexuality, embrace happiness, and eliminate negativity.

The third chakra to locate is known as the solar plexus chakra and is situated in the upper abdomen, just above the pubic bone. It is associated with the colour yellow and is related to our personality, intellect, emotions, willpower, self-esteem, self-expression, and digestion. Imagine the water changing to the colour yellow, as this is believed to cleanse and dispel negativity, alleviate depression, rejuvenate energy, and shield and protect the aura from absorbing negative emotions.

The next chakra to focus on is the fourth chakraknown as our heart chakra, which is located at the center of the chest, just above the heart. This chakra identifies with the colour green, so as the green water flows, it enhances universal love, compassion, forgiveness, and promotes letting go, healing, tranquility, and our general well-being. It also helps us to understand our relation to everything that assists us to love and accept one another unconditionally. Visualising its green glow can heighten empathy, alleviate anxiety, help with forgiveness, promote compassion, transmute pain and fear into love, enhance unconditional love, and heal emotional wounds.

The fifth chakra is known as our throat chakra, as it is located in the throat area. It is associated with the colour blue, so we can now imagine the water turning to a beautiful shade of blue, which is associated with speech, truth, integrity, authenticity, expression, and communication. The colour blue is believed to be healing, calming, peaceful, harmonious, and improves clear communication.

The sixth chakra to bring our attention to is known as our third-eye chakra and is located at the center of the forehead, between the eyebrows. This chakra is associated with the colour indigo, and as the water changes colour again, we will receive enhanced perception, foresight, intuition, imagination, insight, discernment, and inner knowledge. When this chakra is open, we become more awakened, consciously aware, and can clearly see both our inner and our outer worlds with clarity. Indigo is known to calm the mind, enhance rational thought, promote clarity, heighten spiritual love, promote inspiration, and help us connect to our higher self.

The seventh chakra to focus attention on is known as our crown chakra and is is located at the top of the head. It is associated with the colour violet, so as the water changes to violet, we can receive enhanced awareness, spirituality, wisdom, and consciousness. This chakra’s violet glow has an accepting, compassionate, forgiving, and highly intelligent hue that is transformational as it provides us with a powerful spiritual energy that enhances all aspects of our lives.

The frequencies emanating from the colours on the visual spectrum are believed to cleanse and purify our system in different ways so that we can be free from toxic emotional, mental, spiritual, and physical blockages.

After visualising each colour, continue to inhale and exhale deeply and imagine pure brilliant white light streaming from the shower, with the rays covering the entire body to gently seal and protect the energetic body (the aura).

It is essential that our chakras remain open so that energy can flow through them, because when we have energetic blockages, we may be left feeling fatigued. Indulging in this shower meditation as often as possible helps ensure that that doesn’t happen.

This meditation can feel intense at times, so we should take a few moments to rinse our skin under the normal flow of water to ensure we do not feel light-headed or spaced out while leaving the shower. If we do feel light-headed at any time, end the meditation early.

When we have finished the shower meditation, we can express gratitude for our body, the gift of water, and our calm state of mind. Say out loud, “Thank you. I am cleansed and prepared for the day ahead.” Or, if it is an evening shower, we can express gratitude for the day’s experiences.

The chakra colours radiate brilliant, warm, harmonious, loving light and high-vibrational healing energy. By infusing the frequencies of light emanating from the seven chakra colours, we pull high-vibrational energy into our energy field that penetrates our thoughts, feelings, intentions, and physical body. We transmute any negativity in our system into vital, abundant, positive energy that vibrates highly, while also removing blockages so that our energy flows freely.

Visualizing each of the seven colours can help us to heal old wounds, clear karmic energy of past mistakes, erase tormenting memories, and free us from the heavy emotional loads we are carrying.

It is beneficial to continue to focus on breathing deeply as we go through the day. When we inhale, we take in natural energy from the earth and will feel it flowing through each part of our body and up through our chakras; and as we exhale, we let go of any tension and negativity, while releasing any excess emotions and dense energy that we may have absorbed.

When we have finished the meditation, we will likely feel calmer and energetically lighter, as we will have cleansed our aura and grounded ourselves.

A Beginner’s Chakra Meditation to Unleash your Untapped Potential.

is a new feature on Elephant Journal—enabling you to instantly share your mindful ideas, photos, art, YouTube videos/Instagram links & writings with our 5 million readers. Try it Now.

14 Things To Stop Saying Now If You Want to Find Love  : Body, Mind, Soul & Spirit – UPDATED DAILY!

14 Things To Stop Saying Now If You Want to Find Love : Body, Mind, Soul & Spirit – UPDATED DAILY!

14 Things To Stop Saying Now If You Want to Find Love

by Andrea Schulman
Guest writer,  

If you want to find love, it can be hard when you look around and notice that seemingly everyone else is paired up except for you. It can make you feel as if there is something wrong with you, or that the universe is totally against you. It can be very disheartening, trust me-I get it!

However, the good thing here to understand is that the only reason we ever find ourselves alone is because we expect to be alone! Our world is shaped entirely by our expectations and beliefs. Fortunately, if a person can change his or her expectations about relationships, the Law of Attraction will bring him or her a compatible mate to love and cherish.

So, how do you change your expectation if you find yourself alone?

Well, one of the most effective things that you can do is change the way you speak about love and relationships. Often, when we feel jaded about love, this comes across in our speech. Then, once we start talking about our insecurities and disappointments, we amplify them with the Law of Attraction.

So, if you want to find love, here are a few things I suggest you stop saying (if you’ve been saying them at all). Each of the phrases below has the power to repel the relationship you are seeking, as they each reinforce limiting beliefs about love.

1. “Nobody loves me.”

2. “I’m going to die alone.”

3. “I’m going to be an old maid/bachelor.”

4. “There are no good men/women out there.”

5. “I’m too old to find love.”

6. “I’m not attractive enough, smart enough, funny enough, etc.”

7. “I don’t make enough money to support a spouse/family.”

8. “Good men/women are hard to find.”

9. “I get nervous talking to men/women.”

10. “They only want me for my money.”

11. “They only want one thing.”

12. “You can’t trust men/women.”

13. “Relationships are hard.”

14. “What if I never get married/find ‘the one?’”

It’s always wise to be selective about our word choices, especially in regards to the things we really, really want. If you want to find love, please take care to make sure your language isn’t holding you back.

Have you heard of any other common negative phrases about love and relationships? Comment below and add them to our list!

Click here for more articles by Andrea Schulman!

About the authorAndrea Schulman is a former high school psychology teacher and the creator of Raise Your Vibration Today, which provides free and easy Law of Attraction techniques. 

Subscribe to Body, Mind, Soul, Spirit to get the latest news in your e-mail inbox. Simply type in your e-mail address and hit enter.

Tags: ,


Writer: Why Asking The Universe For Help Doesn’t Always Get You The Answer You Were Hoping For #MondayBlogs #AmWriting

My writing life has gone weird again, folks. It was just a matter of time before the odd stuff started occurring again.

This is where you all groan and quickly move across to the next blog on your reading list.

Over the course of this year I have been devouring articles on the subject of asking the universe for guidance. Readers, I don’t know why I developed this strange reading habit.

Actually, if I am honest 2017 has been full of creative surprises, both good and bad. At times I have felt a bit lost and in need of some sort of spiritual guidance to validate whether I was on the right path or any literary path for that matter!

Anyway after months of deliberating whether or not to ask the universe for a sign about my writing future, I decided to bite the bullet and seek its help.

Given that nearly all the articles, blogs and books on the subject spoke about how a ‘little wink from the universe can be extremely comforting,‘ you could say I was naively thinking the sign would be positive.

A bit of background. In the summer I sent out a few query letters about a novel I had written. This autumn has been mostly spent daydreaming and watching my email box like a hawk. Up until last week I had heard nothing.

So, last week I decided to do things properly and write out my question to the universe.

At the start of the week I sat in a coffee shop and did just that. I asked for a sign regarding my writing future.

I always like to go OTT on requests for help so I gave the universe a long-winded side of A4 on the ‘story so far’ with my literary career. I said any help or comforting winks it could give would be much appreciated.

I sat back, sipped on my cappuccino and said, “wink away, my big friend!”

Within 2.5 hrs (the universe does not beat around on stuff like this) I had a literary rejection ping into my email inbox.

I shrugged off the rejection (its B.A.U for the unpublished writer) and put the event down to coincidence. This has nothing to do with the universe, I told myself.

Three days later I decided to ask the universe for another sign regarding my writing. Obviously my earlier attempt had been a weird coincidence and the universe was either busy that day or had forgotten my request.

Once again I wrote another question on a piece of paper, requesting a sign. Once again I gave it a detailed account of the story so far, in case it had mislaid my previous submission.

3 hours and 20 mins later I had another literary rejection ping into my inbox.

An hour later I received a third rejection.

Can I just say, the universe’s response time is faster than some well-known large retail brands. Seriously, these retail brands need to read this post and take note on the speedy response times of this mighty spiritual force.

This time I did shed a few tears, although they were more about the universe’s choice of sign, than the actual rejections.

Where was my comforting wink?

After a bar of chocolate, a large glass of wine, a good old bitch about the universe (who the hell does this mighty spiritual power think it is showering me with rejections?) and a slushy romcom I felt a lot better.

So, what does this all mean?

Is the universe trying to tell me something?

Well, I have decided to view this strange situation in a positive light, because I’m not quitting writing.

Cue my next post titled ‘I told the universe I was not quitting writing and I got hit by a bolt of lightening for not listening!’

The universe could be nudging me in a different direction.

At the moment it’s not entirely clear what that different direction is, but I have a list drawn up of potential options:

  • Send out to different literary gatekeepers?
  • Revise my draft and send out?
  • Work on something else?
  • Do something completely different?

The mighty universe could be stating the obvious – a writer’s life is full of rejection.

I believe rejections are a sign I am putting my work out there. There are thousands of people who dream about writing a novel but never start it. There are thousands who start one and never finish it and there are thousands who write one but never send it out. I am ahead of all these dreamers. I am out there and getting rejections so in the universe’s eyes I am on the right track.

You will be glad to know I have thrown myself into a comedy script writing competition which has has been like a creative tonic.

I have also decided to have a break from asking the universe anything as I think it might be a little grumpy 🙂

So, the moral of this tale is; be prepared for ALL answers when you ask the universe for help or guidance. 

Take care, writers!

Filed under: Author, Comedy, creative writing, Creativity, , , Novel Writing, , , Universe, , Writers, Writers Life, , writing tips Tagged: Asking the universe for help, , creative writing, law of attraction, Literary rejections, , The universe, timing of literary rejections, Unpublished, , ,