Power of Meditation

  • Believe it or not,a “regular” practice of meditation proven to be more beneficial than than taking a vacation ! Reference this for further read.
  • Decreases inflammation at the cellular level – yes, it’s true. Here
  • Decreases perception of pain and boosts our immune function.
  • Increases brain’s grey matter – yes, good news, the practice makes us smarter; Love it:)  Here:)
  • Lowers anxiety and prevents or relieves depression.  Here:)
  • Improves attention, focus and general cognition. Here
  • Improves our creativity and imagination – a critical skill that cannot be taught. Here.
  • it’s about cultivating resilient by fully embodying our body, owning and celebrating being in our skin authentically as we cultivate being fully centered and being more grounded. It all comes with “regular” practice – not about intensity but regularity with which we engage in this kind of mindfulness practice that yields the most benefit.
  • improves our social interactions by strengthening our sense of interpersonal connections -Being better wired, that neuroplasticity improves our sensitivities and promotes smoother regulations of not only our own emotions and feelings but tuned into  others’ emotions and needs.   Thus, making us warm, caring … a more empathetic humans.  Empathetic compassionate beings have better abilities to connect with others to seek and receive support and love.

There’s more benefits to meditation that I can add on to the above list but all you have to do is google search “meditation benefits” and you will have it.  We live in a world where we need not go to zen temples and ashrams but just pop on the various apps available some here listed BUT ideally, the direct tribal experience of a “regular” ritual of a sacred practice alone and with others in a group of the like-minded resonates with me more.  While being spiritual is not the same as being religious or faith, the practice to bring about inner peace shares a common thread.

So to me, it’s not about “efficiency” and “effectiveness” and improving productivity or improving the bottom line by cutting medical expenses and producing happier workers – although CEOs engaging in regular meditation or mindfulness practice is well publicized.  To self improve or self tune and self care may initially start out as maybe even cold and lonely task but to me, it’s about “eventual” arrival  – arriving to that place of connection to others, compassion for others, about community as we are tribal and going at it alone can serve 10-50% of the time but the other 50% and up, a group practice seems more human – there’s that human connection and warmth – without even exchange of words – just that aura we emit – which translates to something magical – it’s energetically and vibration-ally super charged !

Yet if you cannot run into a yoga studio then …

*apps like Headspace or Meditation Oasis
*the UCLA Mindful Awareness Research Center

*Stanford Meditation center Here

* the Chopra Center
* meditation taught at SF Zen Center in the tradition of Shunryu Suzuki  ; Art of Living – Sri Sri Shankar.  In Western medicine, there’s Jon Kabat-Zinn’s Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction.  “Mindfulness” is basically another more mainstream way of referring to a kind of meditation … that’s more about being fully engaged and aware, attentive to what’s happening all around you as you engage with the outer world. Meditation on the other hand is more about taking an inward journey; to sit with one’s thoughts and emotions to reach Samadhi (that blissful place where you need nothing more; want nothing more to be utterly content and at peace).  To yoke mind and body to bring about such transformation…

As for yoga, one can calibrate the practice by dialing up or dialing down the intensity to  meet your own unique needs.   Practices such as Yin or Restorative styles of yoga sets the stage for that practice of mindfulness fusing mind-body-spirit for a better sense of well being.  Even in a more active, Yang style practices, by focused attention to how we move our body, one can engage in a form of meditation – so then in both cases, emptying the mind to rein in thoughts that does not serve as we integrate the Yin/Yang blended practice during savasana at the very end.  We can all improve our health by detoxifying and eliminating negative, self-sabotaging, overly-judgmental or simply busy busy planning worrisome thoughts about the future and regretful thoughts about the past – patterned and habitual thought pattern to be first – recognized – then finding that place of equanimity for us to find more space … more freedom … to take in the miracles of life all around us.

Namaste:)

 

 

Jewish Deli

Used to have a “starving artist” of a friend trying to make it in this big city living in East Village area so I sort of know East Village area having stayed there (bless her soul) but …staying in Upper West side is first time for me … Opened in 1908, apparently this place is an institution…  Seinfeld has been spotted and maybe that explains, wow, so expensive – $17 for just a sandwich?  as I in shock pull out a 20 over a chaotic counter where the cash register sits with mess of checks covering the surface in disarray.  It’s charming …how the waiter yells with that New York accent for a change to a guy who sits at the cash register … In some ways, this scene (without the yelling) reminded me of a Soba shop in Tokyo where an old lady, the 4-5th generation owner’s mom basically is entrusted with handling of money – sits there like a fixture.  Rumor has it that she’s in her 90’s but quite spry and full of vitality:)

This place is packed – it’s Sunday morning …

I realized I was doing this wrong as I saw the dishes on the patrons’ tables – best to order several deli items a la carte and have toasted bagels to spread them on – share with a friend or two for best assortment while you save some money …

As always, sharing is the best way to go …

Accompanied Crystal Bowl shopping …

There are only few  dealers of high quality crystal bowls in California – one in LA and another … here at Mt. Shasta.  So thrilled to witness a true artist/musician finding the right sound … to add to her repertoire and provide greater range of ethereal sounds… Her strumming is so … breathtakingly beautiful.

Feeling honored to witness all these spiritual manifestations … Ms Naoe Amano is an accomplished musician, sharing her gift as a pianist, vocalist, crystal bowl player and a composer. She has released 2 CDs so far and she came all the way from Japan to perform her crystal bowls sound baths at Mt Shasta’s private label brand gathering. (Then she is off to 3-4 other cities on the Northwest to perform). I was amazed she brought her own 4-5 very crystal bowls as carry on luggage.  So precious they never left her sight. They are very fragile and just one little crack could ruin the sound quality so … it’s a labor of love to travel with them in tow … She said she had to leave behind as many as she brought since she was limited on how many she can lug over on an international flight.

She is so adorable with her sweet smiles and gentle laughs; quite delicate in appearance but you can tell that at the core, she is strong and … passionate about her music – Unphased by a jet lag or a long drive, here she is considering yet another addition to her crystal bowl collection. Luckily this shop had someone named Scott who can really speak her language (and I don’t mean Japanese- language of sounds and music 🎵 is an international language!), she even carried in her 4-5 bowls from our van to show him what she felt was amiss to explain what she was seeking to add. She wanted certain key/scale that balanced out the ensemble.

These alchemist bowls creates such magical enticing sounds, how can she resist getting yet another:)

I can’t wait to find out what she creates next with her range of sounds so expanded !