Zen Blog

This blog collects various internet feeds aimed towards information, experience and technique exchange in support of our shared spiritual journey.....

”Namaste - may the light in me, honor the light in you…”

The Importance of Meditation in Crazy Times

By Leo Babauta

These are times of heightened change, disruption, uncertainty, fear, anxiety. It can feel pretty crazy for most of us.

So how do we cope? What can we do in the middle of chaos and crisis?

This is when meditation becomes of critical importance.

Without meditation, we have no way of dealing with the anxieties coming up.

All of our old ways of coping (which don’t normally work very well) are not working at all:

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4 Mindfulness Practices That We Need Right Now

By Leo Babauta

In the middle of the chaos of the world right now, what can we do to take care of ourselves?

Let’s talk about a handful of simple mindfulness practices that can be helpful.

Breathe deeply into the belly. This is one to start with, no matter where you are or what you’re doing. We get caught up in our heads, stuck in a cycle of thoughts that are rarely very helpful. So to get out of our heads and into our bodies, we can do deep breathes, into the deepest part of our bellies. Do several breaths like this, maybe for 30-60 seconds if you have time. This not only calms you down, but helps you to be more present with your body and surroundings.Check on your feelings, give yourself compassion. Turn your attention to the sensations in your body, and notice how uncertainty and fear/anxiety might feel for you right now, as a bodily experience. This, again, helps get you out of your thoughts, but also it’s important to notice how you’re feeling. Practice giving these feelings some space, letting them be (it’s OK to feel anxiety!). Then see if you can give them some compassion, to take care of yourself when you’re feeling uncertainty or frustration.Find calm in the middle of a storm. When the world is full of chaos, can we find calm? Find your breath. Let the swirl of thoughts calm down. Notice the light around you, notice sound. Notice the beauty of the moment. Widen your awareness beyond yourself, and feel the peace of a moment of stillness. You can still take action, but from a place of calmness.Send compassion out to others. Once you’ve practiced compassion for your own uncertainty and fears … once you’ve found a moment of calm and centeredness … you can open your heart to others right now. They’re afraid, they’re feeling anxious. Open your awareness beyond your home, to the others in your neighborhood and city, to others around the world, to your loved ones and strangers. Feel the worry they’re feeling. Send them compassion, from the deepest place in your heart. Let it flow out as a healing salve to everyone. Notice how this feels. Notice how it might change how you interact with others.

Let these practices help you through this troubled time, my friends.

Original author: zenhabits
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Dealing with the Immense Uncertainty of the World

By Leo Babauta

The world is in a state of fear and uncertainty right now, and it’s stressful and overwhelming for most of us.

This kind of fear, stress, uncertain and overwhelm can have some really strong effects on our lives:

Constant fear and stress can cause anxiety problems, worsening sleep and health, depression and anxietyIn a place of fear, we can often make bad decisionsPeople can panic, overreact because of fear, and cause widespread confusion and disruptionsOur relationships can deteriorate when we’re operating from a place of fearWe become less productive, less focused, when we’re stressedIt has an obvious impact on our happiness, including the impacts from all of the above

These are just some of the strong effects from a constant sense of fear, uncertainty, stress and overwhelm.

So how do we cope with this?

Obviously, there’s no easy answer. Let’s talk about what I’ve found to work, and what I recommend right now.

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The Power of Getting Clarity

By Leo Babauta

Before I started Zen Habits, I was in a place in my life where I had a beautiful family, but I was stuck and dissatisfied with myself.

I knew I wanted to change things — my health, finances, job, way that I was approaching life — but I didn’t really know what I wanted to do about any of it. Most of the time, I just ignored all of this, and distracted myself.

I didn’t have any clarity on what I wanted or what I needed to do. This lack of clarity is felt in all of us very deeply, so that it shows up in how we talk, how we hold ourselves, how other people feel us. It affects our relationships, our jobs, our health.

Then I got very clear that I needed to change. And clear that I wanted to quit smoking, start running, become vegetarian, start waking earlier, and start writing more. I went on to do all those and more.

Clarity helps us to focus, to take action, to feel energized.

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Undone: The Unprocrastination Challenge

By Leo Babauta

This month, I’m issuing a challenge to all of you procrastinators … and no, you can’t make the joke that you’ll do it later!

The challenge is called Undone: The Unprocrastination Challenge, and it’s a part of my Sea Change Program.

The challenge is to set aside an “unprocrastination session” every day — it just has to be 5 minutes, but could be longer — and work on the things you’ve been putting off.

It’s a training, and in the challenge I provide videos, articles and a live webinar to support your training and show you proven methods to overcome the old habit of procrastination.

You can do this, absolutely. I’ve seen thousands of people get a lot of stuff done that they’ve been putting off, and many of them saw a permanent shift in how they tackled hard things.

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