Deep Awake by Tim Freke

Deep Awake is a wonderful addition to the fields of consciousness and spirituality. The author, Tim Freke, has put together a deceptively simple guide for “waking up” and living consciously. Unlike most of the genre, the ego, with all its strengths and weaknesses, is not vilified, but embraced. For those who have failed at prior efforts to meditate and reflect, this unique approach may help them to succeed.

Freke writes, “Vilifying the ego as a spiritual enemy doesn’t help us awaken. It merely encourages us to wage an internal civil war against ourselves, which we can only lose. We’ve spent our lives cultivating our personal identity, imperfect as it is. Are we really now to conclude this was all a big mistake?” He goes onto identify the current trend of eschewing individuality as problematic, reasoning that “the separate self is a prerequisite for awakening, not an obstacle to be overcome.”

Of course, Freke recognizes the need for balance between ego and selflessness, and maintaining a healthy individuality while still experiencing the joy of becoming one with everything. Culled from years of walking the walk, writing over 20 books on the subject, and lecturing for thousands, Deep Awake is filled with insights, anecdotes, guidance and immediately accessible tips for awakening.

For more information, go to www.watkinspublishing.com


The Science Is In: Meditation Affects Aging and Telomere Length

Science is all about precision, controlled studies, and measurable, repeatable results. So for years researchers resisted working on alternative practices such as meditation, dismissing the few studies done as “fuzzy science,” “subjective,” or “impossible to duplicate.” But as research methods have advanced, so has the accuracy of the latest research. There is ample evidence now that stress leads to increased risk of health problems and that meditation reduces stress. What’s new are the studies showing how stress is related to aging and telomere length.

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Mindfulness for Parents by Amber Hatch

| review by Cheryl Shainmark

Much like the benefits of meditation, the quiet wisdom of Mindfulness for Parents sneaks up on you. Amber Hatch has captured perfectly the pitfalls of parenting and the remarkable equanimity that can be achieved by practicing compassion, loving kindness and mindfulness. Whether you are new to parenting, new to meditation, or both – you will reap the benefits of Hatch’s insights and practical advice.

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Cops Learning to Meditate: a Hopeful Image

In this year of so many shootings, riots and negative images of police officers, it’s heartening to share stories of police men and women who are making a difference and trying new things to help the public and themselves. In Peel, Canada, police and trainees are learning to meditate (video) to reduce stress, and attending classes in mindfulness and Buddhist philosophy at a nearby temple. As reported in The Huffington Post, the event is expected to be the first of many future classes and will include future sessions with the Ontario Provincial Police and the Peel Paramedics. In a country where the charismatic Prime Minster, Justin Trudeau, is known to embrace yoga and meditation, there has been a groundswell of support for these methods.

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Hale Clinic on Meditation: Research & Science

| by HaleMeditation.com

Centuries ago, yogis discovered that through the use of meditation and yoga practices, they were able to address physical, mental and spiritual imbalances that were arising in themselves. Many yogis maintained perfect health on all levels. The sacred knowledge of yoga has been passed down from guru to disciple for centuries and is growing rapidly in popularity in western society as people turn to yoga for answers to their medical and mental concerns. Ancient yogic techniques can be used in a fresh approach to living, as they address many of the problems that we all face in our daily lives.

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Sounds Wonderful by Rick Heller

It’s common to meditate while listening to beautiful music, but I’ve found that meditating to ambient sounds—whatever sounds are present at this very moment—is not only a wonderful meditation, it provides a deep insight into where we can find joy in our lives. I lead weekly meditations at the Humanist Community at Harvard, and one of our mainstays is the ambient sound meditation. I first learned it myself when I attended a workshop by the Buddhist teacher Jack Kornfield. The idea is to pay attention to all the sounds around you with a friendly welcoming spirit. This includes the sounds of trucks and buses going by, sirens, coughing, rustling and other sounds that we typically label as “noise.”

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Mindfulness as Medicine at Omega Institute

The Omega Institute is offering a “Mindfulness as Medicine” course August 14-19, 2016. Based on the tradition of Thich Nhat Hanh, the course is led by Sister Dang Nghiem, and other Plum Village Dharma teachers. From the Omega website we read: When we think about the past, we often feel yearning or regret. Mindfulness—sometimes referred to as meditation in action—helps us live in the present moment, where trauma, loss, and illness can be transformed with kindness and love.

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Delay or Reverse Aging with Qi Gong, Meditation, Yoga and More

| by Staff

There’s increased evidence showing that practices such as qi gong, meditation and yoga can not only prevent disease, but actually reverse it and delay aging as well. As scientists learn more about such topics as gene expression, what turns a gene on or off, and how to prevent telomeres, (the strands of protein in our cells that control aging) from unraveling, it becomes impossible to ignore just how much our good lifestyle choices can pay off.

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Tell Me A Story: Stirring Up Cellular Memories with Meditation

| by Cheryl Shainmark

I have been meditating for over fifteen years now and find it an essential part of my life. Many have written about the substantial physical and emotional benefits, and while I’ve certainly found that to be the case, too, I’ve also noticed that there is a component of releasing “cellular memories” that is rarely addressed. People shy away from phenomena that are not so easily explained, but whether you call it “cellular memories,” “past lives,” or releasing “old patterns,” I have found that there is something extraordinary happening that also brings welcome relief to the body and the spirit.

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MBSR: Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction

| by Staff

Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) is a method of using meditation and yoga to cultivate awareness and reduce stress. Of course, many of us having been doing this for years, but did you know it had a name? First developed by Jon Kabat-Zinn in 1979, MBSR is based on the ancient practice of mindfulness, which is about waking up and being present in the richness of each moment of our lives. By doing this we gain access to our deepest inner resources for living, healing, and coping with stress.

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