Saturday, January 22, 2011

Exercise and the Obstreperous Mind

We all know the benefits of exercise. It makes us Breathe. The oxygen enters the bloodstream while the heart pumps it through the body to the muscles, ligaments and tendons that are being used. It helps keep the body healthy and alive. The question is, why does exercise become such a burden at times in our lives?

Everyone has felt a lack of motivation for exercise at some point in their lives. Many feel it regularly. As with most of the major challenges we face, the main culprit can probably be found inside ourselves. In this case, the biggest hurdle to effective exercise is an obstreperous mind. Obstreperous means unruly. An obstreperous mind is one that doesn’t submit to discipline or control. It is an immature monkey in the library of our being.

The obstreperous mind feeds on the distractions and stimulations of the hectic outside world. When this happens we lose sight of what is really important. We start to think and consider all the various options, possibilities and permutations. We begin to get stressed. Stress scatters our attention and gets us worrying about irrelevant things. We start to run out of time for anything. It can quickly get out of hand if the body is in a weakened state. Even if we realize we are stressed, we have difficulty doing something other than try to laugh it off.

I’m soooo stressed out, haha!

Without focus and control, the monkey is in charge.

However, if we are able to breathe a little and move the body a bit, we can start to get the obstreperous mind under control. Exercise doesn’t have to be vigorous. All we need are some simple breath and movement exercises to get stared. It is an upward spiral as the more we breathe and move, the stronger our bodies get. The energy we generate begins to flow through us, breaking up stagnation and revitalizing us. This affects the mind in a positive way. Exercise focuses the obstreperous mind and disciplines the monkey.

Daily life in the modern world can be extremely distracting and often make it quite challenging to remain centered. Life can get difficult and confusing. In order to navigate the challenges one needs a healthy body and an unobstreperous mind.

Wishing you much peace...

Please visit my new Zen Anti-Diet page.
Mindful Eating for Health, Vitality and Weight Loss.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Cultivating Silence

How many people do you know who need to have the television or radio on continuously when they are alone? How many people do you know who talk just to fill what they feel is an uncomfortable silence? Silence should not be uncomfortable. Yet many people avoid it like the plague. The reason is that silence offers an opportunity to examine the inner self, something many people simply don’t feel comfortable doing. To open our inner self to the light of day is to acknowledge that some of the behaviors in our lives are not healthy and may not be contributing to the health of the planet. It becomes all the more important to begin this process as the difficulties in the world escalate. Only if we can care for ourselves will we realize the necessity of caring for the Earth. Silence is a wonderful place to start the process.
In silence, life slows down of its own accord. You begin to experience the beauty and joy of life more intensely. Cultivating this serenity brings a deeper appreciation of your own life and the world around you as you begin to truly observe what is happening and as your body learns to relax and function naturally without the blockage that stress and tension bring.
Put aside five minutes in the morning to be silent. No talking, no TV, no radio - just silence. See if you can find one moment where there is absolutely no sound. In today’s bustling world this is much harder than imagined. Try to experience that moment. Keep it with you throughout the day. Spend another silent five minutes in the evening. Notice the feelings that emerge during your silent time. See if you can get used to silence and make it a comfortable feeling. Next try to expand the time frame, ten minutes of silence, an hour, two hours. Refrain from talking for as long as possible for a day. Only speak when spoken to and then reply only after you have taken a moment to think seriously about what the other person said. The silence should be reflected in your actions as well. Try to do everything quietly. It might be helpful to inform those around you before you begin this exercise. They might even decide to join you in silence!

wishing you much peace...
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