Tag Archives: Guru

Participate in “OWN” Television Series in Washington DC Area with Iyanla Vanzant!

iyanla

 

READ APPLICATION PROCESS BELOW AND APPLY ASAP TO: “iyanlahelpdesk@gmail.com

WHAT: The Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN), is seeking participants for the “Help Desk” series featuring spiritual life coach Iyanla Vanzant!

WHEN:  Sunday January 12th, 2014 (specific time TBA)

WHERE:   WASHINGTON DC area (specific location TBA).

WHO: Iyanla Vanzant is the host of OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network’s Number 1 reality show “Iyanla: Fix My Life,” in which she helps individuals in crisis whose relationships and lives have broken down.   Iyanla is a frequent “Oprah’s Lifeclass” guest teacher and is a regular columnist in O, The Oprah Magazine.  Iyanla is the author of 16 books, including an astounding 5 New York Times’ best sellers, With her no-nonsense approach and underlying message of, “live better by loving yourself,” Iyanla has ignited a universal spark of self-discovery.  Iyanla’s new release, FORGIVENESS: 21 Days to Forgive Everyone for Everything  (SmileyBooks), is on sale now.

Iyanla is an acclaimed spiritual life coach, empowerment orator, minister, Emmy award winner and New York Times best-selling author whose focus on faith, personal development and loving relationships has captivated and inspired audiences around the world.

Description:

Help Desk is a television show on OWN that features renowned self-help experts making themselves available in public spaces to provide advice to anyone who needs it.  Help Desk is a deeply substantive series that grounds some of the great wisdom provided by today’s top experts and helps people live better and more fulfilling lives.  Although the event is public, we are looking to secure a select group of participants who will be given priority to sit down with Iyanla.

What we are looking for:

We need people who are seeking advice to help them with a specific life issue or circumstance.   Below are a few examples but we are open to hearing about any particular issues you would like to discuss:

-Divorce or breakup
-Loss of a family member or friend
-Coping with job loss
-Overcoming addiction
-Issues revolving around sexual identity
-Overcoming specific anxieties or fears
-Difficulty with weight loss/eating disorders/body image
-Parenting issues
-Issues surrounding financial hardship
-Sex and relationship issues
-Dissatisfaction with career/feeling trapped.

Requirements:

1. We need applicants to be available during the day on Sunday January 12, 2014 in the Washington DC area. Specific time and location TBA.
2. Provide simple description of yourself (age, profession, relationships status) and contact information (email and phone number).
3.  Photo of yourself
4.  Single paragraph description of the specific life circumstance that you need advice to overcome.
5.  Specific question(s) you would like to ask Iyanla.
6. If selected, applicants will need to sign an Appearance Release.

Send email with answers to the above questions to:    iyanlahelpdesk@gmail.com

Participate in an “OWN” Television Series in NYC with Author Gabrielle Bernstein!

helpdesk

READ APPLICATION PROCESS BELOW AND APPLY ASAP TO: gabbyhelpdesk@gmail.com

WHAT:            The Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN), is seeking participants for the “Help Desk” series featuring spirit junkie, New York Times best-selling author & International Lecturer Gabrielle Bernstein!

WHEN:             Saturday January 11th, 2014 (specific time TBA)

WHERE:           NYC area (specific location TBA).

WHO:               Gabrielle Bernstein is a New York Times best-selling author who appears regularly as an expert on NBC’s Today Show, has been featured on Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday as a next-generation thought leader, and was named “a new role model” by the New York Times. She is the author of the books  “Add More ~ing to Your Life”, “Spirit Junkie”, “May Cause Miracles” and the forthcoming book “Miracles Now” (to be published in April 2014 by Hay House).

Description:

Help Desk is a television show on OWN that features renowned self-help experts making themselves available in public spaces to provide advice to anyone who needs it. Help Desk is a deeply substantive series that grounds some of the great wisdom provided by today’s top experts and helps people live better and more fulfilling lives. Although the event is public, we are looking to secure a select group of participants who will be given priority to gain a spot to sit down with Gabrielle.

What we are looking for:

We need people who are seeking advice to help them with a specific life issue or circumstance. Below are a few examples but we are open to hearing about any particular issues you would like to discuss:

-Dissatisfaction with career/feeling trapped.
-Overcoming addiction
-Difficulties with weight loss
-Overcoming specific anxieties or fears
-Divorce or breakup
-Coping with job-loss
-Issues revolving around sexual identity
-Financial hardship
-Sex and relationship issues
-Loss of a family member or friend

Requirements:

1. We need applicants to be available during the day on Saturday January 11,  2014 in the NYC area.  Specific time and location TBA.
2. Provide simple description of yourself (age, profession, relationships status) and contact information (email and phone number).
3.  Photo of yourself
4.  Single paragraph description of the specific life circumstance that you need advice to overcome.
5.  Specific question(s) you would like to ask Gabrielle.
6. If selected, applicants will need to sign an Appearance Release.

Send email with answers to the above questions to: gabbyhelpdesk@gmail.com

Thich Nhat Hanh’s Greatest Teaching on Love and Mindfulness

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The first time I was exposed to well-known Buddhist monk, peace activist, and author Thich Nhat Hanh, who visited Boston over the weekend, was when I read his book, Miracle of Mindfulness in a college course on Buddhism. I still recall one of our homework assignments for the class. We had to wash the dishes…which was awesome for my roommates. I’d pulled dish duty. A monk said so.

But, the assignment wasn’t to wash the dishes the way any of us typically wash the dishes, dashing off a chore so that we can move on to something better. Instead, the assignment required us to wash the dishes while being fully present and mindful. Never mind what happens next. We were learning through real-life practice that the powerful moment–the only one over which we have any guarantee or influence–is the one happening now. Don’t wait until later to be compassionate or kind, attentive and aware. A mind does not get stronger that way. It stays distracted and anxious about what comes next… And after that?… And then what?

On Sunday, in Copley Square, I was again reminded how miraculous mindfulness can be. I went with the expectation that I’d sit quietly, among hundreds of other people, in the presence of a revered Zen master, but didn’t anticipate much more. I knew it would feel meaningful and maybe solemn. I imagined we’d hear car horns or passing Duck Tours as we meditated. Quack, quack! I hoped he’d speak a little bit. Hopefully, we could hear and understand him. I momentarily wondered if it was unsafe to congregate in an open and vulnerable public space doing something spiritual, possibly viewed as religious. After all, we were in front of a church, among hundreds of Buddhists, yards from the Boston Marathon finish line, where two bombs went off five months ago to the date.

Trinity Church’s Reverend Dr. William Rich acknowledged this fact as he introduced Thich Nhat Hanh, who was now sitting under the hot sun clad in a knit hat and multiple layers of robes and meditations shawls. Wasn’t he melting? It struck me that it couldn’t be a coincidence, this event to sit in peace and healing near an area subjected to so much suffering a short time ago. The week before had also marked the anniversary of 9/11, the reverend noted. We were still at war and now considering military action in Syria. The day before marked the Jewish holiday of atoning for sins, Yom Kippur. In any number of ways, no matter who you were, the message of the day was clear. We are here to be together in peace. We’re here to practice greater awareness and compassion because the world needs both right now.

Small and centered, the 85-year-old Vietnamese monk in a knitted hat.

Following his introduction, Thich Nhat Hanh did something surprising to some. He said nothing. He didn’t even open his eyes. Instead, he sat silently and meditated, signaling for a typically pulsing cross-section of the city to join him. I don’t recall car horns. Definitely no quacking. A few small children giggled or cried briefly in the crowd, but mostly, it was very quiet.

When he eventually spoke, about 25-minutes later, the famous monk said only this: Breathing in, I am aware of my breath. Breathing out, I am aware of my breath, a simple mantra to set the stage for a talk that would succinctly and poetically teach a diverse group what it means to be mindful and how it creates peace. Next, he said: Breathing in, I enjoy breathing in. Breathing out, I enjoy breathing out.

The mantras and teachings gained momentum from there. We breathed in and out qualities of a mountain’s solidity and stability, water’s stillness and reflection, a flower’s freshness and beauty, and space. Breathing in, I have the element of space within me. Breathing out, I feel free… Space: free. Nothing was too heady. No one was left out. It was the most simple yet moving talk I’ve ever witnessed on meditation or Buddhism. If I was exposed to this teacher first in college, I was now getting schooled in a whole new way.

Then, the talk dovetailed into territory I would not have predicted for an 85-year-old celibate monk: love. It could have easily represented love for a family member or friend, but to hear a monk use the word darling in three different types of mantras suggested romantic love, and it made everyone smile. Darling, I am here. Darling, I know you are here. Darling, I know that you suffer, and I am here for you.  

“The most precious thing you can offer your loved one is your presence,” he said. “To be present means to be there. How can you love, if you are not there?” His voice was gentle, but the message reverberated. Love (romantic or otherwise) doesn’t work if we’re distracted or hiding– behind suffering, the TV, iPhone, alcohol, who knows. We all have our means of avoiding reality, some healthier than others. To love means to understand suffering, our own and our darling’s.

He linked the two segments of the talk seamlessly– the meditation, breathing, and mantras– with his thoughts on love. We practice meditation so that we can restore our presence and feel more stable, free, fresh, and beautiful. “You cannot buy it in a market,” the adorable monk cautioned in his sing-song accent, of the level of presence needed for true love. “You have to produce it yourself.”

Somewhere along the way, my tear ducts started producing an abundance of water. I was overwhelmed. It was too beautiful maybe, the day, his words, the fact that my present moment looked, felt, and sounded the way it did, and I was sharing it with hundreds of other people, some of whom must have been having a similar experience. Their suffering was all around, their love, too. I felt a hand on my arm, which startled me. It was a kind woman offering a tissue. I could hear others nearby also weeping. Monks and nuns were chanting now, singing the name of Avalokiteshvara, the saint of compassion, and a cello played. Damn cello, gets me every time. Vast blue sky space stretched overhead, and the ground on which we sat felt solid and stable. We were being restored.

The Buddhist monks and nuns chanting… also the cello. Sniff.

Life will always contain suffering, and it will offer opportunities to cultivate compassion, grow love, and strengthen our minds through presence and practice. Copley Square will always be the place where we went after the marathon to leave flowers, candles, sneakers, and letters. It’s where people cried and prayed  Often, they felt hopeless. Today, a proper memorial resides in the same spot, on the periphery of where Thich Nhat Hanh’s meditation event occurred. The earth, there, hugging the edge of the space where so many people sat in peace and thought about love.

I still hurry through the dishes most of the time, and while writing this post, I wolfed down an apple and peanut butter so fast, I barely tasted either of them. My spoon scrapped the bottom of the bowl, and I thought, heyyy, who ate my snack? But, then, a teacher or moment reminds me of the miracle of mindfulness and skill of being present. How I can always practice, beginning simply with breathing in and breathing out. And, sometimes, the expectations in my mind are blown away by the real-life experience.

 

Originally published on my website, Om Gal.

Deepak Chopra Gives Out Advice in NYC for OWN

“Spiritual advice has more impact when it’s given to real people who have real questions.” That’s how Gotham Chopra introduces Help Desk – the special airing on OWN this Sunday (September 22) at 12pm local time.

The episode revolves around spiritual experts setting up shop in populated areas and offering their advice to anyone who needs it. For the first half Deepak Chopra answers questions in Madison Square Park in New York City. Though Deepak receives and tries to answer thousands of questions every day via social media, now you can see him in action, giving real advice to real people in the moment. He answers heartfelt questions about relationships, health, spirituality, and personal transformation. Watch a first look below:

Rev. Ed Bacon and author of 8 Habits of Love takes the hot seat for the second half of the show – answering questions in the middle of Venice Beach, CA. In this touching clip Ed gives advice to a man who has lost his wife, job and his home but is still trying to keep a positive attitude. He asks the reverend if he’ll ever be able to find his center again:

You can see more behind the scenes and sneak peaks of Help Desk at Oprah.com/HelpDesk. Don’t forget to tune in and watch Sunday, September 22, at noon ET/PT!

Are You Shopping for Enlightenment?

The most common answer, sadly, is ‘yes’ or ‘maybe’. But it is almost never a ‘no’ for any of us.

Our human mind is always chasing something. It constantly prompts you to shed any responsibility and instead place it onto others. Be it social, professional, or spiritual responsibilities. Your mind will not let you take full responsibility for your own divinity. Thus, you will constantly chase after Gods that you have never seen. You will wait for some special spiritual experience to open your third eye or some mystic who holds the power to enlighten you with the touch of his hand.

Even in our romantic relationships, we impatiently wait for that ‘someone special’ to fulfill the vacuum within ourselves, only to find that no such person even exists. All you have been missing was you. Once you find yourself, everyone is a mate of your soul. We wait and search for that perfect person instead of using our energy on becoming that perfect person. It all comes down to you and what you’re looking for can never be found on the outside.

In the same way, you can read books, attend seminars, light incense, and get certificates of meditation and yoga, but spiritual light doesn’t need validation of anything; it comes from within. None of the masters chase after books. Enlightenment simply happened to them out of their sheer innocent attitude and openness to receive it. Homecoming is enlightenment; when you realize that it exists nowhere else but within your own self, it is like coming home. But with most of us, our egos are shamelessly sensitive and anything, just anything can shake our ego…leading us further away from our true eternal self and more into the illusion.

The result is that we start to shop for enlightenment. We try out every solution offering happiness. We try out every self proclaimed Guru promising divinity. In some cases, seekers have some experiences which are mistaken as signs of enlightenment. The profound transformation is still missing.

Is there a solution?

The solutions are very simple. Nothing fancy. Nothing mystic is needed. In fact, the ‘simplicity’ of enlightenment goes against it more than often.

Try out some of these suggestions to warm up:

  • Forgive yourself. Forgive others.
  • Love yourself. Love others.
  • Take responsibility for your spiritual journey.
  • Know that one master can change the entire world. But we need the entire world to be a set of surrendered seekers who are ready to shed the ego.
  • Stop shopping for enlightenment. There is nothing to buy anyway. You just need to take off the social mask.
  • Being uncomfortable with yourself in meditation is perfect alright. That is the whole goal! When you peel off layers imposed on you by societal norms, you will feel uneasy… But go ahead with it! The more your seek, the more you will find.

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Are You Living Your Intentions? 3 Steps To Start Now

Grace - 1Often, spiritually guided, inspired moments in our lives end up being just … moments.

In other words, despite your excellent intentions, you cleanse and then go right back to eating office cupcakes. You work out for a month and then stop moving at all. You plan to cut off a toxic relationship and then, in a moment of weakness, text that person you know is bad for you.

Why?

The truth is that living a healthy, miraculous life—with vitality and grace—requires real commitment and a practice. Without it, even your most soul-directed intentions may falter.

The right tools make these moments more of a mind-set and allow you to live your good intentions. Try these tips and practices that I created and use all the time.

1. Practice radical forgiveness. When we slip up, we often enter a cycle of guilt that sabotages our progress even more. What if you could learn to forgive yourself on the spot? Forgiveness is a choice you make. In an instant you can shift from self-hatred and attack to self-love and compassion. Your simple decision to choose to forgive yourself will open the floodgates for peace to set in. Next time you judge yourself for falling off the healthy wagon, simply say, “I choose to forgive myself now.” Then relax into that commitment and let forgiveness take over.

2. “When in doubt, play it out.” It’s easy to forget about the long-term consequences of small choices, especially when temptation (say, a jumbo frosted cupcake) is right in front of you. Instead of summoning every ounce of willpower to resist the urge, remember: When in doubt, play it out. That’s right. Play out the entire story from start to finish. You pick up the cupcake and eat the whole thing, then in the heat of the moment you eat another. Fifteen minutes later you have a sugar headache that stays with you until the following morning when you feel hung over from the cupcake binge.

Whatever the issue, if you take the time to play out the entire scenario you’ll be able to talk yourself out of making a mistake. The key is to think your way through the whole story. Not just the fun part where you get a sugar high off of the cupcake. Play the story all the way through to the end when you crash and burn. Your honesty and willingness to remember what is real will save you when you want to relapse into old behavior. This tool isn’t just for sugary temptations. Use it whenever you find yourself enchanted by something that ultimately is not good for you.

3. Do you have permission-giving thoughts? Do you give yourself permission to do things that you know should be out of bounds for you? Whether it’s downing that extra drink, buying that dress on your maxed-out credit card, or eating fast food, giving yourself the go-ahead ultimately leads to bigger failures. Here’s how to flip that logic: Stop giving yourself permission to partake in the negative behavior. If you make a commitment to yourself that you no longer partake in that activity—”I don’t drink”—then you won’t wind up drunk on a Friday night when you wanted to stay sober. Each time you choose not to give yourself permission to do something negative, you make it easier to do something positive. Making good on your good intentions is a miracle.

Want to figure out how to turn these three intention-keeping tips into a lifelong practice? Then check out this video for more tips. I created this toolkit for the “Summer of Miracles” lecture I co-hosted with Well&GoodNYC. You’ll love. For further guidance you can watch the lecture video here.

The Kundalini yoga master Yogi Bhajan says, “There’s a way through every block.” And the strategies and meditations I share in this lecture will help you learn to find the ways that work for you.

Sadhana: Your Key to a Life Less Ordinary

i_love_octoberAtma Vidya means knowledge of the Soul.

The Vedas say there are technologies to achieve whatever you want to. Nothing is impossible to experience. The life you want is not beyond you.

They say that time and matter are limitations that can be transcended.

You are not someone who can not get better from your unwellness or someone destined to be alone, or someone without the money you need to make ends meet, or someone who will never be a successful artist, or someone who can not conceive (more?) children.

You are not a secretary, you are god!

You are the infinite potential of consciousness made manifest, and if you master the wisdom, that experience and that reality, you can experience and realize everything that you have ever wanted.

But you don’t do it on your own.

You need a guru – a teacher. Guru literally means dispeller of darkness. One who extinguishes dark simply because they are light. Darkness simply dissolves in a room if you turn on a light. Poof! It’s gone.

In this way, the guru dissolves our ignorant perception of our limited self by bringing us the Awareness we need to realize our true Self. The thing is, gurus ask for us to listen. Like any trainer they want our discipline. Like any trainer they set exercises and a routine and they expect for us to follow it. There are practices we must perform and repeat every day, and sometimes with additional intensity.

And like all trainers, they ask us to push ourselves outside our comfort zones. They teach things that kind of seem a bit out there to me and you in the modern world. Just like all trainers they want our commitment and surrender. Because, they will tell you, and as you can see, they have a method that most evidently works.

Sometimes on the spiritual path you find yourself awake at 3am BST chanting mantras and setting intentions, and you may realize that you’re living with a different set of practices and priorities from most of the rest of the world.

The guru brought you here. What are you doing?

Sadhana. That’s what you’re doing. Sadhana is a discipline set with the intent of realizing a spiritual goal. Remember what you’re here for: this quest for a thing called ‘Atma -Vidya’ – the knowledge of the Soul.

And it tells you that what you are doing is both necessary and perfect for what you intend to experience. There’s an intelligence at a cosmic level that bypasses your intellectual understanding and it makes you believe there’s an overriding magic in the universe that you can hitch your dreams to.

But the magic doesn’t happen out there. It happens inside You. It happens essentially in you coming to experience your self as a Soul and then living and taking action as a conscious Soul. There is an art, they say, to creating the life that you want to live: a life that is more colorful and vivid and satisfying and rich; a life less ordinary – and just like you don’t doubt that working out is one way of realizing a physical goal, accept that the way toward revealing your Soul – is through Sadhana.

So carry on with your Sadhana. Practice. Absorb everything you can learn from the guru.

Meditate from 3am in the morning till 6. Say your mantra 1008 times a morning. Do 108 or 54 or 27 sun salutations a day for 108 days if that’s what your teacher says might help. Ask for your name to be placed in the fire lab/homa when the moon is full in Uttarashada. Spend 10 days in vipassana. Become celibate for a while. Or for a lifetime. Offer sweets to a cow in a field, or feed rice to fish in the ocean.

And when you find yourself laughing at how crazy it all seems, remember that no matter how you look at it, the every day world is a pretty upside down place too.

Remember that you want to make quantum leaps into a different space. And remember that logic and rationale are definitely not going to take you there. And remember that for 5000 years or more, there are teachers who have been telling us that we are able to create a different quality of experience by living with a conscious Soul.

Remember that what you are doing is being open to being taught something you did not know before.

And then when you’ve done your Sadhana, keep calm, keep quiet and carry on with life in the modern world. It’s not something you have to announce to anyone. It’s between you and your guru – and your quest for Atma Vidya.

And, if sometimes, in the middle of all of this you think really, why am I doing all this stuff – then let this be a mantra too: if you want to have something you’ve never had, you’ve got to do something you’ve never done.

 

Originally published on my website, The Modern Girl’s Guide to Spirituality

The Coolest Meditator In The World

The Dalai Lama @ The Vancouver Peace SummitHe turned 78 last Saturday and still says he meditates for three hours every day, starting at 4 am. He says he is just a simple monk and that kindness is his religion, calling for love and compassion to promote world peace.

When we met with the Dalai Lama he was standing on his veranda overlooking the beautiful Himalayan Mountain range, smiling and waving for us to come. We went to bow as is the tradition but he lifted us, took our hands, and said: “We are all equal here.”

We really didn’t know what to expect as he walked us into his sitting room. We imagined this spiritual leader to millions would be a serene Buddha-like figure sitting on a throne, yet he sat between us on his couch, still holding our hands, for forty-five minutes. He was the most ordinary person we ever hung out with. The world’s greatest meditator was simple and unassuming, he felt like our best friend, and he laughed a lot.

Ed and Deb Shapiro with the Dalai LamaJust by sitting with the Dalai Lama we realized the effect of his years of meditation, as his very presence emanated all those qualities that meditators seek, such as inner peace, loving kindness, authenticity, and mindful awareness. This is particularly seen in his devotion to ahimsa, non-injury, and his policy of non-violence, which is why he won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1989.

Research, such as that conducted by neuroscientist Richie Davidson, a friend of the Dalai Lama’s, at Wisconsin University, and shared in our book Be The Change, proves how meditation actually develops the part of our brain that increases compassion and loving kindness. “By training the mind, we can actually change the brain toward greater contentment,” says Dr. Davidson in Be The Change. “There is certainly evidence to show that meditation practices designed to cultivate compassion and loving kindness change the brain in many positive ways.”

However, the mind desires endless entertainment and much prefers being distracted than facing the constant dramas racing around inside it. The idea of sitting still and watching our breath can appear boring, meaningless, even a time-waster, and not at all fun or creative. Yet meditation invites an undoing of what isn’t and a revealing of what is; we don’t become someone else, rather we become more who we really are, which is far from boring! It is about being fully present in this moment, no matter what we are doing: if washing the dishes, then let any thoughts and distractions dissolve into the soap bubbles; when eating, be aware of every bite, taste, and texture.

As the Dalai Lama wrote in the foreword to our book:

I strongly recommend anyone interested in meditation not to simply read what these people have to say, but to try it out. If you like it and its useful to you, keep it up. Treat this book as you would a cookery book. You wouldn’t merely read recipes with approval, you’d try them out. Some you’d like and would use again. Like cookery, meditation only makes sense if you put it into effect.

A regular practice of meditation can produce discernible changes in the brain in a matter of just six to eight weeks. To feel the difference in yourself try the practice below.

Weed Pulling Meditation

Find a comfortable and upright place to sit. Take a few deep breaths, then watch the flow of your breath as it enters and leaves.

Now bring your focus to your heart, and as you breathe in feel as if your heart is opening and softening; as you breathe out, release any tension or resistance. Sit here for a few minutes.

Now visualize yourself walking in a beautiful but overgrown garden. All sorts of colorful flowers surround you, but among them are numerous weeds.

You find a place to sit amidst the plants and mindfully begin to remove the weeds. Each one represents a negative aspect of yourself or your life. Name it as you remove it, and watch it leave your mind as you discard it.

The more weeds you remove the lighter you feel, as if a weight is being removed from you. As you do this, the flowers are growing stronger and brighter.

Stay here as long as you like. You may not have time to pull up all the weeds, so before you leave promise that you will be back again to remove some more.

When you are ready, silently repeat three times, “May I be happy, may my mind be like a beautiful garden.” Take a deep breath and let it go. Then fill the rest of your day with kindness and smiles.

* * *

Listen to our weekly LIVE radio show every Tuesday at 8:00pm EST: Going Out Of Your Mind.

Join our Be The Change Meditate e-Conference that will uplift and inspire you. 30 eclectic meditation teachers, including Marianne Williamson, Congressman Tim Ryan, author of Mindful Nation, Sharon Salzberg, Robert Thurman, Gangaji, Joan Borysenko, Seane Corn, neuroscientist Richie Davidson who proves how meditation affects the brain, Roshi Joan Halifax, Tara Stiles, and us, Ed and Deb Shapiro, authors of the conference companion book, BE THE CHANGE: How Meditation Can Transform You and The World. Expect your life to never be the same again!

For more information: www.edanddebshapiro.com

photo by: Kris Krug

Six Unconventional Ways to Find Guidance

Screen Shot 2013-07-08 at 3.31.22 PMThey say that if we can count our friends on one hand, we’re lucky. Having just one best bud who brings on the sunshine when the going gets tough can feel like a big enough blessing. Sure, we hope to have a handful of people to call on when we need to, but when it comes to our nearests and dearests, I find it’s really about quality over quantity.

But whether or not we have one sole BFF, a whole handful of them, or the Motley Crue at our side, there’s no denying that most of our days are spent without those partners in crime.  No matter who is in our life and how close we are with them, the 9-5 is often filled with clients, paperwork and no compadres to speak of.

Here are six ways to find guidance and inspiration when the Monday blues start kicking in and your trusted confidants are out of sight:

1. Touch the clock, it’s 11:11. Yes, just like you did when you were a kid. It’s said that when you see a clock at 11:11, it’s a sign that the angels are watching over you, or that they’re reminding you you’re a “lightworker.” Others believe it’s a sign of synchronicity, or that the angels are trying to get your attention so they can tell you something even bigger. I’m not kidding when I tell you that almost every day, I look up at the clock right at 11:11 (both AM and PM.) Now that you know this little trick, I bet you’ll see 11:11 a whole lot more often.

2. Turn up the radio. No, not to drown out the sounds of your boss still yacking in your head, though that’s a good idea too. A song can tell us just what we need to hear, right when we need to hear it. Try it next time you’re in the car or listening to Pandora at your desk. It works.

3. Meditate. Yeah, yeah, I know, there’s a reason why this isn’t at the top of my list – I’m not the biggest fan of getting quiet either. But I must say, even if I can’t hear guidance when I’ve quieted all of the other voices in my head, I still find a certain calm within myself that cannot be replaced when I meditate. That serenity can carry me through my day.

4. Open your eyes to what’s in front of you. How often have I needed a pep talk and not even known it? I’ll look ahead of me only to see some quote on the wall or Facebook status that says exactly what I need to hear. Guidance doesn’t have to come in the ways we expect it to: it’s often right in front of us if we’re willing to let go of our expectation of what it should look like.

5. Listen closely. Sure, your crazy co-worker who drives you up the wall isn’t exactly your guru, but they might have something to say that, when taken out of the context, is really valuable within the context of your life.

6. Look up. If all else fails, that’s often all it takes

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