So we have been meditating for a few weeks and we are not sure whether our practise is working or not. 

Firstly it’s good to give ourselves a little time.  We have spent many years without a regular practise we can’t always expect change overnight.

That’s not to say there isn’t change going on, it’s just not always so obvious.  When we were younger we probably didn’t remember growing taller but we did.  Just like change in the mind, we don’t always recognise change, but it is happening.    

It’s always important not to judge the meditation by the quality of meditation itself, but by the quality of life.  Which makes sense why focus on a few minutes, a couple times a day meditating when we have 24 hours of living.  

Below are some tell-tale signs that our meditation practise is going well.  Again, don’t be expecting a sledge hammer of bliss smashing through every cell.  Invariably its far more subtle, but subtle doesn’t mean less powerful.   If in doubt, speak to your teacher who will be able to help.

We Feel Happier in Life

Life feels good and it didn’t need to be triggered by Happiness or Positive Affirmations.  There is just a natural feel good feeling that resonates within us and doesn’t seem to budge regardless of the environment we are in.        

Better Sleep

Sleep improves greatly as we find ourselves thinking less and less towards the end of the evening (providing the last thing you do isn’t watching the news) as we are drawn to the bedroom for a good night’s sleep.  We also notice when getting up we feel more rested than before as we recognise the benefits of a deep and peaceful sleep. 

Energy Levels Increased 

We feel more energised and capable of doing more at work as well as at home.  That said, we don’t always have to launch ourselves into further activity rather than enjoy the feeling as it runs throughout us.  It is incredibly healing whilst also makes us naturally very present! 

Less Stressed in Stressful Situations

Regardless to our practise, life will present us with challenge after challenge.  That’s simply the way it is.  But it’s how we deal with it that makes us who we are. We begin to feel more confident and capable in dealing with such them and whilst they can still be uncomfortable we become more aware of feelings deep within that it’s all ok and that’s just fine. 

For more information on upcoming events including courses on Transcendental Meditation please contact me directly at hello@andreberrymeditation.co.uk

A regular Meditation practise has many personal benefits but it can also positively affect our relationships with our loved one’s too.  Here are 4 ways in which daily practise can not only support, but enhance our connection with them.  Obviously, if both of you practise all the better! 

Less Stress

Many of us come across stressful situations throughout the day and rather than process them as and when they happen, we can tend to suppress them, often bringing them back home to our loved ones.  However by regularly Meditating we deal with these everyday challenges far more efficiently and are thus less likely to take it out on our nearest and dearest.

More Open and Expressive 

A relationship thrives on any opportunity to evolve and grow.   Often that growth is seen materially and that’s fine but it is also exactly what we do when we close our eyes to meditate.  It’s the reason why we get so much satisfaction from it.  As the more often we dip into our more refined states of consciousness the more expressive, open and trusting of our own intuition we become affecting all around us but especially the ones closest to us.  As everyday experiences from most shallow to the most intimate kind naturally become more expansive!

Enhanced Communication

Misinterpretation and Misunderstanding happens less and less as we become more aware of each others emotions and feelings.  Many who have Meditated for a while, also notice they have more awareness of their senses allowing them to react from a more centred space.

A Deeper Connection leads to greater Happiness, Resilience and Security

The deeper our connection grows with each other the stronger and more resilient we become.  A tree, deeply rooted to the earth is less likely to be affected by the conditions it faces every day, than one where the roots are shallow.  It feels secure, safe and assured regardless of the weather conditions around it.  Relationships are very similar in the way that there will always be challenges but the deeper the connection the more resilient we become along with a knowing that we can get through whatever comes our way!  It is both beautiful and immensely powerful.  

Looking to maintain your Meditation Practise check out..

https://andreberrymeditation.co.uk/maintaining-your-meditation-practice-part-1/     

For more information on upcoming events including courses on Transcendental Meditation please contact me directly at hello@andreberrymeditation.co.uk

Let’s face it we can all Google Stress and get a list of the symptoms associated with it.

So this entry is more about the benefits of living relatively stress-free.  For a life with as little stress as possible (for the record, some stress in one’s life is a good thing it can enhance brain activity and improve all round mental and physical performance and wellbeing) is a positive one indeed and one that we should all aspire to head towards and as we do, expect to see changes in much of what we do and how we do it.

Feeling More Energised

Our bodies are incredible machines with huge untapped energy resources much of which are tied up in our stressed-out body.  The less stressed we are, the lighter we become both physically and mentally naturally leading to increased energy levels affecting our thought processes, creativity and much more!

Sleep Better

In order to make the most of our lives, sleep is vital.  It recharges our brains and allows bodies to rest.  With less stressful thoughts occupying our minds the more likely we can not only sleep longer but deeper too, allowing us to reap the full healing benefits of a good night’s sleep.

Naturally start to become Healthier

Emotionally we become more balanced and with that comfort eating becomes less of an issue as we are not as likely to be drawn to food with high Fat and Sugary content.

Instead, cravings for more healthier options become more desirable as we seek to maintain the balance, we have created for ourselves.

Exercise becomes a more meditative experience as we become more mindful of every step and breath we take.

Enhanced Libido

With less stress, expect sexual desire to increase as the mind and body becomes freer from the challenges and rigours of everyday life, changing from one’s mood from tired and fed up to open and liberated and with increased energy levels (please see above) we are now able to express more easily and effortlessly than ever before.

Happier

Not just big cheesy smiles on our faces rather than periods of pure contentment and peace in all that we do.  Work begins to appear less challenging, yet more rewarding, relationships with friends and family become closer, we are now more sociable and life itself becomes a joy as emotionally we are now stronger and more balanced as the stress within us diminishes leaving us more in touch with ourselves than ever before.

For working towards a Relatively Stress-Free Life check out………

Resourses

https://www.apa.org/news/press/releases/stress/2013/sleep

https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/why-stress-causes-people-to-overeat

https://www.healthline.com/health/low-testosterone/conditions-that-cause-low-libido

For more information on upcoming events including courses on Transcendental Meditation please contact me directly at hello@andreberrymeditation.co.uk

 

 

Over the years I have been fortunate to of come across a few people in truly amazing spaces and it is fair to say many of them have cited, that  a regular Meditation programme has contributed.

Unsurprisingly, not all of them practise one specific technique but they are certainly dedicated to what they practice

Dedication is as important as the practise itself.  There really is no quick fix.  Afterall, you get out what you put in and anyone who suggests otherwise, we should automatically be wary of.

That said, the benefits of regularly meditating, are so overwhelmingly in favour of our wellbeing it’s certainly worth exploring what is out there.

With that in mind here is a small sample of some of the more popular ones for you to look into.

To make things easier Meditation has recently been split into 3 categories

1. Focus Attention Meditation (FAM) are concentrative meditation techniques.  This  is when we focus our attention on a single object.  Which can be internal or external.  Typically Meditations associated with these are Zen, Qi Gong, Mantra Japa and Vipassana.

2. Open Monitoring Meditation (OMM) is where we explore feelings, thoughts and sensations that are currently present in our body.  It is also possible to change and adapt some FAM to have a more OMM experience.  Typically Mindfulness, Body Scans and Loving Kindness are often associated with this.

3. Automatic Self-Transcending (AST) are techniques that typically transcend general activity of the mind.  Minimal effort if any is encouraged throughout the process.  Techniques associated with this are Transcendental Meditation, Vedic Meditation and Qi Gong

How do I go about choosing?
Research, if available go to Introductory Talks or speak to the Teacher who will be teaching you.  Once again be wary of anyone who is too pushy or has little respect for other techniques (Personally, I have always found this a little disappointing).  Ideally, one that offers continuous support after you have learnt for this is the key to your success.

Which is best?
If you are practising regularly.  They all offer tremendous benefits, they just have a different approach.  What really matters is which technique resonates with you and how comfortable you are in practising it.  Because that will contribute to whether you maintain your practise or not.

For more information on upcoming events including courses on Transcendental Meditation please contact me directly at hello@andreberrymeditation.co.uk

When I started meditating 12 years ago I turned from being shattered, depressed and stressed.  To one that could not only find happiness. But experience levels of joy I never thought possible.

To this day, I go to bed every night so excited to be alive and wake up most mornings with the feeling as if I am hovering over the floor (for the record I’m not, but I do check, just to make sure).

It naturally motivates and inspires me to give my best every day and that best just seems to get better and better with each passing day. Meditation, it’s much more than a simple relaxation technique!

Now, new technology (functional magnetic resonance imaging (FMRI) and electroencephalogram (EEG)) ensures research in this field continues to be both expansive and essential as Science makes sense of these wonderful techniques from these ancient traditions.

It is no secret that research now indicates that regular (you get out what you put in) Meditation practices could potentially lead to normalisation of Blood Pressure as well as reduction in Anxiety, Depression, Insomnia and other Stress and Trauma Related Issues (including PTSD).

Also that practising such techniques can complement (not replace) more conventional Care Programs and Medications

This is of course great news, but it’s the drive into Higher States of Consciousness or “Extraordinary Experiences” (Transcendent, Non Local, Non Dual) in which there have been well over 1,000 studies that we should be equally aware of and whilst accuracy is still away off, due to data collection issues, it can surely only be a matter of time.

For meditation can help us be the very best, we can be and hopefully it will only be a matter of time until it is proven and Science confirms what these great Traditions have been saying all along.

Resources

https://www.nccih.nih.gov/health/meditation-in-depth
https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24107199/
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5363900/
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5101089/
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5721815/
https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24673148/
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2020-02/isfa-tpo022120.php
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6221271/

For more information on upcoming events including courses on Transcendental Meditation please contact me directly at hello@andreberrymeditation.co.uk

Positive Thinking as many of us know it, has been around since the late 1920’s where after the Great Depression, two books were released that tried to change the way much of society think.  

They were “How to Win Friends and Influence People” by Dale Carnegie and “Think Rich Grow Rich” by Napoleon Hill.  Ever since then 100’s of books on the topic have dominated our bookshelves and thus our lives.  

But for many of us, as nice as it sounds, it’s can be easier said than done and there are reasons for this… 

Whilst having a positive attitude is said to bring many benefits to us including Reduction of Stress Levels, Improved Mental Health, Better Physical Health and a Wonderful Social Life.  All of which are believed to greater levels of success in all that do.  

It can sometimes require a huge amount of effort in converting or suppressing what we believe to be a negative thought or feeling to something more appealing.  This is energy that could potentially be used elsewhere.

So alternatively, rather than use this excess to go against the natural flow of our thoughts when we could just learn to deal with all of them more efficiently and effectively.  

This is something we all have access to by regularly meditating.  As such practices expand one’s awareness of the mind, enhancing our capabilities in dealing with all kinds of thoughts, simply, easily and effortlessly       

In time and with a little dedication we would be less affected by all of them and the more we are, the more confident we would naturally become.  

An openness, potentially leading to a fearless approach to life could well follow, as we would be less affected by the potential consequences of our actions (we would become more confident in dealing with whatever emotions come our way).  Approaching them as naturally as a seasoned surfer takes on wave after wave of an ocean as it presents it!

The benefits mentioned earlier by having a positive attitude would also naturally come into play.  Stress Levels would be reduced (after all what would we have to worry about) automatically improving our Mental Health, leaving us more energised and confident in all that we do.  

A new approach to life would then naturally resonate in all that we do as we would have lesser concerns in a world that where lets face it, will always be packed with one challenge after another!

 

For more information on upcoming events including courses on Transcendental Meditation please contact me directly at hello@andreberrymeditation.co.uk

At a time when Covid-19 has dominated our lives more than ever, we need to understand how our body works and how we can look after it.

A strong immune system can do just that as it is able to fight off infections as well as prevent us from contracting highly contagious diseases.

Yes, there are supplements out there that can help, but lifestyle changes can also contribute greatly towards boosting the immune system naturally and at times effortlessly too.

For instance, there are more and more researchers out there that suggest sleeping just 7 plus hours a night will help bolster the immune system.

A good night’s sleep is still overlooked by many. Personally, I value it more and more as it affects all that I do and anything that can do that must affect my immune system too and if it does mine, it will do yours too.

Of Course, as a Meditation Teacher, I am always going to include both Meditation and Yoga as they are not only relaxing but reduce stress levels and strengthen the nervous system both of which directly affect our immune system.

As too regular moderate exercise but do be aware intense exercise can actually weaken us albeit temporarily.

A healthy diet is probably one of the more obvious ones less processed, more whole foods, more vegetables, less alcohol, etc.

https://www.healthline.com/health/food-nutrition/foods-that-boost-the-immune-system

I am not going to go into the whole meat or no meat debate as I am not qualified to add such an opinion but would always encourage you to speak to a nutritionist. It may cost money but it’s your body and certainly worth prioritising in one’s budget!

To finish, surround yourself with less stressful situations, News whilst informative can appear sensationalised, and largely focuses on the difficulties we face.

Social Media too has many benefits but with so many conspiracy theories out there about what’s going on in the world it can be incredibly stressing especially if you are not in a position to do anything about it.

Instead, why not connect with nature by going for a walk, pick up a fun book, do something that you love, call a friend you haven’t spoken to for an age and laugh more, much more.

For regardless of what’s going on in the world there is also much to be happy and grateful for and don’t let anyone else tell you otherwise!

Resources

https://www.verywellfit.com/exercise-and-immunity-3120439
https://www.verywellfit.com/what-is-high-intensity-exercise-1230811

 

For more information on upcoming events including courses on Transcendental Meditation please contact me directly at hello@andreberrymeditation.co.uk

Apple, Google, Nike, Deutsche Bank, Mckinsey & Co, Procter and Gamble, Unilever and Microsoft are well documented to offer Meditation programmes to their staff.     

Oprah Winfrey’s team actually sit down together and meditate before starting their working day and only recently I taught an organisation in London that now has a Group Meditation slot between 4:00pm-4:30pm, Monday- Friday.     

A few years ago this would have been considered excessively hippyish and bordering on cultish.  Nowadays we recognise it as an essential part of any genuine (not just a tick in the box) wellbeing programme and rightfully so.

Mental health in the workplace has been brought to the forefront over the last few years where it is believed 1:4 of us are affected (though if you speak to many professionals they would say it’s much more) and whilst some cases are considered mild, 1:5 have called in sick rather than face work with 42% actually considered resigning.

When you think of the costs of sick days as well as recruiting and re-training staff you can certainly understand why wellbeing programmes have become such an important initiative for any organisation regardless of size (In the US alone it is believed a quarter of employers are now using “Stress Reduction Initiatives” with the goal to reduce stress and improve their reactions to it!)      

But this is not the only reason why Meditation will continue to grow in the workplace as not only does it help deal with stressful situations as well as boost confidence and reduce anxiety as well as a whole string of other Health Benefits, but it can also enhance performance too.  

Many Meditators I have taught are not only enjoying their roles more than ever, by feeling less stressed but are also noticing positive side effects including Increased Energy Levels and Drive, Improved Focus, Enhanced Creativity along with Greater Clarity of Thought.

They are not alone, for these are common traits associated with people who regularly Meditate and in the competitive world that we live where we are constantly pushed to be at our very best, any advantage, could indeed be a winning one.    

       

Resources

https://www.hse.gov.uk/stress/mental-health.htm

https://www.mind.org.uk/workplace/mental-health-at-work/taking-care-of-your-staff/

For more information on upcoming events including courses on Transcendental Meditation please contact me directly at hello@andreberrymeditation.co.uk

Continuing where we left off with Part 1 (https://andreberrymeditation.co.uk/maintaining-your-meditation-practice-part-1/),

It’s good to look and learn from others who have become masters in their respective fields.

It’s logical, especially if we think back to the previous post where we discussed the Footballer and Doctor who clearly have to live and breathe their chosen professions in order to excel.

Whilst we are not looking to become “professionals” as such, being at the very least, interested in how stress affects the Mind can only help motivate us to deal with it as efficiently and as effectively as possible!  

Plus, we should want to know more.  It’s crazy that we don’t, every challenge we face in life can be made easier through greater awareness of the Mind’s potential and Meditation does just that naturally, easily and effortlessly!

Now that you are more inspired, if you haven’t already, attend a Meditation Course.  I know there are plenty of books and more and more are online. But look for courses where you can work directly with a teacher, ideally in person!   

For when they are working directly with you, they are able to recognise subtle differences between a correct and incorrect practice that wouldn’t always be so obvious in a book or online.  

Once you have learned, attend any support sessions that are available.  They invariably serve as an excellent refresher, packed with knowledge and attract like-minded souls (who can also be wonderful in encouraging you through times you’d rather do something else, which happens to us all)!    

Any decent teacher out there, of which there are many.  Will offer continued support. Some will offer it online and on the phone, others will offer group meetings, retreats and a few will offer 1:1 meetings too.  Just so you know we offer it all 😉   

Now, look to create a lifestyle that supports your practice.  

Nothing too excessive, but do explore the idea getting a good night’s sleep, as sleep affects everything we do including Meditation and Yoga (If you are struggling with sleep I do recommend “Sleep” by Nick Littlehales who has some excellent tips on how to get a great night’s sleep also “Why we Sleep” by Matthew Walker is very good.  Meditation itself will also help).        

To add, in “Atomic Habits” by James Clear (a very good book on the art of maintaining good habits) he believes initially in small changes/shifts integrated into your day, rather than big ones are the way forward when looking to grow your Meditation.      

So whether your practice requires you to “Close Your Eyes” once a day, twice a day, or numerous times throughout the day.  Some time is better than no time!  

In time, 5 minutes will become 10 minutes, 10 minutes will become 15 and so on.  

Next thing you know the regularity will become your new norm, by attending support sessions you are now interpreting experiences correctly, you are also more motivated than ever to maintain your practice because you understand the benefits of meditation and you not only have support as and when you want it but you now have access to like-minded friends who also think the same way as you do and that is Meditation not only works but is AMAZING!!   

 

For more information on upcoming events including courses on Transcendental Meditation please contact me directly at hello@andreberrymeditation.co.uk

So, back at the tail end of last year or the beginning of this, you made your New Years Resolutions and one of them was to Meditate regularly. 

After all, your friends do it and they love it and every time you go on to YouTube or you read your favorite celebrities’ biography, they talk or write about how their practice quite literally changed their life!  

Plus now, there is more and more research out there to indicate that indicate a regular meditation practice is more than just a hippy thing from the 1960s but a tool to help deal with pretty much everything life throws at you. 

A powerful tool indeed!

Yet, none the less you just can’t get that regular practice happening.  You read a book or 2 or you go on youtube and watch a couple of clips. You feel inspired briefly but it rarely lasts and even when you do manage a few moments to close your eyes…

All you find yourself doing is fidgeting around, whilst thinking about your next meeting, what time you are catching up with your mates and more importantly what’s for dinner! (Depending on what you practice this is not necessarily a bad thing you maybe just interpreting the experience incorrectly).

This, of course, can be very frustrating and quite often rather than persisting, you give up saying you gave it your best but it wasn’t really for you or you try something else only for that to follow a similar pattern!

However, the key to a regular practice isn’t in the books, a youtube clip or even a course you undertake… 

It’s about creating a new mindset from the one you currently have that will allow you to benefit from that “improved self-awareness” “increased energy levels” or “greater clarity of thought” often associated with a regular meditation practice and it is one based around dedication!

I suppose it’s kinda obvious, after all, if you take any profession in the world.  Whether it be a footballer or a doctor, in order for them to be at their very best in their field they have to be totally dedicated to their practice whether it be healing patients or entertaining the crowds.

In Part 2 of Maintaining a Regular Meditation Practise, we will explore the art of creating a dedicated practise and not only is it not as hard as you think it would be but also you will be delighted to read, you won’t have to put in anywhere near as many hours as a wannabe doctor or footballer would do to perfect theirs.   

 

For more information on upcoming events including courses on Transcendental Meditation please contact me directly at hello@andreberrymeditation.co.uk