Always Well Within

Calm Your Mind, Ease Your Heart, Embrace Your Inner Wisdom

Month: January 2017

Climate Change: 3 Ways You Can Make a Difference Through Mindful Consumption

How you can positively impact climate change

When times feel dark and chaotic, I turn to The World We Have, A Buddhist Approach to Peace and Ecology by Thich Nhat Hanh for guidance.

You don’t have to be a Buddhist to follow the 5 Mindfulness Trainings Hanh shares in this guide.  They provide a non-sectarian global ethic, not associated with a particular religion, race, or ideology, relevant to everyone.

Hanh says,

The bells of mindfulness are sounding.  All over the Earth, we are experiencing floods, droughts, and massive wildfires.  Sea ice is melting in the Arctic and hurricanes and heat waves are killing thousands.  The forests are fast disappearing, the deserts are growing, species are becoming extinct every day, and yet we continue to consume, ignoring the ringing bells.

All of us know that our beautiful green planet is in danger.  Our way of walking on the Earth has a great influence on animals and plants.  Yet we act as if our daily lives have nothing to do with the condition of the world.  We are like sleepwalkers, not knowing what we are doing or where we are heading.  Whether we can wake up or not depends on whether we can walk mindfully on our Mother Earth.  The future of all life, including our own, depends on our mindful steps.  We have to hear the bells of mindfulness that are sounding all across our planet.  We have to start learning how to live in a way that a future will be possible for our children and our grandchildren.

Hanh’s message feels more important than ever, especially given the new U. S. administration, which denies climate change as a hoax and is determined to dismantle environmental protections at lightening speed.

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21 Meditation Tips You Need to Know As a Beginner

Meditation Tips for Beginners

Meditation has changed my life for the better in so many ways.

It has helped me become more relaxed, peaceful, loving, and accepting of myself.  I’m less inclined to fret about the past or worry about the future.  I’m less likely to create suffering for myself and others by engaging in storms of fantastic emotion.

More and more, I’m able to see, understand, and change my habitual patterns of thought and emotion, the ones that bring unhappiness and suffering.  This isn’t all due to meditation, but meditation has played a significant role.

I’m not perfect, of course.  I still get waylaid by my beliefs and emotions from time to time, but less often.  I still have plenty of fears to deal with, but I’m less afraid of them.

Having taught mindfulness meditation for more than ten years, I’ve witnessed the remarkable shifts hundreds of people have made as they’ve learned to meditate as well.

They’ve discovered:

  • An incredible sense of freedom that arrives when you’re no longer the victim of your thoughts and emotions.
  • A spaciousness of mind that makes you less perturbed by all that’s going on around you.
  • A deep feeling for the fullness of the present moment, when one’s senses come fully alive.
  • A warmth of heart that makes loving themselves and others a natural expression of their truest self.

This is what I would like for you too. So I’ve gathered together my best tips on mindfulness meditation to help you get started. Or to help you get started again if you’ve hit a roadblock in your meditation practice.

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Just the Best: On Emotional Healing, Best Books 2016 & 101 Life Hacks

Best Links for Personal + Spiritual Growth

How lava flows on the Big Island. Really!

How are you finding the New Year?

After almost two continuous months of rain, I’m overjoyed to see the sun shining again.  We’re preparing to plant 12 new fruit trees this week and praying the wild pigs won’t trash them.

I’m also heavily into creating.  I’m writing and recording two new audios for a paid version of Open Your Heart to You, my short course on Loving-Kindness.  I plan to offer the course in February or March, so stay tuned if this would help you.  You can sign up on my mailing list and be the first to hear.

Here’s my selection of outstanding articles from around the web to help you heal and shine and become a beacon of light for others.

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How to Live and Die with Presence, Compassion & Grace

Letting Go w/ Love and Mindfulness | Terminal Illness

One of my readers asked me to write about living with terminal illness.

Since, I haven’t faced the shock of a terminal diagnosis myself, punishing rounds of treatment to forestall an ultimately incurable illness, or the emotional turbulence that insists upon coming along with a final prognosis, I wondered what I could write that wouldn’t seem intellectual, impersonal or trite.

At the same time, I think about impermanence often.  I’ve studied the Buddhist teachings on death and dying.  I’ve had moments I thought might be my last.  And I spent a year wavering around 84 pounds, not sure whether my weight would go up or down.

So perhaps something I share today may provide comfort, bring insight, or help you release attachment to this life, whether you are facing terminal illness or not. Because learning to let go is crucial to finding a deep abiding peace whatever your stage of life.

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How to Create a Stress Reduction Plan That Will Work

Create a year-long (or shorter) stress strategy with this free workbook.

Is absolutely everyone stressed out these days?

More than three-quarters of the U. S. population say they regularly experience stress-related symptoms. Not just stressful events alone, but actual symptoms like fatigue, headaches, upset stomachs, muscle tension, change in appetite, anxiety, and depression.

Stress has become so commonplace, it’s temping to ignore or minimize it, hoping it will go away.  After all, you don’t want to be the odd person out, the only one who isn’t complaining about how overwhelmed and stressed they are.

Or do you?  Think about it for a moment.

The truth is, if you’re caught in chronic stress, there’s a very good chance your stress response will get stronger due to constant repetition.  That means stress-related symptoms are likely to continue and probably worsen.  And, on the long run, all the wear and tear on your body from chronic stress may contribute to the development of a serious condition like cardio-vascular disease or lowered immunity.

Deep in your heart, I’m sure you would love to say a relaxed but resolute  “no” to stress.  But how do you make it happen?

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