Journey to Wholeness

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Are you feeling sick or tired all the time?
Are you happy with your life or are you thinking there must be something more for you out there?
Are you up for a wholesome rest where you can transform your health and your life?

If you say yes to either one of these three questions, let us walk with you hand in hand to live a better life – Mind, Body and Soul.

Journey to Wholeness – Transformational Health Retreat
11-13 December 2015 – Vila Air, Lembang, Bandung

During this 3 Day 2 Night Retreat, you will:

  • Discover and take action to live your life purpose
  • Learn simple yet powerful self-healing techniques
  • Start practicing meditation or mindfulness in your daily life
  • Use yoga to balance your body, mind and soul
  • Relax, take a break from the daily routine, return to your wholeness

Expect surprises… more exciting programs await you!

This retreat is facilitated by:

Amelia Devina
A Quantum Healing Practitioner & Intuitive Coach, Amelia’s goal is to help you find out who you truly are, why you are here, and what you should practice to be the best version of yourself. She does that by giving you tools (healing, reading, coaching, wisdom) that you can immediately apply to improve your life, relationship, career, health and many more than you can possibly dreamed of. Read her blog at ameliadevina.com/blog.

Joshua S. Lie
A naturopath, energetic healer and meditation facilitator. He was trained in various highly respected Australian complementary and alternative medicine institutions such as Charles Sturt University, Nature Care College and Awareness Institute. He believes in the healing power of Mother Nature. Joshua has great success helping his clients with holistic approach combining herbalism,shamanism, Reiki and meditation. His specialisation is in helping psychosomatic illnesses and chronic health problems. Visit his website at joshualie.com

Silvia Hendarta
A yoga instructor, meditation facilitator and founder of Wannabe Zen, Silvia is teaching in several yoga studios around Jakarta. She is trained to teach yoga at Satyananda Yoga Australia, Fitness First Asia, and Byron Yoga Australia. Silvia is into health & wellness, spirituality, coffee, good books, and endurance sport (she is a marathoner & triathlete). She blogs at silviahendarta.com

Register now – see, hear, and feel the transformation!

Get your early bird prices till 19 November 2015!

Contact: Karuna Center (Fandi) 021-56728264 WA 081287783338

Please kindly share to all your friends, this might be something they’ve been looking for. Thank you and see you there!

Mind like clear water

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What is meditation?

Meditation is training the mind. Training the mind to become what? To become still. In the stillness, all the ripples are gone, the mud in the water settles down, then the mind becomes like clear water. In this clarity, we can see things as they are, transparent, and we are at home with our own true nature.

How?

There are many methods of meditation, but they all can be grouped into two types: focused attention meditation & witnessing/observing meditation.

Focus means anchoring our attention to one thing (or things). It can be an energy center (eg chakra), it can be a body part, it can be breath, or mantra, or movement. Or it can be an external form, for example a candle light (trataka), a sound, a deity, a flower, a picture of someone you love dearly, a representation of God, etc.

The point of this meditation is not the anchor itself, but the act of anchoring our attention.

During the practice usually our attention will wander away from the anchor. When we notice this happen, just gently bring the attention back to the anchor. By focussing our attention to a thing, our other thoughts become less gripping, our mind becomes more calm and spacious.

Example of focused meditation is breath awareness meditation, where we just sit and anchor our attention to the breath. We can observe the air coming in and going out through the nostrils, we can observe the area between the nostril and the upper lip. We can also count the breath, or just follow the breath without counting it.

Breathing in, I know that I am breathing in
Breathing out, I know that I am breathing out
~Thich Nhat Hanh

The second method is witnessing, observing, contemplating. Here what we do is we just sit, become still, and observe the mind space. It’s like watching a movie in a cinema – just sit back and observe. At the beginning we may become overwhelmed because there are so many thoughts. Just acknowledge that we have many thoughts and just watch the thoughts, like watching clouds in the sky. Notice that your thoughts, like clouds in the sky, forming, and disappearing – such is the nature of thoughts. They appear and disappear. Just observe, don’t follow the thought.

What usually happens is a thought come, triggering other thoughts, and we forgot that we are just observing, instead we follow that one thought that generates many other thoughts and we’ll start either (a) worrying/planning about the future or (b) regretting/relishing about the past. The sky of mind space then become darkened with many thought clouds and then here comes rain and thunder (emotions such as anger, guilt, apprehension, etc).

Example – a thought of banana comes. It triggers other thought: empty pantry. Oh yeah I didn’t buy it last time I go to the market. Because prices increased and with the same grocery budget I couldn’t buy banana. Because of the inflation and bad economy situation. Because of the unstable political situation. Because of the world is not at peace. And humans are destroying it’s only habitat through global warming. And so on and so forth.

If we could just observe the first thought without letting it triggers other thought, it’ll move on and disappear on its own. Like a cloud in the sky – appearing, moving on, and disappear. As we become better at just observing the clouds, we’ll get glimpses of clear blue sky. Of calm, clear state of mind. And as we practice, the frequency & duration will increase. But it comes with practice, there’s no shortcut. We have to practice. Practice intensely, or practice little but consistently, it’s up to us. If we practice, we’ll progress. And we’ll see the clear blue sky more often. The mind is clear and calm, like a clear day.

With this clarity, as we go about our daily life, we are not as reactive. We have control of our mind. And we can choose to response to the outside stimuli appropriately. When the mind is calm and clear, our inner wisdom (buddhi) becomes more accessible. We start seeing things as they are, without colorings, without conditioning.

Here are some resources from where I learned meditation from:

  1. Om Swami – search for ‘meditation’.
  2. Plum Village home of Thich Nhat Hanh
  3. Vipassana as taught by S.N. Goenka in the tradition of Sayagyi U Ba Khin
  4. Swamij.com

And many more I can’t list here. And although I just list the resources above, I would like to emphasize the importance of practice. I’m blessed to be able to join the meditation retreat of Om Swami, Plum Village, and Vipassana before, and I can tell you from my experience that it is the practice that makes the difference. Practice, practice, practice – there’s no shortcut. As Morpheous said to Neo in The Matrix:

There’s a difference between knowing the path, and walking the path.

Image source: Crystal clear and loving it by Tim Shields

Inner revolution

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The seventh post of Live Your Legend blog challenge: “What revolution will you lead?”

Definition of revolution from dictionary.com: a sudden, complete or marked change in something.

So in other words this question is similar with the previous prompt “What difference do you want to make?” but with more power and more urgency.

Last week I wrote about how people can only change if they want to change themselves – we can’t force people to walk through the door, we can only show them the door, and if they decide they want to walk through it they will. Now in order for us to notice the door, and get thinking about what’s on the other side of the door, and whether we should walk through it or not, we’ll have to be in a certain degree of non-reactiveness and awareness.

Non-reactiveness and awareness is quite rare these days, as we are bombarded with stimuli all the time from all around. Phone is ringing. Messages coming in through several different platforms. Non-stop emails pouring in. Pressures and deadlines at work. Stressful commuting. And many more. And we react to them. It’s even addicting, having to react to something. When there’s less stimuli, we seek out stimuli because we are bored. Because we want to react.

But if we react all the time, and have no time to be still, to be aware, we won’t be able to see the door of change. The door is not hidden, it’s there in plain sight, but if we don’t take time to pause and be still, we tend to not notice that door.

How to be still? How to be non-reactive? How to be aware?

First step: be comfortable in our own body, take charge of our own body, feed the body with enough nutritious food, keep it fit by staying active, give the body enough rest to recuperate. It starts with the body first because the body is the seat of the mind. Smoothly functioning body will help the mind to progress to the next step.

Second step: take time to train the mind. How? Through breath and meditation (both stillness meditation and moving meditation). The simplest way to train the mind is to watch it. Just watch, witness, and observe. Then we’ll start to see thoughts forming, out of nowhere. Like clouds form in the sky. If we pursue that thought, if we don’t abandon that thought, that’s where the trouble begin – pursuing thought generate other thoughts and before long we are worrying. If we just observe that thought, it’ll move on, or disintegrate, like clouds. After a while, we get better at noticing the thought cloud forming, and we get better at not pursuing the thought cloud. Then the mind sky become clearer, because the thought clouds moved on.

Another way to train the mind is to anchor the mind’s attention to one thought. So where there were many thoughts, we train the mind to hold just one thought. And that one thought can be breath, can be mantra, can be sound, can be a form, can be anything. By placing all the attention to that one particular thought, all the other thoughts moved on, cleared away, then the mind sky become clear.

When the mind is clear, the water is still, the ripples are gone, the mud has settled down, then comes clarity. We can see through the clear water. We can access the inner wisdom that’s in everyone of us. We are in touch with the buddhi. We notice there’s the door of change, and we can see what’s on the other side of that door, and decide whether we want to walk through the door or not.

The revolution I want to lead is an inner revolution. I want to inspire and help people to pause and be still, to overcome reactiveness, to arrive at clarity, to allow the inner wisdom, the buddhi, come forward and make decision. Then they’ll be able to change, perhaps to change something in their life so they can live a happier and more meaningful life.

Image credit: wallpapersdesign.net

Managing attention

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Attention is vitality. It connects you with others. It makes you eager. Stay eager.
~Susan Sontag

Last week’s post, The Value of Attention, got some attention from my friends (thank you guys!). I got valuable feedback on it. Apparently everybody is having this ‘attention management’ problem challenge, many people can relate to it.

Here are some articles I found about attention management:

And a blog dedicated to attention management:

My previous post, and also the above links, talked about how our attention is a limited resource, it is not infinite, hence we have to manage it. On this post I’m sharing a recap of what I’ve been trying to do to manage my attention.

1. Ditch TV and limit Youtube. Nowadays everything on TV can be found online as well – so we can forget about TV altogether. Youtube is on-demand, so we are in control on what to watch. Only watch what we intend to watch, not channel surfing nor mindless browsing. My friend Ashish Sahani wrote this:

There is this black god occupying the central place in our home. We worship it every day for hours together. We love it and keep staring at it, all day long. Every few minutes we do it’s aarati* with an instrument called remote. The only solution to peace in our lives is to lift it to the window and give it a slight push. Truly an idiot box. This box, right now before you isn’t any smarter either. [My addition: neither is the little box in our hands]

*aarati: a Hindu religious ritual of worship

2. Pay attention at the first time. Very often because we weren’t giving full attention on the first attempt to the task at hand, we make mistakes, that later will need to be corrected, that further consumes our already limited attention. And if we still don’t pay attention the second time, again we may make mistakes, and so on, it becomes a endless attention-consuming cycle.

3. Simplify. The more things we have in our mind, the more thinly spread our attention. A big part of simplifying life is decluttering, both physical space and psychological space. I’m no expert in decluttering, having grown with parents that tend to packrat, but slowly over time I manage to let go more stuff. Something interesting I read a while back – there’s a reason why Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg, and President Obama dress the same everyday. They’re simplifying their wardrobe. That way they don’t need to use their precious limited attention to make decision on “What should I wear today?” And think about it, what to wear is one of the first major decision we have to take every day (the ladies reading this are nodding their head).

4. Meditate. One thing I often hear from my friends when discussing about meditation is “I can’t empty the mind during meditation, my thoughts are running all over the place”. Most people have this conception that meditation equals to emptying the mind. Well yes in a way it is, but it’s not as simple as we sit down and pour the mind out and mind becomes empty. Thoughts will always be there, with consistent practice they will become less gripping, and we will start to see more space around the thoughts. Like any other skills it needs to be practiced and experienced, just reading about it won’t make any difference. Om Swami wrote about Two Types of Meditation, have a look if you’d like to gain more understanding about meditation.

These 4 things I have been trying to apply in my life, and they help me manage my attention. There are more, but as I am currently travelling I have limited access to computer and couldn’t write properly. To be continued.

Related to this post within this blog:

  • Unclutter – a post from 2009 about my attempt to declutter

Image of cat from wallpaperhi.com