6 Day Meditation Challenge

September 2, 2018

6 Day Challenge Meditation

6 Day Meditation Challenge “2 Minutes”

Congratulations, if you were sent this link by me, you have started meditation and are just about to begin the 6 Day Meditation Challenge using the meditation by Yogani Advanced Yoga Practices that just might change your life.

Not only that, you have started one of the most effective and tested mediations I have learned to date and can read more about it in this book: Advanced Yoga Practices, Easy Lessons for Ecstatic Living by Yogani.

This is a meditation practice that will grow with you, that will evolve as you do and accompany you all the way to the most advanced yogic techniques gradually and at your own pace.  For those who want to review it now press this link to Yogani’s site and read the full instructions for the original 20 minute meditation.

You Should Celebrate

So already on day 1 you are ahead of the game.  Way ahead of where I was seven years ago when I began meditation and decided that I would — like my own raja yoga teacher– never miss a day of meditation in my life.

You can too.  Here is a simple trick to make that possible :  You make a simple promise to yourself now, no matter what — that even on a day you may have an operation — you do a 2 minute meditation.

Who Does Not have 2 Minutes?

From now onwards make that promise to yourself (you deserve it) and today will be a day where your life will change as will all those whom you love.  It is not the 2 minutes that can change your life, but those 2 minutes can instill a daily meditation habit that will.

It doesn’t matter if you didn’t get to do the 20 minute meditation yesterday or that you just heard about it now.

Today is a new day.  Begin now.  After you read this article set the timer on your phone for the 2 minute challenge.   Put your right hand on your abdomen.  Take 3 deep breaths and feel the air decend to the abdomen.  Release.

  1. Set the intention that you will experience inner silence and joy even for a short moment and dedicate that moment to three people whom you love deeply —  this can even be yourself.
  2. Repeat the “I AM” mantra eyes closed for 2 minutes.  When your mind wanders gently bring it back to the mantra.  Feel the mantra inside at whatever level you can.
  3. When you are done smile (physically make sure you smile), and feel gratitude for your moment of inner silence.

Something tremendous has just begun…

Why tremendous?  Look at the picture above of a book I stumbled on last week when an elderly Indian gentleman was reading this raja yoga book in an Ayurvedic doctor’s office.  The man was of a certain age and his eyes sparkled and I couldn’t help but notice the back cover of his book and the words : raja yoga.

I am not good with Indian accents and I can’t claim to fully understand what this man wanted me to know, but he was quite joyous and kept talking to me and pointing at the book and saying that not a day should be wasted.  That our lives will fly by and in one wink it will be over.

He told me that I must tell people that they must begin whatever is most important in their life today. That tomorrow or a better moment never comes.  There is only this instant.

This gentleman pointed to the wheel diagram above (that must have dated from many years ago as the life span of humans at that time was 60) and said he had not allowed such a plight to happen to him.

I am not quite sure what else he said even if I was trying very hard to understand, all I know was that his eyes were gleaming, he was fully alive and I enjoyed his presence immensely despite the language barrier.

So I think that his message is for all of us.  Here is the 6 Day Challenge:

For Six Days meditate for at least 2 minutes twice a day

Meditate with the mantra “I AM” once when you first get up and before you do anything — this includes before you check your phone and see what Trump has just done.

Just sit up in bed and do your 2 minutes of “I AM” eyes closed.

Then before dinner, excuse yourself if you must (you can even say you are going to the rest room as people will usually leave you alone there for 2 minutes and you can lock the door) and do your 2 minutes.

No excuses.  That is the minimum challenge and it is meant to have you set meditation as a ritual right from the start, a habit much like you brush your teeth in the morning, shower or eat breakfast.  You don’t think about whether you will or will do not do those things.  Meditation is the same and actually far more benefiicial than any of the three.  It is internal cleansing that will bring inner silence and joy.

If you can do this challenge successfully for 6 days, the habit of meditation just might stick for your lifetime.  You just may change the direction of that wheel and your life in more ways that you can imagine.

It is that simple.  That powerful.

Once you have completed the 6 day challenge, let us know on my facebook page  (be patient I am not a facebook expert but want you to have a venue to encourage each other and support one another).  Right now the facebook page is new and you need not worry about privacy as you may well be the first one to visit it!  This is just so you can all give each other support.  I promise I will learn along with you.

BeyondOurBest Facebook Page   (Again I am not sure how this works be patient !  If it doesn’t work just have fun for now writing a “I did 2 mintues” on your calandar book :).

Once you did that, put on your Facebook page that you did the 2 Minute Meditation Challenge.  You can forward the challenge and this page to the three people you dedicated your meditation.

Each Day You Can Change The Direction of Your Life

If you skip a day, begin again today the challenge for 6 consecutive days for 2 minutes 2x a day.  If you feel ambitious you can always do more than the 2 minutes — say 5 minutes and then 10 minutes, perhaps 15 minutes or eventually 20 minutes (but never less than 2 minutes nor more than 20 minutes).

It is always better to do 10 minutes 2x a day then once a day 20 minutes.

This is because you are changing your nervous system and in 5 to 10 hours your nervous system goes back to its normal self.  So if you spread out your meditations to twice a day one in the morning and one in the evening you are most effective in your effort.  You reap far more benefits than one long meditation.

Soon enough you will be practicing 20 minutes twice a day.  You will do it not because anyone told you to do it, but because once you start to feel the silence and joy in your daily life you will be hooked.

If you are doing 20 minutes or even 10 minutes make sure you rest afterwards for at least 5 to 10 minutes.  I like to rest for 10 minutes.  It is during this rest time (eyes closed not repeating the mantra) that the full benefits accrue.  When we skip the rest, we tend to be irritable or angry as the nervous system has not had time to integrate.  If you feel that is happening to you remember to rest a little more.  If you still feel irritable, reduce the meditation time.

Remember this analogy.  You are upgrading your nervous system.  Pulling out the plug while you are upgrading (resting) is not wise.

When you upgrade your nervous system it is much like upgrading the operating system of your computer.

If you pull out the plug of your computer during an upgrade of its operating system, things will go wrong.  Your nervous system is the same and even more delicate.  It needs those 5 – 10 minutes of rest.  Don’t pull out your own plug — take the rest after the meditation.  You are so much more important than your computer!

20 minutes twice a day is the ideal time to change your nervous system, but anything you do even 2 minutes will do incredible good as a start  — the first step is always the hardest!

So there is no reason not to do it.  No reason not to be a little curious.  No reason not to start right now.

This meditation erases all obstructions (one layer at a time) permanently in a way that modern psychology cannot.  So do your 2 minutes.  Do the 6 Day Challenge.

You are fortunate and although you may not understand this just yet, the world is grateful for what you have already accomplised during your first 20 minute meditation.  You are helping yourself and you are helping all of us.

Now the world will be grateful for your next 2 minutes.  So do it right now.  And I thank you deeply too.

We are going to be on an adventure of a lifetime.  If you are a bit curious, a bit adventurous and have 2 mintues to spare right now — you may alter that wheel and your life and the life of many others.

We can do this.  Now is the only time we have.  This moment will not happen again.  Begin now.

ACTION STEP 1 :  Do Your 2 Minutes Right Now.

And don’t forget to smile and celebrate.

ACTION STEP 2:  Post on Facebook that You did Your 2 Minute Challenge of Inner Silence.

If you did more than 2 Minutes You can Let us Know!

ACTION STEP 3:  Forward the challenge to three friends and post this page for instructions.

Sharing inner silence in our busy lives is gift to those you care about.  Forward the challenge to the three people you dedicated your meditation to or to someone else who you think just can’t do it !

If you like this Challenge Buy Yogani’s Full Method and go Far Beyond Anything You can Imagine or go to his free website and start the meditations now.  I challenged you with a 2 minute habit to start.  To get you curious.

Yogani’s challenge is going to change your life and then some.  It does take 20 minutes…but no ordinary 20 minutes.  Find out for yourself.

Sleep

May 25, 2018

When I was a child I looked forward to bed as I did going to the cinema and there was a time when I was rarely disappointed.  Where else but in a dream, could I fly?   Where else could I enjoy experiences I could not see in the cinema?

And — yes– if you realize it is a dream – and you don’t like it you can always wake up or if you are feeling really bold turn around and talk to that monster chasing you asking it a direct question like, “Excuse me, I think I know you, can I help you with something?”  And then suddenly laugh as the monster melts or dissolves much like the witch in Wizard of Oz or better yet becomes someone you know like the kid down the street who is less than kind.

One cinema evening, however, didn’t end well at all for me. I must have been around four years old and I had not yet fully realized that dreams were distinct from waking.

In that dream, I had been given a candy bar.  I decided to hold on to the chocolate bar tight enough that it could make its way back with me upon awakening.  Ready to be… devoured.

After I awoke, I remember looking everywhere for that candy bar blaming my older brother Ken for stealing it and asking my parents if they had seen the candy bar anywhere.  I was in a sour mood and furious…until my mother asked me a few questions on where I had gotten that candy bar and where I had seen it last.  She then told me the bad news:  dreams are not real.  You can’t take things from dreams and bring them back here so easily.

And then I became deeply curious.  What were dreams and what were they good for?

Around the age of seven, my experiments lead me to use sleep differently.  I would read something at night and then set my alarm very early around 6am and re-read the material I wished to know one more time.

I realized that during the night my mind was working in wonderful ways while I was resting.  As I loved sleep, this pleased me immensely.  I enjoyed this method so much that as a reward to myself after completing the early morning study ritual in bed, I set up my alarm clock once again – this time for an additional 20 minutes of sleep.

During those 20 minutes of time I would let my body fall asleep but remain slightly aware. Everything during those 20 minutes of “light” sleep became even clearer.  Answers to my questions came.  Material was effortlessly absorbed.  Creative ideas abounded.

And when I awoke after those 20 minutes, I felt incredible as if I had three additional hours of rest.  Rest of a different nature.

It is only years later, that I realize that position on my back was shavasana and that the sleep technique was a form of yoga nidra.  Had I been more knowledgeable at the time, I would have used my sleep for far better things then just acing tests and being good at academics or coming up with creative ideas.

Had I known…

So, these next entries are for those who are a bit curious.

Perhaps you want to sleep more, perhaps you want to sleep less, perhaps you want to experiment with what is most beautiful within or a new direction in your life.  To each his own:  I let you choose, but do be curious, test what you think you know (as I did) and experiment with a few.  Sleep — less or more of a variant of it– may just change your life.

Sleep

  1. Assess Your Sleep (SWAN): Strengths, Weaknesses, Ambition, Needs
  2. Memory, Learning, Creative Problem Solving
  3. Sleep Well at Night
  4. Power Naps Equal to Three Hours of Sleep
  5. Use “Conscious Sleep” for Meditation

 

sleep

  1. Assess Your Sleep (SWAN): Strengths, Weaknesses, Ambition, Needs

Sleep is one of my most beloved moments in a day.  A serious moment to be reckoned as my husband will surprisingly attest — for when I get sleepy, I become warm as a baby and nothing NOTHING (not even mounds of laundry nor gold scattered on my bed) could stop me from nudging everything aside and letting everything melt away.  Hurricane, tsunami, earthquake, it might just not matter at that moment.

Anywhere, under any condition I can sleep–just kindly give me two minutes.  As funny as this may sound, the capacity to relax instantly has saved me more than once.

It is not that I was always sleepy, but when I want to sleep, I can.  And soundly.

And how about you – what are your strengths with sleep?  What are your weaknesses, ambitions and needs regarding sleep?

Take 5 minutes to assess your sleep: Strengths, Weaknesses, Ambition and Needs

Strengths:  Are you a good sleeper?  Do you wake up well rested and full of energy and ideas?  Can you fall asleep easily?  Do you need many hours of sleep or just five or so (imagine all you could do if you only needed 5 hours of sleep and felt GREAT)?

Weaknesses:  Is it hard to fall asleep?  Do you wake up in the middle of the night and can’t fall back asleep?  Do you always feel a bit tired as if on empty?  Do you have bad dreams that disturb your sleeping hours?

Ambition:  What do you want from your sleep?  Is it a way of resting?  Is it a means to explore?  Do you use sleep to get new ideas or absorb information quickly?   Do you feel sleep effectively solve conflicts from the day?   And how about using sleep as practice for being conscious at the time of the ultimate sleep: your death?

Needs:  How many hours of sleep do you need to feel rested?  When you are tired can you take a quick nap and recover fully or do naps make you more tired?  If you need 8 hours of sleep do you calculate at what time you need to go to bed so you can wake up naturally without an alarm clock?  Do you find you need less or more sleep depending on what and when you eat?

Jot down a few ideas.  After all many people spend at least 1/3 or more of their lives in bed.  Might as well think for five minutes on the value of all this time and make it work towards your health, happiness and well-being.

 

2.  Memory, Learning, Creative Problem Solving

The technique I used for memory and learning during sleep as a child and young adult that helped me do well academically (took classes at Harvard Law, Harvard Undergraduate, Fletcher School, Amherst, Berkeley, HEC business school) was simple enough:

  1. Read, review or study something before going to bed for as long as needed (the last thing you see before sleep) and then wake up an hour or earlier to review it fully.
  2. As a reward allow oneself 20 minutes of sleep after the review where one can lightly dose in bed and rest soaking everything in on a different level.

Little did I know that this 20 minutes was the crucial technique that allowed the information to enter effortlessly and remain in my short-term memory.

 

3.  Sleep Well at Night

Usually, I go to bed around 10.30pm and like to wake up without an alarm clock early in the morning (I nevertheless set one just in case).   But most days I wake up naturally anytime from 3.30am to 5.00am.  Five hours of sleep is usually sufficient for me, but when my body is healing it can be later.  I enjoy this early morning time alone immensely as the air is fresh, cool and my mind and spirit are at their best.

Do things without Tension During the Day (Relaxation and Ease is Rest)

Since I do the most important things first thing in the day when everyone is sleeping I am more relaxed the rest of the day as I have done what matters most to me (meditation).  During the day, I try to do either things I love or at least do them in a way I love so my body is not tense.  Naturally, daily exercise also helps in letting go of physical tension.

Eating Different Foods Creates a Body at Rest & the Need for Less Sleep

I used to need eight hours of sleep.  However, my sleeping time dramatically decreased ever since I began to eat differently (became vegetarian and ate a good amount of raw fresh foods & raw organic juices so digestion happens faster and easier).

At one point when I was doing many organic juices and had many vegetables, I only needed four hours of sleep.  This made me realize that my body was not working optimally on a “regular French diet” even if I came from a family of great French chefs and ate good quality food.  This discovery has made me deeply curious about what foods bring energy and make you feel great.

Digest Well and Cleanse Away the Worries of the Day

Other things that help me sleep well is eating an early dinner around 6.30pm, a shower before sleep and a cup of warm un-homogenized organic milk with a pinch of turmeric 30 minutes just before bed.

Set up a Great Environment and Say Goodbye to the Day

I also like to light a candle in my room prior to sleeping with a little oil as it gives a beautiful glow to the room.  As I watch its warm glow, I say a silent prayer (not to disturb my husband) and then usually take 10 or more minutes to write about what was most meaningful during the day; what I learned about myself and how I might do things differently if given a second chance tomorrow.  If, as each day is a blessing.

Create Space for the Night for Greater Things to Happen

Just before going to sleep (if I am not already asleep as I usually fall asleep in two minutes) I try to disassociate myself from events or things during the day; creating a little space by reminding myself that I am not my body nor my mind.  In other words, I try to disassociate from the many roles I play during the day: mother, wife, yoga teacher, chef, artist, Director of Beyond Our Best, writer or other.

Gratitude and Joy

In the morning, I like to wake up and see the glow from the lamp (sometimes it goes out at night) and smile that I am alive for another day.  I like to smile too at my heart and thank it for beating while I was sleeping.

Do What Is Important

Another day is another chance for me to experience something worthwhile with people I love and to do what is important for me.  Before I usually practice morning meditative techniques, I put a little ash on my forehead (like Catholics do on Ash Wednesday but I like to do it every day) to remind myself that today could be my last day and if it is I must use it wisely.

This may seem strange to some, but something as simple as a little ash is a reminder for me that I may not be here long.  It changes the way I spend my day.  And each day adds up quickly to a life.  This simple morning ritual, can help me focus on important things such as calling my mother or a friend in need.  When you think of your last day; it is not often the large glorious things you think about, but the really important people in your life and what matters most to you.

For more tips, here is a video by a yogi named Sadhguru who explains Good Sleep Rituals

 

4. Take Power Naps 20 Minutes Equal to Three Hours of Sleep

When and if I get tired during the day, I take a short 10-20 minute nap.  After 10 minutes of rest, I can recover completely and seem like a different person.  20 minutes is ideal.

This 20 minutes of sleeping or resting is equivalent to 2-3 hours of sleeping time.  For it to be done properly, you need to teach the body to fall asleep but keeps the mind conscious or aware.   This practice is best done in the morning when one is not tired or else one tends to fall asleep…

You can use the Brainwave 35 Binaural Programs App to help Train Yourself to do this: Press on this link to download Brainwave 35 Binaural Programs.

It uses two different sounds in each ear so you need to use headphones.

Please note you can put relaxing sounds in the background such as raindrops or choose your favorite song in the background (good for teenagers who may not like elevator music).  Some other apps do not allow this function and you get tired of their music.

After you download it, use the Power Nap function and set your alarm for 20 minutes.  Put yourself in Shavasana pose (corpse pose) in yoga – lying on your back with your legs and arms spread slightly, palms facing upwards.  During the practice try not to move and make sure you will not be disturbed.

Try doing this for at least 48 days until you get comfortable with it and can then do it upon will without falling asleep.  When you are conscious or fully relaxed you can also say a “signal word” like — focused relaxation and let it be associated with the moement of intense relaxation you are currently in.  Later when you repeat the same word at the beginning of a meditation relaxation should come quickly.

Use “Conscious Sleep” for Preparing the Mind for Meditation

Deep relaxation is key to many things; sleep, memory and meditation.

For those who wish to practice meditation the capacity to relax is the first thing one must learn.  To completely let go or relax helps one enter states of meditation.

I practiced conscious sleep (putting the body to sleep and keeping the mind aware) in Shavasana for 6 months for about 40 minutes a day prior to learning sitting meditation.

For those who want to meditate, start with the 20 minute Nap practice in Shavasana.

Remember Conscious Sleep is best practiced when not too tired or you will fall asleep.  You can practice it at bedtime if you have a hard time falling asleep and then let yourself sleep!   If you are tired during the day try finding the time for a 20 minute power nap as it will deeply re-invigorate you.  It is a must for people with long or intense working days or who may work night shifts.  Flight attendants can use the practice during their “rest period” travelling, taxi drivers can practice it at night in their cabs when on “rest.”

 

Some Tools for Meditation that Give the Benefits of Restful Sleep & Far More

 

Brainwave 35 Binaural Programs App (Power Nap do 20 minutes)

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/brainwave-35-binaural-series/id307219387?mt=8

 

Yoga Nida (Beginners from Bihar School excellent 30 minute)

 

Yoga Nidra (Intermediate from Bihar School excellent 40 minute)

 

Shoonya (Taught by the yogi Sadhguru)

http://isha.sadhguru.org/isha-yoga-programs/advanced-yoga/shoonya-intensive/

 

Centering Prayer as taught by Monks such as Father Keating

Try one that seems right for you.  The first three are easy to use and you can begin with the video or the app.  Shoonya needs to be taught.  There are books on Centering prayer.

Wishing you great sleep, good power naps, great memory and a deep centered awareness throughout your day and night.