Monday, February 20, 2012

Meditate or Pray - Who is Right?

Greetings! Should I Meditate or Pray?  That is the question that many of us ask while on our spiritual journey through life... In the past I have had clients that I have met that are not sure how to pray or meditate. They want to know "Meditate or Pray - Who is Right?"  The following article by Shimown Parham explores the differance between Meditation and Prayer. Taking time to renew and refresh your spirit through prayer or meditation is very important. Follow your heart and feed your Spirit!

Meditate or Pray - Who is Right?

Meditation and Prayer Work Good Together

Shimown Parham, Yahoo! Contributor Network
Jul 26, 2007

"In today's world with all the advancement of technology, people rarely have time to real sit back and think. The minute we wake up the mental race begins, we are distracted with our daily activities. Questions are pose to our minds on a daily basis like, "what should I wear?" "Does this tie look good with this shirt?" "What is the best way to avoid traffic?"

Our minds are always racing and people never take time to the ask the question how do I find inner peace in a chaotic world? The art of meditation is a great way to escape from a hectic, chaotic world and bring the mind back under control. The ancient sages and mystics knew mediation was the key to controlling ones own emotions and stress levels. In most modern days religions meditation is not really prescribe, the art of prayer is.

Question: What is meditation and what is Prayer?

The word Meditation comes from the Latin word meditatio which originally indicated every type of physical or intellectual exercise, then later evolved into the more specific meaning "contemplation." Meditation in a more laymens terms means the Art of Listening. Listening to the inner voice of Nature what ever divine name you like to call on or refer to. It's the art of reflecting back within. Using this art form at the end of your day can bring about focus of ones day and also breed success and goal planing for the day to come. While meditating on that days actives one can see if they where a success in everything they set out to accomplish.

While reflecting on the day one can create a daily log or journal which a person can review at the end of the week to see how ones week went. By doing little steps like this can bring about order and balancement in ones life. The Art of Meditation is a great natural art form that was bestowed upon human beings. On the flipside, the art of prayer is the art form of speaking and not listening.

Pray entered Middle English as preyen, prayen,and preien around 1290, recorded in The early South-English Legendary I. 112/200: And preide is fader wel ȝerne, in the sense of "to ask earnestly." The next recorded use in 1300 is simply "to pray." It came from the Old French preier, "to request" (first seen in La Séquence de Ste. Eulalie, ca. 880) .

As you can see prayer in laymens terms is basically the projection out word. To speak out loud to go outside ones inner self to seek help from some type of spirit form, or entity. This can work in ones favor or be detrimental, all depending on the person. So when prayer and mediation are put in it's right order. One should prayer 1st then sit back and wait to listen to the response which Is meditation. In order to restore balancement back into ones life both are needed."

Slow Down for Reflection: Letting Yourself Find the Deeper Meaning in Life

Greetings Again!  Slowing Down and Taking Time to Reflect is very important to our spiritual health. Allow yourself and your spirit to grow! God has a plan for our life, but it is our responsibility and choice to take the time to explore new adventures that await us. Trust your spirit and Slow Down!
Slow Down for Reflection: Letting Yourself Find the Deeper Meaning in Life

James Withers, Yahoo! Contributor Network
Jun 12, 2007

There's a natural feeling I get when I begin to become overwhelmed by events in my life. I tend to slow down and to reflect about what it all means. I've learned that it helps me to cope when I do this, and it gives me a better perspective than what I could otherwise come by.
So, when I get the time, I slow down and think about what got me to where I am. In life, one thing leads to another. I find that when I stop and think things over, I have a better chance of understanding how I am being influenced. If I don't stop and sort things out a little, it is almost impossible to figure out what is happening around me.

Stuck Inside a Series of Appointments

If you're like me, you tend to fall into a rut of living from one event to the next. It seems like life is a series of appointments. You can sit down and think of what you're going to do next, or what you did yesterday, or what you are busy doing now, but it all doesn't make sense. It's just a series of often unrelated events, each just about as important or unimportant as the next. What is the purpose of it all?

Over time, it becomes very hard to see the purpose in life if you do not pause to reflect over events of the day. When I reflect, I look at something a new way, and a part of me is changed as a result of the process. Not only do I seem to get a clearer idea of how I feel in my heart, but I also begin to identify with what's going on in other peoples' lives -- to empathize with them, and I finally even draw a conclusion from it all which influences the way I will decide to behave.

Choosing to Retrain a Trained Response

Let me supply you with a random example. When I watch sports clips, something I sometimes see is an angry white-haired coach all keyed up during a game -- maybe even throwing a chair around -- pretty much acting like a 3-year old child. There are different ways for me to react to a sports clip like this. One way is to consider the guy a jerk -- nothing more and nothing less. Another way is to feel like this guy is representative of what all coaches in sports have degenerated to, and that there's nothing that can be done about it. Another way is to agree with him, and to see him as a no-nonsense leader who keeps his team under his thumb. Whichever way I decide to feel, what matters is that if I'm even mildly alert when I'm watching one of these sports clips, I'm bound to feel something.

However, it's clear when we think about it that a person can choose to respond the way they want to respond. It's important that we realize that we often respond and feel only the way we've been trained to respond and feel. This often leads to frustration, as in the story of the kid who kicks the cat because his mother just yelled at him, and his mother just yelled at him because his father had told her she needed to do a better job of cleaning the house, and his father had told her she needed to do a better job of cleaning the house because his boss had told him that he was going to have to fire someone in his department tomorrow. One thing is responsible for another, and the stress that a dad can feel in a competitive workplace can easily end up being carried over to an innocent cat. We have to be very careful, because how we're feeling might just be how we've been trained to feel through cause and effect.

Making a Change in the Routine

So, how do we change this routine, so that we don't end up kicking a defenseless little cat? The answer is that we begin to reflect.

Getting back to the coach, how could I reflect about his actions so that I could end up having a healthier perspective on my own life, rather than either a more cynical or a more inconsiderate view of the world? First, it seems important that I should see in his behavior something that is not uncommon to my own way of living. Sometimes, we all feel a sense of rage like these coaches do. We may not throw a chair or chew anyone out, but we still probably act stubborn or self-centered every once in a while even if we don't do it out loud and in front of the public. So, when I think about how alike we are, I realize that there may be something I can learn by taking a look at how this man is acting. Is a position of power valuable just so that you can yell at others and act like a child? I don't think that's why these guys get in these jobs to begin with, it just ends up like this. So, I can be certain that there were many better reasons why he wanted to be a coach. But instead of remembering those, he just throws a tantrum.

Life is very short. The unfortunate truth is that a guy like this only has a few more years to live. Aren't there better ways to spend your life than by being a self-centered ball of anger that most people are going to ignore anyway?

Asking the Same Question

You and I should ask ourselves, in all honesty, the same question. What, after all, is it that we're doing that is meaningful?

Deep in my heart, I believe that there is huge significance to a human life, and meaning is always gushing from the very pores of our skin. However, if we do not give ourselves time to reflect on this meaning that exists in our lives, we hardly remember that it even exists -- and our days and nights begin to feel very meaningless. It's sort of like the life of a zombie.

A Deathbed Looking Backwards

I beleive that a life should be lived from the perspective of a deathbed, looking backwards. When someone is on their deathbed, they often regret the little things they didn't do in life, often the little simple things, like, "I should have tried out for that play, or I should have held onto that pension plan, or I should have tried to work things out with my spouse before we got divorced." There is no reason not to do the little things today, while the time is right, before we reach the deathbed.

Seeing Meaning

So, reflecting on events now and then, especially when things get crazy, helps us out of all kinds of jams. When we look at what's happening with other people, we can always choose to try to see things from their point of view. And we can draw conclusions from what we see that will help us to improve the quality of our own lives.

The process of reflection, identifying with others, and drawing conclusions which will influence our actions allows us to have an easier time of seeing how meaningful life can be.

Published by James Withers

I believe there is a unity that can exist in a chaotic universe, and I believe that art and history can reflect this truth. When we study our different perspectives of the world we live in, we can live with...

Monday, February 6, 2012

Top Ten Tips to Taking Time For Yourself

Greetings Again!  "ME TIME!" ..... It is important to the Spirit, Mind and Body!  Take time for yourself and learn to refresh your soul... Enjoy the following article of "Top Ten Tips of Taking Time For Yourself" by Jessica Anthes. Refresh and Be Blessed!

Top Ten Tips to Taking Time For Yourself

Ways to Slice Some Time Out of a Busy Schedule

Jessica Anthes, Yahoo! Contributor Network
May 14, 2007

The old saying from back in the day still applies to this era, "There's just not enough hours in the day." Though this might be true, there are ways to find little scraps of time that can add up to a chunk of relaxation and self appreciation for just how clever you are to have that much time left to enjoy your family, a hobby or just yourself.
Here are the top ten ways to have a slice of time carved from a very busy schedule:

10) Cook once, eat twice!

Saving leftovers in a container is a great way to save time AND money! Keep the leftovers for snacks after school for the kids or if there's enough, save it for another meal altogether! In my family, it was always a great night to have spaghetti the second time. It always tasted better the second time around.

9) Doing a little bit of laundry each day.

If you have a family, you know that doing their laundry can take up the entire day. Maybe you don't have to stand and watch the clothes dry but you do have to be around the house to load, unload and reload the washer and dryer. What a drag. Instead of wasting one complete day doing everyone's laundry, do it everyday! That's right, everyday. It may seem like more of a bother but in reality, it isn't. If you throw in a load before you take your shower, it'll run while you're showering (which you'd have to be in the house to do anyway!) and then when you're done, throw the load in the dryer, by morning, the clothes will be done.


8) Cleaning up a lot of littles.

If you let your house load up with filth or messy arrangements of toys and magazines for a month, of course it's going to take a while to clean it all. Instead of letting it build up, just put whatever you have out, away by the time you go to bed. If you honestly don't want to put it away because you swear you will do it by the next day, then that's fine, but if it lingers a day longer, tidy it up and put everything away. If you put away a lot of little messes, it seems like less of a hassle because it's a quick toss in the trash or a quick sweep of the kitchen floor and you're done and doing what you WANT to do.

7) Make round trips.

When doing errands outside of the home, it's easiest to make a large circle to all the destinations on your list. Instead of heading downtown for lunch meat, northward for a new pair of shoes, south again for a hair cut and then finally heading to the eastside for a quick hot dog on the boardwalk, make a round trip so you never pass the same area twice, you'll save on gas and time from running back and forth!

6) Making a list before it needs to be made.

When readying to go grocery shopping, you should always make a list so you don't overspend, we all know this. But what if we forget something on the list because it's been a whole week and maybe we ran out of milk on Monday but didn't need it again for the rest of the week and ended up forgetting all about the milk since it was no longer in the forefront of our mind? Tack a blank list on the fridge with a marker and every time you run out of something, or find you wanted to bake something but had a missing ingredient, write it down! This way, you won't say "I'll jot it down in a minute" because you don't have the energy or time to go into the office and grab a pad and pen. It'll be right there staring at you in the very room you're already in! When the end of the week comes, you'll know you have everything you wanted already written down and you can just grab and go!

5) Hook, Line & Sinker!

Whenever you come home, you should have a coat rack, a decorative bowl, pen and paper right as you walk in. That way, you can hang up your coat, hat, gloves and whatever else up, drop your keys and gadgets in the bowl, and write down any numbers that might've been left on the answering machine so you can get back to them without having to retrace your steps. This makes it easy to get back to who you have to get back to promptly and you won't forget where you laid your coat and keys again!

4) Deceiving the Sock Monster

Instead of losing socks and end up spending several minutes matching up all the socks to their partners, try this technique. When slipping the socks off of your tired puppies, immediately grab a safety pin and pin the two socks together. That way, there is no such thing as a "missing sock," "mismatched socks," or "sock monster."

3) Paying Bills Online

Taking the time out to write a check, getting a book of stamps, stopping at the dollar store for envelopes and rushing to the Post Office box to mail late bills is a drain on your time...and money! Paying your bills online has the advantage of alerts that can tell you when a bill has come in. You can either have it automatically paid, without you okaying it or manually clicking the payment button, selecting the automatic bill pay option let's you check in on your bills at your leisure and you won't have to worry about the bill slipping your mind. You also save on stamps, envelopes and the gas it takes to take you to the stores that carry them.

2) Turn off the TV.

We really don't realize how much TV we watch. Many of us can sit through 4-5 sitcoms and not bat an eye at another human being. Try to cut down on the time you take out to watch a soap opera because your life is slipping you by as you watch someone else's. Where's the fun in that?

1) Expand your knowledge.

Taking time to make time may sound a bit far-fetched but it's a fact that when someone broadens their horizons, they seem to take in much more of the world and become less bogged down with the trivial stuff that weighs heavy on the mind when it doesn't have to. It's okay if you've just run out of your favorite lipstick, don't worry if your boyfriend didn't call the second he got off work, so what if it's raining? Stressing out about the small things in life shortens our life spans, and there's no bigger time killer than that so take a seat, lean back and breathe. Life goes too fast as it is, don't rush it.

Published by Jessica Anthes

I'm a published poet and a striving novelist who also draws, gardens, cooks from scratch and sings for fun.