The Still Mind

Our world observed from stillness


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San Francisco Schools Transformed by the Power of Meditation | NBC News

San Francisco students meditating in class – Image via We Are Change

Original story via NBC News:

Silence isn’t something people usually associate with middle school, but twice a day the halls of Visitacion Valley School in San Francisco fall quiet as the sixth, seventh and eighth grade students meditate for fifteen minutes.

And school administrators tell NBC News that the violence outside of the school, which is situated in one of San Francisco’s poorest neighborhoods, was spilling into the school and affecting the students’ demeanor.

“The kids see guns on a daily basis,” the school’s athletic director, Barry O’Driscoll said, adding, “there would be fights here three-to-five times a week.” Continue reading

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Disappearing Body Meditation

disappearing body meditation

Slowing the mind down allows the body to release from its shackles of physiological and kinesthetic sensation. At times when this happens, the world as we know it becomes something other than that which we are familiar with in everyday life. The phenomenon of the “disappearing body”, where the sensical awareness of the body literally “disappears”, and what is left in its place is what I described as the “electron effect”–one’s being existing in a blanket of probable positions around the local environment–is such a time.

For meditators, the “disappearing body” phenomenon may not be a new thing, but if you’ve never experienced it before, or are wondering how to experience it again, then I’m here to help you initiate it, if you wish. If you’ve ever laid completely still, and released yourself from kinesthetic feeling, then you’ve most likely come into contact with this body-cloaking experience.

The Meditation

As is usual, find a place and time where/when you will experience no interruptions, and commence relaxation. If you are laying on a bed or the floor (as opposed to sitting cross-legged or in a chair), as you are relaxing your muscles, Continue reading


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The Taliban and Inner Peace

“Definitely! I would love to stretch my hands to Talibans because I would like them to see from a broader perspective the universe” – Ravi Shankar

Here at The Still Mind, while tickling my creative neurons to manifest content of a still nature, I tend to come across articles and stories which I feel reflect the new direction that the world seems to be taking as of late; the direction of acknowledgement of our connected consciousness. Things are changing faster than ever, and for the most part it seems to be on a vector with a positive slant. Thus, I came across this article from The Raw Story that I felt deserved attention, for if a man can be so bold as to attempt to still the minds of the Taliban, then that’s the kind of story that The Still Mind can get behind. I’ll reserve the details of the story for the article below, but ultimately, this article represents what I aim to do (eventually) but as of yet lack the resources, so The Still Mind will have to live vicariously through Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, the founder of The Art of Living Foundation.

Image courtesy of http://thehindu.com

Image courtesy of http://thehindu.com

Reposted from Raw Story: http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2012/03/14/indian-guru-sri-sri-ravi-shankar-wants-the-taliban-to-de-stress/

An Indian Hindu guru may be the last emissary the Taliban expect, but Sri Sri Ravi Shankar would love to teach inner peace to the world’s most notorious Islamist insurgents. Continue reading


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The “Silent Five” – Sitting With Your Self

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For those that live a hectic lifestyle (as is the norm for the majority of people today) it is very easy to wear the body out, and I’m sure that there is no shortage of worn out bodies walking around. There is something that is very important for the commander of your organism (you, in other words) to heed, and that is listening to your body. It’s harder for people now to listen to their body’s signals and accurately interpret them, due largely to the existence of, and ability to satisfy the heavily influential convenience drive, and the running “doing” of present human life. Yet, the body’s needs exist nonetheless, and it will come knocking when they are not met.

One of the greatest things that one can do for their body and mind, is to stop “doing” for a period of time, and release the control of the conscious mind to allow the “phantom operator” subconscious mind to come through and align the many components of the body and mind in harmonic orchestration. Thus, I dub this period of non-doing the “Silent Five”, where the only thing that is done is sitting, standing, lying, what have you, for at least five minutes, daily. The only activities that should remain are those that one can’t help doing (unless one wish not to continue the life of the body) such as breathing, pumping of the heart, having blood flow through vessels and so on. Just sit for these five minutes, eyes closed if you wish, or only slightly closed, it is up to how you feel, but having the eyes closed coaxes the mind to turn in more effectively. The thoughts will come, as they do, but it is okay, for that is the function of the brain in your head. As they arise, observe, acknowledge and let pass. Playing relaxing music may be helpful. Either way, the most important thing is to find what works best for you, in order for you to relax and simply be without stress.

This “time out” is something that everyone can use, and if you feel that five minutes is not enough, than listen to your body, and go for longer if you wish. Once you are in tune with your body, it will tell you when it has had enough of anything, and not just silent sitting.

The “Silent Five” can be done any time of day, but relaxing and meditative activities are usually best reserved for the morning hours and the period just before the body and mind are laid to rest. Additionally, the middle of the day is another optimal chunk of time, giving oneself a nice energy bust for the remainder of the day.

Just like with the relaxation exercise, be sure to take your “Silent Five” break when there are no distractions. It’s important to allow for uninterrupted “simmering” on your silent setting to enable things to adjust out appropriately.

Any questions or comments, feel free to contact me.

Happy silence ^_^

 

Related articles from The Still Mind

Zen Cooking – The Art of Mindful Practice

100 Benefits of Meditation

The Most Important Thing in Meditation: Relaxation

Still The Mind: How To


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STILL Life – A Doe’s Moment of Peace

One day whilst entering into the kitchen early in the morning, I happened upon a treat of a sight: Twas a curious doe looking at me through the window. Had I had my camera in hand at that moment, I would have been able to catch her look of cautioned curiosity, but alas, it now only resides in my memory. I did manage, however, to make my way back upstairs to grab my camera just in time to catch her dining peacefully on some vegetation outside. I now share her still moment with you ^_^