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Archive for the ‘Meditation’ Category

Find your zen: Use these meditation guide apps to chill out – Film Daily

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Lifes never not crazy. We are constantly working at a breakneck speed & jumping from one social obligation to another. With electronic devices around us, we are also constantly multi-tasking. We can simply announce that theres no rest for the wicked & shrug it off, or we can try to take a pause every now and then.

Pausing & reflecting on our lives should be a non-negotiable part of our routines. This sounds very ambitious, but consciously practicing mindfulness can enable us to make mindfulness a way of life. Meditations the simplest & most effective way of practicing mindfulness.

Meditation carries a plethora of other benefits for our physical as well as mental health, including lowering blood pressure, boosting the immune system, better self-control, building resilience for stress management, etc.

The great thing about meditation, as a practice, is that you dont have to be spiritual or religious for it to work. You just have to find what mode of meditation works best for you & then make it a part of your routine.

Theres no dearth of mindfulness & meditation apps these days. Some promise to help you combat anxiety, some aim to enhance the quality of your sleep. Heres a list of apps that can help you maintain your regular meditation goals.

Presentlys a very distinct app that chooses gratitude as the tool for mindfulness exercise. It works on the principle of minimalism as is clear from its user interface and creates a record of things you feel grateful for. In this manner, Presently helps you focus on the things that really matter, thereby cutting down on the digital noise around you.

One of the most popular apps with guided meditation exercises, Headspace contains modules on Restfulness, Managing Anxiety, and the like. Its exercises revolve around breathing & grounding techniques. Headspace also extends the idea of calmness to a good nights sleep.

Did you like the idea of bedtime stories as a kid? If so, the Calm app might be for you. It consists of guided meditations, soothing music, body scans, and bedtime stories to help you bring calmness to every aspect of your daily routine.

The Calm app has been in the news for its celebrity quotient. The app library of sounds also happens to feature soothing contributions in the form of Matthew McConaugheys southern drawl, Stephen Frys English accent, etc.

Calms constantly adding to its list of offerings like last years addition of Pelotons mindfulness sessions & Journeys live group classes. Its on its way to becoming the ultimate digital wellness hub.

If you like the celebrity quotient, then Insight Timer brings you audio narrations by the likes of Lalah Delia, Russell Brand, psychotherapist Anthony DeMello, among others. Insight Timer is a meditation app that customizes the experience to suit your moods. You can choose from a variety of templates. Some of these templates like the Rainforest Creek make use of all your senses.

Some others like Tropical Vacation pack an escape & a meditation session all in one. Insight Timers best used by someone who is ready to experiment a bit before finding their own tune.

Another app that aims at a customized experience, Simple Habit works like a quick-fix solution for your tranquility needs. If youre an extremely busy person then you might consider audio meditations as short as 5 minutes. Simple Habit can be a great tool to start with when you live on unpredictable schedules due to professional or personal commitments.

Julio Rivera created Liberate specifically for the Black, Indigenous, and people of color communities. The apps approach to meditation is very receptive to & conscious of the issues & traumas that marginalized communities face. For example, it has a separate module on microaggressions.

If you think the wellness space was crowded with & guided by white experiences, Liberate might have filled that gap.

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Find your zen: Use these meditation guide apps to chill out - Film Daily

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Changemakers: Meditation app offers tools and programs to people affected by the pandemic – WPIX 11 New York

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For so many, meditation apps have become invaluable as people look for ways to find some calm in the storm that is 2020. The app Headspace has been offering free services to some of the hardest hit by the pandemic, including a little something special for New Yorkers.

The meditation app was founded in 2010 by former advertising executive Rich Pierson and Andy Puddicombe, who studied as a Buddhist monk for more than 10 years.

Headspace originally started out as an events company hosting meditation retreats before going mobile.

"Because it's in your pocket and available at any time, it just makes the act of meditation easier to learn and to practice and become part of your lifestyle," said Sarah Romotsky, the director of healthcare partnerships at Headspace.

Meditation gained mainstream popularity in recent years. The National Institute of Health said some research suggests practicing meditation may reduce blood pressure as well as symptoms of anxiety, depression or insomnia.

Headspace is working to help a wide range of people hit hardest by the pandemic.

"We're offering Headspace for free for all healthcare professionals until the end of the year, explained Romotsky. We also launched that we were giving away free one-year subscriptions to all unemployed people in the United States." Headspace recently expanded the free year subscription offer to unemployed people in the U.K. Headspace also has a special section with free content for New Yorkers, in partnership with New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, called A NY state of mind.

"Dealing with stress and confusion and anxiety and depression, there's just so many different emotions and it's a hard time right now for everyone, especially New Yorkers, so we were excited to partner with Gov. Cuomo on that initiative, said Romotsky.

Headspace also teamed up with Sesame Street for a series of videos focused on combating stress and anxiety in children during the pandemic.

"We have a six-video series that teaches kids mindfulness techniques and helps them deal with the common feelings that they might be having, explained Romotsky. The best thing about Headspace is that there's every type of content, so whatever and whenever you need it you can find support through Headspace."

The deadline for unemployed Americans to sign up for a free year of Headspace is June 30 sign up by clicking here.

The "NY state of mind" content is free on the website and can be found by clicking here

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Changemakers: Meditation app offers tools and programs to people affected by the pandemic - WPIX 11 New York

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Ease anxiety with the Tibetan sky gazing meditation – Jill Lopez

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Let's face it, these are stressful times. The economy isn't doing very well, the novel coronavirus is wreaking havoc on our health care system, and work is still workif you still have a job, anyway.

If you're feeling the pressure from today's anxiety driven news, or you simply want to relax, you can ease your anxiety in 10 minutes or less with a form of meditation known as Tibetan Sky Gazing. In fact, now may be the best time in your life to experience the wonder of this form of meditation, due to the clear skies from reduced air pollution.

To perform this type of meditation, simply go outside, tilt your head up, and look at the sky. Soften your gaze so that you can take in the wideness and vastness of the sky. Look at the stars if it is night, the vastness of the blue sky if it is day, or the details of a moody sky if it happens to be rainy.

As you are looking at the sky, silently say to yourself the, Aaaah sound. According to meditation expert Dean Sluyter, it is the most open sound you can make and will help you get the most out of the experience.

After a few moments, you can let your attention wander if you like. Sit for a few minutes in quiet contemplation, and simply be. By the time you have finished your meditation, you will feel less anxious, and ready to get back to the world we have come to know.

This is a great meditation because it gets you outside, and is simple to do. It is a simple, concrete form of meditation that can help you relax, and it can be done in your office parking lot or your backyard. The next time you feel stressed, give it a try.

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Ease anxiety with the Tibetan sky gazing meditation - Jill Lopez

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June 30th, 2020 at 1:42 am

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Alternative Forms of Meditation –

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Affective disorders like anxiety, depression and bipolar disorder are unpredictable. Even when well-managed, when one has been stable for years, a difficult mood can still strike and knock a person into a tailspin or a racing mind, even if only for a short time.

Uncertainty can aggravate, even precipitate, these moods, and no year has been more uncertain than 2020. In 2015, no one got the question right, Where do you see yourself in five years? Any sense of order has been obliterated. Our lives are always full of situational stress. But this year even nature, through the scourge of a virus, is aligned against us and our mental health.

Its normal, in the face of such uncertainty, to seek to bring some order into your life. I do this through gardening.

I grow things. Things I choose, in places I choose to put them, and whether they live or die is largely up to the care I give them. In this way order is reestablished.

I teach meditation but am troubled by the lack of diversity in the community of meditators. Retreats and classes are full of affluent, progressive-minded white people, and flush with success, few teachers fret that most people seem untouched by the benefits of focused attention held with effort for a defined period of time.

But then, maybe many more people experience these benefits than we think.

I equate movement and meaningful work with classic, seated and focused on the breath, meditation. I think that for too long weve been teaching people that theres one way to meditate. One way that doesnt work for everybody. One way that is discouraging for many.

Meaningful work, on the other hand, is accessible to most everyone, and can be just as meditative an experience. This work does not have to be ones job. It can be a hobby.

I garden, and find the same benefits in cultivating dirt and seedlings and watering basil that Ill turn into pesto that I find in any period of Zen meditation or centering prayer. For me, working with the land is powerful prayer.

Even if my land isnt much. We live in the city, so everything I grow is in pots in front of the house, on the patio out back and up on the roof deck. But I have trees and lavender, an azalea and vegetables. My wife and I like to sit in this garden and try to make sense of where this year is taking us. The space is not an escape, for working in it, enjoying it, I am completely present and aware of exactly where I am, and where I dont have to be.

Just like in what people call meditation.

In fact, I think work that takes us into the land, into nature, work like gardening or farming, raising animals, hunting or fishing, even the work of swimming in the ocean or birdwatching, yields the same benefits as mindfulness meditation.

I havent always been this in tune with my surroundings. When she was about four, my daughter, a city kid if there ever was one, sat in the car as we drove through a road with a canopy of trees. Is this the suburbs? she asked. I said yes and asked her what she thought. She said, Too green. Thats when I started gardening.

As things slowly stumble open after this long shutdown, we can visit the public gardens again. My wife took our daughter to a farm to pick strawberries and cherries and snap peas. We ate them together. My daughter knows what herbs to harvest off of the roof when I cook. No one can tell me that when we experience this bounty we are not meditating.

Any productive work, especially work you do with your hands, can bring order to a disordered mind in a challenging year. Meaningful work is meditation. My garden is a testament to the power of focused attention and the healing gift of applied effort.

George Hofmanns new book, Resilience: Handling Anxiety in a Time of Crisis, is available wherever books are sold.

APA Reference Hofmann, G. (2020). Alternative Forms of Meditation. Psych Central. Retrieved on June 29, 2020, from

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4 Tips For Meditation and Mindfulness – San Antonio Magazine

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You cant fail at meditationeven if your mind wanders to what youre making for dinner or whether you paid the water bill this month.You will never fail, says Enrique Valdivia, a senior student at the San Antonio Zen Center. Its just a matter of showing up and making the effort. The rest will come.

Valdivia began practicing meditation regularly about 10 years ago when he was going through some personal struggles and says while it does take dedication, its something thats available to anyone. I found it really beneficial as a form of self-discipline, he says. It gave me a sense of purpose and structure in my life.

Melissa Aguirre, of Boerne Yoga and MelMarieYoga, agrees and says meditation and mindfulness of any kind is a helpful tool for stress relief and personal discovery, something she found people have been increasingly seeking as they face changes brought on by the events of 2020. People often complain that their mind wont stop, says Aguirre, who is certified in therapeutic yoga and works with clients, including PTSD patients, on mindfulness. Thats OK. The practice is about coming back and building those positive cognitive pathways.

You dont have todo a big complicated practice to have a moment of presence, Aguirre says. To start, she advises finding small moments throughout the day to practice mindfulness. Close your eyes and breathe the next time youre standing at the sink, take a midday break to sit down and massage your neck, or even just inhale deep breaths while near your favorite candle or essential oil. Randomly practice throughout the day, she says.

If beginning on your own seems daunting, Valdivia suggests considering group meditation. Initially, he attended teacher-guided meditations at the San Antonio Zen Center daily.Even when the center was closed due to COVID-19, he still joined a group from the center on Zoom three times a week. For me, its easier to pick up and stick with if youre with others, he says. When not in a group, consider apps like Insight Meditation or Headspace.

While she knows it sounds simple, Aguirre says wherever youre practicing, start by focusing on your breath. If you feel overwhelmed during the day, take a moment and intentionally lengthen your exhale, noticing how your demeanor may change as you continue paying attention to your breathing. Look at your breath as a tool to access centeredness and feeling at peace, she says. If your mind wanders, thats ok. Bring it back and start again.

There are multiple types of meditationfrom mindfulness like Aguirre discusses to chakra meditation that focuses on different energy centers in the body to yoga meditation, which integrates postures into your breathing practice. Regardless of which you pursue, Aguirre says to approachthe practice with an attitude of grace and compassion. Let things be as they are, she says. Were giving ourselves permission to be human and not to be perfect.

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4 Tips For Meditation and Mindfulness - San Antonio Magazine

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Black Girls Breathing Founder Jasmine Marie Is Making Meditation Accessible to Heal Her Community – Vogue

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As the fight for racial justice takes place against the backdrop of the global pandemic, the need for regenerative self-care services that center Black women has never been more apparent. Since 2018, Atlanta-based breathwork practitioner Jasmine Marie has been helping Black women heal from the trauma that disproportionately impacts their everyday with Black Girls Breathing, an inclusive wellness platform that provides meditational breathwork classes.

"I wanted to create a space very specific to Black women and their emotional, mental, and spiritual needs," explains Marie. "Black women are dying from chronic stress because it's linked to diseases such as breast cancer, ovarian cancer, heart disease, and high blood pressure. We're the most affected by these ailments, and not being able to lower our cortisol and reframe our nervous system is killing Black women."

For Marie, a graduate of New York University's Stern Business School, accessibility is just as important as the breathwork itself, especially in these emotionally taxing times. "Weve known the need is there, weve been doing the work, but now more people are recognizing just how important it is," says Marie. Prior to COVID-19, Black Girls Breathing hosted affordable in-person and virtual active breathwork sessions. They toured cities across the countryLos Angeles, Dallas, Houston, Atlantabuilding a community ranging in age from 18 to over 65. But beginning in May, as the dire consequences of the global pandemic continued to set in, Black Girls Breathing introduced a bi-monthly, virtual breathwork circle series on a sliding scale, with participants able to join for $0-$25. Then, in the wake of George Floyd's murder and the subsequent Black Lives Matter protests, Marie sought to provide even more support by launching a crowdfunding mission to raise funds that will give 100 Black women per session free entry to virtual breathwork circles for one year.

Here, Marie tells Vogue how she came into breathwork, the origins of Black Girls Breathing, and how she's continued adapting in an increasingly challenging time.

When did breathwork first become a part of your life, and what struck you most about its benefits? When I was living in New York City, I was going through a stressful period of personal issues on top of a crazy work schedule. I ended up finding breathwork through the First Corinthian Baptist Church in Harlem. The pastor there led in an untraditional way and introduced me to a community center where breathing teacher Kathleen Booker was offering classes for free. I went every week and developed my own practice. For me, it's been a tool post-trauma, not just the general stuff you deal with when you begin to do the work, but personal trauma. After exiting a traumatic situation, when you come back home to yourself, you begin to heal your relationship to your body, intuition, and inner voice. Breathwork just really helped me get out of my mind. Having free access to breathwork not far from where I lived was revolutionary in the sense that it's not a tool you often have in the Black community. And that's why there's an educational aspect to the work we dowere opening up and moving past the stigmas of mental health.

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Black Girls Breathing Founder Jasmine Marie Is Making Meditation Accessible to Heal Her Community - Vogue

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How to Stop Talking and Focus Quietly! Exploring the Main Types of Meditation – The Great Courses Daily News

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ByPeter M. Vishton, PhD,William & Mary Concentration meditation and mindful meditation both involve sitting quietly in a place thats relatively free of distraction. Photo by milanzeremski / Shutterstock Meditation and Religion

Theres a wealth of evidence that if you spend time in meditation: sitting with your eyes closed and focusing on your breathing or on relaxing your body, then your brain will work better. Youll be happier, less subject to stress and anxiety, more creative, and generally healthier. There are different types of meditation, and you can find the one that works best for you.

First, its helpful to understand the history. The art and practice of meditation is older than cognitive neuroscience by many centuries. Indeed, its older than science itself.

Most historians and anthropologists believe that the earliest meditation was associated with religious practice. When you spend an extended period of time engaged in a religious ritual, you are typically engaged in meditation. If its a complex ritual, the process of learning to perform it properly naturally involves a lot of focused mental and physical activity.

The nature of most religious practices is that theyre repeated many times in the same way each time. As you become well-practiced in performing any ritual, it becomes automatic. Your brain can perform it largely on autopilot, leaving your conscious, attentive mind to think about other things, or nothing at all.

Meditation is one of those terms thats a single word but actually captures a broad category of very different activities. If you sit cross-legged in the lotus position chanting a series of mantras, you could describe this as meditating.

Going to church and kneeling quietly could be considered prayerful meditation. If youre trying to solve a hard programming design problem, you might meditate on it for a few minutesor longerbefore you start typing commands on the keyboard. All of these very different practices could be accurately called meditation.

Some researchers have placed the many different types of meditation into two broad categories: concentration meditation and mindful meditation. Both types of meditations typically involve sitting quietly in a place thats relatively free of distraction.

Concentration meditation involves picking something and focusing your mind on that thing as completely as possible. Many concentration meditators focus on keeping their breathing steady and smooth.

One thing you may hear a lot in this domain is the notion that breathing is continuous, progressing smoothly from an exhalation to the next inhalation and so on, without ever completely stopping. Some concentration meditation focuses instead on a particular worda mantrarepeating it over and over in the mind.

I started by suggesting that its helpful to not think for 20 minutes a day, Professor Vishton said. If youre engaged in concentration meditation, it doesnt sound quite right to say that youre not thinking.

On the contrary, you are engaged in thought. However, by focusing your thoughts as completely as possible on that one thingwhatever it isyou stop thinking about all the other things that would normally occupy your mind.

The other category is mindfulness meditation. It is, in some respects, the opposite of concentration meditation.

During mindfulness meditation, one seeks to be aware of ones self and ones surroundings, but without thinking about anything in particular. This notion of not thinking is somewhat foreign to most people.

Our brains naturally tend to wander from thought to another related thought to another one all the time. This flow of ideas is what psychologists have often referred to as our stream of consciousness.

Mindfulness meditation seeks to stop that process. When you sit and dont think for a few moments, especially if you havent practiced this a lot, your brain will naturally, eventually, start to think about something.

Some external thought will intrudesome thought about your plan for the day or some event in the news. When that happens and you become aware of it, you relax and intentionally stop thinking about it.

With practice, most mindfulness meditators report that they can get better and better at this. They go for longer and longer periods in between needing to intentionally interrupt one of those thought processes.

Peter M. Vishton is Associate Professor of Psychology at William & Mary. He earned his PhD in Psychology and Cognitive Science from Cornell University. Before joining the faculty of William & Mary, he taught at Northwestern University and served as the program director for developmental and learning sciences at the National Science Foundation.


How to Stop Talking and Focus Quietly! Exploring the Main Types of Meditation - The Great Courses Daily News

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How to Start Meditating – The New York Times

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From the outside, meditation can look passive. Youre sitting still with your eyes closed, taking deep breaths. But anyone who has spent time meditating knows how active, and how intentional, it can be. In the stillness, your heart rate slows and your levels of cortisol the hormone associated with stress drop. A regular practice can help with depression, chronic pain, anxiety and sleep issues. Its sort of like stretching, but for your mind.

How to get started can be unclear: Should you sit on the floor? Use an app? Chant or even come up with a mantra? And how long is long enough? If you dont read any further than this, the main takeaway from meditation teachers and psychologists is if it works for you, it works. (And if you want more concrete tips on getting going, well, weve got you covered.)

When you think of what meditating looks like, what comes to mind? A lotus position, a yoga mat, a beautiful wood-lined room? If thats how you feel most comfortable practicing, thats great. But some people prefer to lie flat on their back, while others choose to sit on a chair. The key is to find a position where your body can feel strong yet neutral.

Toni Blackman, an artist who puts together hip-hop mixes to shift her mind and energy, was initially hesitant to consider her music-based practice meditation. Theres that stigma, she said. To use the word meditation without using the word prayer can feel airy-fairy.

After long conversations with friends, Ms. Blackman, who is based in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, decided to record her own music and lead meditation classes with it.

In hip-hop, its called getting open, she said. To get open means that you are in a trance, you are in a zone, you are in the zone. Your body starts to take over, and you surrender to whatever is going through you. Now, she sees any activity as an opportunity for meditation, from running to cooking.

Its tough for everyone when they begin a practice, Ellie Burrows Gluck, a co-founder and the chief executive of MNDFL, a New York City meditation studio, wrote in an email. Like going to the gym or learning to play an instrument, you cant lose 10 pounds or play Mozart after a single session.

Set up a framework for yourself by first picking a time of day and a place to meditate. You should also start off slowly: If you were training for a marathon, you wouldnt begin with a 10-mile run.

Ten minutes is great. Five minutes is great, said Sara Lazar, the director of the Lazar Lab for Meditation Research at Massachusetts General Hospital. Theres no should.

If you have a history of mental illness, or if youre going through a difficult time right now, be cautious. People with post-traumatic stress disorder, schizophrenia and bipolar disorder should work with a meditation guide or teacher, Dr. Lazar said.

In a corner of your home, set up an area dedicated to meditation. Some people call this an altar, and add plants, rocks or candles. If thats your thing, full steam ahead. But if not, just pick a place in your home that is quiet and makes you feel calm.

I dont think that people have to do anything fancy, said Diana Winston, the director of Mindfulness Education at UCLAs Mindful Awareness Research Center and the author of The Little Book of Being.

But a separate space is important, said Tony Lupinacci, a 35-year-old yoga and meditation teacher who leads retreats and trainings around the world. This is not your bed, maybe not even your couch, he said.

This might seem counterintuitive phones are often enemies of calm. But working through your first few meditation sessions with some guidance will help you find your groove. (This same article written a few decades ago would have suggested that you get some good meditation cassette tapes.)

Thats because meditation is not just sitting still for a few minutes. Its part of a broader philosophy, with thousands of years of history and training.

Mr. Lupinacci was against apps for a long time, and still prefers to work directly with his students (and his own teacher). But he really enjoys Calm, which has a seven-day free trial and then a yearly subscription fee of $69.99.

Theres also Insight Timer, which is free and also popular. Or consult Wirecutter, a product recommendation site thats owned by The New York Times, which recently updated its guide to meditation apps. Headspace (which costs $69.99 a year, after a free two-week trial) is ranked first.

Youre doing this for you, so that you feel more settled in yourself and in the world. So, just let yourself sink into whatever your practice is for that day.

If you dont want to use an app, you could try visualization, like picturing yourself somewhere calming and beautiful. Or, just breathe in for six counts and out for six counts. Pay attention to your body where your legs touch the floor, how your spine feels and listen to yourself.

Chris Toulson, a 35-year-old meditation specialist who runs the @meditation_and_mindfulness Instagram account, cautioned not to expect too much from any one session. Every day is just going to be different, because youve gone through different things in that day, he said.

Its not so much emptying the mind, because that is impossible, he continued. Our brain is not wired to be empty. We cant control what comes into our heads. What we can control is how we deal with it.

Mr. Toulson, who lives outside London, suggests treating your thoughts and emotions as clouds: When youre meditating, imagine youre looking up at the sky. Sometimes, clouds are bright, fluffy. Sometimes, theyre dark. Either way, youre below, observing them, feeling the grass beneath your fingers and watching the world go by.

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How to Start Meditating - The New York Times

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Global Meditation Software Market 2020 Report With Segmentation, Analysis On Trends, Growth, Opportunities and Forecast Till 2025 – Apsters News

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The global Meditation Software market size is expected to gain market growth in the forecast period of 2020 to 2025, with a CAGR of xx%% in the forecast period of 2020 to 2025 and will expected to reach USD xx million by 2025, from USD xx million in 2019.

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The Global Meditation Software Market report provides a detailed analysis of global market size, regional and country-level market size, segmentation market growth, market share, competitive Landscape, sales analysis, impact of domestic and Global Meditation Software Market players, value chain optimization, trade regulations, recent developments, opportunities analysis, strategic market growth analysis, product launches, area marketplace expanding, and technological innovations.

Key vendor/manufacturers in the market:

The major players covered in Meditation Software are: Deep Relax Ten Percent Happier Committee for Children Smiling Mind Mindfulness Everywhere Ltd. Inner Explorer, Inc. Insights Network, Inc. The Mindfulness App Stop, Breathe, & Think PBC Breethe Simple Habit, Inc. Headspace, Inc., Inc. Meditation Moments B.V.

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Market segmentation Meditation Software market is split by Type and by Application. For the period 2015-2025, the growth among segments provide accurate calculations and forecasts for sales by Type and by Application in terms of volume and value. This analysis can help you expand your business by targeting qualified niche markets.

Global Meditation Software Market By Type:

By Type, Meditation Software market has been segmented into: IOS Android

Competitive Landscape and Global Meditation Software Market Share Analysis Global Meditation Software Market competitive landscape provides details by vendors, including company overview, company total revenue (financials), market potential, global presence, Meditation Software sales and revenue generated, market share, price, production sites and facilities, SWOT analysis, product launch. For the period 2015-2020, this study provides the Meditation Software sales, revenue and market share for each player covered in this report.

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Vipassana Meditation: The Details Of This Extreme (And Effective) Practice –

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Technique is integral in Vipassana meditation. Vipassana is a practice of self-observation, and the technique helps you to cultivate a sense of equanimity. It is understood that the root of all suffering is the desire for pleasure and the avoidance of pain. As you learn to cultivate equanimity through this technique, you free yourself from the cycle of craving and aversion.

Vipassana is not actually taught until the fourth day of the retreat. The first three days are about mastering the mind by observing the dynamic nature of reality through the breath. Everything is always changing, including the breath, so the technique practiced on Days 1 to 3 is one where you focus all of your attention on the area just below the nostrils and concentrate on the breath as it graces this one spot just above the upper lip.

After three days of this, the mind is calm and students are taught Vipassana. Vipassana meditation is the practice of observing the subtle sensations throughout the body without reacting to them. You scan the body with your attention, noticing the sensations arise and simply watching them. If a sensation is pleasurable, you observe it and let it pass. If it's uncomfortable, you observe it and watch it pass. Neither is superior, and both are impermanent.

If you can cultivate this understanding in meditation, you can apply it to your whole life.Vipassana is taught to be shared with all beings everywhere, so on the final day of the course, a lovingkindness meditation is shared.

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