Tag Archives: Exercise

Unlocking Human Potential

“Unlocking Human Potential” is an overused phrase. Its used to sell drugs, food products, cosmetic products, gym memberships, yoga, Martial Arts, Meditation, and all manner of self help programs.

As over used and commercialized as the phrase is, unlocking the full potential of every human being on this planet is perhaps the most important task before us, not only for humanity to thrive, but for humanity to survive.

Human potential is incredible. Human potential brought us Einstein, Mozart, and Madame Curie. Human potential also brought us Jesus the Christ, Buddha, and Ghandi.  We are capable of so much creativity, innovation, and beauty.

Many people believe that our potential for great and wonderful things is a Divine Gift. Divinity, Spirituality, and Humanity are all part of who we were created to be, made in the Image of God.  Whether our faith is in God, Karma, or Human Potential alone, we can all agree that we are capable of great and wonderful things.

Humanity has achieved a great deal, but there is so much left to do. Understanding the quantum building blocks of our universe has the potential of unleashing unlimited energy and synthesis of new and amazing materials. Understanding the building blocks of life has the potential of creating  cures for devastating diseases like cancer and Alzheimer’s.

There are symphonies to write, artworks to create, people to heal, and love to share. There are bridges to build, roads to repair, and buildings to renovate. There are forces of nature to understand and tame, like earthquakes and hurricanes. There are oceans and streams and forests to clean up, and fellow living creatures to help flourish.

There is much to do, and human beings have been given the gifts, the rights, and the responsibilities to do these things. We have the potential.

But we are held back from realizing our potential. Too many people are held back for lack of access to clean water, healthy food, healthcare, and education. Too many hard working people are held back from achieving their potential due to hard economic conditions, prejudice, lack of encouragement, and a sense of powerlesseness.

Along with the external conditions that hold us back, there are also internal conditions that hold us back. Fear, anxiety, and depression. Addiction, codependency, and resentments. Even over-confidence and lack of listening skills and empathy can hold us back.  Many of us live a balancing act, dealing with our “issues” while we limp along in our jobs and careers, our families, and our faiths, making due but also holding back, being held back, from realizing our true potential.

Our true potential includes great love and compassion, and helping and sharing hope with others. By holding ourselves back, we hold everyone back.

How can we move closer to realizing our potential? It seems like common sense that we need to let go of the burdens and blocks in life that hold us back. Only by letting go of our burdens and blocks can we move forward to accept the Divine gifts that we are all blessed with.

For many people, laying our burdens down, and surrendering them to a Higher Power can be very liberating. For most of us, it takes more than a simple act of will to let go of burdens and blocks that have taken a lifetime to build. Most of us are like the seed that falls in shallow ground, our faith sprouts, but the cares of the world prevent us from realizing our true potential.

To build up mental, emotional, and physical strength and endurance requires exercise and attention to our environments. But most of all, it requires a healthy attitude, a new way of thinking, accepting hopefulness and healthiness as a way of life, more than just a desire to change. In order for our seeds of faith and hope to flourish, we need to cultivate the ground, our inner selves, our minds, hearts, and cores.

Christian Tantric Meditation offers a method for tilling our inner ground, breaking up the clumps of clay and rock that prevent our potential from flourishing. In our four part / eight class program, we teach basic meditation skills, letting go of the inner turmoil that holds us back, accepting the Divine Grace that provides nourishment and growth, and finally, healthy relationships and compassion for others.

We offer Meditation training classes in our Sautee Georgia studio in the beautiful north Georgia mountains, just 1.5 hours from Atlanta.  Our costs are very reasonable, 25.00 for a 1.5 hour class, or 20.00 if you register for two classes or bring a friend.

Our next introductory classes are opening Saturday October 17th.  Please visit our Contact and Registration page to register online, or give us a call at 678-358-8775.  We’re looking forward to helping you to realize your full potential.

The Christian Tantric Meditation methods are also available in book form through Amazon.com and some local booksellers.  Visit our publications page for more information about the book.

Have a Blessed Day!

 

 

Letting Go of Anxieties with Meditation

It was a day like any other day, dreary and oppressive with cold rain, and yet pregnant with possibility. Gary had been practicing Christian Tantric Meditation fairly regularly for almost a year, so he was well versed in the process, but lately he had been practicing less and less frequently.

cropped-20141025_163721_1.jpgHe knew the benefits, and he felt the consequences of not practicing creeping back into his life. Work was crazy, his wife and kids demanding, and he was drinking more than usual, which only meant 1 or 2 extra drinks on the weekend, but still, he could feel it. He was slipping away again, losing himself to the cares and demands of the world. He was also letting his temper go a little too far lately, feeling sorry for himself and blaming others for his growing sense of loneliness and lack of control.

“Lack of control” he thought to himself, smiling grimly. He remembered. He remembered the freedom and joy he felt when he truly surrendered his desires and attachments. Pushing himself, he remembered the love he felt when he surrendered his resentments and invited Christ into his heart. He remembered the feeling of hope and strength he felt when he surrendered his burdens and fears.

Motivated now, he placed his phone in “airplane mode” and retrieved the neglected cushions from closet. He had practiced in a chair for several months, but eventually purchased a meditation cushion set.  He sat on the cushions cross legged at first, noting his sense of imbalance with his knees in the air. Carefully, he folded his left foot against his right thigh, and then pulled his right heel into his right thigh. Once his right knee was somewhat locked in place, he shifted his right leg downward while lifting his right foot and resting it against his left calf.

His knees were now naturally extended to the floor, creating a satisfying 3 point weight distribution with his seat elevated on the cushions. He noted that his right foot was not crossing his left at the ankle, as that would result in a numb foot within five minutes.

He closed his eyes and briefly and noted the thoughts running through his head, the things he needed to be doing, the demands of life, and he turned his attention to his breathing. He recognized the feeling of cool air entering his nostrils, his mouth, and into his lungs. He recognized the feeling of his chest rising and falling. He consciously began breathing with his belly, allowing it to expand and relax naturally as he inhaled and exhaled.

His racing thoughts began to diminish quickly, as his breathing deepened. He consciously straightened his back, and adjusted himself a little to increase his sense of balance. Because of his experience in the practice, his mind and body automatically responded to his breathing.

He imagined the space that his mind occupied, and consciously let go of his desires. His outward desires appeared first in his mind, desires for control. With every breath they drifted away. Then his deeper desires appeared, his desires for success and happiness. He let them go as well, leaving in their place a clear blue sky in his mind.

His attention turned to his heart. He imagined his breath entering his body, and sweeping through his heart. He imagined letting go of his resentments, directed towards people he encountered recently, and long term resentments he held against family members. As an angry grandfather figure came into his mind, he resisted the temptation to work on this issue. He had practiced letting go of this image many times before, and he would have more opportunities later. Somehow he knew he needed to dwell elsewhere this time. Breathing, he allowed the image to drift away.

His attention moved to his core. There. He felt it. A persistent knot. A low ache that just sat there, haunting him day and night. He had felt it before, but never really recognized it. Until now.

Curious, he decided to imagine the space that the ache occupied. He imagined its shape, its position. It was definitely located in his stomach area, on the left side of his body. He breathed slowly and deeply, imagining every breath soothing and healing the inflamed aching area that his consciousness  occupied.

Because of his training, his mind drifted to his fears. Definitely present, but vague. Nothing specific to let go of. Still, he breathed, and imagined his generalized fear dissipating with every breath.

He also thought of his many burdens. Again, nothing specific, no one huge concern. Just a large volume of little issues. Insurance, bills, children’s schooling, etc etc. Breathing, he let them go, little by little with every breath.

He felt better, but he noted that the ache was still present.

His curiosity aroused even further, he decided to let go of his training, and forget even the recognition of fears and burdens within his core. He let it all go, all structure, all training, all thoughts, all feelings. He breathed deeply and allowed himself to just dwell there, in his core area of consciousness.

Eventually, a new sense began to grow within him, replacing the dull ache and general anxiety. He began to feel hopeful. He began to recognize the opportunities in his life, and the strengths that he had built over time, his experience and accomplishments.

He allowed his consciousness to open up and occupy his entire body. The resentment towards the demands placed upon him were replaced by feelings of love in his heart. His wife, his children. His dog. The rain, the firm earth, green lawns and flowers. God. Love. All there in his heart.

The desires to control all of those demanding voices and images in his mind were replaced by a clear blue sky. He recognized that it wasn’t in his power to make others happy. They need to find happiness on their own. He could be present, he could love, he could support, but he couldn’t bring happiness. He recognized that his attempts to bring happiness to others actually did more harm than good, as they turned to him rather than to their own resources, their own faith, their own in-dwelling sense of God.

Dwelling in the space his entire body occupied, he imagined every breath filling him completely, cleansing and healing. He rested there. He allowed his awareness to expand to include the room, the house, the yard, the neighborhood, and all the living creatures that were a part of his surroundings.

Feeling relieved, he recognized that the knot in his stomach had dissipated. He returned his attention back to his breathing, and he slowly emerged. He opened his eyes and smiled.

🙂

New Year, Improved Lives

A New Year is upon us, and many of us view this as an opportunity to improve our lives. Some of us will begin diets, others will start jogging or working out, and others among us will begin practices to improve various aspects of our Conscious well being.

logolargerAs we think about ways to improve different aspects of our lives, we may look to classes, to instruction books, or to our own resources and experience. For many Christians, we look to the Bible for instruction.

In Matt 5:18-19, Jesus speaks about the fulfillment of the Old Testament laws, and begins sharing a set of commandments for living in a way that fulfills the laws. Commandments like avoid anger and sin in our hearts, settle our differences with others, loving our neighbors, and loving our enemies, point us toward living mindful, self controlled, ethical, and compassionate lives.

The core teachings that many Buddhists follow are called the Four Noble Truths. These truths can be summarized as the following:

  1. All things in this world are temporary.
  2. Suffering comes from clinging to the things of this world.
  3. Letting go of the things of this world releases us from suffering.
  4. We can let go of temporary things by living mindful, self controlled, ethical, compassionate lives.

Critics of Buddhism suggest that Buddhist teachings and practice are invalid because on the surface God does not appear to be part of the Buddhist worldview. This is somewhat like saying that a recipe for apple pie is invalid because it contains no reference to God. Just as a recipe for apple pie focuses on using readily available ingredients, Buddhism focuses on living our lives using resources at hand in this temporary existence.

Christianity describes a Kingdom that is offers permanence in the midst of the things of this world. Christianity also suggests that we can be “delivered from” the suffering of this world through maintaining a relationship with God through Christ.

Some suggest that by abandoning the things of this world, including relationships, pleasure in any form, and even neglecting our basic needs of food and sleep, we can enhance our relationship with God through Christ.

While practicing celibacy, fasting, or vigilance can be very rewarding, the commandments Christ asks us to obey are centered on mindfulness of our own emotions and desires, and having healthy, loving relationships. And by living love centered lives, obedient to Christ’s commandments, we have access to “the Kingdom” here and now.

For many of us, loving our own families, much less our enemies, can be quite challenging. Many of us get wrapped up in our own desires for the impermanent things of this world, and love gets lost and forgotten. We struggle with our habits and obsessions, our resentments and attachments, and our fears and burdens. In all this struggle, we experience disappointment after disappointment as the temporary things we try to connect with disappear one after another.

Also for many of us, hearing from others or even telling ourselves to “just quit smoking” or “just stick to the diet” or “just be more loving, dammit!” only serve to sink us further into a cycle of disappointment and regret.

The fact is, if we want to let go of a bad habit, lose weight, or be more loving, we need to change our priorities, change our attitudes, change our lifestyles, for the long term.

This is where the “recipes” provided in Tantric Buddhist meditation practices can be helpful. Mindfulness and Self Emptying meditation practices can help us to let go of our attachments to temporary things that distract us from loving. Communion oriented Guruyoga practices can help us to connect with Divinity within ourselves, and Compassion oriented practices can help us to become more accepting and loving of ourselves and others.

But meditation isn’t a “magic pill” that can solve all of our problems with one dose. Meditation is more like an exercise that needs to be practiced on a regular basis. Nobody expects to go jogging once and become instantly healthy. In fact, the first time we jog can result in some physical aches and pains as our bodies adjust to new levels of activity.

Meditation is an exercise for our consciousness, and like physical exercise, we may feel some discomfort initially. It takes some effort to let go of our long standing resentments and fears, and it takes some effort to accept the joy and love that God blesses us with every day.

Like a cross training work out, Christian Tantric Meditation provides instructions for self emptying, Divine Communion, and growing Compassion for self and others. These practices are in keeping with Christ’s Commandments and Tantric Buddhist practices.

At Ecumenical Christian Wellness Ministries, we hope you have a joyful, love filled, healthy, and successful New Year. If you would like assistance in developing a “healthy consciousness exercise” practice, we offer instruction in Christian Tantric Meditation, see our “Workshops” page for more information. Our book “Christian Tantric Meditation Guide” is also available at Amazon.com in paperback and electronic forms.

Have a Blessed Day and a Blessed New Year!