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A doctor cuts through the conflicting science on cholesterol.

It’s easy to feel like there’s too much to keep track of when it comes to staying healthy.

Calories, fat, pounds, carbs, miles, steps — it’s easy to get overwhelmed with conflicting science and false health fads. So the more complicated things, like cholesterol, often get overlooked.

Cholesterol plays a surprisingly large part in your overall health, and knowing and managing your cholesterol level (plus your other three health numbers — blood glucose, blood pressure, and body mass index) can help prevent health problems down the line. We chatted with Dr. Christina Stasiuk, senior medical director at Cigna, to learn more.

Image via iStock.

Here are 13 interesting facts about the role cholesterol plays in your body’s health.

1. Cholesterol was first discovered in 1784, so scientists and doctors have been studying it for a long time.

There are two major sub-types of cholesterol: good (high-density lipoprotein, or HDL) and bad (low-density lipoprotein, or LDL, and triglycerides). Bad cholesterol is a fatty substance that can stick to the linings of your arteries and veins, whereas good cholesterol acts as a sort of broom that helps scrub away those LDL buildups in your body.

Image via iStock.

2. Your weight isn’t an indicator of your cholesterol level or overall health.

“There are thin people who are at higher risk of heart disease than people who may be overweight but who exercise, don’t smoke, and have normal blood pressure,” says Stasiuk. The only way to know your cholesterol levels for sure is through a blood test.

3. Your body makes all the cholesterol it needs on its own.

The body makes both good and bad cholesterol, as they’re both needed to help perform a lot of the body’s necessary functions. It’s only when we consume too much LDL and triglycerides that it becomes “bad” by forming harmful buildup in our veins and arteries.

4. Clogged arteries look like they’re coated in butter.

If your body doesn’t have enough good cholesterol to scrub away sticky buildups, your arteries become clogged with yellow plaque-like fat. If you could slice open a clogged artery and look inside, it would look like it was filled with a thick layer of frozen butter. Uh … yum?

5. You could end up with high cholesterol regardless of your healthy habits — thanks, genetics!

Familial hypercholesterolemia” is a genetic condition that causes naturally high levels of bad cholesterol. A heart-healthy lifestyle can help, but people with a predisposition for high cholesterol usually also need medication.

Lots of other genetic factors affect heart health too, so the only way to know for sure that your heart is healthy is to consult your doctor.

Image via iStock.

6. Your body can generate good cholesterol with regular exercise.

According to Stasiuk, there are really no foods or drugs that significantly increase good cholesterol levels. Regular exercise, however, can help the body create the good cholesterol it needs.

7. When it comes to eats, the richest foods are usually the worst for you.

“Bad cholesterol is typically animal-source cholesterol,” says Stasiuk. “The solid stuff — the bacon fat, the fat around a steak. You’re better off having liquid fats, like olive or canola oil or the oily fats you get in fish.” Solid fats are the ones most likely to “stick,” while liquid fats can be cleaned out of the body more easily.

Image via iStock.

8. Look out for the cholesterol double-whammy: the trans fatty acid.

Two things to look for on nutrition labels are saturated fat and trans fats, both of which raise your LDL levels. But trans fats also lower your HDL, pulling double-duty against your cholesterol health. And both saturated fat and trans fats show up in manufactured foods you might not expect because they help lengthen shelf life. “Think about it this way,” says Stasiuk. “The amount of time that food lasts on the shelf is how long those lipids will be in your body.” Ack!

9. One surprising source of high cholesterol? Coffee.

Don’t worry. Only when it’s unfiltered, like in Turkish or French press coffee, does your morning joe contain a harmful substance called cafestol, which raises bad cholesterol. If you drink drip coffee, you’re good to go. The filter catches cafestol before it hits your cup.

Photo by Jen/Flickr.

10. Certain foods can help pull bad cholesterol out of the bloodstream and send it out of the body (and it’s not just Cheerios).

Salmon, oatmeal, berries, avocados, beans, nuts, and spinach are all power workers when it comes to scrubbing and flushing out all those sticky cholesterol particles.

11. Women are at a generally lower risk for bad cholesterol levels and heart disease than men — that is, until menopause.

Estrogen helps balance good and bad cholesterol levels in women’s bodies. Once menopause occurs and estrogen levels drop, women’s cholesterol levels and risk of heart disease rise.

Image via iStock.

12. Cholesterol also plays a big role in keeping your brain healthy. In fact, about 25% of the cholesterol in your body is stored in your brain.

Cholesterol is a structural component of myelin, which is the protective substance that covers the nerve fibers in your brain. Strong myelin sheaths help the brain function, facilitating things like memory and quick thinking.

13. Laughter might be good for your heart.

Research suggests that laughter can trigger a variety of heart healthy reactions in the body. It decreases stress hormones, reduces artery inflammation, and increases good cholesterol. So if you can’t fit in a workout today, make sure you get in a laugh!

The most important part of maintaining good cholesterol health is to be aware of it and, where you can, make lifestyle choices that support it.

It’s not about counting milligrams or calculating intake levels — it’s about making lifestyle choices that benefit you and your body. “It all comes back to this: go, know, and take control,” says Stasiuk. Get your blood tested during annual checkups with your doctor and take the time to make sure you understand your results. Then make small, progressive steps toward better heart health. Nothing drastic and no special secrets — just little changes toward treating your body right!

 

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Never Trust A Manager Who Does These Five Things:

Every working person knows that your direct supervisor sets the tone for your relationship with your job. If your supervisor is cool, it could be a great job for you even if it isn’t your dream job. If your supervisor is a jerk, it won’t matter how much you like the work on your desk — you’re probably going to hate the job, anyway. Your manager is the person who can give you pay raises or keep you stuck at your current pay rate. Your manager can fire you or recommend you for a promotion.

The power your manager holds over you, your employment security and your career path makes your direct boss the most important person in your working life for as long as you have your job. Liz Ryan Contributor I write about bringing life to work and bringing work to life. Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own. The unequal power relationship between a manager and their subordinate is one of the most dysfunctional features of traditional employment. It is ridiculous that new supervisors are promoted with little thought, given little to no training and then put in charge of other people, but it happens every day. It is not healthy for you to need one person — your manager — to approve of your every move! Working people can easily begin to shift their words and actions in order to please (or try to please) their boss — and hurt themselves in the process.

A person who feels a lot of pressure to keep a difficult boss happy may not even be aware of the degree to which they bend themselves into pretzel shapes to accommodate their manager. This is a very bad thing to do — but most of us have done it! Subscribe To The Forbes Careers Newsletter Sign up here to get top career advice delivered straight to your inbox every week. Pay attention the next time you’re having lunch or coffee with your friend and your friend gets a phone call from their boss. The minute your friend starts talking to their boss, their voice changes. We unconsciously shift our behaviors to match what we think our boss wants to see and hear from us. In the process we give up something very valuable — namely control over our own minds and bodies! I hope you have a manager who trusts you and whom you can trust. You deserve to work for a manager who doesn’t expect or require you to behave any differently at work than you do anywhere else. You deserve to work for someone who wants to see the real you at work, not a fake, subservient version of you — but many of us are not that lucky.

There are plenty of poorly­equipped managers around. One of the biggest problems in the working world is the level of fear in many workplaces. Employees skulk around trying to stay out of trouble rather than having fun solving thorny problems with other smart people. That is the way work should be — creative, warm and human! Sadly, it is easier to find fear­based workplaces than healthy, trust­based ones. If you can’t trust your manager, you can’t grow your flame. You can’t speak with your own voice, for fear that your boss won’t like it. If you are in that situation, it’s time to start thinking about your next career move. If you aren’t sure whether or not your manager is trustworthy, here are five unmistakable signs they aren’t.

1. If your manager complains to you about your fellow employees or higher­up managers, they are not trustworthy. Anyone who will gossip to you will just as easily gossip about you.

2. If your manager is obsessed with “face time” in the workplace and pays close attention to employees’ arrival and departure times, they are not trustworthy. A manager for whom “face time” is more important than actual results is a manager mired in fear, and a person in fear cannot be trusted because their fear will make them do things that a confident person would never do — like throw employees under the bus to save themselves.

3. If your manager is afraid of higher­up managers, they are not trustworthy. My friend Laura worked for a manager like that. Laura’s manager Denise told her “I’m your biggest supporter, Laura. You let me know what you need, and I’ll go the division VP and get it.” That sounded great, but Laura didn’t believe Denise. Laura said “Denise says all the right things but when she’s under pressure, she becomes a This article is available online at: 2017 Forbes.com LLC™ All Rights Reserved different person. She would stab me in the back in a heartbeat to avoid looking bad with the VP — and I know that because she’s done it before!”

4. If your manager needs to find someone to blame whenever something goes wrong, they are not worthy of your trust. Many managers have this problem. They cannot handle the pressure of being accountable for their department. When something goes wrong, they must find a scapegoat. They yell at the scapegoat or write them up to get rid of the stress they feel over the mishap. No matter how friendly your manager is when he or she is not experiencing stress, you cannot assume that you can trust them when their stress level increases!

5. If your boss is obsessed with targets and metrics, you cannot trust them. Yardsticks are only one part of a healthy management structure. Managers who care too much about hitting every goal, every day do not have the backbone to lead through trust. That is the only kind of manager worthy of your talents! If you cannot trust your manager, don’t panic. You don’t have to start a job search tomorrow, but you can begin to think about what you want and need in a job that you aren’t getting now. You can take your time, and launch a stealth job search when you feel ready. Your muscles will begin growing the moment you turn your attention away from pleasing your undeserving boss and start focusing on pleasing yourself!

 

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Never Give Up Your Salary Details — Do This, Instead

It  is wonderful to see job-seekers waking up to realize they have more power in the hiring equation than they thought they did.

Employers can’t grow their businesses without great employees on board.

Job-seekers need to know that there are lots of badly-managed organizations that treat job-seekers like dirt. Almost everyone has run into one of those organizations at some point.

The faster you run away from organizations (and recruiters) who treat you badly, the sooner you’ll find the right people to collaborate with!

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Don’t give up your current or past salary details just because someone asks you to. What you get paid now and what you got paid at every job you’ve ever held is your personal information — and nobody else’s business.

Recruiters will ask for your salary  history and so will employers. If you run into the question “What did your past jobs pay?” on an online job application, here’s how to handle it.

Here is Frank on the phone with a recruiter who contacted Frank about a job opportunity the recruiter is trying to fill.

Recruiter: So Frank, what are you earning now?

Frank: I’m looking to earn at least $70K in my next job. If  the opportunity you contacted me about pays at least $70K then it could be a match. Is this job opportunity in that range?

Recruiter: I have a number of different job opportunities that could be a fit. That’s why I want to know your current salary, Frank.

Frank:  My salary target is $70K so that’s a good starting point. We’ve talked about my background and now you know my salary target. You haven’t shared any salary-range information with me, so let’s level the field. Is one of these jobs you called me about in the $70K range?

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Recruiter: A couple of them are. The thing is, Frank, if you tell me your current salary I can tell you whether or not you’re being paid fairly now.

Frank: You don’t need to know my salary to make that assessment. You know my job description and my background. I’ve  walked you through my 2016 accomplishments and my 2017 goals. You can tell me right now what you think I  should be paid for the job I’m in. What would you say a guy like me should be earning for this kind of work?

Recruiter: You see, Frank, my clients expect me to bring  them candidates with the candidate’s full salary history.

Frank: Wow — that is a shame. I really need to partner with a recruiter who has a more consultative relationship with their clients. If you follow orders from your clients rather than advising them on recruiting best practices — including the best practice of respecting a candidate’s privacy around their salary details — then how can I have confidence in you representing me?

Recruiter: That’s not fair, Frank. If I don’t give my clients what they ask for, they’ll work with someone else.

Frank: That is what’s  known as a commodity — something that is easily replaced. I wish you all the best in shifting your client relationships over time so that you are trusted adviser to your clients rather than an easily-replaceable commodity. I have confidence that you can engineer that process, but I won’t enable you in your fear of a client’s anger by giving you information — my salary history — that you don’t need.

Recruiter: You have a great background, Frank. I’m practically begging you here — just give me a range!

Frank: You haven’t given me a range! I asked you what would be a fair salary for a guy like me in a job like mine, and you changed the subject. It’s not a good match. I wish you all the best!

End of Script

Here is Frank on another call with a different recruiter:

Recruiter: So Frank, what are you earning now?

Frank: My salary target is $70K. Is that in line with the opportunity you have on your desk?

Recruiter: It is. They can go up to about $75K.

Frank: Okay,  great — then it makes sense for us to keep talking. What can you tell me about the job?

End of Script

The second recruiter may well have been asked by his or her client to collect every candidate’s salary history, but the second recruiter was smarter than the first one — or perhaps less fearful.

The second recruiter realized that in recruiting, it is easy to win the battle and lose the war.

The first recruiter let talented Frank slip away because they were too afraid of their client to tell them that Frank wouldn’t report his salary details.

The first recruiter failed in their duty to their client, because the client needs a talented person with Frank’s background.

The client also needs its third-party recruiters to be honest with them and tell them that it’s not cool to ask candidates for their salary details anymore — but the first recruiter was afraid to pass on that news!

We can only feel sorry for recruiters who fear their clients so much that they trample on candidates’ boundaries in their zeal to make their clients happy.

We can feel sorry for them — but you don’t have time and energy to waste on them!

Say “See ya!” to recruiters who push you for your salary details once you’ve made it clear that your financial information is nobody’s business but yours.

There are tons of recruiters in the world — hold out for the ones that deserve you!

 

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How to make the perfect smoothie

By Cassie Best –

Mango & passion fruit smoothie

A vitamin-packed smoothie is a great way to start the day, or works as the perfect afternoon pick-me-up. Cassie Best shares her top tips on how to make your smoothies delicious and nutritious every time.

Mango & banana smoothiesGetting your ratios right

Start your smoothie with two mugs full of a liquid base. This can be milk, or a dairy-free alternative such as soya or almond milk, natural or flavoured yogurt, fruit juice, or for a tropical flavoured smoothie, low-fat coconut milk or coconut water. It’s important to add the liquid to your blender before adding the fruit as this will prevent the blade from getting damaged.

Next add about three quarters of a mug of your chosen fruit. Banana is a great base flavour for any smoothie, and will give you a lovely creamy texture. Other fruits that work well are berries, mango, peaches, plums, nectarines, grated apple or pear, and melon. You may have to add more fruit or liquid, depending on the type of fruit you choose. Play around until you have a texture you like. Add a squeeze of honey, maple syrup or agave syrup if your smoothie needs it and finally add a few ice cubes to the blender for a thick and frosty smoothie.

Mango & banana smoothie

Super berry smoothieFreeze your fruit

If you want to make smoothies regularly, it’s a great idea to stash some fruit in the freezer. Not only will they retain their nutritional value and flavour, they will instantly chill your smoothie, so no need to add ice. Before your bananas have a chance to turn brown in the fruit bowl, peel and slice them, then freeze on a sheet of baking parchment on a tray until solid. You can then store in sandwich bags and throw into your blender whenever you need them. Even fruits that don’t usually freeze well, like strawberries and melon, are ok to freeze if you’re using them in a smoothie. Most supermarkets now sell frozen smoothie packs, which are often great value and give you a good mixture of fruit.

Super berry smoothie

Banana, honey & hazelnut smoothie
Get creative

Once you’ve mastered the basics, try adding different flavours to your basic recipe. Add a spoonful of cocoa powder, cinnamon, grated nutmeg or vanilla essence before blending, or give your smoothie some texture with a sprinkle of flaxseeds, toasted chopped nuts or whole oats. Not only will it taste great but it will keep you fuller for longer too.

Banana, honey & hazelnut smoothie

Bump up the goodness

If you haven’t tried a smoothie made from a mixture of fruit and vegetables before, you may be surprised by the flavour. The sweetness of fruit blends well with lots of vegetables and makes for a delicious and super-nutritious drink. Try making a green detox smoothie with coconut water, grated apple, kiwi, banana and spinach. Other vegetables which work well are grated beetroot or carrot, kale, tomatoes and avocados.

Forest fruits & banana smoothieIf you’re having a smoothie for breakfast or lunch, make it a more rounded meal by adding some protein. A spoonful of protein powder, peanut or other nut butter, or some tofu will blend well with your smoothie and give you an essential protein boost. Contrary to what you may have seen in Rocky, raw eggs are not a good option as we absorb the protein in eggs much better when they are cooked.

Forest fruit & banana smoothie

 

Are you a fan of a smoothie? What do you put in yours? Get some inspiration from our collection of smoothie recipes

 

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 “Irrational,” “Reckless,” “Irresponsible”: The EPA Just Accidentally Told the Truth About Trump’s Climate Plan. Oops.

by REBECCA LEBERMAR –

On Tuesday, President Donald Trump visited the Environmental Protection Agency, where he signed an executive order dismantling key Obama-era policies aimed at fighting climate change. On Thursday morning, the EPA sent out a press release highlighting some wonderful praise that Trump’s order has received from groups such as the Chamber of Commerce, the American Petroleum Institute, the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity, and—of course—Republican politicians. But the top quote in the EPA’s email, attributed to Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), had an unexpected message:

EPA
Senator Shelly Moore Capito (W.Va)

With this Executive Order, President Trump has chosen to recklessly bury his head in the sand. Walking away from the Clean Power Plan and other climate initiatives, including critical resiliency projects is not just irresponsible— it’s irrational. Today’s executive order calls into question America’s credibility and our commitment to tackling the greatest environmental challenge of our lifetime. With the world watching, President Trump and Administrator Pruitt have chosen to shirk our responsibility, disregard clear science and undo the significant progress our country has made to ensure we leave a better, more sustainable planet for generations to come.

This is obviously not the glowing review Trump was hoping to get from a coal-state Republican senator. Alas, it appears that someone at the EPA screwed up. That statement actually comes from a Democrat, Sen. Tom Carper (Del.)—not from Capito. If the EPA press release continued to quote from Carper, this would have been the next line:

This order clearly proves that this administration is not serious about protecting jobs and our environment. As a West Virginia native, I understand the plight of coal miners in today’s day and age. But the Clean Power Plan isn’t the coal industry’s problem—market forces are. Let’s be perfectly clear: this executive order will not bring back the coal industry. It is an insult to the men and women who voted for him for Donald Trump to say otherwise.

Trump recognized Capito, the West Virginia senator, multiple times in his speech at the EPA Tuesday. He also declared that coal is clean. At the same event, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke declared the so-called “war on coal” to be over.

The EPA has now sent out a revised version of the press release, correctly quoting Capito’s praise of Trump’s order. And this time, the agency even spelled her name correctly.

Update: An EPA spokesperson emailed me, “An internal draft was mistakenly sent with a quote that belonged to Senator Carper but was wrongly attributed to Senator Capito, whom we originally meant to quote. We apologize for the error and are making sure that our process is improved as we build our team.”

I also reached out to some environmental groups and Carper’s office over email for comment.

“Senator Carper is happy to lend his words to a good cause,” the senator’s spokesman said.

Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune said, “That quote is the first true thing Scott Pruitt’s office has put out yet.”

“MWAHAHAH,” 350.org’s communications director Jamie Henn began. “The Trump Administration’s actions are so outrageous and counter-intuitive that even they can’t keep up with the lies that they’re spinning out to the public. For once, Capito sounds like she’s right on: these executive orders are reckless, irrational, and wildly damaging.”

 

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Immigrants Are Going Hungry Because They’re Worried About Being Deported

 

How Trump’s deportation campaign has people retreating from public life.
 

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UNLEASH YOUR INNER ZEN: 7 WAYS TO BEGIN A MEDITATION PRACTICE

Unleash Your Inner Zen: 7 Ways to Begin a Meditation Practice

Decades of scientific, medical and social research reveals that meditation has quantitative, qualitative benefits to anyone who takes up the practice – everything from lowering blood pressure, combating stress, overcoming insomnia, raising awareness, improving memory, cultivating happiness, reducing anxiety and increasing higher consciousness The message is consistently clear: if you want to feel great, then meditate. Here are seven ways to unleash your inner Zen and begin a meditation practice.

#1) Pick a place. Choose a conducive environment for meditation. That means a peaceful place where you won’t be easily disrupted by other people or loud, harsh sounds. Kathleen McDonald, author of How To Meditate, offers these additional insights: “Ideally, the place should be clean and quiet, where you won’t be disturbed. However, with discipline it is possible to meditate in a crowded, noisy environment; people in prison, for example, often cannot find a quiet place and still become successful meditators. Even if your surroundings are busy and noisy, make your meditation place as pleasing and comfortable as possible, so that you are happy to be there and can’t wait to return.”

#2) Select a time. Generally, establishing a successful meditation practice involves selecting a time and meditating at that same time frequently. Some people find that getting up a few minutes earlier to sit and meditate works well. Others like to meditate at the end of their day, shortly before going to bed. Still others find that a mid-day meditation break recharges them. Find a time that works best with your personality style. If you’re a night person, then likely an evening meditation time may be best for you versus trying to do it early in the morning. Or, if you’re a morning person, then meditate in the morning and avoid night meditation when you are tired and worn out. However, if your schedule is erratic, don’t let that stop you. Just commit to sit and then find times that work with your changing schedule.

#3) Prepare yourself. Meditation is greatly enhanced when two practical matters are dealt with. The first one is clothing. Wear clothes that are comfortable for sitting in meditation. Most find that exercise apparel is ideal. The second is how to sit during meditation. There are many options for sitting. You can sit on a chair with your feet flat on the floor. You can sit cross legged on a bed, sofa or on a cushion on the floor. If your body is tight and you wish to sit on the floor, you may find it best to have your back leaning against a wall. However you sit, your back should be straight and erect but not rigid. The hands should rest comfortably on your legs or in your lap. At first a meditation posture may feel awkward but as you practice, the posture will begin to feel comfortable and familiar to your body.

#4) Start with a small amount of time. Be reasonable and realistic with yourself when establishing how long you will meditate. Don’t set yourself up for frustration and failure by deciding initially to meditate daily for a lengthy period of time. Remember that your goal is to establish a long lasting practice so it is better to begin slowly and progress gradually. Stephen Bodian, a meditation teacher and author, recommends five minutes as a good start point: “If you’re a beginner, a few minutes can seem like an eternity, so start off slowly and increase the length of your sittings as your interest and enjoyment dictate. You may find that by the time you settle your body and start to focus on your breath, your time is up. If the session seems too short, you can always sit a little longer the next time. As your practice develops, you’ll find that even five minutes can be immeasurably refreshing.”

#5) Choose a meditation practice. While there are an abundance of meditation techniques starting with a traditional Zen breath focus is ideal and simple because your breath is always with you. Gently close your eyes or if you want to leave them open, do so while slightly gazing down toward the floor. Avoid looking around. Take a few deep inhales and exhales to relax. Begin your meditation by counting your breaths. As you gently inhale and exhale say “one” to yourself. As you gently inhale and exhale again, say “two” to yourself. Do this five times and then begin again with the number one. Repeat this pattern again and again until the time you’ve set up for meditation is over. As you continue practicing, you can experiment with other techniques focusing upon those which resonate with you.

#6) Remain focused in spite of distractions. As you sit, a variety of distractions will present themselves. For example, a foot may fall asleep, an itch may call out to you for relief, or you will feel some modest physical discomfort. As much as possible avoid responding to those distractions by moving and fidgeting. Adopt a hospitable attitude toward these irritations. In fact, the ideal is to focus on those annoyances as part of your meditation. In his book Meditation For Beginners, Jack Kornfield tells of an occasion when he was enjoying a deep meditation outside. All of a sudden, a fly landed on his face. “My first impulse was to brush the fly away because it tickled and was unpleasant, but then I thought, ‘Hey, I teach people to observe sensations like this, so I’ll just stay with it.” He sat up a little straighter and just allowed himself to feel the sensations repeating this mantra meditation to himself – “itching, itching, itching.” Then the fly moved to the edge of his nose causing Kornield to become very concerned that he “might accidentally inhale the fly or it might climb up inside my nose and get caught there. I began to feel my belly quiver and I watched the fear rise with these tiny footsteps on the edge of my nostril,” he recalls. The fly continued to wander all over his face for at least ten minutes “and what was interesting to me was that during those ten minutes I was not planning, I was not doing my taxes, there was nothing creative going on, and I was not worrying about anything else. By the end of ten minutes, I was more present and centered and concentrated than if I had gone to a monastery for a month.”

#7) Don’t worry about thoughts. Some meditators erroneously believe that the goal of meditation is to have a blank mind. Actually, the objective of meditation is not to have a blank mind but to reduce mindless mental chatter and slow down the onslaught random thoughts which bring confusion, anxiety, stress and mental overload. Meditation is about a focused mind, not a blank mind. As thoughts appear during your meditation, apply this advice from Dr. Lorin Roche, author of Meditation Made Easy: “When thoughts come, they come. Take a welcoming attitude, as if birds have just landed on your lawn. Let them peck around. When you become aware that you are thinking, then you have a choice: you can finish the thought or you can return to the breath or whatever your focus is. . .do not feel you were wrong to be thinking.”
Finally, keep yourself motivated by working with the wisdom of an old Chinese Zen master who reminded his students: Sun faced Buddha, Moon faced Buddha! By those words he meant that meditation should be done when happy or sad, energetic or tired, healthy or ill. Just meditate however you happen to be on any given day.

 

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