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How to Perform Zen Meditation for Connecting With Higher Сonsciousness?

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Buddhist practice differs from other meditative practices due to the absence of unique techniques because some of the lessons are borrowed from Hindu schools of philosophy. Zen meditation, i.e. contemplation, at first seems pretty simple, although it is based on a hundred concepts and therefore requires both practical and theoretical training. In the primary state of your mind, according to the Buddhists, we are not able to concentrate on specific objects and explore deeper layers of consciousness.

What’s The Purpose Of Zen Meditation?

In terms of Buddhist tradition, the main purpose of meditation is to turn your attention within and to look inside yourself. At the same time, the task of a person is to discipline the mind, which can not clearly recognize things and stay focused on a certain object because of emotions or past experience. Only meditation can abstract the consciousness and show how full of superfluous thoughts and illusions our mind is.

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Buddhists believe that the modern human mind is impure. It creates an inner illusion, i.e., the ignorance of life. One can overcome such a problem either by gaining wisdom (Prajna) or by understanding the process of achieving Samadhi (the concentrated mind).

It is possible to acquire a concentrated mind only if you have a moral lifestyle, which should definitely include relaxation and observation of the world. Therefore, meditation is so necessary for every person seeking to understand the truth and the Supreme Essence. Relaxation practices reveal our inner nature and develop our intuition.

The concentrated mind is the result of correct meditation based on the ability to analyze and calm your mind.

From a scientific point of view, I can also say that Zen practices contribute to the proper tuning of the human brain. Such meditations can increase the number of alpha waves, which opens up access to the subconscious mind. The stable performance of Buddhist exercises establishes a strong connection between your soul and body, which increases your ability to self-healing. But the main benefit of Zen meditation is, of course, achieving comprehensive peace and a sense of harmony.

Preparation For Zen Meditation

There are three stages of Buddhist meditation:

1. Shruti (study).

It is the understanding of the basics of practice. It is achieved by listening to the senior masters and reading the relevant literature.

2. Vicara (thinking).

It is necessary to discuss the information you get from studying. You should think about new knowledge and figure out how to use it in practice for your life situations.

3. Bhavana.

It is a meditation itself.

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Even when the first two stages are mastered, you should keep in mind that Buddhists put forward a number of conditions for each meditator.

A meditator should have a safe and peaceful home, which is not isolated from the social environment but provides hours of contemplation without mental strain.

Also, a meditator must abandon his constant desire for luxury, so beginners should not do anything with an external orientation (shopping, cinema, etc.).

A meditator should use special asanas that are designed to discipline the body during Zen meditation. It is necessary to be able to control your physical shell, then you will be able to control the movements of your mind. The choice of the specific position of the body is individual, but it is necessary to observe important principles:

1. The back should always be straight;

2. Beginners should avoid heavy physical activity during meditation;

3. Beginners should not constrain or compress the breathing.

You can meditate sitting on a pillow with crossed legs or on a solid chair with parallel feet, as well as practice Zen meditation during a leisurely walk. It is also worth paying attention to the position of the hands. You can put the right palm over the left hand, hidden under your clothes. The internal sides of your palms turn up and the thumbs slightly touching. It is also permissible to place the right hand on top palm down, expressing humility. Another option is to keep your hands on the respective knees.

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Zen meditation does not imply eye closure because it does not increase the concentration of the mind. You can slightly lower your eyelids, darken the room and look down, capturing the tip of your nose. Keep your mouth closed during meditation. But pay attention to your teeth – do not clench them. Hold your breath slowly through your nose.

Objects Of Zen Meditation

It is very important to find a perfect object for your Zen meditation. Otherwise, the whole practice can go wrong. Buddhists have two categories of the Zen meditation objects:

1. Things that affect the nature of the inner body.

This kind of objects can be attributed to your breath or mind. Meditation on the nature of mind is considered to be the highest goal for many practitioners. As for the concentration on exhalation breaths, it easily holds the mind’s attention at one point, if you synchronize the movement of breathing with movements inside your mind. Sometimes you can concentrate on lifting and lowering your chest in the breathing process.

2. Things that affect the outer shell.

This includes sound objects and objects of specific shapes. In the first case, there is a concentration on some mantra, and in the second — a mental image of something, for example, a light point or a divine silhouette. Many Buddhists use a Buddha portrait or figure for meditation. But you should remember that after making a choice, you can not drastically change the object of your practice.

Try not to indulge yourself when choosing an object. Do not create attachments. If you feel anger, it’s better to create a calming mental picture of the landscapes.

It’s important not to allow yourself to fall asleep during Zen because the nap interferes with clarity and care of consciousness.

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Concentration on things should be accompanied by awareness and active power of the mind, otherwise, all energy will dissipate, and will not go in a particular direction. Also, you should keep in mind that, by building a mental image of the object, you should move away from your thoughts and words. Just keep the picture in your mind, that’s all.

Zen Meditation For Beginners

Zen meditation is a kind of Buddhist techniques for achieving higher forms of consciousness. It is subject to the General rules of the tradition and thus has its own nuances. The word “Zen” in Sanskrit represents meditation.

If I tried to describe the methodology of Zen meditation in just a few words, I would say: “Sit and do nothing”. This seems a simple statement, but regular classes can cause drowsiness, to withdraw into a dream world, i.e. your mind will try to turn you away from the true purpose of your practice. If you observe some tricks, you can avoid unnecessary thoughts and achieve the desired results faster:

  • You can sit anywhere, but the object for your contemplation should not distract or excite you. It is best to look at the trees, sky, walls — any static and unchanging things.
  • Don’t look too closely at the objects. The diffused look relaxes a lot more than long-term focus.
  • When meditation has already begun, there is no need to change breathing. Let it flow in a natural rhythm.
  • Don’t move your body unless it is necessary. Any body movement leads to shifts in your mind because it is based on the same kind of energy.

The correct practice of simple Zen meditation is not accompanied by visions or visual sensations that indicate excess tension. Zen meditation is like taking a shower that cleanses the mind in a state of inner peace and outer equanimity. It is important to note that such meditation is the main goal itself, but not a tool for achieving something.

Zen Meditation On Koan

In some Buddhist schools, it is customary to divide two types of Zen meditation. I’ve already described the standard concentrated awareness. But there is also the second type of Zen meditation – it is a meditation on a koan. Koan is a question or a problem that you can’t solve by logic and simple reasoning. In fact, I’m talking about the practice of going beyond the standard limits of your mind and establishing contact with the enlightened consciousness of a deeper level.

As a rule, the koans deal with certain aspects of the understanding of Buddhism, they are paradoxical. In the process of such meditation, you should not think intellectually. You should be aware of your own ignorance and go in search of the truth within yourself. There are also personal koans — mysteries of everyday life without final decisions. In this case, your task is to change your personality and your point of view on the issue.

When you learn the basic techniques of Zen meditation, you can move on to the synthesis of daily activities and relaxing settings. By simple sitting practice, you can learn to control your emotions and thoughts. But then you need to develop the ability to transfer your calmness into external actions.

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Physical work in the garden or in the kitchen is quite convenient to combine with Zen meditation for an hour or even longer.

Equally effective is the practice of Zen meditation while walking, for example, in combination with a walk along the waterfront. For doing this, try to adjust your breathing to the steps, and then gradually increase the exhale by one step. You can combine dynamic meditation with exercise on account of breathing.

Possible problem

I’ve noticed that the beginners in Buddhist practices tend to face two kinds of difficulties.

1. The mind gets distracted.

Loss of attention is a protest of your mind, which by nature should be scattered in a variety of thoughts.

2. The mind loses its clarity and energy.

This problem is related to the standing of the mind in the object of concentration. This obstacle is difficult to recognize because it resembles real meditation. When you think that your mind acquires stability, the probability of drowning increases. Immersion of the mind in the object causes a pleasant sensation, but with vigilance fades away. In this state, it is dangerous to continue the practice, because it leads to the development of laziness.

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During Zen meditation people go through several stages:

  1. they feel that they have too many thoughts;
  2. then they notice long breaks in a thought process;
  3. and finally, they reduce anxiety and increase concentration.

In order to avoid defects of practice in time, it is necessary to attract the power of remembrance in time, which immediately warns you about the appearance of thoughts, and stay in a vigilant awareness of anxiety.

For getting rid of the distraction you can lower the object of your focus, as well as make the room darker. If you feel that your mind is drowning in the object, it is necessary to do the opposite: to make the lighting of the room brighter and to raise the object higher.

If you perform Zen meditation without blunders, you will reach success in your practice. At first, you will notice changes in your body, as you took control of your vital energy. The feeling of lightness is accompanied by the strongest experience of happiness. Harmony of the mind and the body is the most important result of any Buddhist practices.


Katya Ki is the Founder and Editor-In-Chief of SOLANCHA Magazine, a Feng Shui Master, a Metaphysical Expert, a Reiki Master, and Human Rights Attorney. She has been studying Eastern metaphysics and esotericism for almost 20 years now. And she's still discovering new knowledge, which is hidden in ancient teachings. During her pilgrimage to the monastery of Saint Catherine in Egypt, she discovered the SOLANCHA System. This is how the SOLANCHA journey started!

Astrology

Abundance Haircuts In April: Good And Bad Days To Cut Your Hair

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Abundance Haircuts is a little-known sutra that reveals negative consequences of cutting your hair on the bad days and incredible benefits of cutting it on the good days. Bad and good days for this sutra are based on the Tibetan Calendar. Dates of Abundance Haircuts are calculated according to extremely complex formulas by experienced Feng Shui Masters. Naturally, each year, depending on the stars and their position, these days change.

Most people in the Western world have never heard about abundance haircuts. While for Eastern people it’s not a new practice. In this article, I will share with you this powerful sutra and give you a special calendar for abundance haircuts in April with good and bad days for haircuts. Unfortunately, most of the world is dealing with a global pandemic called Covid 19 or Coronavirus. Picking your next hair salon appointment is most likely not an option for most this month but if you are able to have a family member or roommate trim your hair – only choose good days for abundance haircuts in April!

Why Is Hair So Important?

Since ancient times, people have given hair and any manipulation of it a sacred meaning. It was thought, that through one’s hair people can connect with the Universe. Hair serves as “antennas” and “guides” between our world and the world of Heaven. And so far this knowledge has not lost its relevance. Hair connects us with Higher forces, cosmic energy, God, Higher consciousness. By connecting through the hair to the Cosmos, a person is fed by the energies of Abundance and Health.

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There were many beliefs associated with hair, some of them have survived to the present day. For example: in any case, you should not get a haircut by yourself, as in this case there is a deformation of your energy field, which can lead to poor health. It is also not recommended to get a haircut on the days of a lunar or solar Eclipse: the hair can suffer, weaken, lose shine and volume.

What Are “Abundance Haircuts”?

It has long been known that there are days when it is especially favorable to cut hair. Among these days there are days of “Abundance haircuts.”

Abundance haircuts is a special ritual to attract abundance flows into your life. It is good to say special affirmations and mantras for abundance and prosperity on this day. So you will strengthen the ritual haircut and make it a more effective and efficient force.

On this day it would be beneficial to chant the Lakshmi mantra:

OM HREEM SHREEM LAKSHMI BYO NAMAHA

Or Ganesh mantra:

OM SHRI GANESHAYA NAMAHA

It is also very beneficial to say positive affirmations like:

  • I deserve to be abundantly happy and healthy!
  • My abundance is constantly growing!
  • I always have money for everything I need!
  • Money comes to me easily and fast!
  • I’m grateful for my abundant life!

Abundance Haircuts In April

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Somatic Narcissist: A Detailed Guide to Identify One

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Narcissistic behavior is a disorder that manifests in many ways. For a somatic narcissist, it is all about physical appearance. If you’ve met someone whose self-love is more about how he looks, he might be a somatic narcissist. In this guide, we want to explore how somatic narcissist functions. More so, we’ll share with you 7 key signs to look out for when you are interacting with a somatic narcissist. Let’s get to it!

Categories of Narcissists

Psychologists classify narcissists into three categories:

  1. a cerebral narcissist;
  2. a sexual narcissist;
  3. a somatic narcissist.

Now, a cerebral narcissist will want to assert his values on you based on his superior view of his intellect.

In contrast, a sexual narcissist sees his sexual prowess domineering over everyone.

However, a somatic narcissist will want you to acknowledge his worth based on his physical appearance. We are discussing these types today.

The Typical Somatic Narcissist

Have you ever met persons obsessed with the finer details of their appearances? They will spend hours in front of the mirror each day to prepare for the day. If it is a woman, she will talk endlessly about her hair, latest beauty treatment, or clothes. For men, they tend to spend lots of time and money at the gym to achieve and maintain the body image they want.

7 Tell-Tale Signs That You Are Dealing With a Somatic Narcissist

#1: Appearance Comes First

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A somatic narcissist will spend an unreasonable amount of time and money to get the perfect body image they want. For example, they prefer exotic dining and designer wear. They will also pay hefty subscriptions to join a premium fitness club. Such persons will also spend most of their income on cosmetic surgery, trying to correct their looks.

On the same note, a somatic narcissist will always find fault in other people’s appearances. For example, they will make nasty jokes about an obese person. Alternatively, they make it their business to follow up and set unrealistic standards for others.

Do you know those persons who give unsolicited advice on how to dress up around them? Well, it gets worse when a somatic narcissist leads a team. He will try and impose his eating and fitness habits on to the other team members.  It does not matter whether such practices will suit the team or not.

#2: They Have No Intimate Sexual Relationship

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Sex partners are often mere objects of pleasure to a somatic narcissist. For, they view the sexual act as a means to conquer the other. Hence, they will seduce and have several partners at the same time.  In turn, they validate their view of themselves by feeling sexually desirable to multiple partners. Yet, they will not show any emotional involvement in the relationships. It is their way to conquer and move on to the next target without getting hurt in the process.

#3: They Are Self-Centered

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Like other narcissists, a somatic narcissist always thinks about his interests above those around him. For example, when you excel as a team, he will want to take credit for the feat. A typical somatic narcissist shows no empathy for those around him. Instead, this single relation will further drain the emotions of anyone near him.

#4: A Sadistic Sense Of Pleasure

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Does your partner find pleasure in bringing you down? Then, you could be dealing with a somatic narcissist. Some somatic narcissists enjoy hurting others to gratify themselves. Take, for example, your boss scolding you for your executive image around customers. It only means that he sees you as a threat to his ego. In turn, he will give you unfounded punishments to try to discourage you from looking superior before him.

#5: They Will Not Accept Negative Criticism

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A somatic narcissist is never the type to receive negative criticism without putting up a fight. His self-righteous image of himself makes him get aggressive when probed for his flawed works. In response, such a person can become abusive or violent to deny responsibility for his actions. They do this to avoid any humiliation and emptiness for accepting that they are in the wrong. To spot this sign in a somatic narcissist, try taking part in an exercise that will conflict with their interest. If he overreacts or behaves irrationally, then that’s your proof right there.

#6: Their Needs Come First

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A typical somatic narcissist will appear to you as a charming and charismatic person. Hence, they will quickly draw you to associate with them. In fact, the more you give them your attention and approval, the more they want you in their lives. Yet, as time passes by, you notice how they always give their needs a priority above everyone else’s needs. When you stop feeding their narcissist needs, they immediately start losing interest in you.

#7: They Are Master Manipulators

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Does your partner or colleague manipulate your emotions to get what he wants from you? You know, they lie about something to twist your reality. In addition, what they say is the opposite of what they do. Moreover, they always want to make you feel guilty of something so that you can give in to their demands.

If you have someone who lies and is still playing a victim, he is a master manipulator. Somatic narcissists, too tend to use the gaslighting technique to get what they want. For example, if they wake up in a bad mood, they will try to attribute it to you. In turn, they get you to pity them and try to make up to them.

In Conclusion – Why Is It Important To Know A Somatic Narcissist?

A somatic narcissist can make you lose your self-esteem since they always try to point out your physical flaws. Their craving for approval can leave you scarred emotionally. It is how they make themselves look superior. Yet their appeal is never skin-deep. Hence, by understanding the somatic narcissist, you can come up with ways to protect yourself from getting hurt. For example, take your time to know the person before committing to a serious sexual relationship. Plus, it would help if you insisted on treating one another fairly.


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Been Told You’re Too Shy? You Might Be an Introverted Empath

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In general, empaths handle everyday challenges in different ways. They internalize both the negative and positive vibes around them as their own. While it is hectic to live as an introverted empath, did you know that most of the empaths are indeed introverts? Yes, the virtues that empaths portray go hand in hand with introverts. Still, we have plenty of empaths who are extroverts. Then, how can you know if you are an introverted empath? Here are the telltale signs!

8 Sighs You Might Be an Introverted Empath

#1: They Lack Social Skills

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An empath who is an introvert is often said to be shy. In real sense, it is an absence of necessary social skills. Think about it. If you are an empath, how many times does an opportunity present itself to interact with others? Do you tend to withdraw to a comfort zone away from the crowds? Then, you could be an introverted empath.

For example, most introverted empaths will find it challenging to go on dates. They get anxious thinking of what the other person will say or think about them. And, if in a relationship, they struggle to express their romantic feelings. Other social skills lacking in introverted empaths include the inability to solve conflicts and poor listening skills.

#2: They Prefer A Solitude Lifestyle

An introverted empath prefers to be alone most times. They struggle to fit into the pre-set social norms. Even so, interacting in social gatherings feels like living a lie. For example, do you know of persons who always complain that they are lonely? Yet, given a chance, they ignore anyone trying to befriend them?

They always feel crowded. The constant interaction with others overwhelms them. Hence, if you find yourself feeling out of place or always faking a lifestyle to fit into other’s expectations, you could be an introverted empath.

#3: They Avoid Being the Center of Attention

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Are you an empath who dreads networking? Would you avoid any opportunity that will put you in the spotlight? It could be you are an introverted empath who finds it impossible to fake a friendship. Such networking sessions demand that you make small talk and be friendly to all. It gets complicated when the empath’s intuition urges him/her to stay away from certain toxic persons.

An introverted empath in a leadership position must come up with ways to cope. That is, the empath should minimize the time spent in meetings and social gatherings. Also, a daily meditation routine will help overcome the anxiety of being the center of attention.

#4: They Never Offer Help

Here is the thing: an introverted empath will feel the pain and suffering of those around him. More so, he wants to help them feel better. But this kind of empath will never offer help unless you ask for it. Yes, to them, they feel like trespassing when they get involved in other people’s lives. In contrast, they need help to help others.

What can you do to help those in need when you are an introverted empath? Try and visualize the impact of your help to the needy person. As you debate whether to help or not, keep the self-talk positive. Then, practice getting out of your comfort zone.

#5: Crowds and Noise Are Too Suffocating

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Most introverted empaths hate being in shopping malls, open markets, beaches, or concerts. Such areas are draining to them. In turn, they often have to look for a quiet place to recharge their energies. For example, a simple ride in a public bus feels like an eternity to this empath. Yet, if you ask them why they think this way, they can’t explain it. It is the same case when in a place with strange odors.

#6: They Rarely Talk

Introverted empaths are quiet persons. Yet, their minds are exploding with conversations they would want to have with those around them. Even when they choose to speak, they find it hard to say precisely what’s on their minds.

And, replying to others in conversations is a battle of choosing the right words to appear relevant. In turn, such persons hardly engage in small talks.

Researchers say that introverted empath’s solitude lifestyle contributes to him not able to hold small talks. They fear being judged or misinterpreted by others. Hence, most times, such a person is the observer in the group.

#7: Obsession with Self-Improvement

introverted empath signs image

Usually, an empath knows that his surrounding affects his emotions more like a curse than a blessing. Hence, being an introvert, he will try to make sure he makes the right decisions that are good for him. An introverted empath feels like perfection is an illusion that is too high to achieve.

It is this obsession to be right that makes an introverted empath always to want to improve himself. Only that, he seeks self-improvement so that he can please the other person, not for his benefit.

#8: They Are Their Worst Enemies

Now, when you sum up how an introverted empath behaves, his actions hurt him the most. For example, he has conflicting feelings of wanting to help and being too shy to do so. In turn, he moves around feeling guilty for not lending a helping hand.

In addition, the introverted empath will put himself down for his shortcomings. He even questions whether he is a true friend to his close circle. Yet, he assumes all his achievements, some of which are extraordinary.

Final Note: How Can You Thrive as An Introverted Empath?

Do the above telltale signs describe your personality? Then, you must find ways to live a healthy and fulfilling life in this fast-paced society. Do you struggle with anxiety and depression? Instead of wallowing in an addiction, seek help. Professional counselors and psychologists can assist you to overcome your self-doubt.

Does your introvert nature attract narcissists and energy vampires? Learn how to identify one. These toxic people take advantage of an empath’s vulnerable state to benefit themselves.

Finally, is your self-care routine all about those around you? It is time to heal yourself! Know that you can only be helpful to others when your mind and body are healthy.


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