Monday, 14 November 2011

Inner Patchouli Peace

Just how do we find this 'inner peace' everyone is raving about? Do we really have to start wearing Patchouli and always let the creepy man at meditation class give you one of those hugs when body parts touch that definitely really aren't meant to. For me, luckily, there is no creepy guy at meditation class, and I quite like Patchouli in small doses and if not used to mask a mouldy tent or wet dog smell. But I still battle with finding inner peace on the meditation mat, which is why I like to seek meditation in everyday life, whatever the weather, whatever the task in hand. Anything that we mindfully practice, focus on, take part in, or do, is a form of meditation if you completely focus on the task at hand.

Here are some examples, the first inspired by my good friend Ignacio. Before sleep he visualises waves, and surfing along them, over and over, calm and serene and perfect, obviously no wipe outs in the visualisation, the point is to keep your mind focused on one thing only, clear out the rest of the chatter. What better way to do that catching a perfect wave. For you this may be going for a run, you focus on your breath you look at the leaves you run over, you feel the fresh air on your face, you don't get into a conversation in your head about the cyclist without a helmet, you just concentrate on your run, one foot in front of the other, breathe, feel. Walk up your stairs and mindfully put each foot on a stair and concentrate on the mechanics of your body as you simply walk up the stairs look at your hand on the rail, slow your breath and move each foot with each breath. Brushing your teeth, focus on mindfully brushing (in a circular motion apparently is best says my Hawaiian themed dentist and his smile is perfect) Really think about what you are doing, I'm brushing my teeth on the left side in a circular motion, the toothpaste is foamy, my teeth are getting cleaned, I'm brushing the right side, I'm brushing my tongue (gag) Get the picture? Mindfully eat your real food, chew and chew until its a paste in your mouth savouring every taste, igniting every taste bud and nourishing every cell, think about your food and what its doing in your body, where it came from, turn the TV off. It may seem pretty dumb, but if you can get your mind to practice only focusing on one thing, you will eventually find it easier to switch your mind on and off for when its needed. There is no instant gratification Ignacio!  It takes time, and you definitely will feel calmer and more relaxed as soon as you start practicing mindfully living, but its the best long term investment you can make for your mind, body and soul connection.

There are so many advantages to meditation.  Try this 100? If you can't focus long enough to read a 100 point list, its definitely time to start meditating and finding 'some' inner peace, however that may be.

Physiological benefits:
1- It lowers oxygen consumption.
2- It decreases respiratory rate.
3- It increases blood flow,slows the heart rate.
4- Increases exercise tolerance.
5- Leads to a deeper level of physical relaxation.
6- Good for people with high blood pressure.
7- Reduces anxiety attacks by lowering the levels of blood lactate.
8- Decreases muscle tension
9- Helps in chronic diseases like allergies, arthritis etc.
10- Reduces Pre-menstrual Syndrome symptoms.
11- Helps in post-operative healing.
12- Enhances the immune system.
13- Reduces activity of viruses and emotional distress
14- Enhances energy, strength and vigour.
15- Helps with weight loss
16- Reduction of free radicals, less tissue damage
17- Higher skin resistance
18- Drop in cholesterol levels, lowers risk of cardiovascular disease.
19- Improved flow of air to the lungs resulting in easier breathing.
20- Decreases the aging process.
21- Higher levels of DHEAS (Dehydroepiandrosterone)
22- prevented, slowed or controlled pain of chronic diseases
23- Makes you sweat less
24- Cure headaches & migraines
25- Greater Orderliness of Brain Functioning
26- Reduced Need for Medical Care
27- Less energy wasted
28- More inclined to sports, activities
29- Significant relief from asthma
30- improved performance in athletic events
31- Normalizes to your ideal weight
32- harmonizes our endocrine system
33- relaxes our nervous system
34- produce lasting beneficial changes in brain electrical activity
35- Cure infertility (the stresses of infertility can interfere with the release of hormones that regulate ovulation).

Psychological benefits:
36- Builds self-confidence.
37- Increases serotonin level, influences mood and behaviour.
38- Resolve phobias & fears
39- Helps control own thoughts
40- Helps with focus & concentration
41- Increase creativity
42- Increased brain wave coherence.
43- Improved learning ability and memory.
44- Increased feelings of vitality and rejuvenation.
45- Increased emotional stability.
46- improved relationships
47- Mind ages at slower rate
48- Easier to remove bad habits
49- Develops intuition
50- Increased Productivity
51- Improved relations at home & at work
52- Able to see the larger picture in a given situation
53- Helps ignore petty issues
54- Increased ability to solve complex problems
55- Purifies your character
56- Develop will power
57- greater communication between the two brain hemispheres
58- react more quickly and more effectively to a stressful event.
59- increases one’s perceptual ability and motor performance
60- higher intelligence growth rate
61- Increased job satisfaction
62- increase in the capacity for intimate contact with loved ones
63- decrease in potential mental illness
64- Better, more sociable behaviour
65- Less aggressiveness
66- Helps in quitting smoking, alcohol addiction
67- Reduces need and dependency on drugs, pills & pharmaceuticals
68- Need less sleep to recover from sleep deprivation
69- Require less time to fall asleep, helps cure insomnia
70- Increases sense of responsibility
71- Reduces road rage
72- Decrease in restless thinking
73- Decreased tendency to worry
74- Increases listening skills and empathy
75- Helps make more accurate judgements
76- Greater tolerance
77- Gives composure to act in considered & constructive ways
78- Grows a stable, more balanced personality
79- Develops emotional maturity

Spiritual benefits:
80- Helps keep things in perspective
81- Provides peace of mind, happiness
82- Helps you discover your purpose
83- Increased self-actualization.
84- Increased compassion
85- Growing wisdom
86- Deeper understanding of yourself and others
87- Brings body, mind, spirit in harmony
88- Deeper Level of spiritual relaxation
89- Increased acceptance of oneself
90- helps learn forgiveness
91- Changes attitude toward life
92- Creates a deeper spiritual relationship
93- Attain enlightenment
94- greater inner-directness
95- Helps living in the present moment
96- Creates a widening, deepening capacity for love
97- Discovery of the power and consciousness beyond the ego
98- Experience an inner sense of “Assurance or Knowingness”
99- Experience a sense of “Oneness”
100- Increases the synchronicity in your life

Meditation is also completely FREE! It requires no special equipment, it can be practiced anywhere, including Ignacio's rooftop. It can be done at any given moment, walking, running, brushing teeth, at a meditation class, on your bed, in a chair, lying on the floor ANYWHERE. It is not time consuming, try for just 5 minutes a day, and then try 15-20 min. per day. Best of all, meditation has NO negative side effects. Bottom line, there is nothing but positive to be gained from it! With such a huge list of benefits, the question you should ask yourself is, “why am I not meditating yet?” If you need a point to start from after some mindful practice, you could try some guided meditation, here are some free ones here I enjoy they can provide you with a good foundation from which to begin meditating. Just try it out, there are quite simply too many positives to just ignore it :) When you are ready to take the next leap on your Inner Peace journey, read this blog with some more meditation tips

Hell go buy some Patchouli too, it has some great benefits The plant and oil have many claimed health benefits in herbal folk-lore and the scent is used to induce relaxation, great to meditate. Chinese medicine uses the herb to treat headaches, colds, nausea, diarrhea, and abdominal pain. Patchouli oil can be purchased from mainstream Western pharmacies and alternative therapy sources as an aromatherapy oil. Patchouli is an important ingredient in East Asian incense. Both patchouli oil and incense underwent a surge in popularity in the 1960s and 1970s in the US and Europe, mainly due to the hippie movement of those decades, its also used as a conditioner for dreadlocks. You can still be cool in Patchouli, just don't start hugging strangers in a creepy way, unless they are really fit. Then pull the portable twister out.

The wind in Vancouver was intense today, and I couldn't wait to be home and practice some cosy yoga safe indoors in warmth with views of the snow capped mountains in the distance. Our bodies respond to love, and enjoy stretches, especially to Louis Armstrong. I picked up this dreamy stretch from Semperviva's one and only tattooed armed Cameron. Starting in table top, pull back to child's pose, letting the hips fall to the left and right, circling your spine pulling your torso forward, and almost draw the infinity symbol which is a number 8 on its side, rotate your body back, and around, and hear those delightful pops and cracks and snaps, in a good way. Its called a Rice Crispy, not the most nutritional perhaps, but on the money. Enjoy, its my first of many video postings of me showing the poses and I'd love some feedback or some requests! Please help me help others and share my blog and repost and subscribe to the raw subscribers list which you can do by clicking on the tab to the right, thanks!


  1. Nice post. Meditation - ain't it grand? I've been meditating a long time (26 yrs?) and I think for me the greatest benefit has shown up in the last few years- a kind of inner objectivity, where everything in life feels like 'thoughts' in meditation - you neither embrace them nor push them away (but just go on meditating). Even my own emotional highs and lows - are easier to see from above. I'm sure it shouldn't take so long to get to that point, but.. I'm kinda slow! Thanks for talking about it!

  2. Thanks for your comments Patrick! You sound like you have a solid dedicated pratice thats doing the right things for you, and thats amazing. Im still learning, a rookie really, and I encourage much more talking about it especially to sway the perhaps niave vision of someone singing OoouuuMMMM on a nail bed until they starve to achieve this inner peace we all blab on about :) Thanks for following the blog!