Thursday, August 29, 2019

Being an easy Raja Yogi

There is a popular expression in most languages: 'I am my own best friend or my own worst enemy'. One of the meetings is that, though challenges may exist, I make them difficult according to my consciousness. This is especially true with regard to the practice of Raja yoga meditation. Some people after several unsuccessful attempts to meditate, just give up. They perhaps think, that the method does not work, without considering the possibility of their consciousness not being able to work properly. In Brahma Kumaris, we learn that if the method (vidhi) is correct, there is success (sidhi) in terms of spiritual power.
To be an easy Raja Yogi, the first thing I need to do, is substitute the word yoga or meditation with remembrance. Basically, I just have to remember two things:
I am a soul and my original qualities are peace, love, happiness, truth and purity.
As a spiritual being, I automatically have a connection with the source of spiritual power or God. Through remembering my relationship with him I can experience His qualities as Father, Mother, Teacher, True Guide (Satguru), Beloved and Friend.
Unfortunately, we complicate this understanding by intellectualising instead of experiencing. Almost 40 years ago one of my first Raja yoga teachers told me that I need two things in order to be a successful meditator. I need knowledge in order to make a bridge between the soul and God, but I need love in order to cross it. If I just have knowledge but not that real love for Him, in the whole exercise becomes very dry. If I just have love then I can only experience a sort of distant appreciation without actually being able to come close.
The whole objective of Raja yoga meditation practice is to not only access my original qualities with God's help, but to actually make sure that they become more present in my day-to-day activities. Instead of reacting to situations and people from the limited ego perspective, I learn to interact with them from those deep inner qualities.

How to prepare a public talk

Prepare beforehand

  1. Create an interesting topic that will attract the public. For example:  Overcoming anxiety with meditation 
  2. Research recent Murlis for any relevant points.
  3. Research any concept related to the theme from a general point of view
  4. Understand what your audience is going to be, who they are and what is relevant to them.
  5. Prepare any PowerPoint presentation if necessary.
  6. Make sure that there is a balance between Ethos (be genuine and transmit trust), Pathos (appeal to their feelings) and Logos (give a few facts and statistics if necessary)

Prepare in writing the sequence

  1. Start off with silence, either with a commentary or not, depending on the audience.
    • In the case of a talk on this topic, start off with a meditation commentary that helps people become calm. Create this sort of atmosphere and then begin the talk.
  2. Make a powerful or punchy introduction that makes people pay attention.
    • If 20 years ago, the main problem was stress and 10 years ago the main concern was depression, nowadays the number one mental disturbance is anxiety. It is on the rise mainly due to uncertainty about the future, collectively and individually. The World Health Organization has said that 5% of the world population suffer from it. In this country it is (look it up). In the US people spend $x billions on drugs for anxiety disorders.
  3. Talk about the purpose of the talk.
    • The purpose of this talk is to explain what anxiety is and how meditation can help.
  4. Share a personal story around the topic.
    • The other day I met a person who has been showing symptoms of what may be a serious disease. He is awaiting the diagnosis and is feeling very anxious. This type of anxiety is completely normal. As soon as the diagnosis comes out he can prepare himself one way or the other. The problem is when anxiety starts to become a constant gnawing, day after day, month after month.
  5. Present your main thesis for the topic.
    • Meditation practice can definitely help reduce anxiety and maybe reduce the use of drugs if you are taking them. (Of course, always check with your doctor first.)
  6. Do the following for each of the 3 main points:
    • EXPLAIN to reinforce your thesis with examples.
    • EXPERIENCE for each of the main points. Develop something that they can experience. It can either be a meditation commentary, a reflection or some group dynamic.
    • EXPLORE in an interactive way to make the point more relevant for the people in the audience.
  7. Three main points
    • First point
      • Explain: What is anxiety? What is the difference between stress and anxiety? What are the different types of anxiety briefly?
      • Experience: Conduct a questionnaire that tells you if you have anxiety or not.
      • Explore: What can you do about it? How meditation can help.
    • Second point
      • Explain: What happens in the brain when there is anxiety? The production of adrenaline, cortisol and other stress-related hormones. How this is essential when there is danger, and prejudicial if it is long-term and unrelated to danger.
      • Experience: Conduct a meditation experience to help people again become calm.
      • Explore: What happened in the meditation? How did you feel? What do you think would happen if you could meditate on a regular basis?
    • Third point
      • Explain: What Raja yoga meditation is. What happens to the brain when we meditate (check the research) - especially the production of serotonin and dopamine - good feeling hormones. Explain three steps - becoming detached from the physical surroundings and body; sitting mentally at the seat of command near the pineal gland; becoming aware of the deep qualities of the soul.
      • Experience: Conduct a meditation experience that includes these three steps.
      • Explore: What happened in this meditation? How did you feel? Tips about making meditation a regular practice.
  8. Open up for questions and answers.
  9. Conclude with a summary of what you spoke about. Extend an invitation for them to introduce something new in their lives. Ask them what they think they will do.

Material on "Overcoming anxiety with meditation"

This is a presentation I did at Qantas, if you are interested.
Link for file. 

Material from BK retreats in Baxter and Leura

Friday, August 31, 2018

Easy Meditation Video

Dear readers,
I have just started a series of six short videos about easy meditation practice on my Live and Meditate channel, both on Youtube and Facebook.
It outlines the basic steps of the initial phases of meditation practice. Hope you enjoy. 
Here is the link for Youtube of Step 1:
Here is the Link on Facebook:

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Live and Meditate: New video channel on youtube

Good news:
I have launched a video channel of short 3 minute videos on Youtube and Facebook. It is all about meditation and living. Hope you enjoy. 
I'll start off with once a week and work towards 3 posts a week, the same as I already have in Portuguese:
Here is the link: