Monday, November 17, 2008

Meditation Establishes Concentration

Add to Technorati Favorites
Meditation establishes concentration by clearing the mind of thought debris. Any thought that lingers on is like unwanted debris that requires energy to fuel it. If there is too much debris, a lot of psychic energy is wasted.

This debris I am referring to comes in the form of past regrets, daydreaming and, tackling future scenarios that might never happen. With so much time and psychic energy spent on such mental activities, how much time and energy is left to concentrate on "here and now"?

This waste of energy leads to a state of mental fatigue with symptoms such as forgetfulness, carelessness and depression. If our mental energy is conserved, then we shall have more energy to attend to the "here and now" of living.

Our minds control our bodies but, it is our emotions that dictate the state our minds. Think about it for a while. Doesn't everything seem so much better when we are happy? And why does everything seem so bleak whenever we are angry or irritated?

Meditation Need Not Be Complicated

Meditation doesn't have to be complicated or difficult. As long as you focus your mind on only one thing or object, that is a meditation in itself. Meditation also doesn't have to be of religious nature. It is a mental exercise that clears the mind of conscious and sub-conscious thoughts that clutter our ability to concentrate.Thinking is a process that requires energy.

The more we think, the more energy we use up. And while it is a good thing to think about things, it's a bad thing to keep on thinking about things that bring about negative emotions or worse, things that cannot be resolved. We need our minds to be clear and uncluttered in order to be alert and at peace with ourselves!

Simple Meditative Exercise

To do a simple meditative exercise, all you need to do is find a place where you can feel safe: this should be a room that you can lock yourself in. When no one can enter the room you are in, you can fully relax.

Next, sit at an arms length away from a plain, light colored wall and draw a tiny black dot on the wall. This dot should be as round as possible and slightly above eye level. Sitting posture should be comfortable and well balanced. My favorite position is the "half-lotus" where one leg is crossed over with the backs of my wrists resting on my knees. The back must be straight and not slumped and the whole body must be relaxed. This position allows the body to be well balanced and supported with least amount of physical effort.

When you have done all this, you are ready to begin a very simple meditation. But before we start, let me clarify a few things. At no time during the course of this meditation should your mind go blank. The focal point of this meditation is the tiny black dot you have drawn on the wall. You are also not encouraged to do this meditation between the hours of midnight and 5.00 AM in the morning. And lastly, do not attempt to do this meditation immediately after eating.

A Simple Meditation

The easiest meditation only involves sitting in a comfortable position and looking at a dot on the wall. You need do nothing else. But meditation requires that be are relaxed, comfortable and safe. This is why you must meditate behind locked doors. When you are sure that no one can enter the room that you're in, you can totally relax and concentrate on what you have to.

To begin this meditation, you should sit comfortably on the floor facing the wall with that dot on it. Sit about an arm's length away from the wall and look at the dot. You need do nothing more than this. In total silence, sit and look at that dot. Do not think of it as a "dot" and do not think about anything at all. Just look at that dot.

While this may not seem like a very interesting thing to do, in time and with practice, you shall begin to understand how important and beneficial this meditation is. This meditation prepares the mind to reach a state of awareness that shall greatly improve the quality of your life. No matter how boring this exercise may seem at the beginning, do not give up. Sit for 5 minutes if you like. Sit for longer if you are able to. Follow your own inclinations and abilities, but do not give up.

Taming The Mind

The mind is a powerful thing. In it, many thoughts dwell at the conscious and sub-conscious levels. This meditation seeks to tame it and calm it so that it may function in the way it was intended to function: optimally. Some people have minds cluttered with numerous thoughts all at once while others have less preoccupations. Regardless, every thought needs energy to fuel it. The more thoughts that fill your mind, the more energy they consume. The mind is weak when too many thoughts occupy it.

While sitting and looking at the dot, you will find yourself drifting into a thought. Whatever that thought be, focus on it, address it and resolve it. After you have done this, tell yourself that you shall not think of it again. If the thought cannot be resolved, tell yourself that you shall put this thought aside and shall think about it at a later time. As you go on sitting and looking at that that dot on the wall, you will be surprised to discover how many thoughts pop up in your mind. Don't worry about it. After a few meditation sessions and more practice, there will be less things that pop up in your mind.

Finer Points On Meditation

Practicing meditation should be on a daily basis for the best results. While it may take sometime to reach a state where your mind is free from distracting thoughts, time and regular practice shall allow you to free your mind in a much shorter time. As you continue to practice meditation, you may begin to hear a high pitched ringing in your ear. Some will hear this sound as insects in a forest. This sound is usually heard when the mind is in a meditative state of calm.

Another thing that can be done to accelerate the progress in meditative exercise would be to go on a vegetarian diet. Vegetarianism also enables us to be more calm and less stressed out.

I hope that you have benefitted from reading this article. We need to concentrate on today in order to build a better tomorrow.

Always remember that meditation establishes concentration.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Food Down the Petrol Tank

Add to Technorati Favorites
As more and more starchy foods are used to manufacture bio-fuels, food supply will decrease and food prices will go up. As there can only so much land available for agriculture, the continual destruction of forests to pave the way for more agricultural resources would contribute to increased global warming that harms our Earth's environment. Hydrogen, solar, and wind-borne energy would thus be better alternative sources of energy.

It's one thing to refine palm oil into bio-diesel, but it's something completely different to use traditional staple food crops to produce such fuel. An enormous amount of food crops and fresh water are required to produce a very small amount of bio-fuel; about 232 kilograms of corn and 13,500 liters of fresh water produces only 50 liters of bio-ethanol. Such incredulous amounts of food and water have resulted in shortages of food which have in turn caused food prices to sky-rocket out of control.

Soaring food prices don't only affect people in poor countries. Many developed countries are seeing a rise in a new class of "working poor individuals" in their communities. Such people used to form the "lower middle class" but can no longer afford to support their families because of exorbitant inflationary rates. For the people in this category, food subsidies do not shelter them from making painful decisions in their everyday lives.

It's one thing to choose to walk to work in order to save money. But choosing to eat less so that one can afford to keep the house warm during the winter should never be an option. Governments across the globe need to understand and address the issues and plight that accost the poor.

Children are always the ones to suffer the most. Too young to fend for themselves, they are usually at the mercy of their surroundings when both their parents are busy eking out a living. The problem of unaffordable food essentials usually results in malnutrition and poor health. Eating less is not a viable long term solution.

The increased demand for any commodity drives up its price. If more companies are going to turn food into fuel, how much food will be left for domestic consumption? And though bio-fuels are undoubtably a cleaner type of fuel, it is not the only type of fuel. The world community has to look into better alternatives to satisfying its energy needs.

Everyday, people die of starvation by the tens of thousands. Poverty that leads to malnutrition and death remains a reality that needs to be addressed and resolved. How can we turn a blind eye to all the suffering and death in this world? How can we estrange ourselves from the atrocities that have resulted from negligence and a lack of planning?

Read more about the the problem of Rising Food Prices and find out why food costs so much today.

Other posts:

About Terence Yap Singapore