Monthly Archives: January 2017

  • -

Vision Quest

Category : Uncategorized

frontier life

When people during earlier times, became stressed out, or overburdened by their lives they had to find ways to cope with their feelings. There were no therapists, self-help groups, or Prozac to help ease their minds. Even though our world is busier now, people of generations past had stresses that would make us crumble today. They had to worry about thieves stealing everything they owned and possibly hurting them in the process. They had to deal with religious persecutions where literally they could be burned for wearing the clothes that they wore. Let’s not even talk about all of the wild animals that would love to make a meal out of any settler they could find.

So how did some of these people get in touch with themselves in order to better adjust to their world? Some went on what is called a vision quest. It was a way for the participant to clear their mind and seek guidance from a higher realm. Today it is thought that the guidance they received was really their own subconscious. They would wander out into the wilderness with no food or water vowing not to return until they seek the answers they were looking for. It is commonly believed that the lack of substanence caused their minds to open, and for them to think more clearly.

Vision Quest

These journeys could take place anywhere in the world. The Incan Indians use to wander through the Andes Mountains in their hope of finding spiritual enlightenment. All they would take with them would be alpaca wool clothing and a scroll to document their journey. Upon returning, they would share their notes and drawings with the rest of the tribe in an attempt to spread the knowledge of spiritual enlightenment with their members.

To me that sounds like an amazing tool. When life gets a little crazy and hectic, you could just spend several days wandering and being alone until all the answers you were seeking were revealed. So needless to say, I tried my own version of this practice. I live near the mountains of North Carolina, so I decided to spend some time alone in the woods there, to see if I could find guidance from within on dealing with the complexities of life. I even went to a website called , and bought some wool sweaters for my journey. I felt like a true Incan.

prairee escape

Was I visited by spirits who guided me on a new path? No, not really. But being away from everything and everyone in the stillness of the wilderness, put things in perspective for me. I realize that I worry about things too much, and my mind wanders to aimlessly to be able to concentrate on any subject for very long. While amongst the trees, there was nothing to obsess over, or deadlines to be reached. It was just me and the outdoors, and the silence that goes with that.

So I think from now on, every year I will go on a trip by myself. I will go somewhere where it is quiet and remote with absolutely no phones or devices to keep me connected to modern life. I think that mental detox will be good for me, and I plan to make it a part of my life from now on.

  • -

Meditation in Action

Category : Calming the Mind

meditation in action

What is meditation in action? The past preconceptions of meditation have been stillness and silence. It is envisioned as someone sitting Indian style on the floor chanting a mantra. While this is highly effective and recommended to those who wish to start a meditation practice, but there are more things you can do on a daily basis. So how do you meditate while being active?

I used to get up in the morning and settle into my regular routine. Before I knew it I was out the door to work, but could hardly remember any of the steps that got me to that point. Why? Because my life had become a subconscious routine. As soon as I woke up in the morning, I would start doing tasks in a certain order in the same way every day. It got to the point where I would never have to think about what I was doing, and therefore would not remember many of the steps I took.

meditation in everyday deeds

While this can be effective as a means to focus on the day ahead without bothering yourself with mundane things, it can cause your brain to become too scattered too early in the day. Traditional meditation has created a means by which a person can create a more focused mind, and a more clearer outlook. So is it possible to do the two things at one time. Yes it is.

Now instead of just going through your daily routine mindlessly, try to focus on each movement you are making and each item you’re interacting with on a more conscious basis. For example, when you brush your teeth in the morning focus on how the brush feels in your mouth. Focus on the taste of the toothpaste, and focus on the feeling of spitting into the sink. Really feel these things. Enjoy the sensations your body is bringing to your brain. Let the concepts of how day-to-day task influence your being wash over you. You will get the same things done in the same amount of time, but you will be providing your mind with a step-by-step meditation practice.

This can be tricky at first because your mind is used to running on autopilot. When you consciously focus on what you are doing, they may not be as easy as they were before. While working at my desk, I forced myself to concentrate on every keystroke on my computer. I found it my typing was a bit slower, but I was enjoying and sensation of touching every key and feeling it to descend into the keypad to create the document I was making. Now while you may not see the benefits of this right away, and it may be a bit nerve-racking to spend so much attention on simple tasks, over time when you combine this with regular meditation, you will notice you will be more focused and alert all the time.

focus and concentration

An additional benefit to this is that many of us don’t even enjoy the things we should be enjoying. We eat so fast we don’t even taste our food or drinks. One of the most common jokes in the workplace is “I can’t even tell you what I had for breakfast”. This is because that is actually a true statement for a lot of people. But if you take the opportunity to enjoy your meals, your daily walks, and the social interaction with your peers, you will be creating vivid and pleasant memories which will not only help your meditative practice but improve the quality of your life.