I welcome Julie Hunt as a guest writer who shares about Meditation.

4 Tips for Enhancing Your Meditation Practice By Julie Hunt

Meditation, perhaps once-radical, is now virtually mainstream. People all over the world practice meditation to calm the mind and de-stress the body. A 2012 national research study reported that 8 percent of U.S. adults, 18 million people, used meditation. The popularity and accessibility of meditation continues to soar.

The positive effects meditation has on physical health, emotional well-being, and high performance is not exclusive to individuals. Corporations, schools, and hospitals have brought meditation into the fold for stress release and mindfulness. Competitive athletes, artists, and musicians use meditation for present moment awareness. The masses have begun to sit up and take notice of the benefits of meditation.

Meditation is one of the most effective ways to:

Reduce stress and anxiety.
Enhance emotional balance and positive experiences.
Increase longevity and studies are beginning to look at its effect on immunity.
Improve brain functioning.
The following are four lessons to help you meditate more easily, maximize your meditation benefits, and become an experienced meditator.

The More Effortless the Meditation, the Greater the Results
Many are taught that the more effort you exert in life, the greater the results. In meditation, the opposite is true. The more comfortable and relaxed you are, the greater its benefits. Allow meditation to be a simple pleasure. It is luxurious to allow yourself to settle into stillness and return to your natural state of being.

Use these techniques to meditate more easily and effortlessly.

Settle into the most cozy, comfortable, upright-seated position possible.
Put aside the worries of your day. You can always pick them back up after meditation, if you choose. (Be aware that after meditation, there may no longer be worries.)
Gently close your eyes and turn the senses inward. As you inhale, take immense pleasure in the rest you are about to receive.
Allow your breath to flow naturally without forcing or controlling it.
Before meditation, put your attention in your heart and silently ask four questions. These questions begin a dialogue with the universe. As you ask these questions, don’t force the answers.

Simply listen to the answers that come to you.
Who am I?
What do I want?
Why am I here?
For what am I grateful?
Let go of formal meditation do’s and don’ts. There is no right or wrong way to meditate. Meditation recommendations are mere suggestions. Follow your intuition and find the technique that is most natural and comfortable for you.

Thoughts During Meditation Are Normal

You may become frustrated because you can’t stop your thoughts during meditation. You think that having thoughts during meditation means that you aren’t meditating correctly. Thoughts during meditation, however, are perfectly normal. In fact, they may be something to celebrate. Thoughts during meditation are a sign of stress release.

Controlling your mind or forcing out thoughts is not the purpose of meditation, or even the aim. Rather, the purpose of meditation is to enrich your life. And if you approach each meditation with lightheartedness and accept whatever thoughts arise during your practice, you will receive the full benefits of meditation.

The next time you meditate, recognize thoughts for what they are: an immediate indication that you are receiving the stress reduction and detoxification benefits of mediation. Follow this simple process for the duration of each meditation:

Notice thoughts as they arise.

Avoid following your thoughts down a path. As soon as you notice your attention has wandered, gently bring it back to your meditation.
Be kind as thoughts arise. Compassionately and without judgment, return your attention to the source of the meditation. It is a gentle back and forth from thought to source, which may be your breath, mantra, or another object of attention.
After your meditation, rest in silence for two minutes before slowly resuming back to normal activity.
There Is No Such Thing as a “Good” or “Bad” Meditation
Don’t look for a particular experience during meditation or fall into the trap of labeling your meditations as “good” or “bad.” Every experience you have in meditation is correct.

You may feel drawn to a peaceful meditation with few thoughts; however, experiencing stillness during meditation has no greater benefits than one in which your mind is active or your body is restless. Each meditation is unique and will offer you exactly what you need at that time.

Over time, you may find that you spend more time in inner quiet, but the greatest experience of meditation is felt every day as you move through life.

Before each meditation:

Come with an attitude of curiosity.
Let go of expectations.
Gently remind yourself of the true purpose of meditation: to enrich your life.
After meditation:

Be aware of subtle changes in your mind and body.
Honor yourself for prioritizing meditation and self-care.
Look for the benefits as they emerge in your daily life.
Schedule Time to Meditate
One of the biggest obstacles to meditation is finding the time. Rather than making meditation something you have to fit into your busy schedule, allow meditation to be a time you look forward to.

Where can you weave meditation into your daily routine?
Is there anything you can delegate or eliminate from your life to make time?
What commitment of time can you make that feels relaxing, realistic, and doable?
Experiment with your schedule to find windows of time. In the beginning, you may have to reorganize your day. Consider where you can create time by reducing time spent on electronics, waking up earlier, or clearing out time zappers. The time commitment of meditation is small compared to the benefits you will receive.

Meditation is a profound gift of self-care. It allows you to slow down and unwind the busy-ness of life. And over time, meditation changes your perspective from not having enough time to elevating the way you choose to spend your time. Once you establish a regular practice, you will be pleasantly surprised at how quickly the benefits begin to show up in your life.

Check in periodically to notice how your life has improved. You may want to start a meditation journal to more easily track your journey. Some of the benefits you will see unfold immediately, such as stress reduction. Others, such as pain relief, improved sleep, or harmonious relationships may evolve over time. Be aware of the days and moments in which you feel better than the ones before.

As you notice benefits starting to emerge in your life, very little will take you away from time in meditation. You will look forward to settling into your practice. Your perception of time will change. You may notice you are more productive and efficient with your time. If you find you don’t have as much time as you’d like to meditate, do whatever you can, when you can. Every minute spent in meditation moves you toward greater health and happiness, and a return to wholeness.

Now go within and ask, “What choice will I make to receive the benefits of meditation?”

*Editor’s Note: The information in this article is intended for your educational use only; does not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Chopra Center’s Mind-Body Medical Group; and is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health providers with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition and before undertaking any diet, supplement, fitness, or other health program.

Learn a simple, effortless form of meditation and receive your personal Primordial Sound mantra—an invaluable tool for deepening your practice—with our Primordial Sound Meditation Online Course. Learn More.

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About the Author

Julie Hunt
Meditation Instructor and Author
Julie is a Chopra Center certified instructor of Primordial Sound Meditation and author of Shout from the Rooftops in Your Stilletos . She teaches regularly at the Chopra Center’s Perfect Health program and hosts meditation workshops and retreats in Philadelphia and San Diego. Learn more about her passion for meditation and transformation at http://www.alittlemeditation.com/ Julie also served on The Chopra Center’s leadership team as Senior Manager of Digital Products where she helped to bring online courses to life for Deepak, Eckhart Tolle, Martha Beck, Dr. Andrew Weil, and others. She created…Read more



Believe in Ourselves

Believe in ‘ourselves’ is easy when we have lots of confidence and self-empowerment. But we often have to move through transitions and make transformations so we are more empowered.  When we are ill or out of work, it is difficult to ‘believe in ourselves’. So what is something we can try to have renewed hope, confidence and better health.

Tonal Exercises

No one can make you change or try something new.  You have to be a willing participant.  If you are depressed, this can seem like an impossibility.  But if you can move out of feeling afraid, even for a moment, close your eyes, breath in and out, relax and feel your heart beating.

  1. Stay with the rhythm of your heart and begin to hum…a low hum for a few minutes.  Then sit quietly and when your are ready hum for a few more minutes.

2.  Then add a higher hum…then low hum…the higher hum…for a few minutes.  Caution! Your mind will tell you to stop and that this is silly.  Keep toning! What you are doing is getting into the rhythm of your own voice, mind and heart.  This is a tonal exercise and it stimulates all our cells and they respond to it.

3.  You can tone the sound…hah…then ah..then ah…hah..  Also make sounds that feel good to you.  Who knows your body, mind and heart better than you.

4. Try out various tones and see what ones feel good for you.  When I meditate, I often ask “What tone do I need today” and I will hear a tone…

5. Try toning a vowel sounds..a,e,i,o,u.   So ‘a’ can tone a short a…ah or a long a vowel …a (says its name).

6.  Try low toning sound and move higher to see what feels best.

Toning is Awesome!

Sound toning as you meditate is awesome!  Take some simple steps to remember the tones that your body, mind and spirit like!  Each day do one small thing you like to do.  Listen to music that calms if you are anxious or with a beat if you are feeling down.

There are many tonal exercises but the most simple are the best.  Toning opens the communication between our left brain and right brain.  It stimulates all our cells to vibrate at a higher, healthier vibration.  Over the centuries we have lost our innate healing abilities.  Return to the simplicity of your own tones.  Return to simplicity in everything you do.

Believe in who you are and your inner beauty.  Remember your life purpose…to love deeply in everything you do.  I believe we all have that same life purpose…let’s begin today to truly believe that we can take steps forward…to love who we are…to love others…to be grateful for this crazy, mysterious experience we call life!

I believe in you!  Enjoy your ‘tune up’!

Peacefully, Jane


Jane Rosalea Brown, BA, CSW

USUI Reiki Master, Natural Sound Sessions

Author In Silence, Discovering Self through Meditation

Author name: Jane Rosalea Booth




A visitor to my blog commented on this post from 2010 that this quote by Thich Nhat Hanh was  ‘beautiful’.  I think it is perfect for us today, as a reminder to move into ‘loving kindness’ in our communities.

 Thich Nhat Hanh – Mindful Community

Thich Nhat Hanh

“It is probable that the next Buddha will not take the form of an individual. The next Buddha may take the form of a community, a community practicing understanding and loving kindness, a community practicing mindful living. This may be the most important thing we can do for the survival of the earth.” ~ Thich Nhat Hanh

Thich Nhat Hanh, known by friends as Thay, is a beloved Buddhist Monk who teaches peace through mindful living.  You can visit him at www.plumvillage.org  He is also on facebook!

How can you create peace in your personal community – your personal space,  family,  social groups, local community and global community?  Let us walk each day as peacemakers living our lives with an open heart for all.  Mindful living is tapping into the joy in nature, in art, in children and within your Sacred heart where peace dwells always.  It is a way of forgiving and becoming aware of who you really are so you may experience each moment fully.  It is taking off the blinders and really seeing…really being. It is being mindful of all our actions, feelings and thoughts.

Affirmation: “I am mindful of the way I speak to others.”

Peacefully, Jane


Jane Rosalea Brown, BA, CSW

USUI Reiki Master

Author In Silence, Discovering Self through Meditation

Author name: Jane Rosalea Booth


As many of you know, for years I have been leading women’s spiritual, self-empowerment, and conscious aging workshops. They began as Happiness Circles and transformed to Harmony Circles..Golden Light Circles…Peaceful Path Workshops and retreats for women…to A Peaceful Way gatherings.

The purpose of these ‘circles’ and ‘gatherings’ was to help women move beyond past hurts, to love themselves, to come into a place of wellness and peace. I used words such as holistic, wholeness, finding balancing, intuition, connecting with higher self, inner peace, chakra balancing, crystals, ‘finding your true or authentic self’ , consciousness, awakening, and conscious aging…compassion, forgiveness, mindfulness, reflection, gratitude, acceptance, being… wisdom…self.

At these programs and gatherings, many women who gathered over the years did transform.  I saw some who carried deep wounds from their past move into a place of forgiveness and love…for themselves and others.  Today, they are strong and have taken the ‘tools’ of transformation such as meditation and forgiveness and continue to use them as they face today’s challenging world.

This morning I am reflecting on what ‘tools’ do I need, what have I learned and practiced over the years, and what is my role in life as I move on in these ‘elder’ years.

A neighbour who is my age said to me ‘I am at the age where I don’t care what other people think’.  She’s a strong, bold woman and I wondered if she had ever cared what people think.  She is bright and intelligent and can speak about almost any topic!

For me, I am not really worried about what people think of me too…but I do care about what other people think about life and our world.  I still hold a vision of people caring and respecting one another. So if I truly love you…I care about how you feel and live.

But I also wonder if I have done enough in my life.  As a child I wanted to go to be a nurse in Africa.  I knew about the starvation and illness there.  I worked on fundraising committees for years for various organizations.  Then I began my Happiness circles and worked with local people and businesses to show a peaceful way to cope with the pressures of our western life. I adopted two children who are the joy of my life. They taught me unconditional love. But could I have done more?  Or a better question is what is my next step…

I am retired now and have many happy times with my husband.  I share meditations and Reiki with friends in my community. I help with horses at a local therapeutic horse riding centre.  I write poetry, my blog and Facebook, walk my dog, crochet and hook a rug that I have had for 20 years that is calling me to complete.  I dance Paneurthythmy in my family room during the winter months and on the Equinox in March will dance outside at a farm. I feel a sense of freedom and it is a great feeling.

All the words above…holistic to self, are blending together now. I am still curious about new things and am always evolving.  However the words ‘gratitude’ and ‘acceptance’ both have deeper meaning for me now.  As far as wisdom, perhaps I am wiser than I was…or is it that I am more accepting now of who I AM.

Enjoy your day and take time to reflect over your life.  Be honest about your past…your ups and downs. Be honest and accepting of your uniqueness and beautiful self!

Celebrate your invincible summer that is always within you!

Peacefully Jane

Jane Rosalea Brown, BA, CSW
USUI Reiki Master
Author, In Silence, Discovering Self through Meditation
A Peaceful Way


Valentine’s Day encourages us to share our love with our Beloved ones. It began as a day for lover’s to express their love (and the florist shops to sell roses and cards), but it has evolved into a day that brings the importance of taking time to tell others how much we love them and how important they are to us.

For my husband and I, it is still a ‘lovey’ day with cards and chocolates.  This morning 2e went to Georgian Bay where the sun was shining brightly on the icy banks along the shore and it was so beautiful.  We soaked up the beauty. Then we drove up Blue Mountain and out into the rolling countryside.

So Valentine’s Day is a day where we can express our love and be so grateful for our family and friends who share their love with us. It can also be a time for reflection and meditation.

 Would you like to try a simple meditation with me?

Meditating is a simple process.  It requires only a quiet place, concentration on your breathing, slow relaxation of all your muscles and allowing your mind to quiet.  If you like, play some quiet, soothing music.

As today is Valentine’s Day in your meditation visualize a beautiful pink flower and allow yourself to feel the love that the flower was sending to you.  Try this short meditation and fill your heart with love for yourself and for others. I will send some to you too!

Heart Flower Meditation

Begin by focusing on your breathing…in and out, in and out.  With each breath in and out, feel all the muscles in your body from your head to your toes begin to relax…more and more.  Allow your mind to quiet and allow yourself to drift into your heart space…deeper into your consciousness…a space of peace, love and stillness…see beautiful pink light…and a pink flower that slowly opens its petals and sends love to you…your heart fills with love…enjoy the present moment….listen…



Poet’s have been writing about the power of love for centuries. Here’s is a moving poem about love by Attar..

Intoxicated by the wine of love
From each a mystic silence Love demands.
What do all seek so earnestly? ‘Tis Love.
What do they whisper to each other? Love.
Love is the subject of their inmost thoughts.
In Love no longer ‘thou’ and ‘I’ exist,
For Self has passed away in the Beloved.
Now will I draw aside the veil from Love,
And in the temple of mine inmost soul,
Behold the Friend; Incomparable Love.
He who would know the secret of both worlds,
Will find the secret of them both, is Love

Farid ud Din Attar– translation Margaret Smith –

From “The Jawhar Al-Dhat  “

Attar was one of the Attar 1119 -1220 most ancient and highly revered poets of Persia. He inspired later Sufi poets, such as Rumi and Hafiz

Happy Love Day…May love fill your heart everyday.

Peacefully, Jane

cropped-jane2-469x640Jane Rosalea Brown, BA, CSW

USUI Reiki Master

Author In Silence, Discovering Self through Meditation

Author name: Jane Rosalea Booth

Many who visit my blog enjoy reading poetry by Japanese poet Basho. Here is some information about him from Wikipedia.

Matsuo Basho (松尾 芭蕉, 1644–1694), born 松尾 金作, then Matsuo Chūemon Munefusa (松尾 忠右衛門 宗房),[2][3] was the most famous poet of the Edo period in Japan.

Portrait of Basho by Hkusai, late 18th century

During his lifetime, Bashō was recognized for his works in the collaborative haikai no rengaform; today, after centuries of commentary, he is recognized as the greatest master of haiku (then called hokku). Matsuo Bashō’s poetry is internationally renowned; and, in Japan, many of his poems are reproduced on monuments and traditional sites.

Although Bashō is justifiably famous in the West for his hokku, he himself believed his best work lay in leading and participating in renku. He is quoted as saying, “Many of my followers can write hokku as well as I can. Where I show who I really am is in linking haikai verses.”[4]

Bashō was introduced to poetry at a young age, and after integrating himself into the intellectual scene of Edo (modern Tokyo) he quickly became well known throughout Japan. He made a living as a teacher; but then renounced the social, urban life of the literary circles and was inclined to wander throughout the country, heading west, east, and far into the northern wilderness to gain inspiration for his writing.

basho A statute of Basho

His poems were influenced by his firsthand experience of the world around him, often encapsulating the feeling of a scene in a few simple elements.
even a horse

arrests my eyes—on this

snowy morrow [1684]

another year is gone


a traveler’s shade on my head,

straw sandals at my feet [1685]


an ancient pond

a frog jumps in

the splash of water [1686]


now then, let’s go out

to enjoy the snow … until

I slip and fall! [1688]

Jane’s Haiku

Here is a Haiku that the above haiku by Basho inspired after my morning walk in the snow!

Inner child’s call
Joy of heart’s true passion
Playing in the snow
Feb. 12, 2018
Jane Rosalea Brown

Have fun and try writing some Haiku.  Quiet your mind like you do when you meditate. Listen within and let the words flow.  Most Haiku in modern day.. 5 syllables…7 syllables..5 syllables (3 lines)  I loved to read them,

Peacefully, Jane


cropped-jane2-469x640Jane Rosalea Brown, BA, CSW

USUI Reiki Master

Author In Silence, Discovering Self through Meditation

Author name: Jane Rosalea Booth

The Wisdom of Tea

tea pouring

Japanese Tea Ceremony – Chanoyu

The Japanese tea ceremony is a unique Japanese cultural tradition, which began in the 15th century. It has evolved over the centuries, and today there are many different styles and schools of tea in Japan. Despite the various styles and schools of tea, they all share the same philosophy, which has been shaped by its origins in Zen Buddhism. The guiding philosophy of the Japanese tea ceremony rests on these principles:  Wa – Harmony, Kei – Respect, Sei – Purity, and Jaku – Serenity. The Japanese tea ceremony, or Cha-no-yu, meaning “hot water for tea”, is more than an elaborate ritual. It is an interlude in which one leads oneself for the moment to the spirit of beauty, quietude, and politeness toward others. The ceremony may be practiced anywhere, at home or in a teahouse. Matcha: powdered green tea used exclusively in the tea ceremony.

There are 4 principles: harmony, respect, purity, and tranquility

  • Harmony:with other people and with nature. The tea ceremony is the way of bringing one’s self into harmony with nature.
  • Respects:a harmonious relationship with others.
  • Purity:clean yourselves through the five senses – sense of hearing when hearing the sound of water(which remind one of the silence outside), sense of sight when see the flowers, sense of touch when touch the utensils, sense of smell when smell the scent of the flowers, sense of taste when drinking tea.
  • Tranquility to experience peace.

When the Zen monk Eisai brought tea seeds from China to Japan in the twelfth century, he also imported the following ten virtues of tea.                     

The Ten Virtues of Tea

It has the blessing of all deities.
It promotes filial piety.
It drives away evil spirits.
It banishes drowsiness.
It keeps the five internal organs in harmony.
It wards off disease.
It strengthens friendship.
It disciplines body and mind.
It destroys all passions.
It gives a peaceful death.

tea green

Please take time to watch this video- the tea pots are truly magnificent works of art!!


After watching this video, it inspired me to make a cup of tea – Chocolate Mint – Rooibos, peppermint and natural chocolate flavour – a lovely treat on a very snowy morning here in Meaford!  I thought of the 10 Virtues of Tea…no wonderful I like it so much!

tea winter

Enjoy a cup of tea today and here’s my winter Haiku poems for you!

morning snow falling

below  roots stir quietly

with spring’s rhythm


Winter stillness stirs

A restlessness to wander

On long winter trail

By Jane Rosalea Brown

Peacefully, Jane

Jane Rosalea Brown, BA, CSW

USUI Reiki Master

Author In Silence, Discovering Self through Meditation

Author name: Jane Rosalea Booth

Ref: unknown, I found this on the internet years ago, I thank whoever shared this information and hope others will enjoy it too. Here is a lovely site that shares more about the Japanese Tea Ceremony http://www.teagenius.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=1064:the-japanese-tea-ceremony-defining-japanese-culture&catid=10&Itemid=122



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