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» Monk Mind: How to Increase Your Focus

» Monk Mind: How to Increase Your Focus
Post written by Leo Babauta. I confess to being as prone to the distractions of the Internet as anyone else: I will start reading about something that interests me and disappear down the rabbit hole for hours (even days) at a time. But my ability to focus on a single task has dramatically improved, and that one habit has changed my life. While a few years ago I couldn’t sit down to work on something without quickly switching to email or one of my favorite Internet forums or sites, today I can sit down and write. I can clear away distractions, when I set my mind to it, and do one thing. I know that lots of people have trouble focusing one one task for very long, and so I thought I’d share a few things that have worked for me. Focus Best Practices There is no one way to find focus, but what works for me is to clear everything away and create a little space of tranquil focus. Close the browser and your email program. How to Increase Your Focus Abilities Start small. Related:  MeditationHow To Focus Your Attention

» 9 Mindfulness Rituals to Make Your Day Better “Smile, breathe and go slowly.” - Thich Nhat Hanh, Zen Buddhist monk Post written by Leo Babauta. Are you simply moving through your day, without fully living? I did this for many years. It was as if life were just passing by, and I was waiting for something to happen. But today isn’t preparation for tomorrow. Fully live today by being mindful. You don’t need to do all of these, but give a few of them a try to see if they make your day better. Mindfulness Rituals Ritual isn’t about doing a routine mindlessly. Here are a few of my favorites: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. These rituals aren’t the only time you should be mindful, but they’re great reminders.

Understand Your True Purpose Meditation Meditation is a practice in which an individual trains the mind or induces a mode of consciousness, either to realize some benefit[1] or as an end in itself.[2] The term meditation refers to a broad variety of practices (much like the term sports) that includes techniques designed to promote relaxation, build internal energy or life force (qi, ki, prana, etc.) and develop compassion,[3] love, patience, generosity and forgiveness. A particularly ambitious form of meditation aims at effortlessly sustained single-pointed concentration[4] single-pointed analysis,[5] meant to enable its practitioner to enjoy an indestructible sense of well-being while engaging in any life activity. Meditation may involve generating an emotional state for the purpose of analyzing that state—such as anger, hatred, etc. Etymology[edit] The English meditation is derived from the Latin meditatio, from a verb meditari, meaning "to think, contemplate, devise, ponder".[13] History[edit] Man Meditating in a Garden Setting

» wash your bowl There’s a famous Zen story that goes: A monk told Joshu, “I have just entered the monastery. Please teach me.” Joshu asked, “Have you eaten your rice porridge? I’m not going to try to explain that story, as I am far from enlightened enough to understand it. Have you eaten your rice porridge? This is something I think of every time I eat, and in fact whenever I’m done doing something. There is something profound and yet minimalist about this advice. I’ve found this to be true. When I take a shower, I hand wash my dirty clothes (if they’re dirty), wring them out, hang them to dry. Remembering to do these things when we’re done with the activity isn’t just about neatness. Wash your bowl, with care and joy.

Focus On Things Within Your Control Meditation, Taoist Meditation Steps, Meditation Techniques Taoist meditation methods have many points in common with Hindu and Buddhist systems, but the Taoist way is less abstract and far more down-to-earth than the contemplative traditions which evolved in India. The primary hallmark of Taoist meditation is the generation, transformation, and circulation of internal energy. Once the meditator has 'achieved energy' (deh-chee), it can be applied to promoting health and longevity, nurturing the 'spiritual embryo' of immortality, martial arts, healing, painting and poetry, sensual self-indulgence, or whatever else the adept wishes to do with it. The two primary guidelines in Taoist meditation are jing ('quiet, stillness, calm') and ding ('concentration, focus'). The purpose of stillness, both mental and physical, is to turn attention inwards and cut off external sensory input, thereby muzzling the "Five Thieves". Taoist masters suggest that when you first begin to practice meditation, you will find that your mind is very uncooperative.

» The Simplest Diet for Lean Fitness Post written by Leo Babauta. I’m in the best shape in my life. I’m incredibly happy to say that. For years (as many of you know) I was in terrible health — I was overweight and sedentary and addicted to junk food and a smoker and overworked. Today after more than five years of living healthy I am about 65 pounds lighter. How have I achieved all of this? Today I thought I’d share a bit about how I eat. Overall philosophy My general philosophy of eating: I don’t go for anything extreme. My Diet This month I’ve cut my less healthy choices down to Saturdays — as inspired by Tim Ferriss’s book The 4-Hour Body. The rest of the week I eat my own version of Tim’s Slow Carb Diet — the Leo version. What I eat: Beans – lentils and black beans and kidney beans and pintos and soybeans.Nuts and seeds – raw almonds and walnuts and seeds and olive oil and avocadoes.Veggies – lots of greens like kale and spinach and chard and broccoli. My Meals My typical day usually goes like this: And that’s about it. Notes

FOCUS Acronym Evidence builds that meditation strengthens the brain Earlier evidence out of UCLA suggested that meditating for years thickens the brain (in a good way) and strengthens the connections between brain cells. Now a further report by UCLA researchers suggests yet another benefit. Eileen Luders, an assistant professor at the UCLA Laboratory of Neuro Imaging, and colleagues, have found that long-term meditators have larger amounts of gyrification ("folding" of the cortex, which may allow the brain to process information faster) than people who do not meditate. The article appears in the online edition of the journal Frontiers in Human Neuroscience. The cerebral cortex is the outermost layer of neural tissue. "Rather than just comparing meditators and non-meditators, we wanted to see if there is a link between the amount of meditation practice and the extent of brain alteration," said Luders. Of the 49 recruited subjects, the researchers took MRI scans of 23 meditators and compared them to 16 control subjects matched for age, handedness and sex.