The Holiday Season is one of the happiest times of the year but for many of us it can also be one of the most stressful. Take a moment before all the chaos begins to check out our Top 10 Holiday Stress-Reducing Tips.
What an amazing gift Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff gave to attendees of Dreamforce at this year’s annual tech conference in San Francisco, CA. He personally invited 24 monks and nuns from Plum Village Monastery in the Dordogne region of southern France, founded by Zen Buddhist master Thich Nhat Hahn, to teach daily mindfulness walking and sitting meditations. Only in California!
Like Marc, I truly believe in the benefits of mindfulness and meditation. I’m always looking for ways to deepen my meditation practice and learn more. So what did I learn from the monks?
Does today’s fast-changing technology, non-stop barrage of information and “always on” social media make your head spin? You’re not alone. It seems almost impossible to keep up with everything and everyone these days. Juggling work, family, personal life – and an epidemic of multi-tasking and constant busyness in our lifestyles has become the norm. Even while on vacation, how many can’t resist texting, checking emails, or posting on social? It’s no surprise that stress levels are through the roof.
So how do you deal with all this noise, disruption and technology-related stress?
I called my friend Sandra in South Africa to wish her a “Happy Birthday” (it was a big one) and asked her what she was doing to celebrate her special “landmark” day. When she told me what she was planning, I thought it was such a creative idea. With a big birthday coming up myself, I decided to do the same thing and asked her if I could share it with everybody by writing a blog article. So here it is…
“Enlightenment is understanding that there is nowhere to go, nothing to do, and nobody you have to be except exactly who you’re being right now.”
Special birthdays deserve special celebrations. This year, I decided to do something of a spiritual nature to celebrate my birthday – so, instead of stuffing my face (I love to eat), I decided to feed my soul (how Californian does that sound)!
Wanting to share the experience, my husband Barry agreed to join me for an all-day silent “Insight Meditation” Retreat at Spirit Rock Meditation Center. Insight Meditation (“Vipassana”) is a simple technique that begins with focusing attention on your breath – a practice that can lead to better concentration and a calmer mind, ultimately allowing one to be more fully present and aware in each moment.