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zen-goddess-low-res.jpgWelcome to the Inner Calm Audio Journal

a little blog about the making of our downloadable meditations and music for relaxation & meditation

 


 

 

 

 


Monday
Jul162007

Meditation as it Should Be: Simple & Enjoyable...

iStock_000001839983XSmall.jpgMeditation is a noble and gentle practice, it cultivates your quieter side, the place where you have time for contemplation and correction.

Regular meditation facilitates a glance towards your stars and your direction and allows you to set your course and keep your eye on it.

But as wonderful as that sounds, many of us are still tussling with our inner achiever who’s telling us we don’t have time…


When you’re going about your busy day, it’s all too easy to get caught up in the rushing stream of what you feel you “should” be doing. The pressure may be on, and it can be hard to find the time to slow down and take time out, what to speak of finding the time to learn how to relax and meditate within that hard to find time slot.

Meditation for Busy People

That’s where our Moments of Tranquility program can really help you out. I developed this quick start meditation set for busy people who want a break, but don’t want to have to learn how to get one.

Meditation is a simple art, but it’s becoming a lost one, I can remember years ago scanning bookshelves trying to find information on “how to meditate”. On the whole, my search was futile, what I really wanted was someone to take me by the hand and say “this is what you need to do”, eventually I got lucky.

Click to read more ...

Sunday
Jun102007

4 Little Known Secrets of Meditation

A Guest Article by Matt P. Clarkson

Secret #1: The True Purpose of Meditation

Many people feel a sense of fascination when confronted with the possibility of mystic visions, psychic intuition and heightened mental functioning. While meditators often report these sorts of improvements, these experiences should not be the primary reason for practice. The purpose of meditation is to bring us back to ourselves.

As we become healthier, happier and realize greater self-awareness, the other benefits of meditation begin to follow naturally -- improved mental functioning, greater intuition as well as greater access to unconscious resources and abilities.


Secret #2: Distraction Does Not Equal Failure

Meditation is not work in the sense that you have to "force" yourself to concentrate completely for long periods of time. If we consciously try to prevent thinking, it's going to have a negative impact on the meditation.

Instead, whenever we become lost in thought or confusion, we simply acknowledge those thoughts and then gently return the attention to the object of the meditation. We do this as many times as distraction or thought occurs. Eventually, the mind becomes calmer and discursive thought begins to slow.

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Apr102007

Are Yoga and Meditation Good for my Brain?

A Scientific Take on Stress Management by Alvaro Fernandez

Yoga, meditation, and visualization are all excellent ways to learn to manage your stress levels. Reducing stress, and the stress hormones, in your system is critical to your brain and overall fitness.

Why is this so? It's clear that our society has changed faster than our genes. Instead of being faced with physical, immediately life-threatening crises that demand instant action, these days we deal with events and illnesses that gnaw away at us slowly, without any stress release.

Dr. Robert Sapolsky, in an interview about his book Why Zebras Don't Get Ulcers, points out that humans uniquely "can get stressed simply with thought, turning on the same stress response as does the zebra." But, the zebra releases the stress hormones through life-preserving action, while we usually just keep muddling along, getting more anxious by the moment.

Prolonged exposure to the adrenal steroid hormones like cortisol, released during the stress response, can damage the brain and block the formation of new neurons in the hippocampus, which is the key player in encoding new memories in your brain. Recent studies have shown these neurons can be regenerated with learning and environmental stimulation, but while short-term stress may improve attention and memory, chronic stress leads indirectly to cell death and hampers our ability to make changes and be creative enough to even think of possible changes to reduce the stress.

What are the best defenses against chronic stress?

- Exercise strengthens the body and can reduce the experience of stress, depression, and anxiety.

- Relaxation through meditation, tai chi, yoga, or other techniques to lower blood pressure, slow respiration, slow metabolism, and release muscle tension.

- Biofeedback programs that provide real-time information, allowing you to learn effective techniques for reducing stress levels.

- Empowerment, because attitudes of personal confidence and control of your environment resolve the stress response.

- Social network of friends, family, and even pets help foster trust, support, and relaxation.

If you want to learn more about the science behind these recommendations, you can enjoy these scientific papers:

- Bedard M, Felteau M, Mazmanian D, Fedyk K, Klein R, Richardson J, Parkinson W, Minthorn-Biggs MB. Pilot evaluation of a mindfulness-based intervention to improve quality of life among individuals who sustained traumatic brain injuries. Disabil Rehabil. 2003;25:722-31.

- Bremner JD. Traumatic stress: effects on the brain. Dialogues Clin Neurosci. 2006;8:445-61.

- Czeh B, Muller-Keuker JI, Rygula R, Abumaria N, Hiemke C, Domenici E, Fuchs E. Chronic Social Stress Inhibits Cell Proliferation in the Adult Medial Prefrontal Cortex: Hemispheric Asymmetry and Reversal by Fluoxetine Treatment. Neuropsychopharmacology. 2006 Dec 13; [Epub ahead of print].

- Warner-Schmidt JL, Duman RS. Hippocampal neurogenesis: opposing effects of stress and antidepressant treatment. Hippocampus. 2006;16:239-49.

- Sapolsky, RM. Why Zebras Don't Get Ulcers (Owl Books; 2004). ISBN: 0805073698

Copyright (c) 2007 SharpBrains

Alvaro Fernandez is the CEO and Co-Founder of SharpBrains.com, which provides the latest science-based information for Cognitive Fitness and Cognitive Health, and has been recognized by Scientific American Mind, MarketWatch, Forbes, and more. Alvaro holds MA in Education and MBA from Stanford University, and teaches The Science of Brain Health at UC-Berkeley Lifelong Learning Institute. You can learn more at http://www.sharpbrains.com/

 

Photo "paris meditation" by austinevan

 

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Meditation is easy with someone to talk you through the experience and help you keep on track download a guided relaxation MP3 now… and start enjoying the benefits of meditation in your life today

 

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Tuesday
Apr102007

Meditation is for Everyone

The word meditation carries with it a lot of pre-conceptions: it must be eastern, New Age, involve yoga postures, and be generally other-wordly. Yet, meditation is not really mysterious or complicated at all; it's natural for every individual to experience times of deep reflection and relaxation.


Most people who consider meditation today, do so because they are seeking some relief from stress and anxiety. They are looking for relaxation more than the goals offered by a steady, or devotional, meditation practice. Yet there is nothing more peaceful than true spiritual meditation, such as the meditative recital of the the Jesus prayer, or the maha mantra. 

Meditation does not mean eastern, nor does it have to be tied to any one specific faith. Meditation can be as simple and as non-secular as counting your breaths, or as spiritual as chanting the names of God with prayerful devotion.

Click to read more ...

Sunday
Mar182007

The Morning - Free Relaxation Music MP3

The Morning from The Journey Home - Music for Meditation & Relaxation.

From the publisher: The Journey Home meditation music compositions create a deep and profound experience of peace and calm; yet they are light and most inviting for your own mind and thoughts to take flight and give our stressed out systems a time of alignment, sanctuary and protection, where we might recover and re-charge in a most profound and noticeable way.

 
mp3-play-button.jpgThe Morning - FREE Relaxation Music MP3


The Morning is downloaded by over 250 people a month and is used by the HypnoClinic for their HypnoBirthing program.

If you have enjoyed this piece you will love the new Morning Meditation Music featured on the  Beautiful Calm Meditation & Relaxation MP3s set 

 


Wednesday
Mar142007

5 Finger Qigong Meditation

yin_yang_chi_balance.jpgThis simple sitting qigong meditation is a mindfulness exercise that focuses on the breath along with basic hand postures.

My acupuncturist friend John Gavin shared this technique with me and tells me that he often uses it in addiction workshops for inducing calm and giving relief from the anxiety related to addictive cravings.

 

Music notes: This meditation has been recorded with a selection of real Tibetan (or singing) Bowls which produce a very soothing sound which supports meditation and relaxation. These bowls have been recorded live in order to preserve the subtle sounds of the harmonic overtones they produce.

 
mp3-play-button.jpg5 Finger Qigong - FREE Meditation Music MP3

A superior quality recording of 5 Finger Qigong is included in the Beautiful Calm Beginners Meditation Collection of guided meditations and music for reducing stress and anxiety.

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Wednesday
Feb282007

The Grounding Technique

root_original_shape.jpgToday’s Moment of Tranquility is about finding a place of calm in the eye of the storm. It combines a simple ancient grounding exercise with a trick I learned from a friend when we were travelling on a six week festival tour. We were spending hours every day on busses and sleeping in a different place every night. She taught me to be able to choose my personal environment by listening to my own choice of music on my headphones and “checking out”. It saved me a lot of energy and allowed me at least to rest when it wasn’t possible to sleep.

This grounding exercise comes with music that supports the mood of slowing down and getting earthy! If you use headphones, you can tune out all external noise which might be the next best thing to silence. If you can find a completely quiet place to practice, that’s ideal, but sadly, these days few of us can, so the headphone trick is a handy one.

 

 

Grounding Techniques 1: Energy Points

A quick and easy grounding exercise that uses two key meridian energy points (as used in acupuncture and qigong) to help you feel calm and grounded.

Time: 3 minutes | Price: $2.00

Add to CartView Cart

 

 

Grounding Techniques Further Resources:

Written instructions and a diagram for this Grounding Technique can be found here

Grounding Techniques YouTube video

Grounding Techniques audio downloads

How to Control Anxiety with Grounding Techniques - article


Inner Calm Audio Store

 


Tuesday
Feb272007

Shakuhachi Meditation Music

lotus-narrow-drop-shadow.jpgA gentle, musical meditation. This piece is a live improvisation played on the Japanese shakuhachi bamboo flute. The shakuhachi flute is revered for its soothing meditative tones and it is a popular instrument in Zen meditation music.

The thing I enjoy most about playing bamboo flutes is that they are so sweet and responsive and are just as enjoyable to play as they are to listen to. In fact, the particular flute played in this piece can only be played if you're feeling relaxed. Any tension at all in the body or face means when you blow - nothing happens! So this flute is a favourite of mine for meditative playing.

Just sit back,  breath deeply, and let your mind drift along with the tones of the flute - I hope you enjoy it...

 
mp3-play-button.jpgShakuhachi Sunrise - FREE relaxation & meditation music MP3

Shakuhachi Sunrise is one of eight pieces of music for meditation and relaxation featured in the Beautiful Calm Meditations for Beginners Collection.

If you want to enjoy the benefits of meditation in your life Beautiful Calm is for you. I made it because I see the damage stress does in people's lives and I wanted to do something about it.

Beautiful Calm contains 8 soothing guided meditations for reducing stress and anxiety and 8 pieces of music for relaxation and meditation.

Monday
Feb192007

The Relaxing Breath

 


zen-goddess-low-res-tm.jpgThis soothing relaxation exercise is helpful anytime you're feeling anxious, upset or stressed. The Relaxing Breath (sometimes called the 4-7-8 breath, due to the pattern of counting and holding the breath) is also helpful in relaxing into a restful sleep at the end of the day. It comes from yoga and the more you do it, the more benefit you'll get.

 
mp3-play-button.jpgThe Relaxing Breath - FREE yoga breathing relaxation MP3


This Relaxing Breath exercise is enjoyed by hundreds of people every month, many of them have enjoyed the benefits so much that they have downloaded the full Beautiful Calm Relaxation & Meditation Collection. Now you can get the full benefits of meditation too, and all you have to do is download and sit back and listen.

You can find more relaxation and breathing MP3s on our Guided Meditation page
 
 

 

Wednesday
Feb142007

Deep and Slow... Hypnosis Relaxation


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Give yourself a break! Take a ten minute holiday with this deep relaxation MP3 designed to reduce stress, tension and anxiety and enjoy the relief that comes from inviting the relaxation response into your body and mind.

 
mp3-play-button.jpgFREE Guided Relaxation Hypnosis MP3 Download - Deep and Slow...

Length: 11 minutes File Size: 13MB

Note: For best hypnosis and meditation results, please use quality stereo headphones.