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Meditation – A Mirror Within a Mirror

When I was a child I accidentally discovered a way to contemplate infinity using only two mirrors, one handheld and one on the wall.

I was wondering what would happen if I looked at a mirror reflected in another mirror.  I played around and then suddenly there was a moment when an endless tunnel of reflected mirrors opened up, a window into infinity.

In my excitement, I took my father's tripod and mounted the handheld mirror onto it, trying to make it as still as possible to make the tunnel as deep as possible.

As the chain of reflections fused into a dark vanishing point in the "distance", I felt that this dark point was a piece of the same infinity that I saw when I looked at sky at night.

I repeated this experiment often.  It became one of the visual meditations that I loved then and still love to this day, like staring into an open fire, star gazing, watching the sun set, waves rolling onto the shore, snow flakes floating to the ground.

Later, when I started to meditate, I found the same sense of infinity behind closed eyelids in an inner space that deepened and expanded with time.

Go and explore this inner space in yourself, have glimpses of your own infinity!  Unlike the virtual space between facing mirrors, your inner space is full of life, light and spirit.

How do you go about this?  Find out here www.reiki-meditation.co.uk/meditationcourses.asp

About the Author

Michael Kaufmann is a Meditation Teacher, a Master & Teacher of Reiki Healing, a Master Practitioner of Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) and Time Line Therapy™ and an Ericksonian Hypnotherapist with many years of clinical experience.  He has practices in the City of London and in Canterbury, Kent.  He can be reached via www.reiki-meditation.co.uk.

Hypnotherapy for a Change

Hypnotherapy by Tricia Woolfrey

Creating change in your life can be difficult – habits can be ingrained for many years and it can seem easier to stay stuck than move forward.

In the hands of a skilled professional, hypnotherapy is great at overcoming those blocks to achieving change, making change easier.  However, it’s success depends on your motivation, which a good hypnotherapist will assess in your first session.  Hypnotherapy can’t force change on you but facilitate the change through you, so that you regain control over your life.  It doesn’t take away your free-will in any way.

Would it surprise you to know that hypnosis has been around for thousands of years?  It was also accepted by the British Medical Association in 1958.  Hypnotherapy, is a process not an event and the number of sessions you need will depend on the complexity of the problem and the degree to which you are reliant on the problem as a coping mechanism for other things.

Your choice of hypnotherapist is very important – find someone who is well trained and who has a lot of experience.   Finding someone who really understands psychology is a must too, as there can often be subtle nuances to behaviour which will affect the approach taken.  Don’t be afraid to ask for their qualifications and what continuous professional development they do – it’s important to have someone with a strong level of skill who is motivated to keep their skills up to date.  You also want to find someone who you feel comfortable with.

So, what IS hypnotherapy?

Hypnosis allows communication with your unconscious mind – that part of you which is constantly influencing your thoughts and behaviour –  to help you achieve your goals and overcome any obstacles and unconscious blocks.

It is an altered state of awareness called trance, and is something we experience naturally every day – like when you drive from A to B and don’t recall the journey, because your conscious mind has been thinking about other things, or when you are out for a whole evening and feel that you have only been out for short while, or even when you cry at a sad film.  All of these are natural hypnotic states.  During hypnosis, you are in control throughout..  It is not sleep.  It is not even relaxation, though most people feel relaxed when they are hypnotised.

Hypnotherapy  is creating this naturally occurring phenomena for therapeutic effect – that which is good for your emotional and physical wellbeing.

Whilst hypnotherapy is not a magic bullet, it does need your active collaboration. It is a very powerful tool to help you on your journey.

You are in control throughout

Hypnotherapy helps you achieve what you want for yourself.  You can’t be forced to do anything you don’t want to do or say anything you don’t want to say – you are in control throughout.

Almost everyone can be hypnotised

Anyone from the age of around 5 with at least a normal level of intelligence can be hypnotised – if you want to be.  You cannot be hypnotised against your will so feeling comfortable with your hypnotherapist is very, very important.  I like to give the first half hour of my session free of charge and no obligation – so that my client can be 100% sure – and this really helps their progress.

What does it feel like?

Everyone experiences it differently, but most people simply feel as though they have their eyes shut, and able to hear everything that goes on around them.  Nothing more than that.  Others feel a tremendous sense of relaxation, yet others feel tingly or numb, heavy or light.    Or all of the above.  Or none of them.  The secret is not to expect a particular experience, not to try to relax, simply allow it to happen in whichever way is right for you.

How is it different to stage hypnosis?

People often think that hypnotherapy will be a magic cure where someone can make them do anything without any effort on their part – just like the stage shows.  And sometimes it is.  However, the only similarity with a stage show is that they both use the state of hypnosis.  A stage show uses this state for entertainment.  All individuals who participate do so because they want to.  The engagement is momentary.  There is no emotional agenda involved – just fun.  With hypnotherapy, this can involve working on problems which have often existed for years, through layers of self-awareness, vulnerability, denial, and even resistance.  If there was no resistance, you would have resolved the problem on your own.  Working with your subconscious mind with hypnotherapy, it is easier to overcome these, developing new ways of being so that you can live the life you want.

What people say about hypnotherapy

Here are some typical comments people make to show you the different ways people respond:

  • “I got immediate results – I was very impressed!”
  • “I didn’t notice anything until friends and family started to say how much happier and calmer I seemed – then I realised I was!”
  • “I’m still not sure if I was hypnotised but I do know that I have achieved what I wanted to – so I guess I must have been”

If you are looking to make changes in your life, do try hypnotherapy.  It just makes change easier.  It helps you deal with stress, self-esteem, anxiety, depression and insomnia.  It’s also great for weight loss, smoking cessation and IBS.  If you have anything which stress makes worse, hypnotherapy can usually make better.

My clients regularly tell me that they gained far more than they came for as often other problems are resolved at the same time.  Hypnotherapy could be the best investment you ever make in yourself.

© Tricia Woolfrey 2012

Tricia Woolfrey is an integrative therapist, an advanced clinical hypnotherapist, master practitioner in NLP, nutritionist, and author and utilises bioenergetics to help you be the best you can be.  She has practices in Surrey and Harley Street, London.  She can be reached on 0845 130 0854 www.pw-hypnotherapy.co.uk.

The Art of Conscious Breathing

The Art of Conscious BreathingThe single most important thing any of us will ever do is to breathe. Yet how often do we think of our breathing? Most people take shallow little breaths that only reach the top part of our lungs, while our lungs reach from just below the shoulder bone to the bottom of the rib cage – and we have two of them!

Our breath is fundamental to life: all our bodily processes are powered by it. If we don’t breathe fully, our food is not digested properly and nutrients from our diet or supplements are not fully utilised. We are not able to eliminate our bodily waste and our cells are not oxygenated well enough. If we limit our breathing, we limit the amount of energy we put into our bodies, we limit our life force.

The diaphragm muscle is also known as the ‘spiritual’ muscle. Yogis believe that if we are not engaging the diaphragm when we breathe we are not getting the prana from the air and are cutting our connection to the Universal life force, or the morphogenetic field, as Rupert Sheldrake puts it.

Babies breathe beautifully. Their lungs look like little bellows going up and down and in, they almost appear being breathed. If we start off like this, why on earth do we end up taking shallow little breaths? The answer is: Life Happens – to us all! As a natural defence mechanism, when we experience something upsetting we hold our breath. This action puts a part or all of what we are experiencing (depending on the degree of shock) into our unconscious. When we start to breathe again our breathing pattern is disrupted. By the time we reach adulthood, or sometimes long before, we’ve had so many of these upsets or shocks that our breathing pattern is limited to just the top of our lungs. This happens so gradually that we don’t notice it. It is extremely unhealthy. As the saying goes, ‘Shallow breathing leads to a shallow reflection of self’.

What can we do about this? Take some deep breaths for a start, make sure that the air goes deep into the lungs. It is very important that we use our diaphragm muscle, to ensure that the oxygen will get to the very bottom of our lungs. OK then, easy – there you go – sorted!

If you open up your breathing pattern you will also open up your life in a way that is both subtle and profound. This does take a level of commitment as our defence mechanisms are very strong and we tend to hold on to what we know in order to feel safe, even if it no longer serves us.

It might not be easy to keep this up to begin with. After all, it is about changing the pattern of a lifetime. This is where I can support you with Conscious Connected Breathing sessions. The technique is thousands of years old – it is a fundamental part of Kriya Yoga and also mentioned in The Tao.

About Judith Davis

Judith Davis is a Breathwork Practitioner based in Woking, Surrey. She has been practicing for 6 years after a 3 year diploma training course in 2005. In July she co-ran a 5 Day Breathwork Retreat in Glastonbury and is now creating a Workshop for Women, along with a Nutritionist and a Lifestyle Coach, in Woking on 12 November called “EAT BREATHE LOVE".

Her mission initially was to “Get Surrey Breathing” but it moved on to “Get Britain Breathing” and now encompasses “The World”.

She is married with three children and two grandchildren.

Judith’s website: www.spinalbreath.com

Contact: judith@spinalbreath.com 

Tel. 01483 82849 Mob. 07887 477107