Trataka -Gazing Meditation Technique – Part I.

Trataka is a meditation technique which involves focusing the eyes (and, in turn, the mind) through intent but relaxed gazing. Initially, this practice is done with open eyes on an external object. It then progresses to internal practice (with eyes closed), and to gazing the void. Sometimes it’s spelled tratak or tratika.

illusion-rotating-wheelsYou’ll notice in the beginning the wheels appear to be moving. Now look at them again, but instead focus your eyes on one of the dots in the image, and be attentively vigilant that your eyes don’t move even a bit. If you manage to do that, the movements will disappear, and you will see the images for what they are. The second image will probably be more challenging.

If you really stilled your eyes for a minute or two, you might have also experienced a stillness of your mind as well. If not, it becomes evident with a bit more practice.

Conclusion: Distractions in the mind translate to micro movements in the eyes or eyelids, and vice-versa. Stillness of eyes brings stillness of mind, and vice-versa.

In all forms of trataka, you can integrate breath awareness or the repetition of a mantra if you find it helpful, although it’s not commonly taught this way.

There has been very little scientific research in this practice. So what we know in terms of its benefits is mostly all anecdotal evidence from practitioners that have devoted years to its practice. In this context, trataka is attributed to have the following benefits:

  • Improves concentration, memory, and willpower
  • Improves visualization skills
  • Improves cognitive function
  • Cures eye diseases
  • Makes the eyes stronger, clearer, and brighter
  • Helps with insomnia
  • Clears accumulated mental/emotional complexes
  • Brings suppressed thoughts to the surface
  • Increases nervous stability
  • Calms the anxious mind
  • Balances the activity in the two hemispheres of the brain
  • Improves vision in the dark (if practiced on a candle flame)
  • Soothing effect on the cranial nerves
  • Enhances self-confidence and patience

Technique I :

The first level of the practice is external gazing. The object can be almost anything, though the most popular choices are a candle flame, a black dot in a white wall, or an image with particular significance for you. Other objects used are your image in a mirror, transparent glass, a needle, a current of water, the moon in the sky, or the first minutes of the rising sun.

Set your gaze on the object, and keep it there without blinking and without letting your eyes move. After 1 to 3 minutes, your eyes will be tired or tears may be coming. Then close your eyes for a few minutes, and gaze at the afterimage of that object in your mind, if you can see it. When you are ready, open your eyes and go for another round. At the end of your practice, gently wash your eyes with cold water.

Some more practical considerations:

  • Using a candle is a often preferred because the flame has a natural attraction for many people.Fire is like magnet for the eyes and mind. Also, it leaves a very clear after-image in the mind.
  • Don’t practice external trataka for more than 10 minutes (especially the candle-gazing version), unless you have the guidance of a teacher experienced in this technique.
  • The trick in mastering trataka lies in relaxing the eyes as much as possible – otherwise your vision will soon blurr and the eyes will flicker. Don’t worry if all you can do is 10 seconds without blinking; with time you will be able to go long periods without blinking.
  • Place the object at eye level on a little talbe or support ahead of you, in a way that it’s level with your eyes. As to the distance from you, some teachers recommend an arm’s length distance (this works for me), while others recommend up to 5 feet away. Experiment and see what makes most sense.
  • Be sure you can see the object clearly, without blurr. If needed, wear your glasses.
  • If you are using a candle, make your room completely dark, and make sure there is no wind (as the flame ideally needs to be still). For other objects, dim light is preferred, and the source of light should be behind you.
  • Gaze with purpose, as if you are looking for something. Moment after moment, all you are doing is watching that point, without thinking about it.
  • Some Yoga texts mention trying to “pierce the object with your gaze”; others say that it should be a relaxed gaze. Probably a matter of experimentation to see what’s best.
  • Try not to blink, but don’t try too hard. The less thought you give to not blinking, the easiest it is.
  • Don’t strain your eyes. If you feel discomfort, then blink the eyes and continue the practice. But don’t move the pupils.
  • Don’t do trataka on a candle if you have cataracts, glaucoma, myopia, astigmatism or epilepsy.

Yoga, Wellness, Rejuvenation and travel Programme -Explore North East India

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Welcome to the North East India’s First Yoga Retreat with SILOAM, Meghalaya! Your next Vacation of Yoga and Adventure.  A Yoga Vacation program designed to recharge your energetic batteries and truly rejuvenate your body and mind to leave you feeling inspired, refreshed, centred and peaceful in 14 acre pine forest for open in outdoor sessions and activities. 250 seater Amphitheater by the Lake. Fully and excellently furnished accommodation for 60 persons in lake view rooms. 10 executive lake side Cottages with spacious open decks. State of the Art 100 seater conference Hall. 2 additional Meeting Halls for 25 persons each. 2 separate Dormitories to accommodate 100 persons. Landscape pathways for personal reflection and meditations. http://siloam.co.in

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Contact Number : + 91-8794006606

3 Days of Super Detoxifying Life

Super Detox Green Juice (Option 1)

Serves 1

This morning juice includes a potent blend of easily digestible alkaline minerals, such as potassium. Alkalizing your blood is important during the cleansing process because it keeps bad bacteria, yeast, and fungi in check, which helps keep cravings at bay. 

Drink one large glass, but feel free to have a second. If you don’t have a juicer, try blending it up with some water.

  • 2 to 3 celery stalks, leaves removed 
  • 1 small cucumber

  • 2 kale leaves

  • Handful of fresh parsley
  • 1 small lemon or lime, peeled 
  • 1 pear or apple

Juice all of the ingredients and sip slowly. For an extra health kick, stir in barley grass, wheatgrass, and/or spirulina powder.

Super Simple Green Drink (Option 2)

Serves 1

This option is for those without a juicer or who have limited time! It is a highly alkalizing green drink, which helps to detoxify the blood. It may taste a little strange at first, but the more you drink it, the more you’ll get used to the flavor.

  • 1 12-ounce glass spring or filtered water

  • 1 tablespoon barley grass or wheatgrass powder 
  • 1 teaspoon spirulina powder

Stir all of the ingredients together, then serve.

MID-MORNING SNACK


Cucumber, Celery And Carrot Sticks (Makes enough for 3 days)

This is your morning snack and keeps you on track with your cleanse. It’s easy to prepare and carry with you when you’re on the run.

  • 3 celery stalks, leaves removed;
  • 3 small cucumbers
  • 3 small carrots

Wash all of the vegetables and cut them into small strips. Store in the fridge to keep them fresh and crisp.

Optionally, have another Super Detox Green Juice  or Super Simple Green Drink.

LUNCH


Sushi Salad

Serves 1 or 2

This salad includes a powerful mix of sprouts and sea vegetables. Sea vegetables, including nori, are one of the most nutrient-dense plant foods on the planet. They are particularly high in calcium and iodine, which helps to draw toxins from the body.

If you’re at work or on the run, and have no time to prepare this salad, choose a big green vegetarian salad for lunch with an “all natural” dressing. Make sure to read the ingredients; if it looks suspect, ask for fresh lemon and extra-virgin olive oil on the side.

For the Dressing

  • 1 tablespoon finely grated ginger root 
  • 1 tablespoon tamari or soy sauce 
  • Juice of 1 lemon

For the Salad

  • 1 ripe avocado, chopped

  • 2 small cucumbers, halved and chopped

  • 1 carrot, grated

  • Handful of sprouts (preferably alfalfa, watercress, or sunflower sprouts) 
  • Handful of fresh cilantro, finely chopped

  • 1 nori sheet, cut roughly with scissors into bite-size strips
  • 
1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds

To prepare the dressing, take the ginger gratings and squeeze them between your fingers, making your hand a fist, into a small jar. Discard the pulp. Add the tamari (or soy sauce) and the lemon juice to the ginger juice. Close the lid and shake.

To prepare the salad, mix the avocado, cucumbers, carrot, sprouts, cilantro, and strips of nori together in a bowl and toss with the salad dressing. Sprinkle seeds over the top to garnish.

AFTERNOON SNACK


Activated Almonds (Makes enough for 3 days)

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A handful of soaked (or activated) nuts will be your afternoon snack throughout this cleanse. Plan ahead by soaking a large bowl of raw almonds overnight, straining the water away in the morning, and storing them covered in the fridge. 

  • 3 handfuls raw almonds (you can use almonds or a mixture of macadamia nuts, pecans, hazelnuts, Brazil nuts, pine nuts, pumpkin seeds, or sunflower seeds if desired)
  • Filtered or spring water, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon unrefined sea salt

In a large bowl, place all of the ingredients with enough water to cover fully. Leave at room temperature for at least 4 hours, or overnight. Strain in a sieve. Store the nuts in a covered container in the fridge.

DINNER


Potassium Balance Soup (Makes enough for 3 days)

Makes 3 Serves (1 serving per night during the detox)

3Based on a recipe from physician Henry Bieler (Bieler’s Broth), this vegetable tonic provides an ideal combination for restoring acid–alkaline and sodium–potassium balance to the body’s organs and glands.

  • 4 cups spring or filtered water

  • 4 medium zucchini, finely chopped

  • 3 celery stalks, leaves removed, then finely chopped

  • 1 cup roughly chopped green string beans

  • 1 large bunch fresh parsley, stems and leaves roughly chopped

  • 3 medium tomatoes, finely chopped

  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 
2 teaspoons unrefined sea salt or 1 tablespoon organic miso paste 
  • 2 teaspoons dried thyme, rosemary, oregano, or other French Provence herbs for added flavor

Put all of the ingredients in a large stock or sauté pot. Bring to a gentle boil, then lower the heat, cover, and let simmer gently for 30 minutes. Serve warm.

If you wish to create a thicker soup, you can purée the soup in batches in a blender or blend it with an immersion, or “stick,” blender until smooth and creamy; however, this soup is also delicious as is. Store covered in the fridge for use within one week, or freeze for extended storage.

DESSERT


Chia Seed Pudding (Makes enough for 3 days)

Makes 3 Serves (1 serving per night during the detox)

This after-dinner snack includes chia seeds, a gelatinous plant food that helps to draw out toxins from the liver and pass them into the colon for excretion. Chia seeds are also high in omega-3 and make you feel full and satiated!

  • 1 1⁄4 cups Homemade Nut Milk or Homemade Coconut Milk , or if you don’t have time, use store-bought almond or hemp milk (homemade nut milk recipes here: www.foodmatters.tv/articles-1/delicious-nut-milk-recipe)
  • 1 tablespoon raw honey or maple syrup 
  • 4 tablespoons chia seeds

  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

In a large jar, combine all of the ingredients and shake well. Pour the mixture into 3 small bowls or glasses and refrigerate until it thickens into a pudding-like consistency, about 30 minutes. This is a delicious treat and keeps for up to a week, covered in the fridge.

AFTER DINNER


Calming Chamomile Tea

Serves 1

Chamomile tea will help to calm your body and prepare you for a restful night’s sleep. Deep restful sleep during this cleanse is important because of how it will help you digest unwanted stress hormones, which can cause you to gain weight.

  • 1 cup spring or filtered water

  • 1 chamomile tea bag or 1 tablespoon dried chamomile flowers

Bring the water to a boil and pour into a teacup or mug. Add the tea bag or, if using loose flowers, use a teapot and a strainer. Steep for 3 to 5 minutes, then enjoy.

Optionally, try other herbal detox teas, such as nettle, dandelion root, or licorice root.

Adi mudra and it’s Benefits

Method:   Adi mudra is formed by placing the thumbs into the palms and curls the other fingers over the thumbs.
1.Place the ‘fists’ down onto the thighs with the backs of the hands higher . 
2. Slow rhythmic breathing in a 4:3:6:3 ratio (Inhale : 4, keeping air inside : 3, Exhale : 6, Keeping belly emptya without air : 3)
3. Repeat this cycle for 7 times.
 
Duration: 30minutes every day, either at one stretch or in two parts(i.e for 15 minutes, twice a day)
 
Benefits of  ADI MUDRA:
 
Performing Audi mudra opens the higher lobes of the lungs. Adi Mudra motivates Udana vatu, the prana that Moves upwards in the head region, and outwards to the extremities. In physical terms, it is in charge of the balancing and healing the sense organs. In more subtle terms it is in Charge of balancing our appreciations. Adi mudra in Try to maintain awareness of each breath moving into  out of the nostrils for two or three minutes.
 
Advantages of ADI MUDRA:
Increases the vital capacity of the lungs.
It helps the organs to function actively.
Increases oxygen flows to the throat and head area.
It quiets the nervous system.

The Gyan Mudra steps and Benefits

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Gyan  or Chin Mudra 

The word Gyan means wisdom in Sanskrit. Thus, practicing the Gyan Mudra is believed to help instill wisdom and spiritual enlightenment.

This is why the Gyan Mudra is widely used in many yogic meditation poses such as Pranayama. The Gyan Mudra is also known as the Chin Mudra.

Steps of doing Gyan Mudra :

The Gyan Mudra should ideally be performed along with meditation asanas and Pranayama. Here are the steps of Gyan Mudra:

  1. Sit down in a meditative pose such as the Sukha Asana (Easy Pose), Vajra Asana (Diamond Pose), or Padma Asana (Lotus Pose). You may even perform the Gyan Mura while standing in the Tada Asana (Mountain Pose) or sitting comfortably on a chair.
  2. Ensure that your back is held straight and your chest and head held up high.
  3. Rest your hands on your knees with your palms facing upwards.
  4. Touch the tip of the index finger to the tip of the thumb.
  5.  The rest of the finger should be held straight and parallel to each other. This Mudra is performed with both hands.
  6.  Close your eyes and focus on your breath.
  7.  

     

    To further enhance the effectiveness of the Gyan Mudra, you may chant the word Om (Aum) in conjunction with every exhale.

 

 Benefits: Effective in cases of mental ailment, imparts happiness, the intellect develops, memory is sharpened. It also helps to relieve stress and transcend worldly problems.

Surrogacy and Hindu mythology.

Surrogacy is a complex and contentious moral and ethical issue across global cultures. The rise of Westerners using Indian surrogate mothers has added a political dimension to the religious and legal debate.

The surrogate mother: Spiritualism and  Hindu Mythology 
In the Bhagvata Purana, there is a story that suggests the practice of surrogate motherhood. Kan(sh) the wicked king of Mathura, had imprisoned his sister Devaki and her husband Vasudeva because oracles had informed him that her child would be his killer. Every time she delivered a child, he smashed its head on the floor. He killed six children. When the seventh child was conceived, the gods intervened. They summoned the goddess Yogamaya and had her transfer the fetus from the womb of Devaki to the womb of Rohini (Vasudeva’s other wife who lived with her sister Yashoda across the river Yamuna, in the village of cowherds at Gokul). Thus the child conceived in one womb was incubated in and delivered through another womb.

Buddhism and Hinduism

Buddhism totally accepts surrogacy. This may be because Buddhism, unlike Christianity, Judaism and Islam, doesn’t make procreation a moral duty. Couples are not under pressure to marry or have children, and there are no Buddhist teachings suggesting that infertility treatments or surrogacy are immoral. Hinduism allows infertility treatments in specific circumstances. Children are very important to Hindu families, and medical help is allowed if a couple can’t conceive. Hindus permit artificial insemination using the husband’s sperm, but not that of an unknown donor , because the child would not know its lineage.

It is said surrogacy is rarely used by Hindus, but surrogacy clinics are a booming industry in India. surrogacy clinics are a booming industry in India.

See the dark side of Surrogacy