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Meditation Retreat In An Ancient Chinese Buddhist Temple

Meditation Retreats are increasing in popularity throughout the world offering participants the opportunity to get away from the hustle and bustle of daily life to a quiet and restful location where one can take an inward journey of self-discovery. At Guang Jue Buddhist Temple in China people come from across the globe for temple stay and meditation retreat.

Guang Jue Monastery is situated near the small town of Zaoxi, West of Hangzhou, in Zhejiang Province in China. It is surrounded by scenic bamboo forested mountains and immersed in pure silence apart from the sound of birds during the day and the small bell-like sounds of crickets at night. This is the ideal place for a meditation retreat and temple stay.

It is very early in the morning at 4:30am. A dense fog has descended upon the valley and the deep silence is broken by the sound of the huge temple bell. Within the main cultivation hall the Abbot of the temple pounds the bell with chanting a ceremony that has continued for hundreds of years. Next the large drum has sounded reminding participants of the call of the dharma at the beginning of each day. The morning crisp air is perfumed with the scent of incense. The morning chanting liturgy begins. It is in these special morning hours that the meditation retreat participants start their day in this Chinese temple stay. At the end of the liturgy the lights are dimmed and there is deep silence again during meditation before breakfast.

As the day continues the Retreat Master, Malcolm Hunt, takes participants of the temple stay through a meditation experience which starts with simple mindfulness of breathing. Gradually the meditation retreat takes participants through Pure Land Buddhist meditation and chanting, Tonglen and finally to diminish the hold of the ego, Naikan meditation.

A temple stay in a Qing Dynasty temple in China gives the participant the opportunity to discover themselves and to refresh the spirit and to come away changed even in some small way.

Guang Jue Temple is situated only ten kilometres from the world heritage listed Tianmushan national park which boasts of breathtaking mountain scenery, rushing mountain streams and the oldest Ginko Bilbao trees in the world. Many of the meditation retreat participants take the opportunity to visit this part of China and immerse themselves in nature and history.

A temple stay in an ancient Chinese Buddhist temple is more than a meditation retreat and learning experience. It may also be life changing.

Key Words: meditation retreat, Chinese temple stay, China, temple stay

Brief: A temple stay in a Qing Dynasty temple in China gives the participant the opportunity to discover themselves and to refresh the spirit and to come away changed even in some small way. A meditation retreat in a Chinese Buddhist temple can have a powerful effect on the spirit.

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Benefits Of Using A Zafu For Meditation

Zafus – Creating Proper Posture Daily
Meditation has been practiced for thousands of years in Eastern cultures as a means of finding truth and enlightenment. Today it has been picked up by many westerners as a means of relieving stress and strain in their daily lives. However, many westerners find the traditional lotus sitting position on the bare ground a bit too strenuous on their bottom and legs; therefore, the use of a zafu is recommended to provide greater comfort. A zafu is the name given to a special cushion you can sit on for meditating. They help you maintain the correct posture as well as provide comfort for your bottom during your session.

Filling Meditation Cushions
Zafus are manufactured out of cotton fabrics with natural fiber kapok filling. They come in a variety of colors, shapes, sizes and designs to suit personal taste and preference. They also come with removable covers, facilitating the laundering when the exterior becomes soiled. The traditional zafu is round; however, other shapes are coming out on the market to offer variation and levels of comfort. These cushions also vary in size and thickness to adjust to a person’s body and weight level for individualized comfort.

Thickness of the Zafu
There are advantages to using a meditation cushion as opposed to any other type cushion for your sessions. These cushions are especially designed for meditation; the kapok filling provides a firm, yet pliable surface to sit on for comfort and back posture, and the natural fibers are both hygienic and hypoallergenic, making them a perfect selection for those who are prone to allergies. In addition, the diversity in thickness and size can complement the size and weight of your body, customizing your cushion to your exact specifications. Each cushion comes with its own cover (or you can purchase separately) that can be easily removed for washing when the need arises.

Different-Shaped Zafus
New zafu styles include the crescent shape cushion designed to provide additional space for your bottom. Thickness of the cushion can be self adjusted by adding or removing kapok to the desired depth, providing extra padding for heavier set people or less for those who are thinner and smaller boned. For those who desire more height, support cushions are available to place under the zafu, raising your body to a higher level.

Meditation Chairs – The Throne of Meditation
As an alternative to these cushions, some people prefer to use a meditation chair during their sessions. You should feel free to use whatever is most comfortable for you and helps you focus on meditating itself so you can fully benefit from the experience. Meditating offers a number of wonderful mental and physical benefits to the body which can help improve your mental and physical health, regardless of the seating arrangement used.

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Tips For Meditation Enthusiasts

Meditation has suddenly gained prominence and popularity amongst many people in the world. It is a form of spiritual heightening with regular practice and exercise. It is a great form of focus and concentration where one can attain peace of mind and inner happiness. With the hectic and chaotic life that we lead, some inner peace, satisfaction and a genuine sense of self awareness is very crucial otherwise stress and chaos will get to us which will eventually lead to a mental breakdown. Well, meditation, especially for beginners, is a rough ride because it takes time to get it correct. But do not get disheartened and preserve! Here are some guidelines on how to go about doing it:

Breathing in the correct fashion is very crucial. Properly inhaling of oxygen and exhaling out the carbon dioxide is very important. Proper breathing will make your mind more focused, pump more blood and regulate the pressure in the body! Did you know that is you breathe deeply, it helps your mind focus more and this is the center stage of meditation!

Did you know that chanting Mantras help? Chant which ever mantra you know and see the effect it has on your breathing and focusing capabilities. It slows your heart rate, mind concentration is better and breathing becomes regulated if you chant the mantra over and over again – so think about it, especially if you find it difficult to sit still and focus.

Make sure you sit alone in your room, preferably not facing a wall (it tends to block positive thoughts and energy). Few minutes, away from the chaos of the world, will do you good and will go a long way in meditation.

Persevere and persevere! There is no shortcut to good meditation practice. You need to be at it regularly and time and again try to concentrate and focus. Your mind may wander about the first couple of times, but gradually you will realize that you are getting better at it and you will be very peaceful after a few attempts!

Music during the process of meditation has its own benefits – calms down our nerves, regulates your breathing, reduces anxiety, eliminates any negative thoughts and overall restores the faith and positivity that one requires!

Do not give up – that is the key to successful meditation! You will soon realize the benefits and you will know why it is so popular across the world!

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Yoga Training Certification, Online Yoga Teacher Certification Programs

Tips for Choosing the Best Online Yoga Certification Course for You
If you are overweight or have poor health, then join a Yoga Certification class to learn these ancient yoga techniques. Now days, performing yoga postures is easy, but if you dont know how to perform the postures perfectly the way it should be then you are surely in a need of a Yoga certification course. Yoga is a perfect blend of breathing exercises and meditation and has been followed since many years. With the super hectic work schedules and daily routine life the level of stress is on its peak and so the need for Yoga has also risen. But how to learn yoga postures perfectly?
This is where we are in a need of online yoga certification courses. With the increasing popularity of online yoga courses, the demand for online yoga teacher has also risen. But in order to be a good yoga teacher, one should be well-aware of all yoga postures.
This certification course will help you learn the technicalities of yoga and enhances your know-how about yoga postures. Additionally, online yoga certification course raises the chances of becoming a good online yoga teacher and other opportunities related to this field. Following are some of the best tips which can help you find the suitable online yoga certification courses as per your budget and needs:
vFirstly, you need to do a thorough research and collect relevant information about the budget of these online yoga certification courses from different sources. Thereafter decide which one is the appropriate certification course for you.

vSecondly, try to take a demo online yoga class so that you can understand and pick the style of the yoga teacher.

vAlso be cautious about the online yoga certification program you opting for are authentic and taught by certified online yoga teachers.

vAvail the special discounts or scholarships and save your money.
After considering all these relevant facts, one can easily decide which certification program is appropriate for them. Some of the admired yoga certified programs are Vinyasana Yoga, Local Yoga Kripalu Yoga, Anusara Yoga etc. Collect all the relevant information about these online certification courses and then enroll for the program. One can find this relevant information about online yoga program. If you are looking for getting enrolled to an online yoga program then there are many sources available online who can provide you all the essential details.
In addition to all the above mentioned sources, there are different institutes that offer regular online yoga classes, so that you can acquire ample knowledge from them and adopt online yoga teacher programs as their profession. Yoga as profession and as a practice to stay fit is the growing trend in now days and online yoga teacher training has become imperative. Besides escalating the professional opportunities for individuals these online certification programs, have also boosted their know-how of the yoga postures.

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How to Lose Weight Permanently With Yoga

Yoga, that will be an old type of therapy for all ills and problems of the body, can also be an efficient exercise in weight reduction therapy. With all of your program toned-up with yoga, you’ll have higher energy, and mental clarity, and will perhaps not want to over-eat. ??There are lots of good reasons for over having like exhaustion, tension, melancholy, and actual issues. A weight loss program, coupled with yoga, could keep you in shape and ideal health. ??A few of the advantages of yoga ????Slowing the procedure of ageing ??More power and versatility of human anatomy ????Respite from allergies and allergies ??Bringing diabetes and thyroid problems in check ??Spiritual development ??Paid off tension amounts ??An over-all feeling of wellness ??Helpful in quitting cigarettes and other such addicting routines ??Keeps you searching and sensation newer both bodily and psychologically ??A weight loss program, meaning wholesome food habits, is only going to increase the advantages of yoga therapy. ??Yoga for weight-reduction ??Yoga will need to be done intensely, for at least 90 moments for the goal of weight reduction, and this would be repeated at least 3 times per week. That type of yoga is called the circulation yoga, or Vinyasa. ??This can help in making muscle and enhancing ones posture. Nevertheless, this isn’t a cardio-vascular work-out. ??Yoga entails developing various positions, with extending of your body, and managing the respiration by which makes it slow. That calms and stimulates your body simultaneously. Sluggish types, which flake out and refresh each area of the human anatomy. For psychological and tension wellbeing, you will find religious types of yogic positions. ??A few of the types of this type of yoga are: ??Ashtanga ??????These are completed in a warm space, making one perspire abundantly. You’ll be amazed at how fast you may shed weight, if you perform yoga plus a weight reduction diet, that is not really a near-starvation one. ??Yoga must be done regularly, and you must exercise in the home, if you don’t have occasion to visit your courses regularly. The only real disadvantage of yoga is the fact that it requires lots of commitment to exhibit results. If this really is some thing you’ve, then you can alter all of your program about and not just slim down, but additionally become healthy and eliminate several conditions.

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How Can I Select A Yoga Mat Bag

A Yoga Mat Bag is a reasonably essential accent in relation to yoga practice. In the event you observe commonly, ultimately you may be take into account buying your own yoga mat. That is inevitable for anyone who is serious about their practice. Once you spend money on your mat, you’ll start carrying it to class, and realize that it isn’t very easy. Your mat will are likely to unroll, curl up and do other inconvenient stuff. Time for a bag, you will say yourself. That’s when it is best to remember this article.

Identical to with mats, yoga luggage come in every kind of colours, sizes, cloth kinds etc. You will be confronted with a myriad of associated equipment by a million totally different brands. How you can make the suitable alternative?

Listed below are the best tips to contemplate, when selecting the best yoga mat bag.

Size

Be mindful, that almost all yoga mat bags are designed to suit a typical thin PVC mat (the type you discover at your local funds yoga studio). If are this far within the purchase cycle, likelihood is you already have a premium mat, thicker and wider than customary size. Nicely, guess what? Most mat baggage will NOT suit your mat.

If in case you have a thick and broad mat – you want a big bag, such because the Manduka Mat Sak.

Material

Most premium or even intermediate mats are comprised of natural rubber. Treated or not, it still has enough pores to harvest bacterial growth.

In case your yoga bag is made from non-breathable materials, your mat will get stinky very fast. The more “pure” and “eco-pleasant” your yoga mat is, the more severe it properly smell if the yoga mat bag won’t let it breathe.

Select your materials correctly, make sure there are air holes that will allow air circulation.

Size agan

You might not give it some thought at first, however you can use your yoga mat bag as a health club bag. You may carry your small belongings in the identical bag. This would make it really convenient, you won’t want any extra bags. Before you purchase your bag, ensure there will be enough room in your stuff.

Otherwise, ensure your bag is made out of superb material, as it’s going to harness your mat for a very long time, hopefully.

Get pleasure from your apply, and do not forget to breathe!

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The Usefulness Of Meditation

Meditation is an activity that can helps people to achieve a sense of relaxation of the body after doing it. It can heighten the state of awareness. Frequent meditation can help to lesser restless thoughts and emotions and bring a sense of well-being to people. People will then be able to temporary get away from the outside world and enjoy themselves during meditating.

It is no doubts that the mind of people can easily affect body functions and chemical balance that could ensure us good health. The energy levels of a person will become disrupted when the mind are being disturbed by saddened feelings and thoughts, like resentment, anxiety and worry. This can leads to some symptoms of illness.

Practicing meditation can bring some advantages to people. This includes regulating of blood pressure, stimulating of blood circulation, alleviating pain, lowering and reducing of muscular tension and of course, slowing down hormonal activity.

Meditation is usually associated with an ascetic and spiritual lifestyle. There is no need to renounce any own beliefs. When ones is feeling down or has any problems with themselves, it is recommended for them to practice meditating as it will bring benefits to them mentally and physically in a way or another and to relief the stress in them and at the same time, improve ones health and sustained a sense of well-being.

However, before ones start meditating, it is important to establish the good habits first. This includes learning the appropriate and right posture and control of breath. Both of these factors are equally important in aiding concentration when the thoughts of ones start to wander during meditation. This is commonly seen in the earlier stage of meditating.

When ones start to meditate, the most difficult aspect is often keeping the mind quiet (quietening of mind). In the beginning, most of the people will find lots of other stuffs that seem more important to them that need their immediate attention; hence they will put meditation aside first. This may be due to either they think that meditating is not benefiting them, they did not enjoy meditating or meditating is a waste of time to them.

In order to start the correct way of meditating, it is encouraged to begin with simple exercises to have good practice. For instance, candle gazing meditation will help to train the habit of sitting in silence and the focusing on objects. However, this method needs to be practice twice a day for six days and then, rest for a day before continuing it again.

7

Stop Sliding In Yoga With A Non-slip Yoga Mat

If you’re still using a regular yoga mat, your hands and feet may slide out from under you once you start to sweat.

There are many mats on the market now that can help keep you from slipping and sliding.

These non-slip yoga mats are more expensive, but can make your yoga experience much more enjoyable.

Your investment in a more expensive mat will pay off over time, especially if yoga is an everyday part of your life and not a passing fancy.

These upscale yoga mats rely on superior materials and textures that grip to prevent sliding, slipping, and skidding.

Here are the leading non-slip yoga mats currently available:

The Manduka BlackMatPRO has been the most popular premium yoga mat for years, and one reason is because you don’t slide on the mat even when it’s wet with sweat. It is also one of the most expensive mats on the market, but fans say the extra cost is worth it. Though heavy, the dense materials used in contruction of the mat are very supportive, even in standing balancing yoga poses. This Manduka mat stays in place on hard or soft surfaces, like carpet.

Hugger Mugger Tapas Performance Yoga Mat: Once called the Mandara, this top rated yoga mat shares many of the qualities of the Manduka Black Mat Pro. This mat is much cheaper in cost, however.

Manduka PROlite Yoga Mat: This mat is much like the bigger and heavier Black Mat PRO, only it comes in more colors and is the same size as a regular sticky mat. It is a great mat for vinyasa, Bikram Yoga, and hot yoga because it is lighter yet prevents skidding, sliding, and slipping. And it is very affordable.

Jade Fusion Yoga Mat: This thick mat is made of open-cell natural rubber, so it’s very eco-friendly. Having open cells gives the mat a texture that has a lot of grab, which prevents sliding. The thick natural rubber is very cushioning and supportive, and dense enough to support you in standing and balancing poses. This is also a great mat to prevent soreness in the wrists and knees from floor poses.

Jade Harmony Yoga Mat: Also an eco-friendly natural rubber mat, it is 3/16-inch thick. This is one of the most popular yoga mats ever made, and one of the major selling points is that it is non-slip. It is lighter than the Jade Fusion, which makes it easier to carry. Just be aware that some people don’t care for open cell mats because they pick up dirt and can absorb sweat and odor.

I hope this non-slip yoga mats review will help you find the right yoga mat to buy so you can stop sliding in your yoga classes.

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Useful Tips Before Joining Yoga Classes

Everyone has been raving about yoga and its benefits and many people have in fact started joining the Yoga Classes. Most of them expect instant result but this is not possible. Whenever you start any health program then you need to accept the fact that the result vary from person to person and may not appear instantly. Similarly, when you start yoga classes, your health would improve gradually.

If you are a beginner to yoga and are joining yoga classes soon, then you need to keep certain things in mind. Here are some useful tips that can help you to start a new yoga program efficiently.

It is best to opt for a yoga program that is held early morning, before your breakfast.
The yoga class that you select for yourself should have a certified trainer
Make sure that you are regular with the program or else you may not benefit much from it.
Clean your nose, throat and bowels before you go for your class.
Since you would be required to do various asana, you must make sure that the clothes you wear are comfortable and loose. Tight fitting clothes can restrict your movements and therefore you must choose the clothes with care.
If you any problems like spondylitis then you must inform your yoga instructor about the same. This way he can guide you which exercise you need to avoid during the class. He would also be able to tell you which yoga asana can help you get relief from the same.
Yoga asana should be performed on an empty stomach. So make sure that you havent eaten anything 2 hours before your class.
When you start any exercise, you may not be able to perform it to perfection as your body is not used to it. Dont exert yourself and give time to yourself. When you strain your body then it can cause injuries and therefore it is best to practice the asana regularly. Eventually your body would allow you to do the stretching and other asanas perfectly.

These are some of the main things that you need to keep in mind before joining any yoga classes. If you need information about the classes that are held around your residence then you can check sites like healthandyoga.com, which maintains this information. You can also contact them to learn about yoga teachers or about personal yoga trainers.

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Basic Chakra Meditation Grounding & Centering

Whether you are new to meditation or well experienced with yoga or tai chi, anyone can learn basic chakra meditation. Each has its own rewards and benefits. Unlike yoga or tai chi, anyone can practice chakra meditation since there is not the same physical aspect to it. Also, chakra meditation can be practiced almost anywhere. All you need is a quiet place where you will be undisturbed and about 15-20 minutes. Wearing comfortable, loose fitting clothing is recommended but not required.

Before beginning, it is important to ground yourself in order to get the full effect from the chakra meditation. Some people do this by walking through a lawn barefoot, reconnecting with nature. This can also be done by sitting cross-legged on the floor or sitting with your legs folded under you and concentrating on your breathing.

To help clear your mind in preparation for chakra meditation, first choose a focal point. If you are more comfortable with your eyes open, focus on a point on the floor 5-10 feet in front of you, but instead of looking directly at it, look through it. If closing your eyes is more comfortable, mentally focus on the spot between your anus and genitals. This spot is the location of the root chakra, the foundation of the chakra system. Allow your mind to clear. If you notice your mind starting to wander, gently guide it back to your focal point.

Breathe in and out slowly, making each breath deliberate. As you do this, you should feel your body and mind start to relax and center. Once completely relaxed, you will be ready to begin the chakra meditation. As a rule of thumb, it is not recommended to skip this step when practicing chakra meditation because a quiet mind and body is more open to the benefits and healing it provides.

If you only have a short amount of time in which to practice chakra meditation, it is recommended to set an alarm rather than trying to keep an eye on the time yourself. This will allow you to fully concentrate on the meditation without distractions. 20-30 minutes a day is the recommended time for meditation.

Proper grounding and centering before chakra meditation is so important it deserves its own article. A follow-up article will go into detail on various techniques and chants often used in general chakra meditation as well as how to open the different chakras.