Posts tagged "meditation"

The Habit Of Meditation: The True Mission


By Diane Gold

The habit of meditation has been growing worldwide. It went from being quite common in the East to being quite common in the East and the West.

The Habit Of MeditationA definition for this discipline that mirrors mine is this, given by Deepak Chopra, M.D., speaker and author,

“Meditation is a” [body of work] “that takes us beyond the noisy chatter of the mind into a place of stillness and silence.”

This removes any questions about whether a certain religious base is connected. Meditation is a set of action steps that teaches us to focus our attention. When we do achieve a quiet(er) mind, we may choose to fill it with universally good things which may include some religion. This would be a personal decision and is not part of the meditation process, itself.


So Many Stimuli     All throughout the day, each of us has so many stimuli: noises, smells, people, electronics, world events, our own creative projects and work, our family and friends. As we walk to our car, bike, train, we see all the different parts of each person that may draw our attention.

We smell smells, remember experiences related to locations, and we may have our own preoccupations that flood our mind. Then we stand on line to get coffee/tea/wheatgrass juice. We experience all the stimuli of the store providing it. Then we arrive at our destination and have all the stimuli associated with that.

Some of us have the ability to choose which of the stimuli come into our sphere. Others of us, and that’s most people, allow ourselves to be hit like a sponge with everything in our view at the expense of own time.

What meditation gives us is the ability to do is to have time for ourselves, whether it’s sitting in a quiet spot at the meditation center or walking through a crowd.

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As with many body/mind disciplines, there are many methods. What is common to them all is this: we focus the mind in one place on a non-stimulating area that is meant to prevent the sucking away of our attention by a myriad of unrelated thoughts and is meant to assist us in being attentive.We Focus The Mind In One Place

When I was 21, I was a member of a philosophy called Radha Soami (sound current yoga). We listened to the words of the head guru, followed a lacto-ovo-vegetarian diet (although not strictly since we knew that cheese contained animal enzymes, and we ate pizza anyway), professed to lead a moral life and sat in the corner to meditate for 2 1/2 hours daily.

We repeated a mantra to hold our attention for the 2 1/2 hour  period. I did this for 5 years and then moved on to other adventures.

When I began tai chi 25 years later and had full concentration instantly from the first movement, I had a realization that has led to what I teach today.

We Split Our Attention

When we concentrate on something other than ourselves, such as a mantra or a cloud or pretty thoughts, we are splitting our attention: we are concentrating on our bodies because we are in them, and we are concentrating on a mantra or thought repetition.

In order to give ourselves a fighting chance of learning one-pointed focus, meaning to do one thing at a time; body movement makes it easier for most people. Watching my tai chi movement did the trick for me as it does for so many. The wave-like movement I made with my hand was what it took for me to be in instant sync. Bam!

When we stand to meditate as in chi kung or we sit to meditate in lots of other types of meditation, our minds usually fly around, unless we have worked on meditation through moving the body first. We may also wonder why we are the only ones for whom meditation doesn’t work. Ha.

So Absorbed In The Body MovementWhen we do tai chi, free dance, body shaking; we’re so absorbed in the body movement that it’s hard to lose our focus since we would we would lose our physical balance if our attention strayed. That’s why it is massively easier to rule out external stimuli when we’re physically moving.


The big reason to meditate is so that we rejuvenate. When we expend our mind’s energy from thinking, reacting, working, creating, loving, playing; we need sleep to replenish ourselves. When we are out of fuel and liquid, we need food and water. In the same way, when the mind goes running around grabbing on to lots of different thoughts, we need time for it to settle. It needs time to wipe itself clean, that is, empty itself so that we can fill it again with the next set of (hopefully) meaningful things. This clearing is what meditation is about. When we meditate, we renew our energy. One-pointed work clears all but our one focus. Once we can do this with some ease, the mind will graduate and clear even this one focus.


Measure Meditation Benefits Through Scientific MethodMedical research studies have confirmed that meditation reduces blood pressure, anxiety, PTSD, cholesterol, depression, stress. In April, 2014, a team at Brown University finally structured the coding of verbal responses that can be correlated to quantitative neurophysiological measurements.
This means we are able to measure meditation benefits through scientific method, rather than subjectively only. It should be mentioned that Dr. Shin-Lin of University of California, Irvine, began studying the biomedical effects of tai chi and chi kung using scientific method over a decade ago.


Many of us have the habit of meditation. Some call it the fountain of youth because it increases our vital energy flow (our chi). This can keep our body’s organs moving well and our minds sharp and happy. Whatever kind of meditation we do, it makes sense to experience meditation on some level.


Here is a set of action steps to see which kind of meditation you may prefer.

1)   Dance freely to your favorite kind of instrumental music for 1 minute with your eyes closed. Just let it go. Notice how you feel with your eyes still closed.

2)   Stand with chin slightly bent down with knees bent, butt tucked, for 1 minute with your eyes closed. Concentrate 10 feet in front of you, even though your eyes are closed. Notice how you feel with your eyes still closed.

3)    Sit in the middle of a room on the floor or on the floor on a towel with legs relaxed, crossed, if possible, for 1 minute with your eyes closed. Concentrate four feet in front of you, even though your eyes are closed. Notice how you feel with your eyes still closed.

4)   Do steps 1), 2), 3) for 2 more days.

5)   For the next 4 days, do the 1 type of meditation you prefer for 1 minute each day.

6)   Once you have completed a week, decide if you want to devote that 1 minute a day to meditation.

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Diane Gold, Founder of Warriors of Weight, Turning Habits Into Health, is a mentor in tai chi, kung fu and meditation, a music, fitness and stress expert, dedicated mom, studying plant-based nutrition, conflict resolution and habit change.

She believes it is so important to make quiet time for ourselves daily. She says,

“There are almost one-and-a-half thousand minutes in a day. We can each find a fraction of one minute to take a moment out from regular rat race activity to stop and focus in meditation. It’s good for the heart, the lungs, the mind; and we need it. Imagine if we never tuned up or oil changed our car. Wouldn’t it get run down?

“We are the same in that we require regular periods of meditation, but we are all more worthwhile than an inanimate car. So, as we wouldn’t let a car deteriorate, we cannot disregard ourselves. It might be the perfect time to meditate right now.

“Finally, let us all take good care of ourselves because we are so worth it!”

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Meditation For Weight Loss


by Diane Gold

Meditation for weight loss is a huge topic. You might be saying,

“It seems impossible that if I meditate, I will lose weight.”

“How can meditation help weight loss?”

“After all this time, all I have to do is meditate, and I will lose weight?”

The statement is quite powerful, as it is sincerely meaningful. Meditation is the act of focusing on “no thing” through a study of focusing attention on one thing. This article will look at meditation as a solution for many where “other” systems have had minimal success.

No GymThe obvious secret weapon that meditation offers is that it doesn’t require working out or body motion, often dreaded when we want or need to lose weight because we feel too uncomfortable to move or we’re dismal.  There’s no big effort to get it started. The only thing moving is internal, it only takes a minute and it makes you feel good.

So what is this meditation for weight loss? We have to recognize that, for every system of our body, there is some type of release valve, like on a pressure-cooker, radiator or properly operating oil rig. We, humans, have our own pressurized systems resulting in nerve pressure, blood pressure, intestinal pressure, bladder pressure, eye pressure, brain pressure and so on. The body has a specific way of relieving excess pressure, or we start to break.

The mind is a human system of conscious experience and intelligent thought. It, too, feels pressure and needs a relief valve or else. It is very hard work to spend a full 24-hour period without giving the mind a break, especially if the day includes worry, anxiety, poor self-esteem, frustration, stress. We all experience all of these emotions from time to time. However, weight losers who are having trouble doing it have these emotions while they also have the pressures of a day-job (corporate or independent), going to school or mothering. The exhaustion and stress caused by the weight issues is enough to make you want to do what?

Specific to our topic, I will say the word: “eat.” There, I said it. To let off steam as our release valve, we eat. For people with weight gain issues, the opposite is true, too. The strongest minds with “bad feeling overload” may end up with no appetite and become unhealthy because of it.

Here’s what we know about the mind, that fragile piece of real estate that we know so little about:

1)    we function more successfully without pressure
2)    we can train ourselves to focus to remove pressure
3)    we can choose to live in ways that can minimize pressure
4)    we can train ourselves to recognize the signs of pressure before it is there
5)    we can awaken deeper levels in ourselves

With that in mind, is it clear how meditation is connected to weight loss? When we meditate,

1)    we give ourselves a personal place of stillness
2)    we learn to stand still
3)    we learn to have a focus
4)    we allot time out
5)    we evolve

Spa StonesImagine if every time we felt stress of some sort, we could do half a minute of meditation, and the stress would go away. Our emotional eating would reduce once we learned that a tiny taste of the meditative mind could give us a different perspective which could help reduce food cravings.

As we said before, meditation is focus. The more we practice, the more adept we become at having our mind follow the path we design for it, rather than having our mind follow its own, undirected whims. It is not simple to rein in the mind, but some ways are simpler than others.

When I was 21 years old, living in Washington Square Village, I followed a philosophy that included two-and-a-half hours of meditation a day. For 5 years, I sat in two prescribed positions on a daily basis. Did I meditate? The answer to this question requires understanding that meditation is not a physical action. The mind has to cooperate through being trained to do it.

My answer is that I almost never “meditated,” even though I spent 2.5 hours in meditation position. The method prescribed concentrated on more than one thing at a time, and my mind was easily distracted. To this day, as a positive result of that training, I teach a simple method where focusing on one thing is not impossible. No mantras, no looking at clouds, no techniques that can split the mind. We are scattered enough.

The trick to weight loss meditation is to change your reaction to the urge to eat or the urge to eat what you have decided you would prefer not to eat at the time. Where your reaction used to be to get instant gratification, be sad, be mad, be hasty; you can change your behavior by standing in meditation position for 30 seconds. This act may give you an opportunity to grab your mind away from that urge when you want to eat and it is not time to eat, or when you want your mind to lead you well, rather than comply without choice.

Here are steps to follow once a day for a month at the time of hunger, when you would like to postpone your eating, eat less, lower your urge level or simply change your perspective. This certainly will slow you down and give you a moment to be your own boss.

By the way, if this is not an impactful experience the first time, do it again. At least for two weeks. It might grow on you. You might start to be able to see another aspect of yourself. How much fun would that be!

Standing Meditation1)    Stand with feet shoulder width apart.
2)    Bend the knees.
3)    Tuck the butt.
4)    Straighten the back.
5)    Lean forward 2 inches from the waist.
6)    Make sure arms are relaxed with palms at side of thigh, hanging.
7)    Take the left hand and semi-point the index finger from the relaxed position.
8)    Slowly, meditatively, draw a counterclockwise circle from the right side of the body to the left, 3X, 3/4 of an arms-length in front of you.
9)    Place arm back at the side, dropped arm position, no tension.
10)  Relax a second or two.
11)  Take the left hand and semi-pointing the index finger from the relaxed position
12)    Slowly, meditatively, draw a clockwise circle from the left side of the body to the right, 3X, 3/4 of an arms-length in front of you.
13)    Place arm back at the side, dropped arm position, no tension.
14)    Relax.

This meditation affects weight loss through the body’s working to pump the blood through the legs in the standing position. Most of the result comes from taking your focus away from other distractions, including food. You are undoing stress in yourself, so you will be better equipped to proceed and succeed at weight loss.


There are many ways to meditate, and there are a myriad of programs on weight loss. This particular combination of meditation for weight loss uses 30 plus years’ experience at stripping down to basics the act of meditation and the act of changing an urge. As with any meditation, it is very personal. There is no wrong. There is also no comparison chart for you to use. This is for you.

Your questions and comments are always welcome. Particularly for this article, if you would like to ask a personal question about your experience, please do.


Always feel free to share your stories by commenting below and by email at: 1 [at] warriorsofweight [dot] com.


Diane Gold, Founder of Warriors of Weight, Moms For Healthy Daughters, is a mentor in tai chi, kung fu and meditation, a music pro and stress expert and a dedicated mom. She says, “Any action changes our perspective. The simpler we make things in preparation, the easier they will be. The more we repeat the same action, the more we will understand it.”