Behind The Smoke Screen

INSIGHTFUL PERSPECTIVES TO QUIT SMOKING

by Derek O'Neill

Do you remember where you were when you had your first cigarette? Even if you can’t recall, think about that time in your life. What was going on? Chances are that when you began your habit, those cigarettes created a figurative smoke screen, hiding something you didn’t want to face. When smoking begins at a young age, it’s often a lack of confidence or need to connect your identity to your peer group. Though it may have been an unsurprising result of wanting to feel mature, the habit then took on more psychological and physical elements.

Over time, smoking becomes connected to relaxation, the irony being that nicotine is actually a stimulant. It’s the deep breath that you take when you smoke that confuses and solidifies the message your mind gives you. People continue to smoke because they become programmed that it is a relaxing thing to do! What other needs are seemingly being met by smoking? If you...

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Combat Stress With The Healing Power of Meditation

When Tensions Rise

by Derek O'Neill

When you’re in the thick of stressful emotions, it’s very difficult to make a clear decision. When you’re angry and anxious, that’s not the time to have an important conversation with somebody. That’s a battle, not a conversation!  The ability to step back and observe what is happening to you at any given moment is empowering. The next time you feel stressed, try stepping back. It will take practice, but in time the reflex of observation can become automatic.

Finding Your Way Back to Serenity

The reason why people routinely pray, meditate, or have a contemplative discipline is to learn a way to always find a calm space. When something triggers them and they need to know the way back to serenity, they can tap into it at any time. You have to train your mind and body to know when stress is becoming overwhelming.

Our attention needs direction and purpose. Left to its own devices it will stray from what we want it to...

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Your Anger Belongs To You. Embrace It.

ANGER IS A MESSENGER – LISTEN TO IT

What’s the first thought you have in reaction to the word “anger?” Most people would say that anger is a negative emotion, something they would like to avoid and purge from their lives. Though the goal is to let go of anger, and experience life from a perspective of joy, the first step is to recognize and embrace your anger. What is it telling you?

Don’t fear anger – face it and feel it, and then let it go.

If we ignore anger and shove it aside, we’ll miss a true opportunity to go deeper into ourselves. If we are afraid of these feelings, no matter how uncomfortable it is to sit with them, they will only rise again, misunderstood and toxic to our health, happiness and the energy we put out into the world.

WHERE IT ALL STARTS

Anger emerges with a thought. It all starts there. It feels as if anger forms within us, but in reality, we attract negativity from the outside world. Positive thoughts and outlooks...

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Expanding Our Understanding Of Love

by Constance Kellough

Namaste Publishing Founder and Publisher of Eckhart Tolle's The Power of Now.

There are many different meditation practices originating from various spiritual and secular traditions.  Most, however, stress the importance of quieting the compulsive thinking mind, which wanders on average 50 times in 5 minutes.  This on - going thinking -  often unsettling, non - productive and not related to what we are experiencing in the present moment - usually emanates from some level of egoic fear and pulls us into the past or the future.  

In order to feel the stillness which is always within us now but usually covered up by compulsive and mesmerizing self-talk, we endeavor to quiet the mind through various means.

Stillness rises on its own when there is no thought.  Eckhart Tolle has said, “Stillness is the language God speaks.”

We crave to experience blessed stillness.  Why?  Because stillness is our natural state;...

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Meditation Is The Way – The Way From Conflict To Peace

by Constance Kellough

Namaste Publishing Founder and Publisher of Eckhart Tolle's The Power of Now. 

For many it has become evident that the only way the world will come together in harmony is through the world-wide practice of meditation.

Through meditation, people come to realize the animating life force within, Presence.  This Presence is not personal but universal to all sentient beings.  One cannot claim to own Presence.  One cannot say, “My” Presence and “Your” Presence.  There is just One Presence.  

So when a person comes to realize the Presence within them, they can sense that same Presence within everyone.  It is the single shared element of our humanity. It binds us and leads to harmonious, caring practices since through meditation one comes to the awareness of not only I am my brother’s keeper, but I am my brother.  In such a Oneness, there can be no conflict.

I call meditation the most sacred...

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Three Levels of Consciousness

WHAT IS CONSCIOUSNESS?

by Derek O'Neill

Consciousness is a huge topic, with as many interpretations of what it means. There’s the scientific view of consciousness which looks at details of the brain and its functions. Consciousness is also defined as our thinking, our perceptions, our system of beliefs and spirituality, and the entirety of our self-reflection. Though our reality seems dependent on what our external world looks like – where we live, our relationships, our economic situation, etc. – in truth, it’s our consciousness that creates our reality and determines what the external world is serving up at any given time.

Our consciousness that creates our reality and determines what the external world is serving up at any given time.

CREATING YOUR REALITY

The manifestation of your state of mind – your consciousness – influences your life in every conceivable way. Your consciousness will always be a stronger force than the external world around...

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How to Shift from Suffering to Joy!

by Brook Still

Have you ever wondered why an event that happens can seem to be so much easier or harder from one person to the next in the same circumstance? A great example is having a relationship end and for one person it seems to be excruciating and for the other they may be a little sad yet moving forward quickly. Why the varying degrees of suffering? Let’s look at suffering first and then we’ll breakdown the varying degrees.

Here is the basic principle behind suffering; everyone suffers and as much as we all would like to avoid it, suffering seems to be an inherent part of life itself. The Buddha himself stated, “All I teach is suffering and the end of suffering”. Even with a brilliant master and so many teachings we are still swimming in the scummy pond of suffering. So let’s break this down into something much simpler, let’s stop over thinking, wash off the scum, and go for a swim in the clean clear waters of the ocean of liberation. Now...

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A Meditation For Healing

EMOTIONAL PAIN

 by Derek O'Neill

Emotional pain serves as a message to stop, slow down, and look at the source of the hurt. Pain can obscure the reality that everything is changing all the time. Nothing is permanent. Though suffering will visit us time and again, knowing that the continuum of life is part of being alive reminds us that life is, indeed, worth living. When you clear the mind, you achieve a better sense of perspective about who you are, what you need, and how best to practice self-care. Self-care also means the ability to reach out to others for help if you need it.

Find a quiet place where you won’t be disturbed and make yourself as comfortable as possible. Take two or three deep breaths. As you exhale on the third breath, close your eyes, relax, and let go. Switch off the world for the next ten to fifteen minutes.


THE MEDITATION

Allow your mind to settle into a space of peace. Imagine that there is a gold orb of bright light – like a setting or...

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Is There A Difference Between Mindfulness & Meditation?

by Constance Kellough

Namaste Publishing Founder and Publisher of Eckhart Tolle's The Power of Now.

More and more these days – and understandably so because of our fast-paced, unpredictable, and threatening times – we are hearing people talk of Mindfulness and Meditation. Sometimes they are used alone in a context and at other times synonymously.

The need for Mindfulness is a result of the compulsive thinking mind which, try as we may, is not easily tamed.  How often we wish we could control our thinking or just turn it off.  

Most of the time we are not in control of our mind.  It seems to have a life of its own, and when not focused on a specific task or event, creates thoughts, emotions, assumptions, judgments that arise seemingly unbidden and are often negative and therefore unwelcomed.

Our thoughts can torture us at times.  They create imagined fears, reminders of unfulfilled ambitions, evoke feelings of being less than or not good enough. ...

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What You Want Vs. What You Get

THE WAY YOUR MIND WORKS

by Derek O'Neill

Your mind listens to everything that you say. It will manifest whatever it is – good, bad or anything in-between – in vast amounts. In other words, if you have a mentality of abundance, you will have an abundance of it! The same is true for living in fear and a state of lack. That fear will feed on itself, as your mind is incredibly powerful. What you say to your mind, including positive affirmations, is important to shift your perspective away from a mentality of scarcity.

SAY IT OUT LOUD

Our lives are manifest by words, and the words in your mind are what your consciousness is powered by. Everything starts with a single thought. The sequence of those thoughts is what makes the difference on how you manifest what you want.

Here’s a technique to begin creating a connection between words and affecting change in your life: Start with a thought, and then speak it out loud. For example, “I would like to meet people who...

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