Achieve Inner Balance by integrating meditation and spirit in your life. If you can learn to stop long enough to listen to yourself, you might be surprised by your own wisdom.
At noon on Fridays, Joseph Dispenza hears a whistle blow in his head. The author of 12 books stops writing until Monday and begins his "CEO meditation" on "Joseph Dispenza Inc.," a weekly review of life's lessons he calls crucial to his development.
When the session ends some 45 minutes later, he "always comes to realize things that hadn't occurred to me before."
Dispenza, the director of the Parcells Center for Personal Transformation in Santa Fe, N.M., experimented with all sorts of meditation practices during his eight years in a monastery, even living in strict silence for a year.
After Dispenza left the monastery, he earned an advanced degree in communication and became an educator, writer and student of spirituality.
"A lot of people think this is the party planet," he observes, "but we are here to learn lessons. We are in school here. If you don't review from time to time, you lose the lessons."
Karim Dajani, a psychotherapist in San Francisco, meditates 20 minutes a day for the rejuvenating effect it has on his nervous system and to prevent burnout, an occupational hazard for mental-health professionals.
Watch this video on the benefits of meditation from Dr. Andrew Weil.
"It is instrumental for the work I do. In a simple way it helps me be in my body and improves the quality of my attention to myself through my breath and to the person with whom I am working. It concentrates and grounds me," he says.
One of the purposes of meditation is to activate our higher self and help us to see other people with compassion and empathy. This awareness can be as simple as quickly returning a phone call or as subtle as practicing courtesy and patience in our interactions.
In psychotherapy, it's called "attunement." It occurs whenever therapist and patient simultaneously experience identical emotions."I was once working with a patient when a strong sensation of falling began to occur inside of me," says Dajani. "It was painful. It felt as if I were falling into a hole. It was hard to pay attention to what was going on. I spoke about it to the patient, and he said he felt as if he were falling into a hole inside his own body."
It was Dajani's practice of meditation that helped him reach his patient. The patient became more aware of his pain through Dajani and was able to put words to it.
The value of integrating our spiritual understanding into daily life is that over time it can help us to achieve inner balance.
Roxanne Worthington practices meditation to center herself through a basic process that involves being "present in the moment
, whether it is good or bad; to be aware of what it is and not to be mindless, but to understand whatever is going on," she says.
When Worthington decided to leave a 20-year career as an insurance executive to become a fine-art photographer in San Francisco, she used meditation as a tool to overcome terror at the possibility of failure.
"I once got up in the middle of the night and had so much fear I thought I would die. My body was filled with fear," she recalls. "I sat to meditate and just let myself be with the fear and accepted it. It was an incredible moment in my life because I could feel the fear as it washed through me and dissipated. I was able to face it and go on," she says.
Eventually she was able to make a successful transition to a simpler way of life, just like the CEO meditation helps Dispenza to recognize what he wants out of life and helps him to put spiritual values ahead of materialistic ones.
"We need to put some empty space back in modern life, which is wall-to-wall technology," says Dispenza. "We tend to think of our lives that way: that something has to fill in every second. But it is actually in the downtime that we recover and rest and restore ourselves."