Friday, 29 May 2009

The Second Key to Inner Harmony, Health and Energy

Last time we talked I introduced you to one of the most fundamental methods for cultivating deep levels of inner peace and harmony. And I promised to show you how to take that to the next level.

Okay... by now you've had time to practice a bit of "Normal Abdominal Breathing". And, let me guess, you found it "awkward"??

If so, don't worry. Anything you're not used to will seem that way at first and the right way to breathe is no different. Of course, if you've had any experience before with such things as Tai Chi, Qi Gong, Yoga and even if you've been properly taught how to sing, this kind of breathing won't be anything new to you.

You may have noticed how easy it was to feel peaceful and relaxed while you were sitting and doing your meditative breathing practice, and how quickly that state disappeared the moment you got up. That's the catch...

How do you keep your mind centered and your breath relaxed while you go about your daily tasks?? Is it really possible?

Yes, and it's simpler than you think. It still takes practice and persistence, but it really can be done. And here's the method that so many ancient traditions have used so successfully for millennia in one form or another:

1. When you get up from your sitting practice, do your best to continue your Normal Abdominal Breathing.

2. The important thing here is to "watch" your breath. In other words, do what you can to keep your mental attention on your breathing, just quietly following it and turning away all other thoughts.

If you're new to abdominal breathing and this new-to-you breathing pattern presents an obstacle for you, just forget about it entirely for now and watch your breath. Forget about whether it's abdominal or not, whether you're doing it right or not. Just pay attention to the ebb and flow of your breathing.

Your mental focus on your breathing should be "light" and natural. Don't focus so hard you tense up. As you can probably guess, that kind of defeats the purpose ;-)

3. While you're focusing on your breath, you'll eventually notice physical feelings of harmony all over your body. You may notice various parts of your body and skin seem to "breathe" in conjuction with your inhaling and exhaling. Feel free to pay attention to those feelings as they arise.

Combining Energy and Spirit

Although many traditions used this procedure, only the Taoists gave it a name. They called it "combining energy and spirit". What's that mean?

Simple. "Energy" is your breathing, since breath relates to and controls energy (Qi). And "spirit" is your mental attention.

This simple procedure - paying continuous attention to your breathing - is so profound that it was often referred to as "the true path". Why? Because by doing it for a few months you could easily:

  1. Banish negative emotions - all your doubts, fears, confusions
  2. Gain complete control over your inner world (and therefore a lot more control of your outer world, since the former dictates the latter)
  3. Increase your love for all people and all creation naturally, without much effort
  4. Eliminate stress and discover levels of inner peace you didn't know existed
  5. Regain your health and banish diseases arising from emotional factors

Let Me SIMPLIFY This For You...

All you need to do is get used to watching your breathing with your mental attention. It's that simple.

Of course, at the beginning you'll lose track of your breathing every time something distracts you - a chance conversation, spilling your coffee, memories of a negative emotional state, or just about anything else.

As long as you persevere, though, it won't be long before you can even do intellectual work like writing this article without losing track of your inner world!

Next time, I'll show you how to reduce some of the unseen stresses you're putting on your physical body. Until then, enjoy the wonderful practice of "combining energy and spirit".

~ Dr. Symeon Rodger

Thursday, 28 May 2009

The First Key to Inner Harmony, Health and Energy

As I was saying...

Over the next few days I’m going to show you exactly how I approach cultivating deeper levels of inner peace and harmony, based largely on the wisdom and actual practices of Authentic Ancient Traditions. There are several pieces to the puzzle, but I’ll give them to you one at a time.

As I said earlier this week, the purpose of all this is to take you to a level of internal harmony and equilibrium that surpasses what you experience every day (as if that would be hard!) and that probably exceeds anything you remember experiencing at all.

And, of course, it has a few wonderful side effects, like more robust health and immunity, more energy, greater control of your moods and emotions and lots more.

To learn about the first step in the process, keep reading…


The first thing is that you’re not going to find DEEP inner harmony or deep levels of relaxation until you connect with your breathing.

The first part of that is learning to breath properly, because if you’re habitually breathing high in your chest, you’re artificially creating low-level anxiety on an ongoing basis. It’s like having one foot on the accelerator while the other one’s on the brake.

So you need to return to natural breathing, the way kids breathe before they’re taught the wrong way to do it. That means that when you inhale, your lower abdomen should expand and when you exhale it should contract. If you notice your shoulders rising when you breathe, you’re definitely breathing into your chest, which over-stimulates your rational mind (that means it stirs up thoughts and emotions) and wastes lots of physical energy too.


1. Go find a place where you can sit with your back relatively straight. It doesn’t particularly matter if you’re sitting cross-legged in some form of meditative posture or if you’re on a chair.

2. Close your eyes and call to mind your mental image of inner harmony, the one we talked about last time.

3. Then practice the “Normal Abdominal Breathing” outlined above for a few minutes. If your mind wanders, just bring it back to your breathing. Just do your best to keep your mental attention on your breathing. When a thought says to you, “you’re not doing this right,” pay NO attention to it.

4. Repeat as often as you can during the day. You can even do it during corporate meetings (without closing your eyes, of course. No one will notice), while standing at the bus stop or when you’re taking a walk.

Remember to renew your decision to make cultivating increased levels of inner harmony your main objective for the next few days, __________. That’s indispensable.
Tomorrow we’ll talk more about the dramatic effects of the practice I’ve outlined above and I’ll show you how to take it to the next level.

~ Dr. Symeon Rodger

Disclaimer: This material is not intended to diagnose or treat any medical condition, nor to
replace the advice of qualified medical practitioners. You should not engage in any of the
exercises suggested here without consulting your physician, particularly if you have any
chronic medical issues or have reason to suspect these exercises could cause injury to you.

Wednesday, 13 May 2009

Could the World Stop and Let Me Off?

Have you ever had one of those days... or several in a row... where everything seemed to come crashing down around you?

Well, that pretty much describes last week for me. Here's a brief synopsis for you. Hopefully, you'll feel blessed by comparison ;-)

1. Wednesday: major plumbing disaster in downstairs bathroom, coming from leak in shower pipe above it. Real cause was hidden faulty workmanship under previous owner.

2. Thursday: Plumber comes and diagnoses problem. Whole shower fixture has to be replaced for about $500.

3. Friday: Plumber comes and does the job

4. Friday night: old family friend, age 90 +, suddenly shows up in town, totally unannounced, and wants to see the whole family. We arrange to have supper on Sunday.

5. Saturday: family member who was dogsitting for friends out of town gets sudden symptoms of vertigo and is taken to hospital. I spend Saturday driving all over the place because of this.

6. Sunday: New plumbing disaster, unrelated to the first one - the laundry tub overflows during a wash cycle.

7. Sunday night: Old family friend is totally unreachable from Saturday night on. We all arrive at the hotel to have supper with him on Sunday evening, only to discover he's already left town in the early afternoon. I'm thoroughly confused and still trying to figure this one out.

So when stuff like this happens - and it will from time to time - what do you do? Here are some
suggestions that work really well:

  • Build your ark before the flood (Noah was a smart guy...). In other words, make sure you personally are in great shape physically, emotionally and spiritually. Nothing at all can substitute for personal resilience when the sky falls in and lots of extra demands are suddenly placed on your stamina.
  • Focus on your inner world: cultivate inner peace and harmony even though the walls are falling down around you. This sounds counter-intuitive but, then again, most winning strategies do. This keeps you from focussing too much on what you don't want, which improves your spirits a whole lot.
  • Relax and go with the flow of events. That doesn't mean you don't try to control what you can; only that you recognize what you can't control and learn to surrender to it with faith. After all, stressing about what you can't control is simply wasted energy.
  • Remember Winston Churchill's famous maxim: "If you're going through hell.... keep going!"

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to go home and meet with the next plumber ;-)

~ Dr. Symeon Rodger

Tuesday, 5 May 2009

Pandemic Update - May 5/09

Well, we're into day 11 since the news broke of the H1N1 Swine Flu viral epidemic in Mexico. And it's been quite a rollercoaster since then, at least for those of us who consult in emergency management!

The best line I've heard so far was from a local news broadcaster who was heard to say, "Fear of the pandemic seems to be spreading quite a bit faster than the pandemic itself."

Thanks largely to the media and occasionally to the odd politician or bureaucrat, people were pretty scared for a few days, at least until a few things became clear:

First, that the Mexican stats on infections and deaths were exaggerated out of the park. Once the lab tests were in, the story was a lot different.

Second, the steadily climbing number of cases in Canada and the USA that clearly has had the public on edge is more the result of labs catching up on their test results than of genuinely new infections. The disease is spreading, but at a rather slow rate.

Third, the disease is barely more serious than the common cold or seasonal influenza. For those of you wondering why all the fatalities have been in Mexico (except for the one Mexican child who died in Texas), the explanation is very likely this:

They didn't die from the swine flu.

Instead, they died from a secondary bacterial infection of the kind easily contracted in unsanitary living conditions. Combine such bacterial infections with a lack of readily available medical treatment and you'll definitely get casualties. In fact, this is the reason why the 1918-19 flu killed so many. Those people didn't die from the flu either, but rather from a strep infection.

Nowadays it's much easier for us to prevent those bacterial infections or treat them successfully.

So the bottom line is this may not develop into a full blown pandemic. At this point I'd be a little surprised if it did. That doesn't mean we're out of the woods, of course, since this virus could come back in the fall for our northern hemisphere flu season.

Just remember - by far the best way to protect yourself is to strengthen your own immune system. Make yourself a really tough target. How?

  • Get regular fresh air and exercise
  • Get regular sun exposure to improve your vitamin D levels
  • Eat right - avoid refined sugar, flour, and all harmful foods
  • Use the world's best immune-boosting supplements (note, NO www in this address)

  • Meditate - cultivate inner stillness
  • Manage your stress and your emotions
  • Watch the videos I'm sending you over the next week or two

Just follow those steps and you'll be healthy as a horse. Then, even if you do get sick with any virus, you'll shake it easliy.

~ Dr. Symeon Rodger