Tuesday, January 24, 2012
Tibetan Dream Journey CD by Nawang Khechog.
Sounds True. 2011.
Master flutist Nawang Khechog, brings to us a beautiful compilation of kindness and compassion, in the incredible music of this CD.
By combining the music of his flute with light percussion, and guest musicians, he creates a masterpiece with which to treats us.
The universal compassion chant from the Dalai Lama is extraordinary, and a delightful experience you can relive over and over again.
While I know not many people bother to read the CD inserts, you'll never know what you just might find a out by doing so.
On the cover of the CD insert, is a letter to the listener. In this letter, Khechog describes an accident that took place in 2007, in which he was seriously injured and his niece lost her life. He briefly discusses his recovery including a setback in 2008 after suffering a heart attack. He goes on to explain a Tibetan spiritual saying, “Take your hardships and strategies into your spiritual path”, and how this is has helped him to recover from this traumatic experience.
After reading this letter, you have a new, even better appreciation for the music. When you understand where the music is coming from, it reaches to a new level, it reaches inside of you and you feel an ever deeper connection to it.
The tracks on t: my lifehe CD include:
2. Into Dharmakaya
3. Tibetan Dream Journey
4. Tibetan Freedom Through Nonviolence and Compassion
5. Finding Joy Through Compassion for Others
6. Zen Sem Blues
7. Rocking with Nonviolence and Peace
8. Om Mani Padme Hoong
9. Finding Within the Way Out of Suffering
10. Chant of Universal Compassion
11. May All Be Kind to Each Other
Wednesday, January 18, 2012
Review: Ten Minutes to Relax: Living the Love Response: Guided Meditations for Healing, Balance and Joy CD
Ten Minutes to Relax: Living the Love Response: Guided Meditations for Healing, Balance and Joy CD By Eva M. Selhub, M.D. The Relaxation Company (Sounds True)
Though this CD only contains 3 different guided meditations, it very well could become a staple in your meditation practices.
Each guided meditation is accompanied with its own song, and after the guided meditation is complete, the song plays again on its own. This way, you can either continue the meditation to the music, perform only the guided meditation, or do an entire meditation on your own with only the music as background. So, even though there are only the 3 different meditations, they can be used in different ways and combinations to make up several different meditations. Each meditation runs right around ten minutes, so depending on how much time you have, you can adjust the tracks to suit your time needs.
The first meditation is called Letting Go to Love. This meditation involves visualizing yourself at the sea. While you begin on the beach, you do eventually enter the water and are encouraged to take any form you like. I really enjoyed this mediation and found it to be extremely relaxing, and effective for washing away stress and negativity.
The second mediation is called The Flower of Your Heart. This was my favorite on the CD simply because the visualizations are so intriguing. As you work with this meditation, you envision a flower in your heart area opening and closing with each inhalation and exhalation. This image expands to include rays of golden light. This meditation is very uplifting, especially after a hard difficult day. If you are having a hard time in your life – whether it be money related, death in the family or dealing with difficult children this is sure to help. While this meditation won’t solve your problems or make them go away, it will give you a much needed break and change your outlook enough to help you deal with the circumstances.
The final meditation is Mother of the Earth. In this meditation you make a personal connection with Mother Earth. You feel her comfort, her love, her understanding. This is also a powerful meditation for times when you feel overwhelmed and need to unload your burden.
I was really happy and impressed with this CD. These meditations are a very positive experience and highly recommended.
Monday, January 16, 2012
Guided Meditations for Love and Wisdom: 14 Essential Practices CD by Sharon Salzberg. Sounds True. 2009.
The CD starts right of with a breath meditation. Sharon explains how any time you are able to breathe you are able to meditate, whether that be standing in line at a grocery store, or waiting in a doctors office any time you can breathe you can be using that time to meditate.
Sharon then begins this meditation by telling you how to sit and relax. There is a lot of discussion on what you should and should not be thinking about, so much in fact it becomes very distracting. These moments of discussion are then followed by long drawn out silences. You find yourself waiting for her to begin talking again, this also ends up being distracting. You should be able to be focusing on your meditation, not focusing on when the speaker will begin speaking again.
The next meditation on this CD is a hearing meditation. Again this is a meditation you should be able to perform just about anywhere. You are to observe and listen to the sounds around you but not let them distract you. However when the speaker refers to things such as perhaps there is a bus outside, and perhaps you will start to think about the bus route, or how the bus route should be changed for you, these things become distracting. By telling you not to elaborate on these thoughts that's exactly what you end up doing. What if there is not a bus outside? Your mind ends up focusing on a bus that is not even there. So often on this CD, statements are made that focus your mind to places or things distracting you from the actual meditation.
The third meditation on this CD is about sensations. The sense of touch. It can help you evaluate pain. While she tells you you do not have to name your sensations just feel them, just the fact that she says that you don't have to, focuses your mind on actually naming them. This is mentioned more than once, drawing your attention to it over and over again.
The fourth meditation is a walking meditation, though she tells you you can do it without walking. What she means is if you are unable to walk and are in a wheelchair you can still do this meditation just focus on the wheeling instead of the walking. Again in this meditation also, so many other things are brought up, distracting you from the true point of the meditation.
You may be noticing a theme here, these are some of the most distracting meditations I've ever seen, or should I say heard. In the walking meditation when she actually tells you how to take a step, it seems so slow you feel like you're going to fall over. You also may notice the title of the CDs is Guided Meditations for Love and Wisdom - yet almost done with the first CD and there hasn't really been anything about love or wisdom mentioned yet. The concepts of these meditations have not touched on the two topics so far.
Next we come to a drinking team meditation, in which you begin by observing the cup, feeling the warmth, smelling the tea, tasting the tea, and so on. Immediately she begins telling you you may have too many judgments about your tea. I don't know about you but I'm generally not too judgmental about my tea.
Finally we come to a loving kindness meditation - that centers on our attention. And believe it or not again we have the same distractions.
I could go on about this CD but I think you're starting to get the point.
This CD finishes up with a loving kindness walking meditation. The second CD contains meditations for: reflection on interconnectedness, meditation on seeing the good, meditation and compassion, meditation on emotions, letting go of thought, mental noting, and meditation on balance. So while the topics finally start turning toward the title topic, it takes a long time to get there, with many distractions inbetween.
Perhaps there are people out there who enjoy meditations that are done without any music, and enjoy the dead air of silence. I myself am not one of those. Perhaps you don't mind what I take to be almost rambling, of the person guiding me through the meditation. I do mind, and find it to be thoroughly distracting.
While I believe many of these meditations could be useful, it is the way in which they are presented that turns me off. They just can’t get me in, and keep me in a meditative state.