Holistic, from a Zen approach, when applied to wellbeing, means we are approaching ourselves from different angles. We are bringing our awareness to our meditations, exercise, rest, hydration and nutrition.

Meditation, of course, changes everything. Meditation separates our true being from the workings of the stream of thought, the programed conditioned mind.  Mild exercise helps to alleviate stress and anxiety. The negative effects caused by lack of sleep and improper rest are well documented. A feeling of anxiety, unattached to any situation is one of the top signs of dehydration. Improper nutrition from a diet filled with chemicals, pesticides, etc, has negative effect on the functions of our brain. Therefore, as we move forward we bring our attention to the importance of a holistic approach to our wellbeing. If we take care of our mind the body will follow; if we take care of our body our mind will follow.

The patient said to the psychiatrist, “I’m always anxious and I have no idea why? I feel like something is wrong all the time, but everything is okay.” The psychiatrist responded, “How is your MERHN?” (Meditation, Exercise, Relaxation, Hydration, Nutrition). The patient said, “Well, I drank a glass of water yesterday!”   We are responsible for doing whatever we can, within our power, to improve the quality of our lives.  Throughout our lives there are outside influences, happenings, diseases, etc. that are beyond our control; yet, we have the opportunity to do everything within our power to take care of ourselves. Mind your MERHNs.

A simple meditation:  when it comes to your mind, here and there, throughout your day, bring your attention to how you feel, mentally as well as physically. Are you hydrated? Are you eating well today? Did you take a few moments to stretch or maybe do a little light exercise? Have you taken a little time to sit and rest?  Most importantly did you practice some meditations today? It’s a new day! The best of your life.

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Inner peace may mean different things to different people. Some may believe that inner peace is different for all of us, which can also make defining inner peace a challenge. For many of us, the desire for inner peace can be clouded by definition or in our inability to possess the knowledge to find such a state of being. For myself, inner peace is a mental state of being not clouded by the repetitive conditioned programmed thinking of my mind. A state of being where my true conscious self is separate from the manipulation of my thought stream. Like too many people, I had a rough start. I was raised in the 1960s during a time where the line between discipline and abuse had not yet been drawn by society and where, in many homes, neglect and victimization was the norm. In too many arenas, it is still the same for many unfortunate children and young people today. As a result of the environment I was raised in, I spent most of my twenties in a state of mental anguish. At the age of 27 I came to the understanding that abusing drugs and alcohol was not the answer for dealing with a tortured mind, and though I was able to accomplish and attain many material things that the world had to offer, I wanted something more, inner peace. After being diagnosed with institutional grade PTSD and several sever forms of depression, I decided to take on the challenge of psychoanalytic therapy. For 13 years, I worked with therapists, psychiatrists, psychoanalysts, and medical doctors to address the disorders that were the result of my upbringing. I included personal studies of psychology and human behavior to add more knowledge in my pursuit of wellness. By the age of 40, as I had always done, I was sharing the knowledge I had gained and my life experience with others with similar situations to my own. Despite my efforts, I could still not separate from the mind of a manic depressive. I could not attain inner peace. My desire for inner peace led me to meditation. Meditation is a practice that separates us from the workings of the conditioned programmed mind and the endless stream of thought. After several months of mediation studies and practice, I began to feel the separation of my true self from the confines and mental torture of my own mind. At that moment a new, although difficult, journey had begun. I spent years of riding the roller-coaster of mental anguish and peace as I continued my struggle to mental freedom. Now, 18 years since my meditation studies commenced, I find myself in a state of conscious presence that allows me to live peacefully with a mind suffering from mental illness. My journey has included sharing my knowledge and understanding of the inner workings of the mind with others to help them attain peace and joy as I have; aiding them in their quest to escape the suffering of the confines of their programmed conditioned minds. I have recently taken my teaching to a new level, carrying myself as a published writer, teaching mediation and sharing the knowledge of the ability for each and every one of us to achieve our natural state of being, which is peace, love and joy.

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