Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Use Meditation To Relieve Stress

Meditation is a form of alternative medicine that promotes relaxing and mental calmness through the use of controlling or suspending thoughts for a certain period of time. Since meditation involves physical and mental relaxation, it's a great way to relieve stress.

When some people hear about meditation as a way to relieve stress, they laugh and think it's a bunch of baloney. They think that meditation is not a viable solution to eliminating stress. Research has shown that meditation works and is a practical technique for stress management.

The most notable research on meditation's usefulness in relieving stress was done in 1968 by Dr. Herbert Benson of Harvard University. Dr. Benson wrote that meditation increased the skin's resistance to damage or infections, slowed the heartbeat and breathing rate, and reduced oxygen consumption.

Meditation is all about consciously relaxing your mind and body for a period of time. Meditation means that you need to focus inwardly so that your mind is basically so busy concentrating on breathing and body form that there's no time to think about the events that are causing you stress.

The act of meditation is actually quite simple to do. Meditation does not require you to be a mystic or to be very spiritual. Meditation is something that anyone can do almost anywhere.

Be sure to set aside a certain amount of time where you're guaranteed not to be interrupted when you prepare yourself for meditation. Meditation doesn't require hours of practicing at a time for it to be effective in reducing stress. Practicing meditation is ten- or twenty-minute time slots is definitely good enough.

Effective meditation requires that you're in a comfortable, quiet environment. This means that when you practice meditation, you should make sure that you're wearing comfortable, unrestrictive clothing. The atmosphere temperature (whether you're indoors or outdoors) should also be comfortable for you in order to make your meditation session as stress fighting as possible.

Stress-relieving meditation is all about concentration. Focus your attention of your breathing throughout your entire meditation session.

When you're in a meditation session is to use imagery, another way to control wandering thoughts. Imagery is very popular in meditation. All you have to with imagery is focus on something you consider refreshing or pleasant. Music is also a popular way to help mind concentration during meditation. You can do a monologue hum. Or you can use some soothing music that features plenty of nature sounds.

The key to meditation is mind control. When you learn to control your mind, you can control your thoughts, and you'll be able to better control the functions of your muscles. Sometimes it takes a bit of time to learn not to let your mind wander to other thoughts while you're in a meditation session. Once you've mastered meditation, you'll discover you'll be able to do it almost anywhere to relax when you're feeling overwhelmed with stress.

When some people hear about meditation as a way to relieve stress, they laugh and think it's a bunch of baloney. The most notable research on meditation's usefulness in relieving stress was done in 1968 by Dr. Herbert Benson of Harvard University. Meditation doesn't require hours of practicing at a time for it to be effective in reducing stress. The atmosphere temperature (whether you're indoors or outdoors) should also be comfortable for you in order to make your meditation session as stress fighting as possible.

Once you've mastered meditation, you'll discover you'll be able to do it almost anywhere to relax when you're feeling overwhelmed with stress.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

On the Starting Line to Life's Greatest Journey

That was the name of our first workshop. We held it a few weekends ago - and it was a big success. We learned a lot, and we can't wait to schedule the next one.

Here is a picture of the beautiful setting we were in.

We will be sure to let you know when we book the next workshop.

Friday, May 30, 2014


Is it a myth, unreachable except for religious zealots or the very definition of mental health and wellbeing?

An ancient discovery passed down and rediscovered through countless generations, Enlightenment is a subject as worthy of understanding in the 21st century as it was four thousand years ago.

What is Enlightenment? Tomes have been dedicated to answering this eternal question. Even the title of a modern magazine, “What is Enlightenment?,” the search for this exalted state has been the “holy grail” of humanity. Whether it’s been called Enlightenment, Awakening, Nirvana, Transcendence, Transformation, Cosmic Consciousness or Heaven Within and Paradise on Earth, it has been a goal of most of humanity for millennia.

So, is it real or a myth or even a singular phenomenon? People have been describing extraordinary states since time immemorial. Although they attribute it to different causes — some religious, some not — they seem to have some common threads.

For example, these lucky few describe a sense of opening and understanding, of seeing the world in new ways they had been overlooking before. Feeling liberated, with a dramatic release that is at once blissful and tranquilizing. They tell of realizing they are connected with everything and everyone born of losing any self-consciousness. And they recount feeling so immediately alive and immersed in the moment that each moment seems like an eternity unto itself.

Trippy stuff to be sure. Psychedelic even (which actually just means ‘mind expanding’). Unless it was you. If you were there now, it would seem normal. Obvious. Self-evident. A place you’d wonder why you didn’t reach long ago.

So, is it even reachable, even a possibility for someone living a busy, modern life with kids, responsibilities and competing priorities? The short answer is ‘yes, definitely.’ Although…it is not quick and easy, like we’ve come to expect from our solutions.

Having spent decades reading Enlightenment accounts, studying various Eastern and Western paths and glimpsing it in meditative moments, I can share this. It is elusive. Tricky to get to and even trickier to stay at. Like a greased seal in the ocean, trying to grab onto it can be an exercise in frustration or futility. Until it’s not. That is, until you are practiced at accessing that level of realization.

Patience, practice and persistence is the order of the day for learning any skill —whether taking up a musical instrument or investing in real estate. One thing is for sure, modern century understandings of psychology, the brain and human development — such as in my SatoriWest Method — can reinterpret this ancient discovery in a new light. It can view what has been previously a cryptic path as the result of realigning the brain, of strengthening specific neural circuits.

But is it practical? Is it relevant to modern lives? You might even think, “Yes, bliss and tranquility are great, feeling connected is wonderful, being in an eternal now is lovely, but I don’t have the time to be blissful, connected and eternal, I have a life to maintain and goals to accomplish.”

I could write volumes in response to this question. In a nutshell, the answer is that Enlightenment is very relevant — much more that you probably think.  It begins with this: The singular realization that seems to be at the center of Enlightenment is how insanely unlikely it is that you got to be born and here right now experiencing this.

Consider a few key things it took for us to be born — the universe arising, Earth possessing the perfect temperature with rare chemicals including water, life igniting, species evolving to unspeakable complexity, your parents meeting, the billion to one sperm to egg lottery. Sensing even a sliver how of unlikely it is that you are able to be here let alone able to know it forces the realization of how crazy lucky you are! It’s like winning a mega lottery!!!

It immediately rearranges your priorities away from the small stuff towards the more fulfilling and fundamental. It sets your compass towards more rewarding values. It defocuses you from trying to avoid or delay death by making life as perfect as you can get it, to appreciating each second regardless of what is happening. To being so fulfilled and happy that you could die in the next moment satisfied that you had really lived.

You’d drink in your loved ones rather than neglect them for “more important things.” You’d find a well of creativity and talent that was previously being spent trying to prove yourself. You’d allow yourself to be yourself, your authentic self, rather than someone in desperate need of approval to be happy. (Because you’re already happy being suffused with gratitude.) You’d be a lot less stressed if you were at all! Your health would improve, etc., etc.

So, is Enlightenment a myth? It doesn’t look like it.

Is it reachable? It is, more than ever before in history.

Is it practical for a busy life? Not unless you consider it impractical to have physical health, mental wellbeing and improved relationships. Not if it’s impractical to reach more of your talent and creativity, to act out of crystal clarity about what is important to you and to be able to live a life of fulfilling moments!

Find more information about Dr. Jeff Skolnick and The SatoriWest Method at

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Lessons from a Rollercoaster

Finding spiritual Enlightenment in the most unusual places.

By Jeff Skolnick, MD, PhD

My story begins with this simple fact: I hate roller coasters.

Whether you like them or not, they, like a lot of things in life, can further your spiritual development. Before I tell you why, let me back up a bit and tell you my theory of people who love rollercoasters.

Sometime I think the world can be divided into two groups. There are people who enjoy lying on a sunny beach with a fruity cocktail when they go on vacation. Then there are those who like to drink coffee and enjoy the adrenaline rush of downhill skiing or even bunge-jumping!

Seriously, there actually is evidence that people can be placed on a spectrum based on how their body reacts to sensations and stress. On the one side there are those whose bodies amplify sensations (“stimulus augmenters”). They feel things acutely. They get stressed out when there is too much happening. They prefer sedate movies and documentaries and tend to need peace and quiet to recover.

On the other side are those whose bodies dampen sensations (“stimulus reducers”). They don’t feel sensation or emotions very strongly. They like thriller and horror movies and need a lot of stimulation. They are usually thrill-seekers. They love roller coasters. (See if you can place each person in the above photo in their place on that spectrum.)

I’m far on the first side of the spectrum. That’s my constitution.

So the first thing I think when I’m getting into the rollercoaster car is: “Why am I doing this?” As the rollercoaster starts off, I flash on all the things I’d rather be doing at that moment: hiking on a beautiful mountain, playing guitar, dancing, lying on a beach…

As we start our incline up the hill with that jerky motion, my heart rate climbs with it. Close to the top of the hill, if I turn around and look down, I remember that I’m not thrilled about heights either. Sometimes I imagine that I might fall backwards out of the rollercoaster or that the entire thing might go careening down backward off the rails.

When we’re at the top, I feel like someone about to be pushed off the balcony of a skyscraper. Then down we go- often in freefall, where the rails are pulling up on the track. I have to remind myself that the odds of rollercoasters going off-track is rare. I remember (really pray) that people rarely die being thrown from roller coasters.

Plunging down, my body begins to seize up like someone constipated in the middle of trying to pass a large stool. It like being punched in the gut. My heart pounds in my throat. My breathing is so labored it feels a bit like suffocating. Then it’s over. Until we go up again…

So, why do I do it? Why go on rollercoasters? Well, when I was younger, I didn’t want to be left out when my friends went to the fair and later my kids wanted me to go with them and I didn’t want to see myself as an old fuddy-duddy. 

In the last few years I have gone on for another reason: I have been on a quest for spiritual enlightenment! Even reading the title of this blog, you might be thinking, “What in the world do rollercoasters have to do with Enlightenment?!”

The quest for Enlightenment requires you to challenge yourself—in a variety of different ways, to shake up habits so that you can learn about yourself. Meditation itself doesn’t always help you pierce through habit. Of course, there have to be good reasons for challenging yourself in particular ways.

There are many ways rollercoasters can provide a boost to spiritual realization. Here are three examples. First, they teach me how to better witness the formation of irrational thoughts that takeover my mind. I can then make a conscious choice (i.e. train myself) to let them go.  

Next, dropping down on a rollercoaster helps me, if even for a second (that is, when can do it) defocus and detach from the sensations and emotions in my body so I can better experience the totality of the moment. This is a skill central to living fully in the moment.

And then, very importantly, rollercoasters show me (i.e. train my brain) to open up to the exhilaration of being alive. That elation is always available to us. We just don’t know how to access it. It is a pleasant version of the rollercoaster drop.

Of course, there are limits to this kind of challenge. It has to be fully by choice and I have to be in the mood to challenge myself that way.

Yet, I when I do this, it is for more than the chance to develop myself. I also do it because life offers plenty of challenges that I don’t choose. Rollercoasters—for me a mini crisis—can teach me how to be more resilient to life crises that I don’t choose.

So, safely challenge yourself. For instance, join Toastmasters if you have anxiety speaking in public. When confronted with a situation where it is very hard to be honest, be different, be better than you normally would and speak out with honesty. Learn a new skill—a sport, a creative outlet—when you and others would not expect you to do that. Never stop challenging yourself…

And I’ll see you at the fair. 

Friday, February 21, 2014

Your Brain on Meditation: Gateway to an Incredible Life

Learn to activate your higher brain and fulfill your highest potential.

                                                               -  Jeff Skolnick, MD, PhD

Your brain can take you to heights you can’t now even imagine. Shrouded in spiritual language for millennia, the perspectives and practices of the 21st century give you a rare opportunity to make progress not possible before. Find out why the peak of brain development is life-changing. Learn a simple skill to launch yourself right now. 

Your human brain can take you to heights you can’t even imagine—right where you are. No travel required. Nothing external in your life need change. Develop your brain in the right way and you will have an abiding sense of peace and happiness with the exhilaration of feeling gratitude for each moment and everything in it.  People who have taken their brains to these heights say that they are so fulfilled by being alive they could face death in the next moment with no regrets at all!

Sign me up, right?

Your brain becomes the organ of spirituality at its highest stages of development. This is an indescribably valuable destination capable of changing your life in many ways. To boost your journey, here’s some background into your brain’s development, as well as some practical tips to get you going fast.

We’ll begin with the latest piece of information from the field of neuroscience. It is called neuroplasticity. Neuroplasticity is simply the ability of your brain to change with changing circumstances.

We used to think that our brain mainly grew and shaped itself from infanthood to adulthood.  That radical process, we believed, then slowed almost to a halt at adulthood—permanently. Yet, neuroscientists have been increasingly shocked by how capable of development the adult human brain remains.  If, for instance, you have a stroke and lose your ability to write, it is possible to trick the brain into compensating for that ability in ways that can make that disability seem to disappear!

The same extraordinary process has been brought to bear in another area. Throughout the ages people have discovered the incredible state of being called Enlightenment, Awakening or Heaven Within. This tells us that your brain is capable of “developmental neuroplasticity”—of reconnecting and shaping itself to a level well beyond the average adult’s brain development.

What does reconnecting and reshaping your brain to its highest stage of development require? It requires selective activation of circuits of your higher brain—the parts that tell you that you are alive, that you exist and that guide and direct the programming in the rest of your brain. Develop these higher parts enough and you come to see that this moment right now is precious beyond measure! A life-changing realization that alters your priorities, changes your life and brings extraordinary happiness.

To activate your higher brain you must also learn how to selectively let go of, detach from, witness and direct your lower brain. The lower brain roughly consists of mind and body programming. Programming can take over your brain functioning entirely. It is a circumstance you may not always be aware of. Witnessing and directing your lower brain causes you to flow, as if you were easily surfing through life.    

The ability to radically stimulate neuroplastic brain development is great news for another essential reason. An undeveloped brain inevitably leads to stress, frustration with people, grief over aging, disappointment with life, anxieties, fear of the future—to name a few. This condition has been so pervasive in humanity it has been called “the human condition.” Look inside, look around you and you’ll see the human condition everywhere, informing everything.

Neuroplastic higher development tells us that our lives are not fixed. That we’re not stuck in our programmed selves. That we are capable of so much more than we ever realized. That dreams of a perfect life, with external measures of success, pale in comparison to a life of extraordinary inner success.

Right, so isn’t peak neuroplastic development just a goal for religious zealots or those with extraordinary abilities?

It might have been in the past. Previously cloaked in religious ideology or spiritual language, the 21st century, with its modern perspectives and practices, gives you a rare opportunity to develop your brain fully!

This happens through a series of brain development skills I call Inshifting. Inshifting comes with life and wellness strategies that make this process happen even more naturally and quickly. Together, they’re called the SatoriWest Method. This approach and these skills are centered around strengthening what has been known for thousands of years as an “inner eye:” the control mechanism for your higher brain.

Here’s where you get to participate. You already know your inner eye. It’s where you go, what you power up, to imagine a red apple appearing two feet in front of you. (Try that.) It’s where you talk to yourself or imagine hearing yourself saying the words “think,” “think,” inside your head. (Try that.) Notice a little strain that happens, particularly in your eye muscles. Some energy is required for concentration.

Your inner eye is where you go when you want to get out of your way to say type what you are reading or when you play an instrument, sport or video game—all without interference of your programmed mind. (Try noticing that.) It is where you physically balance your body. (Try observing that.) Your inner eye is also where you fully grasp you are alive and spontaneously flow through life.

So, try this inner eye strengthening exercise: For thirty seconds, close your eyes and say your name repeatedly inside your head, as if you can actually hear it. When your mind takes over and causes you to wander, come back to hearing your name as if the last moment never happened. No stress. Eventually, you’ll feel sharper, more grounded and present. Practice this every day or several times a day. Stretch the time to a minute, then five, then 15 minutes and you’ll begin reshaping your brain towards a life of fulfillment and extraordinary wellbeing.

To find out more about the SatoriWest Method, you can sign up for our free “Flex Your Brain” video series at

Dr. Skolnick offers a free introductory video series available on his website at