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How to Meditate Your Way to Success

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Learning to meditate was a game changer.

Why you should meditate  When I learned how to meditate my success in life took-off.

Years ago, I read a book titled, “Alpha-Thinking,” by Jess Stearn.

The book was about a two weekend intensive meditation course Stearn took and how it affected him and others in the class.

Unfortunately due to legalities, Stearn was not allowed to name the course he took. All Stearn could say about it without getting sued was that he learned a technique to get his mind into the “Alpha state.” I immediately started practicing on my own based on what I had read in the book. I also began a nine year quest to find this “nameless” seminar. Luckily, I never gave up.

Nine years later, I walked into the supply room of my office where a bright yellow flyer in the trash caught my eye. I fished it out. Miraculously, after reading the description of the seminar, I realized it was the flyer advertising the meditation course I so desperately wanted to take. And, it was starting in one day. (Talk about synchronicity!) I immediately booked my course. The mysterious course was The Silva Mind Method, previously called Silva Mind Control. When I say this course changed me and changed the trajectory of my life I’m not exaggerating.

José Silva (August 11, 1914 - February 7, 1999...

Jose Silva, developer of The Silva Method

The Silva Method is an active form of meditation where you learn how to program your mind to create the results you want in your life. I highly recommend it. I was able to create success after success in my life once I had mastered the techniques created by Jose Silva. He was an incredible man and I was lucky enough to meet him several times.

It was during the Silva course that I understood what had been happening to me throughout my life. I learned I was clairvoyant, which also changed my life.

One of the greatest perks of the course is that you can repeat it over and over for a very nominal charge once you’ve taken it. I’ve repeated the original course eleven times since I first took it in 1986. I plan to repeat it again in 2012.

If you have an opportunity to take the “original” course with a live instructor I would run, not walk. If you can’t find a live instructor I have a link here on my page to the Silva Intuition training series. I’ve done this one and it’s very good too.

As you can see I’m a huge proponent of meditation. I was so passionate about meditation that I later became a meditation instructor for a different form of meditation. Meditation is, in my opinion, the best way to tame your mind, develop spiritually and create more success in life. That’s why I want to share this article from Inc. Magazine with you. The article lists all the reasons why meditation is so miraculous for your life and your success, especially if you’re in a stressful job or in business for yourself.

Why You Should Meditate

THE GOAL: Alleviate stress in the workplace and help promote work-life balance.

Harley Murphy, who heads the Ireland operations of BNY Mellon, used to lie awake at night unable to sleep because of an avalanche of problems facing his division during the banking crisis. ”I’d go to the office each day feeling exhausted and was beginning to feel miserable,” says Murphy. He found it difficult to think clearly and make confident decisions. He looked for ways to get back on track and then, as part of a leadership training session, took a meditation class. After 30 minutes, he began to relax and focus. ”I couldn’t believe it,” says Murphy.

Hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons meditates. So does Ray Dalio, the 61-year-old founder of Bridgewater Associates, the world’s biggest hedge fund. Bill Ford’s a big advocate. Steve Jobs was often associated with the practice. Facebook, Ebay, and General Mills execs are meditators. Google set up separate rooms so senior staff would be able to pursue it. What is meditation? And why should you do it? Among entrepreneurs and business leaders, meditation is an increasingly popular seated practice that encourages alertness in the present moment, a pause to relax and focus, and, ultimately, a recentering to lead better.

Over the past decade, wellness programs, specifically those that emphasize improving employee physical fitness and nutrition, have received significant funding from corporate human resources programs. The goal: alleviate stress in the workplace and help promote work-life balance. Recently meditation got a toehold too, riding the increasing popularity of Eastern traditions, from yoga to Zen Buddhism.

”It’s a case for performance,” says executive coach Ray Williams who has spent the past 12 years helping leaders take off the edge. ”Because leaders are under so much stress and because there is that performance requirement you have to look at how to be much more productive and better at what you do.”

Meditation is not just about finding yourself. Scientific studies show the positive affects of meditation on the brain. Last year, an article in Psychiatry Research Neuroimaging by researchers from Harvard Medical School, University of Massachusetts Medical School, and the Bender Institute of Neuroimaging in Germany, found that brain activity changed in a group of 16 participants who had not previously meditated. Among the enhancements: learning and memory processes, emotional regulation, and perspective taking. Meanwhile a study at American University published in 2009 in Cognitive Processing found that college students who meditated experienced enhanced brain activity. Here’s how:

Focus on what matters. What the scientific research is getting at, says Michael Carroll, who teaches meditation as part of becoming a more mindful leader, is that meditation can help leaders pay attention to what really matters. ”There is so much information coming at us, we struggle to remain agile which is the most critical leadership skill. The practice teaches us to slow down instead of trying to be faster, better, or quicker, and rush past our experience instead of trying to have it.”

More control. Meditation enables leaders to stay in the present moment as opposed to worrying about the next dismal economic report or upcoming quarterly earning. Not that those things are not important. ”Often leaders get caught up in what happens next versus what is in front of them right now,” explains Williams, the executive coach. By dealing with what you can control and letting go of what you cannot, you can make better decisions. It also helps to approach problems in a non-judgmental and non-reactive way. The more in control you are, the more you can focus on what you are going to do. ”Really great leaders are in complete control of their emotions even in the worst situations,” he adds.

Better stress management. The best part about meditation is that anyone can do it–anywhere–for free. ”This is something that executives can do anytime, while waiting in line at an airport, or waiting at a stop light in the car,” according to Dr. Martyn Newman, author of Emotional Captalists: The New Leaders, and managing director of leadership consulting firm RocheMartin. You don’t have to go off on a ten-day mountain retreat, or take up yoga or tai chi. Dr. Newman recently taught meditation skills to executives at one of Asia’s largest telecommunications companies and reports that participants said they were better prepared to handle stress and conflict and felt more productive after practicing meditation techniques.

How do you do it? Here are five easy steps to meditate and establish calm.

1. Pause. Turn off cell phones, blackberries, and computers, and give yourself a moment of quiet. The immediate physical impact: blood pressure decreases, and brain activity is less frenzied.

2. Get comfortable. Get into a favorite chair or sit on a cushion. The physical environment should not be a distraction.

3. Focus on your breath. Observe the in-and-out flow of your breath, and stay focused on that sensation. Breathe from your diaphragm not your chest.

4. Clear your mind. Put the to-do list aside. ”Think to yourself, ‘I’ll catch up with this thought later,’ not ‘Don’t think of this because it will only make your mind wander’,” says Williams.

5. Practice every day. A meditation session can be as short as five minutes, sitting on the edge of the bed when you first wake up. There is no formula. Make it work for you.”

The proof is in the sales numbers

When I was a regional manager for a large financial company I would hold sales meetings. Before each meeting I had everyone follow me in a guided meditation. We visualized our team exceeding all our sales goals and – do you what? We did. We led our division quarter after quarter.

Meditation works. Try it. Give yourself a gift and take the Silva course. You’ll never regret it. I know I haven’t.

Do you meditate? What method do you use? How has it affected your life?

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35 Comments

  1. Learning to slow down and watch what goes on in your own mind can have an amazing impact on your life. Suddenly you’re in control, not your monkey mind.

    Thank you for sharing this Angela! I’ll definitely have to check out the Silva Method. I’ve heard of it for quite a while but have never delved into it.
    Paige | simple mindfulness recently posted..I Want To Change the World and I Want It Done Yesterday!

    Reply
  2. Wonderful post. I agree with you. I had almost the exact same experience – by learning to meditate and seeing the results at work, almost immediately. Oh, the attitude change was tremendous. Even though I always projected positive vibes, meditation made it even better. I use prayer basically – focused chanting.

    I am thrilled to read this post.
    Vidya Sury recently posted..The Haiku Challenge 2012 – Day 20 – Affirmation

    Reply
  3. Thank you so much for this great post and all the information that you provide. The article that you’ve shared is very interesting and gives some new and unique point about meditation that I have not heard before. Meditation is also an important part of my life, and I have tried many different types of meditation. Now, my next goal is to work with brainwaves so I can get into these alpha, theta or delta states, though I do not know much about them yet.
    Thank you for posting!
    Jessica

    Reply
  4. Henry Czuprinski

    Cool article.
    I’ve looked into the Silva Intuition course but haven’t decided if it’s right for me just now as things are rather busy and I may not have time to make the most of it just now..
    I’d heard of Eckhardt Tolle , but recently stumbled across some clips of him at you tube and discovered who he is.
    Right now I’m reviewing the 10 ( 90 min) free webcasts he did with Oprah
    http://www.oprah.com/oprahsbookclub/A-New-Earth-Are-You-Ready-to-be-Awakened
    and had a significant experience after the first segment. (A profound deepening of my daily Chi Gong meditation, … like flipping the off switch in my mental process.
    I don’t entirely agree with his version (interpretation) of spiritual realities, as presented in this format, but every teacher has his own perspective, and I’ve learned a few crucial things from his talks that are new to me, and very useful.

    Reply
    • Hi Henry,
      Many years ago when the Silva course started out there was only one basic course that covered everything from meditation to healing to psychic development.
      It’s only recently that they broke up the main course into separate parts to sell online.
      I would say you might want to look into the Silva Life Series – this is first part of the course where you’re taught “systems” for how to solve problems.
      I have read both, “The Power of Now” and “The New Earth Awakening” by Tolle. I don’t think you have to “agree” with everything he writes or says. Just take what resonates with you for now.
      We are all “works in progress” so we are (hopefully) always evolving and that includes our ideas and awareness of the “reality” surrounding us.
      It’s so nice to hear from you and have you comment Henry. Thank you.

      Reply
  5. Oh wow…this makes another similar thing that we share. I attended The Silva training workshop – both the basic and advanced – a few years ago. I also bought the online version to continue practicing. You have just inspired me to retake the course physically. I may also persuade my husband to attend for the first time with me too.
    Evelyn Lim recently posted..12 Days of Christmas Magic 2011

    Reply
    • Hi Evelyn,
      Oh my goodness, really? Wow! That’s amazing.
      When I first took it in 1986 there was no online version, you had to take it with an instructor.
      I was going to become an instructor myself so I took all the Silva workshops they offered at the time; the Basic Lecture series, Healing, and the advanced.
      I was lucky enough to have two of those courses taught by Jose, the healing and the advanced. For the advanced we had to spend 10 days in Laredo, Texas at the Silva Headquarters. It was very intense.
      I do think you should take your husband. Silva is the “grandfather” of all these new methods. Many successful people started out by doing Silva.
      Let me know what he thinks afterward!

      Reply
  6. Rosemarie

    Excellent roundup on meditation. I would have to say that for me the Silva Method has been the best and most powerful of all the courses/techniques I’ve been exposed to.

    Reply
    • Hi Rosemarie,
      The Silva Method does the heavy lifting for the Law of Attraction as far as I’m concerned.

      Reply
  7. Hi Angela,

    Love the post. I do meditate and I believe it has changed my life in very positive ways. We all need that time to just replenish, and to give our minds a rest from all the input that we are receiving. Now more than ever with technology coming from all directions is meditation essential to our well being. We all feel overloaded with information at times, and meditation is what we need to feel calm and peaceful. Thanks for sharing!
    Cathy | Treatment Talk recently posted..The Power of YOGA for Your Recovery: 15 Reasons to Start Practicing (Part 3)

    Reply
    • Hi Cathy,
      Wonderful summary in your comment of the reasons to meditate!
      When I started meditating as a teenager, it was just to escape the tension in my home. I didn’t even have a telephone in my bedroom!
      We had one in our kitchen and one in the upstairs hallway. Now, I meditate to escape the constant babble created in this digital age.
      Thank you so much for coming by and commenting.

      Reply
  8. Focused oneness into a calmer, more peaceful yet potent zone may well be the discipline of many fitness people in the coming years in my opinion Angela. Physical plus mental plus spiritual becomes the ultimate state and more people will seek this out. Meditate to hibernate to activate to illuminate!
    John Sherry recently posted..How To Get To The Top

    Reply
    • Hi John,
      I think you’ve hit on something big. When we meditate become calmer and more focused and consequently more successful at whatever it is we have chosen to do.
      Isn’t there something called “sports visualization?” Where you visualize yourself doing your sport perfectly? I may not have the correct name but I do know it works and I’m sure you know all about it too.
      It’s such a pleasure to have you visit John!
      All my best to you.

      Reply
      • Henry Czuprinski

        Was it you who mentioned Tiger Wood and his ability to uncannily focus?
        Actually it was Oprah…. as I now recall…
        She mentioned this online, and I had the vision that he may also possess a subtle form of telekenisis.. It’s entirely feasable IMO.
        Decades ago when I was a figure skater, I was attempting to learn a new, challenging jump, and I had the inner cue to imagine it, and break it down to visualize the varied positions required.
        To my surprise, I performed and landed it very the first time. My first double turn jump was learned the same way. Haven’t used visualization since then , but I’m convinced it’s a way to learn things when one has no physical coach-trainer.

        Reply
        • Hi Henry,
          That’s fascinating. No, I didn’t mention Tiger Woods in my article. I did mention in one of the comments that using visualization in sports training is very common.
          I think they call that “mental golf.” It is a perfectly valid training method. I do believe that coaches now have their players go over the “plays” in their minds as well as doing physical practice.
          I have no doubt that once you performed the jump in your mind you were able to perform it perfectly when you did it.
          I’m glad you came back to share this with us.

          Reply
  9. I did my first guided meditation this summer and loved it! I didn’t think I would but it was incredible. I’ll check out the Silva method.
    Betsy at Zen Mama recently posted..Some Inspirational Buys And A Zen Mama Give Away!

    Reply
    • Hi Betsy,
      I’m so glad you’re going to check out Silva. It’s incredible. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.
      And, thank you so much for sharing my book on your site too.

      Reply
  10. I love that you took meditation and visualization into the corporate world. It’s much needed there, often not found there and the proof is in your numbers. :)

    Loved the synchronicity of you “magically” seeing the yellow paper and being able to take the course. When life offers up a game changer, we’ve got to take it. I haven’t heard of the Silva Mind Method, but I take your recommendations as gold – especially after your suggestion about tapping. If Angela says do “this” I listen!
    Aileen | Kaizen Vision recently posted..Finding Gratitude – How to be Thankful in Difficult Times

    Reply
    • Hi Aileen,
      I hope you had a nice Thanksgiving!
      I’m so happy you found this post worthwhile.
      I do highly, highly recommend Silva. If you get an opportunity you should do it and you would love it.

      Reply
  11. Great reminder Angela! As Deepak Chopra says, “Meditation is not a way of making your mind quiet. It is a way of entering into the quiet that is already there? buried under the 50,000 thoughts the average person thinks every day.”

    Reply
    • Stacey,
      Welcome. It’s a pleasure having you visit.
      That’s a fabulous quote from Chopra. Thank you so much for sharing it with us here!

      Reply
  12. Hi Angela,
    Thank you for this wonderful post! I went to the Silva sight and found their method so intriguing that I am inspired to try it! Although I do meditate, I do believe there are different approaches and the combination of science and natural phenomena always fascinates me. You are always an inspiration.
    Jenny
    Jenny Hones recently posted..Do You Believe in Karma?

    Reply
    • Hi Jenny,
      It’s so nice to see you! I hope you had a marvelous Thanksgiving.
      I’m glad you found the Silva site so intriguing. Please let me know if you do try it.

      Reply
  13. I’ve looked into the Silva method a few times, and each time I get the intuitive message that it’s not for me. It sounds really cool, like something I’d like to try, but perhaps it’s not the time or isn’t part of my path.

    Lately I’ve been thinking of doing a family meditation each day. Gathering the three of us together as a family, and either talking us through a guided meditation, or simply sitting together in a peaceful state, or maybe a combination of the two. I think it would be a good experience.
    Eric | Eden Journal recently posted..Complaining Your Day Away

    Reply
    • Eric,
      You have to respect your gut. Maybe it isn’t for you or it isn’t the right time. If ever it “speaks” to you that’s the right time!
      I like the idea of a family meditation. I think it would be a good experience.

      Reply
  14. I have a daily meditation practice. This year I’ve been doing some training in the Shambhala tradition–a mindfulness meditation method, which includes contemplations and loving kindness meditation. I try to meditate every morning, and I manage to more mornings than not! I know my day starts off much better when I do. This was a very interesting article. I had not heard of the Silva method. Thanks for all the information.
    Galen Pearl recently posted..My Plan B Family

    Reply
    • Hi Galen,
      I’m so glad to hear that you find yourself meditating most mornings. I think it helps make our day get off to a good start.
      Let me know what you think after checking out Silva.

      Reply
  15. You know what I love?

    Meditating when I’m in Theta. No emotional turmoil, no thoughts. Just the flow of being. I’ve been trying out some guided meditations as well, which are good. Thinking of using some for astral projections as I’ve had troubles focusing my mind lately.

    I will so try out the Silva mind course. I’ve read the book, but never had the chance to try out the live course. Maybe I will after a time.

    Reply
    • Hi Sol,
      I’m glad you to hear you’ve found a good way to manage your emotions.
      That’s important.
      Glad to hear that you will try Silva too. Let me know how it works for you.

      Reply
  16. Hi Angela,

    Well, I’ve been meditating since I was 18 and learned TM, moved into Kriya Yoga a decade or so later, and for about the last 8 years or so I practice Vipassana instead. (I switch around between the last two.) But I heartily agree that meditation can play an important role in our lives and I recommend all 3 of these types (oh, TM is Transcendental Meditation).

    But I’m commenting to thank you for mentioning the Silva Method. I’ve heard of it but that’s it, I know nothing about it at all! Now you’ve got me curious. Thanks for sharing about it! Since you so highly recommend it, I just have to check it out. ;-)
    Patti Foy | Lightspirited Being recently posted..Let Yours Be the Spirit of the Holidays: Join Me Here For a Free Course by Sonia Choquette

    Reply
    • Hi Patti,
      I wanted to take TM but the cost stopped me. Then I found Sahaja Yoga and it was free and you didn’t need a mantra to become “thoughtless.”
      I’m glad you want to check out Silva. It has been extremely beneficial in my life.

      Reply
  17. Wow, you’ve sold me on the idea, I’m going to check it out! I LOVE the part you wrote about meditation before your sales meetings! Love it!
    sheila recently posted..Free eCards – New from Zen-Sational Living!

    Reply
    • Hi Sheila,
      I’m glad you found this post helpful. My boss thought I was a little whacky then. This was back in the early 1990s.
      I’d like to think I was not “whacky” just ahead of my time. I’m sure he’s well aware of the benefits of meditation by now.

      Reply
  18. Thank you for this timely article, Angela!

    I need to get back to a better practice. I have used the Jon Kabat-Zinn Cds and love his calming voice. I lost the CD (or I think I loaned it to someone else) and let my regular meditation schedule decrease. But what I am finding out is that is a lame excuse:)

    I will check out some of the methods you suggest. I think this time of year is especially important for me to keep up the practice, with all the holiday busy-ness and stress!
    In Harmony,
    Jen ?

    Reply
    • Hi Jen,
      I’m glad to hear that you’re going back to the practice of meditation.
      It is truly miraculous. I highly recommend The Silva Method.

      Reply

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