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. But 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. He conducted a series of experiments on popular meditation techniques and published his findings in the book "The Relaxation Response." He discovered that meditation has a "real effect on reducing stress and controlling the fight-or-flight response." 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. Once you're fully comfortable (you can sit or lie down) close your eyes. Focus your attention of your breathing throughout your entire meditation session. Count your breaths. You can even say the numbers out loud to discourage your mind from wandering to other thoughts. Another way to control wandering thoughts when you're in a meditation session is to use imagery. Imagery is very popular in meditation. Music is also a popular way to help mind concentration during meditation. 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. But 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.

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Special vs. Extraordinary

Don’t Sacrifice the Vital for the Trivial!

Are you driven to be special? To be recognized for a special talent, accomplishment or trait? Or just to be recognized for anything? Then here’s the question: Are you pursuing specialness at the expense of what is more powerful, lasting and true: extraordinariness?

There are 300 billion other stars in the Milky Way galaxy. And 500 billion galaxies in the universe. Earth is an incomprehensible speck. It’s less important than a single electron on planet Earth.

How do we handle that insignificance?

Before Copernicus in the 16th century, people believed the sun was the center of the universe. No rational person can argue that now.

Our belief in that reality went beyond simply not having enough information back then. I would argue that the problem resides in our human brain.

The human brain’s mind is software. It’s software used to organize the world and ensure its survival.  To do that the mind is programmed to put itself at the center of everything. Everything is about it — us!

Assuming that you don’t really risk survival, what is the driving force of your software called your mind? When you’ve had all the food you can eat and no one is threatening to eat you, what is there to do with that powerful force called your mind?

The answer: Survival II. Your survival programming causes your mind to use your considerable intelligence to find ways to avoid the reality that we are not going to survive life. One way to do that: feel special.

We are driven to be “better than,” to feel significant because we are worthy of admiration. It almost seems as if we, as individuals, as part of a gender, class, religion, race, species “need” to feel special. And when we don’t feel special, we can get depressed and suffer with low self-esteem. Or we get more aggressively driven to be special. Look around the world and you’ll see just how aggressive that can get.

I admit, that is part of my motivation to establish myself as a speaker, author and creator of a LifeClub model that I hope will change the world.

Yet, it is oppressive to try to be special. It’s a relentless, losing battle. Because in this vast universe, as one of billions of other members of a species, we are not all that different. No talent or accomplishment can ever be enough for us to avoid the stark and poignant reality that we aren’t going to make it.

No one is really immune from the search for specialness — whether it is to find specialness in our role as parents, in our deeds, our accomplishments or in the characteristics we are born with. That is, until we transcend our mind programming!

How do you transcend your mind’s programming?

When you strengthen your higher brain, which is your ability to be self-aware, over your lower brain, which is your mind, you begin to transcend. That’s when amazing things happen. The self-centric, anthropocentric way of analyzing data, of seeing the world, changes.

That’s when extraordinary emerges.

“But hey, you just said we are only one in billions of members of a species, on a small planet in an incomprehensible vast, seemingly limitless universe. How do you find extraordinary there?”

By relooking at the facts. Realistically and objectively look at what had to happen for you to be here. Here are a few data points — none of which had to happen!:

·         The universe had to come into existence from a void of nothingness.
·         Matter congealed and exploded into trillions of stars.
·         On one remote galaxy, in its protective outer band, exists one planet at just the perfect distance from its star, with just the right nutrients and an abundance of a rare and unique molecule called water.
·         Those nutrients and water had to form into a replicable entity called life.
·         Life evolved via an astronomical number of accidents into such complexity that it woke up and came alive to know its own existence.
·         Your parents had to “meet.”
·         One sperm out of millions hit one egg out of hundreds.
·         And here you are. Born. Here. Now. Alive. Experiencing this miraculousness of this moment.

You won a cosmic lottery.

It doesn’t matter how many humans are alive or have been alive. It doesn’t matter how many other individuals of other species are alive — whether one-celled organisms or other primates. Any living thing faced astronomical odds to exist.

So, how insanely lucky are you to be a human who knows you are alive? Who is able to feel the extraordinariness of that knowing?  It doesn’t matter how many other people win a million dollars, you’d still be lucky to win it too.

And, to be born into this progressive, more humane century, in a millennium ripe with possibilities…

Don’t bother working or stressing to be special. It’s a terminal distraction! You are already extra-ordinary. Truly extraordinary!

Learn more about this at

Sunday, May 25, 2014

The Third Jewel of Life

People, who need people, are the…well, actually, everyone!

The missing ingredient to a life of happiness, wellbeing and Enlightenment is the so-called “Third Jewel of Life”—community. Find out what this ancient structure and practice looks like when professionally-engineered using 21st century principles and practices.

Have you heard of the three jewels of Buddhism: Buddha, Dharma and Sangha? These can also be thought of as the three jewels of life. “Buddha” represents the highest experience humans are capable of; Dharma, the path, the instructions to find your highest self; and Sangha, the community, the people you will need to actualize the instructions so you can find the highest experience of human existence.

This third jewel, the Sangha, is often misunderstood and given short shrift. In and elsewhere in philosophy, mental health and wellness circles you’ll see lots written about our highest potential, about, say, what happiness is. I’ve written a few blogs on the subject myself. [links]

Then there’s lots and lots out there on how to find this highest level of being human. From the right physical formula, like why exercise is so critical or that perfect supplement. Of course, cognitive psychology offers much on happiness, as do books on finding the ideal relationship, living a moral life, bringing success into your life, finding your passion, not to mention spiritual paths and exercises. Again, I’ve written a book and have a website devoted to a wholistic version of these instructions.

There are lots and lots of instructions out there. Lots. Tons. Volumes. (You get the point.) There is no shortage of ways to tell people how to live and what to do to find the highest experience of life. So why is the world so filled with stress and unhappiness? Why has it been that way?  Buddha, Jesus, Ghandi, scores of other life masters from ancient to modern times have provided excellent examples of the destination. Tomes have been written about how to get there.

Yet, it is fairly safe to say that most people are not happy. Most people are stressed, frustrated by others, disappointed in life, and depressed on whatever level they wish to admit it. Rich or poor, young or old, man or woman, we all suffer life- no matter how much surface luck we bring to the table.

The missing ingredient is this third jewel: Sangha. Now, it is well-known that belonging to a close knit community is highly correlated with wellness and happiness. Yet, close-knit communities are not the answer to human strife. They have existed throughout human history. People in them still struggle with life, meaning and happiness.

Sangha or “community” can be redefined and engineered to the standards of 21st century thinking on wellness and human potential. Such a modern Sangha would have several key elements.

First, there are the other members. This includes countless other fellow journeyers on a similar path of evolution. Within this larger group there must be a smaller group of intimates that are especially connected. I don’t mean group therapy. Just a smaller group of fellow journeyers who learn over time that supporting you and hearing your life stories without judgment enriches them. They need to share their intimate stories with you and the community to evolve themselves as well. A powerful culture of kind, nonjudgmental attention needs to be created.

This is a kind of post-modern, intentional “tribe.” Though it would be nice to form this with family and friends, usually it is best formed with an intentional group of people there just for that purpose. The tenets of communication, sharing and boundaries, the spirit of that specifically engineered group, can then be taken back to your family and friends so that they can relate in similar ways.  Leading this “intentional tribe” is a trained facilitator who knows how to nurture this experience.

In addition, this post-modern Sangha would be led by professionals with expertise in human potential. Their role is to provide a model for self-evolution, keeping everyone on-track towards their highest selves. Other professionals with specific expertise in wellness would be essential in teaching everyone how to create intense wellbeing. This would include, for example, experts in physical, mental or social wellness as well as the best ways to succeed in modern life.

For those inevitable times when you are stuck or even ill, this 21st century vision would even include clinics staffed with professionals who can provide more direct assistance—from health care to financial, psychological, to consumer assistance.

There is a sea of self-help books and programs out there. Yet, there is nothing like a wholistic, comprehensive and professionally-engineered Sangha. It is the missing ingredient to most people’s happiness and wellbeing. The 21st century “third jewel of life.” Find it, create it, do whatever it takes to join one, because that’s the channel, the conduit, to your highest self. It is the wings on which you will soar to life at its highest.

For more information on Dr. Skolnick and his SatoriWest LifeClubs go to 

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Join us for a workshop at East West Bookshop this Saturday

Jeff is leading a workshop at East West Bookshop this Saturday at 11am. Click the link below to learn more. We'd love to see you there.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Best Treatment For Depression: Retrain Your Brain to Stop Stress From Overpowering Your Life

The SatoriWest LifeClub was designed to help people change their lives. It can help you be happier, healthier, more at peace and grateful. Watch this 2 minute video to learn more about the benefits of being in a LifeClub.

The video above walked through the benefits of a LifeClub. If you are still wondering what it means to be part of a LifeClub, the video below offers an overview of what the SatoriWest LifeClub is.

Click here to view the video

Monday, February 17, 2014

Powerful Brain Exercises: Can Life be Perfect?

Can life be perfect? Here’s some news: We’re all programmed to seek an ideal life, partner, job, income, family…self, etc., etc. It’s in our nature. So can we ever find perfection in any or all of those things? Or are we destined to be frustrated? The answer may surprise you…

Let’s establish two very important points.

First, every one of us struggles throughout life — some more than others. Even the one person on the planet who struggles the least still faces significant challenges — a poignant struggle — just because they’re a mortal human. It really isn’t easy being us…you!

Equally true, most humans are capable of living in blissful peace and a natural high — feeling fulfilled each moment. That’s been known since ancient times. Realizing this on some level, most of us yearn for the life of which we can only dream.

So, how do you get from one end to the other, from the distress that comes with being a human to the peak life of which people are capable? To help you begin that journey, let’s begin with this provocative question: Can life be perfect?

Most of you thinkers will immediately shake your head and say, “Of course not. Nothing is perfect.” Or, “What does perfect even mean? It’s not definable.”

Some of you more emotive readers will say, “Of course, everything is just perfect the way it is.” You know, the ”it’s all good” folks. (Of course, often that’s until is isn’t.)

To answer this crucial question, here are a few things you should know.

First, people tend to equate ‘perfect’ with ‘ideal.’ I think they’re different. ‘Ideal’ to me means that you have some preconceived vision.  That you are imagining an idyllic, quintessential, stereotypical best life or thing. Those notions usually get implanted into us from our childhood and popular culture, even though — dare I say  — we think they are our own.

Second, we are all — all of us — programmed to seek an ideal life, the ideal mate, children, parents, childhood, vacation, future, job, personality, outfit for the party…you get the idea.

Do those things exist?  No, actually. They’re only ideal in your mind. Some things may come close: “Hey, I do look good” or “Wow, my kids are awesome.” But this usually comes with a: “yes, but if only _____ were a bit more….”

Most of the time life, mates, children, parents, childhood, the future….you, don’t even come close to your hopes and expectations. We could all write a book on dashed hopes and expectations. (That happens, by the way, even when things go “well” by all accounts. Think about the unhappy lives of some rich and famous people.)

In other words, there is no ideal anything. Nothing in reality can meet the high bar your mind can create. Which is why many of you would answer my query with: “Absolutely not, life cannot be perfect.” And in a sense, you’d be right.

However, ’perfect’ can mean something else. It can mean some inherent, built-in quality that something has just because it exists. You can see this the easiest when you’re truly in-love.

When you’re in-love with a person, place or thing, such as a baby, a lover or a house, that helps you come closest to seeing its “perfection.” You love “your old house” not in spite of the fact that it isn’t modern or big, but because you see its quirks as having charm or warmth — maybe loaded with memories. When you’re in-love, you appreciate the fact that your lover has some body feature others wouldn’t find all that appealing. To you it makes him or her “cute.” The baby’s pooping and peeing is adorable when you’re in-love with it (a condition usually reserved for grandparents).

So, I ask you again, can life be perfect?

Yes, if you’re in-love with it! That’s the key to blissful peace and a natural high. To feeling fulfilled each moment.

So, what does it take to experience life that way??? That $64,000 dollar question has everything to do with how you align your brain!

If you want to begin realigning your brain, so you can find the perfection in your life, I have a free video series you can watch. It includes two deceptively simple, yet powerful brain exercises. Find them at