Breathing Techniques for Relaxation and Peace

Conscious breathing is a highly underrated skill for many of us. However in the yogic traditions, the ancients have always seen the breath as the connection between the physical body and the spirit. Today, modern science has “come to the party” and research demonstrates that conscious breathing techniques can stimulate the Vagus nerve and invoke relaxation, healing and greater inner peace.

Here are some ancient breathing techniques shared by the Chopra Center that will assist you in developing a greater consciousness around your breath and cultivating a sense of relaxation.

Freedom to Change Comes From Acceptance First

Carl Rogers once said, “The curious paradox is that when I accept myself as I am, then I can change.” A paradox indeed – and many of us fear that this kind of radical acceptance will de-motivate us from growing and evolving.

But it turns out to be just the opposite. When we can give ourselves love and tenderness for the light and the dark aspects of our nature, we provide fertile ground for positive change.

The Big White Wall

At our January 2019 Sangha, Dr. John mentioned the website “Big White Wall” – an online 24/7 site offering mental health and wellbeing services. Big White Wall offers self-help programmes, creative outlets and a community that cares. All contact with the site are kept anonymous.

If you need help, Big White Wall offers a support network and guided support. 93% of people who used Big White Wall felt better after making contact and getting help.

Big White Wall is funded by the government of Ontario. To learn more, go to Big White Wall.

How Small, Random Events Can Change A Life

Has a seemingly small event ever changed your life? Has a random meeting ever altered the trajectory of your plans for the future? Has a certain person come into your life –  (in a positive or negative way) – totally unexpectedly, and changed you forever?

Small, seemingly inconsequential events can occur that actually are not so small, or inconsequential. And when we look back, we are grateful that they occurred. If this has ever happened to you, you will relate to this video. And have the kleenex ready – you may need one or two!

Tara Brach: Deep Listening with the Ears of the Heart

Tara Brach is a clinical psychologist and Buddhist meditation teacher. She has written a number of books, and offers many courses that help us navigate through life more skillfully. In this short video, Tara teaches us how to be truly present when we listen to each other with the “ears of the heart.”

The deeply healing power of “being heard” by someone in a non-judgmental way, is truly a gift of compassion and love.

The Science of Well-Being – Free Happiness course offered by Yale University offers many excellent courses – many of them for free!

Currently they are offering, “The Science of Well-Being”, starting on July 23rd, Although you can take this course and pay the tuition fee, it is also offered at no charge provided the student is not looking for an educational credit at the end. The majority (if not all) of the content is available for free and includes videos and articles.

Here is their description of the course:

About this course: “The Science of Well-Being” taught by Professor Laurie Santos overviews what psychological science says about happiness. The purpose of the course is to not only learn what psychological research says about what makes us happy but also to put those strategies into practice. The first part of the course reveals misconceptions we have about happiness and the annoying features of the mind that lead us to think the way we do. The next part of the course focuses on activities that have been proven to increase happiness along with strategies to build better habits. The last part of the course gives learners time, tips, and social support to work on the final assignment which asks learners to apply one wellness activity aka “Rewirement” into their lives for four weeks.


Although I have not taken this course myself (yet!), I have taken other Coursera courses and thoroughly enjoyed them. If you are looking for strategies to increase your happiness, you might want to give this a try!

Jack Kornfield – Free video series, “How Mindfulness can break the cycle of fear and anger”

Fear. Anger……how can we decrease the suffering experienced by these emotions? In this free video series, Jack Kornfield, PhD Clinical Psychologist and Buddhist monk, shares teachings from the wisdom traditions that help us to break away from the bonds of negative emotion and alleviate our suffering.

Click here to sign up for the free video series, “How Mindfulness can break the cycle of fear and anger”