Training Live and Dare – Master your mind
Hello, I wanted to talk to you about my experience with the Master your mind – Beginner’s meditation course which I did in March 2018. This training is available on the website https://liveanddare.com/. It was set up by Giovanni Dienstmann, who is a meditation teacher, coach, author and has been practicing meditation for over 17 years. His site is filled with interesting information and I subscribe to this training. It is a training which consists in meditating daily during 35 days which comes to 5 weeks. Each week, a new form of meditation is presented and the time spent on meditation increases each week.
Why did I susbscribe
As a practitioner of guided meditations for several years, I always want to improve the guided meditations that I offer you. I build my experience and journey by reading, meditating and participating to different trainings, like this one. No need to be an expert to indulge in meditation. It is a training that can be acquire over time. The key is to give yourself a few minutes per day to train your mind so you can feel the benefits of meditation. The training Master your mind, joins this philosophy.
Meditations with or without medium
Most of the time, I use guided meditations or relaxation music as a medium for meditation. In this training, I performed all meditations in complete silence, without any medium. I can tell you that it was difficult at times to stay focused, despite my experience of meditation. I think the two complement each other because the vibrations of the two are different and lead to an expanded vision of meditation.
Week 1 – Breathing technique
The first week was quite easy since the duration of the meditations is 2 to 3 minutes. The technique is simple and it is about counting the breaths. Variants are available in the week on how to count the breaths. I found the exercise rather simple and these small successes motivated me to continue the training. The goal of the first week is to establish a habit and to commit oneself firmly to one’s meditation activity, without judgment, without guilt, without analysis. The idea is to create a space in the day and to integrate a routine for these few minutes daily. The notion of commitment is important, and every day, we must reaffirm our commitment to practice. Basically, the commitment we make is towards ourselves and for our own well-being.
Week 2 – Breathing sensation technique
In the second week, the duration varies from 3 to 7 minutes. The goal of the second week is to strengthen the habit of practice, improve posture and concentration. The technique used is the same as the first week by counting the breaths and focusing on the sensations of breathing. We are invited to use a timer for the duration of the meditation. For my part, I used the timer of my Ipad and I chose the soft sound of a chime to gently get me out of the meditation.
Week 3 – Mantra meditation technique
In the third week, the goal is to improve sessions and focus. The duration is increased and varies from 8 to 10 minutes. I loved meditation with a mantra. The author invites us to choose his own mantra. It can be a word or a phrase having a particular vibration for oneself, for example, love. He suggests we use the OM or So-Ham mantra. The So-Ham mantra comes from Sanskrit and is pronounced So-Hum. Which means I am. It is very simple and effective.
Week 3 – My own mantra meditation technique
I used a hybrid technique, at this point, that I kept as my own technique. At the inspiration, I say to myself “I inhale the energy“. At the expiration, I recite the mantra OM. If my mind leaves the mantra to go into my head and into thoughts, I come back to the technique of counting. This helps me clear my mind by coming back to breathing and counting. Then, I return into the mantra meditation.
You must never judge yourself during meditation. There is no good meditation or bad meditation. It’s absolutely not a competition. There is no success, no failure, but only the training of the mind. There is no point in comparing to others. The important thing is to progress. Depending on the day, our level of energy, our level of concentration, meditation can be more or less easy. It is a training of the mind and it is there for you and for your well-being. It is by trying different techniques and experiences, that you will come to find what works for you and that is exactly why, I found this training interesting.
Week 4 – Chakras meditation technique
From day 22, the goal of the week is to refine your attitude to practice and bring mindfulness into everyday life. The proposed technique is to meditate on chakras. During this week, Giovanni suggest to meditate on the heart and the third eye chakras. The duration for this new week is 11 to 13 minutes. This technique requires a little more concentration than the previous ones and it was not uncommon for my mind to glide towards my thoughts.
Week 4 – My own chakras meditation technique
I had already practiced the chakra meditation before by visualizing the 7 centers of energy in loop. This time, it was more difficult to focus on only one chakra. I spent a few days mainly with the heart chakra, imagining the green color associated with it. Subsequently, I found it easier to visualize the 7 energy centers with their colors. It allowed me to feel the flow of my different energy centers. You will find the list of chakras and their color in my article on the 5 most popular types of meditation. During this particular week, I become aware of an important element which I will talk about later in this post, in my lessons learned.
Week 5 – Loving kindness meditation technique
In the fifth week, the goal is to master your mind, deepen your practice and integrate it into your life. This technique brings concentration to the level of emotions and the duration varies from 13 to 15 minutes. It allows you to feel love and kindness for yourself and for others. From the bottom of your heart, you wish happiness and well-being for yourself and for all living beings. There are several steps that are explained in the training.
Week 5 – The road of self love
This technique was the most difficult for me. It is about generating a feeling of love and kindness for yourself, without thinking about your shortcomings, without thinking about your faults or defaults. It is hard work and it requires a lot of humility. Self-forgiveness is necessary to live this feeling of love with sincerity. At times, I felt the confrontation between the need for love and the fear of love. To love our self is a responsibility that requires attention and care. Self-love must be unconditional. It is a difficult path sometimes. Self-forgiveness and putting our ego on the side is a tough but necessary thing to work on. Meditation, whether guided or not, brings us to this path of self-love and kindness for all beings, including our self.
Lesson learned #1 – No judgement
I learned not to judge myself in this meditation journey. I learned how to use basic techniques and mixing techniques to concentrate and return to meditation. I have learned that loving kindness of our self and others can be carried outside of meditation. It can be transported in our 24 hours of the day. I have always been caring for others but not enough for myself. By becoming caring for myself, I am even more kind to others, without the feeling that I give more than I receive. I realize that the flow of loving kindness energy, to me and to others, flows in my being and that feeling is right and good.
Lesson learned #2 – Loving kindness
As mentioned in the section before, loving kindness is the main element that I retain from this training. I greatly thank Giovanni for this simple concept. There are certain things that we know but that we do not integrate into our lives or that we are not ready to receive from life. I was ready to receive this lesson of loving kindness.
Lesson learned #3 – Knowledge
I learned that I knew a lot and very little about meditation. I realized that my experience with guided meditations and my journey are both valid. I will continue to learn and I will love to learn all my life. I learned that I was able to keep this commitment to meditation and especially to myself. I understood that I was on the right track by offering guided meditations to people who are seeking well-being and healing. I understood that my loving kindness can have a positive impact on the personal and spiritual growth of others.
General technical aspects
Access to this training is very simple. Following the purchase, you receive a link that allows you to log in with your code and password. It’s easy to follow the sequence of weeks and modules. With a simple click each day, the training of the day is available and you can easily go from one day to another and go back. Every day, a PDF file is available and be directly read on the screen and easy to read. Added to this is a voice recording of the course and sometimes a guided meditation by the author. Everything is downloadable. The PDFs are full of references that point to the articles on the site. I can imagine that the author of this training took a long time to refine his product before offering it on the Web to neophytes of meditation.
The program is very well organized. Every day, there is a new notion or technique to introduce. Steps are repeated to be able to retain them and integrate them into your practice. For example, when preparing for meditation, the author repeats the basic elements such as posture, commitment, state of mind, etc. Repetition brings us into a state of trust in practice from one day to the next.
Every day, the author offers a Learn more section. These are additional readings, the benefit of the day, an answer to a question and the clarification of a myth in relation to meditation. Even if the 35 days are done, the training is never completed. Access to training remains available and it is always possible to go back and read or listen to the material again.
Cost of this training
This training is at a cost of 59$ US. If the training interests you, you can go directly to the site Live and Dare and send an email mentioning my name in reference to Giovanni. I have no partnership with the author and I am talking about his training because I just loved it and his web site is full of quality content.
What happens after?
I continue my daily practice and my readings. I am also taking other experiences and training which I will talk to you about. The guided meditations that I will continue to offer you will be colored with all these experiences.
I wish you to experience meditation, whether guided or not, happiness and well-being.
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Check out my guided meditation on Youtube. You can get the MP3 version on my online shop.
May your life be filled with colors, joy and loving kindness.
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