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{ MIND, BODY, SPIRIT }

CAN MEDITATION SAVE YOUR LIFE? BY ALANA CAHOON

Have you ever had one of those moments where you thought you couldn’t take it any longer? Where you’ve just had enough? Received devastating news or suffered a debilitating injury? Most of us have. We’ve survived. Sometimes only by a heart string. Imagine, then the 12 boys and their 25 year old coach visiting a tourist spot in a cave in Thailand when suddenly, the rain became so intense that they couldn’t leave. In fact they were forced to move further and further into the depths of the cold dark cave. The rains didn’t stop. The waters rose.

out. It was a silent retreat located 8,000 feet high in the mountains of Pagosa Springs. Praying for the boys’ survival became part of our 12 day training. At the time, no one was aware that the 25 year old coach had been a Buddhist monk. Now, in retrospect I realize what a coincidence that was! Of course, you didn’t need to be at a spiritual retreat to close your eyes and send loving prayers to the boys. The world was on it.

For 18 days they were stranded. With no food or water. Here’s what they did have. A young coach who knew how to quiet the mind. He taught the boys how to meditate. “Ekapol (name of coach) helped keep the boys breathing and emotionally balanced during the crisis, and also readied them for their hours-long treacherous escape guided by expert cave divers. In the process, he also gave them vital tools they needed — specifically, teaching them how to tap into their own tranquility and inner stillness. He taught them how to keep themselves calm; a minor but magnificent distinction.” Thai soccer coach meditated with boys to calm them in the cave. We can all learn from them. The Washington Post July 11, 2018 I was at Tara Mandala, a Tibetan Retreat Center in Colorado when the news broke 360

ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: SEPTEMBER 2018

How do you survive? To what means? How creative can you be? How ruthless must you be? What do you value? What do you do?! Meditate. Yes! This is truly a decision I can swear by. Because once we are ‘out of our heads’ meaning out of the possible storylines of what if’s, we can start to breathe again. Begin to trust. Move more slowly, deliberately. Calmly. This is truly what it means to stay steady in the midst of the storm. While this is an extreme circumstance, one that most individuals or corporations only hypothesize, it is a wake up call to all of us. How do we manage stress? Extreme circumstances? Overwhelm? Getting lost? I Got Lost In Hong Kong This is a perfect segway into my really true - no lie - experience of getting lost in the rural regions of Hong Kong just 7 months ago. And yet, here I am to speak of it!

From the US to Europe to Asia, people flooded in to help this soccer team survive. And, thank God & Goddess, they did! Here’s the thing. What would you do if you were stranded in a cave for an unknown length of time. With no water. No food. And no real certainty that help was on its way? This is a classic survival skill exercise used in team-building workshops and retreats for corporations and business organizations. What do you do? Who lives? Who doesn’t?

I was traveling with my husband to Hong Kong. A beautiful place! Although breathing was difficult. The smog was more than I could handle, and by the end of our 2 week journey, I was hoarse with laryngitis. That’s not the story I want to tell, however. I’ve always been one for adventure, so, I decided to explore the city. Truly there was only one place I wanted to visit, and that was called the ‘Big Buddha’. An elaborate setting of a buddhist monastery hosting one of the biggest buddha statues ever built. I asked the concierge how to get there. Several hundred dollars by cab, but only

Profile for Rochester Woman Online

RWO September 2018  

This is our truly amazing, empowering, inspiring September 2018 edition of Rochester Woman Online featuring the beautiful fashionista Ashley...

RWO September 2018  

This is our truly amazing, empowering, inspiring September 2018 edition of Rochester Woman Online featuring the beautiful fashionista Ashley...