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Meditation Articles for Kids
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Meditation Tempers Ups and Downs
by Susan Helene Kramer Shuchi

Description: Susan Kramer

Adults  Collection Two 41. to 80.

Articles teaching adults about meditation, including prayers for special occasions

41. Discernment Meditation
42. What Happens After Your Spiritual Teacher Dies?
43. Tantra Experience in Meditation
44. Guided Transition Meditation
45. Prayer and Meditation to the Holy Spirit
46. Da Vinci Code Inspired Meditation on YinYang
47. Centering Meditation Technique
48. Birthday Meditation
49. Meditation on Courage in Relationships
50. Transforming Human Love into Divine Love
51. Meditation Tempers Ups and Downs
52. Clarify Thoughts Before Sleeping
53. Comparison of Meditation and Prayer
54. Memory and Meditation
55. Meditation in Service
56. Meditation Softens a Hardened Heart
57. Your Meditation Table
58. Reflection and Prayer on Platonic Love
59. Meditation on Religion and Spirituality
60. Master and Mind Meditation
61. Interfaith Wedding and Marriage Prayer, Blessing

62. Voice of God, Inner Vibration Meditation
63. Wisdom from Meditation and Purity
64. Overcoming Negative Humor with Kindness
65. Da Vinci Code Inspired Rose Meditation
66. Practicing Peace Meditation
67. Prayers from God Speaks through the Holy Spirit
68. Compassionate Thoughts
69. Meditation Helps Communication Skills
70. Meditation and Secular Spirituality
71. Guided Relaxation Meditation
72. Remembering Pope John Paul II
73. Prayer and Tribute to Sri Daya Mata (19142010)
74. Make Quiet Time for a Holy Meditation
75. Fighting Hunger Topic for Meditation
76. Creating and Supplying Your Meditation Area
77. Meditation on Responsibility with Kids
78. Giving and Receiving Comfort Prayer and Meditation
79. Prayer of Comfort Remembering Dana Reeve
80. Walking Meditation to Learn to Concentrate
more articles


41. Discernment Meditation

Article by Susan Helene Kramer Shuchi

Discernment is picking the best option from choices. Discernment is wisdom in action, because in the short term and long haul we derive more harmony in our lives when we use discernment to guide between what we want regardless of the consequences, and what will give us the most happiness in the long run.

Discernment is learned by trial and error. At first we may select between a couple of options, but through practice using discernment we learn to seek below the surface and find the real way to harmony in our situation. And there in lies the solution to balance in living.

Meditation on discernment

Begin by choosing a quiet place to sit where you can write out your insights in your journal. If you have a peaceful outdoor space available that is ideal; the low buzz of nature is soothing to our mind and conducive to a meditation session.

If indoors prepare your meditation table with a candle and burn some incense. My favorite is sandalwood; just the smell of it begins to calm my mind and puts me in a receptive mood for meditation.

Indoors or out, sit on a bench or chair and fold your hands in your lap or place them palms up or palms down on your thighs. Close your eyes and begin even regular breathing. For example, breathe in count 1, breathe out count 2, breathe in count 1, breathe out count 2 and continue. After a minute let go of counting the breaths but continue the rhythm throughout the meditation.

Think with appreciation for all that you have that makes your life full and send loving thoughts to at least one person, or even to a dear pet.

Rays of love
Radiate to everyone
Beginning with one.

Turn your attention to how you can use discernment in your daily life: if you're a student, then in your schoolwork; on the job to make the choices that bring the best you have to your assignments; at home with family, choices that preserve harmony.

Now, sit quietly and let any new thoughts arise in your mind and take time to write them in your journal after your meditation.

Open your eyes, stretch out, write in your journal, go on with your day, enriched with new understandings on the benefit of using discernment rather than automatic responses or actions in your life.

42. What Happens After Your Spiritual Teacher Dies?

Article by Susan Helene Kramer Shuchi

Everyone will physically die. When family and friends or even those famous we are attached to leave the earth it is normal to grieve.

When a spiritual teacher leaves we may wonder whose words to follow next. If the teacher left writings or other media which we have been using anyway we may feel all set to continue on our path as is.

If we had a personal relationship with a spiritual teacher we may feel at a loss and wonder if we should turn to another person as a guide. This can work if the replacement carries the same philosophies as our teacher and we get along on a personal level.

The spiritual connection

The underlying question, though, is what is it about a person when we feel them as our spiritual teacher?

As spirit is part of the unseen world, our real relationship with our spiritual teacher is unseen, unspoken. It is the imparting of guidance, advancement vibrationally.

The spiritual state of a teacher is at least a step finer than our own, otherwise we would be spiritual compatriots, working together for the spiritual advancement of others. (And this is the goal of the pupil, teacher relationship.) Teachers love to see their students surpass them.

Deep spiritual guidance is imparted by thought, prayer, meditation. This is the guidance beyond advice over daily problems.

When we feel uplifted in the presence of our spiritual teacher or from reading their words or watching their films we are drawn to their spiritual level at least for the moment, over time more permanently. That is the spiritual work of the teacher, student relationship in action.

We are fortunate to be living in the age of technology with access to all kinds of media. We have an opportunity to read the words and feel the energy of many spiritual teachers and choose to follow the advice of those whose vibrations feel compatible with our own.

We are each at different stages of spiritual advancement. Our time on earth is a chance to learn and grow and become aware of and put into practice the highest degree of spiritual insight we can.

When your spiritual teacher dies their body may not be visible, but the uplifted connection you felt with them continues on unbroken. Then is the time to live in practical spirituality by putting what you've learned to use.

43. Tantra Experience in Meditation

Article by Susan Helene Kramer Shuchi

Tantra is practice to awaken us to our abundant spiritual energy. It may be called the male and female energy to explain how it works in a balanced way in our bodies. Everyone has the spiritual energy running through every atom of their body even within the cellular level. It is this balance of push and pull that acts like a pump to spiral energy up our spine when we sit still in an upright meditation pose.
Description:  photo of Susan Kramer by Stan Schaap
To begin to feel the spiritual energy of tantra first sit up very straight on your meditation cushion or chair. Do not lean back if using a chair, you want to be supporting yourself chakra upon chakra.

Close your eyes and begin to breathe in a normal and even pattern, such as 2 counts to breathe in and 2 counts to breathe out. Continue this even rhythm throughout your meditation. If you begin by thinking the numbers let them go after a minute, but keep up the regular pattern.

Begin saying your mantra, first quietly audibly, then mentally. If you begin to hear the vibration of your mantra concentrate on that rather than the words or syllables of your mantra.

If you have been sitting very still for at least 5 minutes you may notice your body begin to heat up. Mentally draw the attention to your body above your waist as these areas represent your spiritual service; to your own evolution through service to humanity.

How is this possible?

When our body is heated, enlivened, we have more energy than we need to do our daily chores in supporting our needs. Taking time to give to others in helpfulness opens our mind and heart to the greater love we all can become and enjoy being in.

It is worth it to cultivate the warm-feeling tantra energy to gain access to the higher and more expansive realms of our spiritual nature.

Visualize a smiling person with arms outstretched in welcome to all. The arms are extensions from the sides of the physical and psychic heart. After all, what is without is also within, the arms are how we hug and a way that we share warmly with others.

Back to your sitting meditation: continue sending out loving feelings to your dear ones, community, the world and beyond, to those living here and those passed on into other dimensions in the spiritual world.

To finish your tantra meditation open your eyes, stretch out, arms opened wide to the sides in a symbolic gesture of how you can add to goodness in the world by kindness and caring.

Go forth
Fully alive.

Related book: Spirit Tantra Love by Susan Kramer

44. Guided Transition Meditation

Article by Susan Helene Kramer Shuchi

Transitions are like traveling along unknown roads to unfamiliar destinations; keeping some familiar habits helps the adjustment.
Description: hawk soaring in Grand Canyon, Arizona
During transition, body, mind and emotions are tuned to a higher pitch, drawing on our reserves. To do what is unfamiliar takes more concentrated energy than repeating habitual actions.

We can draw in fresh energy to help us keep up with above normal need by increasing aerobic activity, such as by walking, biking, swimming, or jogging, and by replenishing our store of energy through deep relaxation and meditation. Here is a meditation I find helpful.

Preparation: Lie down on your back in a quiet and comfortable place. Let your legs be about a foot apart and your arms down at your sides but not touching your body. Close your eyes. Let your body go limp and heavy.

Begin even breathing. Count 1 breathe in; count 2 breathe out; count 3 breathe in; count 4 breathe out and continue to 50 counts, or another even number.

When your body feels relaxed notice that your mind calms down, making it easier to think how to adapt in changing circumstances. Spend some moments in these thoughts of change, remembering that even in a major transition some things stay the same, such as meals, school or work.

To end the deep relaxation meditation either drift into sleep, or take a deep breath in and out, stretch, and get up.

Like the hawk soaring on drafts in the Grand Canyon
May we gracefully travel prevailing winds of change

Photo credit Stan Schaap; hawk soaring through Grand Canyon, Arizona

45. Prayer and Meditation to the Holy Spirit

Article by Susan Helene Kramer Shuchi

In times when decisions need to be made that will benefit all concerned, I turn to the Holy Spirit, the Holy Om, the Word of God, Holy Naam, and other names for the same experience from different religions.

To begin

Sit comfortably with hands folded in lap - or if kneeling, with your hands folded in prayer.

Begin with an invocation to the Holy Spirit or other spiritual name you choose.

"Mother, Father, my All, be with me now
Let me attune with your fine direction
In this heartfelt prayer and meditation.

Clear away my ego, my self-serving thoughts
Make way for the best solution
To arise within my mind.

May I become receptive to your guidance
May I feel your presence by the energy that
Propels me onward to act for the common good.

Mother, Father, my All, fortify my intentions
Guide me to act with kindness and wisdom
That in doing my part
I promote love amongst humanity."

After your invocation or other heartfelt prayer, close your eyes and listen to the pervasive sound behind all thoughts and feelings - seemingly emanating from under the crown of your head. In stillness allow the ever-flowing spirit to permeate and strengthen your resolves for the best outcome - the common good for all.

Take a deep breath, stretch, stand and go forward in peace and kindness - resolved to act on inspired insights.


Book or Ebook by Susan Helene Kramer click cover

Description: God Speaks through the Holy Spirit - Reflective Meditations by Susan Kramer


46. Da Vinci Code Inspired Meditation on Yin–Yang

Article by Susan Helene Kramer Shuchi

The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown is the inspiration for this meditation on the sacred balance of yinyang within us all.

Dan Brown's novel is fiction and high paced, but many aspects of spirituality are revealed in the plot and I highly recommend it! But now, let's go to the meditation I wrote based on the book.

To begin sit on a cushion facing your meditation table. It is nice to have fresh flowers (roses are a fragrant choice), candles and incense burningtheir pyramid shapes reminding us to reach upward from our sacred roots (routes) of balanced yinyang.
Description: Pyramid entrance to Le Louvre, Paris, France. Photo credit Stan Schaap
Say an opening prayer such as

"May the Light of Truth
Reach up from deep within my soul
Emblazoning my thoughts and actions
With balance, kindness, clarity."

Now, close your eyes and hold an image of beauty that inspires you. It could be a special scene you find uplifting or a work of art.

Begin even and regular breathing counts 1, 2, breathe in; counts 3, 4, breathe out; counts 1, 2, breathe in and continue for a minute or two.

Continue breathing evenly without counting and take a few minutes to reflect on the yin-yang balance in nature the daily cycle of night and day; cause and effect in actions; male and female; winter and summer, to name a few. Every part of our natural world carries a balance and taking time for active and quiet time in our daily routine imparts much needed balance and harmony in our fastpaced society.

Finish your meditation with thoughts of gratefulness for the beauty and balance in mother nature, season after season.

Take a deep breath, stand and stretch, refreshed.

47. Centering Meditation Technique

Article by Susan Helene Kramer Shuchi

Centering one's life means finding balance. It is an internal state of being that leads to harmonious thoughts and actions. And, when we live harmoniously with people and the environment, we maintain peace of mind; happiness.

But how do we get centered? How do we find our strong place, that guides us appropriately through life's drama?

Anchoring in meditation creates that place of inner harmony that keeps us steady through tough decisions and events.

Meditation has a cumulative effect. As with any skill, we become more proficient by practice; we spontaneously sink into the reservoir of our balanced center when needed.

I recommend beginning with 5 minute sessions 3 times a day, such as upon waking, before lunch, before bed. These are when our daily routine is in change, and may be the easiest times to make space for sitting in silence to contemplate, regroup and recap.

Centering meditation

Sit up straight in your favorite quiet spot, either on a floor cushion with your legs folded in, or on a chair with the soles of your feet planted firmly on the floor. Fold your hands in your lap, or place palms down or palms up on your thighs. Close your eyes.

Start breathing evenly, such as 2 counts to breathe in, and 2 counts to breathe out; 2 counts to breathe in, and continue this rhythmic pattern throughout your meditation, without actually saying the numbers. Do not hold your breath as part of this practice.

Breath ties the state of mind and body together. When breathing is calm and regular the body slows down and allows energy to go to the mind to think through situations and plan for the future.

Now, let go of consciously counting in your meditation but keep up the rhythm.

Turn your thoughts to how you can act to bring peace into your life. Think about how you can stay in your strong center of peace while still getting your work done.

Take a few moments to think of an appreciation for at least one example of a positive centered person from your life.

Continue to sit enjoying some moments of silence, feeling your own center of peace.

Take a deep breath in and slowly release it, stretch out and go on with your day in a centered, peaceful way.

Calm mind, calm body;
Relaxed body, centered mind.

48. Birthday Meditation

Article by Susan Helene Kramer Shuchi

Birthdays are markers of our progress through life. Birthdays can be the impetus to get going and get the job done; they can also remind us to review our long-range goals.

When we celebrate our annual birthday we may feel a mixture of emotions, such as happiness to have made it this far. Let's try a meditation to deepen the experience of this special day.


Begin by sitting up straight in your special place. If you have an altar, light a new candle in honor of your birthday. If you are sitting on the floor on a cushion fold your legs in and clasp your hands in your lap, or place your hands palms up or palms down on your thighs.

If you are sitting in a chair, sit up straight and place the soles of your feet firmly on the floor. Fold your hands in your lap or place them palms up or palms down on your thighs.

If you wish to meditate outdoors pick a location where you'll have privacy.

Close your eyes and begin regular breathing without stress or force, such as one count to breathe in and one count to breathe out. Continue in this rhythm during your meditation without actually saying the numbers. Do not hold your breath at any point.

Breath is a connection between body and mind; even and regular breathing calm a restless mind and relax an agitated body. Use it any time you need to regain control of yourself.

Turn your thoughts to your birthday. What does this day mean to you? If you have a long-term goal where are you on the timeline? What can you decide to do today that will help you zoom along in an outer goal, or if you are working on spiritual qualities, what steps can you take to accelerate your progress?

Take a few minutes to think over these ideas and after your meditation write out your thoughts in your journal. Putting ideas in writing is a concrete reminder of what you were thinking at the time, and your plans for the future.

Finish your meditation by taking in a deep breath and slowly releasing it. Open your eyes and stretch out. Go on with enjoying your birthday.

49. Meditation on Courage in Relationships

Article by Susan Helene Kramer Shuchi

Remaining relaxed allows us to calmly confront an issue or person with whom we may disagree, or whom we feel may threaten our values.

Everyone and everything around us is truly an outside influence, but just an influence.

We have free will to choose our reaction to an action.

Meditation for reflection
Sit in a quiet place where you will not be disturbed. Do some rounds of even, regular breathing like this - breathe in 2 counts; breathe out 2 counts; breathe in 2 counts and continue the pattern until you feel calm and relaxed.

Then reflect on these thoughts: We perceive an encounter with fear if we feel we will be influenced to give up our position or attitudes, or coerced into doing what feels uncomfortable to us. That need not happen.

Courage preserves our ideas and integrity. It is our birthright to live our own life. As an adult, we have the right to make our own decisions; lead life as we choose.

Confront a conflict by first being aware of what your body feels like when you are enjoying an activity. You can almost feel the warmth circulating throughout, and you feel in control, master of your actions. Note this carefully now; remembering for later. Practice feeling this way several times by just bringing a happy thought to mind while in a safe setting.

The next time a potential conflict threatens, remember what your body felt like during your practice session and go into that relaxed space, feeling whole, complete, and safe in the house of your body and mind. No one can enter your house without your permission. If you feel uncomfortable with another's influence keep it outside your body and mind. Do not accept it for yourself.

Concluding thoughts
Bravely, while feeling safe inside your body, you can most easily confront those issues holding you back from freely expressing yourself in the world.

"When we learn to be courageous
remaining strong in our convictions
knowing no one can influence us
if we do not wish to be
we expand most fully
experiencing our humanness with humanity."


50. Transforming Human Love into Divine Love

Article by Susan Helene Kramer Shuchi

Take a few minutes after reading these verses to contemplate the role of meditation and positive attitudes in transforming the love in human relationships into an eternal state of divine love and joy.
Description: photo credit Susan Kramer
"Human love becomes perfect love, Divine Love
the manifestation of the soul's true nature
by consciously caring and acting for the highest good of others.
Energy used in a positive manner
keeps caring and loving feelings uppermost in mind.

Energy comes to us all the time via food, sunlight, air, water.
Additionally, if we allow our body to be perfectly still
sitting, standing, or lying down, while remaining fully awake
our mind will follow the lead and calm down, relax
becoming aware of the inner sound of creation.

This is the state of meditation
union with our Creative Source.
This vibratory hum, perceived in our brain
under the top of our skull
underlies all of our changing thoughts.

This very peaceful
yet highly energized vibration
is a constant presence that we can attune with
more fully energizing our mental
and physical states of existence.

This happens because when we are peaceful
yet energized
we are not putting up negative blocks
to our natural spring of ever-new happiness
arising from our soul into our body and mind.

As the nature of our soul is not limited
by having a physical
or mental form
We are drawing from the infinite supply house
of the energy supporting our soul.

This intense revitalizing energy carries us along
without any effort on our part
except that we must keep a positive, caring attitude
avoiding the roadblock of stilted negative, self-defeating attitudes
and their subsequent self-limiting thoughts and actions.

We're called to practice every day
that develops attitudes of tolerance
tolerance for our own shortcomings
tolerance for others' shortcomings
and the patience to accept them all.

The boon of meditation and positive attitudes
calming our mind, energizing our body
is a full experience of happiness arising from within
swelling our waking consciousness in
Love Divine."

51. Meditation Tempers Ups and Downs

Article by Susan Helene Kramer Shuchi

Opening Verse

An open mind
Allows the widest view of the world
From which to make the best choices
Producing a steady stream
Of peace, joy, happiness, harmony.

Description: Paul Signac, Cypress, 1893, photo credit Susan Helene Kramer
Think on this: Ups and downs are tempered, transformed into awareness of happiness, harmony, by balancing mental with physical activity. When we take charge we enjoy being happy and feeling good.

Moodiness closes our mind to options. Moods are formed in our mind. Our mind and body an interlocking unit one affecting the other.

We are free to change a thought, mood, or attitude by exerting will power to substitute positive attitudes.

Engage in physical activity such as brisk walking, or meditating for a few minutes to allow the natural harmony to arise most easily in consciousness through the stilling of the body.

We also get a positive result when choosing the best way out of a bad situation.

When outer circumstances are bleak we preserve our sense of inner harmony by following our conscience; doing what is best now, insuring a better future.

Using this principle, we maintain our natural ease. It is our choice, by will power, to follow the direction of our conscience.

The more easeful we are feeling from following the direction of our conscience, the more good solutions come through to our consciousness, and an open mind serves as a picture window to see most clearly.


Article and photo credit Susan Helene Kramer. Painting by Paul Signac, Cypress, 1893, Kroeller-Mueller Museum, The Netherlands


52. Clarify Thoughts Before Sleeping

Article by Susan Helene Kramer Shuchi

Here is a meditation I use before sleep to reflect on the day's events. It is my time to clarify my thoughts; reviewing if I'm on-track with my goals.

Time: 2 to 10 minutes or more.

Preparation: Sit up straight in a quiet place, hands folded in lap, or if you can stay awake, lie on your back in a deep relaxation pose. Close your eyes.

Begin by breathing easily and evenly: breathe in 1 count; breathe out 1 count. Continue until you feel calm and relaxed.

Now, start thinking about the day's events. Take a mental inventory of what transpired and how you reacted to events and people.

Ask yourself if you could have done things differently to create win-win situations. Make resolves for the future based on your insights.

Plan what you wish to accomplish the next day, and also, think how you can accomplish your ideas most ethically.

Make a habit of concluding your meditation and reflection with several thoughts of appreciation for the people and things in your life; it's an uplifting practice. Take a deep breath in and out before going to sleep.

Reflection time
To clarify mind


53. Comparison of Meditation and Prayer

Article by Susan Helene Kramer Shuchi

Quiet time spent requesting heavenly aid is indeed a prayer, whether begun as a written verse or mantra that is repeated with sincerity, a spontaneous monologue, or aligning during meditation time with the Inner Stillness.

What comes to mind is the beautiful message from scripture that God knows the longings and requests of our heart even before we make them - therefore, reverently sitting in contemplation or reflection and patiently waiting for insight is prayer.

Prayer is a choice to think and act reverently. One's life can be prayer in action when kindness and caring prevail.
Description: photo credit Susan Kramer
Set prayers can precede a period of meditation, bringing reverent thoughts to mind.

Or, the meditation can be wholly prayerful by beginning with reverent thoughts that stream in a supersonic wave ever deeper and deeper into the core of our heart landing in the ocean of bliss.

I've found that contemplative and reflective meditation is the prayer, when from the instant I sit I feel immersed in the rarified state of reverence - no prelude of "written prayers" precedes the meditative prayer state.

It is getting directly to the heart's core and asking for help, advice; the voice of wisdom to come forth.

54. Memory and Meditation

Article by Susan Helene Kramer Shuchi

I have found that if I need to remember a specific fact, that I have a greater chance of success by doing a mini-meditation: I quietly concentrate for a few moments on what I want to remember, and then a minute later again bring up the memory to further instill it in my mind.

Memories from the past

Specifically, here is how I use a formal meditation session to hold tight to a memory: I sit quietly and close my eyes and breathe evenly and regularly to calm my body and mind; put them on automatic for the moment.

Next, I see the memory in my mind I wish to hold. I picture as many of the details as I can including the weather and temperature; time of day; smells in the air; specific objects close at hand and the details that make them unique.

If it is a person I wish to remember, while sitting calmly in meditation I bring back specific memories with that person that we enjoyed together. I use this technique to once again bring up the feelings I had with the person that made it a happy time; I live it once again. I see the person in my mind and feel in my body how I felt in their presence.

Now jumping to remembering for the future

If I need to go to an appointment at 10am the next morning, while sitting in meditation in the evening, I tell myself to remember to get up in time to not be late.

I have found meditation useful for remembering what to do in the future; it is definitely a time period when I am not distracted by lots of other input from my surroundings; a million outside stimuli are not bothering me.


To recap using meditation to increase memory: Be sure you are in a quiet location without outside noises or distractions; when and where you will not be interrupted. Sit quietly and take a minute to establish a pattern of even breathing to calm the body and mind.

Dwell on the thought or event that you wish to remember, and see as much about it as possible, including the date, day and time it happened, the people involved, the atmosphere of the day, your emotional feelings, your age.

To remember what to do in the future, use part of your meditation time to remind yourself when you need to keep an appointment or do a specific task. If I meditate in the evening I find I remember upon waking what I had told myself to do the night before.

Meditation, in its calm way, becomes an effective memory tool to remember what to do in the future, as well as bring memories to mind from the past!

55. Meditation in Service

Article by Susan Helene Kramer Shuchi

Meditation in service can also be called karma yoga. It is focusing on getting the task completed without plotting for personal gain. It is enjoying the moment fully in the midst of daily work. It is meditation in action.

The goal of meditation is full deep enjoyment of the moment. Service without attachment to reward brings a deep satisfaction similar to the joy felt in still meditation. It is a way to get all the gain of peace and joy while being very active.

While sitting in meditation and going into the stillness the peaceful body and quiet mind are not forming barriers to the natural flow of joy permeating our consciousness. This same experience of being beyond barriers can come while immersed in selfless service: We stop thinking about our body and our actions and thoughts are on the chosen service of the moment.

When I am involved helping someone learn a concept or skill, I am not thinking about my body or mind, rather I am using my body and mind for a good for another. My reward is satisfaction and inner joy, which I feel as an afterglow of warm body and joy in my mind.

The attitude of meditative service can even be applied to our regular salaried work when we do it to achieve a good result, and not just with the attitude we're getting paid. Something as simple as a change in attitude can make a mundane job an act of meditation by looking at the benefit that comes from our contribution.

Since we're all members of the larger worldwide family it is to our ultimate benefit to do our best to care about and for our family members. We reap instant rewards of feeling connected and included in the whole.

Meditation needn't be limited to only feeling joy while sitting still.

Beyond the moments of joy while just sitting in meditation comes the broader state of meditation in all moments of the day. To become the goal of meditation and be a joyful person needs an attitude of helping out, because it feels good to do so.

Meditation in service produces its reward instantly as joy in every moment of action.

Take time to give with the attitude of kindness and sharing and be taken along on the high ride of feeling joy as you go. Practice both meditation in stillness and meditation in action to live a life of full-feeling joy, a life of harmony, reflecting your spiritual nature of never-ending joy.

56. Meditation Softens a Hardened Heart

Article by Susan Helene Kramer Shuchi

A hardened heart is another way to say feelings have become rigid; a person is set in their ways. It has a negative connotation.
Description: photo of North Sea by Susan Kramer
Our heart feelings are expressed through emotions. Feelings of love lead to actions flowing outwardly through caring deeds. A hardened heart is stymied in the inner circle of self-interest, though not the best interest for the self.

We have an ego to enlist for our true betterment, or temporary pleasures. When we choose to work for our betterment we begin opening to the wider circle of our life and our feelings, to include family, friends, community service.

It feels good to be expansive in our feelings, and moreover we feel in harmony within our body by being relaxed, and in the body of creation by feelings of our expanded self.

A softened heart is a sign of strength of character. We know enough to take the best care of ourselves that does not hurt anyone in the process. We have peace of mind in helping others lead good and useful, full, productive lives.

There are no benefits to stewing in a hardened heart: When a muscle is not used it shrivels, and a heart not stimulated retracts from the full experience of life.

Meditation is a way to begin the process of opening your heart through concentration on uplifting virtues and love for others beyond our self-interests.

In meditation, in the quiet stillness of an opening heart, a doorway opens, allowing the Inner Light to bathe with warmth, tranquility, feelings of connection with all life; expansion of awareness of our ultimate purpose in living.

Deep meditation is your railway pass to the ultimate travel destination, which ends up being your own expanded awareness of lightness of being, one with your Creator, and a radiant part of creation.

Spend time in meditation during the transitions of the natural day: dawn and dusk. These changing times in the daily cycle jumpstart our feelings, softening the heart, softening a hardened heart forever. Radiant joy enters and takes up residence, shining out through your pores in the pouring out of unconditional love.

Photo of North Sea by Susan Helene Kramer

57. Your Meditation Table

Article by Susan Helene Kramer Shuchi

Here are some ideas for selecting a spot and setting up your meditation table. You can include several or just one item that appeals to you. One of the factors determining what you can include is the space available.

Right now I'll suggest that if you want to include everything that you set some items on the sides of your table. This should work out well because a meditation table is usually placed a foot off the ground so that candle light is right in front of your eyes if you are sitting on the floor meditating.

But the meditation table can be at any height you choose. Its purpose is manifold: to hold your supplies for meditating such as your mala or rosary, meditation journal, small inspiring book of poetry or prayers, a folded shawl, matches or lighter; you get the idea.

Some people who are using multipurpose space set up their meditation altar on a bookshelf in the study, bedroom or living room. Then you have multiple heights to choose from.

In the past I set up my meditation altar on the top of my dresser in the bedroom. Then I could sit on my mattress facing the altar to meditate.

Another space I've taken advantage of is a window sill. And I have a special story to share about that: I lived in a house at Yogaville, Virginia, for a year and had an altar set up on a wide window sill of an east facing window.

Whenever I'd like the candle sitting on the sill and sit in front of it to meditate a beautiful rainbow would form about 3 inches out from the candle flame in the shape of a circle. This was not one-dimensional. From whatever angle I looked at the candle the rainbow was evident. (Any ideas on this from my readers? It's the only place I have had this experience.)

The benefit of including a meditation table or altar in your bedroom is this may be one of the only places you can have privacy.

What I did with another bedroom meditation is set it in the far corner of the room, place a cushion on the floor in front of it, and a folding screen behind me. This gave me some privacy that felt like my own meditation cave. That setup worked until the location was replaced by the crib for a new baby.

You can see by the ideas I've shared that there are places in your home you may not have thought could serve your meditation time.

Now, for items to include, here is my full choice, and depending where I'm living I choose from this list: a center candle with matches kept under the table; a small bowl for cones of incense, (my favorite smell is sandalwood); photos of saints; sacred objects; prayer book, mala or rosary; vase of roses or a single rose. At the side I like a book of inspirations, meditation journal and pen, and a shawl.

Have fun choosing your place or places to meditate, and the objects that support your meditation time.

58. Reflection and Prayer on Platonic Love

Article by Susan Helene Kramer Shuchi

Platonic love is placing the same energy with a friend that we would place with a lover, without the give and take of physical sexual expressions.
Description: photo credit Stan Schaap
The flow of loving energy keeps charging and recharging our batteries in our platonic love relationships. Platonic love can also be a form of unconditional love, and through its nurturing can lead us to recognizing the Divine's love for each of us.

What is a constant comes not of this physical and mental world of cause and effect. Unconditional love, constant by its nature, is born of and a quality of our Source, reflected through our souls and into our daily lives by our loving actions and interactions.

For Reflection

Platonic love in adult relationships perhaps happens most often when loving feelings are present, but it would be inappropriate to express them in a physical sexual relationship.

One specific reason for the development and nurturing of platonic love is that one or the other, or both are already in a committed sexual relationship with another person.

Platonic love is our 'outlet' for allowing the vibrant energy charging our bodies to keep charging and recharging us when it would be inappropriate or impossible to express ourselves in physical sexuality.

With everyone and everything, everyday we relate. Relating repeatedly forms a relationship.

In relationship, we react to each other's thoughts and actions on all the diverse and deep levels of our being. We see the outer layers of visible activity and observe the inner motives, stemming from past personal background and current desires for the future.

We face continuing variables in the projection of ourselves in a relationship.

By communicating with lovingness we communicate with and experience the unchanging soul of another, the depth of relationship untouched by variables.

Prayer on Platonic Love

"Mirrored images of unconditional love
Bouncing back and forth between
Experiencing warm energized bodily feeling
Brightening each other's day.

Platonic Love -
May all come to be energized consciously
By the unseen Force
From the unseen loving Source.

Platonic Love -
The expression of Love appropriate with all
That can be expressed by all
For the benefit of all.
All of humanity growing in consciousness
Energized and growing in consciousness."

Article by Susan Helene Kramer; photo credit Stan Schaap

59. Meditation on Religion and Spirituality

Article by Susan Helene Kramer Shuchi

Ten people can be practicing ten different religions, yet share the same spiritual experiences and understandings.

Religion, with its guidelines and rituals, provides form and format for living a spiritual life; the practices act as aids to reach the goal of living a spiritual life spontaneously.

What is spirituality? I think it is an underlying basis of pure unconditional love, arising in format of caring acts.

Meditation for reflection
Choose a quiet place to sit and begin even and regular breathing such as 2 counts to breathe in and 2 counts to breathe out. Keep up this even rhythm throughout your meditation without concentrating on the counting.

After reflection write out any new insights in your journal for contemplation at a later time and for future review.

For reflection: Pure unconditional love is the spiritual basis of religion. It is when we act with caring love - unconditional love at all times - that we feel joy and peace. Symptoms of joy and peace are an energized body and harmonious thinking.

Religious tools are the means by which we dig into the depths of our mind and soul through devotional and service-full practices, nurturing our character into a full-blown flower of wisdom.

A spiritual life is a most practical life. Practical, because acting from an energized body with harmonious thinking reaps results for our good and the common good most efficiently, most easily. And isn't what is done for the highest good, the most efficiently, the most practical approach?

Religions may seem to have many differences at first glance but the common goal is spiritual enlightenment. Our upbringing, culture, personal tendencies may draw those ten people in a room to ten different religions, but the goal of each person is joy in living by the easiest route.

Spiritual practices common to many religions:
1. A form of supplication, prayer for intercession;
2. A time of listening quietly for the answer in reflection, meditation;
3. An interval for giving thanks, appreciation for new insight;
4. A time for action in the world based on new insight.
The church, temple, mosque, hut, cave, or quiet corner of a room, or stillness alone at night, provide a setting for soul searching.

Religion in its meaning of re-alignment leads us to realign with our beautiful, radiant and spiritual selves, that we may most happily and harmoniously lead fulfilling daily lives - spiritual lives.

"Devotional practices awaken a sleeping heart
when energized with dedication.
Life itself becoming a prayer
when lived lovingly."

Giving thanks, being devotional, becomes a life-long habit when begun early.

Giving thanks can be in the form of prayers or devotions from religion, leading to uplifting thoughts arising spontaneously at any time.

Prayers and devotions can generate feelings of appreciation.

When we are devoted to our religious practices the rewards show in our daily life as increased clarity of mind springing from the awakening of a pure heart of love - love developing from dedication and self-giving of our time and energy to even thoughts of love preceding acts of love.

When we feel appreciative we are feeling happy and peaceful in that moment. In times of stress, taking time to remember one thing we do have, with appreciation, helps us see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Daily life has moments of ups and downs; the downs more easily transformed into sweetness by an appreciation, uplifting verse or thankful thought.

"Devotions to religious practices of our choice
are a way to open our heart, our lives
to love's inception, reception
creating an easy mind
to most easily act for the highest resolve
of the issues in our lives."

Article and photo credit of Notre Dame Cathedral, Paris, France by Susan Helene Kramer

60. Master and Mind Meditation

Article by Susan Helene Kramer Shuchi

Master and mind, which leads? Let's begin with a verse and then move on to a contemplative meditation:

We are masters of our mind.
Our mind is a tool
To plan, to work out problems.
As master we decide, determine
Our course of action
Reaction to action.
Standing back from mind
The broader picture appears
The full scope, the full scoop.
With depth of insight
Perspective in view
The best choices are visible.

Meditation: Begin by sitting erect in your favorite quiet place, either on the floor on a cushion, legs crossed in, or on a straight back chair with soles of feet planted on the floor. Fold your hands in your lap or place them face up or face down on your thighs.

Close your eyes and begin even, rhythmic breathing, such as one count to breathe in; one count to breathe out; one count to breathe in, and continue this pattern throughout the meditation without actually saying or thinking the numbers.

For contemplation: You are sitting in meditation and your mind is doing the thinking. You observe your mind as it jumps from one thought to another, but all the while you sit still and do not act on the thoughts.

You make the decision on what thought to dwell on, act on. You use your mind to plan projects, and you use your mind as a tool to get problems solved. You can always change your mind as better options appear in the process, because you are master of your mind.

An example: You may be feeling hungry and your self-talk may want you to go raid the cupboard. But it is really up to you as master controller to act on those impulses or not, depending on if they are beneficial at the moment.

Finish your meditation with appreciation for coming to understand how you can use your mind wisely and reign it in as master.

Take a deep breath in and slowly release it. Open your eyes and stretch out. Take a few minutes to write any new insights in your journal. Go on with your day with an enlightened view.

Article and photo credit by Susan Helene Kramer. Portrait of a Woman, 1524, by Barthel Bruyn the Old, Kroeller-Mueller Museum, The Netherlands.


61. Interfaith Wedding and Marriage Prayer, Blessing

Article by Susan Helene Kramer Shuchi

May we meditate on this wedding and marriage prayer, and through sharing the blessing, receive its joy, one and all with those gathered together …

Wedding and Marriage Blessing

"Beginning in this special way
Our new shared life begins today.
Description: photo credit Susan Kramer
By taking hands, blending hearts
Our work will be a sacred art.

For life is what we make and mold
Our choices tell what we have told.

Each time we laugh we'll feel as one
Playing lightly, having fun.

Creating harmony at home
As peaceful soon becoming known.

A kind and caring couple we
Will strive by actions, always be.

Giving from the very start
Love, patience, time
Our full shared heart."

Prayer and photo credit by Susan Helene Kramer

62. Voice of God, Inner Vibration Meditation

Article by Susan Helene Kramer Shuchi

Listening to the Voice of God while in communion with the Inner Vibration has been my mainstay practice for more than 25 years, providing insight and practical problem solving.
Description: Castricum woods; photo credit Stan Schaap
To begin:
Reserve a quiet and private space for your meditation. A corner of your room with a screen in front is fine. On the floor place a folded blanket or cushion to sit on facing a small low table with a candle, incense and flowers.

Wash and put on clean comfortable clothing. Light the candle and incense if you wish. Sit straight, legs folded in, hands clasped and resting in your lap, or lay your hands on your thighs, palms up or palms down. Alternately, sit upright in a chair. Close your eyes.

Begin breathing in and out evenly without any breath retention. Example: breathe in count 1; breathe out count 2; breathe in count 1, and continue. Keep up the pattern of even breathing without actually saying the words.

While breathing evenly, listen to the sound of your breathing.

If you are very quiet and concentrated you may begin to hear the Inner Vibration, seemingly generated under the crown of your skull. If you hear this hum like a gently rushing sound of water, begin listening to the vibration rather than to your breathing.

Listening to your even breathing, or to the Inner Vibration calms and centers the body and mind. A centered body and mind becomes a creative tool in all aspects of living.

Sit for 5 minutes at first and increase the time of your meditation session gradually.

Anytime of day is good for meditating, but just before retiring gives you a chance to unwind from the day, and spend some moments in reflection on the day's events and plans for the morrow.

Conclude your meditation with a prayer for family, friends and world peace.

Take a final deep breath, stand and stretch.

Listening to the Inner Vibration is tuning into the channel of the creative universal Voice of God. It is our lifeline and nourishment when we need comfort, inspiration or peace.

The ordinary mind is uplifted by the Inner Melody - a symphony of the finest subtle sounds that allow the Divine to come into our thoughts with words in just the way we need to hear.

In your journal, write out your inspirations or specific information or answers to problems that come to you while listening to the clear soothing sounds of the Inner Vibration.

The experience I have just described is universal in various traditions known as the Holy Spirit, the Amen, Naam, Om and more.

63. Wisdom from Meditation and Purity

Article by Susan Helene Kramer Shuchi

Experience, analyses, right deduction: Wisdom.

Wisdom comes from making the effort to learn from every action. If we analyze and apply these lessons in succeeding times a best choice comes more easily.

Wisdom provides a wise dome. The dome covers us with a shield against wrong action. When wisdom is achieved, the right easeful way seems the natural way.

A way to project wisdom right now is to have caring feelings for all people and the creation. When we act from our heart, we do what is best for all.

When our mind is clouded by selfishness we cannot make the best decision. When we act from lovingness we are doing only good.

Ultimately, we attain and begin living in wisdom; our lives becoming easeful, peaceful, useful, and happy. When we realize this happiness we are realizing our immortal soul.

Happiness is a quality unaffected by time, place, or circumstance. Happiness is always with us; felt when we act in harmony with our fellow human and all creation.

Let the quiet time of meditation give rise to inner wisdom.


Purity is another quality that contributes to creating a beautiful masterpiece of our soul. Purity is the highest level of consciousness we can realize. It is the eternal essence of each atom of us and of the universe.

When a cut glass crystal is squeaky clean, sun light shining through reflects out perfectly. When our mind is cleaned and purified by right living the divine light reflects out perfectly. The divine light serves as a beacon and model to all.

As a lighthouse beacon shows ships the way to safety from a turbulent ocean storm, so the divine light shining from the pure person guides and points the way for others that they may come home safely to their full soul awareness, full soul development.

Being conscious that everything we think and do has an affect on us and others, should spark us to aim for inner purity if we want to realize our easeful, peaceful Self, our soul in its fullness.

Living purely maintains our peaceful mind. Purity and daily meditation increase awareness of our ever joyful Divine Self ever more and more.

64. Overcoming Negative Humor with Kindness

Article by Susan Helene Kramer Shuchi

Moving along the spiritual path we are called to upgrade our actions, as we become more and more aware of the effects of what we say and do.

One way to upgrade is through deep reflection and meditation. Sitting and thinking about what we've done and plan to do, and the effects on others can help us think before we act; think with kindness instead of what makes a joke or makes us laugh.

A joke that puts others down is just the opposite of trying to purify our thoughts and actions through spiritual practices.
Description: Kite flying Photo credit Susan Kramer
Another way to overcome spontaneous thoughts of negative humor is to pause before speaking or acting, considering for a moment if the intended action is for the highest good. We can tell what the best is if it hurts no one, including reflecting back on our self.

Acting with kindness in each situation by following the golden rule of treating others as we wish to be treated is a way to avoid a negative faux pas.

Kindness, kindness and more kindness is the way to act and interact with our fellow humans. This precludes the chance of hurting another's feelings or smudging our own mind with a not quite right action.

We learn by experience, and by upgrading our conscience continually through the practice of kind actions, we are less likely to slip into humor that offends rather than helps or heals.

Humor can be an effective tool for teaching if it is infused with an uplifting tone. It is a kindness to help, because others grow more positive by our example.

We grow spiritually when we spout words and actions from the consciousness of kindness. And for those of us of any religion it is our duty to grow and further ourselves spiritually through continually upgrading our actions.

Practice thinking kindly and acting with kindness uplifts us personally and stretches out to those around us. What we need to learn happens best by teaching. Also, teaching our kids to be kind in humor, jokes and actions helps them and their friends develop in a more positive and spiritual way.

Abiding in kindness
Growing in consciousness.


65. Da Vinci Code Inspired Rose Meditation

Article by Susan Helene Kramer Shuchi

Without giving the plot away to Dan Brown's "The Da Vinci Code," here is a meditation on the fragrant and cherished rose.

Roses have long been a favorite of many. They combine a delightful perfume, good looks, velvety texture and ease of horticulture. Once planted, a rose bush will bloom year after year, and even dried, the scent permeates the environment.

To begin

Place a rose blossom on your meditation table. Sit on a cushion facing your table, hands folded in your lap or resting on your legs.

Gaze at the rose; inhale its fragrance. Notice its arrangement of petals, unfolding in a spiral toward its center.

Close your eyes and begin breathing evenly - counts 1, 2, breathe in; counts 3, 4, breathe out; counts 1, 2, breathe in; counts 3, 4, breathe out and continue this pattern.

After a minute stop counting, but continue breathing evenly. Regular breathing calms both body and mind allowing us to be more receptive to esoteric thoughts and ideas, and giving a break from cares of the world.

Take a few minutes to reflect on the symbolism of the rose - how it gives unremittingly, just as the divine gives all of us life force continuously; how a mother gives to her young ones continuously and unconditionally.

Let thoughts of unconditional love come to mind and rest in those uplifted thoughts.

Finish your meditation with a deep breath; stand, stretch, uplifted with the closing thought: "Can there be any love greater than that which created the rose."

Photo credit of rose Stan Schaap

66. Practicing Peace Meditation

Article by Susan Helene Kramer Shuchi

If there were no stresses in life, our natural peace would always shine through.

But, clouds of stressful situations float by; some pushed by gentle breezes with easily solvable solutions; some pushed along at hurricane force that take us for a rough ride before setting us down.

During all kinds of stress, one way to get back to your core of peace, to the place where decisions can be made for the best result is by spending time in reflection and meditation.

I'm called to practice everyday
Peacefully act in every way.

Practicing Peace Meditation

Time: at least 2 minutes.

Preparation: Sit straight and clasp your hands in your lap, or lie down on your back in a deep relaxation pose with arms slightly away from your body, and legs slightly apart. Close your eyes. You can even practice this meditation sitting at a desk at work or school.

Begin even breathing - count 1 breathe in; count 2 breathe out; count 3 breathe in; count 4 breathe out - continue for 50 counts or another even number.

Now that you've regulated your breathing begin thinking thoughts of peace. Ask yourself what steps you need to take to lead a more peaceful life. After the meditation write down your ideas in a journal or notebook as a later reminder.

Next, visualize yourself relating peacefully in a situation that is stressful. Take some time to really get into the scenario. Again, when you are up again write out your thoughts and ideas for later referral.

To finish the meditation take a deep breath, exhale, stretch and enjoy the feeling of peace in your body and mind.

Personal Peace Multiplied
Planetary Peace

Article Susan Helene Kramer; photo credit Stan Schaap

67. Prayers from God Speaks Through the Holy Spirit

Article by Susan Helene Kramer Shuchi

These prayers are from God Speaks Through the Holy Spirit. May you be refreshed.

Prayer for Meditation

In the stillness of meditation
With a receptive loving heart
The Holy Spirit doth visit
And what's needed will impart.
Description: God Speaks through the Holy Spirit by Susan Helene Kramer
The Voice of God

The voice of God
Arrives on rapidly beating wings
Of the Holy Spirit
A rapturous melody.


A softening of attitudes
That ties the mind and heart together
Into a working relationship.

Seeing the positive and being glad.

Noticing the useful, beautiful
Harmonious aspects of life
And expressing gratitude.

The Promised Land
at close of book ...

And now before I step aside
I want you all to know
That caring brought me to this place
Let me by these writings show
That God through Holy Spirit speaks
In meditation deep
For everyone in time to meet.

Reflect on words within this book
Then with a sincere thought
Listen to the wind within
Until it wraps around your heart
And takes you on a flight
Above this kingdom with its woes
Into the Promised Land
Where in time we surely go.

Together hand in hand
Living forever with our Creator
In the Promised Land.

About the book

An interactive workbook to forge a strong union with the Holy Spirit, written by Susan Helene Kramer, your BellaOnline Meditation editor.

Meditation instructions are given to use with the more than 100 spiritual topics and subtopics on personal development, relationship issues and establishing closer communion with God. The workbook can be used in a two-fold way: by combining meditation and a topic for learning how to listen to the Holy Spirit, or by studying the topics with the intent of attaining self-realization. Either way, topics can be selected sequentially or at random.

My first book was published in 1988. Then, on February 20, 1990, Violet Cleveland, secretary to Dr. Willis Harman of the Institute of Noetic Sciences phoned me and asked permission to submit my writings to their publication department. To follow up, I have continued writing and you will find the outcome of sincerely delving within in this new book. Link to buy

68. Compassionate Thoughts

Article by Susan Helene Kramer Shuchi

In the overall planetary plan, small family service is not enough outreach to show compassion. We must grow to see how we are cousins to everyone on our planet, and in that light feel the greater need and act for that need with care and kindness.
Description: Photo credit of Grand Canyon Stan Schaap
As we zoom off from the landing pad of our home called Earth, more and more in the years to come, we will say to other-planetary beings, "My home is earth, I'm from the planet Earth."

We won't be saying "I'm from a small village in Holland." We will represent ourselves as part of a world family.

Let's take the present opportunities to grow in kindness through showing compassion, so that we truly feel like we are part of the great world family, the Earth family.

"With compassion, kindness hand and hand
We carry forth a master plan
Of caring, sharing, heartfelt giving
Receiving back more joy in living.
Compassion opens up the doors
To love that knows no bounds
We come alive as spiritual lights
As spiritual giants, love unbound."

Article by Susan Helene Kramer; photo of Grand Canyon by Stan Schaap

69. Meditation Helps Communication Skills

Article by Susan Helene Kramer Shuchi

Communication is basic in relationships. We need to be able to ask for what we need in a way that does not offend others. We need to be able to survive in this give and take world. And good communication skills make our days richer and fuller.

Did you ever ask yourself what good communication skills are?

Attitudes influence thoughts, and with an attitude of kindness the best thoughts and subsequently the best words come at the appropriate moment in all interactions.

Kindness is the key that opens the door to friendliness. With a friendly attitude others are not put off when we make a request. If they truly feel our warmth they may even go the extra mile to help us.

Meditation is a time that we can quietly reflect on the methods that help us communicate the most effectively.

Meditation is a time to sort out the dross from the day and plan actions that will help us communicate and reach our goals whether it be with family, friends, or in the work world.

Everywhere we are, whatever we do requires easy and effective communication skills.

70. Meditation and Secular Spirituality

Article by Susan Helene Kramer Shuchi

Meditation seems such a natural fit with secular spirituality. And what is "secular" spirituality?

I describe it as the goodness of spirit that runs through us all; not dependent on a particular, or any religious belief.

Secular meditation can be practiced without interfering with one's belief system, as it is a way get in touch with those qualities beyond thoughts and thinking.

We say a human is composed of body, mind, spirit. In meditation all aspects are encompassed:

- The body sits still.
- The mind occupies itself with a sound or thought or prayer.
- And in the stillness of body and occupied mind, spirit begins to usher forth in enlivening feelings of joy.

Meditating regularly is like the result of practicing an instrument - the delight comes after time.

And what delight meditation can give. Goodness of spirit emerges, energizing body and mind, bringing forth creativity and the energy to follow through on inspiration.

71. Guided Relaxation Meditation

Article by Susan Helene Kramer Shuchi

Lie on your back, arms resting at your sides, feet slightly apart, eyes closed.

Breathe in and out evenly, such as this: 2 counts breathe in; 2 counts breathe out; continue for about a minute.

Now, stop counting breaths and beginning at your feet and working up to your face, alternate contracting and relaxing your muscles.

Next, visualize lying in a peaceful setting perhaps on the radiantly warm sand at the beach.

Let your body sink, sink, sink into the surface and as you do, let stress flow away from your body down into the deeper layers of sand.

Stay awake while your body relaxes; enjoy the moments of peace and relaxation.

After 5 to 15 minutes take a deep breath, stretch out and stand; relaxed, refreshed.

72. Remembering Pope John Paul II

Article by Susan Helene Kramer Shuchi

Many changes for good were brought about by the life of Pope John Paul II. And it goes to show spiritual justice that now that it's been a few years since his passing the Catholic Church is designating and honoring him with the status of Blessed.

This is the step before honoring Pope John Paul II as a saint in the Holy Catholic Church.
Description: Book - Lessons for Living by Pope John Paul II
I remember the period after his passing when after a couple of days of being left with an open casket he was paraded in public. What struck me is that his body did not look like it was decaying even with no embalming.

This raised the thought in me that perhaps I was looking at more than a human in the everyday sense.

Perhaps Pope John Paul II was one day going to be called a saint. It was a thrill and honor to even see the television presentation of the events in the funeral of Pope John Paul II. I felt I was there.

And with the way Mother Therese became Blessed Therese after just a few short years, I felt it wouldn't be long before our beloved Pope would too be designated Blessed.

Another event that moved me was while he was living was when Mother Therese came to visit visit the Pope. He arranged a ceremony before the mass of children doing Indian dancing in honor of her mission and ecumenical spirit in India.

73. Prayer and Tribute to Sri Daya Mata (1914 – 2010)

Article by Susan Helene Kramer Shuchi

This is a tribute to Sri Daya Mata who passed away on November 30, 2010. She was a direct disciple of Sri Paramahansa Yogananda and became the 2nd person, following Rajarshi Janakananda, to head his organization, Self-Realization Fellowship, after his passing.

I never met Sri Daya Mata in person, but I was inspired by the spiritual work she accomplished of collating and publishing Paramahansa Yogananda's writings for posterity. And, those works I have read and been inspired by, as my reviews of these books have shown.

I did receive a note dated February 16, 1996, through Sri Daya Mata's personal secretary, Sr. Savitri, that was in response to a submission I had made to the Self-Realization Magazine. Sr. Savitri assured me that Sri Daya Mata had received my card and enclosure thanking me and extending to me her prayers and blessings.

These blessings I felt as a warm infusion of energy, and have been inspired by her loving energy even to this day. She showed me by her example how important it is to reach out with words of kindness and care.

Part of that letter that inspired me was the encouragement I was given to continue my spiritual work, and is quoted here in part: "Your poem, in which you have expressed your thoughts about life and the spiritual path, reflects your affinity with Paramahansa Yogananda's universal principles and ideals, and we appreciate your sharing it with us. As you keep on deeply seeking God, inspired by the Great Ones who have known Him, may your own relationship with Him grow ever deeper and stronger." Now, who would not be inspired by those words?

Description: The Yoga of Jesus by Paramahansa Yogananda
Beloved Sri Daya Mata,
We will miss your sweet devotion
To seekers everywhere
Continuing on the mission
Of Sri Yogananda's care.


Excerpt of review by Susan Helene Kramer

The Yoga of Jesus by Paramahansa Yogananda

Another wonderful book from the insight of Paramahansa Yogananda has fallen into our laps - literally our meditation lap. The Yoga of Jesus, subtitled Understanding the Hidden Teachings of the Gospels is a inspiring, uplifting guide for daily living. As all of Yogananda's books are, it is so clear, that what we think is esoteric is made to be practical; it makes sense. Link to buy.

74. Make Quiet Time for a Holy Meditation

Article by Susan Helene Kramer Shuchi

Make quiet time when the outer world can be set aside to talk over problems and dreams with that most intimate listening ear, our soul.

Quiet time time when the sounds surrounding us do not intrude. Our time to listen to the eternal sound emanating from within, reaching our quieted mind out of our stillness.
Description: Vincent van Gogh, Blossoming Chestnut Trees, 22-23 May, 1890; photo credit Susan Helene Kramer
The Holy Vibration, the Holy Spirit, known also as the primordial sound, Om or Aum, Amen, The Word, Holy Naam, speaking to us with an ever-present voice of constancy, ever with us through all the changing events in our lives.

If we are distressed or upset, by taking some quiet time, we can reach the meeting point with our ever-present and resonant companion, lending us a soothing comfort and stability.

The Holy Vibration is the only constancy I have found in my life. People and relationships change. Objects come and go. My body is aging and I need to write notes to myself more often.

But throughout all of this, during the past couple of decades I have had an underlying comfort and constancy in my communion with the Holy Vibration's soothing audible sound.

During all my ups and downs this audible vibration has ever been with me, never far from my consciousness when I give myself the few quiet moments needed to tune in to it in my own head.

I hear the comforting vibration as a constant and soothing wind that resides right within my head, seemingly under the crown of my skull. Listening very carefully, I have ascertained that this soothing melody is present no matter what my thoughts are, it underlies all.

As it underlies all and never leaves me, but rather fills me with joy as I tune in, it is the companion I choose to be with in my times of most intense emotion.

To make the most of quiet time and develop this most intimate relationship with the Holy Vibration requires a period of initiation. A beginning. By sitting in a quiet meditation pose or lying in a deep relaxation pose, just begin listening for your inner companion. Listen. Listen. Listen. Then, hold fast to the soft melody.

As you would listen to the rain or wind outside your window and draw in its soothing comfort, listen closely to the soft wind blowing within yourself.

And the more often that you listen to the Holy Vibration, the more resonant it becomes, erasing out the interference of negative thinking, which is enough reason to listen to the inner instructor.

Through quiet time spent in communion with the ever-constant Holy Vibration within, daily living is invigorated.


Article and photo credit Susan Helene Kramer; Painting by Vincent van Gogh, Blossoming Chestnut Trees, 22-23 May, 1890, Kroeller-Mueller Museum, The Netherlands


75. Fighting Hunger Topic for Meditation

Article by Susan Helene Kramer Shuchi

I'd like to request that as a special gift to your community, that you check with your local elementary school to see if there are children not eating dinner or not eating on weekends, and to organize a food drive if there's a need.
Description: Photo by Stan Schaap
For donations pick items kids can open most easily without help. Suggestions include: food packaged in boxes, cans with pop tops, jars with screw lids, food packaged in bags - non-perishable foods. Buying food for others need not cost you more. For example, by buying your family a less expensive brand of icecream you can feed a family a supper of peanut butter and graham crackers.

Giving to the community is practical spirituality in action and not limited to church groups. Buying food for others need not cost your more. For example, by buying your family a less expensive brand of icecream you can feed a family a supper of peanut butter and graham crackers.

Service to the children in our community is an extension of caring for our own family. We are part of an individual family, then community family, extending into world family.

The drive to care and give springs from our consciousness that has been opened and expanded by many sessions in meditation and deep reflection. Why else meditate then to grow in spiritual consciousness, to grow into the full awareness of our humanity.

As the boundaries of selfishness dissolve, the ability and energy come to us in how to provide for more than ourselves. As meditation melts away personal limitations in thinking, more and more ideas come to mind in how to care for our fellow human beings. Growth in consciousness is progressive and what begins as an individual giving event can grow into a regular giving routine.

Children are hungry every day and need nourishing food to fuel their growing bodies. Children are our future and it is our job to give them the best care we possibly can.

Kids need to eat during the days away from school. Many schools have a free breakfast and lunch program, Monday to Friday. Action on the part of each of us can help fill the children's stomachs on Saturday and Sunday.

In your meditation today ask for personal guidance on how you can best be a part of nourishing the hungry kids in your elementary school neighborhood. Contacting the school office is the place to start to get the ball rolling.

Article by Susan Helene Kramer. Photo credit Stan Schaap.

76. Creating and Supplying Your Meditation Area

Article by Susan Helene Kramer Shuchi

Supplies for meditation can run from the very basic cushion for sitting to a whole plethora of items. I will tell you about some of the items I use and where I sit for meditation.

Private place. This is where your creativity can come into play. When I first began meditation I had a room divider screen on hand and it proved an ideal way to create private space. I used a corner of my bedroom and angled the screen across the 2 walls from the corner, creating a triangular space.

Now I use a section of the attic, which has the advantage of being quiet and private. I laid a piece of carpet over the floor boards, and I set my cushion on top.

Do you live is a warm climate year round or part of the year? Then an outdoor meditation bench is ideal; the sounds of nature can be peaceful and soothing.

Cushion or pillow. This includes a small firm pillow to place on the floor over a carpet, rug or blanket. I recommend using some sort of layering under the cushion so your lower legs or feet do not get scuffed or cold from a bare surface such a stone or linoleum. Wood surfaces are okay as they are warmer to the touch.

The cushion supports an upright sitting position as it keeps you tilted slightly forward. Just remember it is important to feel your spine stretched up straight, like it is being pulled up by a string.

Meditation table, shelf or altar. If you like meditation objects around you, you'll need something to lay them on. Depending on available space a small shelf attached to the wall or small table can be used. Consider what you'd like on your table when positioning the height.

Do you want to see your objects at eye level when sitting? In my attic meditation space I use a sturdy upturned carton covered with a cotton cloth; that's the right height for me.

Items for the altar. Here's a list of choices that might appeal to you: On the top I include a center candle, incense and holder (matches under the table), flowers, small inspiring book, a mala, a large crystal and picture of a yantra. Sitting on the floor alongside the altar I lay a journal for writing insights and more reading material which I use before meditating.

Personal dress. I find it helps me get into a reflective mood to prepare myself for meditation. I bought a set of yoga whites which are baggy pants and a long loose shirt; both in white cotton. I keep them clean and just for meditation and hatha poses.

You need to be comfortable when sitting so consider loose clothing and perhaps wearing socks. I also drape my shoulders with a light shawl, or blanket, as my body cools down during meditation.

77. Meditation on Responsibility with Kids

Article by Susan Helene Kramer Shuchi

Children stretch our edges of responsibility as we fulfill their needs, whether we give birth to them or bring them into our lives as stepparents or grandparents. Kids learn responsibility by practicing it little by little and we are their main teachers.

When we pass on to our kids the lessons that we have learned so far, each succeeding generation evolves in consciousness.

To begin

Sit in a quiet location, hands folded in your lap or resting on your thighs palms up or palms down. Close your eyes and begin to breathe in an even regular pattern, such as: breathe in 2 counts; breathe out 2 counts; breathe in 2 counts and continue. Keep up the rhythmic breathing but let go of the conscious counting.

Breath is a tie between body and mind and when we do the regular even breathing we harmonize the interaction of the body and mind. This is important to keep in mind while handling tough child rearing issues.

Now, with your body calm reflect on the following thoughts:

In the family setting we give for the welfare of kids. Giving for a child's benefit is not give and take. We give, give, give, and do not receive in kind, a child does not have the capacity to give back to us in the same way.

What we do receive through caring for kids and teens is a shredding of our self-centeredness, our cage of self-containment, our concept that we are here on earth only to satisfy desires from our own mind.

We give to our children while they are growing up. What they give back to us is a permanent experience of ourselves as expansive beings, expansive in that we feel ourselves within the framework of others' lives.

To our kids we are parents and to our elders we are kids. While we each play our roles to the best of our ability and try to grow in consciousness, we are helping the world be a better planet for everyone. As world sisters and brothers let us care across the generations and make our time on earth as fruitful as possible.

Now, take a deep breath in and out, and stretch. Take time to record your feelings and insights in your journal for later review. In this way your journal becomes the most enlightening book, or series of books in your life, because it is the record of your own journey of growth in Spirit.

78. Giving and Receiving Comfort by Prayer and Meditation

Article by Susan Helene Kramer Shuchi

When loved ones are sick, we may sometimes feel powerless to help, and sad ourselves.

You can give and receive calming spiritual comfort while quietly sitting with the person, or even from a distance, through this silent meditative practice:

Sitting in a chair, fold your hands and close your eyes. Quietly begin regular even breathing. For example: breathe in one count; breathe out one count; breathe in one count; continue.
Description: Chicago skyline and boats on Lake Michigan; photo credit Stan Schaap
After at least a minute of even breathing let your attention turn to your Higher Power. Ask that your loved one be spiritually and bodily comforted. Ask for their peace of mind.

Ask for your own peace of mind and comfort to be able to accept the course of their illness with grace and fortitude.

The simple requests of asking for comfort, for the one sick and for ourselves, give peace of mind, and when we feel peaceful our body also relaxes; we feel less tense.

During the years my children were growing up, and fell sick, I would sit with them in a peaceful and calm manner, and they would finally relax and nap.

Giving comfort; receiving comfort
By finding peace and relaxation first
In ourselves.

Article by Susan Helene Kramer; photo credit Stan Schaap; Chicago skyline and boats on Lake Michigan

79. Prayer of Comfort Remembering Dana Reeve

Article by Susan Helene Kramer Shuchi

Dana Reeve met life's challenges with beauty and grace. May this little prayer offer some comfort to those holding her memory - her son, especially, and other family members, that they take comfort from the fact she was such a good person, and will continue to live in the hearts of all who knew and loved her forever.
Description: photo credit of Vedanta Temple by Susan Kramer
Prayer of Comfort

"Golden days come and gone
Cherished thoughts still linger on
Family, friends, those we love
Alive in memories.

The clock of time has no hold
When our thoughts hold only gold
Kindness, caring linger on
Alive in memories.

In looking back the winding trail
Holds for each a precious tale
And when our sunset blazes bold
We'll live on, in memories."

Prayer and photo credit Susan Helene Kramer

80. Walking Meditation to Learn to Concentrate

Article by Susan Helene Kramer Shuchi

Begin this practice with a few minutes and extend to half an hour or more over time. Pick a familiar place to walk so that you don't have to think about where you are going and can turn your mind inwardly.

Step out in regular and rhythmic strides, paying attention to your actions: when your right leg steps forward, your left arm swings forward; and when your left leg steps forward, your right arm swings forward, and so on.

The point is to develop concentration on the activity of the moment, thereby excluding the mind from running to other thoughts or ideas.

I have practiced this in a circle of a large group of people by consciously watching each of my steps while maintaining a measured distance to the person ahead of me - say 4 feet distance between.

I feel the added benefit of walking to develop concentration is that the right and left brain are exercised and coordinated, as the right side of the body is controlled from the left hemisphere and vice versa.

When the mind develops the ability to concentrate it can be calm and one-pointed, better able to solve pressing problems in an orderly and methodical way.


Collection One 1. to 40.
Collection Two 41.
to 80.
Collection Three 81.
to 120
Collection Four 121.
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Collection Five 161.
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All content on this site is copyright Susan Helene Kramer
 and may not be used in any manner without express written permission.

Ebooks or Books - click covers

Description: Meditation for all Kids by Susan Kramer

Description: Meditation Lessons for Teens and Adults by Susan Kramer

A meditation and yoga practitioner since 1976, Susan, Shuchi, writes on practical spirituality, meditation, yoga, family and social issues, and dance. Her instructional books are listed at her web site


page created October 3, 2009; updated February 21, 2016