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Chakra Zen Incantations

Ten Zen SecondsThe Thinking and Breathing incantations in Eric Maisel's book entitled Ten Zen Seconds: Twelve incantations for Purpose, Power and Calm are as simple as counting, 1, 2. 1. one thought. 2. two breaths. First take in a deep breath. Second release a cleansing breath out. The thought is a phrase that is to be spoken outloud. The words are to broken down into two parts so that it has a rythmic tone to it.

Example: I am open to joy.
breath in as you say
I AM OPEN, on the out breath say TO JOY.

Saying the incantations without visualizing them is my downfall. Eric instructs the reader not to create images in his mind while doing these incantation, but to focus only on the words and the breath. I've been practicing and doing better. I have also created my own chakra-zen incantations that are intended to be used for chakra balancing.

Chakra Zen Incantations

(My energy)(is free of blockages)
(My root chakra)(is deeply grounded)
(My sacral chakra juices)(are creative and bold)
(My solar plexus)(feels mellow and calm)
(My heart)(is filled with love)
(My throat)(speaks the truth)
(My third eye)(intuits inner knowledge)
(My crown chakra)(projects inspiration)
(My chakras)(are spinning in alignment)
(My aura)(is colorful and clutter-free)
(My lightbody)(beams brightly)
(I am)(centered and balanced)

TEN ZEN SECONDS interview with Eric Maisel

What is Ten Zen Seconds all about?

EM: It’s actually a very simple but powerful technique for reducing your
stress, getting yourself centered, and reminding yourself about how you want
to live your life. It can even serve as a complete cognitive, emotional, and
existential self-help program built on the single idea of “dropping a useful
thought into a deep breath.”You use a deep breath, five seconds on the inhale and five seconds on the exhale, as a container for important thoughts that aim you in the right direction in life—I describe twelve of these thoughts in the book—and you
begin to employ this breathing-and-thinking technique that I call incanting
as the primary way to keep yourself on track.Where did this idea come from?

EM: It comes from two primary sources, cognitive and positive psychology
from the West and breath awareness and mindfulness techniques from the East.
I’d been working with creative and performing artists for more than twenty
years as a therapist and creativity coach and wanted to find a quick, simple
technique that would help them deal with the challenges they regularly
face—resistance to creating, performance anxiety, negative self-talk about a
lack of talent or a lack of connections, stress over a boring day job or
competing in the art marketplace, and so on.

Because I have a background in both Western and Eastern ideas, it began to
dawn on me that deep breathing, which is one of the best ways to reduce
stress and alter thinking, could be used as a cognitive tool if I found just
the right phrases to accompany the deep breathing. This started me on a hunt
for the most effective phrases that I could find and eventually I landed on
twelve of them that I called incantations, each of which serves a different
and important purpose.

What sort of hunt did you go on?

EM: First, I tried to figure out what are the most important tasks that we
face as human beings, then I came up with what I hoped were resonant
phrases, each of which needed to fit well into a deep breath, then, most
importantly—which moved this from the theoretical to the empirical—I tested
the phrases out on hundreds of folks who agreed to use them and report back
on their experiences. That was great fun and eye-opening!

People used these phrases to center themselves before a dental appointment
or surgery, to get ready to have a difficult conversation with a teenage
child, to bring joy back to their performing career, to carve out time for
creative work in an over-busy day—in hundreds of ways that I couldn’t have
anticipated. I think that’s what makes the book rich and special: that, as
useful as the method and the incantations are, hearing from real people
about how they’ve used them “seals the deal.” I’m not much of a fan of
self-help books that come entirely from the author’s head; this one has been
tested in the crucible of reality.

Which phrases did you settle on?

EM: The following twelve. I think that folks will intuitively get the point
of each one (though some of the incantations, like “I expect nothing,” tend
to need a little explaining). Naturally each incantation is explained in
detail in the book and there are lots of personal reports, so readers get a
good sense of how different people interpret and make use of the
incantations. Here are the twelve (the parentheses show how the phrase gets
“divided up” between the inhale and the exhale:

1. (I am completely) (stopping)
2. (I expect) (nothing)
3. (I am) (doing my work)
4. (I trust) (my resources)
5. (I feel) (supported)
6. (I embrace) (this moment)
7. (I am free) (of the past)
8. (I make) (my meaning)
9. (I am open) (to joy)
10. (I am equal) (to this challenge)
11. (I am) (taking action)
12. (I return) (with strength)

A small note: the third incantation functions differently from the other
eleven, in that you name something specific each time you use it, for
example “I am writing my novel” or “I am paying the bills.” This helps you
bring mindful awareness to each of your activities throughout the day.

Can you use the incantations and this method for any special purposes?

EM: As I mentioned, folks are coming up with all kinds of special uses. One
that I especially like is the idea of “book-ending” a period of work, say
your morning writing stint or painting stint, by using “I am completely
stopping” to ready yourself, center yourself, and stop your mind chatter,
and then using “I return with strength” when you’re done so that you return
to “the rest of life” with energy and power. Usually we aren’t this mindful
in demarcating our activities—and life feels very different when we do.

Is there a way to experience this process in “real time.”

EM: By trying it out! But my web master Ron Wheatley has also designed a
slide show at the Ten Zen Seconds site that you can use to learn and experience the incantations. The slides that name the twelve incantations are beautiful images provided by the painter Ruth Yasharpour and each slide stays in place for ten seconds. So you can attune your breathing to the slide and really practice the method.

How can people learn more about Ten Zen Seconds?

EM: The book is the best resource. You can get it at Amazon

Or you can ask for it at your local bookstore. The Ten Zen Seconds website is also an excellent resource: in addition to the slide show that I
mentioned, there is a bulletin board where folks can chat, audio interviews
that I’ve done discussing the Ten Zen Second techniques, and more. It’s also
quite a gorgeous site, so you may want to visit it just for the aesthetic
experience! I would also recommend that folks check out my main site,
www.ericmaisel.com, especially if they’re interested in creativity coaching or the artist’s life.

What else are you up to?

Plenty! I have a new book out called Creativity for Life, which is roughly
my fifteenth book in the creativity field and which people seem to like a
lot. I also have a third new book out, in addition to Ten Zen Seconds and
Creativity for Life, called Everyday You, which is a beautiful coffee table
book about maintaining daily mindfulness. I’m working on two books for 2008,
one called A Writer’s Space and a second called Creative Recovery, about
using your innate creativity to help in recovering from addiction.

And I’m keep up with the many other things I do: my monthly column for Art
Calendar Magazine, my regular segment for Art of the Song Creativity Radio,
the trainings that I offer in creativity coaching, and my work with
individual clients. I am happily busy! But my main focus for the year is on
getting the word out about Ten Zen Seconds, because I really believe that
it’s something special. So I thank you for having me here today!


for information on Eric Maisel's books and services
please visit http://www.ericmaisel.com

for information on Ten Zen Seconds,
the next step in mindfulness practice,
please visit http://www.tenzenseconds.com


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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on May 9, 2007 12:13 AM.

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