Jump to content

Side Quest 4: Create your own Force Field


The Shogun

Recommended Posts

S I D E _Q U E S T _I V

 

C R E A T E _Y O U R _O W N _F O R C E _F I E L D

 

 

 

This week we will be taking lessons from The White Council of Middle Earth.

 

3YZ7hfn.jpg

 

No, not that lesson.

 

The Strength of The Elves and The Maia comes from their Wisdom. The Wiser they are the stronger they become. Even Melkor was considered the wisest among the Valar before he became Morgoth. This week we will work on creating our own force field of peace, calm, mindfulness and wisdom; and use it to defeat The Necromancer.

 

Spoiler Alert: If you haven’t watched The Hobbit trilogy — what’s wrong with you? — don’t watch the videos, they contain scenes from the last movies and the extended edition of The Desolation of Smaug.

 

 

Why?

 

Meditation can help you realize just how far and fast our minds can wander from what you're supposed to be doing at the mo— OH, LOOK! A SQUIRREL!

 

Got it.

 

Okay.

 

How am I doing?

 

Okay, monkey. Got it.

 

Okay. Okay, look out for the other monkey.

 

In the age of multitasking ninjas, hyper-scheduling wizards, and Cheechoe’s Cat Memes and Gifs, that alone can be a huge help.

 

If you are, indeed, part of the Monks Guild, you have attempted to practice meditation in some point in your life, so I won’t go into details on why we need to meditate. It’s what we do, it’s how we roll.

 

We take up the practice of mindfulness meditation to increase focus, lower stress and maintain present the forgiveness and compassion we show others and ourselves when we fail.

 

We know our physical health cannot be dissociated from our mental and emotional health and that there’s a close relationship between physical fitness and mental and emotional fitness and willpower.

 

Fatigue, weakness, lack of stamina, physical exhaustion, or just our everyday life can drain our willpower. The experienced, tough and well-conditioned Monk who takes up the practice of mindfulness meditation has a feeling of fitness and confidence, and is much less susceptible to many of the factors which undermine our willpower.

 

So, when you feel overwhelmed by the Shadows of Mordor, low on willpower and morale, I want you to do this:

 

Stop, smile, and breathe.

 

How?

 

Let us start our mindfulness meditation challenge by emptying our mind...

 

* snorts *

 

Nah, sorry. I’m just kidding.

 

Mindfulness meditation is perhaps the most accessible form of meditation. And it's not about clearing your mind but rather focusing on one thing. When the mind wanders, the meditation isn't a failure. Our brain is like a wayward GIR Unit, out of control. Catching it and putting it back to the object of focus is what meditation is all about.  

 

It can be as simple as focusing on your breath. As you breathe, your mind will wander and other thoughts will come rushing to you. That’s okay! That’s what your mind do.  Don’t let those thoughts fester like Orcs; make a conscious effort to always go back and focus on your breathing.

 

What you’ll need

 

Nothing.

 

Mindfulness meditation requires only that you’re willing to concentrate and notice what's happening around you and, in most cases slow your mind down and follow your breath. You can do it lying down, in a chair, in savasana, in your daily commute, after yoga, in the shower, while your wash your bowl, or if you’re a fancy monk: using a zafu or a zabuton and seated on seiza. Even if you do it only for two minutes, it counts.

 

It's dangerous out there, take these

 

You start focusing on your breath, and after a brief victory, in comes the squirrel...

 

 

Here are a few techniques you can use.

Count your breath: As you breathe in, count 1 in your mind, and as you breathe out, count 1. Breathe in, count 2. Breathe out, count 2. Continue through 20, then return to 1 again, like a string which attaches your mindfulness to your breath. When the count is lost, simply return to 1 and keep trying until you can keep the count correctly.

 

Seek inspiration: If you are inspired by Eastern spiritual traditions —which being here I’ll assume you are— you might reflect upon the principles of your martial art. You can also use a candle, a flower, the smoke from incense or any other object that has meaning for you. Lightly allow your attention to sit there, quietly and peacefully.

 

Recite a prayer, mantra or a positive affirmation: A mantra literally means "that which protects the mind." So reciting a mantra protects you with spiritual power. It is also said that when you chant a mantra, you are charging your breath and energy with the energy of the mantra.

 

Do a Guided Meditation: Guided meditation is akin to guided imagery, a powerful technique that focuses and directs the imagination toward a conscious goal. You'll find a lot of guided meditations, both free and for sale, around the web.

 

If you are currently practicing meditation or have practiced it during some part of your life. Please share your advice, technique, app, and experience below.

 

Now, go.

 

Wield the light of Earendil and Create a Force Field capable of sending Sauron back to the filth from which he came.

 

tumblr_nemsszMf0Z1s5v6bgo1_r1_500.gif

  • Like 5

One must still have chaos in oneself to give birth to a dancing star.

Current Challenge

 

 

Link to post

A D V A N C E D _L E V E L

 

Use your Force Field to resist The Ring

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UKVkH31TYmc

 

 

"It's ok to eat one more. It's just one more."

 

"You had a great week of dieting. Time to celebrate with taquitos!"

 

"You already broke your diet with that taquito. Time for pizza."

 

“But I NEED tacos! I need them or I will explode! That happens to me sometimes!”

 

Again:

 

Stop, smile, and breathe.

 

Now that you have mastered the mindfulness meditation techniques above.

 

Use them to stop the self-sabotaging voice that won’t let us go to the gym or stick to our diet.

 

When you hear the voice of The Ring. examine your mood without any judgement. What emotions are you feeling? Perhaps you're feeling anxious. guilty, or worried. Do not despair, simply acknowledge those feelings of anxiety and accept their existence.

 

You'll eventually realize you can't control the emotions that arise, but you can control your reactions to them.

 

The next time that self-sabotage occurs, ask yourself: how do you feel? Anxious? Guilty? What is your mood leading up to that point? How does your environment impact your feelings? It is crucial to do this objectively and without judgment, otherwise you start blaming yourself or others and you’ll become a ringwraith.

 

Put an End to The Ring’s Influence

 

Our willpower is limited and making mistakes doesn't mean we are bad people; it means you're just a little hobbit in vast universe. The next time you feel yourself about to submit to self-sabotage, I want you to do this:

 

Identify your trigger: Think about what happened and answer the following question: when you gave into it previously, did the outcome ever leave you better off? Probably not.

 

Use your force field to identify your feelings leading up to the event: Maybe even before that clown with no head handed you a taquito, you had celebratory feelings. You then felt pressure after being offered a taquito and guilt after finishing it. When these emotions start coming on, examine them objectively, and without judgment. Write them down.

 

Realize that you are not your emotions: Think about the last time you felt this emotional pattern—you probably had the same urge, right? This means that it's not a moral failing if you have the urge to binge eat, binge drink, or watch all the seasons of  Doctor Who in one night — That’s Side Quest 5 — it's an inevitable one caused by the emotions and events leading up to it. You cannot control your feelings. You are responsible, however, for what you do with them.

 

Determine the root cause behind your emotions: Perhaps you are stressed at work because of a deadline. Realize that your need to binge eat or drink stems from the deadline. Figure out what you need to do to fix the root problem.

 

Distract yourself with something else and focus on how great future you will feel: This was my secret to quit smoking. Whenever I felt the urge to smoke, I made an origami crane instead.  I’d focus so much on making the crane that the urge of smoking was gone when I was finished. Go for a walk or find a relatively harmless vice like computer games and do burpees every loading screen. Focus on how good you will feel the next day after you successfully decoupled your emotions from your actions. Know that because of this win, you're less likely to sabotage yourself in the future.

 

You might fail the first few times that you try this. If so, that's ok. Show yourself some compassion. Frodo didn't get angry every time he put on The Ring, would you? Fitness and Diets are skills and habits that take time, and you're not going to stop binge eating over night.

 

One of the most powerful feelings is conquering an event using mindfulness, rather than willpower or self-control. You'll realize that your self-sabotage is not a moral failing; you just haven't learned to resist the Power of The Ring yet.

 

You can do it.

 

Go and save Middle Earth.

The White Council is right behind you.

  • Like 3

One must still have chaos in oneself to give birth to a dancing star.

Current Challenge

 

 

Link to post

Oh, this. I've definitely noticed a lot of the same effects like what you talk about. It feels like there's a flat place in your mind that's protected by a wall of glass, and through this wall you can see and analyze everything that's happening.

 

One thing I've found to be helpful in minduflness meditation is to ground my contemplation in physicality. There's a strength coach on YouTube named Elliott Hulse who talks about focusing not on one thing, but on two things, two physical sensations, and every time your focus wanders you draw yourself back with those things. So, for me, it's breath and posture. I can feel myself losing focus if my posture starts to sag, so I stack back up and breathe deep and I'm right back to work.

 

It's a possible tactic that can be useful if the idea of sitting still and counting breath is intimidating.

  • Like 2
Link to post

Shogun, this is one of the best guides to meditation that I have ever seen! You have taken something that so many people struggle with and made it so simple to understand. I am bowing my head to you as I type this.

  • Like 1

Doug

 

In search of the ever elusive side thrust kick....

 

Student of Karate and Iaido

Link to post

This guide is excellent. I've been really enjoying my meditation goal throughout the three weeks of this challenge, and I started with precisely the process described above. During one session about a week in, an image came into my mind of a spiral staircase. If it's morning, with each heartbeat, I visualize taking a step up--and in the evening, I descend.

 

Since then I have been alternating with simple breath counts and the visualization, and it's really very calming and restive, particularly after a hard day.

 

I really highly recommend this practice to anyone. The increased O2 sat alone is worth it!

"You are what you do. Choose again, and change." - Miles Vorkosigan

Challenges

109 | 8 | 7 | 6 | 5 | 4 | 3 | 2 | 1 |

Link to post

Needed this today.  Mostly the wizard super-powers against darkness.

  • Like 1

I felt like I could run forever, like I could smell the wind and feel the grass under my feet, and just run forever.

Current Challenge: #24 - Mrs. Cosmopolite Challenge

Past: #1, #2, #3, #4, #5, #6,  #7#8, #9#10, #11a & #11b, #12, #13, #14, #15, #16, #17, #18, #19, #20, #21, #22, #23

Link to post

The self-analysis part will be easy (I tend to overanalyze all of my actions, and I need to work on analyzing moods), but the meditation part will be difficult. I always have a hard time with meditation - partly because I don't understand it (but TheShogun's guide is shocking simple, so maybe I've just been doing it wrong???) and partly because I hate sitting still. This shall be a challenge for me. 

CHALLENGES: CURRENT111098765432, 1

📷 📚

 

Link to post

Doom de-doom doom doom... doomy doom doom doom...

 

...

 

Last night my wife was waxing jealous about how boys have their 'nothing box', because anytime she asks a guy what he's thinking, he always says 'nothing'.  Guys can just sit there, thinking about nothing, and enjoying themselves.  When a girl says 'nothing', she explained, she ACTUALLY means she's thinking about everything, but doesn't want to go into it.  I tried to explain that's what guys mean, too, but she doesn't believe me.  I just think she prefers to imagine that I have a box labelled 'nothing' inside my head where I like to go sit.  Like a cat.

 

20121113-catster-cat-in-box-video-hero.j

  • Like 6

The cancer was aggressive, but the chemotherapy was aggressive, as well.

There was aggression on both sides. 

Link to post

Damn.  You weren't kidding you had a meditation challenge in mind.  Nice.

 

Definitely need to try this more regularly.

RisenPhoenix, the Entish Aikidoka

Challenge: RisenPhoenix is an Avatar

 

"The essence of koryu [...is] you offer your loyalty to something that you choose to regard as greater than yourself so that you will, someday, be able to offer service to something that truly is transcendent." ~ Ellis Amdur, Old School

Link to post

Somehow I missed all the fancy side quests over here.  I'm allowed, right?  even though I'm a brand new newbie?

 

The analysis thing I got DOWN.  Maybe a little too much so. 

 

Being the slightly Type A OCD goal-oriented person that I am, I have a technical question.  How long is ideal?  Or even if it's not so much a time-based goal . . . but how do you know when you're done?  With a husband and three kids running willy nilly all over the house, quiet spaces are hard to come by.  Outside of locking myself in the bathroom (which seems to draw kids to the door like little magnets) I don't have many choices.  So, I guess I have two challenges to overcome on this one - logistics and time.  Any suggestions?

Heather

 

"Other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, how was the play?"

 

 

Link to post

Being the slightly Type A OCD goal-oriented person that I am, I have a technical question.  How long is ideal?  Or even if it's not so much a time-based goal . . . but how do you know when you're done?  With a husband and three kids running willy nilly all over the house, quiet spaces are hard to come by.  Outside of locking myself in the bathroom (which seems to draw kids to the door like little magnets) I don't have many choices.  So, I guess I have two challenges to overcome on this one - logistics and time.  Any suggestions?

 

As little as you like, to start with.  A couple of minutes.  Five minutes.  It's a skill, like holding a plank, you get better.  As for logistics, I suggest making a cup of tea and saying, "I need a few minutes of quiet time, so solve your own problems until [six minutes from now]."  Hold it in your hands to look like you're drinking tea, meditate, then drink the tea when you're done.  (Same thing also works with paperbacks in your hands.)

  • Like 2

I felt like I could run forever, like I could smell the wind and feel the grass under my feet, and just run forever.

Current Challenge: #24 - Mrs. Cosmopolite Challenge

Past: #1, #2, #3, #4, #5, #6,  #7#8, #9#10, #11a & #11b, #12, #13, #14, #15, #16, #17, #18, #19, #20, #21, #22, #23

Link to post

I meditate at work, to keep stress under control (yes, we have a meditation room at work), but in the beginning I was getting anxious because of the time. The solution for me was to grab some music (Kishi suggested Ohmarmonics, you an find it on youtube). That helped a lot: I know in advance how long it will take, and I know that I can give myself those 15 minutes.

 

As far as technique, I also use the passive watching one: I do not focus on anything, but I let my mind wonder freely, without fixating on anything. Letting go of a thought is as difficult as focusing on one single thought. 

I also like the walking meditation: as the name says, you walk, focusing on each and every movement, the shift of weight, how it synchronize with your breath. It is a slow and deliberate movement, but without forcing anything. Nice if you have a quiet park at hand, or a long corridor. Stay away from the traffic with this, it is distracting and dangerous.

 

Just sharing what I have learned so far

  • Like 1

Tkal, level 8 Dwarf assassin playing with the monks

STR 13.5 | DEX 19.25 | STA 16 | CON 18.75 | WIS 18 | CHA 14.5

My walls (aka: random log) | Intro | Challenge 1 with tracker | Aborted Challenge 2 | "Real" challenge 2 | Challenge 3
Challenge 4 | (never started)Challenge 5 | (super short) Challenge 5 | (third is a charm) Challenge 5 | Challenge 6
Challenge 7 | Challenge 8
 
"Patience you must learn"

Link to post

Oh, this. I've definitely noticed a lot of the same effects like what you talk about. It feels like there's a flat place in your mind that's protected by a wall of glass, and through this wall you can see and analyze everything that's happening.

 

One thing I've found to be helpful in minduflness meditation is to ground my contemplation in physicality. There's a strength coach on YouTube named Elliott Hulse who talks about focusing not on one thing, but on two things, two physical sensations, and every time your focus wanders you draw yourself back with those things. So, for me, it's breath and posture. I can feel myself losing focus if my posture starts to sag, so I stack back up and breathe deep and I'm right back to work.

 

It's a possible tactic that can be useful if the idea of sitting still and counting breath is intimidating.

 

I tend to focus on two things too, my breath and my posture how my body feels, the sensations of my body. Sometimes I try to focus on what I can perceive with my senses, one by one. I don't focus too much in posture because I meditate in Savasana. it's great, the risk is that you can fall asleep quite easily and quick. 

 

Shogun, this is one of the best guides to meditation that I have ever seen! You have taken something that so many people struggle with and made it so simple to understand. I am bowing my head to you as I type this.

 

Thank you. I'm glad you approve it. Maybe it's my teacher skillz. Once you get non-native second grader speakers to differentiate between A, E and I and to write Beautiful correctly, everything seems so simple.  Simple, but not easy.

 

Nice!  Meditation is always good.  The self-analysis in the second part will be tough but worth it.  I'm terrible at figuring out what's going on in my head :-/ 

 

Both quests are optional. The advanced level is for those who look at the first part and say "I LAUGH IN THE FACE OF YOUR QUEST, SHOGUN!". My yoga instructor used to do the same before he left to China and abandon me. 

 

Needed this today.  Mostly the wizard super-powers against darkness.

 

And the squirrel. 

 

The self-analysis part will be easy (I tend to overanalyze all of my actions, and I need to work on analyzing moods), but the meditation part will be difficult. I always have a hard time with meditation - partly because I don't understand it (but TheShogun's guide is shocking simple, so maybe I've just been doing it wrong???) and partly because I hate sitting still. This shall be a challenge for me. 

 

 

Doom de-doom doom doom... doomy doom doom doom...

 

...

 

Last night my wife was waxing jealous about how boys have their 'nothing box', because anytime she asks a guy what he's thinking, he always says 'nothing'.  Guys can just sit there, thinking about nothing, and enjoying themselves.  When a girl says 'nothing', she explained, she ACTUALLY means she's thinking about everything, but doesn't want to go into it.  I tried to explain that's what guys mean, too, but she doesn't believe me.  I just think she prefers to imagine that I have a box labelled 'nothing' inside my head where I like to go sit.  Like a cat.

 

20121113-catster-cat-in-box-video-hero.j

 

Somehow you took a guide made of two long post and compressed into an epiphanic one-line simple to grasp concept. Meditation is like a cat sitting in a "nothing" box. You should be a zen master!. I bow to you Daddy Monk. 

 

Also, because it needs to be here for reasons:

 

 

AW! SOMEBODY NEEDS A HUG! I love you just for replying to my Invader Zim winks. (Not enough of them in the posts, if you ask me). 

 

Damn.  You weren't kidding you had a meditation challenge in mind.  Nice.

 

Definitely need to try this more regularly.

 

You should see what I've got for the next challenge. =D

 

Somehow I missed all the fancy side quests over here.  I'm allowed, right?  even though I'm a brand new newbie?

 

The analysis thing I got DOWN.  Maybe a little too much so. 

 

Being the slightly Type A OCD goal-oriented person that I am, I have a technical question.  How long is ideal?  Or even if it's not so much a time-based goal . . . but how do you know when you're done?  With a husband and three kids running willy nilly all over the house, quiet spaces are hard to come by.  Outside of locking myself in the bathroom (which seems to draw kids to the door like little magnets) I don't have many choices.  So, I guess I have two challenges to overcome on this one - logistics and time.  Any suggestions?

 

I reply with another question. How long is ideal FOR YOU? I set myself a goal of 10 minutes every day because I have the time to do it, just before I go to bed. But sometimes I do it in the subway for a couple of minutes only, or when I'm waiting for someone at the street. I start playing the "noticing game" in which I focus on my surroundings and I start just noticing things, sometimes particular things like "anything red".

 

Did you check the "wash your bowl" link? You might find it useful. I share it here again just for you. 

  • Like 1

One must still have chaos in oneself to give birth to a dancing star.

Current Challenge

 

 

Link to post
 

As little as you like, to start with.  A couple of minutes.  Five minutes.  It's a skill, like holding a plank, you get better.  As for logistics, I suggest making a cup of tea and saying, "I need a few minutes of quiet time, so solve your own problems until [six minutes from now]."  Hold it in your hands to look like you're drinking tea, meditate, then drink the tea when you're done.  (Same thing also works with paperbacks in your hands.)

 

tumblr_lji08fZcdt1qzqy14.jpg

This is my favorite part.  :D

 

WHAT!? did you read the part that I mentioned you, right? I was giggling on my own for like half an hour!

 

I meditate at work, to keep stress under control (yes, we have a meditation room at work), but in the beginning I was getting anxious because of the time. The solution for me was to grab some music (Kishi suggested Ohmarmonics, you an find it on youtube). That helped a lot: I know in advance how long it will take, and I know that I can give myself those 15 minutes.

 

As far as technique, I also use the passive watching one: I do not focus on anything, but I let my mind wonder freely, without fixating on anything. Letting go of a thought is as difficult as focusing on one single thought. 

I also like the walking meditation: as the name says, you walk, focusing on each and every movement, the shift of weight, how it synchronize with your breath. It is a slow and deliberate movement, but without forcing anything. Nice if you have a quiet park at hand, or a long corridor. Stay away from the traffic with this, it is distracting and dangerous.

 

Just sharing what I have learned so far

 

Tell us the truth. Do you work in the Xavier Institute for Higher Learning, formerly Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters and when you say "Meditation room" you mean Cerebro, right? It's the only way I could hate you more for having a meditation room at work. 

  • Like 1

One must still have chaos in oneself to give birth to a dancing star.

Current Challenge

 

 

Link to post
Both quests are optional. The advanced level is for those who look at the first part and say "I LAUGH IN THE FACE OF YOUR QUEST, SHOGUN!". My yoga instructor used to do the same before he left to China and abandon me. 

 

I know!  I meditate daily (though mastering it would be a stretch), so the second part is the challenge.  It's a good challenge too.  If we don't understand why we think the things we do, we don't advance.  Besides, 80g of chocolate today says I need to sort out a few things :confused:

  • Like 1

Behave yourself, badly if necessary.
 

Current Challenge

Judo - Shodan

My Character

Link to post

ah, but do you put the children into the box with the cats?

 

Mind you, we had a box for sitting in in our lab for almost a month - it was the best!

Just the right size to sit in cross legged, pull the doors shut and make the world go away for a bit.

 

Late joining in the side-challenge, but delighted because today's yoga class included some meditation, and it felt great!

NF challenges: March 2018 , 12 , 11 , 10, 9876, 54321

 

 

Link to post

Where do you get children?

here?

 

babydump1.jpg

or is that something else?

Tkal, level 8 Dwarf assassin playing with the monks

STR 13.5 | DEX 19.25 | STA 16 | CON 18.75 | WIS 18 | CHA 14.5

My walls (aka: random log) | Intro | Challenge 1 with tracker | Aborted Challenge 2 | "Real" challenge 2 | Challenge 3
Challenge 4 | (never started)Challenge 5 | (super short) Challenge 5 | (third is a charm) Challenge 5 | Challenge 6
Challenge 7 | Challenge 8
 
"Patience you must learn"

Link to post

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

New here? Please check out our Privacy Policy and Community Guidelines