New Spiritkeep YouTube Video

June 15, 2020, I added a new video to the Spiritkeep YouTube channel, inviting potential Meditation and Mindfulness Students to examine my qualifications and teaching courses here on the Multimedia Web. The YouTube Link is here.

(FYI….the Spiritkeep YouTube channel is also on the Menu Bar under the Home page title.)

I have more videos coming in June, inviting you to the practice of Mindful Forest Bathing on location near the Village of Stirling, Ontario, Canada. So, stay tuned!

If any of you would like to Subscribe to any of my Spiritkeep channels, that would really make me happy!

Also this month will be a free guided stress reducing meditation audio recording posted to my SoundCloud streaming channel. Stay tuned again!  (FYI… The SoundCloud Link is also available on the “Spiritkeep Audio Recordings” Home page menu.)

Thank you all for your ongoing support.

I hope you have as much fun watching and listening, as I do in the writing, producing and delivery of these products to the world.

Peace and abundance to all.      Rob

Meditation Mindfulness Classes

With the best information you can decide for yourself if you want to take my courses or classes.

These research based classes are designed to provide you with your own set of meditation and mindfulness skills. (to read more, click on article title)

Ethics, Rob Owens (Links to Verify)

Personal health, safety and integrity is of great importance. I assure you that I am in 2020 a certified Meditation Mindfulness Teacher, certified Medical First Responder plus a fully accredited First Aid CPR/Defibrillator Instructor for St. John Ambulance Canada.

I have completed all Police criminal records checks for working with the public and volunteers, including the Vulnerable Sector check.

About Classes

I have assembled the classes to be educational, as well as practical. These are not merely stress relief classes, but contain a rich variety of active and passive meditation and mindfulness practices. From this rich variety of experiences you will know by the end what works for you.

Each class starts with a brief group discussion on the previous class, then from me an education of what we are trying to learn in this class. To facilitate learning I have some written handouts for you to keep, as you experiment in your home practice. Some handouts I request you return to me anonymously with your comments, so that you may feel free to express your need for improvements as we progress.

I encourage you to share about your meditation home practices, your challenges and success with the group.  In this way the group shares their collective wisdom. No one should feel pressure to speak. I might ask the group about individual meditation home practices only to refine techniques for my future lessons, not to pry into your affairs. You may Email me on this Web site using the Contact Author link, on the Pages Menu.

My ambition for You

My ambition for you is to furnish you with self-created a set of your own meditation and mindfulness experiences, that become your own rich toolbox of meditations. At the end you should know which meditation practices suit you best at this point in your life.

As you grow in meditation practice and wisdom you might take a higher level course, or a dedicated mindfulness course.

Or you may simply refer back to this website and these articles to become inspired. For more information on courses, where, Zoom format courses, see the Pages Menu “Classes”, or type Classes in the Search Bar.

I recommend in-person classes where there is greater mind-resonance in the group.

My Teachers

I am very proud of my diploma Teacher, Itai Ivtzan PhD, and his Associates. Click on any of these Links

Dr. Itai Ivtzan, Naropa University, Boulder Colorado

Dr. Ivtzan T E D Talks

Tara Brach, author and Buddhist meditation teacher

 Mindfulness Teacher Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn

Christopher Germer and Kristin Neff Self Compassion Program





Mental Massage Therapy

Brain actiivyt copyAs our bodies require a good circulation of body fluids to eliminate toxins, our conscious minds can benefit from a type of psychic circulation that comes from mindfulness and meditation. 

We instinctively rub or massage a painful spot on our body to stimulate circulation and remove the toxins that are causing the pain. When we touch the spot it hurts; this is the same as touching a knot of stored consciousness in the mind. When we see, read, speak or think of a past hurt, it comes up into the conscious mind where we react to it again.

Practicing mindfulness and meditation is like practicing massage to a knot in a muscle of the body; similarly, mindfulness works on our stored consciousness of experiences.

Without the treatment of mindfulness, a mental knot can crystallize into a lump that is toxic to our mind consciousness. Practicing mindfulness allows us to detect and transform the toxin and over time to eliminate it.

Embracing the knots of anger, sadness and regret in our stored consciousness is like practicing massage to a sore body. Mindfulness can create the type of energy that allows psychic pain to dissolve and be flushed out.

The Ties that Bind Us

knotEveryone has internal stores of pain, anger and frustration caused by our judgments toward others who have been unkind or insulting to us. Taking these slights personally causes internal formations that are like ropes that bind us and obstruct our freedom.

If we don’t know how to cut these internal ropes and transform them, a knot will form that tightens every time that we meet someone who is unkind or insulting. Over time, the knot begins to crystallize into a hard lump of irritation. We might try drugs, alcohol or mental diversions to relieve the pain of these irritations. This complicates the issue, causing ropes and knots of addiction.

But through mindfulness, we can find these knots, and through meditation we can experience transformation by untying them.

Be aware that formations caused by pleasure can cause suffering and lost freedom.

The pleasure of falling in love is a huge internal formation. When falling in love we are not free – we can all think only of our beloved – we cannot study, we cannot work, we think only of the object of our love. When falling in love becomes an internal knot we become unstable.

When we taste, hear, or see something pleasant, then that pleasure can become a strong internal knot. When the object of pleasure disappears, we miss it, we search for it, expending much time and energy to re-experience it.

If we consume alcohol, go to the casino, view pornography or violence, and begin to like it, the liking starts an internal formation in the body, in the mind, due to the sensations caused. We begin to look for more of the substance or act, and become very anxious when we see it running out or it is gone. We are not even finished with the first one, and already we are thinking of ways to get more. The knot crystallizes.

Pleasant or unpleasant, internal formations remove our liberty.

The first step in untying the knots is admitting we have them.

Prayer and Meditation can help us accept how they were caused.

Mindfulness can prevent new knots from forming.

Elusive Mindfulness

Blank canvasWe forget that people are so naturally creative and observant that they can perceive the truth and create new truths within their own experience, if they are willing to observe it. Creating a blank canvas or framework for the truth, and having some faith in the process, is all that is required, but that is a tall order for most of us.

Mindfulness can elude us because we have been conditioned that enlightenment is a commodity that others hold, that mindfulness is earned or worked for, or we pay others to dispense it as therapy at a tropical retreat, or as room service, in appealing flavours.

Seeking mindfulness can imply work in a temple or with a guru, of turning every stone, using mental cunning, devising trickery, creating illusions or visions, impersonating something or someone else, as if we can attract the spirit though self deprivation, suffering or hard toil.

We are conditioned to believe that “working hard” and “sacrificing” is what yields concrete results and benefits in material terms. No Pain, No Gain, has become the modern catchphrase.

But the elements of mindfulness are not a state achieved by a trick or technique; mindfulness is a way of being, especially away from the guru, at home after the retreat and in the world outside of the temple.

With this concept, we can be people of faith in learning to use mindfulness to create a psychic clearing, or a blank canvas, on which the divine can bring action toward truth. Seeking, we will find, but it is our own responsibility to be observant and seize the opportunity of happiness.

We know that universally, Nature abhors a vacuum. Creating a blank canvas for mindfulness to appear creates a sort of vacuum, wherein Nature works to fill the empty space with possibility for transformation and healing. It is up to us recognize and nurture possibility into ability, which leads to growth.

By setting an anchor or still point within each practice, we create a reference or pause, from which we can gain energy for the next steps of the journey.

Letting Go of Results

Tightrop walker woman copyIn Europe and North America we are results driven people, this proven by the paradox that we likely come to meditation and mindfulness practice because of pain, anger, depression or fear, with avoidance of these symptoms as the goal.

The “goal” paradox is, that the benefits of meditation/mindfulness appear when we deliberately unfocus on fixing problems. When a student says they are interested in being more relaxed, enlightened or pain-free, what they really say is, “Right now, I am not okay, I can’t accept where I am at”.

But with practice, we discover that eliminating the drive for results can yield something like what we want; better awareness of our natural psychic balance, despite the unbalance. Acceptance becomes a key that unlocks the door to enlightenment.

If we are teaching meditation and mindfulness it is essential to embody this concept of natural innate balance in the face of students who come to us results driven, wanting to get somewhere, anywhere, other than where they are at right now.

But befriending ourselves right now is prelude to an enlightenment that germinates naturally, without force, flourishing under the right conditions that meditation and mindfulness create.

The teacher’s own practice and talk should embrace the knowledge and confidence that a willingness to accept all student’s innate ability for mindfulness creates a global climate that conducts growth and inhibits scepticism, doubt or inhibition.

Demystifying Meditation

Meditation does not have to be so confusing!

Consider that meditCandle gazeation has accompanied humanity since the sun set on the first prehistoric cooking fire. Picture our ancient ancestors gazing into the glowing coals; a warm, comforting and ineffable pleasure after a stressful day of running from tyrannosaurus rex while hunting and gathering nuts and berries. In the fire’s ever shifting coals, our forbearers imagine animal shapes, faces, or familiar scenes among the fire play of glowing wood.

This ancient fire-gazing object meditation requires no instructions, comes to us as naturally as looking, and all of us can still enjoy and wonder at it to this day.

Sadly, students of meditation can encounter, as I did, conflicts, dichotomies, rigid or contrary instructions, to cause discouragement. The deeper the neophyte looks, the more complex it seems, when really we are self-complicating a simple process.

My view on the subject has become this: developing an inquiring and all-accepting attitude before, during and after meditation is essential. I refer to the first two steps in the “How to Meditate” article by Tara Brach posted on my “Practice Meditation” page.

Here is a simple candle meditation you can try that could de-mystify the process. I like to set a silent running timer that chimes gently (I find the clicking mechanical ones too distracting) for about 10 minutes to start, expanding in 5 minute increments every-other day. The objective is simply to look at the flame while clearing the mind.

Sitting in Candlelight

As you sit comfortably, with an erect spine and eyes focused on the flame, settle your body and take several slow, deep breaths. Notice the flow of air through your nostrils and aim to smooth the process.

Take note of spots where there is tension in your body, then smooth and calm those muscles in your imagination until they become peaceful.

Follow your breath and try to be conscious of the act of breathing as you gaze into the candle flame. During meditation your business is simple awareness, nothing else. No two experiences will be the same. Distracting thoughts will arise but simply bring your attention back to the flame while following your breath.

A tip form my yoga instructor Jenni Burke, who also teaches meditation, “If you want to add a ‘kriya’ to the meditation (detoxification exercise) gaze first with eyes open as long as possible without blinking. This will cause the eyes to water, which is part of a detoxification process. Then return to a gentle Buddha-gaze for the meditation practice.”

When your meditation comes to an end, rest before rising.  This transition time is important to reform the mind, so do not return to daily activity suddenly, after meditating.

I wish peace and abundance for all.