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Category Archives: Ask Barb

Ask Barb


Q: Barb,
What is a good age to start meditating? I am approaching 65, am I too old? My grandson is 6, is he too young?

A: We are not too young or too old to start a meditation practice! I say start where you are right now, today! Parents teach your children to spend a minute, in quiet, paying attention to their breath. In my thirty years of practice I have discovered that meditation is really a quiet time to sit and be with yourself, before you start doing. It’s in this, sitting still each day, we learn to be comfortable in our own skin; we learn to be okay with quiet time when we’re alone; and we become our own friend learning to love ourselves first. Meditation is for everyone!

Blessings and love,
Barb


About Barb Schmidt


Barb Schmidt Barb Schmidt is an international best-selling author, businesswoman, philanthropist, and spiritual teacher with over thirty years devoted to spiritual development and research. In 2001, Barb partnered with Florida Atlantic University’s Peace Studies Program to promote dialogue in the greater community on the topic of inner peace. Additionally, she taught a class on meditation and spiritual practices as part of the life-long learning program at Nova University for five years. For the past ten years, she has been offering workshops and classes on spiritual practices throughout the world. A sought-after speaker, Barb regularly lectures at schools and organizations to spread her message of living a meaningful, happy life.

Ask Barb


Q: Barb,
My husband does not understand my need to meditate…and constantly tries to infringe on my time by interrupting and asking me questions during this time. I have tried to tell him I need quiet during this time, but I haven’t been able to get him to understand. Any suggestions?

A: Often times when we change our routines or start something new our partners find this troublesome because it’s new; it’s different; it’s change! We all can relate to the deep feeling of fear of the unknown, it’s nothing to take personally. When I started practicing, decades ago, my husband was very nervous about how this might change our relationship; was I going to go live in a cave? Would I expect him to change? I suggest sitting down and having an honest communication about his concerns, talk about why you want to meditate, and how you feel it may benefit you. Let him know that this is new for you too, and in no way are you expecting him to join you. I found communicating my feelings, acknowledging his, and affirming my love for him and our relationship was key to beginning my practice, and sustaining it all these years.

Blessings and love,
Barb


About Barb Schmidt


Barb Schmidt Barb Schmidt is an international best-selling author, businesswoman, philanthropist, and spiritual teacher with over thirty years devoted to spiritual development and research. In 2001, Barb partnered with Florida Atlantic University’s Peace Studies Program to promote dialogue in the greater community on the topic of inner peace. Additionally, she taught a class on meditation and spiritual practices as part of the life-long learning program at Nova University for five years. For the past ten years, she has been offering workshops and classes on spiritual practices throughout the world. A sought-after speaker, Barb regularly lectures at schools and organizations to spread her message of living a meaningful, happy life.

Ask Barb


Q: Barb,
Are you sure 5 minutes every day is enough time to meditate? I have heard from many teachers that you have to do 20 or 30 minutes.

A: So many people ask me this question. All meditation teachers are sharing
their personal experiences and what works for them. I, too, for many years practiced this way by following a particular teacher who said anything less than 30 minutes wasn’t really meditation. Then in 2007 I went on retreat with the Dalai Lama and I saw this quote by A View on Buddhism “One should realize that continuity in meditation is considered essential; better five minutes a day, every day, than 2 hours once a week. For example, five minutes in the morning are likely to become longer over time, and can easily become part of your everyday life.” This completely opened my mind and heart to the concept that meditation is a “sitting with yourself” every day to connect within, the length of time is not nearly as important as the consistency of practicing every day. So this is what I teach in my book, The Practice, wake-up every morning and the first thing you should do is connect with yourself in meditation.

Blessings and love,
Barb


About Barb Schmidt


Barb Schmidt Barb Schmidt is an international best-selling author, businesswoman, philanthropist, and spiritual teacher with over thirty years devoted to spiritual development and research. In 2001, Barb partnered with Florida Atlantic University’s Peace Studies Program to promote dialogue in the greater community on the topic of inner peace. Additionally, she taught a class on meditation and spiritual practices as part of the life-long learning program at Nova University for five years. For the past ten years, she has been offering workshops and classes on spiritual practices throughout the world. A sought-after speaker, Barb regularly lectures at schools and organizations to spread her message of living a meaningful, happy life.

Ask Barb


Q: Barb,
I notice that when you speak about meditation, you recommend this being quiet time. Does that mean that “guided meditations” don’t work as well?

A: When I speak about quiet time I am talking about the time we sit with ourselves and let the thoughts in the mind come and go. We don’t engage thoughts or push them away- we just sit and be. So for me the guided meditation, the breath, the mantra, etc. are the objects we use to place our attention on to keep from engaging the thoughts coming in the mind. With this focus of attention, we are connecting within to that place of quiet-stillness.

Blessings and love,
Barb


About Barb Schmidt


Barb Schmidt Barb Schmidt is an international best-selling author, businesswoman, philanthropist, and spiritual teacher with over thirty years devoted to spiritual development and research. In 2001, Barb partnered with Florida Atlantic University’s Peace Studies Program to promote dialogue in the greater community on the topic of inner peace. Additionally, she taught a class on meditation and spiritual practices as part of the life-long learning program at Nova University for five years. For the past ten years, she has been offering workshops and classes on spiritual practices throughout the world. A sought-after speaker, Barb regularly lectures at schools and organizations to spread her message of living a meaningful, happy life.

Ask Barb


Q: Barb,
Who has been the most influential person in your life?
Rhonda

A: Rhonda,
Oh my gosh – that’s a hard one! I have been inspired by so many amazing beings! However, in the preface of my book I talk about my difficult childhood, bulimia, and recovery. The person who gave me attention, love and guidance in my younger life was my grandfather Harry. So, I would have to say, I am here today because he cared, he loved me, he taught me, and he inspired me to achieve my personal greatness. He was my most influential person.

It is rather amazing to think of the enormous impact a person can have on the life of a child. I have met, and spent time with, some of the great teachers of today…and yet when you ask this question, my heart was immediately pulled to my grandfather. As I mentioned in my last column, one of my biggest accomplishments has been the ability to ‘love myself’…that ability was fostered by the love that he nurtured.

Thank you for the question – you touched my heart!

Blessings and love,
Barb


About Barb Schmidt


Barb Schmidt Barb Schmidt is an international best-selling author, businesswoman, philanthropist, and spiritual teacher with over thirty years devoted to spiritual development and research. In 2001, Barb partnered with Florida Atlantic University’s Peace Studies Program to promote dialogue in the greater community on the topic of inner peace. Additionally, she taught a class on meditation and spiritual practices as part of the life-long learning program at Nova University for five years. For the past ten years, she has been offering workshops and classes on spiritual practices throughout the world. A sought-after speaker, Barb regularly lectures at schools and organizations to spread her message of living a meaningful, happy life.

Ask Barb


Q: Barb,
Can you explain what “the progress” looks like, after meditating for years?
Sam

A: Sam,
Wow- yes! This is a great question, because when you work out and take care of your body you can see the progress…but what does that progress look like when you meditate and take care of your mind? Meditating has helped me to be “present” to the people, places and events in my life. I know what it feels like to be in the moment, and can bring myself back to the present moment when I am distracted. Through my meditation practice, I have developed a great intuitive ability. I get a “hit” in my stomach and I know what action to take with my head and heart together. When something or someone has hurt me or angered me, I can take a deep breath, I give myself permission to feel what has happened and then I take an action instead of reacting. I am more patient and have less expectations of certain outcomes; I begin my day open and receptive to what life has for me and I have developed a great sense of curiosity. I would say the greatest blessing that has come from my practice is the love that I have for myself and the love I feel for my fellow beings. If you take a look at the preface in my book, The Practice, you will see that I am a recovering addict and did not like myself at all- so this is my greatest progress- loving myself.

Blessings and love,
Barb


About Barb Schmidt


Barb Schmidt Barb Schmidt is an international best-selling author, businesswoman, philanthropist, and spiritual teacher with over thirty years devoted to spiritual development and research. In 2001, Barb partnered with Florida Atlantic University’s Peace Studies Program to promote dialogue in the greater community on the topic of inner peace. Additionally, she taught a class on meditation and spiritual practices as part of the life-long learning program at Nova University for five years. For the past ten years, she has been offering workshops and classes on spiritual practices throughout the world. A sought-after speaker, Barb regularly lectures at schools and organizations to spread her message of living a meaningful, happy life.

Ask Barb


Q: Dear Barb,
Hey, I love your stuff. I’m just struggling so much to have a peaceful mind at the minute, and I think I’m nearly on my last legs.
– Mark

A: Mark,
The fact that you are nearly on your “last legs” is fabulous news. Congratulations! This means you are willing to try anything, because all that you have been doing up to this point is not working! All of our Facebook posts are meant to inspire you to desire a rich, fulfilling inner life; I say often that outer peace begins with inner peace. We spend so much time in the external world. In order to have a peaceful mind, we must start recognizing that the mind is unruly,thinking thoughts all the time without our permission, doing its own thing constantly. And it is doing this because it only has stimulation and input from the outer world—all of that chaos, negativity, and noise.

We can only attain a peaceful mind by beginning to implement a daily time of “sitting with ourselves”—in other words, meditation. In this practice, we slow down the rush of thoughts, start to become aware of the negative thoughts, and little by little, we begin to realize that we have no control over the outer world . . . but we are the boss of our own lives and we can shift from a negative thought and put our attention on what matters in our lives and focus on positive, empowering thoughts.

Start today with a 5-minute meditation—and tomorrow wake up and do it again!

Blessings and love,
Barb


About Barb Schmidt


Barb Schmidt Barb Schmidt is an international best-selling author, businesswoman, philanthropist, and spiritual teacher with over thirty years devoted to spiritual development and research. In 2001, Barb partnered with Florida Atlantic University’s Peace Studies Program to promote dialogue in the greater community on the topic of inner peace. Additionally, she taught a class on meditation and spiritual practices as part of the life-long learning program at Nova University for five years. For the past ten years, she has been offering workshops and classes on spiritual practices throughout the world. A sought-after speaker, Barb regularly lectures at schools and organizations to spread her message of living a meaningful, happy life.

Ask Barb


Q: Dear Barb,
How do I make The Practice a priority?
– Jane

A: Dear Jane,
This is THE question! I say, pick one part of The Practice and do it.

For example, start with the first tool: Waking Up: Meditation.
Make the commitment that you will start your day with a 5-minute meditation— a “sitting with yourself.” To make time for this, wake up five minutes earlier than you usually do.

Starting the day with this 5-minute meditation sets the tone for your whole day. You are connecting with yourself and living life grounded from within. So instead of being at the mercy of the outside world, you are connected and ready to deal with the things the day sends your way.

Only do this 5-minute meditation to begin, and after a time when you feel that this has become part of your routine, then move on to Living Present, the second part of The Practice.

Soon you will start to see the benefits of this morning meditation in your life, and you will not want to miss it for anything.

Blessings and love,
Barb


About Barb Schmidt


Barb Schmidt Barb Schmidt is an international best-selling author, businesswoman, philanthropist, and spiritual teacher with over thirty years devoted to spiritual development and research. In 2001, Barb partnered with Florida Atlantic University’s Peace Studies Program to promote dialogue in the greater community on the topic of inner peace. Additionally, she taught a class on meditation and spiritual practices as part of the life-long learning program at Nova University for five years. For the past ten years, she has been offering workshops and classes on spiritual practices throughout the world. A sought-after speaker, Barb regularly lectures at schools and organizations to spread her message of living a meaningful, happy life.