Dr. Bita Yadidi is California Board Certified Licensed Acupuncturist, a Doctor of Oriental Medicine specializing in Preventative Medicine, a certified Chi Gong, Tai Chi, and Meditation instructor. She is the founder of Wellness To Be, an East-West Integrative Wellness Center in Beverly Hills, California, where Bita and her team specialize in preventative and restorative health using acupuncture, cupping, moxabustion, infrared sauna, lab tests, herbal therapy, nutritional guidance, lifestyle coaching/counseling, and mind body exercises. Dr. Yadidi received her Masters degree in Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine from Yo San University in 2013 and continued her education, receiving her Doctorate of Acupuncture & Oriental Medicine specializing in Healthy Aging and Longevity in 2016. She received her undergraduate degree from UCLA in Sociology and Education in 2000.
In This Episode, You Will Learn:
- How Bita sought healing through traditional Western medicine.
- Why she chose to attend a 10-day silent meditation retreat.
- The three ways we experience suffering.
- What happened to her wrist during the retreat.
Connect with Bita:
- Dhamma.org (location of the silent retreat)
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Bita, thank you so much for taking time to hang with me today.
Thank you, David. I’m so excited to be here and exchange some thoughts and experiences together.
Tell us, why did you choose to go on a ten day silent retreat? This sounds absolutely crazy to the average person. Why did you do this?
Good question, everyone asks me that but what happened was, on August 1st of 2018, I had a really freak accident and cut my wrist with glass and two of my tendons and two of my nerves were fully lacerated on my right hand. When that happened, I had about eighty stitches and as you know, I’m an acupuncturist, doctor and healer, and I couldn’t use my right hand.
So, I did what I knew best. I did physical therapy three times a week. I did my acupuncture once a week. I took my supplements. I was doing my own kind of meditation. But I wasn’t getting better. The hand was super swollen, super red and extremely painful and nothing was getting better. I did resort to Western medicine. I had a few different consults with orthopedic specialists and pain management doctors. I went on two rounds of oral steroids. We did one set of injections on my right hand and I was still not getting better.
So, I asked the doctors, “What’s going on in the Western world?” And they said, “You have a negative mood.” Your body thinks that it’s still on fight/flight mode. We’ve got the nervous system; we’ve got the parasympathetic and we’ve got the sympathetic. So, the fight/flight mode is where healing doesn’t happen. My body was still on that mode and so they offered me to get nerve blocks. They said, “Once we get nerve blocks in there, then we can block the negative loop and healing can begin.”
That sounds intense.
Really intense and my background is all natural for over ten years. I try to stay completely away from synthetic drugs and I always try to start with the natural holistic approach and if things don’t get better, then I love integrating both worlds. So, that’s what I was doing but still nothing was getting better. After consulting with the pain management doctor, I asked a few questions and I came to that conclusion. I said, “Give me some time. Let me decide if I want to do the nerve blocks. Or let me come up with another idea.”
I went into journaling and into meditation and I knew exactly what was going on with me. There was an emotional attachment to this injury of mine and I wasn’t healing because my mindset and my emotions and my spirit was not healed and I was not aligned. I was still in conflict and attached to the injury. I was impatient of getting better and then attached to the identity crisis that this injury brought. So, after going through that and some education, I realized what I needed to do. All I needed to do was get my nervous system into a state of rest and relaxation and get myself back into sync with my parasympathetic nervous system. So, with that said, I asked myself, “What is the best way for such a severe injury? I have to do something intense right away.” That is when I looked www.dhamma.org up. It’s a vipassana mediation retreat and that’s how it all began.
To somebody who is not an aficionado of Eastern medicine, you’re saying there’s some sort of emotional connection to your wrist and that’s the reason why it’s not healing? That sounds like total whack-a-doodle stuff to me. What are you talking about? Shouldn’t it just heal on its own? What’s the connection between emotion and your wrist not healing?
I sincerely believe that the root of all disease comes from suppressed emotions. Every organ system and every part of the body, it’s all interconnected and emotion is energy in motion. It’s connected to our spirit. If the energy is blocked and if the emotion is blocked because we’re suppressing it or we’re not looking within and turning on the flashlight and asking ourselves, “What’s going on? What’s the root cause?” healing isn’t all physical healing. The emotion consists of your spirit.
In Chinese medicine for example, the emotion connected to heart is excess joy. The lungs are connected to grief and sadness. So, if you’re dealing with grief and sadness and you don’t approach the emotions first, you’re not getting to the root cause, you’re just band-aiding it. So, you’ll get a little better bit but the true healing doesn’t begin until you go and look within yourself and really be true and sincere with figuring out, “What’s going on with me? What am I not wanting to see? Where are my attachments? Where are my fears? Where are my shadows?” If we don’t put that work in, healing truly doesn’t happen 100%. You’re not going to see the same results and this has happened over and over again with my patients and their experiences. The minute the mind and the spirit become one, the body fully turns around.
Okay, so I need to get my mind and body aligned. Is that what you said? Mind and spirit?
I’m forgetting what I need to align here; mind, body, spirit. How about that? We just get all three in alignment?
And you felt that there was a potential of a retreat helping you do that?
Yes, but only because I had the disconnect and I knew in order for me to be able to have clarity and allow truth to arise, I needed a space that allowed me for quietude and I wasn’t able to do it here at home with two kids, a husband, a family and work. I wasn’t getting better with all the Western and Eastern modalities. My gut, my intuition, my knowledge and my wisdom, I just knew that I needed to find a silent meditation retreat.
How did you go about choosing this location? Did you know of it because of your background?
Yeah, I had known about it and heard about it through a friend of mine who we went to acupuncture school together. She had gone to about three to four of these and she had always shared it with me and said how amazing it is. She just loved it. I didn’t have time nor physical or mental energy to do any research, I just went into prayer mode and I said, “If this is the right thing, it’s going to open up for me. So, let me go online and send in an application.” For this retreat you need to send in an application, it’s not like you pay and you get in. It’s free but it’s a huge waitlist. I went online and I just said, “I’m going to apply.” I applied for the time that I wanted and I got denied. I didn’t get in. They said, “We’re full.”
What was the name of that again?
It’s called Dhamma.org and they teach a technique called vipassana meditation. Vipassana has been handed down by Buddha and it’s a way to eliminate all suffering.
Okay, so you got denied the first time because of the timing?
Yes, they said, “I’m so sorry, this time we’re full. You can apply for the next retreat.” The next retreat was mid-November around Thanksgiving and that’s just a crazy time because I’m always hosting my family over for Thanksgiving. But again, I said, “God, if it’s meant to be, I feel this is the path, we’re going to apply. If I get in, I’m going.” And I did. I turned in an application again and I waited and I got an answer right away that said, “You have been accepted, let’s do it.” So, that’s how it all started. There was no planning. There was no research. It just effortlessly opened up for me.
Okay, so you show up the first day. You arrive, where is this? What is it like? Take us through it visually. You’re driving up to the place, I know you’ve got to feel nervous. Maybe you weren’t but I’d be nervous.
Oh, yeah. I’ll share a little personal story. It was in Northern California. I live in Los Angeles, so I had to fly up to San Francisco. It was right around when we had all the fires going on, so it was not the best air quality. From SF, I had to get my rent-a-car and drive three hours North, past Napa Valley, to get to this town called Kelseyville. It’s my first time actually doing something like this by myself. So, I get the rent-a-car, driving up, I have my navigation, I have the map and David, I’m freaking out. The sun is setting, the road seems to be winding, it’s getting pretty dark and I have this crazy fear like, “Oh, my God. What are you doing Bita? This is crazy. I can’t believe you’re trusting this entire process.” All those thoughts started coming through my mind as I’m getting closer to the destination and then something wild just happened.
As this fear was about to take over me and as I was seconds away from saying, “Forget this. I’m going back home,” immediately I called all my guides and all my angels. I said, “I’m calling all my guides, all my angels, we’re here together moving forward to what is truly meant for me.” So, even the drive to this place was heart wrenching for me and very difficult. But the minute I got there and parked my car, I’ll never forget, we walked into this beautiful space; redwood trees, cabins, beautiful leaves all on the floor. Once I did my registration, they gave me my cabin number and I went into my cabin with a roommate. The minute you walk into the cabin, silence had began, so I wasn’t even really able to speak to my roommate.
Yeah. So, if you want to speak, you were supposed to show up between five and seven PM. Silence began at seven PM.
You were late. Did you write a note? Like, “Hey, here’s my name. Here’s who I am. Please don’t mug me while we’re sleeping”?
I called frantically to tell them, “I’m running late. I’m almost there.” They said, “No problem.” I was only able to speak to the head facilitator. He gave me a little paper of the rules and regulations and that was it. You went into your cabin. It’s a small little room, super simple. Two, bunk beds or two small twin beds. You unpack your stuff and there’s no phone, no journals, no pens, no books, no magazines, no television, no music, nothing. It’s you in a room with a stranger.
Can you keep your clothes on? Oh, my gosh. It sounds like they’re taking away everything from you.
Everything. All it is, is you, your clothes and just being you. That’s it. With a schedule. The schedule was also hardcore crazy. You had to wake up if you wanted, from three to five AM in your own room to meditate or five to seven AM in your own room. What really happened was, at 6:30 the gong would hit and you would have to be at breakfast rounds from 6:30 to 7:15. Then eight AM until ten AM was mandatory meditation. After that you could continue meditation in the meditation hall or you would go back to your room and meditate. Again, you would have a second meal at eleven or twelve o’clock. Then after that, meditation from two to five. You go back into your room and rest or meditate. After that, come back again for evening meditation from six to nine PM.
Is this guided meditation or it’s just total silence?
It’s total silence. The way it worked on the first day, the next morning, you walked into the meditation hall and you can’t even smile at the person next to you. You can’t even nod at the person next to you. You can’t even wave “Hello”. The first morning when I woke up and I was heading to breakfast, I found myself automatically smiling, automatically wanting to nod and wave and I had to catch myself and stop myself from doing that because it’s breaking the Noble Silence rule. I realized as the days went by, I’m a person that I was on automatic pilot all the time without being aware that I’m constantly doing things without really understanding that I’m doing them. It’s just you’re a robot on automatic pilot.
So, the first “Ah ha” moment for me already began at breakfast time, not even at meditation yet. It was like, “Oh, Bita, you can’t even just be you.” The second “Ah ha” moment was when you go into the meditation hall, women sit on one side, men on the other. You have two facilitators and you sit on your little meditation chair or cushion that they’ve appointed you and the facilitator basically says, “Meditation has begun”. Then there’s a recording and the recording is from Master Goenka, the original teacher from Dhamma.org. He walks you through a recording, teaching you what we need to do and you listen to the recording. The recording stops and now you’re meditating. The meditation was a two-fold. The first two days, they taught you to simply focus on top of your lip and this triangle right here.
For those who can’t see us, it’s the triangle from the bridge of your nose, down to the top of your lip, right?
Exactly, like a triangle. And with this technique, all they wanted you to do was just be an observer of any sensations in that area. So, if your breath was shallow, it was shallow. If it was deep, it was deep. We’re not altering what our natural state is, we are just observing. So, for two days we were doing that, and that is called “Anapana”. That’s the meditation technique; anapana, focusing on the sensation of breath, the air coming out of your right nostril, going into your left.
For two days?
For two days, David. On a minimum I was meditating eight hours a day.
You really know your nose now. I bet you’ve got a real tight relationship with your nose.
Real tight relationship. Very tight. There were sensations that I never thought I would be experiencing.
What’s the point of that? What’s the reasoning behind that?
It’s for an agitated mind. For one, it’s to discipline the mind and then calm the agitation down and thirdly to be able to figure out those sensations. So, you don’t go straight into the other kind of meditation, which is vipassana, without first calming your mind. Disciplining your mind. Creating patience. Being able to pick up on those sensations that you would never think you had.
What was really cool about this technique throughout the entire ten days, you’re not allowed to react to those sensations. So, if you’ve got an itch right above your lips, you’re not allowed to take your finger and itch it. If you’ve got an itch on the back of your neck during this process, you’re not going to itch it. If you want to turn your head and circle it, you’re not. So, you’re not reacting to any sensation, all you’re learning is to be able to become an observer and practice the law of nature, that nothing is permeant. Everything has ebbs and flows and if you just focus and observe, this shall pass as well. So, it also really tests your patience, your tolerance and your reactivity to things.
The first two days, that’s all I did. David, I was exhausted. You would think if you’re sitting on your butt eight hours a day and sleeping in between, you should have massive amounts of energy but I was wiped out by nine PM the first two days. I’ll never forget, I walked from the meditation hall into my cabin area, opened my bedroom door and I collapsed onto my bed with the same clothes on. I just collapsed and I realized that’s how much energy one needs to use to be able to process and clear and move things around. So, the first two days, I did have this incredible excitement. I was super looking forward to it. I was embracing everything that was coming my way but I couldn’t believe I was so exhausted and I was also not hungry. They only feed you by the way, two meals a day. Your last meal is at twelve PM and there is no more food until the next morning.
I’m assuming at this kind of place they’re feeding you bark and sticks and moss or something like that? Am I right?
Actually, they’re feeding you really yummy vegetarian food. Nothing fancy but amazing food. It’s really good.
High quality, organic moss. Really good stuff.
Really good stuff, right. I don’t know about high quality but definitely organic. I also appreciated; you’ve got to remember this retreat center is very simplistic. There are no candles. There are no incense. There is no Buddha out there. It is just pure. So, there’s no religion or faith or anything that might make you want to say, “Ah, I don’t feel comfortable.” It’s complete neutrality because it really is not about religion or faith or following a way. It’s all about learning how to tap into your inner being, to begin to clear the suffering that the mind has actually created for you. It’s all about mindset. Am I making sense?
Oh, yeah. Yeah, I’m with you for the first two days. What happens after that? What’s going on here?
So, day three, four, five, six, slowly emotions are coming up and sensations are happening. We’ve moved from the anapana to vipassana. With vipassana, basically you scan from head to toe, toe to head, observing all the sensations that are possibly arising. And if it’s not arising, you don’t get attached to it. You basically say, “I’ll try again,” and you continue to scan. So, you’re just scanning head to toe, toe to head, constantly for hours and hours.
And you’re waiting for some sort of sensation? Is it emotional or physical, both?
Yes, it could be anything but we are strictly really observing physical sensations. So, is there buzzing? Is there heat? Is there heaviness? Is there cold? And again, you’re not allowed to react. The third thing they taught you was that there are three ways we cause suffering to ourselves. And three ways we do that is through aversions, cravings and ignorance.
Aversions, cravings and ignorance. Okay, so those are the three ways we experience suffering?
Yes, and what does he mean by that? Buddha believed that aversions like, “I hate this.” “I hate you.” “I hate that food.” “I hate doing this.” When we go to an extreme of hate, it is self-induced suffering. And simultaneously, if we go to the other extreme, which is cravings, “Oh, I love you.” “I love this food.” “Oh, I love this sensation.” “Oh, I love everything.” You’re also creating suffering. Why? Because both of those extremes, you’re going to a place of attachments. “I really am loving this meditation sensation, therefore now I want it and I want more of it.” So, you’re creating an attachment which now takes you away from the present moment of experiencing now.
So, the technique that you’re doing day three, day four, day five and all the way until day ten, you are disciplining your mind. As you’re scanning head to toe, toe to head, you begin to develop or cultivate or feel these sensations and you’re loving them. There was a moment where I’m like, “Oh, my God. My entire body is buzzing. I love this feeling.” But immediately I was able to catch the mind and say, “Oh, I’ve got to be in a state of neutrality. Just observe that this is a sensation and the law of nature, it’s here now and it is going to go.” But if I attached to it, “I want this sensation again and again,” now I’m self-inducing suffering. Because what if I don’t find that sensation again? Now what happens?
This technique of vipassana, you are training yourself to sit still and to become an observer of the mind and the body. Simultaneously, just being able to accept what is at this moment. We did this for ten whole days. Day three, day four, day five was pretty good for me. It wasn’t bad and energy started coming. But I must tell you, by day six I was like, “Oh, my God. Get me out of this space. Get me out of this room. I want to see people. I want to talk.” The most frustrating for me was that I love journaling and I wasn’t able to journal. I had all these “Ah ha” moments and I’m not allowed to journal. So, I was really letting go of all my attachments and letting go of the idea, “Well, when I have ‘Ah ha’ moments, I need to write.”
One of the biggest things that happened for me, it was raining day six, seven and eight. Before vipassana, I had this attachment to rain. I had this story that when it rains, energetically and emotionally, I go a little bit down. I become slightly melancholy. I want to go home. I want to turn on my fireplace and I want to have my hot chocolate or my glass of wine. For me, I had that attachment when the weather got cold and it started raining. So, rain was not something that I looked forward to. Here I am on day six, seven, eight, and it’s raining. I don’t have my fireplace. I don’t have my wine. I don’t have anything that is a comfort for me. So, what do I do? How do I navigate through this emotional, mental process?
Well, I continued doing the meditation technique. That’s all I could do because the only thing that you can do if you didn’t want to meditate, was walk the grounds. There was a trail that you could walk in nature and there would be moments that I was like, “I can’t meditate any more. I’m either falling asleep or I’m exhausted or this is too much. I need a break.” So, after the mandatory one hour in the three seating’s, I would sometimes remove myself, go in my room, take a little nap and then after the nap I would go for a walk to just connect in nature and be outdoors and that helped me.
I don’t know what happened, I can’t even explain it. It’s something so experiential, but that aversion and craving with the rain that I was having, it disappeared. By day three, I was actually fine. The whole point of all of this that you’re doing here, is not to go home and go back to your old habits, it’s, “How do I integrate what I learned, what I experienced, what I sensed, into my everyday life?” So, what was really cool, one of the things when I returned back from Kelseyville back home, three days later we started having a rain. Major rain and four days of flood. And first time ever, everybody in my family was like, “Oh, I hate the rain. This sucks. I want to go back home.” I was like, “Oh, this is totally fine. Let’s move on with our day.” There was a big shift in me where I realized, “Oh, I have no cravings or aversions. This is insanity.”
Another thing that was huge for me, on day seven I walked into my room and my roommate, her backpack, her clothes, her bag was all wrapped up in a corner and she wasn’t there. I got hit again with this set of emotions. I didn’t know my roommate but when you live with somebody, even if you’re not speaking to them, in that silence there is so much voice and you connect. There’s energy. You get attached. When I walked in and I didn’t see her there and I saw her bag and everything closed up like she’s leaving, my heart fell into my gut. I was able to observe, “What are these feelings about? Am I dealing with feelings of rejection? Am I feeling with attachment? Am I feeling with safety? Does Bita feel more comfortable having a partner next to her even if it’s a stranger? Does Bita feel rejected?” I went through all these thoughts. I was like, “Oh, my God. Did I do something wrong? Does she not like me? Was I stinky? Did I snore? What did I do?” It was all about me and don’t we always do that?
We’re always thinking, “It’s me.” I wasn’t able to really speak to her but I got a note from her that she wrote, “I was dealing with some anxiety attacks. I was asked that it’s best for me to leave.” So, she left and I just thought, “Oh, my God. None of this was about me.” That was another “Ah ha” moment, where I walked in with a stranger but there were all these attachments that I had. And to be able to have that insight and to be able to hear how the mind is processing those feelings and how destructive or constructive it can be. For second it was destructive, I was questioning me. I was questioning all of me, but honestly, I had no direct connection to the outcome of what was happening. So, for me I was able to discern, “Wow, look how the mind can go into different routes; positive, negative, constructive, destructive.”
Day seven, eight and nine, I was all alone now. It was a whole different experience for me. I was really lucky because I experienced having a roommate and I experienced not having a roommate in silence and what happens there. Day seven I was super lonely, “Oh, my God. I have nobody in my room.” Even though we never talked, I wanted a buddy there. I was dealing with emotions of loneliness and just allowing for those feelings to arise and let it go. And then, for a whole day, when it was time to go back to the meditation hall which was about ten feet from my cabin, I’m walking and to the left of me is the gate, then the highway and behind that highway are lands and lands of farm. So, as I’m walking parallel towards this meditation hall, for a second, I said to myself, “Am I a prisoner? Is this how prisoners are? Is this how they feel? I’m locked up and that’s the world outside of here.” There was that moment of asking myself, “Who is truly a prisoner of this world?” And my response was, “The people who are not experiencing what I’m experiencing are the prisoners to their life.”
There was this liberation and this freedom where I realized that I was so free and I didn’t have any obligations. I didn’t have any attachments. I didn’t need to hurry up and answer every frickin’ text that comes through, every question, every phone call. For the first time I was a hundred percent being me. Just being, breathing, feeling. There are no words to describe the experience that I went through. It’s very challenging but you’ll begin to understand it when you experience it. It was really, really amazing and life changing.
Within two days of doing just the breathing meditation, my right wrist and palm of my hand, all of the redness and inflammation had completely subsided. It was gone. Day three and all the way through day ten, I was finally able to rotate my wrist with no pain. I had better extension. I had better flexibility. I had flexion. I had no more pain. So, here I am, I went in with the intention of clearing the physical pain but it was not only physical but also my emotional. I was having a hard time touching my right wrist. I couldn’t put my left palm of my hand over my right wrist and just give it some self-healing attention it needed. I wasn’t even able to touch it because there was so much aversion to it. But in that meditation retreat, when I was in my room and I was resting, I would put my left hand onto my right wrist and I would say, “I love you, Bita. You are enough. I forgive you.”
So, not only am I sitting in silence, disciplining my mind, cultivating sensations and learning how to not react, but simultaneously my heart opened up and I remembered who I was again. That’s what this retreat was really all about. I remembered who I was. All these months and years, debris goes on you and here I am, I’m a healer doing all the work that I’m always doing but there are still areas in us that we’re not able to see until we do create that space of silence and quietude. Your inner truth, that voice that is constantly talking to you but because you’re so scattered and you’re so busy, you’re not able to hear it. But this space finally allowed me to hear my truth and allowed me to see the divinity that resides in all of us. It allowed me to just come from this place of pure love and pure bliss and that’s how the healing began.
Would you say that your wrist is 100% healed now? How is it functioning?
So, it’s 90% healed. I have zero pain. From the day I went to vipassana until this day, November will be a year, I have zero pain. The only challenge that I’m having is I can’t fully extend it back because I’ve developed a lot of scar tissue. I got to break that scar tissue, so I’m working with my acupuncturist and doing my healing work at the office but I’m back working. I’m back to doing healing work. I’m back exercising. I’m back to normal way of life, where the doctors had told me, “This will not get healed minimum for a year. And you won’t be able to heal it unless you do take these nerve blocks and steroids.”
That is amazing. Amazing.
It was really cool and it was like, “You know what? I’ve studied this. I’ve been treating people with this. I knew it.” But now it was like I’ve got to live it for me and see really how real it is. I can tell you, God forbid, if I get sick physically, before I take myself into a hospital, I will be doing this vipassana meditation retreat. Because not only is it silence, but you’re thinking about food and nutrition as well. You’re eating a plant based diet and you’re eliminating animal protein and when you are sick, when your body needs to heal, nutrition plays a huge role. If you’ve got the nutrition, you’ve got the mindset, you’ve got the meditation and you’ve got the spirit, it’s the entirety of your beingness that really takes you to that place of true healing, versus isolation.
How have you taken these principals back into your daily life over the last year?
The first couple months I was super disciplined and I meditated every morning and every night for one hour. You think an hour is crazy, which prior to vipassana, I would meditate for fifteen minutes, thirty minutes, “Oh, my God. This is so long.” But now an hour is nothing. If I meditate for thirty minutes, it’s like, “Whoa, time just went by.” I’ve become a lot more disciplined in my meditation rituals every morning and every night. But not seven days a week, on an average three to five days a week. I don’t do it every night now, but I do it at least one seating within three to five days. It’s given me that discipline to show up for myself and to not forget who I am. Because it really is all about, how do you show up for yourself? If you’re expecting others to show up differently for you, if you’re not showing up the way you want to for yourself, how can you manifest the life or relationships that you want from others? So, it’s my self-worth, my self-value, myself honoring me.
Two, I’ve really not looked for perfection anymore, I look for progress. I’m not as reactive as I used to be. So, when things surface up and come up for me, I’m able to take note. I’m able to pause and I’m able to see, “Oh, there’s the hate or there’s the excess love in there. And there’s where I’m going to get in trouble and I’m also going to get the other people in trouble because I’m projecting that energy to them too.” I’ve been able to develop better relationships with others. I’ve been able to develop more clarity with who I am. I’ve separated the ego and the aversions and been able to be really true to who I am. And if I can’t meditate, because of this technique, the very first one I told you about – anapana, I’ll go right back into just doing my breathing. If I’m stressed, if I had a really tough day, I’ll just in the car, in the office, in between patients, even if I’m lying down in bed and I don’t have the energy to meditate, I’ll just focus my entire energy on right next to my nostrils, above my lips, in that triangle and I just reconnect to my breath.
That’s powerful stuff. If somebody was interested in incorporating silence or meditation in their life but if feels like, “Okay, this feels almost impossible. I’ve got kids running around or I’ve got work all day. I’ve got my phone going off. I can’t go to a ten day silent retreat,” how would you suggest that they begin this process for themselves?
I would suggest that they can carve out to start with, five minutes. If you’re brand new just carve out five minutes. We usually say start in the morning and night time, but I’ve gone through this path, so I’ll even say forget morning, noon or night. You pick a time that works for you, commit to that time daily. Five minutes a day, whatever works in your schedule but commit to it. It’s hard because we’re busy, so instead of just saying, “Okay, I’ll do it,” calendar it in. Put it on your iPhone and get yourself a reminder that, “I need to meditate.” Start five minutes a day and be realistic. If you can’t do seven, do five. If you can’t do five, do three. Just start. Because I really believe in the compounding effect. It’s not an all or nothing.
Start two times a week and do five minutes of just focusing on your breath without wanting to inhale deeply or exhale or changing your breath. Just begin to become observant of your breath above your lip under your nostrils and just stay with that. Close your eyes, put your timer for five minutes and just observe your breath and see if you pick up any sensations. If you don’t, try again next time. Practice that technique of, “I’m not going to be attached to my meditation either.” So, if I don’t sense something, I don’t sense anything. If I’m beginning to feel heat, “Oh, there’s heat coming.” You’re just observing with no attachment. I always say start as simple as five minutes a day. Something that’s realistic for you and work your way into progress. Ultimately five to seven days. Ultimately one hour. I don’t think everybody can do one hour twice a day, so I would say work your way to one hour, five days a week. That’s pretty sufficient in my opinion.
That is intense. An hour five days a week, you’re going to be basically a monk at that point. You’re a verified monk.
Yeah, we’re getting there. We’re getting there.
Alright, I want to make sure that people check out your website, which is www.wellnesstobe.com. You consult with people all over the world via video, but people in Southern California that are having health issues, what are the resources that you can provide them?
We do acupuncturing here. We do nutritional counseling. I do lifestyle coaching. I do Tai chi meditation and Qigong. We also have a detox protocol and we do half-day or whole day retreats and our expertise really is preventative medicine. So, how can we maintain our health or take our health to the next level? We have a focus on any and everything, but mostly emotions, anxiety and mostly targeted towards ladies.
Great. So, for half-day retreats or full day retreats, I know you have those coming up periodically, so no matter if you’re listening when this comes out or a year from now, you can go to www.wellnesstobe.com and you can check out the resources that Bita has available for those retreats. And also the one on one coaching, that would be available to you no matter where you live in the world.
Oh, yeah, and then if you’re here, come on in for a nice wellness treatment. We do acupuncture, we do cupping, we’ve got an infrared sauna. We really target the mind, body, spirit and soul on a very alternative, holistic healing modality which is also infused with functional medicine. So, if you need nutraceuticals, if you need a nutritional layout, we’ve got it all for you. We’ve got three doctors working with us and they’re all amazing doctors.
Bita, you’re going to be at our first Inspiration Rising live event, which is Thursday September 12, 2019. I’m going to be interviewing Bita not just on silence but wellness and how wellness can transform your life. We want to make sure if you’re interested in getting tickets for that, it’s www.insporising.com/live. Go and check that out.
Bita, thank you so much for taking time to just hang with us today. So, amazing. Absolutely amazing about your wrist and beyond your wrist, your whole being being opened up and healed through this process. So powerful.
Thank you. Thank you so much, David. It was awesome sharing this with you and looking forward to the next one in September. So excited.