Are you open to learning about something that can enhance the quality of your life? What if it's about something you've heard about before and dismissed? What if it's about something you've tried before unsuccessfully?
Are you open to the possibility that you could learn something new here that will change your perspective? If you are open to the possibility of learning something that you may have dismissed before, read on.
There is an area of the brain responsible for feelings of well-being and happiness. Scientists at the University of Wisconsin have proven that regular meditation causes that area of the brain to actually grow in size. There is a demonstrable link between regular meditation and contentment.
Think you don't have time to meditate daily? These benefits can be achieved through meditating as little as 5 minutes a day. So if you STILL think you don't have time for it, you probably are so stressed that you are actually on the verge of truly needing it.
If you don't meditate regularly, you are cheating yourself. If you have tried meditation and think that you "can't do it," then you probably were never told some basic information about the process. If you think you "don't need it," you are right. It's not like food, water, or air, which you literally need to survive. But it is the best stress reliever you will ever find.
So, how to do it?
Find a quiet place and sit or lie comfortably with your arms to your side. Close your eyes and focus on your breathing. As you begin to do that, it can be beneficial to count each breath, 1 for a breath in, 2 breath out, 3 breath in, etc. Count to 100 and you're done.
You will find that your mind will wander to other things. This is natural, especially when you first begin practicing meditation. I have never heard of anyone who didn't have trouble with this. In fact in my experience most people get frustrated for this reason, conclude that they "can't" meditate, and give it up. This is sad, because even if you never achieve a level of meditation free of the occasional thought, you can still achieve the benefits of meditation. The benefits come from the process, not from the perfect practice of the process.
So, what to do when your mind wanders? Just return your focus to your breathing and counting. Don't worry if you can't remember where you left off in the count, just pick a number from about where you were and resume. Don't fight the random thought. Don't get upset that you "failed again." Just simply return to your counting.
It really is that simple and easy.
And you can do it any time of day, any place you may be. You don't need to learn a chant, have musical accompaniment, or bells or anything else. You don't need to buy a book and read about meditation techniques. I just told you all you need to know to meditate. If you don't meditate regularly you are cheating yourself. And probably the people around you too.
Every major religion in the world has a Golden Rule. Here they are:
Christianity: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
Judaism: What thou thyself hatest, do to no man.
Islam: No one of you is a Believer until he desires for his brother that which he desires for himself.
Hinduism: Do naught to others which, if done to thee, would cause
thee pain; this is the sum of duty.
Buddhism: A clansman (should) minister to his friends and familiars ... by treating them as he treats himself.
Confucianism: The Master replied, "...what you do not want done to yourself, do not do unto others.
Taoism: To those who are good to me, I am good, and to those who are not good to me, I am also good. And thus all get to be good.
Zoroastrianism: Whatever thou dost not approve for thyself, do not approve for anyone else.
Greek Philosophy: Do not do to others what you would not wish to suffer yourself; treat your friends as you would want them to treat you.
And notice. There is no “UNLESS” in any of the Golden Rules.
What would happen if we all practiced the Golden Rule as it is written? Without making any changes or exceptions? Without rewriting it to suit our own desire beliefs?
There is no “UNLESS” in the Golden Rule.
I used to feel lonely sometimes. I felt like people didn’t really “get me.” And I blamed them for not getting me. Then I came to realize that my pride kept me from really letting people know me.
I was very concerned about how people perceived me, that they think I was smart, good, right, and all sorts of other “valuable” things. As a result I wore masks and facades. Putting forth only those sides of me that I thought people would approve of.
So of course people didn’t really know me. How could they when I wore so many masks? So of course I was right that people didn’t get me, because I wouldn’t let them.
And this loss of connection from people caused me to feel lonely a lot of the time.
When I began to give up my prideful ways, and seek a truly authentic way of living my life, letting people really know everything about me, to the extent they wanted to know, I began to feel connected with people, and I began to feel that people DID understand me. And while they didn’t always approve of what I said, did, or thought, at least they knew the real me.
And with that loneliness vanished.
So if I ever feel lonely again, I will know I am up to that same dysfunctional, prideful behavior again, and I know the cure.
Open myself up to people. No more loneliness.
I have learned that whatever I resist, persists.
Whatever I try to run away from is always there. Because I am looking at it as I run away, so it is always on my mind.
This may sound weird, but if I really want to stop thinking about something, I need to stop trying to stop thinking about that thing.
Instead, fill my mind with something else.
Because if I try to stop thinking about something, where is my focus???
It's on that thing!!!
So instead, I focus on what I DO want, not what I DON'T want.
This is true for everything in life.
It NEVER works to run away from something I DON'T want.
It only works to run TOWARD what I DO want.
Secrets rob me of joy.
I don't have to tell everybody everything. Most don't want to know any way.
But I need to be OK with anybody finding out anything.
Otherwise, at some level, I will always live in fear of discovery.
I have decided not to seek Security.
It occurred to me recently that Security is an illusion. An illusion because I am mortal.
If I were immortal, Security might be something worth striving for, I'm not sure.
But I am mortal. And on top of that, everything in the world is uncertain. Not only could I die today, even if I don’t die today, as I continue to live, cataclysmic events could occur that could render civilization as we know it extinct in some part of the world.
What if that were the part of the world where I happened to be at the time? Or where my money was. Or where all records of my money were.
Security? It’s an illusion.
And seeking Security puts me into a survival mode. Seeking Security makes me always be safe. In the pursuit of Security, I am surviving instead of living
I don't mean I have decided to be reckless, or that I don't put aside some money.
But I have stopped seeking something that doesn't exist. I have stopped kidding myself that I can ever find security.
Security comes from within me. From letting go of a need for certainty about the future. A future I cannot control.
I heard a man once say that he had discovered that whenever he was resentful, it was about not getting his way in the past.
And whenever he was frustrated or angry, it was about not getting his way in the present.
And whenever he was fearful, it had to do with not getting his way in the future.
That rang true to me, and I realized that if it IS true for me, then virtually ALL of my heartache comes from not getting my way, and my reaction to that. So virtually ALL of my problems come from selfishness. Get over my selfish outlook on life, and I get over my problems.
A simple solution. Not always so easy for me to implement.
I have discovered something about the word “should.”
When I tell someone else I think they “should” do something, what I am REALLY saying is, “I want you” to do that thing.
And I have concluded that the reverse is true. When others tell me I “should” do something, what they REALLY mean is, “I want you to….”
Taking it even further, whenever I find myself telling MYSELF, I “should” do something, what I am really operating under is the massive weight of all the “shoulds” that were laid on me by other people over the course of my life.
So I have concluded that the word “should” does not serve me, and I have stopped using it.
Sympathy is like heroin. The more you give me the more I want.
And it adds no value to my life.
In fact it slows me down.
Makes me forget I am responsible for my own life.
You do not serve me by giving me sympathy.
Give me empathy, and then ask me, “Now what?”