Download the Meditation Guidelines from here.
This week I put together some instructions and tips regarding meditation. Most who are beginning or learning meditation have various questions about the practice. In these guidelines I have aimed to provide sufficient information for anyone to be able to confidently meditate on their own. The article covers various aspects from relaxation and posture through to structuring a meditation session.
Download the Meditation Guidelines from here.
On the journey of liberating ourselves from the confusion and suffering that is present in life there are a few things we all learn on the way. A part of this process is coming to understand the source of our suffering. Initially we are under the impression that there are circumstances that are external to us and beyond our control that are the causes and reason for our pain. Our expectation and desire for things to be a particular way and there lack of compliance to be so, among other things, produces immense frustration.
We come to learn that maybe sometimes we are partly to blame for our suffering. Our inability to respond skilfully along with our irrational expectations may actually play a part in these uncomfortable experiences. This is incredibly motivating as now there are aspects of these undesirable experiences that we are in control of, aspects that we can change and improve irrespective of what the world throws at us. The awareness of these realities is enough to start a change in the way we experience. The further we then progress along this path the more we come to see that much of what we thought was wrong with the world and at fault with our circumstances was actually coming from issues or impurities within our own mind.
Unrealistic desires and expectations.
Skewed perceptions of our reality.
The lack of control over our thoughts and the actions they produce.
These are some of what we come to see are actually the source of our pain. We finally realise that all of the reasons and causes of the discomfort we experience within our lives can be found within the framework of our own mind. This of course is incredibly scary but at the same time completely empowering. Yes we are to blame and that’s not a wonderful realisation, but that means that fixing our whole world is a real possibility if changing the way our minds work is possible. This we know to be possible. So, there is a way to win this game.
What this means is that when we experience confusion or pain that is seemingly due to circumstance or events we are actually experiencing an impurity, a flaw, within our minds that is being projected on to our world as it unavoidably forms a part of our perception and interpretation of what is happening around us. Do not think that this is a bad thing though. Could there be any more effective means for your mind to tell you that something is wrong than by making your whole world seem worse. Could we ask for any ‘louder’ cue than such distortion?
Of course knowing this does not enable us to respond more skilfully within these distorted realities. There are other tools for that. It does demand that we thoroughly investigate and understand those things that are detracting the goodness from our experience. If suffering is a result of a ‘flaw’ within our mind, then we can use an understanding of that suffering to lead us to the impurity that we would obviously wish to eradicate! We need to question and probe these feelings extensively to equip ourselves with the knowledge and understanding necessary to deconstruct and remove the roots of our pain.
The cues as well as the information we need is all within us. The very sensation of pain is the signal of impurity. Understanding that pain is what we will use to overcome it. Do not be consumed by unwanted feelings; observe, analyse and interrogate them.
Love and peace,
Surrendering completely to whatever makes you happy is a feeling so pure and so wonderful that it seems to justify this world and our existence instantaneously. I don't mean listening to a song, I mean being inside the song. Not just dancing, but expressing all the emotion that a song can possibly hold. The same can be said of reading a great book, appreciating art or being with a loved one.
These are moments in our lives in which anything but the absolute maximum degree of presence is just sacrilege! Fortunately, we are often sucked into this world by the experience itself, and can recognize the beauty of presence from the inside. However, this faculty can be trained and developed, and we can allow ourselves more and more time in the wonderful frame of the present moment. We can develop the ability to become lost in our art, in our love, in our emotion. We can immerse ourselves in reality in the most extreme sense, by focusing our full attention on what is happening around us and to us.
At the very least, immersing ourselves in that which brings us joy is the easiest and most rewarding way of practicing mindfulness. Pick out the elements of your joy - dissect it, honour it and soak it up! Plug those earphones in and go wild, or lock yourself in your room and get stuck into your favourite author. Explore new worlds, and do it with the guilt-free, this-is-all-that-matters attitude of Mindfulness!
Allow yourself to be sucked in. Allow yourself to be submerged in the beauty of your current reality. Practice this wonderful phenomenon, and beauty will forever be with you.
Below find five of my happiest minutes! I love the music, the humour, the emotion, the abandon! Crikey it's great :)
Live in beauty, friends.
A Mindful Approach