Ordinary mind and meditation

In the book, “Labyrinth Meditations: labyrinths for mindfulness, meditation, and centring”, Madonna Gauding’s writing deepened my understanding on medication:

“Meditation is a practice for cultivating deeper awareness, a way to gain psychological insight and, if you choose, a method of communicating with God or a higher power….is to help you overcome the limitations of ordinary awareness and expand your mind to high consciousness…Our everyday lives are like a waking dream. Rather than being truly awake and aware, we are usually preoccupied or lost in thought…We also have a habit of projecting onto others what we think they are feeling or thinking, without truly knowing whether this is so…Rather than being awake to reality as it is, and truly aware of what is going on around and inside us, it is as if we are living in a dream world – a small, confining world of our mind’s creation. Yet we are convinced that we know what is real and what isn’t…The good news is that rather than waiting for the world to shock us into awareness, we can choose to live in an awakened state all the time. Meditation is the antidote to living in a dream world…to live fully in the present moment…From this peaceful mind spring insight and awareness…”.

You are invited to follow my posts to: learn & practice meditation, and experience the power of the now and awareness.

 

The way to have freedom not to surrender to negative feelings

In her book, “Small Bites: Mindfulness For Everyday Use”, Annabelle Zinser wrote:

“The Buddha said that a person who refuses to recognize his or her own suffering is like a mule walking around with a heavy load, unable to get rid of it…If I am able to ask myself, ‘It is possible for me to encounter this anger, despair, or depression with compassion and embrace it with great tenderness?’ then I can guide my mind in a new direction and create the space necessary for transforming the difficult feeling.  I find that using the form of a question is important.  Asking a question isn’t meant to create additional stress or to suggest that I shouldn’t feel anger or fear; instead it should create openness and help me become aware that mindfulness, patience, and compassion will give me the freedom not to surrender to negative feelings.  This kind of internal questioning helps me to stop repeating the story that brought up these feelings in the first place…I started to recognize the old story that had led to the painful feeling, and I was able to change the story…Becoming aware of difficult feelings in a nonjudgmental way allows you to acknowledge them when they arise without being overwhelmed by them.  If you can can embrace them, just as a mother embraces her crying child, then the fear will disappear”.

In my life, I have had so many “old stories” (experiences) caused me to have negative feelings: feeling abandoned, feeling betrayed, feeling guilty, feeling powerless, feeling hurt, feeling….because of someone’s words, expression and behavior.  As I started to commit myself to a regular practice of recognizing my own suffering with my Christian faith of the love of the Lord, I feel that those negative feelings have been gradually losing their strength.

 

Making way for stillness

It does not matter which spiritual tradition(s) we are following, stillness is the spiritual state and condition for spiritual discernment – listening to the voice of God, seeing the true nature of all things, seeing our true self, and …

In her book, “how to lead when you don’t know where you’re going: leading in a liminal season”, Susan Beaumont points out that:

“Inner stillness is associated with an environment of silence and solitude.  In silence, we create a quiet place to give our full attention to God.  In solitude, we withdraw from the busyness of our lives and the company of others.  We pull back and create space to give God access to our souls.  Jesus repeatedly used silence and solitude to deepen his capacity for stillness.  Silence and solitude make way for stillness…”

Our soul is yearning for us to prepare an environment of silence and solitude in our daily life so that we can connect with God, the true reality, and our true Self.

 

 

 

a way to practice “letting go” in your daily life

In her book, “small bites – mindfulness for everyday use”, Annabelle Zinser teaches us how we are going to let go:

“You can ask yourself, ‘can I truly open myself up to all the changes in this new situation?’  This can help you develop acceptance, equanimity, and curiosity.  Once in an obituary I read a quote from the Sufi master Hazrat.  It has accompanied me ever since: ‘When the roof over your head collapses, you can finally see the sky.’  This quote continues to help me let go and develop an unconditional acceptance toward what is and what will be.  Practicing with the small things helped me to see that I am increasing my ability to rediscover the sky during the difficult times as well. ”

Annabelle suggests that:

“Breathing and walking meditation are also wonderful opportunities to practice letting go.  You need to let go of your in-breath in order to fully experience your out-breath.  And you need to let go of your out-breath in order to fully experience the next in-breath.  you need to complete the step with the left leg in order to to step with the right leg.”

Before my breathing and walking meditation, I think about the things I need to let go just for that moment.  Then I start my breathing and walking meditation.  At the beginning, I experience the breath in & out, and the steps with the left leg and the right leg.  Then, I “let all worries, problems, and plans drift by like clouds in a windy sky” when I breath in.  I “gently give myself a hug and I am willing to let go” when I breath out.  I start to see the sky as the clouds have been being drifted.

 

The gift of the present

American Cartoonist, Bil Keane, once said:

“Yesterday’s the past, tomorrow’s the future, but today is a gift.  That is why it is called the present.”

My friend, be mindful of the gift of every present moment in our life.  Open your hands to receive this gift.  Open your heart to live in every “this moment”.