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THIS IS MEDITATION

Let what comes, come.
Let what goes, go.

Don’t try to push away what comes.
It’s already here and it will pass.

Don’t try to cling to what goes.
The leaving is natural. Bless the leaving too.

Let what stays, stay.
Let what dies, die.
Let what lives, live.

Be the wide open space
for all of it.

Every thought, every feeling.

Be the awareness.
Be the ocean.
Allow the waves.

This is meditation,
your True Self.

– Jeff Foster

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“You might be tempted to avoid the messiness of daily living for the tranquility of stillness and peacefulness. This of course would be an attachment to stillness, and like any strong attachment, it leads to delusion. It arrests development and short-circuits the cultivation of wisdom.”
-Jon Kabat-Zinn, Wherever You Go, There You Are: Mindfulness Meditation in Everyday Life

 

Letting Go Meditation

Huge thanks to Richard, author of the supremely helpful blog Zen and the Art of Everyday Living. He recently blogged about a mindfulness meditation technique on letting go. I found it immensely helpful as I recently suffered the loss of my dog Bentley. When my monkey mind went into overdrive and when I wasn’t able to calm the agitation, this meditation helped me gain peace again. It’s a technique I’ve found most beneficial.

I hope you enjoy his post.

 

In Letting Go: The Path to Peace we looked at how important it is to develop the ability to let go of anything that is taking us away from peace in the present moment. This is such a fundamental practice both in meditation and everyday moment to moment living that I want to share with […]

via Let Go, Let Go, Let Go — Zen and the Art of Everyday Living

“Choose to Be Blissful”-Osho

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“The essential religion is taking the whole responsibility for whatsoever you are. And immediately an insight arises: ‘If I am responsible for my suffering, then it is simple, I can drop it. It is my choice. I will not choose it any more.’ “A Sufi mystic who had always remained happy was asked…. For seventy years people had watched him, he had never been found sad. One day they asked him, ‘What is the secret of your happiness?’ He said, ‘There is no secret. Every morning when I wake up, I meditate for five minutes and I say to myself, ‘Listen, now there are two possibilities: you can be miserable, or you can be blissful. Choose.’ And I always choose to be blissful.’ “All alternatives are open. Choose to be blissful. And then there are people who can be blissful even when they are imprisoned, and there are people who remain miserable even when they are living in marble palaces. It all depends on you.”

~Osho

Meditation: Identifying the Gaps Between Thoughts

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Digital art by Cyril Rolando

“When people begin to meditate, they often say that their thoughts are running riot and have become wilder than ever before. But I reassure them that this is a good sign. Far from meaning that your thoughts have become wilder, it shows that you have become quieter, and you are finally aware of just how noisy your thoughts have always been. Don’t be disheartened or give up. Whatever arises, just keep being present, keep returning to the breath, even in the midst of all the confusion.

In the ancient meditation instructions, it is said that at the beginning thoughts will arrive one on top of another, uninterrupted, like a steep mountain waterfall. Gradually, as you perfect meditation, thoughts become like the water in a deep, narrow gorge, then a great river slowly winding its way down to the sea; finally the mind becomes like a still and placid ocean, ruffled by only the occasional ripple or wave.

Sometimes people think that when they meditate there should be no thoughts and emotions at all; and when thoughts and emotions do arise, they become annoyed and exasperated with themselves and think they have failed. Nothing could be further from the truth.

As long as you have a mind, there will be thoughts and emotions. Thoughts and emotions are the radiance and expression of the very nature of the mind. They rise from the mind, but where do they dissolve? Back into the mind. Whatever arises, do not see it as a particular problem. If you do not impulsively react, if you are only patient, it will once again settle into its essential nature. When you have this understanding, then rising thoughts only enhance your practice. But when you do not understand what they intrinsically are—the radiance of the nature of your mind—then your thoughts become the seed of confusion.

So have a spacious, open, and compassionate attitude toward your thoughts and emotions, because in fact your thoughts are your family, the family of your mind.
We often wonder what to do about negativity or certain troubling emotions. In the spaciousness of meditation, you can view your thoughts and emotions with a totally unbiased attitude. When your attitude changes, then the whole atmosphere of your mind changes, even the very nature of your thoughts and emotions. When you become more agreeable, then they do; if you have no difficulty with them, they will have no difficulty with you either.

So whatever thoughts and emotions arise, allow them to rise and settle, like the waves in the ocean. Whatever you find yourself thinking, let that thought rise and settle, without any constraint. Don’t grasp at it, feed it, or indulge it; don’t cling to it and don’t try to solidify it. Neither follow thoughts nor invite them; be like the ocean looking at its own waves, or the sky gazing down on the clouds that pass through it.

You will soon find that thoughts are like the wind; they come and go. The secret is not to “think” about thoughts, but to allow them to flow through the mind, while keeping your mind free of afterthoughts.

In the ordinary mind, we perceive the stream of thoughts as continuous; but in reality this is not the case. You will discover for yourself that there is a gap between each thought. When the past thought is past and the future thought not yet arisen, you will always find a gap in which the Rigpa, the nature of mind, is revealed. So the work of meditation is to allow thoughts to slow down, to make that gap become more and more apparent.”

Sogyal Rinpoche

From the Tibetan book of Living and Dying

No irritation, no pearl…

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“If her past were your past, her pain your pain, her level of consciousness your level of consciousness, you would think and act exactly as she does. With this realization comes forgiveness, compassion, peace. The ego doesn’t like to hear this, because if it cannot be reactive and righteous anymore, it will lose strength.” Eckhart Tolle

Sometimes people piss me off, especially selfish or ignorant people who have little to no regard for others or awareness of how their actions impact others. To the person that hit my less-than-a-month-old car and drove off without leaving a note, yes, I am talking to you. There are around seven billion of us trying to coexist on this beautiful planet, and sometimes people need a little reminder that we’re all in this together. We’re all connected whether you an aware of it or not.

I try and live a mindful existence, aware of my thoughts, my speech and actions. I understand that cultivating a peaceful life means being present and living in the Now. Yet despite my efforts, people can and do piss me from time to time. I am a human being after all and I am not immune to irritation. And undoubtedly, I’m the source of annoyance for others too, I’m sure my husband can attest to that. 😉

Thankfully, getting annoyed with people is happening less frequently for me these days and when it does happen, I see it as the perfect opportunity to practice mindfulness. When a stranger treats others or myself with blatant disregard, I get really annoyed. My annoyance and ego will flare up instantaneously and I’ll judge them. I might think, what an asshole! Such a selfish prick! It arises so suddenly that I feel helpless to stop it. Thankfully, stopping such thoughts isn’t the goal of mindfulness. Awareness is.

The fact that you can identify unhelpful thoughts is paramount. If I can catch my ego having a rant, the mere act of being aware of it can take the wind out of its sails. I can apply some metacognition and change my ‘what an asshole’ dialogue to something like ‘He/She is doing the best they can. They don’t know any better.’ And the irritation simply dissolves.

I often remind myself of what Deepak Chopra says, “people are doing the best that they can from their own level of consciousness.” That gives me comfort and enables me to show some much needed compassion. For the most part, people aren’t inherently assholes, they’re doing the best they can with the level of consciousness they have attained at this time. I can also apply this compassion to myself; I don’t need to live a perfectly equanimous life, although it would be nice. I need to live an unequivocally mindful one.

Namaste!

Detach From Your Thoughts

How I feel when I meditate. 🙂 How adorable is this Japanese Snow Monkey? There’s plenty more cuteness where that pic came from.   Found on mymodernmet.com1082111860

‘The beginning of freedom is the realization that you are not “the thinker.” The moment you start watching the thinker, a higher level of consciousness becomes activated. You then begin to realize that there is a vast realm of intelligence beyond thought, that thought is only a tiny aspect of that intelligence. You also realize that all the things that truly matter – beauty, love, creativity, joy, inner peace – arise from beyond the mind. You begin to awaken.’

Eckhart Tolle, Practicing the Power of Now: Essential Teachings, Meditations, and Exercises from the Power of Now

 

Mindfulness and Unproductive Thoughts: Ask Deepak

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I just love this question on mindful meditation and how to address those annoying thoughts that keep popping in. This was something I found quite challenging when I started practicing insight meditation. It’s not that I’ve mastered meditating now; it’s simply that I now know how to observe the stream of thoughts and not engage or relate to them. Sometimes we need that little reminder- we are not our thoughts. Observe them and let them go.

Question:

Dear Deepak,

I have read a lot about mindfulness practices a month ago, and I have been practicing observing my thoughts and emotions since then. But this feels very stressful to me because I can observe negative and unproductive thoughts coming in my mind, but I cannot stop them. They come spontaneously and create emotions in my body even when I don’t want them to come. And most of the times, the thoughts come and compel me to act, and when I regain my attention in the present, I have already acted upon those thoughts. How do I change this? So, that I get much more control over my mind and form positive thinking habits.

Response:

Mindfulness is not about stopping thoughts, it is the disinterested stance of awareness that observes thoughts as they come and go. That perspective shows you that you are not your thoughts, but rather your mind entertains thoughts. That develops self-awareness and that will undo the compulsion and reflexive action you feel in your thoughts currently. The instinct to act upon a thought is based on the unconscious beliefs held about that thought. Mindfulness will illuminate those unconscious beliefs and neutralize their compulsive, addictive hold on you.

Love,
Deepak

Taken from https://www.deepakchopra.com/blog

Osho: Accept, and then simply observe

 

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“Through awareness, transformation happens spontaneously. If you become aware of your anger, understanding penetrates. Just watching, with no judgment, not saying good, not saying bad. There is lightning, anger, you feel hot, the whole nervous system shaking and quaking, and you feel a tremor all over the body – a beautiful moment, because when energy functions you can watch it easily.

Close your eyes and meditate on it. Don’t fight it, just look at what is happening. Just like you watch a storm in the sky – the whole sky filled with electricity, so much lightning, so much beauty – lie down and look at the sky and watch. Then do the same inside.”

-Osho

Symptoms of Enlightenment

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‘According to Vedanta, there are only two symptoms of enlightenment, just two indications that a transformation is taking place within you toward a higher consciousness. The first symptom is that you stop worrying. Things don’t bother you anymore. You become light-hearted and full of joy. The second symptom is that you encounter more and more meaningful coincidences in your life, more and more synchronicities. And this accelerates to the point where you actually experience the miraculous.’

 -Deepak Chopra, Synchrodestiny: Harnessing the Infinite Power of Coincidence to Create Miracles