How often do you stop and think about what you are thinking about? So often, people live with their minds on autopilot, taking in whatever thoughts come their way. But if we are going to rise up higher, we have to make sure that our thoughts are aligned.
Mindfulness was originally a Buddhist tradition, but is now recognized by psychotherapists as a form of cognitive therapy.
This morning when you woke up, what was the first thing that went through your mind? Maybe you have a deadline to meet or a big appointment at work. Maybe you are facing a challenge or going through a difficulty in a relationship that seems to consume your thoughts. Today, be encouraged. Instead of focusing on what your circumstances have to offer, focus on what YOU have to offer you. Here are a few quick tips:
1. The key to accessing these daily benefits is setting your focus in the right direction. You can’t wait to see how you feel, what kind of mood your spouse is in, what the traffic is like or what the stock market is doing. No, you have to choose to set your focus on the present.
2. Have you ever found yourself doing what you knew was wrong? You said you would never do it again, but you have. You said you would never act that way again, but you have. You said you would never think those thoughts again, but you have. Stop making excuses and/or rationalizing your faults to give yourself permission to make bad choices.
3. It's time to circumcise! To be circumcised means to cut off the excess fat or unnecessary skin. Now this is graphic depiction of removing stressors, but its important to recognize that we are continuously trying to carry old baggage into a new territory of our lives. It's time to remove the dead weight... old habits, friends, and even family. Stop trying to hold on to things deserving release! Yes it will hurt. Yes it will feel uncomfortable. Yes it will require a change in your life. But it is necessary for true growth.
It may often feel like there is just not enough time in the day to get everything done, however feeling stressed leads to physiological reactions (i.e. heavy fatigue, depression, weight gain, anxiety, etc.). Meditation can help better understand your own mind and create a place of peace. This repetitive spiritual practice is desgined to make your mind calm and peaceful. Try meditation for beginners:
Before establishing peace within your mind, it may be important to carve out a space at home that is conducive to this. Find a space and make it personal. Create balance and comfort in this space because it is specifically designed to aid you in reducing distractions while in concentration. Turn off cell phones to avoid those notifications. Avoid setting a timeline to complete this exercise so as not to rush. Dress in comfortable attire that allows proper blood flow and circulation.
As a beginner ensuring that you follow appropriate technique is KEY! There are 7 features to the Vairochana’s posture. (1) The legs are crossed in the vajra posture, (2) the right hand is placed in the left hand, palms upwards, with the tips of the thumbs slightly raised and gently touching. The hands are held about four fingers’ width below the navel. (3) the back is straight, but not tense, (4) the lips and teeth are held as usual, but the tongue touches against the back of the upper teeth, (5) the head is tipped a little forward with the chin slightly tucked in so that the eyes are cast down, (6) the eyes are neither wide open nor completely closed, but remain half open and gaze down along the line of the nose, and (7) the shoulders are level and the elbows are held slightly away from the sides to let air circulate.
Emphasis should be placed on the comfort of your positioning and not the location. After finding this space it is time to move toward the next phase... breathing. You want to gently turn your attention to your breathing, letting its rhythm remain normal. In this space concentrate on becoming more aware of the thoughts and distractions arising in your mind. As they advance gently return your attention to your breathing. Concentrate on your breathing and your breathing only. As you inhale fill your lungs entirely then release slowly and purposefully. With each breath try to imagine yourself literally inhaling all of the blessings and inspiration your heart desires. Absorb this feeling into your body as well as your heart.
Proper meditation requires training. It is a daily practice! By training in meditation, we create an inner space and clarity that enables us to control our mind regardless of the external circumstances. Gradually we develop mental equilibrium, a balanced mind that is happy all the time, rather than an unbalanced mind that oscillates between the extremes of excitement and despondency. Welcome to Nirvana!
Questions? Looking for a meditation center near you? Drop your comments below.