Showing posts from May, 2013

You are never more than three breaths away from feeling good

Try this out:
- take a comfortable sitting position - place your attention in your belly - breathe in, breathe out - maintain your awareness of the belly - repeat a further two times
If you manage to hold your attention on the breathing then something starts to release and open up. You might find a sense of exhilaration, ease or pleasure. This is the gateway to deeper things.

A feel good sequence

We all have bad days where we feel a bit bummed out. String a few of these together and then the whole world can seem a bit dreary. It's handy to remember that it is our view that is at fault - not anything about us or the world we live in. Our view is shaped by our thoughts and feelings, and these in turn are shaped by what we are exposed to and what we focus on. This means we have the opportunity to change our outlook by becoming aware of things that will induce positive feelings and thoughts. It's as simple as that really.
Here is a handy sequence I like to explore:
- I am feeling oppressed - I become aware of this fact - I know that I am more than my thoughts and feelings. These are just a product of certain circumstances - I know that the situation is temporary - I know that I can feel good in spite of the inclement circumstances - I turn my mind towards the good - I relax my body - My mind begins to relax - I connect to open, spacious awareness  - Pleasant sensations begin to arise …

Life, meditation, jelly and fruit

At a certain point you might notice that life occurs within meditation. Or, to phrase it differently, our daily concerns occur within the fabric of a larger system - the laws of the universe. Perhaps you can guess where I am going with this - we might like to imagine our lives as the fruit and the wider awareness of those lives as the jelly that suspends the fruit. You might like to tell yourself:
- I am the fruit, awareness is the jelly
You can move your focus of attention from the fruit to the jelly. This shift of perspective can be quite useful when you find your mind locked into some difficulty or obsession.
We can go even deeper with this once we get familiar with it. Awareness is a fabrication of the mind, a kind of magic trick. Jelly is not really jelly - it is fruit syrup, water and some jelly making substance. Fruit is not really fruit - it is water, fibre, sugars and other stuff. There's an underlying fabric of reality to everything and if we turn our minds towards it we go…

The meaning of life in three simple words


Handling reactivity with the mindfulness mind

Reactivity is a big deal. Something happens, we react to it. If we have chronic fatigue (or other issues) this reactivity can wipe us out completely - especially if the reactivity is to the fatigue itself. I've spent years watching it happen time after time after time.

Reactivity is so deeply embedded in us that we have to go very, very deep to observe it and figure out how to cope with its effects. In Buddhism (if you want to find out more), there is the teaching of the two arrows - the first arrow is the thing that happens, the second arrow is our reaction to it. Interestingly, the reaction causes more trouble for us than the thing itself. Catching the chain of events from initial onset to reactivity is one of the deeper Buddhist teachings that we can explore.

So then, how to use this information. Firstly, we have cultivate enough awareness to know that:

a) something has happened
b) we are reacting to it
c) this reaction is entirely within our own minds
d) we are almost powerl…