Friday, December 9, 2022
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Meditation: from daily practice to attitude to life

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A client recently asked me, “How are you holding up? To hear from people every day that they are depressed, desperate or depressed, do not know what to do with themselves and their problems?” I understand the question, but it’s anything but a task.

I once read somewhere the sentence: “What flows through you, comes to you”. What you give to others, you give to yourself. What flows from you to another flows naturally through you. There is no other way.

Besides, you can’t share what you don’t own. So sharing insight, understanding and compassion is implicitly the message to yourself – this is what I have, this ability I have. To remind yourself of that every day is a huge gift. That’s why I keep it up.

Relief is not about people’s problems, it is about multiplying insight, knowledge, wisdom, relief, fresh courage, a new outlook or a relief from pain or sorrow. Our problems are a trigger, and a direct thrust to a higher consciousness potential waiting to be lived by us.

meditate

But in my opinion the most important factor that keeps me going personally is by meditating every day . At least and preferably an hour. I wasn’t so eager to share this with people before, but the time when meditation is dismissed as something vague and unproductive for floaty hippies is now over, I think.

The scientific evidence continues to pile up: meditation increases our concentration and focus, boosts our immune system, reduces anxiety , worrying and depression; it lowers our blood pressure, improves our resolving power; the self-healing and self-regulating capacity of our body increases and it improves our sleep.

Undoubtedly there is much more to which it contributes, but these are just a few of the recently scientifically proven benefits. Meditation mainly helps me not to be included in all the stories.

And not just the stories of other people that I hear every day and follow, sometimes for a long time. It’s also about my own storylines and the dialogues in my head.

And where meditation used to be an exercise as part of my daily routine, I notice how prolonged meditation drastically transforms your overall attitude to life.

Knowing What Happens While It Happens

The best definition of meditation, in my opinion, is ‘knowing what is happening while it is happening’. Simply training mindfulness: perceiving, observing what happens in our thoughts and emotional life.

Without having to change it, without judging it, just simply witnessing what is happening in me and my environment. The consequence of staying in this observer role for a long time – long meditation – can be that we experience complete emptiness, silence, oneness or sometimes even omniscience and enlightenment.

Pure luck. But that is not the purpose of meditation, that can be a consequence. The goal is mindfulness, simply noticing what is happening while it is happening.

Meditative Attitude

mindfulness. Knowing what’s happening inside you as it’s happening. This description of meditation lends itself to much more than just a daily practice, a break in all the hustle and bustle, a tool to relax.

You can also make this observant attitude your primary attitude to life. Remaining in the role of the observer creates a distance, a detachment from what is happening in our lives.

Slowly but surely the identifications with all our roles dissolve and the load of the ‘drama’ in our lives becomes relative and lighter. From this distance we can choose whether and how we react to everything that occurs in our environment; the art of conscious creation. This leads us to mastery over ourselves and our lives.

A meditative attitude to life sounds complicated, but it is a very simple choice that we can all make. That doesn’t mean it’s easy, anything but; it is true top sport to unlearn our brains to reactively bite into everything that happens to us.

It is intensive mental work to shift our consciousness from what happens to us in that outer world – ‘whose fault is it, how do I solve it, what is wrong’ – to our inner world – ‘what am I experiencing, what is happening to me? and who do I choose to be in relation to that?’-.

A meditative attitude to life means looking around you, observing what is happening inside you and choosing how you want to relate to that event.

Ask yourself in all the experiences you have: what options do I have in my behavior, my thoughts and my attitudes towards this event. What do I currently consider to be the highest and most beautiful version of myself that I can express?

From a reactive to a creative life

This attitude to life makes us free, it makes us take control of our behavior and even our thoughts. Because of the freedom of choice that arises from mindfulness. This makes the difference between a reactive life and a creative life.

When we consciously and long-term bring this mindfulness into our system, the observer role becomes our first nature, our primary response, giving us tremendous power and independence in all situations.

In this way we detach from our storyline, the drama level of our lives, where we are right, angry, treated unfairly, or sad, anxious or even desperate. We take back power by taking responsibility for choosing how we respond.

From this mindset there is nothing to be afraid of, but focus on perceiving your fear and wanting to understand it better. It’s not about whether you’re right or whose fault it is that you’re angry, you’re focused on noticing what anger does to you and how you wish to relate to it.

The Art of Incarnation

This attitude, to elevate our Self above our emotions, thoughts and primary reactions, this, in my view, is ‘the art of becoming human’. It is our pursuit of true freedom, of pure being ourselves. Breaking free from the layer of circumstances, and moving to the layer of our inner possibilities.

Because what does freedom mean to us if we are guided by emotions that happen to us, or thoughts and reactions to what happens in our environment? We are determined by external circumstances to which our ego reacts, that has nothing to do with authenticity and self-determination. That is not life, we are lived.

The art of incarnation, I believe, involves transcending our automatic instinctual tendencies of our thoughts and emotions, so that we act on the level at which we actually create, contributing to a next, more conscious and higher version of ourselves.

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