Stillness

Stillness is not a dead pond,

But a flow of energy you can cultivate.

 

A Buddhist might call it upekkha. A Muslim might speak of aslama. In Hebrew, the word is hishtavut. And in the second book of the Bhagavad Gita, the epic poem of the warrior Arjuna, it is samatvam.

Regardless of the word, stillness is the idea of that calm that comes from a balanced mind; a peace that never wavers.

For many stillness brings to mind the calm, reflective surface of a pond. But how far down does that stillness go? We all know that just beneath the surface run currents of water that gently feeds the pond and carries away whatever troubles have sunk beneath the still surface above.

For me that is a wonderful reminder that for a pond to be alive there is always something going on beneath the surface. There is some kind of activity that either provides freshness or removes the impurities from its depths. Without this flow beneath the surface the pond would just be another dead or dying body of water.

It is no different with people. Beneath the calm exterior there is always some kind of activity. There is a transfer of energy that proves the body and mind are still alive.

Each breath acts like a fresh stream that feeds and purifies the mind and body. There is a flow that breathes in nutrients while eliminating the negativity that inevitably builds up from day to day throughout life.

How deep that stream runs is different for each of you. But without some level of disturbance there is no life.

To find stillness is to act and think without frenzy. It is found in your ability to observe the circus that spins around you without feeling the need to join in the madness. It is to hear only that which needs to be heard, to speak only what needs to be said, and to think the thoughts that are relevant in that time and place. It is the focused calm of a serene mind.

The truth of stillness in the human mind, body and spirit is to be mindful and observant of everything as it speeds past free from attachment to any of it. It is to possess a sense of serenity that allows you to be you like the calm surface of a pond. Knowing that your stillness goes as deep as it needs to in that moment and that its depth changes every moment of every day.

Know that on the surface you are calmly smiling while inside you are accepting the raw data of your world as the stream of energy keeps your heart pumping and your mind clicking.

To be still is to be able to hold the silence as it arises around you. That silence is your buffer to the world. Free from the distractions of the busy world you live in is where you are free to explore the world within you, and within you is where your inspiration is born

When you still your brain, your mind is free to search through your memory for the right answer instead of just an answer. Within your stillness your mind is able to sift through your thoughts free from the physical distractions that your brain is so often drawn to.

Stillness makes room for gratitude and joy. It is the spiritual center of your energy. That energy can be one of the most powerful forces on earth once you learn to harness it.

We all talk about the need for stillness but so few are able to attain it. You are told from an early age that you need to charge ahead of the pack if you are ever going to amount to anything. Which, as you learn later in life, rarely works.

Finding the stillness within does not just happen. It takes training and an incredible amount of work to cultivate the stillness that is within you. There are very real ways to bring about the stillness you so want to feel in your life.

What follows are several exercises to explore on your own. Take a moment for each when you need. Practice them one by one and be mindful of the process rather than focused on the outcome. You will arrive at the outcome but only when you are not obsessed with it.

 

Write.

I am not a fan of journaling in the traditional sense of the word or of keeping a diary. The idea of either reeks of needing to do it every day. If you miss a day you grow filled with remorse, regret and a sense of failure for not keeping up with such a simple task.

So, don’t journal, but do put pen to paper. Write when something needs to be written. Do not force your feelings or observations. If something big happens in your life, then write. If you have a stroke of inspiration then write, but do not force your ideas. That is the quickest way to make waves in the pond of your own stillness.

I think it was Anne Frank who wrote “Paper is more patient than people.” It is true. Pen and paper are a door to your inner spirit and your inner mind because they require time. They have a way of helping you explore your inner self without being an intrusion.

Take small steps toward self-exploration through writing rather than typing or speaking. Just make sure you are not searching for issues that may not be ready to be expressed. They will come in time which is why the slow process of putting pen to paper is so much better than sitting in front of a computer screen or speaking.

 

 

See the World as an Artist Would.

Beauty is everywhere. You simply have to slow down to see it. Beauty is in the big picture. It is also in the details. No two artists see the world or express their visions of it in the same way.

Each learns to express their impressions in their own way. Learn to do the same. Slow down enough to give your mind the opportunity to translate what your brain has processed.  Stay in the moment and observe the raw data as it arrives. Give your brain time to translate that raw data and for your mind to create from that raw data in whatever way works best for you.

This is why some people create music or art or write beautiful literature after seeing the same event. Each artist translates the information that they witness in their own way. Let go of all your preconceived notions of how you should see or hear the world. Clear your mind and just allow your heart to be filled by whatever energy comes to you. See the details and the big picture. Notice the colors of the vista before you. Be aware of the aromas from your world. Let your taste buds awaken to the flavors. Allow your ears to come alive to the music. Let your fingers explore the textures of a tapestry. Then smile at the stillness that comes to you from each.

 

Do not allow raw data to overwhelm you. 

I describe raw data as the most basic input your senses send to the brain. You live in a world gone mad with it.

Napoleon taught his secretary to wait a week before opening any letters. He had that ability in this time. Churchill refused to look at any idea that had not been reduced down to a single sheet of paper. It was their way of making sure that whatever ideas were being presented to them had been well thought out and distilled so that neither got overwhelmed with irrelevant information.

The same is true for you. In the contemporary world you live in it is important to allow your brain to rest and be still so that you can focus only on those things that are most relevant. Do not allow your energy to be drained on the meaningless facts and figures that do not apply to your life.

Keep your buffer fresh so that you always have a space between your inner self and the circus that will forever spin around you.

 

Enjoy A Long, Slow Walk

I don’t mean take a power-walk or go for a run. I mean take the time to enjoy a slow, leisurely walk. Allow the inner-working of your unconscious mind to come alive as your brain is distracted with the details of balancing your body with every step and of the world around you as it tries to keep you safe.

Hemmingway was famous for getting through his writers’ block by taking long walks along the rivers of Paris. Nietzsche said that his best ideas came to him on his a long walks. Nikola Tesla developed his idea for his rotating magnetic field on a walk through a park in Budapest. It is arguably one of the most important inventions of all time, and this was in 1882.

 

See past your limitations. 

One of my best martial arts masters was Grand Master Bong Soo Han taught me that when trying to break a board, do not stop at the board, but punch through the board – at a spot beyond it. “Do not think about the outcome, simply punch into your future, after your outcome has happened. It is not the board you break but your limitations,” he would say.

Do not only focus on the what is in front of you. Learn to let go of your immediate world so that you can look up and see what is possible in order to see the opportunities of what can be.

 

Follow Your Simple Truth. 

Discover your life purpose so that you can live a purpose-driven life. When all of your decisions are aligned you will stop chasing after the distractions that your brain thinks will end your suffering through momentary distractions. Instead apply all of your energy in the natural direction of your mind and spirit. Your mind will lead you in a direction that supports your very being. You will feel fulfilled with every decision you make and with every step you take. The calm stillness you will find in the choices you make without even thinking about them will become second nature to you as you become the being are truly meant to be.

 

Break from the News. 

If you want more stillness in your life filter out the news. It really does not move as quickly as the media makes it seem. Stay uninformed with the facts, the raw data. The moment it changes from facts to opinions, turn it off and spend your time making your own decisions.

Being informed is important but being indulged is foolish. Watch the news to learn what has happened. But when the newscaster brings in talking heads who give you their opinions it is time to reflect on what you have learned so that you can form your own opinions in the of stillness of your mind.

Be well and I hope this helps.

 

Jeff Cannon

Are you a humanDoing or a humanBeing?

Human Being not Human Doing

If you are like so many people out there you have spent your entire life doing instead of being.

  • Doing is safe.
  • Doing is living your life remotely.
  • Doing is acting out the life you want without ever fully committing yourself to it.
  • Doing is living in fear at what people might think of you without ever pursuing your purpose-driven life as you were meant to.

Start Being your life.

  • Being means committing yourself fully and completely to your life’s purpose.
  • Being means actively living the person you have always dreamed of being.
  • Being means owning your life for better and for worse.
  • Being means living fully, awake and aware of who you are every minute and where you are vividly and in living color.
  • Being means living a fulfilling life every minute of every day.

Are you a humanDoing or are you a humanBeing?

You can repeat the mistakes of your past or you can learn from them to own your future.

Start right now, during your time alone. When there is no one else around.

I can help you discover your life’s purpose so you can begin to live your life as the person you have always wanted to BE.

You don’t have to DO this alone.

I can work with you so that you can begin to live a purpose-driven life and BE the person you were born to be.

I have learned how to transition from Doing to Being ten times over. Let me coach you to be the same.

This is my Life’s Purpose, it is what I am.

 

 

Is your character driving your choices or is your brain driving your life?

Victor Frankl once said, “Everything can be taken from a man but one: the ability to choose his attitude in any given circumstance, to choose his own way.”

Perhaps you never realized it but you are choosing your own way right now, in the middle of this pandemic. You are choosing to shelter in place. You are choosing to wear a mask when you go out. You are choosing to sacrifice your freedom for the betterment of everyone. I see this pandemic as a trial of epic proportions.

You have always had the freedom of choice, to choose your own way, each and every day. Yet only now is it so visible to everyone and most important to yourself.

This is nothing new. The Christian faith has always talked about free will, choosing between good and evil. Buddhism talks about choosing to follow the 8-fold path or to live a life of suffering; suffering through the guilt or shame or regret from your actions or at the end of your life when you realize it was a life left unfulfilled.

Funny as it may sound, this pandemic is your opportunity, the opportunity to discover what you naturally fall back on instead of actively choosing your way. And that is the real question at hand. Are letting your brain choose your way for you or are you allowing your character to speak through the little choices you make every day, often without even being aware of them?

If there is one thing to come from this pandemic, perhaps this is it. This is your awakening. To realize how you naturally default so that you can understand how you handle yourself, and if you are comfortable in that default.

Do you naturally run in fear to save yourself and your belongings? Do you dig your heels in to stand and fight to protect what is yours, or do you turn to help those around you? And, if so, how far does your empathy go?

Perhaps your empathy stops with your family, or with your friends. How far are you willing to reach out and help those around you? How close of a friend does someone have to be in order for you to help them? Are you comfortable with that distance and with what you see in yourself, with how far you’re willing to reach out your hand?

You have little choice in this situation. We are all coming face to face with our true nature. The decision to self-quarantine, the choice to social distance, the choice to wear a face mask. You are actively making choices; you are actively choosing how you make your way through this.

Your freedom to choose is no different than what is at the core of every religion. Free-will is something we have all been imbued with. Free will is at the core of my own belief system, to choose to follow your own simple truth or to fight against every cell in your body, jumping from distraction to distraction, wasting energy and living your life unfulfilled and suffering for it.

Are you wandering aimlessly, letting your brain drive your choices or are you living a life of purpose? One path leads to unhappiness, shame and regret. The other to satisfaction, balance and a life fulfilled.

It’s actually very simple. Every cell in your body is aligned to live by your own simple truth. No matter what you do, the further you get from your life’s purpose, your simple truth, the unhappier and less fulfilled you become.

If you wonder why you keep asking yourself “what am I missing? Why am I so unhappy?” that is the reason. Your heart, mind, and spirit keep moving forward to reconnect with your own simple truth, but your physical self, your brain is constantly  driving your body to run off in pursuit of whatever distraction it has decided will ease your suffering.

Whether that is in pursuit of greater security, in search of Love, or some form of recognition. Security, Love, and Recognition. Those are what all of your physical decisions are based on. And yes, your brain is part of your physical self. Unless you know what your Simple Truth is, what your life purpose is, you will continue to waste your time and energy running against what you innately know to be your life’s purpose.

After all is said and done, will you spend your time following the distractions of your life or will you embrace your life’s purpose and enjoy the fulfillment your journey offers?

One path allows you to find comfort in your discomfort with grace and dignity. The other will lead you to weep and cry out at the indignity of it all. Will you learn to find comfort as you check in on your emotions and your responses to them, or will you let your auto-responses manage your life? Will you eat your way through the discomfort of this pandemic, or go on an online shopping spree, knowing you will suffer the consequences when it’s all over? Or will you accept the madness spinning around you as you breathe and return to your core values to follow your life’s purpose?

Only you can decide this. Only you have a window into your inner-workings, your thoughts and your emotions. Your own Simple Truth.

The choice is yours, and yours alone to make.

I wish you wellness and safety. And I hope you will always be pleased with the person you truly are?

Your Simple Truth is all that really matters. Anything else is simply a distraction that will eventually lead to a life lived in pain and suffering.

A life unfulfilled. Be safe and I wish you well. I truly hope this helps. Jeff

Life doesn’t always schedule itself at your convenience.

So, when you find yourself in the middle of one of life’s transitions, learn to break free of the fear you may be feeling so that you can find a safe place to land and begin to plan your next chapter.

There are two core fears that will keep you frozen in time; the thoughts of a) losing what you have, and b) not getting what you want.

The key to breaking free of your fears is not to fight them but to acknowledge them so that you can let them go as you learn to enjoy the life you have always wanted to live.

I know it’s not always easy to practice this in the real world. Your mind is using logic to find a  safe place for yourself to land while your primordial brain is screaming to find the safety of solid ground as quickly as possible.

Guess which one wins every time. That’s right, your primordial brain. Your mind and brain will always give your primordial brain the room it demands because it is there for one reason only – it is there to keep you alive, and your life is far more important than any amount of logic ever could be.

Don’t worry though, there is something you can do to break out of the loop you feel trapped in. You can do what you do when you sit in meditation. You can breathe slowly and deeply to quiet the noise of your primordial brain. You can acknowledge that you are in the middle of a transition, and even label your discomfort as just that, discomfort, then you can let it your panic go as you press on.

Allow yourself to find comfort in your discomfort, because until you do, you will never find that space for a soft landing so that you can begin to write the next chapter in your post-transition life.

It may not be as easy as it sounds if you don’t already have a meditation practice. Which is why I encourage everyone to start a meditation practice that works for you before you actually need it. Don’t get caught up in what lineage to follow. Build your own that works on your terms. Whether it’s a ten minute here and there practice or a deep seated practice that runs over an hour, it is a way to train your mind and brain to see beyond the here and now, to find a place of calm, and to focus yourself for the space and time ahead of you.

If you want to learn more click here to my new mindful life coaching website at jeff-cannon.com.

Just remember, do not wait for your panic to set in before you create a small practice for yourself. In the end, this is your life. So why not start living it your way?

I hope this helps

Are you on the boat or staying at the dock?

The duality of being human is that we are caught between our divine spirit a and our very physical self. Our physical self is driven by fear and the desire to stay alive at all costs. Our divine spirit reflects our desire to reach for the stars as we seek more from the human experience we exist in. We are caught between the two with our physical brain and metaphysical mind paying the price. It is so often why we feel such stress and anxiety in our lives.

Today we are at a cross roads. Some of us are ready to reach upward, to seek more from our existence while others are too scared to reach beyond their own self interests. They are more comfortable retreating back into the swamp that we have spent the past hundreds of thousands of years clawing our way out of because for them it is safe, to them it is familiar and our brain loves “familiar”.

We all know it is not safe. It never was. We have slowly evolved beyond the days where brawn beat intellect. We have evolved beyond flatworms and alligators, beyond our collective awakening that occurred 40,000 years ago.

The moment we picked up a stick to defend ourselves against the wild, the moment we discovered fire and eventually the wheel, or when we begin to paint on cave walls was the moment we locked ourselves onto a path of evolution beyond our physical selves.

Today, you rely more on your cognitive skills than on your muscles. Tomorrow you will rely more on mind and less on your brain. If you stay with your feet planted firmly on the ground you will be forever tied to the earth and to your physical self. If you reach beyond your physical self and into the metaphysical realm you have a chance toward divinity.

Humans created the computer to lift the data processing from our shoulders so that we could ponder the larger thoughts and ideas swirling around our heads. We created the internet to connect us in a larger community so that we could network our thinking and speed up our own evolution. What we did not know we were doing was mirroring the way our consciousness is linked, connecting our points of consciousness with threads of energy so that we could become one and mirror the way existence works.

The collective of computers we created has a purpose. It does more than empower our minds to grow, it empowers our collective humanity to expand further than anyone of us could grow alone.

It has doomed those who would rather stay in the swamp to a life of irrelevance, and that is where we are today. The people who retreat into the physical have also backed themselves into a corner irrelevance. For the first time, they see where the world is heading, and that is a world that no longer needs their muscle, except to protect our collective selves from others who have nothing but muscle. It is why they are fighting so hard to remain relevant, to be a part of the modern world they  know is coming.

It is sad, but that ship has already sailed. They are standing on the dock, watching as the future forms without them. They are left to watch as it becomes a dot on the horizon. I can only imagine how it must have been like when the last Cro Magnon realized that homo Sapiens, modern humans, surpassed them. Yes, we still carry a few of their genes with us, but that is all.

Where are you?

Are you on the ship? Watching the past fade into the horizon, or are you on the dock, watching the future slip away, feeling safe and secure, but also sad knowing that you refused it?

Are you forever locking yourself into the present, rather than the future?

It is something to think about, contemplate and act upon.

New Meditation for 9/11

I know this will not be a very popular post, but acting properly is rarely the same as being popular – especially on something as delicate as 9/11.

This year let’s begin a new tradition of forgiveness to memorialize the tragedy of 9/11. I am not condoning what was done, nor am I saying we reduce our security one bit. But when you think about it, the path of anger and revenge has not gotten us or the world anywhere.

It has enabled a totalitarian President to gain power, it has sown an aura of protectionism, and has created an environment were we are talking about building walls rather than tearing them down. Do you remember how we all felt when Ronald Reagan asked Gorbachev to tear down his wall? Do you remember how great it was to see the people of Germany reunite through the peaceful power of sledgehammers? That is what we need now more than ever.

Is a mentality of revenge really what you want to teach your children? Is the idea of an eye for an eye really what we want the world to be blinded by?

I am not saying that we just let it go. What I am saying is that we maintain a high level of alert so that our safety remains paramount so that our republic remains intact, but let’s also extend empathy to those who would harm us. Somewhere inside their hearts is a very empty space that is crying out to be heard.

We have tried to shock and awe them into nothing; that didn’t work. We have tried to annihilate them with drone strikes to little or no effect. Isn’t it time we stepped onto a different path? As Einstein once said, and I paraphrase, “the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over while expecting a different result.”

Yes, I remember what happened. I saw the first plane flying low over the city. I watched the empty busses driving back because there were no survivors, I stood in line to give blood only to be turned away because none was needed and I watched as the anger and screams for revenge echoed through the city and spread to those beyond our bridges and tunnels.

I lost a friend that day, I have also seen what following the path we took as a nation has done to us as a people and as a country. Hate has not worked. It is time to forgive. Forgive those who attacked us and forgiving ourselves for our response.

Now is the time to open our arms to those who would do us harm with a gesture of warmth and empathy. It is time for us to change the course of the world and try a new path with a new response – that of Love and compassion for a change.

Make A Real Impact On The World

Do you want to make a bigger impact on today’s world?

How about on those you love and care for?

There are no shortcuts or easy paths to doing this. But there is a simple strategy if you are serious about being of service to yourself and to those around you. All it requires is that you open your heart and share yourself with those around you.

When I speak of opening your heart I don’t mean just using words like “soulful” or “Zen”, enjoying a “calming breath” or “being authentic”, I mean really bringing those ideas into your life and making them a part of your daily habits. And yes, practices like meditation and yoga are wonderful but if your practice stops when your chime sounds then really, what good is it?

Why leave your all the goodness of your practice on your cushion when you can weave it into every aspect of your life? You can live a life that is true to the person you want to be by finding the virtues and values that are a part of your own simple truth and passing those forward to the people in your life.

It all starts with practicing simplicity. When you get rid of the extraneous garbage that fills your life you will begin to understand what your life is all about. Simplifying does not mean getting rid of everything in y our life or running off to live a monastic life.

Living simply means living in the real world fully aware of what is going on all around you and embracing those things that are real for you. It means staying present to every moment of every day so that you can explore your boundaries and come to know the person you were always meant to be.  The person you are deep down inside.

Until you meet that person you will never be happy with yourself because your actions will never be true to the person you truly are deep down inside of you.

But you already know that.

Being the person you want to be is not impossible. It’s really quite easy. You don’t have to change who you are or what you want in life. You simply need to follow your gut and your heart. You need to be true to yourself, free from all the pressures of modern society and the Jones’, free from that gnawing need to conform and fit in.

Becoming the person you want to be may lead you down an uncomfortable path, but there are no obstacles along that path that you cannot overcome because that person is already within you and always has been. The obstacles you think are out there don’t really exist. They were created by you as you journeyed through life to protect you from those around you.

To find yourself again you simply need to realign your values and virtues with the person who is still there within you.

It’s time to question those habits that you think make you who you are and have always driven you to do what you are doing.

Who knows, you just may discover your true self along the way.

I hope this helps, and click here to learn more through our programs.

Be well, and in the end, it is your life. It’s time to live it your way.

6 Simple Tips For Better Meditation

If you don’t think you can meditate, it is really not difficult to sit and weave your meditation into your life. In fact it is really quite easy.  Just follow these simple tips and don’t forget to smile as you do.

You may even surprise yourself when you realize how easy it is and what a lifesaver it can be in the worst and best of times.

 

1. Create Your Space:

Try your best to meditate in the same space every time. You don’t need Zen-like images of serenity nor do you need your place to look like a formal Buddhist setting. All you need is for your space to hold your energy. When you site you should sit within yourself. The last thing you need is to carry the baggage that comes with a 1,500 year old lineage.

That lineage is there to teach you the meditation techniques they have refined, that is all. It I up to you to find the ones that work for you so that you can weave them into a tapestry that works for you on your terms. That is what your practice is all about, creating a meditation that works for you in the realities of the contemporary world you live in.

 

2. Set A Time:

Set a time to meditate. Don’t buy into the whole “I have no time to meditate” excuse. Try earlier if you must or take a shorter shower. Perhaps you can shorten your morning tea ritual, and if that old brain of yours says you can’t possibly meditate without tea, then just tell it yes you can and begin. Remember your rain is not the boss of you, it is simply an organ that processes all the input that comes in through your five senses.

Think of your morning meditation as a game of distractions. Your mind will try to distract you from your daily practice. It will tell you, you can’t possibly meditate without a cup of tea. You can’t possibly sit for thirty minutes with that hair hanging out of place, tickling your forehead.

Well, guess what, you can. Simply scroll through your five senses and settle into the space you are in, right here and right now

 

3. Dedicate Yourself:

Dedicate yourself to your practice. Dedicate a time and place for your meditation he night before. When you rise in the morning your mind should already know where and when, making it for you to simply follow along. When you first open your eyes put one hand on your stomach and the other on your chest. Feel yourself breathe and remind yourself of your promise to meditate. Even speak the words out loud, “I promised myself I would meditate at 8:00 this morning and I will keep that promise.”

 

4. No Content, No Contest

Don’t check your social media feeds. Let Facebook, Twitter and Instagram be. Your texts and your emails will be there for you when you are done. Also, don’t look at the TV or check the newspaper. Each will set your brain moving in the opposite direction of your meditation.

 

5. Meditation Before Contemplation

If you just want to meditate then simply sit and breathe and let go of your thoughts. If your intention is to contemplate a specific issue or aspect of yourself then decide to do so after you meditate. Meditation will clear your mind and provide you with a clean slate upon which to contemplate whatever issues are rumbling through your head.

If you are going to contemplate, make it personal, keep it from being abstract, create a mission statement up front if that will help you keep your focus like I want to improve my relationship, or I want to improve myself, or I want to improve my apartment. It’s all fair game but by making it personal you will stay on that topic whenever you veer from your path. Repeat your statement when you feel yourself losing your direction.

 

6. Live Your Meditation

When you finish your meditation don’t just leave your stillness behind. Take it with you. Begin to weave what you need from your practice into your day. When you read your emails and recognize your stress rising from that panicked email your boss just sent, simply breathe as you contemplate each step required to complete their assignment. Break it down into manageable steps and then think through each one.

Remember the old adage about how to eat an elephant?

The answer is simple, bite by bite.

 

 

 

Click here to learn  more about how I can help you create a deeper, richer, more relevant meditation that you can bring into your life today and everyday.

 

Be well and I hope this helps.

 

 

Discipline of Freedom

Freedom is not attained by sitting back and waiting for things to happen. It comes from participating in life, by living your life beyond the distractions and delusions that are everywhere in today’s world and facing reality.

It comes from knowing who you are and what you want so that you can keep yourself on the right path. With every step you will find your time opening up so that you have the time to enjoy your life in whatever way that means for you, free from the self- doubt and guilt you will find that you will have the freedom to truly enjoy the things that are most important to you, even if that just means watching the trees pass by with every step you take.

When you have the discipline to avoid the distractions and side-step the delusions that hold so many back then you will have the time and the freedom to travel as you wish, to think your thoughts, to paint or snap photos or do absolutely nothing if that is what you truly want to do.

Just as deep meditation comes from many hours of disciplined practice, freedom calls for you to overcome the delusions and distractions of every day life so that you actually have the time and energy to do exactly what you want to do when you want to do it. It takes work to accomplish and discipline, but I think you will agree with me when I say it is worth it.

For some, freedom can be found in your work because that is where your heart is. For others it may be to write or take photographs, to enjoy a long hike, to surf or to simply swing in a hammock. There is no right or wrong to what freedom means to you, that simple word is simply an expression of what you find is in line with your authentic life based on your own simple truth.

I’m sure if you asked a dog and a cat what freedom means to them you would get two very different answers. It is no different if you asked two people, each will have a very different answer based on their own life experiences.

Having the freedom to pursue what you want in life means understanding yourself. It means exploring what living an authentic life means to you, and that requires work and focus. It calls for you to know what you want from the freedom you have pursued all these years. It happens slowly. It requires maturity. It takes practice and discipline so that when you face the winds of uncertainty you can walk into them free from the delusions and distractions that are sure to knock you back in line with what society views as “normal”.

Freedom means having an understanding of what your authentic life feels like. Whether that means cultivating the friends and family or enjoying the lifestyle that you want no matter where it may lead, freedom means making some mistakes so that you know which paths to avoid and which to wander onto.

With practice you will be able to observe the world with a sense of calm detachment, free to watch life pass by without feeling the need to comment on it, prove your worth, or follow your ego to feel better about yourself. Instead you can enjoy the freedom to live your life on your terms, without the distractions and delusions that undermine so many.

You can step away from the fight, flight or fornicate impulse so many people continue to live by even though those impulses have not been relevant here for several hundred years. Those may have been important to your ancestors 40,000 years ago, but today, in the modern world, they only get you into trouble.

When you take your first step toward freedom, in whatever form that means for you, you will find that getting rid of that continual voice of doubt that rings in your head, you will be free to pursue whatever direction you want to go. And that is a real freedom that few have the pleasure of living.

You see, freedom does not come from outside yourself. It comes from within. You can start right now if you really want to enjoy the rich and rewarding life you deserve. All you have to do is learn to let go of those emotions society has taught you are so important and start to live your life on your terms, free from guilt and self-criticism. It starts deep within you and blossoms outward until you can pass through the world in calm abiding, right here and right now.

Right here and right now is the time to find your freedom in today’s world. It starts with your desire to create an authentic life, one that is based on your own Simple Truth. It starts with a smile toward someone else, a smile you can carry to wherever your freedom leads. You just need a little discipline to relax your lips and open your heart just like the meditation practice you have built.

Learn how with the simplicity of the Simple Truth Project.

Be well and I hope this helps.

 

 

 

j.

Q + A: Is A Living Guru Required?

Q:

Is a Living Guru Required?

A:

Required for what? Before you can find the right answer you need to ask the right question. 😉

If you are asking about finding a shorter or more direct path to your destination, be they spiritual or material, the answer is yes in some ways. But the idea of a “guru” to lead you can distract you to follow false paths if you are not careful. You are the only one who can know what path to follow. Never rely on someone else, even me, to know where you want or need to go.

Always remember a guru can never know your mind. They can only share their experiences with you, but they can never know your thoughts.

It is up to you to select which part of their teachings applies to your situation. It is up to you, and only you, to know when you have learned the lessons you need to learn and when to move on so that you can continue your journey.

I have had many teachers and some gurus in my life. I have learned lessons, but rarely those they wanted to teach me. I have learned from watching the waves as they crashed on a beach, from observing the twists and turns of a mountain stream, and even by watching the stillness of a well worn stone. With each the most important lesson I have ever learned is knowing when to move on.

If you open yourself up to the stirrings of nature you will learn that you are your own best teacher. Just remember to allow yourself to acknowledge the wisdom all things in nature have to share and approach each with an empty cup.

Allow whomever or whatever to fill it free from preconceived notions and ideas.

I hope this helps.

Be well,

Jeff