Mind Your Brain Through Meditation

Your brain is an organ, it is grey, it weighs just under three pounds, and the last time it’s programming was updated was about 40,000 years ago – that was when modern humans, or Sapiens, took a major evolutionary leap forward.

Since that time, we have changed little in appearance but have evolved drastically in terms of our brain’s functionality and our sense of spirituality. While your brain may be the result of some pretty wonderous evolutionary leaps, it is important to remember that your brain is not the boss of you. But just try telling this to your brain.

The number one priority for your brain is to keep you alive. That is it. All those circuits and all that neural elasticity you have read about evolved for your survival. Those emotions you follow without thinking, like fear and hate, love and pain are there to keep you out of danger and to help you survive. It is why they play such a big part in your life and why you jump to follow them without pause and without thinking.

Each of those emotions leads you to a single operating process that results in the fight, flight or fornicate impulse you blindly follow. And that is where the problem starts in the contemporary world you live in. Yes, that process kept you alive 40,000 years ago, but in today’s 21st century world those same impulses will get you into more often than they will save you.

Let me give you a quick and easy, 60 second tutorial for how brain and mind evolved.

Make a fist and hold it at eye-level. That fist represents your brainstem. It is the source of your primal impulses. It is no different than the brain of a frog, lizard or alligator. It is what creates the Fight, Flight or Fornicate auto-response they and many of you live your life by. It is there to keep you safe, just like a frog’s or an alligator’s brain does today. Do you see your forearm? That represents your spinal column and will take you back on your evolutionary timeline. It is similar to the same structure within flatworms and earthworms.

As you move forward your brain becomes more evolved and specialized. Your frontal lobe is actually where the wiring for all of your executive functions live. I know that I am greatly simplifying a very complex organ I know there are areas of the brain that manage your hands and feet, I also realize there are two hemispheres, right and left, that perform tasks related to logic and creativity, but I want to keep things simple for the purposes of this post. All of your modern programming looks to your primal brain because it was programmed for survival, which is decided by your primal brain.

The problem is not with your brain, but with its programming. The programming of your brain was last updated some 40,000 years ago. It still responds to the world as if it were 40,000 years ago. It simply does not realize how the contemporary works. It does not realize the fight, flight or fornicate responses that kept you alive for so long are not appropriate in the contemporary world you now live in. When you begin to get nervous when meeting a new client or when you go in for a job interview, it is not a life or death situation, it is simply you getting nervous. It is not the time to pump more adrenaline and cortisol, it is the time for you to calm down so that you can think about the questions you will have to respond to.

That is the brain. Your mind on the other hand, is a modern wonder that exists just beyond the reach of your brain. It is the output of all those circuits that exists just beyond your reach. It represents all the hopes and dreams, needs and desires that make you who you are. It is the passion you feel and the sorrow you experience. It is the beauty of your life. It is also what makes your life YOUR life.

If you want to be happy and to feel accomplished in today’s world, then you must first learn to quiet your 40,000-year-old brain so that you can access the 21st century mind that is you. Then, and only then, will your 21st Century self flourish so that you can experience the joy, the happiness, and the feeling of accomplishment and success you were meant to enjoy.

Click here to discover the five simple steps to do this, or jump right to Jeff’s Teachings if you want to engage with Jeff without commitment at https://simple-truth.com/teachings.

  • Meditate – Stop stressing about meditation. Stop worrying feeling the urge to shave your head or give up everything you have worked so hard for. Neither of those things will happen unless you want them to. You will simply learn to understand how your brain and mind interact. You will become more closely attuned to their relationship with the world around you, and learn to manage them. You will learn that YOU are the one in control of YOUR life, not that voice in the back of your head. So free yourself to be YOU and take a stab at meditation. If you have never meditated before, download some free guides here https://simple-truth.com/teachings. Just know that there is a big, bright world out there free from the guilt and self-loathing that comes from within your head.
  • Meet your bad roommate – have you ever sat down and listened to that voice inside your head? You know what it sounds like. That’s right, a nagging roommate. The kind you would have tossed out years ago no matter how much rent they paid. Well, it’s time to realize that the bad roommate IS NOT YOU! That’s your 40,000-year-old brain doing what it does. It looks out for trouble, and when it doesn’t see any around you, it turns inward and starts nitpicking you apart. When you look at yourself in the mirror and it starts commenting on your hair or how you feel, do what you would do to a bad roommate – say thank you and tell it to leave, then turn to your mind and smile at the possibilities and enjoy the day ahead of you.
  • Let It Go – You live in a vastly different world than your ancestors did 40,000 or even 40 years ago. Today you live in an ever-expanding realization of world consciousness. Yes, your brain may be stuck in a village mentality, but you are not. When it snipes at someone who doesn’t dress right, acknowledge it and let it go. When it tells you, you are not good enough, nod and let it go. When it compares you to someone else, yes, smile and let it go. That is NOT YOU TALKING. That is the leftover programming from 40,0000 years ago and it has no place in the modern world YOU live in, or in YOUR life. If you just can’t seem to let it go then take a breather, refer to step 1 and meditate.
  • Smile – No matter what goes on around you, smile. It works on the physical level. It works on the psychological level. It works on the spiritual level. Smile and focus on the feeling that smile gives you. Smile as it spreads across your face and down, deep into your belly with every breath you take. Give it permission to lift you up. Allow it to spread to those around you as you stand up straight and let it go.
  • Honor Your Divine Self – That’s right. Honor the divinity and the infinity that is you. Forget about your perceived limitations and connect with the words the Buddha, Jesus Mohammad and even Einstein said. You are nothing but energy. All those atoms and molecules are held together with pure and unadulterated energy. It’s what keeps everything in the Universe moving together, in the right direction. You breathe it, you bathe in it, you live in it. It is why the energy that you put out there comes right back to you. No, that doesn’t mean if you wish hard enough for a bicycle you’ll get a bicycle. But it does mean, good thoughts, good words and good intentions will create a good life that you can enjoy every day if you want to.

All of this means is that when it feels like the world is beating you up, it’s really not. It is just your 40,000+ year old brain trying to do what it was designed to do – protect you. It’s just trying to do that with a 40,000-year-old program, and that’s like trying to send a letter with a 19th century typewriter. There’s nothing wrong with it, but it will take you quite a while.

Let your 21st Century mind pick a new program, one that is based on the modern world you live in.  Then, and only then, can you make good choices that will send your life moving in the direction you want it to move.

To learn more about how Jeff can help you design your life for the Modern World – take a look at his work on https://simple-truth.com/teachings

Always Something You Can Do

No matter how badly you have fallen, no matter how many scrapes and scratches you have accumulated, no matter how badly bruised you are, there is always something small you can do to improve your circumstances.

There is absolutely nothing in your present situation that prevents you from moving in a direction. It may not bee the right direction, but that is okay. If you find you have moved in the wrong direction you can always course correct later. You can always turn 180 degrees around and step forward to be right back where you are right now with the knowledge of what not to do next time. 
 
After all, life is about learning and growing. Not moving is an unconscious decision to stay, to learn nothing except that your fear prevented you from moving. If you take nothing else from this post, remember that vision without action is just a daydream, while following the wrong vision can be a lesson for your next venture.
 
Besides what’s the hurry? You are going to be here for your entire life, aren’t you? What’s the rush? Have something better to do or some place better to be than right here, right now?
 
Sometimes even the smallest step in the wrong direction can be the greatest step to send your life moving in the right direction toward something better. 
 
Just be logical about it. You don’t have to leap, baby step if you must, but step, step, step and yes, soon you will be walking out the door from your present situation.

Need to find a direction? Need to find your own Simple Truth? All you have to do is click here and start your journey off right – Simple-Truth.com 

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

I hope this helps

You Are A Diamond

Diamond do not shine on their own. They shine because they have many facets that catch and reflect the light, just like you.

Each of you has many facts to who you are as well. The difference is that you rarely show them all at once. You tend to hide them, only revealing them when you think the time and place is right.

You have one face for the office, another for dates, and still another for the gym. You have your sexy face, your playful face, your vacation face and your serious face, but rarely do you bring them together and allow your true self to shine through.

It is why so many of you feel the stress you feel. You grow burdened with the guilt of your past or anxiousness for the future. You focus on the wrong face appearing at the wrong time until you learn to show them all at once, learning to shine as the person you truly are, regardless of the outcome. Until you learn to do this you will never shine like you could.

Just imagine what you could do if all the energy you spent keeping yourself in check were spent on being productive, pursing your dreams as nothing less than 100% truly and fully YOU.

Imagine what it would feel like to be your authentic self all of the time.

Imagine how freeing it would be to be you, Y, O, U, you.

For many of you it may just be a dream. The fear of losing your job or your friends keeps you neatly in the cell you created for yourself from the delusions that others may have put in place for you, but that you carry all by yourself.
Why lie to those around you? Why lie to yourself?

What would happen if you practiced honesty throughout your life by being the person you truly are?

Imagine what you could accomplish by simply being you?

After all, it is your life. Why not label this fall the time to start living it your way?

A Mindful Legacy

What you do every day is what creates the legacy you are living and the legacy of who you will be remembered for well into the future. It is your legacy that you leave behind as you pass on to whatever awaits. It is the same legacy that precedes you as you pass through this world. It is the way people think of you before they even meet you.

Reputation, karma, legacy, they are all the same. The more people you lie to, cheat and steal from, the more people you undermine, the worse and worse your reputation, your legacy, becomes. The worse your reputation and your legacy become the less people are willing to trust you, to work with you, and to extend a form of credit to you.

It is more than your Emotional Intelligence, your legacy is a kind of credit score for the compassion people are willing to extend to you. The higher your score, the more compassion, empathy, and forgiveness people are willing to give you, before even meeting you.

There are some people whose legacies are not worth the karmatic paper they are written on. We all know who they are. Their reputation precedes them. At one time they could do anything they wanted to. But over time people have learned, and suddenly one will find people are no longer willing to work with them. Lawyers recognize them as those not willing to pay their bills nor to take council when it is given. They turn them down. Business and political leaders are not willing to read their resume because there really is no need. They have already seen their reputation, heard their legacy, and have a feel for how they do business, enough so, that they do not even want to waste their time going through the motions of a meeting – even if just for a cup of coffee.

At the same time, those who have created a good legacy for themselves, who carry a spotless reputation can travel the world, free from suspicion and free from the actions of their past. The interesting thing about a legacy is that it is not just an external object to be traded as if it were a commodity. It is the way a person carries themselves. It is part of the internal baggage we all must account for. We have all seen it in people, some people just feel slimy, as if they just crawled out of some primordial swamp.

When you give somebody your word, you know in your own heart that your word is your bond. In that moment the people you have cheated revisit you. Your own legacy rolls past you. It is something the person across from you can see in the flicker of your eyes.

That flicker is what causes them to charge a little more, to set the rates a little higher, or to hold back on their trust a little harder. They will think twice, and listen to their suspicions with just a bit more gravitas.

Yes, you may think you can fool the people you work with, but you only end up fooling yourself. In time your legacy will catch up with you for better or worse. When it does will you be ready for what it holds for you? Would you still make the choices you are about to make today when that day arrives, or would you change your actions to create a legacy worth living with?

You can you change your legacy you know. Simply be aware of your actions and be willing to step back from the circus, enough to change your actions and shape your legacy before it is locked into place for all time.

After all, it is your life. It is time to live it your way.

Be well and I hope this helps.

Being The One

Being The One

 

Stop trying to be the One. Just sit. Just be. The moment you recognize your meditation as something more than it is, you lose the reason for meditating in the first place. That is to clear your mind of all thought, good or bad, wanted or unwanted.

In formal sitting you may start by counting your breath. At some point the very count that opened the path before you becomes a distraction. When it does, let it go. Perhaps you can let it go all together. Or perhaps you simply allow it to drift into a simple recognition of “in” and “out” as you allow your mind to continue its practice by observing the flow of the breath. Simply being who you are in the here and now as you observe the way in which you mind and body interact.

Do not try to get anywhere with your practice. You have already arrived. The very desire to “get” somewhere is enough to prevent you from arriving. No matter how hard you work to erase the thoughts, the very effort you place onto your practice will not get you any further than you were when you first sat down. In fact, it may erase the distance you already took on your path.

Do not curse your desire. Do not even recognize it. Simply smile to yourself as you allow those thoughts to float into the ether that is within you and all around you.

Arise from desire and simply Let Go. Do not try to achieve anything. Do not cling to anything, even to the practice of enlightenment. It will come when it will come.

Trying to speed the process will only slow the process down.

Sexuality

There is no homosexuality. There is no heterosexuality. There is only human sexuality.

Every one of you has a range of traits buried within you that expresses itself differently. For some there is a recognition that you prefer men or women over women or men. For others there is a recognition that you see beyond labels and see only the Love within, regardless of gender, race, religion or creed. Neither is right nor wrong, neither is good nor bad, better or worse, as long as it comes from a place of Love.

The bible wrote about homosexuals in the time of Abraham, and in the story of David and Jonathan, the animal kingdom is rife with examples. You see, sexuality is not a human thing, but a think of the spirit. It is like a color wheel that you can scroll around, selecting just the right mix of reds and greens and blues, that lies deep within hues and tints that make every color an entire color wheel in and of itself.

The combinations are endless just like the mixture of possible expressions of sexuality that lie within each of you. Whether that expression is nature or nurture, genetics or learned, does not matter. How comfortable you are with yours is all that does. How you express you sexuality is an endless display that is as human as the mix of features on your face.

For a man or woman to look at another person of the same sex and say they are not able to tell if they are beautiful is the greatest lie of denial I know. For a man to stand before Michelangelo’s David and deny he can find the beauty in it is to deny that he can find the beauty within himself. The same goes for a woman. If they cannot find beauty within others, what they are really saying is that they cannot find the beauty within themselves, and that is a shame. To them the world is a dark and ugly place that is led by fear, not worthy of their rejoicing in who they are. It means they cannot find or appreciate the Love within themselves.

The label of LGBT or Q is just that, a label and nothing more. It is a reflection of the very human need to label define everything around us. Those labels are arbitrary and meaningless, important only to those people who are so insecure in their own skins that they hide their weakness behind the neat little boxes they proudly display on their shelves, all lined up and sealed with a bow, never to be pulled out and examined until they come across it at some future point while looking inward in self examination with a “wow” or an “aha!”, as if in sudden recognition of the thing that has been with them all along.

Sexuality is a funny thing, because it exists in denial, just as Love exists in denial for so many. It is not a convenience to be pulled out and paraded around when it is time. Human sexuality is something to be proud of every minute of every day of every one’s life. No matter what you consider yourself – gay, straight, lesbian, bi, trans or queer – you are all of those things, each expressed at different levels at different times.

Coming to terms with your sexuality is like saying I am coming to terms with my need to drink water or to eat food. When you are hungry you will eat, when you are thirsty you will drink. It is less about if, as it is about when. When you are comfortable admitting your own sexuality to yourself and to those around you – family, friends, associates, the world.

When you come to terms with your sexuality and grow comfortable with the sexuality of others, what you are really doing is coming to terms with the Love that flows all around us and through us, connecting each of us and protecting us as the global family we truly are. That Love is the true community we are all a part of, regardless of race, religion, gender or sexuality.

So welcome to the contemporary world and to contemporary thinking – Love is Love. It is what it is to be human.

Love expresses itself in many ways and on many levels of intimacy. Sometimes is the friendship you feel with someone. It can be expressed as kinship, a sexual bonding or even as an all consuming relationship. Within each of these your sexuality plays a part. So be comfortable with your sexuality or your ability to Love on any level will be unable to move past that age old and stodgy handshake of yesteryear.

If you consider yourself asexual or sapiosexual, that is still a statement of sexuality.

It is why the idea of trying to out someone for their sexuality is absurd. It only matters to those who are dealing with their own fears of being banished from the tribe that has not existed in modern society for centuries except in our own minds. Like all things we will evolve past the notion eventually. The only question is, when…

The story of David and Jonathan or of Abraham and his head servant were written into the bible thousands of years ago. Yet people still fail to embrace them.

In this day and age to label people as this or that, black or white, suntanned or untanned is not just a mark of ignorance, it is the mark of living in another time and another era – one that humanity outgrew ages ago.

Within each of us is a conscious, sentient being. And your consciousness is not a binary element that is turned on or off with the flip of a switch. It is more like the dial on a stove that allows you to turn the heat up or down, from 0 to 10. Sexuality is about finding the right number for you, and that number will probably change throughout your life. So learn to be comfortable with your sexuality no matter where it leads you.

Remember, no matter how hard we try to classify each other, there will always be someone who will surprise you, who will remain – unclassifiable, and that is what being truly beautiful is all about. Surprising each other with discovery and being comfortable with that discovery.

Just remember the more you ridicule somebody, the more you show your own fear for what you know is inside you. The greater your hate or anger, or need to act out in violence, the more you show your own true desires that live deep down inside of you, beyond the wall you built that you hope no one else will see over.

But that is for an entirely different post.

Be well

Money Meditation

Before reading any further just Google Money and Meditation. You may be surprised to what pops up.

What started out as an extension of meditation has now become a buzzword in itself. Among corporate types it has become woven into the very culture of the whole concept of work/life balance. In the military mindfulness creates a focused sniper. In both it also creates a very focused psychopath. How do you tell the two apart? Or how do you tell who practices me, me, me mindfulness without regard for those around them?

In many ways mindfulness enables people to do away with the ethics and values we all consider to be the backbone of society. Mindfulness can provide people with a neo-meditation that is good for you, but that will not make you a better person without the proper rules to live by.

Letting go and being present may make you happy, they may empty your cup, but once your cup is empty, how do you make sure that the water you refill it with is clean and pure? Many mindfulness teachers are too busy branding themselves for their next speaking engagement, the next one-on-one client visit, or the next corporate presentation to bother teaching their clients how to provide a larger perspective on values and on life in general.

Yoga grew to be an $80 billion business in 2015, because many of its teachers dropped the ethics that made it so attractive to its early practitioners. It is also how meditation grew from nothing into the multi-million dollar meditation centers that include MDNFL or the recent bourgeois Inscape, complete with gift shop selling the trendy Los Angeles/Chinese herb “dusts.”

How do we take the benefits of meditation and mindfulness and apply them to help the world become a better place? Simply, we don’t. It is simply not in the nature of many people to simply let things be. In a world of rampant individualism the Ten Commandments or the Buddhist Precepts are quickly being rewritten. What were intended as laws and guidelines to live by, have centuries been slowly, modified. The intent of Thou Shalt Not Kill has been effectively changed to Thou Shalt Not Kill Unless I Say It’s Okay.

The same is true for how the concept of Spirituality evolved into Spiritual Materialism. What was once a search for purity, truth and peace has quickly become one where it is more important to have the right outfit than a right mind.

At a yoga studio I recently overheard one student say, “She is so Zen, just look at her hair. I have to have it.”

When did it somehow became more important to have the Zen look than to actually be balanced in a serene way, or the best designed little house than it is to live in simplicity? The television now has program about having the right design for your “tiny house,” rarely mentioning why a tiny home makes more sense than a McMansion.

Something as simple as yoga pants have followed the same path. There are now cut-outs that strategically show just the right amount of skin in just the right places to be sexy and slimming. We managed to turn a practice of thousands of years into a physical workout designed to make practitioners as “body-perfect” as can be.

I am not surprised by this, nor do I waste a lot of time marveling about it. To each their own. Everyone is free to practice in their own ways and for their own reasons. Just don’t be surprised when the mindful sniper turns his or her well trained mind on one of us. Because if we do not teach people how to question themselves and their practices, if we fail to teach people the ethics and values behind meditation, mindfulness and yoga, it will all be for naught – quickly subverted to yet another materialistic path to follow.

These are the lessons that used to be taught in Buddhist and Yogic temples. These are the directives that could be found within the communities of priests and monks who provided direction on how to keep practices pure when refilling the cups that were so freely emptied.

The only way to prevent Karmen Ghia to be mistaken for Carpe Diem [which actually happened] is to teach people the essence of the various practices rather than just the veneer that lies on top, a veneer that is easily marred.

If you think I am over-reacting, just wait to see what happens to the purity of mindfulness in five or ten years.

Once we humans get a hold of something we tend to subvert it into the very thing it was created to work against. If you doubt this, just go back and Google “Money” and “Meditation”. You may be surprised to what pops up…

Truth & Triggers

No matter how “Zen” you may feel when you are in that flow, we all find ourselves thrown out of balance when the wrong person makes the wrong comment at just the wrong time. It almost seems as if they know just what to say at just the right to set you off.

Don’t worry, that is how they deal with the world. They live their life setting everyone around them spinning so they can remain the calm at the center of the storm. It is how they deal with the world around them. It is almost a narcissistic personality disorder, except for the fact that is has less to do with narcissism as it has to do with the only way they can feel secure is if everyone around them is spinning.

I wrote about it in my book The Simple Truth. I call it a loophole in the societal courtesies the rest of us live by. Their comment usually lies just below the response level where you feel justified in making a retort. It is not something so large that you can respond without looking like an egotistical ass. It flies just below the social radar of most people, but still it stings.

It is not like they out and out called you a name, but it was a dig. It is a trigger that they know they flicked, you know they flicked, and you have a pretty good idea everyone around you knows he or she flicked, but it was not so bad that you feel it demands a response without sinking down to their level.

It is okay, we have all been in that position. Just a few thoughts on how to handle these kinds of situations. First, let it go. Remind yourself to never allow yourself to be so caught up in the physical world that you get hurt by the actions of another or feel as if you must respond to them. A simple smirk and a rise of the eyebrow is usually enough of a response to dismiss them. You may even shake your head at the assininity of the situation, and if that is not a real word, it is about as close as I can get to calling it a passive/aggressive disorder without actually doing so [Spell check tells me it is not, but I say it should be].

You should also go one step further. Make a note of the trigger they flicked and store it for later. Once you cool down, take a moment to recognize that trigger. Admit to it and own it. Adopt it as a sensitive part of who you are. Smile at it, because it is a part of you. It is not a weakness, but a strength.

Sit down with yourself, meditate without allowing your mind to settle on the trigger that upset you like it did. Once your temperature has returned to normal, take a moment to contemplate what just happened. Replay the situation and turn it in your hands. Look at it from different angles and different perspectives. Then assess that trigger of yours. Ask yourself these three Socratic questions:

  • The first question is, has anyone said this before? If so, then this may lead to some self introspection. Is there some hint of truth to what they said, or is this the first time anyone has ever said something like this about you? If it has been said or hinted at before, then perhaps the reason it chafed so deeply is because there was a touch of truth to what they said. Do not question yourself or spend too much time pondering, but it may be worth some introspection, without getting too lost in their comments.
  • The second question is, why did they say that? Ask yourself why they said what they said. IF they did it out of anger, jealousy, or an attempt to raise themselves above you, then there is a good chance you can dismiss it. If however there was a twinge of truth to what they said, perhaps there is a lesson you can learn hidden beneath their acerbic attitude. If that is the case then perhaps you have a hint toward an attitude you yourself may take at times. Real or not, you may have been given an opportunity to change it. I call this a chance to learn from even the worst of situations.
  • The final question is, what is the nature behind what they said? Did they say whatever it was because they wanted to impress their friends or make your colleagues question your authority or confidence? Or did they say whatever it was because they saw a weakness in your personality? Either way, it again may hint at an area for improvement. If not, then it may be okay to dismiss their comment without further contemplation or thought.

Allow yourself, without allowing their comment to overwhelm you, to use their comment to explore your trigger. Ask yourself “why did that touch a nerve so deeply that I felt I had to respond?”

Try not to look at this event as an event to be angry about. Use it as an opportunity for self-growth. Look at this as an opportunity that should be met with gratitude. Each is a door to explore areas within you that may make you feel uncomfortable exploring. That is the quickest way to uncover your Simple Truth so that you may move on to living your life, on your terms, free from pain and free from delusions.

If you ever want to ask about a personal issue, please feel free to ask below. Your question will be sent directly to Jeff Cannon and held in the highest confidence.

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Be well and I hope this helps.

 

 

 

Live Life Richly, Deeply, 100%

Deep meditation is a wonderful way to remove the stress, anger, negative thoughts, and distractions that can so easily undermine our lives. We all know by now that meditation is a way to calm ourselves so that we, you, can turn dreams into ideas and ideas into actions, free from the delusions that all too often undermine the higher purpose to which we are trying to arrive.

But who ever said that is what the human experience is really all about? Having an issue to resolve is rewarding at times. It can give us meaning and a sense of fulfillment. We have all followed the fast rising celebrity who, at the height of having it “all”, suddenly lost track of what makes life worth living and tumbled a long, slow path back to humanity.

Perhaps that was their lesson to learn in the human experience we are all here to live through.

I recently told a student of mine, do not create issues that do not exist just so that you can solve them. There are more than enough issues out there for you. Just open your eyes and look ahead. They are out there, in all their miserable glory. Take the time to contemplate those issues as you develop a resolution based on your observations.

If you jump to a solution too quickly, you may end up resolving the delusions you created, not the underlying issue at the root of the problem. In time the core issue will resurface and you will be left to once again scratch your head, wondering how similar your current issue is to the one you had a week, a month, or a year ago as you once again jump to resolve the problem that seems to surface again and again and again. Each time failing to look any deeper than is needed.

When a thought interrupts your meditation, do not simply ignore it or let it go. Take a breath, take a moment to examine it. Hold it in your hands and contemplate it as you turn, to see it from a different perspective. Ask yourself if it is a thought that is worth further examination, or one you should simply release back into the ether.

Use this same approach for all the issues you stumble upon in the “real world”. Do not jump to a solution too quickly. Take the time to examine the issue. Take time to explore whatever obstacle lies in front of you. Take a breath to look at it from a new perspective. Some obstacles you think are there may not even be relevant, they are things you can avoid by simply side stepping, adjusting your direction, until you have passed it.

Do you really have to bump into that person walking toward you on the sidewalk, or can you simply drop your shoulder to avoid them altogether? Do you really have to wait for that car to drift into your lane? Or can you be fully present when you slow down to avoid them with little or no interruption in your journey. In some instances you may need to stop or step off your path, but is that really all that bad? Considering all the regret in your life from blundering forward, will that really make a difference to your future?

There are many ways to avoid an issue or an obstacle without confronting it. Simply give yourself enough time to plan an appropriate response and you will be surprised by how many seemingly insurmountable issues fade away before you even arrive at them. Take a meditative approach to your life, so that you can live your life without changing your life. Simply bend with the winds and currents of life, rather than obstinately standing up to them. Trust me, no matter how tough or strong you are, no matter how cunning you think you are, life will eventually throw a wave or a wind in your path that will knock you down, as long as you look ahead to see it coming.

I know many meditation “masters” say to be present, to remain in the here and now if you want to be happy. But who said happiness is all that life is about? There is something far better in looking ahead to make sure your path is a safe one. You do not have to live an either/or existence. Perhaps you can spend 80% of your time in the here and now while spending the other 20% looking just far enough ahead so to see the obstacles that may block your path in the future. Perhaps you need to take a break and be 100% present, know that tomorrow or next week you can look up to make sure your path is clear, or if there is even a path at all to continue on.

This is the difference between living a meditative life in the here and now, in the 21st Century world we all live in rather than the world of 2,500 years ago when meditation as we know it came to be. If happiness was the goal of life, rather than learning the lessons you were meant to live, then the Buddha would have never ventured outside the walls of his father’s compound.

Being aware is more important than being happy, if you want your life to unfold as it was meant to be.

I know it is not always easy, but for better or worse, that is not what this life is about. It is about awakening, enlightenment, and learning the lesson you are here to learn.

I hope this helps.

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10 Ways to Pick Yourself Up

There will always be days, weeks, even months when you feel as if the delusions in your life are running your life. It’s okay, we all get them. It’s just a signal that it is time to wake up to the real world that is all around you, not the one you think you live in, but to the real world that is actually all around you.

It may feel like you need a shot of caffeine or a cocktail, but it’s not. You just need a bit of sleep, some healthy food, to slow down and to reach out to your community of friends and family, or as Bruce Banter says, “to do o everything you know to do, then stand still.”

More than likely you are simply feeling tired of living your life in delusion. Stop thinking in terms of success and failure, winning or losing, think in terms of the delusions you created for yourself.

I know it is not easy, but these tips will help get you back on your path to stop tripping over your own nature and truly awaken to your own Simple Truth.

Here are a few ways to get you back on your path and to keep you moving in the right direction – your direction. After all, it is your life, and now is the time to live it your way, only with a meditative twist this time:

  1. When was the last time you got 8 hours of sleep? When was the last time you sat down to a healthy meal? When was the last time you sat down with a friend and listened, really listened to them? If you do not take care of yourself nobody else will. Remember what the airline stewards say before every flight, put your own mask on, before trying to help the person next to you, and yes, listening mindfully is a way to take care of yourself. So get some sleep, eat a healthy meal, listen to a friend, do a body scan and then see how you feel.
  2. Take a deep breath, roll your shoulders back, and smile. Every time you inhale feel the relaxing strength flow from the top of your head to the tips of your fingers and toes. Begin with your scalp, feel each breath flow down from your scalp and relax your eyebrows, your eyes, your cheeks, your lips and your jaw. Feel your tongue drop from the roof of your mouth, relaxing you as it passes down your neck, your shoulders, your arms and your fingers. Feel each breath flow down to your hips, your legs and your toes. Relax and feel the ebb and flow of that energy as it flows through you, lifting you, giving you the Focused Calm to move forward.
  3. Reach out and help someone. It does not have to be earth shattering. Just smile at someone, hold the door for someone, be fully present as you listen to them without judgment. Make someone else feel good about themself without seeking anything in return. Then smile at yourself for doing so.
  4. Touch the earth. It can just be the side of a building or the pavement, a sidewalk or an office floor. Remind yourself that you are connected to the earth in some way. Tune yourself in to that connection and smile as you follow that connection no matter how thin it may be. Remember electricity travels though the thinnest wire to illuminate a lamp from the tiniest of batteries. Do the same as you touch the earth to re-energize yourself.
  5. Write down five things that you are proud of. Put that list in your pocket or handbag. Remind yourself that you have done great things in your life and will do many more in the days to come.
  6. Acknowledge the good and the bad in your life. Label the moments where you think things went wrong and acknowledge them. Then recognize what happened after them, and where things went right. Let your brain know that those are just moments in your life, that those were just moments in your life and that everything will be okay.
  7. Stop picking up your mobile phone, stay off of social media [Facebook, Twitter, Instagram]. Pick up a book, sit back, and read instead. Who cares what others think. It’s your life, to be lived by no one but you.
  8. Stop comparing yourself to others. You are not someone else, they are not you. Know that they are just as insecure as you are. Now, laugh at yourself for being foolish and only seeing the curated life they want you to see.
  9. Stop watching the news. Today’s news is just a rehash of yesterday’s events, played over and over again so they can make their budgets. It does not change from day-to-day. So take a break and enjoy life instead. CNN will not mind, it will not even know, but you will.
  10. Train yourself to quit the negative and focus on the positive. Start today. Know that everyone is programmed to see the rain more than the sun. It is human nature instilled in us from the time when we were hunter-gatherers, but it does not have to be your nature today.  So smile, start at “1” and continue down the list until you arrive at “10”. Wash, rinse, repeat…

 

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