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Posts tagged ‘Meditation’

Day 10: The Inward Journey: If you do what your Irish Mammy says, you will always find your way home.

IMG_1926I believe, every journey begins with a single step and this step is more enjoyable when it is shared with a friend and on the 27th of May in this year of 2015, we became travelling companions.

It has been an incredible honor for me to be out here blogging in cyberspace, every Monday and Wednesday and to observe that at times, I have up to 70 people reading my posts. I hope you are enjoying reading them as much as I like writing them. Like you I see myself as a student of life, always learning and asking why?

It is fantastic when you think about it, us humans,  live, eat, sleep, procreate and die just like every other animal on this planet we call Earth. Any yet, for some strange reason we can read and write thus allowing us the opportunity to do as we wish. Furthermore, every solitary single human-being  in the whole wide world, is unique. I am unique. You are unique.   And, behind all that again there is something else that is not quite human, something which is beyond words, beyond activity and definitely beyond the brief of this blog! But that will not  stop me from trying to understand and share my thought with you.

Since we started on May 27th we have looked at ways to discover our ‘True Potential’ ,as well considering the actions and beliefs that are harmful to health. We began in late May  by looking at that inner dialogue that chatters consistently inside the mind and we called this inner babbling black noise. Then, we considered  different  ways  to silence this black noise, including Progressive Muscle Relaxation- Day 4 on 17th June, Meditation- Day 2 & 3 in early June respectively. We noted that the practice of meditation allows us to become aware of subtle transformations in our entire being, body mind and spirit. Experiencing the abiding silence within, settles the mind. When the mind is still we call this mindfulness.

When we are mindful we give our full attention to any activity no matter what it is, which means that we become energized rather than drained by action. In Day 7 – July 8, we looked at how to exercise mindfully. We mindfully tackled those ‘hated’ jobs on Day 8 – 22nd July as well as eating chocolate! Just for the fun of it!

Breath work is so important that we focused on it a lot, almost in every post there was a breath exercise. In this post there is an exception.

All of this activity is a journey towards something which I like to call The Real Me. As I have said so often I am not a theologian, I am more of a seeker, searching with you for the miraculous behind all things. This state of ‘Grace’  can be momentarily experienced during moments of silence, contemplation and meditation

As the famous writer and theologian Mark Twain says

‘Meditation shatters the illusion that we are separate from God, and each other and our world’

Note to self.

 MOMM

So let’s keep on trucking my friends, together we will find a way.

See you next week.

Hugs,

mt

If you do what your Irish Mammy says, you will always find your way home. Day 2: The Inward Journey: Finding silence.

MOMM

On the Day 1 post we identified the difference between black and white noise.

White noise relaxes the body whereas  black noise depletes natural energy resources causing illness and disease.

The problem with black noise is twofold.

Primarily, it blocks out what we need for healthy survival and secondly, like a magnet it attracts negativity onto itself.

A lovely way to demonstrate what I am talking about, is to do a fun exercise called Chinese whispers, with some of your friends.

It goes like this.

  • Write down on a piece of paper a message that is  long  and full of irrelevant and relevant facts, for example you could say that

‘Mr and Mrs Brown went to the shops to buy cheese, tomatoes, bread and ham for their tea. On the way they met their friends Maura who was a doctor and Donal who was a house husband. They asked them to solve a family problem that was bothering both of them  for ages.’

  • Then whisper the message to the person next to you and pass it on, you can only say the message once and the last person to get the message must write down  what they heard on a piece of paper  straight away.
  • If you have two groups doing the whispers , it is even better.
  • Then ask the first  person to read the original message and compare it to last message written
  • Check out what words are
  • Left in
  • Left out
  • Changed

I often do this exercise with groups and the outcome is always hilarious.

There is such a difference and the reason for this is to do with neural transmissions below the brain, in an area known as the reticular activating system (RAS), which is an interconnecting neural pathway in the stem of the brain.

The RAS is responsible for the brain sleep-waking pattern and interpretation of all information coming into the brain and  decides what incoming stimuli is important and what is not. This decision is often based on past experience, learning and the strength of the stimulus.

So here is the vital thing to understand about RAS and Black noise.

We do not see and hear everything that is going on around us and.  And that which we do perceive, is changed, molded  into a meaningful whole.

The RAS modifies the incoming messages we receive, to support existing beliefs we have about ourselves and the world around us. Anything perceived as meaningless or irrelevant is omitted.

Consequently, if we do not see and hear everything that is going on around us and if the brain is trying to understand and make sense of it all, is it not unreasonable to assume that the information we receive through our senses can be very wrong at times, including the  negative beliefs we have about ourselves which continues to attract negativity into our lives.

Note to self

Thus what does this mean to you and me sitting here today?

Well I guess it means that we could be blocking out the good stuff, the white noise that could be energising and invigorating our days and providing us with a sound night’s sleep.

And what are we going to do about it?

 

Right now, we will stop this sabotage.

Today, on Day 2 it is  time to start obliterating Black Noise  into oblivion.

One way to do this, is to experience stillness.

One way to find stillness, is through meditation.

First let me explain what I mean by meditation.

Meditating takes about thirty minutes of your time: – fifteen minutes in the morning and fifteen in the evening. During this period you will allow your mind to rest, recharge and renew itself, through the practice of mental stillness and breathing. We will consider this in more detail in the next post.

References to meditation can be found in almost all known religions. Irish monks in the middle ages achieved altered states of consciousness through fasting, meditation and prayer. These reflective individuals followed the guidelines outlined in The Bible which tells us to ‘be still and know that I am God’.

Yet despite the existence of Meditation since antiquity, several misconceptions about its practice exist. The great teachers of Meditation have explained to me that knowledge of theory does not necessarily guarantee possession of the skill. Meditation can only be learned or realised through practice. ’The guidelines in the next few following post will help you to practise meditation.

Many people today believe that they are unable to meditate because they cannot rid their minds of idle chatter which as we now realise can lead to Black Noise. Silence is perceived as awkward and many are eager to fill it with sound either through talking or half-listening to the banter on the television or radio.

When you start to meditate you will become aware of subtle transformations within your psyche. Experiencing the abiding silence within you settles the mind. This allows you to give full attention to what you are doing, which means that you become energised rather than drained by activity.

Try not to confuse meditation with sleep. It is not a passive activity but rather an active form of staying awake and alert. In meditation the mind is not allowed to wander and become lost in its thoughts or emotions, instead it is trained to focus and concentrate on a single sensation or sound, generally referred to as a mantra.

Note to self

Imagine a brick wall, one side is white, full of contentment and bliss ,the other is black, with  blasting confusion of negativity.

Now ask yourself which side you would like to be on?

It’s a ‘no brainier’ really, when you think about it.

So, let’s start next Wednesday opening our lives up to the stillness.

When on  Day 3. We will continue The Inward Journey by setting up a meditative environment.  

Waiting…….

IMG_1063Today I thought of snowdrops that lie dormant in the winter soil.

Like me they are waiting for the inspiration of spring.

And so it is,

I must return to the woods to front only the essential facts of life

before I  dare to speak about  any miraculous search for purpose and meaning.

I WENT INTO THE WOODS BECAUSE I WISHED TO LIVE DELIBERATELY, TO FRONT ONLY THE ESSENTIAL FACTS OF LIFE, AND I SEE IF I COULD NOT LEARN WHAT IT HAD TO TEACH, AND NOT, WHEN I CAME TO DIE, DISCOVER THAT I HAD NOT LIVED (Henry David Thoreau)

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The question is, how do we go into the woods to LIVE a deliberate life?

What ARE the essential facts, that life has to teach us?

I know, from experience how incredibly easy it is to become immersed in everyday anxieties which will become irrelevant  when it comes to dying.

And what of work? That topic that I promised to return to in my last blog.

Can work prevent us from finding our true path in life?

In today’s society we need money. At the most basic level, money will provide food and shelter. With it,we can buy many things and travel the world and we can, if we wish, go to the woods to live a deliberate life. Without it we could die, literally.

And yet, most of us have to work to get money.

Therein, lies the dilemma we need money to live and in that living we can lose sight of what life is really about.

And so it would seem to me, that work can prevent us from finding our true path in life.

Interestingly enough, the enlightened Yogi Masters have a different attitude toward work, they do not see it as a separate entity that provides a means to live, rather they see it as an action where the day to day activities are carried out in a state of mindful service  for the welfare of  all and  for the good of others. This, they call Karma Yoga which means union with God through action.

When I was India earlier this year my Karma Yoga involved cleaning the toilets. I picked the most distasteful task I could find in an effort to see if I could become detached from my judgements of what constitutes good verses bad work.

Here is what I wrote at that time

Note to self,

I really like Karma Yoga even if my duties are cleaning the bathrooms and toilets!

It is done with devotion, in silence and with reverence and somehow it works I don’t know how it just does!!

The rest of the day always go according to  plan, with breakfast at eight, class at nine, lunch at eleven, more karma yoga, supper at 5.30, more meditation and finishing with the most delicious soup ever and Satsanagh or personal reflection on the day of  the  group

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And then we remind ourselves that tomorrow is always  another day- hurrah!!

And yes, tomorrow is another day for another blog where we might consider what  can happen to us  when we become unemployed.

 MAY ALL BEINGS BE HAPPY

Bhavatu Sarva Margalan

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