Meditation & Mindfulness

Conscious Living in 5 Easy Steps

conscious living

What do we mean by conscious living? I suppose having greater self-awareness, and operating from a state of presence for longer periods, generally describes the term. A state of enlightenment even.

Now becoming enlightened is one thing, maintaining this state in a world of ever increasing distractions is quite another. Here are 5 steps to keep you on track.

How to Change the World

change the world

In a previous post, I alluded to the idea that what we experience is a kind of echo of our inner world. In this post, I would like to explore this idea a little further.

Those who act on the world never, I notice, succeed. The world is a strange instrument, not meant to be handled.

This stanza from the Tao Te Ching suggests that to attempt to change the world is never a wise thing to do. Of course, people try to control the world all the time – we try to control our kids, our parents, our spouses, our careers, our health … this list goes on.

Zen and the Art of Focus

focus

Doing one thing at a time.

That’s the most practical definition of the word Zen. In other words, Zen equals focus. Think of all the pictures that you might associate with the term Zen (peace, clarity, strength) and you can see how they apply to a state of intense focus as well. Ultimately the two subjects are one and the same, and learning to master this art of focus (or Zen) can unlock incredible power in your life.

Focus might be “doing” one thing at a time but it is also about “noticing” one thing at a time. Focus is a state of awareness that goes beyond just actions – it is the place of calm mental presence in this moment. A mind that is cluttered with ten different thoughts is scattered; a mind that gives attention to just one item at a time is focused, calm, poised, and powerful. Consciousness, awareness, flow, and presence are also terms used to describe this state.

The Illusion of Time

illusion of time

On October 10th, 2006, at the age of 36, I suffered a stroke. Thankfully, it wasn’t a major stroke and I was able to make a full recovery after spending a week in the hospital!

In the weeks that followed, I can’t count how many times I heard the phrase:

“But you’re too young to have a stroke!”

My answer to this was always the same:

Learning To Listen To Our Inner Wisdom

inner wisdom

One of the most disturbing things in my life right now is that I know several people who feel the need to drug themselves in order to go to work. In the morning, they drink, use prescription drugs, or even take painkillers or sedatives to make sure they stay composed, and keep themselves from having “emotional outbursts,” while in the office. Without a little something to take the edge off, they don’t feel like they could function.

These may sound like extreme examples, but in some way most of us are “taking the edge off” to deal with the stresses of working and other aspects of our lives. When we get home, for instance, most of us immediately turn on the computer, radio or TV, craving an escape from the anger, fear or despair we experience in our working lives. Like “hard drugs,” these activities temporarily distract us from, or numb us to, how we’re feeling. The fact that most of us do this in the evening to “wind down,” as opposed to doing it in the morning to “gear up,” doesn’t seem like a very meaningful distinction to me.

How To Meditate (& Why it May Help You Overcome Depression)

how to meditate

Meditation involves silencing our mind. It is not an intellectual activity, but an attempt to expand our consciousness and be aware of our ‘real sense of being.’ Meditation can be a practical tool for relaxation, concentration and better health; it can also be an invaluable tool to self discovery. Through meditation we develop the capacity to be content with ourselves as we are. It is a happiness not dependent on external wealth and success. If practiced correctly, meditation can be a powerful antidote to depressive thoughts.

It is hard to pick up meditation from just reading an article, but I would like to share a few basic pointers about what meditation involves. No matter what form of meditation you follow, the basic shared principle is to quieten your thoughts and mind. We can sit in a chair for many hours, but, if thoughts continually pass through our mind then our meditation will be ineffective. Ultimately the aim is to have a mind free of thoughts. It is in this inner silence that we can experience a consciousness of real peace.

Infinite Possibility, Infinite Flow

flow

In recent weeks, several friends who are experiencing financial challenges have posed this question to me:

Why is that so many aspects of my life seem to be flowing, but when it comes to money, I feel so stuck?

Or,

Why is it that when I’m meditating, creating, writing or “in the zone,” I feel alive and vibrant, as though I’m living at the highest of frequencies, but when it comes to finances, I come crashing back to earth?

These are important questions and the answers are both simple and complex.

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