Receiving the Gift of Inspiration at Will

Inspiration can be a source of amazing insight, resulting in benefits to mankind fromventions and scientific discoveries. Chester Carlson, the inventor of xerographic copying and founder of the Xerox Company, attributed his invention to divine inspiration. Even more so, Mr. Carlson routinely embarked on a specific set of actions designed to result in the reception of divine inspiration at will. One could only imagine the possibilities for good in one's life that could be realized from such a capability, and it leads to the thought of whether such a thing could even be possible.

Yes, it is possible, and thankfully there is more than one way to achieve this desirable outcome. For example, Mr. Carlson utilized daily meditation techniques to quiet his mind and prepare himself to be ready for an encounter with divine inspiration. However, few Westerners have the time or inclining to embark on a program of daily meditation. Rather, there are some tricks one could use to receive inspiration whenever there is a need that more easily fit our busy Western lifestyle.

The first step is to perceive a need that must be filled. Once the problem is clearly defined, state clearly the knowledge, assistance or advice that is needed to sate this need or problem. For example, if there is a problem at work, define exactly what the issue is, being specific and accurate. There is no benefit in asking for assistance to solve a problem if one's own actions are the reason for the problem. Continuing, ask for guidance on how to solve the issue being faced. The next step is to embark on a private and personal activity you enjoy that allows your mind to relax. There are any number of activities that would be conducive to this requirement, and it's up to you to figure the one that works best for you. For example, I personally like to read books or lift weights as my “quiet” activity. Others like to run, walk, bike, garden, watch television or sit on a porch swing and watch a quiet evening sky. While there are a number of activities that could meet the requirements of this step, the important point to remember is that it must be a personal activity during which no engagement occurs between you and another person. The mind must be allowed to relax and silently float in any direction it wills. If you were to engage in discourse with another person during this activity then your mind would not be relaxed and so it will not be receptive to divine inspiration, so it is best to find some hobby or activity that you enjoy to do on your own.

Perhaps the hardest part about receiving inspiration at will is being ready to record that inspiration once it is received. Inspiration passes from the super-conscious mind through the subconscious mind where it only lightly touches the waking conscious as if in a daydream. Those thoughts and ideas can be lost in seconds so it is incumbent on the recipient to be able to identify the point of inspiration, but also to be ready to record it immediately upon recognition. Any delay to search for pen and paper, or to ponder wherever or not to record the idea, will almost assuredly result in the loss of the memory of that inspiration. Should a delay occur, you likely will remember being inspired but will feel frustrated at the attempt to try to recall the specifics of that inspiration later if it had not been written down immediately immediately receipt. It would be better, therefore, to gain the habit of always having a pen and paper near to hand, especially when preparing to prepare oneself to receive inspiration from the divine.

These “tricks” are not necessarily better than meditation to receive inspiration in a time of need, but they are probably more conducive to the Western cultural lifestyle. You can pick out what works best for you, and use it anytime you have a need. I routinely follow this method, and I attribute much of my success in college, work and life to asking for inspiration when I had a need, such as a need for the topic of an essay, or how to get ahead at work. It was like receiving a 'cheat' from on-high. 馃檪 If it can work for me, it could assuredly work for you.

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The Path of Meditation – Right Action – Meditation’s Visible Aspect

Right action is nonharmful action. This is not taking life but protecting life; not taking what is not freely given but cultivating generosity; abstaining from sexual misconduct – not engaging anyone in intelligence if it would hurt either others or them if they are not capable of dealing with the emotional consequences; not speaking falsely but speaking truthfully and not taking toxicants, such as drugs or alcohol, but keeping the mind clear. These actions are often rationalized, justified and excused. However, they are based on greed and hatred and will cause painful results later on in your life.

Good is hard to do but when you see the results you are pleased you did it. Negative actions are easy and initially pleasant but when you get the results you regret what you did.

Right action follows when there is right intention which is always present when there is right view. As they are intent driven, speech and action have karmic consequences later in this life and following lives. Your actions feed into your stream of causality which constantly delivers results fairly matched to your actions. Thus, right view and intention are indicative if you want to get the results you want, the right results of happiness. This can never happen if you are half sleep. You must pay full attention to what you are doing. Right action can not take place if you are not mindful and present. Right action is any action under any circumstances done with the right intention. If you are mindful of the action while doing it, you will naturally have the right intention and get the right results.

Conversely, lack of mindfulness virtuously guarantees the wrong results. Usually you are thinking, hopping, wishing, recalling, worrying and fearing. If doing work or driving through traffic, you may be resisting and resenting. This is because you believe your abilities are being wasted on an insignificant activity which is not in accord with your true worth. You think they are not being used to their full extent and you are too important for this to happen. In order to distract yourself away from this and restore your importance you may, for example, listen to music. You are permanently playing out the past or fantasizing about the future, gratifying the ego's desires for attention, being everywhere but present in what you are doing.

The vitality of life is the world's most valuable asset and if it is not being used then something is sure to take the opportunity to exploit it and serve its own purposes. Life by its nature never stops flowing and when you do not keep up it flows away from you. If you are not prepared to be committed to what you are doing and take control of your life then these negative states will be and they will take over. The more you refuse to guard yourself the more they take control. Your life force will be used by them and they will grow steadily stronger while you grow weaker and less capable of getting the best out of your life.

Large chunks of your life, almost all of it, go missing but the negative results of this absence do not. It should be no surprise to you when more of your life goes wrong than right as these negative results are continuously coming home to their owner.

There is no honor or dignity in losing your integrity. If you feel you are important then you are not acting in your best interests as you are receiving the opposite of what you intended. Your self-worth is steadily declining. While you are fooling yourself you are maintaining your worth, it is being stolen by negative mind states to promote their vigour and not yours. They have succeeded in enslaving you without you knowing it. They have used the simple ruse of making you feel more important by pretending to lend you their appearing glitter and status as a reward for obeying them. This makes you feel you are getting special attention. Paradoxically, the more powerful and powerful they become, the more important you feel when used by them as now you think you are being specifically chosen by something very powerful. The more you are being controlled, the better you feel and the less you notice you are paying for this dubious privilege with your life's energy. This is not a good deal for you as all your opportunities to do well are being stolen! You have been manipulated by greed into driving for activity and status which have an apparently special significance. In fact, they are privileged with no real worth as they only have conditional significance and are there before continuing changing. You then have to strive for the new activity and status which has become the vogue. There is no rest as you never get anything which has lasting value but you never stop trying as with foolish optimism you carry on hiring you will get a bargain. This is all false glitter.

In fact, you have gotten it badly wrong: it is not the type of activity you do that certifies your status but how well do it. The more you put in, the more you get out. This way you are investing your energy in yourself instead of being fooled into investing into negative mind states. It gives you the best out of your life. It's the gift that never stops giving as now your positive mind states grow steadily stronger, bringing not only a steady stream of good results but also more opportunity to do better.

This automatically happens when you practice mindfulness. With mindfulness you are naturally in accord with the right view as you are focussed on what you are doing and not on some fantasy. As you have the right view, you have the intention to choose the right action. Mindfulness of what you are doing protects you from losing chunks of opportunity and self-worth as you will be acting not with resistance or reluctance but wholeheartedly and this will bring benefits back to you. The real reason for an activity is that it is necessary and useful. Mindfulness keeps you focused on these positive aspects. You automatically let go of negativity and this leads positive results.

If you are feeling negative about something, your mind will become scattered as the purpose of negative thoughts is to scatter the mind. They keep you enslaved by preventing your integrity from being re-established. You will not be thinking correctly and will most likely try to speed up through this unsuccessful patch and move on. In this case it will not be possible to recover mindfulness and regain your integrity unless you slow down a little.

If you are performing work because it is an expected duty or someone would be angry with you if you did not, you will have some resistance or resentment and these negative states will bring back to you negative results so you will be hurt twice. With mindfulness, you let go of the negative states roaming in the mind and act with full commitment. The calm and ease this brings is immediately rewarding. No matter what you are doing your dignity and worth is restored.

Essentially right action means positive action which in turn is mindful action. Mindfulness immediately switches negative mind states off due to the fact that to be present you have to let go of everything else. The simple reason behind this is that the mind can only focus on one focal point at a time. If you are mindful of an activity then that this where the mind will be and as mindfulness is a positive action the mind will be absolutely positive. This is true even if you are being mindful of negative thoughts. If your mindfulness is strong, the negative thoughts are weakened or completely disappear. With continued practice, mindfulness becomes stronger and easier to do.

Mindfulness is the opposite of suppression as it is letting go of a negative state to do something better. With mindfulness negative states become weaker, with suppression they become stronger as suppression pumps more energy into them.

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Fundamentalist Absolutism From a Meditation Point of View

Objects undeniably appear to be substantially, independently real as though they are waiting somewhere out there for us to discover and exploit, created givens existing for our pleasure. We accept this illusion at face value and believe it is an absolute truth, a reality so obvious that it can not be questioned. We never examine the role our conditioning plays in constructing a reality in which we are the major holders and are completely unaware of its distorting, biased activity. We feel that we have no responsibility for how objects exist and appear to us as the way we see them is the way they are. This has nothing to do with us. If someone disagrees that they are clearly wrong and can be overridden. An absolutist, intrusive morality becomes naturally justified by this wrong assumption about the nature of reality. A toxic, homemade brew of ontology, epistemology and ethics is now ready to be forced down dissenters' throats and all for their own good. We can do as we like since there will be no undesirable consequences, or at least we can make others pay for them especially if we are in possession of power. In addition, we feel that possessing the object will bring desirable concences. We split up reality, which is essentially a dynamic unity, into small pieces so we can try to manipulate it to our advantage. We try to keep the good pieces and give the bad to others. Then we mistakenly believe no bad consequences will come of this. We do not want to see this futile, self-serving activity infringes what is actually there and that reality will re-assert itself in unpredictable ways to preserve the dynamic unity of existence. As the violation is often aggressive and forceful, to maintain the balance, the correction must be of a similar nature. This view of an independent, absolute reality is clearly na茂ve and hopelessly wrong. It also has disastrous results.

If the objects of the world were absolutely real that would be their final, unalterable reality. There could be no relationship between us and the objects we see as if there were, when we changed, the relationship would change and this would change the object too so it could never have a final, unalterable state. It could never satisfy any need for security and reliability. For instance, if we think an object is valuable, when others notice this, they will take an added interest in the object too and want it in case they are missing something. So, when we think something is valuable we immediately look around to see who else may get it before we do. Furthermore, if objects were absolutely real, their lack of relativity would cause them to be frozen into a fixed, immovable state. No change would be possible and no progress could take place. Crops could not be grown, metals could not be defined from ore and cities could not be built.

Objects appear to be absolutely real and this appearance is so convincing that we take it at face value. Any investigation into the nature of reality then takes as its starting point this mistake assumption that reality is absolutely real. All the theories about the nature of reality stand on this false foundation, the unexamined acceptance that the way objects appear is the way they actually are. This implies that if objects exist reliably and subject to certain conditions, they could not be real as they would change as conditions changed. A truly real objects could not change as then nothing would be stable and reliable. For the absolutist, only the extreme view that objects either exist absolutely or not at all, is possible. This leads inexorably to extreme moral judgments and extreme actions which by their nature are intolerant and harmful. They fly in the face of reality and must, finally, fail.

The undeniable fact that objects appear to be stable, reliable and quite real is not a measure of their final reality but of the iron-clad nature of the mind's defect conditioning – the invariable function of innate ignorance. The way our mind puts reality together is very similar. Time and time again we see the same object in the same way and so do others. The resolving power of the senses and the perceiving mind is too coarse to bring into focus any of the changes that are continuously taking place as the object constantly adjusts to the equally unseen changes taking place in the other objects around it.

The uncritical mind sees objects to exist extremely but this comforting absolute reality has never been found and the Heisenberg uncertainty principle, that every act of observation changes the object observed, implying that it never will as it does not exist.

This wrong view of absolute reality arises from unrecognized, innate ignorance which is the failure to recognize the intrinsic nature of phenomena and then, with unshakeable confidence, to come to the wrong conclusion that objects exist absolutely. The uncritical mind is deceived by appearance and takes them to be real. This ignorance is not simply an absence of knowledge but a deeply imbedded psychological need to see wrongly because it is pleasing. As it is pleasing, the untutored mind takes this as proof that its wrong views are indisputably right.

These subliminal mind-generated illusions of an absolute reality are self-serving as they insist the fantastic contradiction that condition existence also exists absolutely and so has meaning and purpose. They are naturally comforting and pleasing with the pleasure being uncritically accepted as verification the fantasy is real and right. This mind-manufactured deception obstructs understanding of the way reality is constructed by the automatic functioning of the mind and gives life a false stability and security. Existence seems to be controllable and exploitable without any penalties, which lends actions to satisfy our needs a bulletproof meaning and purpose. These impossible conditions can never be met so this exuberance for existence inevitably leads to confusion and pain.

This cycle of being deluded by a ready-made reality springing magically and unseen from innate ignorance, reinforced with the seeming endorsements of pleasure, is difficult to see and more difficult to break free from.

Absolutists further compound this innate ignorance by developing learned ignorance where fantastic theories relating to nature of existence are manufactured. They spin out pleasing doctrines which serve to justify and establish their own-proclaimed superior views and rights to dominate and harm others. This fabrication is then augmented by claiming the existence of an absolute moral authority which supposedly exists for the benefit of all but must be imposed by them as they are its only legitimate representatives. Naturally, everyone else finds this far-fetched, intrusive propaganda completely unacceptable.

This pleasurable feeling arising from wrong views is only a conditioned reaction – whenever the holder makes contact with their self-serving views of innate superiority, they unavoidably experience pleasure. The wrongness, self-serving nature and pleasure all arise automatically, beyond self-control, as the mind is conditioned to function in this way. Just as being stroked is naturally pleasurable so stroking the ego with self-serving views is pleasurable, which is why people do it all the time without any trace of self-awareness. This is all part of a conditioned reflex. Nothing in this can be found to be stable, secure and purposeful. This intellectually developed ignorance, the pleasurable theory about an objectively real, lasting existence, is only the misinterpretation resulting from craving the pleasure of holding a self-serving view. It is only the pleasure of delusion, of being fooled by appearances, it does not give life any special meaning. This pleasure of wrong views is the attempt to satisfy the restlessness and wavering arising from the conditioned craving of pleasure, it is not unshakeable like unobstructed, penetrating insight into the way things are. It is only speculation, not verifiable experience.

Absolutist views are born from ignorance, have the characteristic of delusion, craving and pleasure and manifest as harmful activity. Those holding absolutist views feel unhesitatingly they are absolutely right while others are absolutely wrong and then enthusiastically harm others while pretending that they are helping them. They find this delusive activity perpetually gratifying and never tire of it. They are intolerant, insensitive and punitive. As soon as they do not get their way, they look around for someone to blame and punishment. But right results can never come from wrong actions and causing harm to the environment or others is clearly wrong. It can only be justified by deluded and expedient thinking. Due to being mistaken about the nature of reality, absolutists misinterpret their own innate ignorance, which is a violation of their relationship with the truth, as a real and fundamental sin, which is a violation of their relationship with their god. To them it is a state of being which can not be rectified except by an almighty creator. It is not an action which can be changed by the actor provided they are willing to follow the correct methodology. Their ethics is not consequentialist but based on duty and guilt, a sense that disobeying some external authority is wrong and will cause them to be punished. They see all their mistaking thinking in others and come to the astonishing conclusion that all life is absolutely, inherently defective and must be saved by some external force to which they expediently claim unique access and therefore the self-serving right to tell others how to behave . As they are without self-awareness, they are ludicrously implying that it is others who are incompetent, can not think or act correctly and must be told what to do. They are oblivious to their own bad behavior and refuse to apologize for it or correct it. In order to justify taking their sense of inadequacy and frustration out on others and satisfies their psychological need to feel powerful, they, with blissful ignorance, project onto others their own infantile naughtiness and dependence on a father figure.

These strange, anti-human views are unverified by experience and can not withstand analysis. How can such bad behavior and bias thinking ever arise from a correct view? Moral absolutism relies on stagnant, fundamentalist beliefs of absolute moral superiority which encourage dogmatism and obstinacy and lead to conflict. It is a dangerous place to take in a world that is connected and diverse.

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Discover Meditation

Meditation

Thirty spokes of a wheel all join at a common hub
yet only the hole at the center
allows the wheel to spin
Clay is molded to form a cup
yet only the space within
allows the cup to hold water
Walls are joined to make a room
yet only by cutting out a door and a window
can one enter the room and live there

Thus, when a thing has existence alone
it is mere dead weight
Only when it has wu, does it have life

Verse 11, Tao Te Ching, Lao Tzu

Wu is nothingness, emptiness, nonexistence

Discover Meditation and the Secret Gap

Stillness of mind, improved concentration and focus, heightened clarity, increased vitality and rejuvenation, happiness and emotional stability, improved memory and learning ability, inner peace, calm and oneness are just some of the benefits regular practice of meditation can give you.

Discover meditation and the secret gap and you will open a doorway connecting you to your true self, your soul, and leading you down the path of self realization; that you are one with the universe, part of the whole that is everywhere, everyone and everything.

The simplest things are often the most difficult to comprehend. Meditation is the key that unlocks the door to your soul, who you really are, your purpose, why you are here and the true meaning of life.

Start your own journey and discover meditation for yourself.

What is meditation and where did it come from?

Meditation is the practice of focusing on an object or a single point of awareness. It is the practice of calming the mind to allow one to become immersed with their true essence; the true self that is one with all (source, universe, divine consciousness, universal consciousness or any other given name meaning the same).

As you will discover there are lots of approaches to meditation; hundreds of different tips and techniques. These all work; specifically in the beginning that they help to focus your concentration. It is, however, important not to get attached to a particular technique or object. When it comes down to it meditation is all about a post realization that you have discovered the secret gap that is as Wu describes; nothingness, emptiness, nonexistence. Only then are you meditating, and the key is not to forgive what you have discovered but, simply allow it to be, merging with the persistence, the silence and the tranquility that is the pure essence of our universe.

It is the path to all wonder and the gate to the essence of everything. It can only be found within, by merging with the silence, the persistence and the tranquility of the present moment. It is discovering meditation and the secret gap that leads to a life of fulfillment, happiness, and total inner peace. Life becomes flowing, effortless, and beautiful and at the same time you achieve self awareness which brings clarity, creativity and a deep sense of true purpose that is simply just being.

Meditation exhausted before history was recorded. Archaeologists found ancient Indian scriptures which detailed the practice of meditation dating back thousands of years. It is a well documented practice of many world religions to include Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, Jainism, Judaism, Sikhism and Taoism. Spreading from the East meditation techniques are now practiced through the world by millions of people on a daily basis. Meditation in Sanskrit is Dhy na na and is one of the eight limbs of yoga which leads to a state of Sam d dhi (joy, bliss or peace). The physical practice of yoga, through the avenue of the breath, is in itself a moving meditation which again is practiced by millions of people through the world.

What are the other benefits of meditation?

Studies have shown that meditation decrees the negative effects of stress, anxiety and depression. Overall we become calmer, happier and more fulfilled.

Meditation improves concentration, which is essential to realizing our true potential. Focused concentration generates great power and when our powers of concentration are improved we are able to use this not only for the purpose of meditating but in our other activities too. Part of achieving our goals and desires is having the ability to master our thoughts. By calming the mind and focusing our concentration, we are able to experience this self mastery and we can begin to change and replace our negative or unwanted thoughts with positive ones. This shift in our thought process aligns our energy with that of universal energy vibrations and we will begin to notice positive changes and improvements through all areas of our lives.

Physically meditations reduces stress related symptoms such as heart palpitations, tension and migraine headaches, disturbed sleep and nightmares and hypochondria. As stress and anxieties are reduced we are actually decreasing the probability of experiencing any heart related illnesses.

Studies have also shown that meditation can relieve chronic pain, drop cholesterol levels and improve blood pressure. The flow of air to the lungs increases and improvements and we will experience an overall greater sense of wellbeing.

How do I meditate?

Buddhism often describes meditation as a way of 'training the mad monkey', referring to the mind as a mad monkey, which is always jumping and racing from one thought to the next. During an average day we think around 64,000 thoughts!

The Buddha said by the absence of grasping one is set free. Meditation is not something you achieve by trying. Although when you begin to practice you are seeking to meditate effectively, the more you try the more it will elude you. Meditation can be likened to holding a wet bar of soap; one minute you are holding it in your hands and the next it's slipped through your fingers.

Meditation is about letting go and to discover the secret gap you have to let everything go. Let go of any arrival before you begin.

There are many mediation techniques, and over thousands of years different meditation practices have evolved. The true essence of meditation, however, is just to sit and be. Quite simply you are going beyond the 'conditioned' mind and elevating your mind to a state of pure self awareness.

Whilst you can focus on an object or on your breath to help you reach this state, absolutely it is a natural process which evolves over time, the essence should always be in connecting yourself with your source. You are looking inward without actually trying to do anything but to just sit and be.

It is also effective to meditate on particular struggles or problems we are experiencing in our lives. For instance, if we want to come to a decision on a particular aspect of our life; a career direction for example, meditating on this can help us to arrive at the answer. At times the answers we are seeking can come into our minds almost immediately. The power of focusing concentration and direction that focus towards a particular question or subject can produce amazing results.

It is a good idea to have a meditation space. This can be a room, or part of your home where you feel most comfortable. You may have soft lighting, candles, incense, cushions, flowers, and other objects which invoke feelings of calm and relaxation.

Aim to meditate twice a day. Sunrise and sunset are the best times of day for meditation because our minds are more receptive at these times. Sunrise is the dawn of a new day and everywhere is quiet, calm and peaceful. The day has not yet begun and following a restful sleep, our minds tend to be calmer. At sunset the day is ending and meditation at this time enables us quiet reflection on the day we have just passed. Our minds are winding down at this time before sleeping, and the stillness and calm that meditation blows will be with us as we drift off to sleep, helping us to feel refreshed and energized when we awaken the following morning.

Place a cushion on the floor and seat yourself so that your bottom is half on and half off the cushion. This will elevate your hips and naturally lift your spine and you will feel more comfortable than if you were just sitting on the floor. Take yourself into a cross legged position. Traditionally the lotus or half lotus pose is used when meditating but if you are not able to comfortably place in these poses, sit as is right for you. Let your spine be upright and tilt your head so that your eyes, when open, are fixed three feet in front of you. Place your hands wherever they feel comfortable; one on top of the other in your lap, in a mudra with the tip of the thumb touching the tip of the first or middle finger to form a circle, or simply place them on your thighs. Whatever is comfortable and feels right for you.

As previously mentioned there are many things you can focus on during meditation; statues, flowers or a single rose, silk scarves, candles, crystals, music, mantras and the breath to name a few. Experiment yourself with each of these and find what works best for you.

Not surprisingly I have found the simplest methods to be the most effective; the breath and a mantra. The example I have used throughout most of this section is the breath, which is by far the most universal focus of meditation.

Close your eyes and begin to focus your attention on your breath. Focus on each inhale and exhale. Silently saying the words 'SO' on the inhale and 'HUM' on the exhale also helps focus. Allow your thoughts to come and go but always return your focus to your breath. If you have chosen an object, you would simply focus your attention on that object allowing the thoughts to come and go returning your focus to the object. Over time meditation becomes easier and you will find as your self mastery grows you are easily able to sit for 20-30 minutes.

To begin with just work on achieving 5 minutes twice a day and then increase to 10 and so on. Meditation can be effective at any time. If you are not able to meditate regularly find some quiet time when you can to allow yourself to simply sit and be. Focus on your breath and visualize yourself sitting somewhere which will help bring about a calm and relaxed state of mind. One of my favorites is on a beach in front of a beautiful calm blue sea. Choose something which feels right and true for you. Be patient and gentle with yourself. As your ability to meditate increases, your level of self awareness grows. You will begin to notice improvements with each day's meditation practice.

Allow yourself to become your own silent observer and simply observe the breath. As you follow each inhale and exhale, thoughts will become slower. Let the thoughts come and let them go, simply observing them and not becoming attached to them. Your focus is the breath, always return to the rhythmic inhale and exhale. Then allow yourself to become the breath. With this merging comes release and without an actual momentary realization you are immersed in stillness, in the silence and you have discovered the secret gap. This is the place of being, of presence and of your true self. Here you are at one with everything; Whether that be God, universe, Tao, divine consciousness or whatever your term for it is, you are it, it is you and it and you are everything.

Can I teach myself; do I need a teacher?

Meditation is a journey of self discovery leading to self mastery that you can start right now – today. There is not anything you need to learn that you do not have right at this moment within you. Simply sit and allow yourself to be. It is not easy, training the mad monkey mind that races from one thought to the next but, with practice, it becomes a welcomed opportunity to spend time with yourself.

A meditation teacher can help and guide you through the practice of meditation and attending a group meditation session will enable you to share the experience with others, which can help your own practice. However, I would urge you to start practicing yourself as I have described in this section. There is nothing a meditation teacher can tell you that you do not already know, you just have to sit and be with yourself to discover it.

Silence is not something we often experience on a daily basis or even welcome for that matter. Most people find it very difficult to really relax and let go, particularly of their thoughts. The important point to remember is that you are not trying to push your thoughts away, but simply allowing them to be, without attachment to them. This practice over time reduces the number of thoughts, and distractions, you experience during meditation. Many people's lives are busy and hectic with work commitments, financial pressures, parenthood, socializing, hobbies, interests and a whole list of other activities that take up the majority of our time.

Make a conscious decision to make time to meditate. Commit to embarking on your own journey of self discovery. Unlock your own great creative potential which, with continued practice of meditation, will be unbounded.

My own Meditation Journey

I was first introduced to meditation when I began studying Buddhism. Before then I think I believed, and this is a common misconception, that meditation was a rather mystical practice that took over your body and mind somehow, that it was something to be feared almost and it was only really practiced by monks and mystics. I could not have been more wrong!

Meditation is merely the gateway to the soul, the vehicle to carry you deer into your self and a practice that opens up a part of you that has always existed, but that you never realized there; your true self and that which gives you the true meaning of your existence and interconnectedness to the universe and everyone and everything else in it.

Without meditation I would not be the happy and fulfilled person I am today. It has enabled me to discover more about myself, to realize my true potential on many levels but, most importantly, the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, that which people seek and often feel they never find. It is the complete and perfect oneness; the knowledge that we are all one, part of the whole that is the universe and beyond, that which is nothing but that which is everything. Try to understand it and it is gone. The beauty of this realization lies many things; inner peace, inner calm and tranquility, substantial clarity and a deep sense of belonging, of purpose and of true joy. That is the essence of life, the true meaning of life.

I think the reason so many people never find this or discover this is because they are looking for something external. They seek happiness and fulfillment through materialism, relationships, jobs, holidays, money and so on. They miss what is already there, already perfect just as it is, right in front of them, and only by letting go and completely surrendering to it do you become it. This is what the Buddha meant when he said by the absence of grasping one is set free.

I have not reached my full potential because that would mean there is a limitary to my potential. My potential is infinite and so I enjoy the flow of life and trust completely in the direction that takes. Sure, I make intentions and create what I would like to bring into my life but I also trust that everything that comes into it is somehow part of my journey, my life lessons, and so I am always learning from it. I am a student and I am a teacher. I am many things but foremost I am just me and I am also you, the universe and everything in it. My purpose is to help others realize their own self realization and start their own journey. The journey begins beyond the doorway that leads to your soul; your true self and meditation is the key to unlocking that door.

My daily meditation practice, which is usually for an hour each morning, is like recharging my whole system. It's like returning home to the place where I came from. It's allowing me to completely let go of the dualistic reality we live in and enter a world that you can not see or touch but that through your heart you know is always there whenever you should wish to be there. It energises, cleanses and revitalises your mind and body from the inside out. It is like diving within yourself and becoming one that is simply non existence, nothingness, but yet that which is everything and everywhere. This is the real meaning of finding heaven on earth.

The immersion of self in the silence gives great power and energy, recharging the whole system on all levels; spiritual, emotional and physical. Let it be, without trying to understand it or analyze it or name it. It is simply as it is, and can not be found, can not be named and can not be understood. It is everything and when you are in silence, immersed within yourself, you are there, you are everything and it is you.

Just be.

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Meditation to Match Your Personality

The fast-paced demands of living in today's society can leave most of us stressed, tense and anxious. While many people are drawn to the physiological and psychological benefits of meditating, they never seem to get around to trying it. While there are many reasons why people do not regularly meditate, the most common reason given is: “meditating is not for me. I do not have the patience to sit still for ten minutes with my eyes closed.” What many people do not realize is that meditation takes many forms. While sitting still with your eyes closed is one form of meditation, any activity – from gardening to cooking – can become a meditative experience if you're really present in the moment. The benefits of meditation abound and have been linked to lower blood pressure, reducing stress and anxiety, relieving chronic pain, strengthening the immune system and treating insomnia, to name only a few. With so many therapeutic benefits linked to meditation you can not afford not to meditate. The good news is there is a style of meditation for everyone. Experiment until you find what works for you.

If You're the Outdoorsy Type, Take a Walk or a Hike

This type of meditation is perfect for those who find it difficult to sit for a long period of time. For beginners, try walking for 10 minutes and gradually increase your time. Walk at a relaxed, normal pace. Focus on your body and how it feels. Does it feel tense or relaxed, light or heavy? Focus next on your visual surroundings – the shapes of the leaves on the trees, the colors of the flowers and the shapes of the clouds. Bring your attention to your physical sensations – can you feel the breeze on your skin? What's the texture of the terrain you're walking on? Is it rocky or smooth? Be present in the moment by focusing completely on your surroundings. When your mind starts to wander and you find yourself thinking about your to-do list, gently bringing your attention back to the outdoors. If your mind continues to wander, it's not a sign of failure. Do not get angry or frustrated with yourself. Just acknowledge the presence of these thoughts and let them drift away.

If You're a Foodie, Meditate While You Eat

Eating meditation, or mindful eating, can be one of the simplest, yet most profound mindful experiences. By focusing on the taste, texture, colors and aromas of the foods you're eating, you focus on the present moment and clear your mind of cluttering thoughts. Begin by focusing on the colors and shapes of the food on your plate. Imagine what the food will taste like before you taste it. Shift your focus to the aromas. What does the food smell like? Can you smell the different ingredients and spices? After taking your first bite, be aware of specific flavors, eg sweetness, sourness, saltiness, or bitterness. Focus on the textures as you chew – is it soft, tender, crispy, or stringy? If you're going to eat the food with your hands, how does it feel? Is it hot or cool to the touch? Practicing mindful eating not only helps to relax the mind, it prevails you from mindless eating which can lead to overeating.

If You're Artsy, Focus on a Painting

Pick a painting or other piece of art that you find pleasing. If you're focusing on a painting, begin by quietly looking at the painting. How does the painting make you feel? Does it make you feel relaxed, happy, or serene? Are the colors strong or muted? Notice the different brushstrokes and the small details. Is there a message the artist is trying to convey? You can even imagine yourself in the painting.

Contrary to popular belief, meditation is not only about sitting in a relaxing position while repeating calming words. There are many different forms of meditation. Any activity can become a meditative experience if you're really present in the moment and engage your senses. The key is experimenting and exploring the possibilities to find the meditation technique that works for you.

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Meditation Techniques for Beginners

If you are a person who believes in the power of meditation and visualization to move you in the direction of your goals, this article may be the beginning of your path to success. I will have to warn you. There will be no – How to's in this article. There will be no special lessons and no special tricks in this article that will make you a better meditator. Why is that? I am very new to this whole process and do not consider myself very good at all. Actually, to say that I am not very good may even be an overstatement.

I have read the book Psycho Cybernetics (written by Maxwell Maltz and updated by Dan Kennedy) many times. One of the exercises at the end of the second chapter calls for the reader to develop a vivid picture of his or her specific goal and continue to develop and refine this every day for at least 21 days until the image is vivid and clear. The book promises that this will produce amazing results going forward.

I have wanted to take on this practice for 21 days for quite a while. The farthest I have ever gotten is to Day 2 and I have quit. Here is why –

1. My mind races a million miles a minute when I start the practice. I feel like I am experiencing more frustration and wind up stressed out by the end of the session.

2. I do not feel like I have the tools to be successful.

What I know about human beings (including myself) is that we will not move forward if we do not feel like we will be successful. This coupled with our desire for instant gratification keeps most of stuck in mediocrity for our entire lives.

THAT IS ALL GOING TO CHANGE FOR ME TODAY and IT CAN CHANGE FOR YOU TOO.

Here is what we are going to do –

Get Started – You have started things that you wanted to do many times in your life. Getting started is half the battle. This means that we will get started on Day 1, then on Day 2, then on Day 3 and so on and so forth until we get all the way through our work.

Commit to the whole 21 days – No matter what happens we are going to do our practice every day for 21 days. Nothing will get in the way. A common way to achieve success is to commit to a set time every day. A larger bonus is to commit to a time first thing in the morning. This will increase your chance of success tenfold.

Do not put pressure on yourself – This means you will not worry about being perfect and will not even be worried what results you get. If you stop worrying about the results, you will probably find that you are more likely to achieve greater results. It's funny how that works. The reason being is that the subconscious mind is so much more powerful than the conscious mind.

Get some help from a coach – There are plenty of coaches out there who can guide you through this process. They can help you fast track past the learning curve and can also keep you accountable for doing what you say are going to do each day. Find a coach and you greatly increase your chances of success.

The four steps above on meditation techniques for beginners can be beneficial in any venture and any new practice that you learn. Keep practicing and keep moving forward and you will find that you will have competency and tremendous success before you know it.

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Ways to Use Meditation to Help Reduce Your Anxiety

Anxiety comes in all shapes and sizes. It can be an almost permanent state of affairs for some people whilst in others it is triggered by certain situations that they find stressful. Whichever option you're regrettable enough to suffer from, meditation can be a good way to reduce your anxiety. Here are some simple methods that you can use.

Breathing meditation

This is one of the simplest forms of meditation and has the major advantage that you do not need any special equipment to be able to use it.

Most people find that when they are starting out with this method that a guided meditation track is a good idea. It takes over the task of remembering what to do next, which in itself can cause some people to become more anxious.

Most versions will start by getting you to sit or lie down in a comfortable place where you will not be disturbed. You'll then concentrate on taking a number of deep breaths – this alone can help reduce any anxiety you are feeling and is an excellent stop-gap if you do not have time for anything more complex.

Often you'll then progressively relax each part of your body in turn, possibly also visualizing any worries being expelled along with the used oxygen every time you breathe out.

Walking meditation

This is another simple meditation that you can use without anyone knowing that's what you are doing.

Choose a route to walk along and as you walk, increase your awareness of yourself and your surroundings.

Notice how your feet feel as you walk along. Feel the air as it brushes past you as well as how it passes into and out of your lungs.

Take the time to regard your surroundings with a new vision. Many people find that they hear and see things for the first time when they carry out a walking meditation, even if they have been following that route for months or even years.

There's no need to race as you do this kind of meditation – take it at your own pace and allow yourself to almost become at one with your surroundings.

Binaural beats meditation

This is another simple way to allow your anxiety to melt away.

You will need to find a quiet place for this – somewhere that you're not going to be disturbed. While you're at it, turn off your cell phone as well.

For binaural beats to work, you need to listen to the meditation track on headphones so you'll need to don these while you play the track. It does not matter whether the headphones are in-ear or not, just that you feel comfortable whilst wearing them so that you're not distracted.

Then for 30 or 60 minutes, let the track take your brainwaves down to a deeply relaxed state. One where your worries and anxieties seem like an almost forgotten dream.

You do not need to do anything to reach this state – the track takes you there, even if it's the first time you've listened to it.

All in all, any meditation can help reduce your anxiety levels so it's well worth trying as a method to help.

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Healing Meditation for Body and Soul

What is healing?

Healing means bringing your mind and body to a stable and healthy state. Healing is not a simple process. It consist of various ups and downs until the body or mind is completely healed. If you want your body to heal from an ailment, you go to a doctor and take medicines. But what about your mental health? What if you want to heal from a trauma or a negative experience? In such a case, you need meditation to heal and get back to your healthy self

What is meditation?

Meditation is an art that helps in all types of healing, but unfortunately, is overlooked by almost everyone. It is very beneficial to the body, mind, and spirit, as it raises the energy levels of a person. It is believed that people with high energy rarely fall sick. Disease causing microbes have a difficult time living in a body that vibrates on higher frequencies.

I agree that there are many people who do not believe in such theories, but it is actually proven. Russian scientists have experimented and proved this hypothesis. They have found a method to purify water by using energy at high vibrations. They took contaminated water in a pyramid and applied high frequency energy. By doing this, they destroyed all microbes in the water without adding any chemicals. The reason behind it was that the pyramid increased the vibrations and destroyed bacteria introduced in the water.

Although it is proven that meditation is good for healing, how many people actually meditate? While some people do not believe in it, others are just too lazy and think it is time consuming. They say that they can not focus their minds on one thing, which is why they can not meditate. This is actually a normal thing and it will take some time before they can start focusing.

If you are also facing the same problem, here are some tips that will let you focus on yourself during meditation rather than the internal chatter in your head.

Simple tips on meditation

路 Make sure you find a quiet area in your house. If you live with kids, let them know that you do not want to be disturbed for just 10 minutes. This way you can make sure you can have a few minutes to yourself. 10 minutes is the minimum, it is best to do it for at least half an hour. Turn off your mobile phone and alarm clocks, or other electronic equipment for that interval. You need to be very relaxed, and a loud noise can break your trance which is not good for your mind as well as body.

路 If you meditate during the evening, you should turn off the lights, and if you meditate during the day, you can pull down the shades. When it is dark, certain glands in your body are more active, which let you relax and reach higher consciousness levels.

路 Sit on the ground with a mat and cross your legs. If you can not sit on the ground, you can even sit on a chair. It is very important for your body to be comfortable. You will not be able to focus if all your muscles are not relaxed.

路 Inhale through your nose and hold it in. Make sure you take a deep breath. Now exhale it through your mouth. Repeat it for a few times till your breathing becomes normal.

路 At this moment, your mind should start becoming clear. However, if you hear noises in your mind, you should continue with the deep breathing. If your mind is running haywire, try to think about your existence, the universe, and how insignificant everything is.

Be peaceful, calm, and nonjudgmental. When your mind is calm, you will find peace in your heart. This state will be similar to the state when you fall sleep. But you will not be sleeping- you'll be in a subconscious state.

路 And when you have finished meditating, wiggle your hands slowly to come back into form. When you think you are ready, slowly open your eyes and look around. Now turn the lights back on.

According to yoga, meditation is said to increase prana (life energy). It is the basis of well being and health. Meditation increases prana, and when you have more prana, you feel more energetic, alert, and more positive. Lack of prana results in lethargy, carelessness, and negativity.

Nature is a healer in itself. It provides cure for all ailments. All you need to do is to help nature help you. Meditate regularly and you'll feel the difference in some days. But keep in mind that it takes some time for the effects to start showing. Meditate regularly for at least two months before you expect to see some noticeable difference.

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Buy a Comfortable and Useful Meditation Bench For Effective Meditation

Meditation is an activity to keep the mind silent. It helps our mind to concentrate in the mid of worldly turmoil. There is no particular place to meditate. Any silent place of your house be it indoors or outdoors can be the best destination for meditation. However, there are some products which can help you experience a better time during meditation. Meditation is just like your exercising activity. As, when you have a treadmill, you tend to exercise regularly. Similarly when you have a meditation bench, you are more likely to meditate.

When you set this meditation bench at a place with fewer distractions in your house, it will enhance the mind and heart clearing. Meditation benches enhance better and effective meditation. This bench will give proper relaxation to your body keeping it in an upright position. Being upright is actually very important in meditation.

However, it has become quite important to pick the right kind of meditation chair so that you can use it properly and more often. An uncomfortable chair will distract you from concentrating on your mind. You should pick a chair which fits perfectly in your home otherwise it will be considered as waste in your house. The material and way of construction is equally important in meditation chair as it will enhance the comfortable nature of it.

Normally, a meditation chair is a little wider than the normal chair but less than the other benches in the home. It is not too deep as it will cause the person to fall sleep. When you go for buying a meditation bench, you must check its measurements so as to decide where you are going to put it in your house. For more comfort, you can put the chair against a wall but do not lean towards the wall.

The style and material chosen by you will depend on the interiors and furniture color of your home. The beech meditation bench will be less modern while cherry wood will be a bit traditional. If you want an Asian touch, you can prefer curved benches and thicker legs. For those who prefer simplicity, simple design with traditional style benches are also there.

If you have less space in your home and can not put the meditation bench permanently, then you must pick a folding bench. Such benches can be put under bed and or in a closet when not in use. With fold-able bench, you can even meditation on the terrace and gardens as it is easy to carry along.

Besides this meditation bench, there are various other types of comfortable chairs available in the market to give you comfortable sitting for long hours. One of this type is back jack chair which is very comfortable and keeps you set straight for longer hours.

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The Path of Meditation – Right Speech: A Meditation Essential

Speech is very important as it creates friends or enemies, makes or breaks families. It is extremely powerful. As speech is always preceded by an intent to speak, right view and right intention govern the way you will speak. Also, as intention motivates speech, speech has substantive consequences. It can create harmony or distrust. It can be used dishonestly to manipulate others or help them immensely by passing on the deep meaning of the truth. Speech is based on thoughts. If you have trained your mind, your speech will be gentle and appropriate.

Right speech is equivalent to no lying, no slander, no abuse and no gossip.

No lying or abstaining from false speech means always to speak the truth, while being sensitive to the potential impact of the communication. Do not say anything that is hurtful and untrue, helpful and untrue or hurtful and true. If you know something that is helpful and true, say it at the right time, when the other person is agreeable and in a peaceful frame of mind. Then they will be capable of hearing it so they can benefit from it. Say it at the wrong time and they will react, the communication will fail in its purpose. Speak when you have loving-kindness towards the other person and are concerned with their welfare. If you have any dislike, resistance or resentment in your mind, it will shape your speech which then will not be useful. In other words do not be impetuous. Think about what you want to say before speaking. Perhaps the best response to a difficult or awkward situation is to keep a noble silence or avoid particulars and speak about the situation in general terms.

People lie to protect themselves or out of greed or hatred. They lie to aggrandize themselves, exaggerating their importance while diminishing others, making extreme or selective statements which are detected and partly correct.

The Buddha showed his seven-year old son a pitcher with a little water in it and asked him, “What do you see?” The little boy answered, “I see only a little water.” The Buddha responded, “So little as the water in here is the trustworthiness of the person who lies.” Then the Buddha tipped the water out and asked his son what he saw. “I see an empty pitcher.”, He replied. “Empty is the person who lies.” said the Buddha. He then turned the pitcher upside down and asked his son what he saw. “An upside down pitcher.”, Responded the boy. “The person who lies turns their life upside down.”, Said the Buddha.

Truthfulness is essential to meditation as meditation is involved with discovering the truth for yourself, to bring it alive in your own stream of consciousness. To succeed in this your mind must be in alignment with the truth at every level, mundane or ultimate.

No slander is avoiding speech that intentally creates division between individuals or groups of individuals. Slander attacks the reputation of another and gives them a bad name by spreading unfavourable, biased or untrue reports. It can be used to gain approval or place oneself in a position of power. Always speak in a way that encourages friendship and be grateful for friendship among people as it wards off the destructiveness and pain of enmity. Harmonious speech naturally flows from a well-trained mind as its intentions are harmonious with the truth.

No abusive speech means to be courteous and avoid harsh speech which is painful to hear because it is cruel, offensive, uncompromising, authoritarian or angry.

No gossip is avoiding trivial chatter. Idle talk is speaking about such thing as politics, family, sexuality or one's opinions in a way that is just talking with nothing to say as a means of entertainment and passing the time. It has no depth and nothing meaningfulful is communicated. If you have nothing meaningful to say then rather remain silent. You will be respected and people will value your thoughts.

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The Path Of Meditation – Right Intention

Right intention follows naturally from right view. Right view is essential as the wrong view obviously leads to the wrong intentions, actions and results. Due to right view you can avoid the unnecessary mistakes of wrong views and get the right results. It gives you confidence as you know how to act correctly and the intention to do this naturally arises. So it is important to do something about changing your views whenever they are wrong. All views are tainted with the ego delusion that you are central and more important than others. You only see from your point of view which you value very highly and think poorly of those that disagree with you. Although the world may value self-importance and be very impressed, self-importance is not liberating. As self-importance is where you are and self-importance is none other than greed, hatred and delusion, these difficulties are the material that right intention has to start working with. There is no point in waiting for deeper understanding and perfect conditions to arrive before you start. They never will since you have to work for them. They will not happen automatically as though they are your birthright. Words are only signposts pointing in a certain direction. It is changing your bad habits that brings results, walking the path that takes you to the destination. Those who have gained peace and happiness have done so through constant effort, the effort of changing their views so the right intention arises with sufficient strength to be continuously implemented.

Once you have seen the destructiveness of greed and hatred, this clear, incisive understanding generates confidence in the superiority of your view and your ability to succeed in walking this path. It gives you the freedom to change your destiny. This is not a superior over others but a superior over ignorance and seeing wrongly. From this confidence arises right intention, which is the firm resolution to exercise your new ability to make the right decisions now you have discovered how to avoid unnecessary mistakes and act skilfully to get the right results.

As wrong views give rise to the wrong intention to act out of desire, hatred or cruelty, so the right view gives rise to the right intention to act out of renunciation, loving-kindness and compassion.

Renunciation is letting go of the harmfulness of desire, aggression and the wish to gratify your cruel master, the ego. You turn your back on them and become like a block of wood. Renunciation can not be accomplished by wishful thinking or suppression. Only when you see through desire and realize that suffering is the inevitable, characteristic result of desire, does renunciation follow easily. Instead of arranging your life around desire and punishment or blaming others when your desires are frustrated, you see that desire and frustration are the bad results of previous wrong actions and that your situation can be improved by working with greater understanding of how experiences actually arise from the flow of causality. Pleasure and happiness can only arise from good causes and not by desire and grasping as these are negative.

Loving-kindness is emphasized as it is not the cold charity of dutiful-kindness but the kindness of a mother towards her child. Loving-kindness opposes hatred and is the wish for others to be happy and successful. Compassion is not feeling sorry but the disturbing realization that you are powerless to help others become free of their suffering and so you make the sincere intention to develop the necessary skills to help them.

Strengthened by this superior view and intent to act skilfully, the rest of the journey unfolds with greater ease. Once you know how to do things the right way you naturally want to do this as it brings such good results of contentment, happiness and profitability. Without a trace of regret, you put down the burden of thinking, speaking and acting wrongly and avoid the fruitless fatigue of unnecessary mistakes.

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The Path of Meditation – The Right View of Meditation: The Ego Is Made Up of Defilements

Greed, hatred and delusion are defilments as they are dirty. Dirt accumulates whenever there is adequate maintenance and housekeeping. Someone who is under the control of desire or anger is neglecting to maintain their self-respect and their respect of others. This neglect causes moral dirt to collect and the build-up of moral dirt leads to decay and disease. Morality is your spiritual immune system. If it is weak periodically this will affect your physical immune system and then you will become prey not only to bad mental states but also to bad health. Bad morality is unhygienic and, historically, debilitating.

Greed, hatred and delusion are about putting yourself first. The ego is the deluded urge to put yourself first while desire and hatred are the mechanisms of this primitive urge. Desire and hatred are consciousnesses deformed by defilment. They are states of unhappiness and pain. There is nothing to be proud of here.

Both desire and aggression are unprofitable as they keep you unnaturally involved with people and objects out there. They take up time and energy which could be put to better use in advancing your knowledge and skills. You are being fooled into investing your time and effort in activities which will bring no return but will bring harm.

Like involvement with desire, involvement with hatred is absurd because it harms you. Due to the force of habit you hang onto subliminal ideas that acting out of desire or hatred prove you are powerful and important. Also due to habit and familiarity, this irrational behavior feels good which further strengthens the ridiculous, unexamined conviction that you are important when, in fact, you are the servant of desire or hatred. This feeling of greatness and power arises only due to the increase of delusion, greed and hatred. As these are the components of the ego, it grows in stature while you are finished. This does not prove you are important or competent, it proves you are a fool as you are hurting yourself and destroying the quality of your life. But, because you have been fooled, you are very pleased about this and think it is marvellous and wonderful, the proper status and recognition a very important person richly describes.

The Need for Change

Greed and anger are not achievements or proof of superior status, they are cunningly disguised slavery and suffering. Without you know this you will not be able to give up greed and anger for a better life. If you do not see how entrenched and pervasive suffering is in your own and others' lives, you do not see the necessity of changing this for the better.

Due to greed, hatred and delusion you will harm yourself and others. All the suffering in the world comes from these three, they are dark, defiled states of mind, states of pain and unhappiness. Yet, as they are deluded, people are very proud of them. Because they do not know they are hopelessly wrong they are convinced they are right.

The path of purification and emancipation is the path of changing your inner nature. Until you start the process of change, you have not entered the path. Everything else is external and wonderful. While externals can be particularly satisfying, they will not change your inn nature and will not lead to freedom. It is just that change of inner nature which is the difference between an uninformed mind and a mind heading for freedom. An untutored person is governed by the transient feelings of their inner nature, a meditator changes their inner nature. Meditation is making peace with yourself and the world. This has terrible repercussions in your life.

The foolishness of hurting yourself with your own reaction will go on forever without you make a firm decision to change it and stop making yourself unhappy. Resolve to not react negatively to adversity as you realize it is the perfectly matched result of previous negative activity. If you do not deal with it maturely now it will result in more adversity later and you will be back in another unwanted, painful situation. The path to liberation lies in changing yourself. In trying to change what you do not like you are following the path that leads to the opposite of what you want, bondage to suffering. This is the path of the foolish, untutored person.

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The Path of Meditation – The Right View of Meditation: The Foolishness of Desire and Hatred

Desire

Desire leads to suffering and not to pleasure. Desiring pleasure is a malformed idea as pleasure can only arise from good actions and not desire. Pleasure can never be grasped but opportunities for pleasure are always flowing through your life as the result of past good actions. This good energy is squandered when forcibly turned to the gratification of your ego's desires. Desire is inherently painful as it is the mind state of poverty – when you desire something it is because you feel you are missing the object. There is something missing that you want and the lack is experienced as painful. The characteristic of desire is this pain of loss. Agitated by the pain you give in to desire and gratify it, obtaining the reward of pleasure. Foolishly, you think this is an accomplishment but the moment you have the pleasure, it begins to deteriorate. You begin to experience the tension and fear that comes with trying to control and prolong the pleasure, the pain starts building up and unexpectedly you are forced to start the process again. Often this implicit pain of desire becomes strikingly obvious when you become disturbed about losing what you desire or fear you may not get it and the greatest pain is actually losing desired people, experiences, pleasures and objects. It is futile trying to answer the pain of lack by getting what you desire. It has never killed the pain as desire is constantly reminding you of the pain. The function of desire is to want. It never stops wanting so the more you have, the more you want, the greater your hunger. You are trying to fill an emptiness with the very activity that causes the emptiness. It is like drinking salty water, the more you drink, the thirstier you become. That painful emptiness can never be filled. Desire functions to stop you from being happy, it is a hindrance, a chain binding you suffering.

Hatred

The other side of desire is hatred – the more desire you have, the greater your susceptibility of generating hatred. Whenever your expectations are defeated and you can not get what you want, you look around for something or someone to blame or punish. This is not a mature analysis of the facts which is to your benefit as it leads to greater understanding and proficiency.

Anger is extremely destructive. It is like a fire which starts from a spark and rapidly grows into an uncontrollable inferno which leaves only ashes behind. Nothing is more destructive than anger as the purpose of anger is to destroy what you do not like. But as dislikes are in the mind they can never be destroyed by attacking outer enemies. Anger is futile and foolish.

Anger is also a painful mental state yet people get angry over and over. This is absurd as it's like hitting itself again and again. The greatest foolishness that people perpetrate is to make them unhappy because of their own reactions. Anger can be compared to picking up red-hot coals to throw at the person who has made you angry. It is also like boiling water. Just as you can no longer see your reflection in the turbulent surface so you lose mindfulness and self-knowledge when angry. You forget who you are, you only want to destroy. You are irrational so your actions have no meaning and no purpose. You are engulfed in emotion and want to harm as this falsely makes you feel powerful and in control.

Blaming Others

The world is the tendency to blame others. Your difficulties do not come from others. They arise from your unnecessary mistakes, your reactions, which are dictated to you by your defilments of delusion and its offspring, greed and hatred. Your difficulties arise from being fooled into thinking that putting yourself first leads to happiness. It is pointless blaming others. It will never work as they are not the cause of the problem. It is impossible to become angry or desirous if the tension for desire or anger is not inside to your mind waiting be triggered. Greed and anger are like crouched animals waiting to pounce. You know something is wrong but it is only your defilements that are wrong, not others. There is no reason for anger as it is only a reaction to your own defilements, coming under their control and losing your independence. This has nothing to do with others or their actions. If you have no defilements, greed and anger will not arise.

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The Path of Meditation – Right View of Meditation

Just as the dawn is the forerunner and first indication of the rising of the sun, so is right view the forerunner and first indication of wholesome states.

A path leads you from one destination to another. A view of the path means understanding why you are leaving and where you are going to. As this is the prerequisite of any journey, it is discussed first. In the path of meditation the cause of leaving is the understanding that desire and egotism always lead to the suffering of defeated expectations and the pain of loss while the destination is the ultimate knowledge that all phenomena are empty.

Right view arises from taking a closer look at your present situation and the expectations you normally take for granted. If you examine life, you find though you are repeatedly trying to satisfy small desires, you often have the undesired experience of suffering, discontent, anxiety and lack of fulfillment. There is a nagging emptiness inside which you keep on trying to fill with relationships, ideas, projects or hopes. Once you have clearly seen that a life restricted by desire is fundamentally unsatisfactory and feel that no happiness can be found in it, you are starting questioning and looking around for a body of knowledge and a methodology that can satisfactorily explain the basic dissatisfaction of life as well as a way of eliminating it and coming to complete contentment. Any reliable teaching must be able to do this, it must fully cover the possibilities of human experience.

Right view also means realizing it is possible for everyone to walk this path to a higher life. This realization arises from understanding causality where you take responsibility for what happens to you and take control of your destiny. You accept the consequences of your actions and do not blame others, circumstance or anything outside yourself for what has happened. This realistic approach stops you from becoming dependent on other's behavior which obstructs any movement towards independence and freedom. It puts you in charge of your own destiny as you realize you can change it for the better even though you can not change anything else. You can not stop the waves but you can learn how to surf. You can not eliminate difficulty but you can eliminate your reaction and come to the final realization that your cruel master, the ego, does not exist

Suffering is not proof there must be a better side waiting for you somewhere out there so so you must try harder to get it. Suffering is proof that this mistake activity of clinging to what is fundamentally unsatisfactory is the very cause of perpetuating suffering. Suffering has nothing to do with what is out there. It has everything to do with what is in here, your mistaken ideas and beliefs; the persistent delusion that using pleasure to escape dealing with the difficulties of life effectively can be successful and is not irresponsible. This is the lesson you can learn from suffering if you stop resisting and reacting and let go. Sometimes you see you are fighting a losing battle in clinging obstinately to sense pleasures to protect yourself from the pain of having your ego's unrealistic expectations defeated. The capacity to enjoy pleasure can only arise as the result of good activity. Deliberately trying to exploit this capacity by arranging your life so that it revolves around pleasure is a gross distortion of reality and must finally fail as reality will keep on reasserting itself. This clinging to pleasure is forced and unnatural as opposed to being content with the flow of pleasure that naturally arises in your life. Driven by delusion and fear, it guarantees that life will be unsatisfactory and unfulfilling. It is only when you let go of this resistance to reality and clinging to the impossible that suffering goes. It is replaced by the acceptance of life as it is and the realization that pleasure arises naturally from responsible activity. This is well-earned pleasure that will not let you down. It is free of the distortions coming from the ego's constant activity of controlling and interfering.

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The Easiest Path to Self Realization

Before we begin to talk about the path to self realization, we need to have clear about what is stopping us from self realization. We have to realize what we are constantly doing that pushes us further and further away from our own experience of oneness.

As thoughts arise, we identify with them. With every thought that arises, we say “this is me.” And our attention is constantly focused on this “me;” my worries, my desires, my finances, my fears, my opinions. And with everything thought we identify with as “me” we empower this sense of “me,” we empower the ego, we empower this sense of separation. And it is this separation that is the suffering, that causes stress and keeps us from enlightenment.

Even when we seek self realization, we tend to do so from this sense of “me,” which is what is keeping us from self realization in the first place. We can end up simply identifying with spiritual beliefs and this again just empowers the ego. This “me” has just become identified with being spiritual. And while we identify ourselves with being spiritual or undesirable or even being self realized, we are still bound by this “me” and this is what keeps us feeling separate and in conflict with everything around us.

Even with many valid meditation practices, the mind finds a way to make it about “me.” I recently wrote about the meditation technique of witnessing thoughts, and someone wrote in saying how much they are succeeding at witnessing their thoughts and their goal was to be in a constant state of witnessing.

So you see that goal oriented ego is still there, is still empowered. And so what is meant to take you out of the ego can end up still being about empowering the ego. It is not the practice that is wrong, it is just that we have empowered this sense of being a separate “me” for so long, it is hard to see a way out of it.

So a simple way to self realization is simply that, to realize the Self, your sense of simply being beyond the ego and let your attention remain on that. So in this moment, close your eyes and become aware of what is here beyond thinking. Become aware of what you are beyond thinking. Feel this sense of “I” that is here beyond the thought of “I.”

If you are using thoughts to do it, you will miss it. You have to feel what is here beyond the thinking. And in this practice, you will begin to sense that you in fact exist beyond this thinking “me.” You feel that even beyond the thought “I am John” that you still exist, as consciousness itself.

This experience of what you are beyond thinking is not solid, does not have boundaries, yet it is aware or more truthfully, it is awareness itself. And as you begin to relax into it you will also feel that the nature of this awareness is peace and bliss.

And this is the first step to self realization, to realize for yourself what you are beyond your thinking.

Feel yourself existing in this moment, beyond being a person, beyond being a name, beyond the thinker, beyond any sense of “me” there is still the feeling that you exist as awareness itself.

And then once you feel that you are consciousness, fix your attention on the realization that you are consciousness, approach life from this feeling that you are consciousness. Not the thought that you are consciousness, but the very experience, the very feeling in this moment that you are consciousness.

By focusing your attention on consciousness, you empower self realization; you empower your true self. You begin to weakened this sense of being bound by the thinking “me” with all of its stress and struggles and begin to taste the oneness you really are beyond your thinking. You begin to come into a state of oneness that does not come and go.

This simple path to self realization is something you can practice in sitting meditation but you can practice it also during any other time of the day. During work, while driving, while walking, while exercising, even while going to sleep.

But this practice although powerful in itself is usually not enough to attain self realization. More often than not, the presence of an enlightened master is needed.

One who has already attained full self realization actually radiates Shakti, the minority energy of enlightenment. And it is this energy that actually awakens you to self realization. Simply by being near such an enlightened master, this Shakti gets transmitted to you and begins to awaken you into deep meditation and oneness.

Because of some amazing breakthroughs in sound recording, you are now able to receive this same Shakti through a unique CD. Simply by listening to this “Shakti” meditation CD, deep meditation and bliss are naturally awakened in you, leading you on the easiest path to self realization.

You can listen to free samples of this “Shakti CD” by visiting the Self Realization CD link below.

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