What do people mean when they say, 'I can't help the way I feel' ?
Notice the ambiguity.
Do they mean, 'I can't deny that these feelings have arrived. I didn't want or ask for them to arrive but they are undeniably here.'
This is true.
Or do they mean, 'I am helpless to do anything about these feelings and emotions. I have no choice or control. I have no influence.'
This is false.
The distinction is important. We experience feelings and emotions all through each and every day. If we are no more than helpless recipients of these invading visitors, we can have no freedom or choice, our lives will not be our own.
We do not have to abdicate in this way. We begin to see this clearly when we practice mindful awareness and meditation. We ack...
Does your 'to do list' seem overwhelming? Does it sometimes seem to be running the show, pushing you offstage in your own life?
What is to be done about this? You may have heard that mindfulness practice and meditation involves a lot of sitting around doing nothing; a waste of precious time and a luxury and indulgence that you can't afford. It would halt your progress, close down your creativity and lead to stagnation. You would fail to meet targets and your 'to do list' would soon become a document of your failure. All this talk of meditation, sitting still and 'just being' is not for you, and your instinct is to resist it even though you have a feeling of dissatisfaction.
The truth is that taking on less, doing less, slowing do...
This article from Luke Coutinho appeared in the Sunday Times of India on September 1st. Other pages featured articles on how to 'reset, restore, and re-energise'. Katrina Onstad gave these tips amongst others: 'Connect, offer your time, do something for someone, don't make plans, wander, wonder, just be.'
Nona Walia commenting on this theme stated, 'the world is tired of the cult of busyness.'
The Times of India has a daily feature called 'The Speaking Tree' in which aspects of mindfulness and meditation are often explored in the wider context of how to lead a happy, and fulfilled life.
It is encouraging that some newspapers find space amidst the gloom and dissension to run such features.
The sweet shop was impressive. 'Look mum!', said the child, 'Can we go in? I want smarties.'
'Come on then, let's see what goodies they have', the mother replied.
'I'm sorry, we don't have smarties at the moment,' said the shopkeeper, 'We are expecting a delivery later today or tomorrow morning.'
'Never mind,' said he mother, 'I'm sure we can find something else to enjoy.'
'But I want smarties!' said the child. 'You know they are my favourite.'
There followed a great deal of sulking and frowning, and a refusal to consider other options. 'I don't want any other stupid sweets! I want smarties!' The child became increasingly unhappy, stubborn and unpleasant.
Disappointed with this behaviour the mother pressed on, buying a small selection...
Many people come to mindfulness and meditation seeking help. They may be having difficulties with anxiety and stress. They may be having trouble controlling strong emotions like anger and fear. They may have suffered deep loss or other very difficult circumstances. They may be depressed. They may be disappointed in what they perceive to be personal failings and weaknesses. They will try anything to bring about a change, to fix a life that seems to be unsatisfactory.
This is not to be discouraged and those who stick with the practice and fully engage with it will find much that is helpful and rewarding.
However, it is not the point or purpose of the practice. Mindfulness is not therapy. Consider this: would you try to play a game w...
The mindfulness, meditative practice can help people accommodate the stresses, strains, difficulties and heartaches of life, without becoming overwhelmed. It also helps with the joy and fun too! It works best when it is a 'way of life', something 'grown into', rooted and established as part of the way we are and the way we observe things. Many approach it when they are experiencing particularly difficult times and they are looking for it to work as a 'quick fix', the magic wand that will wave all troubles away. That's like expecting to run a marathon without doing any training for it. Unfortunately, this is how mindfulness is sometimes marketed. It doesn't work like this. It is deeper, better.
In his 2013 publication 'Three Steps to Awakening', Larry Rosenberg makes this observation:
In recent weeks, I've observed my granddaughter as she learns how to walk. I watch her fall down, get up, fall down again, then get up again. This goes on for quite a while. What's striking to me is her absence of comparison to other children. Clearly, she is not thinking, 'Hey, the child next door does not fall down as often as I do,' or 'By this age, the doctors say I should fall down after four steps and I only reached three and a half.' No. I see her joyfully participate in the process of learning how to walk: no suffering. But the parents and grandparents present a different picture. Because they are burdened by the latest medical no...
For all those who enjoy our Wednesday evening sessions at Libanus Lifestyle and for all those who are thinking of coming along for the first time, please note that there will be a short break before the next session which will be on November 7th.
All are welcome to these sessions whether experienced in meditation / relaxation practice, keen to start a practice, or just curious to find out how the practice may be of help.
Please note that no special clothing or equipment is required, and sitting in lotus position is not a necessary qualification! All you need to do is come along just as you are.
It is not a coincidence that the words 'MEDICATE' and 'MEDITATE' are so similar. They both come from the same Latin root, MEDEOR, which m...