Tag: role

Meditation Experiences – Dos

In my prior post Meditation Experiences – Uno I wrote about how I started meditating and to some degree why I decided to try meditation. In this post, I would like to make a case for meditation, the benefits if you will at least from my own perspective. Some of you may have tried meditating in the past and found it difficult if not almost impossible to just sit and count breaths. You may have been so busy thinking about what you need to do, that the whole process was just painful and seemed very unproductive. Here is the problem, it takes time to create a habit of meditating and the first 5 or 10 sessions may seem difficult at first, but like any good habit, you will need to make the investment before seeing any returns. You may feel like nothing is happening here and I am still letting my monkey mind dominate my meditation session and then something begins to change and you start to both enjoy and benefit from the experience. Mind you it might have taken a month or longer to get to this point, but it does happen.

Why did this seemingly simple thing, just sitting and breathing suddenly become enjoyable? Here are a few benefits I have received from meditating:

  • Being Present – I began to understand that my monkey mind and drive to be always doing something that supported my goals was preventing me from just enjoying the process of meditating. I was so anxious that I was spending all of my time recalling the past and then at the same time thinking about what I needed to do in the future. So instead of looking at meditation as just another thing to check off my to-do list, I began looking forward to it because it helped me be in the present. In fact, I often tell myself while meditating “You are present” or “You are here”, this often helped to drown out the thinking about the future, which often dominates my thoughts. What I’m really saying here is you are fucking yourself over by thinking you need to be productive all the time. This was part of my problem, I was looking at meditation as a kind of goal or thing I had to do, instead of just appreciating how it was helping me live in the present moment.
  • Discover Your True Self – As I continue to meditate I have begun to realize that there are things more important than my job or who I thought I was. Meditation helps you get in touch with who you really are. This doesn’t happen immediately, but over time you begin to realize there is the actual you, not some role you play. Maybe it is your true self, you know the compassionate, introspective, and loving person you actually are. For me, meditation is helping to peel back the layers of responsibility and anxiety that dominates much of our lives as we spend our time trying to live up to everyone else’s expectations.
  • Calms the Mind – Meditation is one of the few things I have found that breaks the monkey mind pattern of thinking and calms the mind. When I finish a session I feel renewed and free if even only for a while. You might get a similar feeling from walking on a nice day when you are not bothered by cars or loud noises. While I love a good long walk and find it very relaxing it feels different than meditating. The aftereffect of meditation is more like a reset or rebooting of the mind to a state of calm and clarity.

I know that there are many other benefits that could be attributed to meditation, but for me, these are the ones I have noticed a couple months into the practice.

 

So is it worth it? 

My answer is a resounding Yes! 

 

Final Parting Shot

The mistake I made in the last year or so is that I would start out very consistent and then my practice would fizzle out. I simply did not put a high enough priority on it, missing many days, stopping and starting. Those benefits of being present, discovering yourself, and calming your mind come from daily practice. I’m not saying I never miss a day, but it has become pretty rare now, and if something prevents me from doing it at my regular time, I fit it in later in the day.

I would love to hear about the benefits you attribute to your own meditation practice, leave me a comment.

I hope to write another post soon as this wonderful journey continues.

Do good and stay safe.

Namaste

 

Note: I wrote this post using Grammarly, which really helps. Give it a try, it works with WordPress and Google Docs.

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This post was proofread by Grammarly.

If you would like to support this blog, check out the awesome selection of eBooks at:

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Visit my other blog Inspirational Book Reviews where I review some incredible literature.

 

 

Only one imperative

Why is it so difficult to just be yourself? I think there are two impediments to being you:

  1. We don’t know ourselves. We have spent so much time playing a role whether that be in your family or at work, we have completely lost touch who we really are.
  2. The second impediment is that society, in general, wants to categorize us by race, gender, ethnicity, profession, political party, and wealth just to name a few.

Impediment #1

We don’t know ourselves – If you are like me, you spend countless hours agonizing over what you do for a living, which means you become a role that you play for the majority of your waking hours. You become so focused on excelling at this role that your whole identity becomes wrapped up in it. Now if this role is aligned or a by-product of who you really are then you have hit the jackpot, but sadly for most of us, this just isn’t true. Instead of figuring out who we really are we just assume the role and spend the rest of our life living our life in that paradigm. Instead of pursuing our dreams we just assume the role of Doctor, Nurse, Data Scientist, Software Developer, Uber Driver, Mother, Father, Son, Daughter, or whatever. Most of our life is then spent living up to the expectations needed to fulfill that role.  It’s fucking madness and we do it day after day until we die. At some point, we realize this and become unhappy with these roles and begin looking inside ourselves for an answer.

Impediment #2

Society – In the United States, we like to think we are all born equal, with inalienable rights, to life, liberty, and happiness. Nice sentiment, but it’s mostly bullshit. Our society like the societies in most countries tries to categorize us by political affiliations like left or right, black or white, male or female, rich or poor, and so on. As people, we begin associating our identity to these groupings. I can say I am a Democrat or a Republican and as such, I believe this or that. You don’t even have to think about it just assume some group identity and you are set for life, and most people don’t think about it. Once you have been categorized you are more easily controlled and can be marketed to. Yes, you become a target audience for whatever propaganda the government or a corporation wishes to sell you. You might think I sound like some paranoid anarchist at this point, but hear me out. Look at your Instagram feed for a moment, notice how the advertisements are targeted at you based on your browsing history or Google searches. You, my friend, are a target market and Facebook or Google have already categorized you as someone who needs to see these particular ads.

The Door

What if there was a door that you could open that would help you find your true self and start living a life free from assumed roles and identities. The door is your own rational mind, your freedom of choice if you will. To begin exercising this freedom of choice you need to stop doing a few things:

  • Stop thinking of yourself as only a role – Yes, you may play roles, but don’t let those roles overtake a huge amount of your conscious mind. You are not a role, but you may perform a function related to a role, just remember you are not a fucking role.
  • Stop being categorized – People will try to categorize you as liberal or conservative, but don’t fall for that trap. Use rational judgment when it comes to any issue versus groupthink. I know it’s easier to just follow the herd and adopt their ideology, but if you make that choice you are abandoning yourself for the group. I don’t label myself as liberal or conservative and can still exist in this world. The more you affiliate yourself with these groups the less independent you become.

For me, you can’t just stop living as a role or allowing yourself to be affiliated with society’s categorization of you. If you don’t take action you will be pulled back into the Vortex or at the very least spend the rest of your life rebelling against it, and neither of those fates will help you know yourself. Finding yourself then requires you to start doing some things:

  • Spend time by yourself – Finding yourself often means that you need to be alone. This might mean you take long walks, practice yoga, read books, or try meditating. This time you spend with yourself allows you to think and also isolates you from outside influences. I started both meditating and doing yoga in the morning before work and it has had a profound influence on how I see the world, for you it might be just taking a nice long walk, listening to music, running, or whatever you can do by yourself.
  • Value your time – You can’t really become introspective and think for yourself if you spend countless hours watching YouTube, Netflix, or Hulu. The same thing applies to scrolling through Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter. Let’s say you work 8 hours a day or more, then you spend the next 8 hours watching cable news, or one of the other forms of media I just mentioned. Each of these forms of media seeks to influence the way you think, and you know dam will that it does. You won’t learn anything about yourself watching all this shit, it will only detract from your goal of being yourself.

You are not a role, you are not some category, you are a unique individual that deserves to pursue things that interest you. Think for yourself, make decisions in your best interest. Do something today that will help you understand who you really are.

Namaste


This post was proofread by Grammarly.

If you would like to support this blog, check out the awesome selection of eBooks at:

Mind, Body, Spirit books at eBooks.com

If eBooks aren’t your thing, check out my Resources page for additional ways to support this blog.

Visit my other blog Inspirational Book Reviews where I review some incredible literature.

 

Casting off attachments

Casting off attachments

One of the primary concepts in Buddhism is that impermanence is an undeniable fact of human existence.  For each of us this means that nothing in our lives is permanent, not our job, not our health, not our relationships, not even our state of mind. If we can accept that nothing lasts forever and that it will inevitably change then we are more capable of understanding attachment.

Many of us are attached to who we think we are because of what we do for a living. We secretly know that whatever it is we do will not last, but we still place great emphasis on this role. We often use this role in society to attach some value to ourselves, and yes whatever we do is often in exchange for money, so it does have value. It strokes our ego to be paid for some form of expertise and we attach ourselves to this title be it a Doctor, Lawyer, Teacher, Judge, Accountant, CEO, CIO, Director, or whatever it might be. We scheme and plan for the next role using our expertise to acquire more money, a higher position, or some other ego enhancing attribute. We have attached our self to this persona and we find comfort in the fact that others find value in utilizing our skills.

Yet this attachment goes beyond the role we have chosen for ourselves that generates income. We start to attach ourselves to political parties, calling ourselves a Republican, Democrat, or Libertarian. Our attachments are strong, as you have often heard people say I’m a lifelong Republican or Democrat. If this were not enough we attach ourselves to things such as cars, homes, boats, jewelry, stocks, bonds, gold or some other material thing. We attach ourselves to other people like a family member, a spouse, co-worker, or a friend. We also attach ourselves to a self image of the way we look and our health good or bad.

With all these attachments we become very reliant on our role, organizations, health, things, and people for defining our identity. All of this is a house of cards, we will not escape the reality of impermanence, for every one of these things that we think defines our life are constantly changing. These attachments ultimately lead to one disappointment after another, as they unravel before our eyes and I assure you they will.

There is nothing wrong with enjoying what you do for a living, but remember at some point it will change. Even the most successful Doctor finds a time when he or she can no longer practice medicine, or no longer wants to. Strong attachments will create pain as they are broken and this is what this post is about. I’m not advocating that you live a life where you don’t care about anything or anyone, but you must let loose of the attachment to these things. Accept the fact that your life will change and that you will change physically, mentally, and spiritually. Do you really want your self worth tied to some profession? When you were born were you predestined to be a doctor, lawyer, executive, or factory worker? You made choices to pursue various lines of work and became what you pursued. Drop that attachment, you are not what you do for a living, and it does not define you, and as sure as it started it will end or change.

Start thinking about what you are attached to and how you can be open to things beyond your attachments. Can you find it in yourself to be less dependent on what you do for a living, organizations, people, and things. If you can, I assure you that you will become more care free; you will still care but you will not let these attachments dictate your happiness. To free yourself from attachments is a key step to following the way. I will see you on the path.

Namaste

 

Random thoughts

Random thought number one.

April again and the flowers are beginning to bloom here in Dallas. The cycle begins again, cleaning up the leaves, and planting flowers and assorted replacements for the vegetation that didn’t make it. This time of year is probably the best of the seasons with temperatures in the high 60’s to mid 80’s Fahrenheit. Once we get into June everything will start cooking as the heat is turned up, and we are looking at 3 to 4 months with little to no rain. In the north east part of Texas it looks a lot like north west Ohio, pretty flat and non impressive to the eye. Still it is nice to live in a climate where winter really only lasts a couple of months, and even those two months are pretty mild. You can count on two hands how many times the temperature dipped below freezing.

house in north texas
house in north texas

Random thought number two.

I find little solace in the repetitive nature of life, and this is probably a sign that I am getting bored with the routine of it all. Lately I have become more and more aware of my place in my family as the one that must work to support everyone else, not just financially, but in so many other ways. It has always been my role, maybe not consciously, and probably driven by other more selfish motivations, but then again everyone has a role in every organization be it a family, business, non-profit, or religious institution. There is no complaint here, but only a long overdue awareness, of my place in the structure of the family. Awareness kind of sucks!

Daily routine is killing me
Daily routine is killing me

Random thought number three.

I have always wondered if they needed project managers in Jamaica? Just thinking that might be kind of a nice place to live for a while. There is something different about the people that live there, along with the incredible climate and ocean. Lots of things to like about Jamaica and few to dislike.

Cliffs Negril Jamaica
Cliffs Negril Jamaica

Random thought number four.

Why in the hell is it that every-time I drive into the office I feel like I am in a NASCAR race? Is it really necessary to change lanes five times in a quarter mile, go 20 miles over the speed limit so that you can hit the brakes at the red light? It’s not that I am adverse to driving fast, but I also don’t view the whole process as some sort of stock car race. After all what is your hurry, are you afraid you might be late for your all important job, or are you as I might suspect just a selfish jerk who thinks they own the road?

My drive in to the office
My drive in to the office

Random thought number five.

Know your role and shut up! Don’t consider these random thoughts as complaints, they are merely a form of rambling discourse. In most cases your role in life evolved for good reasons and you were the chief architect that created it. If you can’t handle your role then go find another one, otherwise know your role and shut your mouth. There is nothing more useless than people complaining about there job, family, church, friends, or the government. In fact this kind of bitching was so offensive that I opted out of Facebook, just so I didn’t have to be exposed to everyone’s bitching and whining.

Know your role
Know your role

I’m done for now, stay tuned for the next installment.