Fueled by Little Things

As cliched as it sounds, it’s the little things in life that can sometimes fill our heart and soul with purpose and warmth. Sometimes people (myself included) can get so caught up on the big goals and major shifts happening and that we want to happen, that we forget or ignore the little moments throughout each day that can inspire and fuel us.

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Loud Mind

Sometimes, the mind is much too loud to quiet on one’s own, and this is completely normal. Our minds have a lot to say sometimes, making it difficult to focus on breath or silence, especially for new meditators.

While it is ideal for one to simply acknowledge each thought & return focus and energy to breath, heartbeat, silence or whatever, a little help getting there doesn’t hurt from time to time.

When the mind is too loud to simply focus on one’s breath, this is where focusing on a mantra or words could be of great benefit, or even some peaceful music.

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Grow Yourself

Grow yourself organically.

May we all grow and evolve ourselves organically.

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The Mercurial Nature of Thoughts, Feelings, Ideas, etc

Thoughts, feelings, ideas and emotions all have a weight that we can either don for our benefit or detriment. But we need to be mindful of how we go about this in a way of not being too attached to any idea, thought, emotion or even fact, as all of these things are mercurial; evolving and in some cases morphing entirely over time. 

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Shouldering Too Many Burdens

Many of us face the obstacle of shouldering too many burdens.  Though sometimes it comes from a thoughtful place, the mind can sometimes overestimate the mental capacity and strength we have to endure such heavy thoughts. One needs to be mindful of how much they are putting on themselves. Because many of us have a tendency to carry more responsibility than we can handle, we sometimes forget it’s weighing us down. However, ultimately it is a choice.

When we shoulder too many burdens, it becomes much more difficult to spread our wings.

spread your wings.

Painting by Saeed Akhtar

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Journey with Yourself

It’s important to take yourself on a journey through your mind sometimes, be it a more serious spring cleaning of releasing thoughts & old patterns that no longer serve a purpose, or a phantasmagorical journey through your imagination.

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Honor the Saddness

When people are hurting, we have a choice to either listen or ignore.

Sometimes, perhaps it feels as though certain people gravitate towards sadness. Regardless if it’s a conscious decision or not, we must remember to be gentle with these beings. This isn’t to say we placate to their melancholia whims, but it is important to note their sadness, anxieties and/or other maladies means they are moving through/coming to understand something tremendous in their lives at that point in time; it’s a critical point in their journey. It means we need to honor their sadness as best we can by NOT forcing it out of them or convince them otherwise.

Sometimes these sad, hurting people will test our patience, try to hurt us, push everyone away, not face their fears, etc. This is because they are scared. And sometimes, the only option is to either allow the fear to play out or help them confront and embrace the fear in a conducive way, as long as it doesn’t involve harm to others of their own bodies. This is a tricky tightrope to walk sometimes and in many instances all we can do is listen in a way that doesn’t involve ego. 

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Inevitable Repetition

Attempting not to repeat oneself or an idea is a nearly futile effort, especially as time goes on.

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Remember to Breathe

A few moments of breath can shift perspectives & stave off conflict. Remember to breathe.

 

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Individual Savior

Remember, one noun (person, place, thing or idea) cannot save you and/or erase all of your anxieties. It doesn’t matter if the person is a loved one or the place is a sacred or the thing is a magic crystal  or the idea is loving-kindness compassion.

Looking outside of ourselves will only carry through a certain amount of doors within, because at some point we will run into a door that only we can walk through on our own. This doesn’t mean we should wholeheartedly reject all of these other helpful nouns, but we must realize we cannot rely on other nouns to be our saviors.

 

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Uncomfortable Sadness

Many are uncomfortable with sadness, which is a shame because in many cases it means there is great learning on the horizon. It means a time to slow down, heal, meditate on and learn from the noun that is causing such an emotional eruption. For most, sadness should be considered more like emotional growing pains.

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Meditate with Your Morning Person

An old Zen saying (perhaps) about meditation.

Upon waking most mornings, I find my mind is especially restless. Between the time when opening my eyes, many thoughts are racing through my mind like an excited doggy licking my face.

“Hey c’mon let’s do some exercising and then we’re going to do some writing but at some point we need to eat breakfast and don’t forget you haven’t spoken to such and such in a while so you gotta email them oh then there’s that thing with the garden you have to do today so we need to do that at some point too but fuck what about exercise because you gotta do exercise today maybe we should do it twice today and we need to shower at some point today too…” etc etc and so forth.

As much as I attempt to avoid various labels of myself, one that has been fairly consistent throughout my life is the fact that I am a morning person, and as such my mind is most active (and restless) in the morning. According to my mind, there’s always lots to do upon waking up, and this isn’t even five minutes to being fully conscious!

On one hand, it’s an exciting thing to feel, and gets me pumped up in my daily attempts to carpe diem. But on the other hand, it can be quite overwhelming!

It is in this time that one should decide to do some meditation. Admittedly, I do not always meditate in the morning. However after these last two weeks of requiring myself to get up early to meditate (as part of my ongoing study and series Sharing Meds), I’ve found myself understanding the depths of why it is quite important for most of us to practice some form of morning meditation/prayer/yoga/chanting.

For most of us, morning is that time before work and/or other chores. We often don’t give ourselves much time, if any to acclimate to waking from the depths of our subconscious (and in some cases astral travels). To make matters more stressful, many of us (myself included) will sometimes jump right on to different forms of technology first thing to maybe check email, messages, and other such things. I’ve found that exposing oneself to such devices first thing in the morning throws the body and mind off even more, and in fact seems to greatly increase the amount of early morning mind chatter. If we were to pay close attention, we would notice how different our breathing becomes when we first awaken to the time we’ve exposed ourselves to such technological devices. Perhaps not everyone can tell such things, but it is something I’ve noted within myself. Have you taken time to see if this is the case?

This whole scene makes me think of someone who powers on their computer in the morning attempts to download ten different files while listening music and watching a few videos as the computer loads the daily schedule. If they are able to do this immediately, suddenly the computer is slow and overwhelmed, but in most cases, even a computer needs a certain amount of time to prepare itself before it can begin to follow commands. 

The point being, meditation should become a habit for most people in general, but especially the mornings. If you meditate regularly, but not often in the morning, I encourage everyone to make an effort to do so, even if it’s just once or twice a week.

Undoubtedly, some minds that might be reading this will start to chatter with various aplomb about being busy, to which I would respond with the meme at the top.

Not only does morning meditation calm the restless and ready to go mind, it allows one a certain amount of mental and physical silence as one transitions from the sleep to awake state in a much more copacetic manner. It also allows a certain amount of focus and clarity, without the rushing around and falling into various mental traps of “I need to do this and that.”

Try. See what happens.

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Problem with Many Religious Groups

Inherently, religion and spirituality isn’t supposed to be harmful.

If we look at both from a historical perspective, we see that religious and spiritual thought was used to comfort humans during our harsh upbringing, when the average life expectancy was 25 or something like that. These thoughts were used to comfort each other about death and give us a better understanding of things we didn’t understand (which was a lot back then).

Fast forward to today where we have a much better grasp on certain things, but in our understanding there is more we don’t understand and many people are much less receptive to religious and spiritual thought. While some might say it is because of outdated notions (which they might be partially right about), I find many cite their frustrations with the seediness and certain practices of various religions, especially when it comes to their exclusivity in terms of belief and inclusion. It should give ANYONE pause (and perhaps make them a little nervous) when one group (or person) claims to have ALL the answers to EVERYTHING, or that they have a book tat has ALL the answers to EVERYTHING. Not only is that inconceivable, it’s also impossible by the sheer fact that because said book &/or teachings were written  thousands of years ago, there was no accounting for problems and moral quandaries of the future (because at the time said problems were also inconceivable). And other problems and moral dilemmas continue to evolve. These things don’t stand still.

And this is a tricky tightrope to walk in general because, many people who practice religion I find are just your average everyday run-of-the-mill person who is one of those decent and hard working types.

The problems and frustrations many find within various religious institutions is the political jockying and occasional dogmatic rhetoric that incites these average everyday run-of-the-mill decent and hard working types. It is understandable why many become frustrated with various groups, especially the leaders that speak of acceptance but then use their power to tell followers you’ve got to believe all or nothing. It also doesn’t help that the media often emphasizes the extreme far-out views of fringe people/groups.

In all religious & spiritual doctrines, there are some highly positive things that are spoken of; such as loving your neighbor or eating food that is kosher &/or halal. But there are also bits in many doctrines that don’t necessarily jive with the evolution of thought processes (nor with other parts of said doctrine as well). And this can get quite frustrating &/or confusing to some, because these average everyday run-of-the-mill decent and hard working types who affiliate themselves with these different groups and texts are often left to toe-the-line, quoting a part of their doctrine for something they don’t fully understand either while their leaders continue to incite and exploit these lovely people who are, at their heart, just looking for some solace and clarity, like the ancient people.

The leadership in many of these institutions is, well… institutionalized and inclusive, which makes it hard for these leaders to be held accountable.  And just like in politics and many other areas in our human lives, we as people have either lost interest or find it impossible to do so. But I promise you it is not, especially because you are part of a group; the larger majority of everyday run-of-the-mill decent and hard working types. And if you don’t understand something about your group/doctrine whatever, chances are there are others who feel the same. And if your leaders don’t want to answer your question or seek a way to alleviate your concern then they are either being lazy or they don’t care.

This isn’t to say a leader’s job is to make sure everyone is copacetic all the time, but they need to at least address the concerns in some fashion. But, sometimes, we must remember that these leaders are also human, and they don’t have all the answers, and sometimes we need to remind them of that too because sometimes I think these leaders feel pressure to have all the answers.

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