THINKING – THOUGHT…..THERE IS A DIFFERENCE.

Thought defined is the result of thinking or what thinking is itself. An idea, assumption, observation, experience, memory, etc. produced by thinking or a result of brain activity that just pops up in the mind beyond the control of the thinker. The action of thinking can be purposeful; for instance, if someone asks what is one plus one, you think, the thought comes, you answer two. We spend a lot of time with that type of thinking. The accumulation of knowledge put through the thought process has lead humanity to the majority of the advances we have achieved today, which includes those accomplishments we label positive and negative. The negative results are often caused by knowledge which has resulted from inaccurate information or negative programming or conditioning.

As students of meditation we will focus on the compulsive thinking. That which comes to our mind on its own. The thinking that comes without our conscious desire or permission.

Through meditation practices we learn or rather train ourselves to observe the stream of thought. Through observation we automatically, almost effortlessly, drop our identification with the thoughts that come to mind. You are not the stream of thought.  (See Meditation at http://www.wakingupwithpatrick.com.)

To be clear many of the thoughts that come to mind do not lead to negativity. The majority of the thoughts that pop in there which lead you into mental fantasies or mental movies of the past or present or future do. The compulsive often obsessive thinking that interferes with the quality of life are what the student and the teacher choose to observe. It can become worse as we identity ourselves and others by the thoughts coming to mind. You are not these thoughts, yet you may identify yourself with what they are telling you. You are not in control of these thoughts.  If you were you would stop them and find true peace.

The student of meditation learns that by observing the stream of thought without interference, judgment, condemnation, flattery, etc. everything changes. You allow the stream, stop fighting it, observe it, observe as you pile more thought on top of the thoughts. That’s when you separate from it. That’s when you effortlessly begin to realize that the part of yourself observing is you, the true self, unblemished by the workings of your mind. With practice (meditation), your conscious self comes to the forefront of your life and a truly incredible human being emerges.

Practice meditation until you don’t have to anymore.  You will know when.  It will be the time you spend peaceful, feeling love and joy. Presence comes to the forefront of your life and present conscious awareness becomes your normal state of being. Focus your attention on an object or sound, observe non-judgmentally the thoughts flowing through your mind. Repeat the practice, repeat it a thousand times until you are free from the confines of thought.

It’s a new day.

Trust

Trust defined is the faith or belief that things are going to happen a certain kind of way.  For example, that people are going to be loyal, or stand by their commitments.  In relationships, trust often becomes a defining factor to the success of the pairing. We may trust in things, hold things in trust, trust in each other, etc.  Like faith, trust often refers to the unknown, as with “we trust everything will be okay.” Trust can also be a controlling kind of thing as when we trust each other with truths or behaviors that fit our agenda. For instance, “I’m trusting you not to fail me” or “I’m trusting you to be true, or not lie.”

Often times our rules of love are based on trust.  Many people fall “out of love” when they feel their trust has been betrayed.  (See Love at http://www.wakingupwithpatrick.com).

As presence comes to the forefront of our lives, we begin to see trust differently. We come to the knowledge that trust is a bit of an illusion. The majority of us are entrusted with this wonderful life we have been given. Entrusted with this physical form, body, temple, whatever you want to call it, yet fail ourselves by not doing everything in our power to honor, and take care of ourselves as we should; yet, we make expectations of others when we entrust them with the secrets, our observations, and our hearts.  We want to trust them yet we can’t trust ourselves to take care of us.

The student of meditation comes to the understanding that laying the burden of trust upon another is more about control than anything else. If I tell you I’m going to trust you not to tell this story or that story or entrust you to follow through on a mission or desire of mine, I’m really seeking a bit of control over you.  And watch out if you fail my “trust!”

You may think of trust as a bit of an illusion.  See yourself clearly, see others clearly (not as you think they are) and the need to trust will fade.

We should be able to trust that people will stand by us; do as they say, be loyal, etc.; yet, we really are not seeing the nature of others. If we did we would not be putting such great responsibilities on each other.

We set each other up to fail. If you betray my trust (fail my attempt to control you), I will shun you and separate myself from you.  As we see each other more clearly we find as much as we want to trust, we are all subject to fail the expectations of others.

You can remove many aspects of the need for trust from your life. If you don’t want it repeated, don’t say it.  If you say it, be prepared for it to come back to you. If you want trust in a relationship, go for it, but be prepared in the event of its failure. Take the responsibility off of others to meet your expectations; see them as they are. Move towards the positive, remove yourself from the negative. If another fails your trust, or expectations, learn, grow, decide and move forward if necessary.

A meditation, try it out here or there, when it comes to mind or not. Focus your attention on something as you would during meditation. Consider in the moment your dealings with others, mainly putting expectations on them in areas of trust.  Digest what your mind is telling you; don’t judge the thoughts, just observe. Observe if the words “can I trust” or “I’m trusting you” lead to emotions that resemble control or putting expectations on others that will set them up to fail. Bringing conscious awareness to the thoughts may very well change your desire to continue to play the trust game. Not because you chose to drop this controlling behavior, but rather it fades on its own as presence and understanding come forward in your life.

It’s a new day. Your day.

Recovery…

Recovery has several definitions that we acknowledge as we apply it to our meditation efforts and studies. We may think of it as recuperating from an injury or an illness that returns us to a state of normality; keeping in mind that the word “normal’ is subject to interpretation, and that recovery doesn’t always mean we will return to the state prior to injury. It often refers to a state better than the one from which we are recovering. Recovery also may be defined as the return of something lost or taken from us or even the process itself.  In meditation studies we may think of recovery as the retrieval of something that we once possessed or that was destined for us, which we hadn’t realized was lost. Our true state of divine being.

Thanks to the efforts of countless humans, (perhaps you, yourself), the planet appears to be recovering from years of abuse and neglect.  As the planet recovers it returns to conditions of health and vitality previously possessed. Although the majority of the earth’s redemption may not lead it to where it was, but rather to a new place of healthy normality.

As the teacher, and more importantly, the student of meditation, we realize we can recover from a great deal of the programming and conditioning that has been imposed on our minds by society, our education, the mental evolution of humanity, etc.  By waking up to the reality of the functions of our minds, we can begin to regain that which has been lost. Mainly, our ability to experience a natural unblemished state of peace, love and joy. Like the earth we can regain some of what’s been lost and find a new normality for positive things that are the best they can be now. Just as the earth can recover from its plight with our love and assistance we can join in the redemption through the practices of meditation.  Meditation practice (observing the stream of thought) sets the stage for a return to good mental health or the opportunity to experience a positive state of mind for the first time in our lives. Meditation is the cure that leads to your recovery from the negative impact created by the stream of thought. Many students have an understanding that we and the earth (and all that exists for that matter) are one. Existing in the same moment as one ultimate creation.

As we assist the earth in its recovery it is prudent we do the same for ourselves. Through recovery of the confines created by the negative impact of our minds, we lift our own consciousness which aids in the healing of ourselves, those around us, and this place we call home.

A meditation, try it out here and there, when it comes to your mind, or not:  bring your awareness to the healing aspects of your meditations. For example, say to yourself “as I observe the thoughts going through my mind, exposing them to the non-judgmental, love-filled, joyful, conscious observation, I feel the healing aspects of this awakening and recover from that which I once was.

It’s a new day. Your day.

Depression & Anxiety

Depression often refers to feelings of sadness. The effects are quite numerous. Lack of energy and appetite, feelings of hopelessness and despair, low energy, loss of vitality and the zest for life.  It is often caused by life events that we have had a negative reaction to. Sometimes not living up to our own mind-made expectations of ourselves and others opens the door to such suffering; however, there are other triggers which may not be so obvious.  Dehydration, lack of sleep, smoking, poor diet, relationship expectations, etc. are just a few of the additional triggers to depression. Knowing its symptoms may be more important than its causes, as there are so many factors contributing to the disorder.

Anxiety, thought-provoked feelings of worry and dread resulting in nervousness and unease. Usually caused by thoughts of upcoming events, regret or despair. Though different from depression, anxiety is a close neighbor that often accompanies depression or triggers it. Unlike depression, some experts point to the fact that some anxiety can be normal as well as healthy, especially when it leads to positive decisions when it comes to potentially negative or even dangerous situations.  All that being said, the student of meditation applies a different set of pointers as they focus on these issues.

The student sat with the teacher and said “I spend so much time in thoughts in my mind, worrying about future situations or tasks left undone. I compulsively think about what people think of me… am I good enough, have I done enough, are they true to me, do they like me, am I loved? I judge myself over past deeds and situations. I feel so much anxiety. I feel it throughout my body, like a physical nervousness that I can’t describe. The thoughts then deepen to dread and despair as I struggle to find a way out of the stress and tension. With no hope in sight, my thoughts turn to a state of depression which leads me down a hopeless spiral that drains me of all my energy and even moments of not wanting to go on. Sometimes these thoughts and feelings come and go; at other times I feel as though I have been and will be stuck there forever.” The teacher gently laid their hands upon the student’s and said “Yes, I understand. I will promise you no magic cure. As a student of meditation you would do well to make the connection between the thoughts that are going on in your mind and the situations those thoughts lead you to. Your anxiety and depression are triggered by the stream of thoughts going through your mind. I, as your teacher, and you, as the student, use meditation practices to separate us from the stream of thought. The more we observe our minds, the more we separate from it. Through continued practice the realization that we are not the thoughts, nor the negative reactions produced by them, comes forward and aids, if not eradicating the negative effects of our conditioned, programmed minds. You are not the stream of thought any more than you are the depression and anxiety the thoughts are causing.  Practice your meditations. If you don’t know how, learn how. If the meditation isn’t working, then meditate more. Meditate until you wake up from the nightmare of depression and anxiety caused by your mind. You are not your mind; you are something else.”

A meditation with a mantra, try this out, here and there, when it comes to mind, or not.  Try it if and when you are tangled up in thoughts that lead you to anxiety and depression. When such thoughts come to mind focus your attention on something (as you would normally do during meditation) and repeat to yourself “look at what my mind is doing to me now.” Say it aloud or in your head. Say it once, say it ten times, say it a thousand times. Say it until you don’t have to anymore. Until your conscious self helps you to realize the negative thoughts rising in your mind are beyond your control. You are not those negative thoughts.  You are something else.

It’s a new day. Your day

Disease

Disease may be defined as a foreign intrusion by a substance, object or disorder that infiltrates or intrudes upon a living thing, causing negative consequences to said living form, disrupting its existence or causing negativity and in some situations leading to death. The word is often used as a simile for how something moves harmfully through society or a culture, for instance “The drug epidemic moves through our cities like a disease.” The medical world often finds defining disease difficult and it can be unclear. Some define it as anything that intrudes upon “good health” only to find that health is no more easily defined than disease. Both words are subject to debate and even situational definition. That being said, for our intent and purposes, in our meditation studies, we shall consider defining negativity as a disease.

Many students who meditate come to the conclusion that nothing is truly negative. If a happening or situation (despite its challenges) assists us on the road to consciousness, then nothing is negative. Merely a tool or lesson for us to learn from. Yet, many teachers and mentors will include lessons on the spreading of negativity in their teachings.

Negativity spreads like a disease. You have seen it so many times, perhaps have done it yourself. It seems to happen in the media, in our day-to-day lives, schools, public meetings, etc. and especially in our personal intimate conversation. People telling stories of past events or making negative observations of others or society. Folks talking about future dreadful situations that may or may not happen. We pull each other into negativity. For example, I can tell you some story of horrid happenings that caused great suffering for countless people. There is nothing wrong with that. Perhaps the story needs to be said to educate or protect humanity from recurrence; yet, as I speak, clouds of dread come over you as you digest the dialogue, or even a small taste of negative emotions that pull you from a moment where you may have been blissfully present and joyful only to have me damper your moment by sharing my discomfort. We find ourselves now sharing the disease of negativity. It doesn’t end there. You walk upon a group of people occupied with their current conversation and bring them the dreadful story pulling them in, they disperse only to spread the dread to the next people they meet.

How often will someone bring you negative observations of another, only to pull you into their own mind set? If you’re unaware, you then form opinions of approval or disapproval, trust or distrust, etc. of the other person based on the narrow mindedness of another. It’s what we do, at least some of us. Some may say there is nothing wrong with voicing our opinions and observations. True. But to what end. As students of meditation we have an awareness of the results of our behaviors. We chose to spread peace, love and joy. We chose to help the world and our fellow humans and not continue to cause damage. Better to be still, silent and in a state of love than to perpetuate the disease of negativity.

A meditation, try it out here and there when it comes to mind, or not. Before you speak, relay an observation, tell a story, repeat a judgement, etc. see if you can catch yourself before you say it. When you do, run the sentence or story through your mind, consider whether it would create negativity for the listener and if it would perpetuate the negativity you’re experiencing by pulling you further in or keeping you in the emotional impact of the drama. The spreading of negativity often interferes with your consciousness and your awareness, of the peace, love and joy the moment contains.

It’s a new day… Your Day.

Namaste

“NAMASTE” is a greeting which dates back to ancient times.  It is still widely used today as an acknowledgement of the oneness and awareness of the divine consciousness in all of us. When one speaks “Namaste” to another, they are paying tribute to the divine presence in the other which is unblemished or unaltered by the programming and conditioning of the individual through exposure to the world. They are greeting and paying tribute to the divine being that dwells within the individual.

The greeting is often accompanied by the folding of hands and a bowed head. When translated, Namaste means “I bow to you.”  It symbolizes to the recipient of the word and gesture that the speaker has a true awareness of the divine presence that exists in each and every one of us.  You may think of it as a salute or tribute to that part of you which is believed to exist beyond shape and form. Some call it your spirit, or soul; some call it consciousness.  Regardless of what you call it, Namaste is a word symbolic of one’s awareness of the divine, the grace, the unaltered perfection in each of us.

The student spoke to the teacher saying, “There are moments I am aware that I have had a hard time loving my fellow humans. I identify their behaviors as ignorant (not knowing), cruel, selfish, hurtful, etc. My lack of consciousness causes me to get pulled into their negativity and I lash out with anger or sarcastic behavior, which only feeds the negative situation. Upon reflection, I regroup, meditating on my reactions and my role in the situation, only to find myself continuing to resent them for pulling me into their drama, as if it were their fault. In the end, I search to forgive myself for my lack, returning to apologize to them for my negative reaction to their negativity.”  The teacher paused, letting the student’s words sink into the moment. The teacher then folded his hands as if to pray, bowed his head and said “Namaste. Love that which dwells beneath their programming and conditioning. Love that part of them, the divine being that sits under their working minds waiting for conscious awareness to come to the forefront of their lives. Love the divine being they are which is beyond word, mind, and form.” With folded hands and a bowed head, the student replied “Namaste.”

A simple meditation… try it out here and there when it comes to your mind, or not. Focus your attention on love. Unconditional love. Indescribable love. Then begin to think of everyone you know or have known, past or present, people whose name you know, even people whose names you do not know.
Family, friends, acquaintances, teachers; those who have been kind, those who have not, etc. Then either say in your mind, or write  down (writing can be very powerful) the words “I love you” so and so, reminding yourself you are loving the being in them that dwells there, the conscious self. You love them beyond their behaviors that have resulted from their life experiences. You love that divine part of them that has been stifled and diminished by the workings of their conditioned, programmed minds.  Be sure to include “I love MYSELF.”

Namaste.  It’s a new day, your day.

Time

Time often refers to the length or duration of a happening. A man made system of calculations, which allows us to measure the length or period in which something has, is, or will be going on. Some say that time is a funny thing. We believe we share time, save time, are given time, donate time, look for time, cherish time, focus on time, wish for time, sell time, or even buy time, etc. People say things such as “time is fleeting, there’s not enough, it never seems to be the right time.” For our intent and purposes, time’s origin, concept and its use is something to be observed.

The student sat with the teacher and said, “I understand that time is a mind made concept that humans created in order for us to structure our societies around. I know, science uses the concept to define the length of perceived existence in some sort of measurable terms, which of course only points to this reality because it is said to be impossible for humans to comprehend eternity. I am aware the very calendar we use to structure our system of timekeeping is based on the rotation of earth around the sun flying through this galaxy at an incredible speed. Our months, weeks, and days are based on the recurring course of the sun and the moon. Therefore, depending on what planet you live on and what sun you spin around the possible calendar scenarios is as infinite as the galaxy itself. Finally, I am aware that many theologians, scientists and mystics alike often share the opinion that time does not exist.” The teacher sat back in their chair and with a smile, looked at the student and said, “Yes.”

Meditate with time, when it comes to your mind here and there, meditate on time, or not.  Here’s one, even fun for some, it includes some brain training. Look at clock, bring the current time to your awareness (tell yourself what time it is). As with other meditations if a thought or fantasy comes to your mind observe it and return your focus to your observations of what time it is. Think to yourself what time it would be two hours from the moment. See if with practice or instantly, if your mind reminds you of the time two hours later. You could try practicing when you go to bed. Look at the time, tell yourself what time you want to wake up and see what happens. Either set your alarm after the wake time as back up or tell yourself to wake ten minutes before the alarm. See what happens, maybe nothing, maybe you learn something about your conscious self and even help it to move forward in your life. It’s a new day. Your day!