Refresher Course

Refresher course. As we practice meditation, it is often prudent to review the knowledge and practices we have learned already. People often say, “I was feeling so much better, but now I’m back in my thoughts again and suffering as I did before.” I’ll ask “how are the meditations going?” the answer is often “Haven’t been doing that much.”  Practice meditations. Remember you are not the stream of thought. You are the conscious observer of the thought stream. You are the peace, love, and joy beyond understanding.

The student said to the Teacher, “Teacher, I find challenges as I move forward on my path toward conscious awareness. I experience great moments of peace, despite the stream thought running through my mind; yet, I still spend much of my time caught in the negativity and suffering by the thoughts created by my mind. It is as if I let my guard down and the programming and conditioning of my thought filled mind returns and leads me into negativity.” The Teacher responded, “Keep the light of conscious awareness on and keep meditating. Review the knowledge you have learned and begin again. Begin as many times as necessary until conscious awareness comes to the forefront of your life. You can measure your progress on your journey by the amount of time you spend in peace and joy despite your stream of thought.”

Simple mediations. You know several meditations. Practice them. You can create your own, choose something:  sounds, objects, sensations, etc. Bring your awareness to these things observe the stream of thoughts going through your mind and bring your attention back to the focus of your meditation when you realize you have been pulled in. It is that simple. The change comes naturally. It’s your day!

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Inner peace may mean different things to different people. Some may believe that inner peace is different for all of us, which can also make defining inner peace a challenge. For many of us, the desire for inner peace can be clouded by definition or in our inability to possess the knowledge to find such a state of being. For myself, inner peace is a mental state of being not clouded by the repetitive conditioned programmed thinking of my mind. A state of being where my true conscious self is separate from the manipulation of my thought stream. Like too many people, I had a rough start. I was raised in the 1960s during a time where the line between discipline and abuse had not yet been drawn by society and where, in many homes, neglect and victimization was the norm. In too many arenas, it is still the same for many unfortunate children and young people today. As a result of the environment I was raised in, I spent most of my twenties in a state of mental anguish. At the age of 27 I came to the understanding that abusing drugs and alcohol was not the answer for dealing with a tortured mind, and though I was able to accomplish and attain many material things that the world had to offer, I wanted something more, inner peace. After being diagnosed with institutional grade PTSD and several sever forms of depression, I decided to take on the challenge of psychoanalytic therapy. For 13 years, I worked with therapists, psychiatrists, psychoanalysts, and medical doctors to address the disorders that were the result of my upbringing. I included personal studies of psychology and human behavior to add more knowledge in my pursuit of wellness. By the age of 40, as I had always done, I was sharing the knowledge I had gained and my life experience with others with similar situations to my own. Despite my efforts, I could still not separate from the mind of a manic depressive. I could not attain inner peace. My desire for inner peace led me to meditation. Meditation is a practice that separates us from the workings of the conditioned programmed mind and the endless stream of thought. After several months of mediation studies and practice, I began to feel the separation of my true self from the confines and mental torture of my own mind. At that moment a new, although difficult, journey had begun. I spent years of riding the roller-coaster of mental anguish and peace as I continued my struggle to mental freedom. Now, 18 years since my meditation studies commenced, I find myself in a state of conscious presence that allows me to live peacefully with a mind suffering from mental illness. My journey has included sharing my knowledge and understanding of the inner workings of the mind with others to help them attain peace and joy as I have; aiding them in their quest to escape the suffering of the confines of their programmed conditioned minds. I have recently taken my teaching to a new level, carrying myself as a published writer, teaching mediation and sharing the knowledge of the ability for each and every one of us to achieve our natural state of being, which is peace, love and joy.

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