Let’s Meditate

Let’s meditate. For our purposes we will define meditation as the practice of focusing our minds and attention on an object, a situation, or any point of focus of our choosing (See mediation at wakingupwithpatrick.com).  For example: count your breaths from 1 to 4 while you observe the thought stream with focused attention on your breaths. When a thought comes to mind, acknowledge the thought and then return your focus to counting your breaths (it may take practice, it may not. You can do it). If a mental movie or fantasy begins, as soon as you realize you have been pulled in, return your attention to counting your breaths. The notion is to practice meditation here and there, throughout your day which will allow conscious present awareness to come to the forefront of your life. The state of presence can be constant. Meditation leads the way to be present all day. Practice meditations here and there all day until you don’t have to anymore.

You can come up with your own objects of meditation, you can keep it simple, make it fun, or make it complicated if you want to challenge yourself – Enjoy. Here’s a couple examples:  listen to the sound of water running, take a moment and bring your attention to the sound, use it as a momentary meditation if you will, then go back to what you were doing. Look at the sun, the clouds, the rain, or the stars bring your attention to what’s going on, bring your attention to what you have chosen to focus on. Observe the thoughts that arise and then return your focus, it is that simple. Be aware you’re not really thinking the thoughts they are just coming.

Here is a favorite meditation:  sitting, lying, or standing doesn’t matter, bring your attention to the pull of gravity on the different parts of your body. You may start at your feet, feel the weight of your feet, feel them pressing down on the surface they are pressing upon. Bring your attention up to your legs, your hips…  Feel the weight of your hands and arms, feel the pull of gravity as they are pulled down. Continue to move your attention up your torso, to your shoulders, to your neck, and your head. When thoughts come, observe, and then return to the meditation.

You can gauge your level of progress by the ease or difficulty of your meditations. For instance, the counting meditation for some is extremely difficult or even impossible (in the beginning), yet can be very telling of how much your mind has a hold of you. The counting meditation:  count in your head from 1 to 100. If your mind interrupts, return to the number you were on as soon as you realize it. If you forget the number, begin again from one; try to get to 100, then maybe 500, or even 1,000.

There is a multitude of things you can use as the focus of your meditations: the laughter of a child, the feeling of the warmth of the sun, the sensation of holding an object in your hand, the sounds of nature… As you continue, you’ll find other opportunities that may intrigue you, like focusing on the silence under all of the sounds or even bringing your awareness to the part of you that is doing the meditation. Aware of that part of you that is waking up and separating from the stream of thought.

Remember to observe with awareness of any judgements you make about yourself or the thoughts you observe. As your studies deepen you can meditate on the very thoughts that rise during your observations. Your point of observation is non-judgmental, filled with peace, love and joy. Observing yourself as innocent and unblemished by the conditioning of your mind.

It’s a new day, your day.

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WakingUpWithPatrick

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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