Stress in humans is a physical and/or emotional response by the body and mind to outside stimuli or internal mental thinking, resulting in the release of chemicals into the bloodstream. While its causes may vary, it is often thought of as the reaction to negative situations, although even seemingly positive moments or happenings can trigger it. For example, the excitement over a coming event, though a wonderful happening, may cause much stress over anticipation of the inevitable moment.
There is physical stress, for instance, the force of one object on another or the impact of exercise or exertion on the body. You can be stressed-out, over-stressed, under stress, the cause of stress, etc. For the student of meditation, mental stress is often the focus of study.
The student sat in a moment of quiet observation of the thoughts going through their mind. They were not thinking, rather watching the thoughts as they passed through their mind. They focused their awareness on the emotional impact provoked by some of the thoughts. The thoughts were random, some of the past, some of the future. Occasionally their mind focused on the moment and presence was felt, consciously aware of the act of meditation in the moment as they observed the stream of thought. Many of the thoughts provoked feelings of joy, some doubt, others provoked feelings of stress and anxiety. As the student came out of the stillness they were well aware of the emotional, as well as, the physical impact the thoughts had on them. Aware of the joy and anxiety caused by the stream of thought, which was happening in their mind, not purposeful thinking.
A meditation, try it out here or there, when it comes to your mind, or not. Focus your attention on something, then, like the student, bring your attention to the thoughts, if any, that make you feel stressful, even the slightest amount. Acknowledge to yourself how the unintentional thought that flowed through your mind brought you distress. Understand the thought provoked the stress; you did not “choose” it; you mentally moved in the direction of the thought and felt distress. Observe how the thoughts triggered the negative feelings. You are not the stream of thought, no more than you are the results of its actions.
It’s a new day.
Tolerance includes the ability to accept or allow situations, observations, opinions, beliefs, etc. and even other people that you may or may not agree with. The word also refers to an ability of the mind or body to tolerate outside influences such as negative people, disease, abuse, and even mental disorders. For example, the person practiced meditation which helped them to tolerate the results of their PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder).
Other examples are simplistic: we tolerate bitter cold, spicy food, a bug bite, etc., even sounds we identify as annoying can be tolerable. Much of humanity is learning and applying the knowledge of acceptance and tolerance in their dealings with their fellow humans. As we awaken, as humans, we may find tolerance to be an essential key in the unification of humanity.
For some students of meditation there is little need for tolerance. The present conscious mind finds little or no conflict with others, therefore a need for tolerance is unnecessary. This does not mean they allow and accept negativity that harms creation; it means they don’t conflict with people’s beliefs, ideology, theology, etc.
The student sat with the teacher and said “I find myself in a situation. Despite my meditating and love for my fellow humans and creation, I cannot mentally or emotionally tolerate some behaviors and what goes on; mainly, peoples behaviors towards each other and our environment. I do my part when the opportunity arises, I teach the benefits of meditation and its resulting state of present consciousness. Sometimes it falls on receptive ears and brings understanding. Other times I focus on myself as the negativity in me arises, knowing the negative reaction belongs to me and there must be something to learn. Finally, I find moments when I mentally or physically remove myself, especially when the consciousness of others is out of my reach. I tolerate what I can. Remove and protect myself and well-being when necessary.”
The teacher said “Yes, many a teacher has taught us we have options in most situations. If you can tolerate the behaviors or happenings and not lose your peace, so be it. If you are compelled to bring some consciousness to the situation by speaking from presence or enhancing the moment with positive behaviors, do so. If your presence and example of behavior has no impact on the negativity, you can choose to remove yourself. Not surrender, rather remove yourself from that which you can no longer tolerate or educate. Remove yourself from situations that interfere with the quality of your life, using the situation to improve your level of understanding and conscious existence. For some, through meditation they will eventually come to a state of conscious presence where there is only understanding, peace, and love and the need for tolerance no longer exists.”
By continuing meditation practices, throughout your day, through diverse situations, presence comes to the forefront of your life and you no longer find people or things intolerable and you handle things perfectly.
A meditation, try it out here and there, when it comes to mind, or not. When a seemingly intolerable situation arises, when you remember to, focus on something and observe your current reaction, then choose. You may choose to tolerate the moment while handling its negative effects, if any. If the intolerable situation involves another person and if you are so compelled, you may choose to bring conscious thinking to the person and teach them meditation. Observe if the teaching alleviates the negativity in the moment. Finally, you may choose to remove yourself, whether it be from a situation, a person or even an intolerable sound. In many dealings with your mind you have no choice; in some situations you do. Choose or not.
It’s a new day.
Vital energy, depending on who you’re asking, may be defined in many different ways. Some theologians refer to it as the necessary force that underlies all creation. Unquestionable, untouchable, unchangeable. Many a yogi define it as essential energy that dwells deep within the human body, responsible for our physical, as well as, divine or spiritual existence.
Vitalism refers to the belief that the process or unfolding of life itself is neither physical nor chemical and cannot be defined with words. Some believe consciousness is the vital energy which exists under all that is.
The athlete or practitioner of yoga thinks of vital energy as the essential ingredient provided by our bodies for physical function as well as mental function. The student of meditation includes observations of the functions of their minds in regard to the loss of such energy, as well as its formation.
The patient spoke to the doctor proclaiming “I’m so exhausted much of the time, my mind is running non-stop pulling me into thoughts that lead me to so much negativity and distress. Worry upon worry, drama after drama. Many not real happenings, rather fantasies and ‘what if’ thoughts causing me so much suffering. The thoughts suck the life out of me, leaving me fatigued, irritable, and exhausted.” The doctor replied “So if I understand you correctly, your mind is somewhat out of control, bringing you compulsive-obsessive thoughts that have a physical, as well as, emotional impact on your body and mind. And that this stream of thought, which repeatedly pulls you into negativity, is beyond your doing and interfering with the quality of your life. The mental anguish you endure is draining your vital energy and leaving you in a state of exhaustion and even despair.” The patient said “Yes, you understand completely, as if it happens to you.” The doctor answered “Yes.” The doctor then took out his prescription pad and wrote “Meditation as often as possible until symptoms subside.”
A meditation, try it out, here and there, when it comes to mind, or not: As with most meditations, focus your attention on an object or sound, while you observe your stream of thought. When possible, or purposefully, observe how certain thoughts impact your body and mind. Be aware of judgements or when you get pulled in. Come back. Point out to yourself the physical and mental drain the thoughts are putting on you. Be aware of the energy loss. If the thoughts provoke a positive physical/mental reaction be aware of that also. Remember the plan is to observe. The part of you making the observation is you, not the thoughts.
It’s a new day.