Archive for Jul 2nd, 2011
Do you talk with yourself? When we hear people talking aloud with themselves we consider it weird. But have you noticed that all people, with no exception, talk silently with themselves? This, we do not consider odd or weird.
If someone hurts you in some way, or says something you do not like, what do you do? You enact a whole scene of anger in your mind! You envision yourself talking angrily; you shout at him and tell him some not so nice things. Sometimes people spend hours in such negative, destructive inner dialogues.
There is a continuous conversation going on in everyone’s head, and a lot of energy, time and attention are wasted on small unimportant incidents. This conversation goes on from the moment of waking until falling asleep.
The inner dialogue continues while working, studying, reading, watching TV, talking, walking, eating, etc. There is a constant judging of people, commenting on what is going on, planning, gossiping, and mental conversations with people.
These inner dialogues bring about a snowball effect. The more we conduct them, the more we become chained to them and unable to stop them. When the emotions are also evoked, more power, energy and attachment are added. This has an adverse effect on the behavior, judgment and general performance.
On many occasions the inner dialogue is negative and strengthens any negative attitude and behavior. Few people have enough faith in themselves and in their abilities, so as to conduct positive inner dialogues. The process and effect of these inner conversations is similar to affirmations. Constant thinking about the same subject influences the subconscious mind, which consequently accepts these thoughts and words and acts on them. Negative inner dialogues bring negative results, and positive inner dialogues bring positive results.
You can use this process to your advantage. It is an automatic activity, which goes on whether you are aware of it or not. If you learn to become aware of it, you gain the ability to control it. You can turn it into a positive dialogue. If you do that, you come to realize that you have a mighty power in your possession.
Try to be aware of your thoughts. Calmly watch what is going in your mind, even if after a few moments you may forget to do that. The inner dialogue goes on even when physically you are engaged with something else. It is not so easy to mentally separate oneself from the thoughts and words the flow through the mind.
Over and over again endeavor to keep your attention of what is going inside your head, and eventually you will be able to become aware of the inner dialogue for longer times. Watching the mind and what is going on inside it develops detachment. Detachment gives a better control of the mind and its chatter.
Whenever you catch yourself conducting a useless, futile conversation with yourself, stop it. Change it to something more useful. Replace the subject, and the words. It is like running an audiotape. Why not replace it with another tape that you like? Why let this tape play by itself? Change the words of the inner dialogue to positive ones about good health, happiness and success.
There is another thing you can do, but this needs concentration and will power. You can try to stop this inner conversation altogether. Try to ignore it and give your mind a vacation. Let the mind rest for a little while. Life can certainly go on, even when this dialogue is silenced. For a little while, enjoy some rest from the mind’s incessant conversation.
The inner dialogue is fine sometimes, but most of the time it is just incessant useless chatter, which distract the attention from what you are doing at each moment. By becoming aware of it, and replacing it with a positive one, or just refusing to become involved with it, you gain the ability to control it.
© Copyright Remez Sasson
Remez Sasson teaches and writes on positive thinking, creative visualization, motivation, self-improvement, peace of mind, spiritual growth and meditation. He is the author of several books, among which are “Peace of mind in Daily Life”, “Will Power and Self Discipline”, “Visualize and Achieve” and “Affirmations – Words of Power”.
Visit his website and find articles and books filled with inspiration, motivation and practical advice and guidance.
Meditation Helps Us With Our Attachments…
What are attachments? How can they cause us suffering and how can meditation help with our attachments?
First, what are attachments? Simply put, attachments are anything that we need in order to be happy. “I have to have this or I will not be happy. Without this person or without this accomplishment, I will not be happy. I need it. I need it, period.“
Let’s look at an example. Probably the strongest attachment that I’ve ever had in my life was with my high school sweetheart, many, many years ago. We began dating when I was a senior and she was a sophomore. I moved out of state for my first year of university and we broke up. We really hadn’t been dating long so, though I really missed her, I was okay at that point. But then during my second year of university I transferred back to a university near my hometown. My ex-girlfriend and I started dating again and, again, it went well. I had hopes that someday we would spend our lives together. Then when I was a junior in university she applied and started attending the same university that I was attending. At first things went pretty well but then things changed and our relationship ended. The breakup was very, very sad for me. I remember thinking, “I don’t know if I’ll ever be happy again; if I’ll ever find anyone else I’ll spend my life with.” It was just very, very painful for me and I really, truly missed her. Of course both of us moved on and started dating other people with time. But for a long time my heart felt somewhat broken. I was so attached to her, because she really was in many ways my first love. I was so attached to her that losing her was just so very painful and I couldn’t envision anyone being able to replace her. Of course I did move on and many years later I’m very happily married and love my wife very much. But it took a long time to break free of this attachment.
So let’s explore attachments and why they cause suffering. There are very few guarantees in life. The one thing that for sure is going to happen is that we are all going to die; but the other thing that is probably going to happen is that things are going to change. Life is full of change. We get jobs, we lose jobs, we have relationships that end, we are young, we grow old; life is just in a constant state of flux and change. The only thing permanent in life is its impermanence. In simpler words; life changes, period.
So if we use a metaphor of life being like a river flowing down a stream and as we are flowing down that stream it goes pretty well; but anytime we stand still in that stream and say “I don’t want anything to change, I want to stay right here” the river pushes against us and it causes us suffering. If we flow with life, life goes well; but when we try to stay in one place in a river that’s flowing there will be suffering. Attachments are basically like that river; we want what we want and we want it to stay the same. We need this, we have to have this or we will be unhappy; we will suffer. So any attachment that we hang on to, whether it’s our health, our beauty, our relationships, whatever it may be; if we say “this can’t change” it will and we will suffer. Some people may say, “Well, I’m happily married and I plan on being this way for years to come.” That’s wonderful, but one of you will most likely die first and that means if there’s too much attachment there, there will be suffering. What I’m not suggesting is to not love; loving is important, loving deeply. But when we say “I have to have this” we’ll suffer. A far better approach in life is to say, “I prefer to have this.” So when you walk into a restaurant and they have the meal you want, you’re excited; but if they don’t have it, then you say “Well what do you have? Okay, that sounds pretty good.” You weren’t attached to absolutely having to hve that particular meal you wanted and in the end were still happy with the other options you were given. A person who’s attached to a certain outcome will say, “What? This is terrible! I wanted that and now you’ve ruined my day!” They’re attached to a certain outcome. Yes, it’s okay to have certain preferences but when things have to go a certain way then suffering can and often does occur. I talk about this in far more complexity in my e-Book and audio book Living a Peaceful Life; I’ve really just touched the surface here but I think you get a glimpse of how attachments can cause suffering.
The next question is, “How can meditation help? How can meditation help me be free of or not suffer from my attachments?” There are many benefits of meditation and I’ve talked about many of them throughout my years of practicing and teaching meditation. I believe one of the keys, if not the key benefit of meditation is learning how to live in the present moment. There’s just so much mind chatter going on in our brains all day long. Meditation teaches us to quiet our minds and our attachments come from this mind chatter. When there’s no mind chatter, then there are no attachments. All and I do mean all of our attachments come from the mind chatter that’s going on all day long. So if we learn to quiet our minds, we learn to just be and live in the present moment and the attachments disappear. I can prove this theory.
Let’s take for a moment someone who’s very, very sad because perhaps they want so very much to be in a relationship and they’re not in one. They walk into a movie theater with a friend and during that movie they forget about their worries, their fears, and their thoughts of “I’m going to be alone for the rest of my life. I wish so much I was in a relationship” all of this mind chatter they hear all day that makes them so sad and unhappy has disappeared while they’re enjoying the movie. When they come out of the movie they see someone else in a relationship, a happy couple together, and their mind chatter begins again. Once again they become very sad and fixated on that idea that they want and need to be in a relationship.
Again, it’s very important for us to understand that ALL of our suffering comes from our attachments. Our attachments are created, are fueled, and are maintained by our thoughts. If we don’t have our thoughts, we won’t suffer. Of course we will have thoughts but what meditation does is teach us to quiet the mind. It teaches us to be present and control our thoughts so that our thoughts don’t run wild. When we witness a negative attachment, we witness it and then we just get back to living life. It’s a lot like when we meditate; you follow your breath or your prayer word or your mantra and a thought comes. When that thought comes what do we do? We go back to our prayer word, our breath, our mantra. Again, another thought comes and we go back to our breath, and so on.
In the same way, as we’re living our life when the attachments kick in and they cause us suffering, the key is to just get back to living life. Be with your friend, do your work, watch nature; whatever it may be. When we learn to live in the present life, to flow with life, life goes well.
I’m not negating the importance of grieving. When we lose someone or something that we love, of course we need to go through the grieving process. However, for most people this grieving process is very extended and though part of the time is spent grieving, most of the time is spent with the attachments. There’s a big difference between attachments and grieving. When you are grieving you will feel better at the end of the grieving sessions. The tears will flow and you’ll feel better. When you’re attached you won’t feel better; you’ll just be thinking negative thoughts and you’ll be stuck. When we realize that our thoughts create the attachments and we can quiet our minds, be still, and be present with the now through meditation, then we can start implementing our meditation practice to help us with our attachments. Use the time during meditation to focus on the attachment but then get back to just being. When the attachments come, and they will come, just get back to being. When you’re living your life and you start fearing, being afraid, desiring something so much that it is causing you to miss out on the here and now just be present. Meditation is a way to help us to live our lives well.
Dr. Robert Puff – About the Author:
Dr. Robert Puff, Ph.D. is a meditation expert, international speaker and the creator of the weekly Meditation For Health Podcast, available at http://www.MeditationForHealthPodcast.com He has a weekly podcast that explores the world of Happiness at http://www.HappinessPodcast.org He also has a blog at http://www.Meditation-Enlightenment.com If you would like to contact Dr. Puff, his e-mail address is DrPuff@cox.net
- How to Practice Relaxation Meditation (joannewellington.wordpress.com)
It is not a destination and it holds no title. It is not a time or even intelligence, and it is not limited to the confines of some singular path. I ask the questions . . . how do we find it, how do we define it, and where does it lead us to? In bond to our sincerity and goodness of heart, let us now begin an exploration of that precious yet mysterious thing we might call the journey of spiritual awareness.
In attempt to simplify a complex subject, I believe we can divide the issue into two general arenas: awareness of the self, and external awareness. If we clarify external awareness as an understanding of others and the reality that surrounds us, then awareness of the self would most obviously be an understanding of our individual souls. By an on-going study and comprehension of both of theses aspects of awareness, I believe a broader vision can be achieved with which we can gain higher levels and insights to spiritual evolution . . . an evolution which not only can redefine our very character and purpose, but steps us into the expanse of new and greater dimensions.
Spiritual awareness seldom comes easily for with it are the tests and trials of individual experience. Perhaps for most of us, it is external awareness which is more comfortable to confront for it is more removed from the challenges of our egos. Self-awareness relies predominantly on our personal ability to be objective, responsible, and honest in evaluation. It requires discipline to the maintenance of our clarity towards our content and choice of direction. It is usually easier to spot faults and qualities elsewhere than to turn the mirror around and face them within ourselves. In my opinion it is the added challenge of self-awareness which makes it all the more important for us to deal with, and is therefore to be the prime focus of this article.
In my opinion, self-awareness is actually more than an understanding, it is also a feeling. It is a connection to a grand wisdom . . . a strength of divine love . . . God, cosmos, call it what you may. It is an empowering feeling and a compassion. Humble yet grand, it is a feeling which transports us beyond mundane and three-dimensional life to a pure freedom and peace and expansion of spirit. The threats and hardships to our lives become somehow removed from company of fear and join with a certainty, a faith, a sense of protection with the knowledge that we are actually far more than what might seem from the limits of our five senses. Self-awareness is, at its heart, a confidence in our totality as truly multi-dimensional beings.
Fear is the great inhibitor. Some much of the negative forces within us stem from this primal misdirection. Fear in the form of ego tries to steer us from honesty towards ourselves. Fear limits our perceptions, our value, and our will to keep progressing. It is the control mechanism used against us by the institutions and individuals who desperately wish us never to find the potential of our self-empowerment. So long as that potential is never realized, we remain to be defined as they would have us . . . as slaves whose life and power are sacrificed to their appetites of control. We are as food to a parasite, fed upon and herded by their orders, and made as pawns to a game of ambitious evils. Fear is the chains of our imprisoned souls. It is all around us, attempting to saturate us through the subtle mediums of media, religions, governments, and social conditioning.
A careful discernment needs to be employed here with the subject of fear. Elimination of fear can so often be corrupted by ego into an elimination of wisdom. What I am not suggesting here is a bravado imbued delusion of invincibility. Not fearing the guns on the hill is not the same as painting a target on your head and stepping into the line of fire. Circumstances may or may not require you to face those bullets, but don’t be a fool by daring them. Sometimes the line between fearlessness and foolishness can be a thin one, and there is no formula I can think of to always and conclusively know that point. All I could recommend here is to employ both your logic and feelings to the balance of necessity. Be willful in resolution, but not so stubborn as to deny future understanding.
Finding fears and interferences within you can be a challenging task, for many of them hide in the camouflage of subtlety. For myself, I have often found as well, that what might be thought of as resolved may surface again to be understood at yet deeper levels than before. We are complex beings, especially when you realize we are far more than what might be perceived, and therefore the path of self-awareness truly is a journey without ultimate conclusion. No matter how far you travel there will always be another hill ahead. As human beings we traverse but a small section of the map of full reality and truth. Beyond the human experience lies more, and still more after that. This shouldn’t give you a feel of futility, rather a drive of intrigue. Don’t worry yourself over where you may be at, just motivate yourself to find and maintain the right direction. Know, in time, that you will keep progressing if it is your will to do so. Knowing where you are currently is just a reference point . . . a guide of orientation to help you get to the next point. So, stay positive and optimistic the best that you can.
Perhaps the best advice that I could give to anyone, based on my own opinions and experience, is to monitor your thoughts and feelings. Think, think, and think some more . . . and keep on thinking! Ask yourself questions and quest for answers. Why do I feel as I do? Why do I believe as I do? Are my reactions what they should be? Think about it, then have the will to act and change according to your discoveries. See your shortcomings and mistakes not so much as faults but as opportunities for improvement. Guilt that is truly valid serves only as a reminder not to repeat your mistakes, and should be grown out of by learning from it. Change doesn’t need to be feared. Each of us is, in our own ways and conscious of it or not, on a soul’s journey. The importance is simply to keep moving forward not backward, and keep expanding in the power of goodness. Maintain that connection to a higher source. Focus your will to a noble and righteous cause. Keep steady and determined with every step across the terrain of reality on this, the journey of spiritual awareness.
Dan Thomas – About the Author:
Dan Thomas is a writer and truth seeker. He is the author of the metaphysical science fiction novel, Inner-Tech.
- The Journey of Spiritual Awareness (joannewellington.wordpress.com)
- 5 Paths to Spiritual Growth (mediumsworld.wordpress.com)
- Connecting with your Spiritual Source (mediumsworld.wordpress.com)
- Spiritual Vampires (mediumsworld.wordpress.com)
- Becoming more aware of ourselves each day. (joannewellington.wordpress.com)
- Our Spiritual Nature (mediumsworld.wordpress.com)
- Mystery of the Soul Part 3 (mediumsworld.wordpress.com)
~ The secret of making something work in your lives is first of all, the deep desire to make it work; then the faith and belief that it can work; then to hold that clear definite vision in your consciousness and see it working out step by step, without one thought of doubt or disbelief. ~