The conditioned mind is the greatest obstacle to a beginner of spiritual practices. To demonstrate what I mean, take this simple test; Sit for 5 minutes and try to observe your thoughts. Apart from the fact that within that five minute period your attention gets caught up with many of the thoughts themselves, overall you find that you are deluged by thoughts running helter skelter? out of control and even when you do not want to entertain them, you are a slave to their grooved patterns. The more troubling the thoughts, the less control you have over dismissing or becoming non-attached to them. Many refer to it as the "monkey chatter mind".
Because thoughts are literal waves of energy that manifest as tangible reality, this simple test proves that we have very little power over what we think and ultimately, no meaningful authority over the events in our lives.For anyone desiring mastery over the direction of his life, the first step is becoming aware of our thoughts as they represent our belief system. We may be very surprised at the things we acknowledge in our thinking as our "truths", in actuality, more like what has been fed to us and we have never questioned therefore, automatically accept that they represent who we are and what we value. Learning how to witness thoughts, (the process is called meditation), provides an opportunity to really see the overall picture painted by what we think about most, and recognize that it is an exact representation of the circumstances in our lives.It is also time to evaluate how much of our thinking is in accordance with Universal principles and how much is ego driven. Universal principles govern all existence and maintain its interconnectedness and perfect order.
It is based on the foundation that we are One, of like energy and integral parts of the Whole therefore, ought to live our lives respecting our individual uniqueness and at the same time, be in harmony with the Whole. Ego thinking is based on the notion that we are separate and need to fight for our survival. Competition and comparison fuel our "every man for himself" quest.
This leads to greed, selfishness, jealousy, anger, failure and the list goes on?.Understanding spiritual concepts may come easily to many as sometimes, certain words or perceptions immediately wrap themselves around our hearts with such a sense of "rightness", leaviing no room for interference from the intellect. The challenge comes when it is necessary for our minds to integrate the information as our new way of being, since we are still stuck with the conditioned mind and its many layers of negative thought patterns. Our hearts may feel the truth, but years of being enslaved to an erroneous belief system keeps us shackled to the bad feelings, self-debilitating behavior and a generally depressive state. The age old, million-dollar question still remains; how to bridge the gap between our highest truths or what lies in the deepest crevices of our hearts, and where our conditioned minds are in this moment. Now if there is a way to snap the fingers and have it transformed in this instant? (anything is possible)?but I don't know that way.
For many, it is going through the process of re-conditioning the mind; years of assimilating new information to rekindle a sense of our Divine nature, years of re- training the mind to think anew, learning how to become non-attached to the patterns of habitual thinking which do not serve our highest good, learning not to associate our sense of self with our emotions and thoughts. Ultimately, learning how to meditate?so that at last.there comes that moment when wait a minute? our attention is not constantly caught up with thinking?halleluiah! Somehow, we are able to change the direction or tone of thoughts because they no longer depict our innate sense of self, or when we have enough presence of mind to be in this moment? fully at one with the moment.
Change is the process?it is the journey of coming home.The Breath Meditation.Choose an appropriate place which will become your sacred space for daily meditation. Choose a time when you won't be disturbed.Sit upright in a comfortable position. Keep the spine straight but not rigid.
Mentally check that your body (from head to toe) is relaxed and comfortable. This is important so the mind does not get caught with any physical discomfort in the body.Turn your attention to your breathing. Observe the breath coming in through the nostrils, hear whatever sounds it makes, feel the stomach expand to accommodate the air.
Continue to observe the breath as it goes out through the nostrils; hear the sounds it makes, feel the stomach contract to release the air. Continue to observe the breath coming in and going out. The intention of this practice is to simply be aware of the breathing process.Mental notes:.Start out with a five-ten minute practice, increase at your own pace. The mind will wander many times and you will loose focus?gently bring your attention back to the practice.
The mind will want to criticize, judge, make mental comments as to how you are doing?.gently bring your focus back to the practice. Do not alter your manner of breathing whether to speed it up or slow it down. Be as natural as you can.
Most importantly, this is a life-long practice therefore, you ought not set any goals or have any expectations?it is simply about being in the moment.in light & love, nerak www.livingtees.com T shirts with a purpose..
one woman's journey out of the darkness.
By: Karen Riddell