Always Well Within

Calm Your Mind, Ease Your Heart, Embrace Your Inner Wisdom

Month: September 2011 (Page 1 of 2)

Making Friends with the Real World

Here’s a taste of my latest post at the What Meditation Really Is Blog.

“In the practice of meditation, having developed a sense of trust in oneself, slowly that expands its expression outward, and the world becomes a friendly world rather than a hostile world. You could say that you have changed the world: you have become the king or queen of the universe.

On the other hand, you can’t exactly say that, because the world has come toward you, to return your friendship. It tried all kinds of harsh ways to deal with you at the beginning, but finally the world and you begin to speak with each other, and the world becomes a real world, a completely real world, not at all an illusory world or a confused world. It is a real world. You begin to realize the reality of elements, the reality of time and space, the reality of emotions—the reality of everything.”

-Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche

It’s easy to unwittingly use meditation as an escape from the real world.

Especially in these busy and chaotic times.  We seek peace. We seek respite.  Meditation can become a safe, cozy cocoon, where you attempt to withdraw to drown out the tornado of life….

Please continue reading at the What Meditation Really Is Blog.  And, I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments there.

If you like the article, please share the link using the share buttons at the What Meditation Really Is site.  Thanks very much for your support.  With love, Sandra

WILLPOWER: Rediscovering the Greatest Human Strength

Book Review:  Willpower:  Rediscovering the Greatest Human Strength by Roy F. Baumeister and John Tierney

I tend to be an impulsive person so I was automatically captivated by the title of this book:  Willpower.   Written by the pioneering research psychologist, Roy F. Baumeister, in collaboration with New York Times science writer, John Tierney, Willpower has proven its weight in gold.

One of the most powerful messages of Willpower – is that lack of self-control is an all-pervasive problem.  A challenge that is only escalating in these modern times when there are more temptations than ever.  In fact, one-fourth of our waking hours are spent resisting urges.

So if you find yourself low on willpower there’s no need to hide in embarrassment.  Almost everyone else is just like you.

That doesn’t mean developing willpower is a hopeless endeavor.  The authors provide reams of scientific evidence to the contrary.  And they outline the essential knowledge and tips you need to succeed.

There’s a very good reason to focus on willpower:  happiness. 

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Are “Bad” Things Really “Good” Things?

In his article Love the Bombs, the popular personal development blogger Steve Palvina asks,

“Do you feel that poverty, war, famine, disease, imprisonment, etc. are all negative experiences that we should avoid as much as possible? Are these scourges that we must rid the planet of? Are they terrible things for anyone to have to experience?”

The vast majority would answer “yes” – don’t you think?  I bet Palvina would probably add global warming into the mix too.  He  goes on to explain his logic,

“These experiences have been with us for a long time for a very good reason. They help us grow. And so we’re going to continue creating them as long as they continue to serve that purpose so well.”

According to Palvina, there’s no point in trying to change the world,

“You’re not going to change these aspects of reality, not because you don’t care about people, but because deep down there’s a part of you that recognizes the intrinsic value of such experiences, even if you’re not ready to consciously acknowledge that.”

He concludes that “the world is perfect as it is”.  Palvina says that what really needs attention is your relationship to it.

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The Breath of Life

“The first tool for relaxing the body and removing the blockages in the life energy is the breath.  All we need at any moment is to exhale deeply and allow the new breath to enter our being naturally.  With every exhalation, we release piled-up stresses, physical tension, and FEAR.  Deep exhalation empties us so we can receive more fully the next inhalation and its life-giving energy.  Now the life energy can move more fluidly through out system.  We can be refreshed and enlivened by the breath – ‘the purified essence of life.'”

– Alice Burmeister, The Touch of Healing

Question for Reflection

When I read this selection, I was struck by how powerful the breath actually is.  It reminded me to tune into my breath.  I realized how little attention I give it.  How about you?

“How is your breathing?  Are you breathing consciously?  Do you tap into the power of the breath?

Image:  Public Domain

If you liked this article, please share the link with others.  Thank you! You can also connect with me on Google+ or the Always Well Within Facebook Page.  With love, Sandra

Vulnerability and Self-Protection

Protective Sphere

I’ve been thinking about vulnerability and protection lately.  It came up in a funny way.

Recently, I went for a rather long health treatment – an infusion of trace  minerals.   I intuitively brought a sarong to cover my legs.  I was wearing shorts, so I didn’t need to cover my legs.  But I knew I would feel better with a light coverlet.  More protected, less vulnerable.  I honored my inner voice.

This is a subtle example, not a dramatic one.  But it keenly raised my awareness of feeling slightly vulnerable and needing to provide myself with a sense of protection.

There are probably countless times in any given week when we feel vulnerable like this.  And chances are the circumstances are more emotionally loaded – from an unkind remark to an irate boss to full on harassment.

Do you know when you feel vulnerable or overwhelmed?  When you feel you need a sense of protection?

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Busy Never Stops, But You Can: A Lesson In Imagination Meditation

Note:  This is a guest post by Adrienne Jurado from Experience Life Fully.

When was the last time you said, “Oh I would love to, but…” Or, “I wish I could, but…

“I’m just too busy.”

It seems like no matter what time of year or what day of the week, we are always too busy.

There are so many things throughout the day that demand our attention, things that must get done, like work or school.

There are the things we feel we should be doing. House chores. Catching up on email. Exercising. Volunteering.

Then there are things we really want to do. Spending time with pets, kids, family, and friends.  Traveling. Relaxing. Making a valuable contribution.

Every day, we are pulled in so many directions — so many people vying for our attention. It can even get to the point where the things and people we enjoy become a burden to us.

We end up stressed and overwhelmed.

It’s a slippery slope — once you start going down, it can be really difficult to regain your footing.

Pretty soon, you’re not getting enough sleep and you have very little energy. You start drinking more coffee, eating more sugary junk, and feeling too burnt out to exercise.  You’re too tired to focus and really accomplish much of anything.

All of that weight  can become uncomfortable, and your “must dos, should do, and want to dos” start turning into “don’t want to dos, can’t dos, and won’t dos.”

So how can we stop this vicious cycle before it completely bogs us down? How do we remove this weight so we can bring our minds back to a state of ease — a place where we are energized, motivated, and focused?

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