Always Well Within

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

Tag: Mindfulness & Mindful Living (Page 1 of 9)

Why Do We Suffer?

Four Noble Truths

Suffering Exists

Have you noticed?  Suffering exists.  In myriad forms.

From the minor irritations we encounter each and every day to overwhelming states of anxiety, depression, envy, and countless others.   In macro forms like war, cruelty, hunger, poverty, and addiction.

Another word for suffering is frustration. Or discontent.  The continual feeling of subtle dissatisfaction that underlines our life.  Even when we have it good, we’re still trying to make it better.

So how can we end suffering?  The first step is to understand it.

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The Ultimate in Self Care

Mind, meditation, and the ultimate self care

I’m delighted to have a guest post today at the Deva Coaching blog as part of Sandi Amorin’s fabulous month-long series on self-care.

Here’s a taste of my article:

“There’s nothing good or bad, but thinking makes it so.” – Shakespeare in Hamlet

The ultimate way to care for your self is to make friends with you own mind.

Why?  Because the mind is the creator of happiness and the creator of suffering; the creator of goodness and the creator of harm.  How you experience your world – your internal world and the external one – all depends on how you perceive.

Who’s the Boss?

Simply said, there are three avenues through which we create happiness or suffering for ourselves and others:  the body, the speech, and the mind.  But which one is the boss?

I’ll let you in on the secret right away.  It’s the mind that’s running the show.

You might say, “Hey, wait a minute.  I suffer because my body hurts. Isn’t it the body that’s the culprit?”

Please continue reading at the Deva Coaching blog.  I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments there.  Did I get it right?  Is this really the ultimate in self-care?  I would really appreciate it if you shared a link to the post there too.  With love and gratitude, Sandra

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

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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Making Space to See the Purity of Your Being

Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche

One of my spiritual teachers – Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche – recently disappeared.  On purpose.

He was just entering into a three-year retreat.  Then, one day he vanished from his room leaving only a letter behind.  He left without money, credit cards, extra clothing, or smartphone.  No one knows where he is.

Rather than practicing in closed retreat in one location, as most dedicated retreaters do nowadays, he’s adopted the approach of a wandering yogi.  He says:

“As demonstrated by the great yogi Milarepa, there is also a tradition of wandering from place to place, staying in remote caves and sacred sites with no plans or fixed agenda, just an unswerving commitment to the path of awakening. This is the type of retreat that I will be practicing over the coming years.”

Not only is Mingyur Rinpoche an extraordinary spiritual teacher with a dedicated community of followers, he’s a New York Times best-selling author.

And he was one of the long-term meditators invited to the Waisman Laboratory for Brain Imaging and Behavior at the University of Wisconsin in 2002, where Richard Davidson, Antoine Lutz, and other scientists examined the effects of meditation on the brains of advanced meditators.

In other words, he had all the trappings of ordinary success.

So why would a successful person drop their normal life and activities to pursue spiritual awakening in such a radical way?

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