Posts Tagged ‘Practice’

Can we not worry, not think?

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Similar to not thinking, trying to not worry is near impossible.

An example: On the tee at a short par three, one of my buddies shouts out, don’t worry about that water.

It is impossible to not think about that water. During my backswing or right before I hit the ball, the anxiety about the water impacts me.

We can not, not think, not worry, or not doubt, but we can focus and take action. Back to that tee box, I visualize my fight path and landing zone.

Now I can do that, focus and absorp the current moment. That water gets no attention when I focus intently on something else.

Look at how professional athletes stay focused and calm under extreme pressure with millions watching.

Put a superstar athlete under tremendous pressure and you will see a gem.

Place Michael Jordan, Tom Brady or a Lionel Messi under extreme scrutiny and you will see a transformational performance.

They thrive when you force them to focus more intently.

Their minds are calm, like they see things in slow motion from their intensity.

They also have supreme confidence and trust they will prevail.

Doubt does not exist when you get enthralled in the present moment, whether competing for a Super Bowl or just meditating alone at home.

We do not have to be superstars to focus and eliminate negative thought and emotion.

We only need to focus on our breath, on our purpose and our actions.

Live in the moment, do not entertain thoughts like, can I do this for a month. Suffering follows negative thought and judgment.

Just be ok right now and leave it alone.

We need to use our minds to help not hinder us.

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Purpose needs a plan

https://pixabay.com/users/burrough-25900/

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When I get lost, caught up in my “Egos” personal upset at someone’s behavior, I have a plan.

When a trigger fired in the past, I had a plan?

Are you prepared when things turn bad?

My plan was based on my purpose.

As Matthew Ricard has opined, our purpose on this planet is to live a happy life (wellbeing).

That means establishing a long gratitude list. It takes time (action) to sit down and create a gratitude list. One bloggers has over 200 things she is grateful for. Special attention is given to the small, maybe minute things that we overlook.

Next my capacity to give is expanded, my awareness of those having less grows exponentially. When I am down, making an effort to give to another shifts my focus from my “Ego” to mindful concerns.

I realize happiness in not an isolated experience. I can not be happy owning a gold toilet as the masses starve outside my plush mansion.

Realize inside our plan, we are all on this journey together, not in competition, not in scarcity.

My plan always had actions, physical and mental actions to return to now, this moment. Doing nothing enhances suffering.

Running, avoiding our fight or flight mechanism is not a plan.

Our plan always involves letting go of the narrative. Followed by observation of our body sensations.

My plan always prioritized the wellbeing of my inner world, not the external 🌍 world.

Handle the small internal things and the external cabal will lose power.

Remember the basic building block of neuroscience, “What fires together wires together.”

Where we place our attention grows, and where we withhold attention withers and dies.

Let the noise flow on through, use the focus we have worked diligently to build to stay present.

It is the journey that is all important not the destination (goal).

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Forgetting about time, being late, in a hurry: time is not our friend

Pixabay: nile

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I try to enter as many tasks as possible each day.

First we must eliminate time during the event.

A simple example for me is doing Laundry.

To eliminate time from this mundane chore, I search for my purpose.

Washing, then drying, folding, then hanging the clothes allows my grandkids to look as good as possible. This purpose makes me feel good, rates high with my mindfulness practice.

Next my focus stays with each shirt, paying attention to neatly adjust it on a hangar, then I move on to the next shirt.

In the past, this chore took to long, my main purpose was to get done as soon as possible.

The perfect formula for unawareness, wasting life.

If you check, most of our existence deals with mundane things.

Look at all the time we spend in lines, in traffic, in boring scenarios.

Unless you are a surgeon dealing with life and death or have a dangerous occupation, monotony kills awareness.

Mindfulness gives equal attention to the urgent and mundane.

For some adrenaline junkies, taking huge risks is the only way to feel alive.

I have felt alive, present, content hanging up laundry.

No, I do not wish for more laundry but I have found a way to enjoy the task.

A surgeon does not enjoy the surgery but he/she relishes the focus needed to perform such a complex and important task.

A great concert pianist, an outstanding athlete, or a talented painter enter their tasks without thought or narrative.

They sort of become one with their skill.

Our challenge is to create this space with our mundane activities each day.

Can you make time disappear inside a daily chore?

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Unworthiness turns into Self -Hate .

https://pixabay.com/users/geralt-9301/

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Meditation for me was not about a spiritual journey, searching for enlightenment or an awakening. Whatever the hell enlightenment is, out there, achieved after two to three decades of daily practice.

Meditation was my last hope finding relief from childhood PTSD. My dads constant criticism and abuse created a big unworthy hole in me.

A parent demanding perfection from a child, damages that child beyond belief. Life becomes a struggle, unworthiness manifests as self hate.

We abandon reading what our bodies need and start trying to fulfill the needs of the parent. We become strangers to ourselves.

I had a therapist say, if your dad wrote your epitaph on a grave stone, it would be, never good enough.

That is damage at my core, not a flaw.

Enter meditation: It took enormous daily practice to see unworthiness as a mirage. It took ten times that effort to accept and be vulnerable in the face of an unworthy trigger erupting.

Unworthy started before my mind developed. It becomes stealthy, sabotaging everything we try to do.

Unworthiness seeks solitude, desires approval over all else, then runs from negativity or criticism.

Unworthiness brings so much self hate that some external approval is needed to survive. It consumes our existence.

I have seen self hate manifest in an outwardly happy go lucky man. The desire to appear normal or the need to gain approval at all costs springs from self hate.

My unworthiness fueled my professional baseball career. I could outwork everyone else without that much difficulty.

The need for approval was far greater than any amount physical exercise.

Life was dedicated to working out, the goal was to enjoy success, which brought approval.

I accomplished my goal, even enjoyed some adulation, sports fans are passionate.

Only one problem, approval has nothing to do with healing or happiness.

I had to change my goal.

The need for approval dissiapated the more I meditated.

It is always a battle, healing is not a point of time but a daily, moment by moment awareness.

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Do you welcome Adversity as a challenge or a punishment?

e: Bob Beamon of the USA leaps a record-breaking 29ft 2.5in (8.9m) at the 1968 Olympic Games in Mexico City © Tony Duffy/Getty Images

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Adversity uncovers strengths and weaknesses, character and character flaws.

 

Adversity brings fear to some, an opportunity to others.

 

Without adversity my life would be hollow.

 

Adversity has given me the greatest satisfaction and purpose in my life.

 

Athletically, it is my weekly anchor. Pushing this chronic pain filled body, four miles, to near exhaustion, invigorates my spirit.

 

It flushes poisons, gains accomplishment which is shared with my mind.

 

Pushing beyond wanting to quit, beyond pain, exerting great effort, is the most alive I feel.

 

I am in the moment, all focus on picking up one leg, followed by the other, thought has ceased, Worry and doubt have long left the building.

 

Challenge yourself, push beyond your perceived limits.

 

Without adversity how could you ever know what you are capable of.

 

Extend those false boundaries, push, risk, exert.

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We should train our soldiers, PTSD WOULD DECLINE

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Matthew Ricard from “Happiness”

After the Chinese invasion of Tibet in 1959, Tenzin Choedrak, the personal physician of the Dalai Lama, was first sent to a forced labor camp in northeastern Tibet along with some one hundred others.

Five prisoners, himself among them, survived.

He was transferred from camp to camp for nearly twenty years and often thought that he would die of hunger or of the abuse inflicted on him.

A psychiatrist who specializes in post-traumatic stress and who treated Doctor Choedrak was astonished that he showed not the least sign of post-traumatic stress syndrome.

He was not bitter, felt no resentment, displayed serene kindness, and had none of the usual psychological problems, such as anxiety, nightmares, and so on.

Choedrak acknowledged that he occasionally felt hatred for his torturers, but that he always returned to the practice of meditation on inner peace and compassion.

That was what sustained his desire to go on living and ultimately saved him.

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My two cent: Suicide is extremely rare or non existent for these world class meditators.

Amazing what we can endure if we let our judgments go, then stay present.

Inner peace and compassion sustained this monk for twenty years.

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Let’s practice not being special!

Pixabay: dozemode

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Today, relinquish all desire to be special. Can you tolerate being ordinary or even inept at something new.

Anything we struggle with, is a great proving ground for not being special. Join an expert group you have no knowledge about the subject.

When we are the novice, having nothing to add to the group, how does your “Ego” react.

Does he/she discount this group as not important, or lobby to exit this group. One thing for sure, our “Ego” does not like not being special.

We can learn our “Egos” personality in situations like this.

Observe his/her judgments and bias.

Do you agree with these judgments.

Do your “Egos” judgments harm or benefit your being?

In truth most harm!

Explore your inner world, know when the “Ego” is leading, judging and dominating.

Learn to observe, that is be present as the Aware Presence.

Aware Presence has no memory or thought, it is a neutral observer.

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Does your life with Chronic Pain feel like this?

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My chronic pain was like the wind, invisible, powerful and relentless at times.

How was I going to battle such a ghost. I named my pain Mr P. after the old Happy Days show, Mr. C.

Mr. P. Was my nemesis when I hiked. Mr. P. wanted to stop my legs from moving, from confronting my fear, from taking control of my mind back.

My mindset was centered around my greatest strength, my willpower, determination. Always incorporate your strengths as part of your solutions.

My mindset as usual, a jock accepts the challenge before him/her. No way was Pain going stop my legs from moving!

My exercise routine became an emotional battle between pain and my will.

In a way it was exhilarating. I convinced myself not many humans could hike in such pain day after day.

We jocks always imagined being at bat with the bases loaded, two outs bottom of ninth, game seven of World Series. This was my chronic pain version.

Visualization is powerful. I would imagine myself in “The Last of the Mohicans” running with Hawkeye, running for our life.

Music gave me a beat that I could synchronize my legs with. My legs would move to a beat when they were exhausted, ready to quit.

Chronic pain became a friend. Adversity makes us stronger.

Chronic pain strengthened my meditation practice. I truly learned how to focus and dissipate my pain level.

Pain constricted, became much more bearable, then faded as months passed. Aerobic exercise and meditation were my tools.

I would set in the middle of my pain with my breath, no judgments just observing.

My breath could dissipate my pain. My familiarity allowed me to sit calmly inside my pain. My pain received no energy from fear, attention or thought.

After a few years I had compartmentalzed my chronic pain.

Acute pain is a different animal.

Pain eats energy but does not touch my soul, or my enthusiasm for life.

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The amount of time and energy devoted to healing is _____

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I have observed many people with disorders of varying degrees, those with severe symptoms, suffering the most did not feel the degree of urgency needed to improve.

Even those mature adults who have suffered over 50 years, feel some urgency but are blind to comprehend what it takes to improve.

Healing or improving is not a part time endeavor.

If you have been suffering for decades, reinforcing the strength of your disorder, healing will take persistent, dedicated action.

For me, I lacked someone to direct me, so some of my efforts did not help.

Our energy level and effort can not wane from lack of improvement.

Expect setbacks and challenges along the way, keep applying effort.

Effort and attitude are crucial in this healing journey.

For most, they do not see or realize how all out effort to heal is our first priority.

Somehow other things seem more important, our Ego convinces us that healing is not that important right now.

Sitting quietly, focused, alone with our mind, scares the hell out of many who suffer.

We have to focus and get out of our mind to see the correct path, the healing journey.

It is the path less travelled. Increase your effort when resistance is the greatest.

How do you distract yourself away from depression, anxiety, PTSD, etc.?

Some overwork, some keep busy constantly, some deny, others think or talk incessantly.

Anything but sitting quietly, anything but exploring your inner world, anything but letting the noise clear for reality to emerge.

What is more important, more valuable than healing and happiness?

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My goal meditating: a mind focused and empty of thought


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My goal is to build focus on the breath, strong enough, so thoughts clear and my mind is empty. An exploration of my inner world is possible from this space.


If my mind is filled with thoughts, I am not meditating, more like thought daydreaming.


When I first started a mindfulness practice, thoughts filled my sets. It took time, dedication and a daily practice to reach no-thought.


It took a very specific, intense focus to let my thoughts clear.


This is the challenge to train the mind,  slowing it down and emptying itself of thought.


I will always have some of the reported 60,000 thoughts that cross my path daily.

 

My goal is not perfection, or the elimination of thought.

 

My goal is to establish a silent space, focused and secure, available when things go sideways.

 

Once an empty mind is reached, work on many issues and applications can commence.


All the magic happens when my mind is focused, empty of thought.

 

It takes practice and dedication to reach empty.

 

It is extremely simple but very difficult for most people.
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