The Answers You Seek

The answers you seek never come when the mind is busy, they come when the mind is still, when silence speaks loudest.

 

Spiritual Truths

 

Image from:

Venerable Mettananda

Buddhist monk meditation on WaterMeditation.
Sleeping.
Dreaming.
The time JUST before fully waking.
 

These are all times when your mind is the clearest. There are no scattered thoughts racing around.  Your mind is settled, calm, serene.

How many times have you awakened in the in the middle of the night and discovered the solution to a challenge you’ve faced?

 

 Do you ever wonder why that is?  It is because of what I said above:
This is the time when your mind is settled.
It’s why I spend so much time meditating.
It’s why I practice yoga.

 

These two practices help me return to that serene state.  When I’m facing a challenge calming my soul, calming my mind, calming my body does wonders to discover that solution I’ve know is locked in my mind.  It’s why when I was writing fiction, I’d always keep a 3×5 notebook on my nightstand with a pen right beside the notebook.

 

So often I’d go to bed with a question in my mind about the direction I was headed with a particular storyline.  On many occasions, I’d wake and the resolution would surface.  All it took was to STOP thinking, to STOP dwelling, to let the solution work its way into my uncluttered mind.  The same can be said if you’re facing an emotional challenge.

 

So easy it is to say simply stop thinking.

 

When the answers flow once you are in that serene place, you MAY realize that’s where you must be to find the challenging solutions.

Stop pressing!
Stop rowing AGAINST the stream.

 

It is only when you are calm,
It is only when you are serene,
that you will discover the answers.

 

 If you are not practicing meditative states and you are faced with stressful situations,

if you cannot find solutions to challenges you are facing,
If you are easily agitated,

Perhaps you should find time to practice silence.
Perhaps you should find time to practice yoga.
Perhaps you should find time to meditate.

 

You may be surprised to discover you find those solutions more quickly.
You may be surprised to discover that stress vanishes.

 

Be Happy!  Be Well!  Be Positive!
Blessings to you.

Chris

 

Law of Attraction and Meditation

Law of Attraction and Meditation:
These two topics would seem to fit together as perfect puzzle pieces, wouldn’t you think?  I never thought of them in the same sentence before, however I can see how they would fit together.  Law of Attraction (LoA)  after all is bring into your focus what you desire.  What’s the imperative word there?

If you said, focus then ding ding ding, you get the prize.  Focus is extremely important in meditation.  Remember as I said above one of the points in LoA is focusing on what you want?  What better way to focus than through meditation?  I am well aware of guided meditation as I’ve done it before.  I’m sure there are LoA guided meditations available.

The biggest challenge I have with being guided is that it does me no good.  I focus too much on the voice of the person speaking to me and not enough on my own personal space.  When I meditate I don’t like to be told what to see, where to go, what to do.  I need the freedom to travel unimpeded , to go where I feel most at peace.  I can imagine someone just learning to practice meditating would need some guidance, however I’ve been meditating for several years now and hearing someone’s voice does more to interrupt my calm than settle it.  Focus is what I need when meditating, and guided meditation simply doesn’t work for me.  It doesn’t mean it won’t work for you.  Maybe it will.

LoA attempts to bring to you what you desire.  The only way for it to do so is by deep focus.  Meditating can bring you to a place where you are extremely focused.  If you center on what you want whether it be a relationship, a career, an object, put some instrumental music on, close your eyes and simply drift away, staying centered on your desire.  You can sometimes reach your higher self in this way, the universal “you,” the place where your dreams exist.

Those who meditate daily say they can find that place with relative ease on a regular basis.  Once in this state, the essence of who are, some would say your soul is no longer with your body.  It has traveled outside.  This is when you can ask the universe for what it is that your shell, your physical desires.

It’s not easy to get to this place.  The more you practice meditation, the more likely it is that you will reach it.  You may not even be aware that you are in the state the first time you make contact with the Universal.  You may only be there for what appears to be a split second, but remember in previous entries here at Wisdom and Life when I said:
Time is different in the Spiritual Realm
.  I wrote another entry called Fixed Rules where I discuss how time varies between the spiritual realm and the physical realm.

What I’m getting at and why I brought up these two blogs here, is that even though you may feel as if you’ve spent only a split second in the Universal State, most likely the time you were there was much longer than your physical, than your shell can comprehend.  So while there you MUST make sure you voice your desire.  Someone (Our Guides?) will pick up on your desire and if it is in your Divine Plan your wish will manifest at the right time.
When the wish arrives, you must make sure to thank the Universe, your GuidesThe Masters so that they are aware.  This is an important step in practicing LoA.  By acknowledging the Universe, you are giving thanks to those who manifested your desires.

Meditating can help you reach that state where can speak with your guides and as I said above even though it may seem as if you’ve spent but a split second in that state, chances are you were there much longer than you know.

It’s important that you ask for your desire.
It’s important that you continually focus on your desire as you move into your meditative state.  The more you center on your wish the greater the likelihood that your masters, your guides will pick up on why you’re in the Universal state.

Remember to focus!

Be Happy!  Be Well!  Be Positive!
Blessings to you.

Chris

Yoga

I hope everyone is taking something away from my new Health and Fitness Monday.  Today I want to discuss the health benefits of yoga.  Both spiritual as well as physical.  I began yoga to benefit me physically as I have chronic low back pain.  I’ve been to doctors several times over the years and the suggestion has always been medication.  I don’t want something that’s going to mask the pain.  I want a natural fix that will prevent the pain from returning.  It’;s one of the reasons I tend to not visit my doctor unless I’m going in for my annual check up.

Doctors today (at least in my opinion) are too eager to push a pill on someone.  I want to feel better without the help of medication.  I’m very conscious of what I put into my body.  Food wise and drug wise.  I’d rather take care of myself naturally, if at all possible.  Yoga has definitely helped me physically as I am much more flexible and I no longer have low back pain when I practice my yoga regularly.

My sister in law, who is a physical therapist introduced me to the practice in 2010 and when she saw how flexible I was even then, she was surprised.  The first position she had me do was the pigeon pose:

When she saw how far I could stretch my back leg, she was absolutely shocked.  I guess I was more flexible than even I realized.

This pose does amazing things for my low back.  Anyone experiencing low back pain can expect relief if you make this part of your yoga regiment.  The next pose that helps even more is cat cow:
In this pose I can really feel my low back stretching immensely.  More than pigeon pose even.  The next pose I use after cat cow is cobra:

This pose is very easy to move to after cat cow as it is just two moves of my body.  I can tell you beyond doubt that yoga has been a major boon for my physical well being as it has prevented my lower back pain from continuing to be a chronic challenge.

As far as the spiritual aspect of yoga goes, the practice has also helped in that respect, as I generally practice in quiet or with soft instrumental music playing in the background.  This typically puts me in a very contemplative place, almost a meditative state.  Yoga is something you have to fully concentrate on, shutting out all outside distractions, thus staying in the present moment, which is exactly one of the qualities of meditation; being in the present moment.

Taking these things into consideration, you can certainly see why I’ve decided to write on the topic today.  I highly recommend practicing yoga to anyone who needs to rid themselves of chronic pain as it is a natural way of doing so.  It can also help quiet your body and mind.

Be Happy!  Be Well!  Be Positive!
Blessings to you.

Chris

Be Where You Are

Meditation is the only intentional, systematic human activity which at bottom is about not trying to improve yourself or get anywhere else, but simply to realize where you already are.

 

Jon Kabat-Zinn


Breath in.
Breath out.

Jon Kabat-Zinn is a master at meditation.  I’ve been practicing meditation off and on for my whole life.  My experience with the practice has given me many valuable insights.  It calms the mind.  Are you one to let life beat you down?  Burden you?  Stress you out?

Meditation can help that.
Meditation can help everyone.  Don’t get discouraged if you can’t find your quiet place immediately.  When I meditate I have two or three places I visit.  That way if one place doesn’t work I have a secondary location.  There is no right way or wrong way to meditate.  How do I meditate?

Yoga is one way I choose to mediate.
Yoga helps keep me centered and it also keeps me fluid.  It stretches my lower back which is where I have the most challenges.

Other times I sit in total darkness, playing simple instrumental music and just float along until I find my quiet place.  Jon Kabat-Zinn is correct when he says:
Meditation is the only human activity that helps you realize where you already are.

What happens when you meditate?  Don’t you virtually take a trip in your mind?
You physically stay put.  You physically stay where you are.  In other words:
Meditation is the only human activity that helps you realize where you already are.

My friend, Jessica at Ascending the Hills recently wrote a post called about this very topic called Abandoning Pursuit.    In the post, Jessica says almost the very thing that Jon Kabat-Zinn relays here.  She says:
The realization came to me that to simply be is all that one needs to do in order to realize the mysteries of life.

Isn’t that the same as Kabat-Zinn saying:
Meditation is the only human activity that helps you realize where you already are.

Do you meditate?  If so how do you choose to do so?
Let me know in the comments below.

Be Happy!  Be Well!  Be Positive!
Blessings to you.

Chris

Faith is Nourishment

On life’s journey Faith is nourishment, virtuous deeds are a shelter, wisdom is the light by day and right mindfulness is the protection by night. If a man lives a pure life nothing can destroy him, If he has conquered greed nothing can limit his freedom.

Buddhist Quote


If faith is nourishment, I’ll never be hungry, in fact I’d probably never have to eat again.
If wisdom is the light, then there will never be darkness in my life. I’d like to think by writing this blog that I’m providing at LEAST SOME wisdom.  It may not be YOUR wisdom, YOUR faith, but as I’ve said here before I don’t expect everyone to adhere to my paradigm.   If I can be the voice for just one person then that’s a good thing.  Its like the ripple effect, like the butterfly effect.  One minor change in an environment, like a stone being thrown in a body of water causes ripples throughout that body, or like a butterfly flapping its wings on one side of the world can cause a windstorm to pop up on the other side, helping one person see another way of looking at an experience can cause a major shift in their perception and if that person heeds the advice and passes it on to someone else there will be a monumental shift in human population.  That’s why I maintain that by simply reaching out to just one person, giving one person a smile, reaching out a hand to help one person, instead of reacting with anger to someone who has insulted you, give them a smile of understanding, the whole dynamic will change and you’ll see they won’t know how to react themselves.  As Martin Luther King was so fond of saying:
Turn the other cheek.

Violence begets violence.

How do you find right mindfulness?

What does mindfulness mean to you?  When I hear that word: mindfulness, my thoughts turn to meditation.  Perhaps because I think of Jon Kabat-Zinn.  Mindfulness is so closely related to Zinn that the word should be trademarked to him.  He is a master in meditation and for someone not understanding mindfulness and meditation, Zinn is a good place to start.  Meditation has helped me immensely over the past year or so.  One of the biggest advantages it has done for me, is my sleep pattern.  Typically, I meditate at night just before going to bed.  Meditating before bed has helped me fall asleep faster and sleep deeper all night.  For those who have a challenge sleeping I can say without doubt that meditating before bed can be EXTREMELY helpful relaxing you, putting you in a restful state so that when you do go to bed you’re already halfway there.  I recommend meditating every night for about forty five minutes for a week JUST before bed; then come back and tell me if you find your sleep pattern changing for the better.

I certainly resonate with the first three words of this Buddhist quote, because life IS a journey.  A journey, in my mind signifies a long trip, one where there are multiple stops along the way.  Life certainly has many stops.  It’s what you do when you stop that matters.  Are you the type to set down roots in one location?  Or you nomadic?  Or maybe a combination of the two.

Perhaps growing up you were constantly moving and once you reached an age where you could determine for yourself what you wanted, you decided it was time to become rooted.  Whatever you decide you want from life, the MOST important thing you SHOULD be looking for is happiness.  What makes you happy?

Be Happy!  Be Well!  Be Positive!
Blessings to you.

Chris

Seeking Balance

I was walking with a friend last Friday (three days ago.) and she started talking about finding balance in her own life.  She suggested I blog about it.

There is an ebb and flow to life; a Yin and a Yang  There are times that will try you, times that will strengthen you, times that will measure your soul.  The trick is to decide what is important.  If you’re in an ebb period, it is important to find a balance to the negative.  If you are in crisis mode, find something that brings you peace.  Perhaps it is exercise.  Maybe it’s calling on a friend.  Maybe meditation is your cure.  Whatever it is that brings you back to center, balances you, brings you joy, then find a way to give yourself permission and time to do those things that re-centers your focus on the positive.

Balance after all is the key to all of life.  Without it, you’ll find that there is a greater tendency to become depressed, angry, out of place.

If you are one who always works to make everyone else better and neglects your own well being, maybe it is time to make life all about you.

Spend time doing for you.
Do what you want.
Stop making life about everyone else.

Seek balance in your life and everything else will take care of itself.  If you are working, taking care of children, taking care of your home, and NOT taking care of yourself, then your life “scales” will be out of whack.  I know what you’re saying.  I can hear it:
But how can I take time for myself.  Nothing else will get done.

So what?  What is so important that it can’t be put off?
A clean house?
Laundry?
Dishes?

These are all things that will be there tomorrow, next week, next month.
Isn’t it more important to give yourself time to do something good for you?

Too much weight will be on one side and you’ll be unbalanced, weighed down.  Like a scale we MUST seek to remain constantly in harmony.  Otherwise one side of the scale, one side of life will be out of focus, instable. That’s no way to live is it?

How are you seeking balance?

Be Happy!  Be Well!  Be Positive!
Blessings to you.

Chris

How Do You Take Care of Your Shell?

We are spiritual beings having a physical experience.

Because we ARE having a physical experience we need to take just as much care of our shells as our spirit. We can’t ignore our shells at the detriment of our spirit, just as we can’t ignore our spirit at the detriment of of our shell.

How are you taking care of your shell?

Food:
Do you eat right?
Are you conscious of what you put into your body?

I know now I can’t eat what I used to and be healthy.
I can’t eat pizza anymore because when I do I find it near impossible to digest.
I can’t eat red meat regularly for the same reason.
I do my best to be conscious of the foods I put in my body now.
Turkey and chicken as opposed to beef.
Salads instead of pizza.
Water instead of juice and soda.
What are you doing to stay consciously healthy when it comes to eating?

Exercise:
I hope you’re not simply sitting.
I hope when you have the an opportunity to take the stairs instead of an elevator or an escalator you opt for the stairs.
I hope when you’re presented with the choice of driving or walking, you decide to walk.
Do you have a regular routine?

Downtime:
How do you relax?
I hope you’re not simply sitting in front of a glowing screen, whether it be a television or a computer.
Do you read?
Reading helps maintain your mind while slowing down the rest of your body.
Do you meditate?
Meditation is an excellent way of slowing down your body and removing unwanted thoughts from your mind.  Grab that instrumental music and simply sit back in your chair or lie down, however you feel most at ease.  Close your eyes and simply drift.  There is no right or wrong way to meditate.  Take several deep breaths and simply drift away.

Are you having trouble sleeping?  Meditation can ease these challenges.  That’s why I choose forty five minutes to an hour before going to sleep for the night to practice my own mediation.  I turn off all monitors, turn off all high intensity lighting and put on some soft instrumental music and simply drift off.  By the time the hour is up I’m fully relaxed and am ready to fall asleep standing up.  Having light bombarded at you RIGHT before going to sleep can be extremely detrimental to sleep patterns.  I’d be willing to guess that everyone who has trouble falling asleep at night goes directly from some type of glowing screen right to total darkness.  Have you ever closed your eyes really tight and seen thousands of pinpricks of light?

That’s the same experience you get when you go from total light to total darkness in seconds.  It’s why I find it so important to gradually turn off all the noise, whether it be “light” noise, or “vocal” noise.  I suggest attempting a one week experiment where an hour before going to sleep for the night, do what I do:
–Turn off ALL monitors.
–Turn off ALL high intensity lights.
–Put on some soft instrumental music.
–Find a comfortable chair.
–Close your eyes and simply listen to the music.

I can almost guarantee, when the CD is over, your legs (well never mind your legs) your ENTIRE body will be mush.  You’ll be in such a relaxed state then you’ll be asleep before your head hits your pillow.  Ahhh, speaking of pillows.  Did you know the type of pillow you have can contribute to the kind of sleep you experience?

This is another life lesson I FINALLY learned after years of waking up with a sore neck.  Not only waking with a sore neck but waking to firm up my pillow.  I no longer do either of them.  I now have a pillow I swear by.  It travels with me when I leave home because it contributes a great deal to my healthy sleep patterns.  Since I’m s side sleeper I have Tempur-Pedic Side Pillow and it is without a doubt, the BEST pillow I’ve EVER owned.  I began using it right after it arrived and I noticed an immediate change in my sleep.  As an experiment,  after using the pillow for a week I went back to my old feather pillow for a few nights to see if the change was REALLY due to a pillow change.  I can tell you beyond doubt that the Tempur-Pedic pillow is the real deal.  A Side Pillow has many other benefits as well, sleep apnea being one of them, according to Sleep Apnea Guide.

Need more sleep tips?  Check out this Huffington Post article:
Sleep Tips:
Top Ten Sleep Mistakes and their solutions

Remember!  It is just as important to care for your shell as it is for your spirit.
What are you doing to care for your shell?

Be Happy!  Be Well!  Be Positive!
Blessings to you.

Chris

Spontaneous Forgiveness

My experience with forgiveness is that it sort of comes spontaneously at a certain point and to try to force it it’s not really forgiveness. It’s Buddhist philosophy or something spiritual jargon that you’re trying to live up to but you’re just using it against yourself as a reason why you’re not okay.

 

Pema Chodron

 

A friend of mine turned me onto Pema Chodron when she recommended I listen to Getting Unstuck.  I loaded it on my iPhone and have heard it countless times and each time I listen I get something new out of it.  Ms Chodron has become another of my mentors as has Wayne Dyer and Jon Kabat-Zinn.

As a follow up to Wednesday’s Holding On To Anger, forgiveness, letting go, dropping the hot coal doesn’t happen by forcing the issue.  Take it from someone who knows.  I spent a lifetime forcing the issue.  It only made me more miserable.

You have to live through your own turmoil.
You have to go through the storm.
You have to see the miserable.

Everyone has misery in their lives.  There is no getting around that fact.  It’s how you cope with that misery.  It’s how you deal with that turmoil that determines your emotional health.  Are you going to stew in the depths of despair?  Are you going to live with your anger?

Or will you face it head on and kick it out of your life?  Are you going to forgive?  so that you can live a happy successful life?  Are you going to wake up and remove your blinders?

When you decide you’ve lived a life of turmoil long enough, when you decide that the person or events that have caused you despair have done more harm to you then they they’ve done to themselves you will understand that the pain you’re feeling, the anger you’re feeling, the turmoil you’re experiencing is NOT hurting them, it’s killing you, that’s when you’ll feel as if the forgiveness you bestow, IF you bestow it will feel spontaneous.  It REALLY wasn’t spontaneous, however.

You lived through a lifetime of turmoil to get to this point.  It was all a lesson to teach you to forgive.

There is no bad.
There is no anger.

These are simply tools that are used to teach us that there is REALLY ONLY one way to live.  That way is:
Love, Forgiveness, Blessing.

How do we learn this lesson?  By experiencing the opposite.

Spontaneous forgiveness comes from years of living in anger, living in fear, living in turmoil.
Can you learn the lesson?
Can you learn to spontaneously forgive?

Be Happy!  Be Well!  Be Positive!
Blessings to you.

Chris

Pipeline to the Divine

We all have a divine pipeline. We simply have to find it, dig for it, open it. Once the pipeline is discovered and dug out, there will be no stopping the messages that flow directly to you.

Image from:
Pixabay

You can’t neglect the pipeline
You can’t forget the pipeline.

It needs constant attention.
It needs to be kept continually clean.

How do you keep it clean?
How do you attend to it?

You must listen for guidance. When you receive a message that simply can’t be explained in a natural way, with no earthly explanation that you can identify, that has only one reason for appearing to you instantaneously, then you must accept it for what it is:
Divine Intervention.

Until you realize this these messages will pass you by. They appear EVERY day at ALL times of the day. Everyone has a pipeline. We simply have to cultivate it. Do you recall that time when you met someone the very first time and you KNEW you were going to be friends forever? Or how about when you discovered your gift and you knew the job you wanted and knew you’d be hired at that very job? You did everything you could to follow that road map. Those are both examples of the Divine working through you. Follow the Divine and your life will be one of joy, gratefulness and abundance.

What can you do to listen?
How can you attend to it?

Two things immediately pop to mind:
–Meditation is one SURE way to listen for guidance.
–In the morning JUST before you are consciously aware, in between sleep and wakefulness, practice listening. You’ll be surprised at what you receive.

The more time you spend in meditation, the easier it will be for you to reach the state between sleep and wakefulness. This time is REALLY ideal to discover the divine. Begin tomorrow! Don’t rush right out of bed when you wake. It’s also recommended that you wake naturally without an outside influence. What am I referring to here?

I’m talking about an alarm clock. An alarm will immediately disturb your calm. That’s the LAST thing you want when reaching for divine messages.

Finding your pipeline is challenging to someone who has never looked for it, but the benefits of having it at your disposal are amazing. Once you realize that life is genuinely a spiritual experience, you won’t want to ever believe otherwise and you won’t understand how could ever have thought otherwise.

Knowing that you can tap into this direct line will have far reaching implications for the rest of your life. Have a challenge that simply won’t leave? Give it up to the Divine. The Divine is there to take all of life’s challenges, remold them, repackage them and return them to you as gifts. But first you must understand that there is a higher power, a Divinity that is indeed looking out for us. The Pipeline is there. Yours may be so congested, so clogged from disuse that it will take lot’s of work to unclog it.

Start small. Look for tiny messages. Misplace your keys? Don’t get angry, think:
What is the message here?

Am I racing around trying to do too much. Maybe misplacing your keys is telling you to slow down. A friend of mine recently told me a story of getting pulled over for speeding. He wasn’t given a ticket, however, just a warning. When he pulled away after talking to the police, he said a silent prayer and thanked his own Divine for the message to slow down. He HAD been racing. His life was passing so fast. He wasn’t taking time to enjoy what was being given to him. He understood the message he was given from being pulled over.

This is what I’m referring to. These things happen EVERY day. We just need to see them for what they are:
Divine Messages.

They are part of the pipeline. If you don’t see them, maybe this is the time to start unclogging your pipeline.

What are you doing to maintain yours?

Be Happy! Be Well! Be Positive!
Blessings to you.

Chris

 

Quality of Your Day

It’s a way of being that affects the quality the day — that actually you can develop, that you can hone.

Jon Kabat-Zinn


The first time I heard Jon Kabat Zinn’s name I was sitting in The Madison Beanery, that community center in Madison, Connecticut where all my friends would meet at whatever time day or night.  It was my favorite place to have coffee and sit around and talk for hours.  My friend, Jeff mentioned Zinn’s name when he spoke of a class he took with Zinn where Jeff and several other students had to walk in a tight circle while looking down at the ground.  It was an exercise in meditation.

A few days later being the good librarian that I am, the researcher that I am, I discovered that Jon Kabat Zinn was influential in the meditation field.  Zinn has been an influence in my life and thanks to Jeff I discovered who Zinn was early enough that I’ve been able to use him here in my blog.

What does the quote:
It’s a way of being that affects the quality the day mean to me?  It screams Law of Attraction!  (LOA) One of basic tenets of LOA is what you believe will arrive.  Returning to the quote above you can clearly see LOA at work.  I responded to my blogger friend Debra El Ramey’s blog:
Pure and Simple
’s recent column The Still Point when she asked:
when your world shifted and you headed in a different direction?
This is what I said:
My world shifted when I discovered Law of Attraction, when I was able to put a name to something I’d been unknowingly practicing my entire life. Discovering Law of Attraction (LOA)deepened and strengthened my faith, my spirituality.

In November, 2008 I took Rhonda Byrne’s The Secret DVD home from my library. That’s where I discovered Law of Attraction. (LOA) Now when I look back, I see that movie as an introduction. I see The Secret as my Nursery School, a very simplistic approach to all LOA can do for you. We’re all different and we all have different ways of approaching faith and spirituality. I see LOA and all it says as an extension of God and his law. If you really study LOA and compare it with what your faith says, you’ll see how similar they are. So I thank the process for bringing me closer to my faith.

I find it fascinating how many well known authorities in the spiritual/self help movement have been and are still discussing Law of Attraction.  They were doing so even before there was a name for the movement.  Jon Kabat-Zinn is only one such person.  It isn’t that long a walk from LOA to mediation after all.  All these authorities, all these subjects coming together further proves my point that everything is connected.  We simply have to see the connections.  How do we see them?

Everybody repeat after me:
We must take our spiritual blinders off!

Be Well!  Be Positive!  Be Happy!
Blessings to you.

Chris