Life can be like a loud football stadium, with all the visual and auditory stimuli of a game (the screaming, laughter, cheering, food, noisemakers, players, refs and the vibration of your seat…).
Now imagine the same stadium absolutely silent, still and calm, to a point where you can hear a person whispering at the other end of the field. That’s how I can best explain the transformation of my world through sitting meditation, which has even greater effects when done from a hammock. By lowering the volume, I want from hearing the music of life, to listening to the sounds that make up the song; from living, to being alive. The true beauty is that its’s ongoing… it keeps getting better. My senses are heightened, and I notice even the subtlest internal changes. There are no words to describe how profound and incredible this feels; one must experience it to truly understand, if only for a moment.
Sitting very still may not sound interesting, but the results of doing it on a daily basis are extraordinary. Is peace merely the absence of war, or is it tranquility despite the conflict? Is happiness the absence of suffering, or is it contentment despite the imperfections? I believe we can be happy in a world that is already broken, and have inner peace in the midst of chaos. We can be in a frustrating situation but choose not to get frustrated, and we can also find bliss in less-then-ideal situations. Happiness is a choice.
When the mind’s delight in being stimulated is exhausted, serenity sets in… a deep calm with a half-smile of appreciation and acceptance of whatever arises, without judgement or aversion. It’s a sense of relief beyond peacefulness; it is divine tranquility.
We are the victims of our own choices...
Where we are today is a direct result of decisions we’ve made as far back as ten years or lifetime ago, and as recently as last night.
We have tremendous personal responsibility for the way our life has turned out, and an equally important role of steering it into the future. Although we constantly make decisions, we’re not always mindful of their far-reaching consequences. The first step is to have a very clear idea of the kind of life you want to live (perhaps a simple life, uncomplicated, comfortable, calm and happy). Then, before making any decision, ask yourself “Will this action that I am considering get me closer to the kind of life I want to live, or farther from it?” The key again, is to think of that far-reaching consequences of your decisions, not just instant gratification.
Here’s the catch: The path of LEAST resistance will often take you farther from your destination then the seemingly more difficult one, but an easy trek in the wrong direction is ultimately far more exhausting and devastating then an uphill climb towards euphoria.
Every decision you make is important. If you smoke now, for example, you might not be able to donate a lung to your own child in the future. And if you have more money than you need while someone else doesn’t have enough to buy food, you’re not changing the statue of the world; you’re contributing to it. There are no shortcuts to anyplace worth going on.
Instead of looking to blame others for your dilemmas, look within. Any circumstances (no matter how devastating it may seem), is not only caused by a past event, but is actually a blessing if we gain wisdom from it. History doesn’t have to repeat itself if we can learn from our mistakes the first time around.
Treat every living being, including yourself, with kindness, and the world will immediately be a better place.
Extract Power of Self Belief – Timber Hawkeye