Finding an entry into greater depth, dimension and insight and connection is not limited to only a few people with certain lucky circumstances.
Each person's life is a unique dance of one underlying consciousness bringing about optimizing circumstances if we are but willing to be open and available. If we do not disregard the full potential of a moment and are willing to pay attention with a kind heart and openness, something greater than ourselves will begin to reveal itself.Read More
Meditation has entered the mainstream of Western culture over the past 25 years, and today it is not uncommon for many people to practice meditation and to find a variety of meditation practices made available through teachings, online courses and one-on-one consulting.
When I learned meditation in the late 90's it was still rare for people to practice meditation and with it's growing popularity a variety of different misunderstandings or misconceptions have emerged, potentially limiting people from practicing meditation regularly. Over the years I have benefited tremendously from my practice and have gratitude for learning meditation and about the mind's habitual tendencies and belief systems that hinder it from resting in its natural state.
Often times the fixation or tendency of the mind to force and control what is going on can be observed in the way we will approach meditation, and instead of surrender and openness it becomes another thing to accomplish on the 'to do' list and amidst a challenging schedule.
So here are 4 myths about meditation practice to explore and to consider
When speaking about 4 myths of meditation, it is really addressing some fundamental misunderstandings about mind and how we relate to life.
Understanding and recognizing how to meditate is also being fundamentally in tune with universal laws and acknowledging that there is a larger reality than our thoughts and habitual fixations.
Meditation is being in our natural state. It is an undoing rather than another way we deepen our confused struggle to get away from our thoughts.
1. Meditation is about controlling your thoughts.
A common myth about meditation is that it is about taking control of your thoughts. This is simply not true, as meditation invites you to embrace all thoughts without having a particular preference to any of your thoughts. It is about learning to allow your experiences to unfold without judging them, rejecting them or involving yourself in further thoughts. This way you learn to let things happen, rather then 'making them happen' and to stop constantly meddling with yourself.
When you just learn to be present and allowing of your thoughts, the mind will begin to settle naturally and you become less identified with your thoughts.
It is impossible to control your thoughts and internal commentary, but you can give space to it, and begin to recognize that you are the witnessing awareness beyond the shifting content of thoughts, emotions and sensations.
2. Meditation is only 'successful' when you have certain experiences.
Sometimes there is the belief that your meditation requires certain experiences to know you are 'progressing on the path.' It is unfortunately a very limiting mindset and a perspective that comes from the goal orientation we are used to. The less we compare our meditation to 'how it is supposed to be' and we don't strive to repeat certain meditative experiences the more we are able to start with a beginner's mind.
At the core of the meditation practice is an openness towards changes of content and an expansion of the witnessing awareness.
3. Meditation takes years of practice to have any benefits.
It is not true that it takes years to experience the benefits of meditation. Each meditation session can bring increased focus, clarity and greater ease and each time you meditate the effect accumulates leading to less stress and more balance. This of course will have a long-term influence on your stress patterns, way of responding to challenges and capacity to focus and transform limitation.
4. Meditation requires a calm mind.
Some people have the idea that they cannot meditate because their mind is to busy and they have too many thoughts. It creates a struggle trying to calm your mind and will become an obstacle to continuing your meditation practice.
The truth is that your meditation practice is about being with where you are at. It does not require you to be in a calm state or to have settled mind. You include your thoughts and busyness in the meditation without judging yourself. This will naturally create greater space between your thoughts, allowing for more restfulness and inner calm.
A collection of 30 quotes on the loving heart...
"This is love: to fly toward a secret sky, to cause a hundred veils to fall each moment. First to let go of life. Finally, to take a step without feet."
"It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye."
Antoine de Saint Exupéry
"Work is love made visible."
"Why do you so earnestly seek truth in distant places? Look for delusion and truth in the bottom of your own heart."
"All know that the drop merges into the ocean, but few know that the ocean merges into the drop."
"Remember that wherever your heart is, there you will find your treasure."
"You must love in such a way that the person you love feels free."
Thich Nhat Hanh
"Love gives us in a moment what we can hardly attain by effort after years of toil."
"The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern."
"A loving heart is the beginning of all knowledge." Thomas Carlyle
"Small is the number of them that see with their own eyes and feel with their own hearts."
"Love and joy are inseparable from your natural state of inner connectedness with Being."
"Love is an annihilating force, like death. Love is not weak, it is surrendered & strong. It can bear & face anything."
"Your vision will become clear only when you look into your heart. Who looks outside, dreams. Who looks inside, awakens."
Carl Gustav Jung
"When you begin to touch your heart or let your heart be touched, you begin to discover that it's bottomless, that it doesn't have any resolution, that this heart is huge, vast, and limitless. You begin to discover how much warmth and gentleness is there, as well as how much space."
“...the true seat of the mind is the heart — not the brain or the head. Compassion and clear awareness are naturally together, and when we connect with this experience in the deep and genuine way, it is described as giving rise to “awakened heart” or “awakened mind.”
Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche
"You hold in your hand an invitation: to remember the transforming power of forgiveness and loving kindness. To remember that no matter where you are and what you face, within your heart peace is possible."
"When pure sincerity forms within, it is outwardly realized in other people's hearts."
"There is a light that shines beyond all things on earth, beyond the highest, the very highest heavens. This is the light that shines in your heart."
"A joyful heart is the inevitable result of a heart burning with love."
"Love opens all doors, no matter how closed they may be, no matter how rusty from lack of use."
Maharishi Mahesh Yogi
"For all of us, love can be the natural state of our own being; naturally at peace, naturally connected, because this becomes the reflection of who we simply are."
"Nothing can make our life, or the lives of other people, more beautiful than perpetual kindness."
"When we feel love and kindness toward others, it not only makes others feel loved and cared for, but it helps us also to develop inner happiness and peace."
The 14th Dalai Lama
"No act of kindness, however small, is ever wasted." Aesop
"We are People who need to love, because Love is the soul's life, Love is simply creation's greatest joy."
"Be loving towards yourself, then you will be able to love others too."
"Compassion has nothing to do with achievement at all. It is spacious and very generous. When a person develops real compassion, he is uncertain whether he is being generous to others or to himself..."
"He who wants to do good, knocks at the gate; he who loves finds the gates open."
"The moment you have in your heart this extraordinary thing called love and feel the depth, the delight, the ecstasy of it, you will discover that for you the world is transformed."
Here are 4 guest posts written by Nicole Koch for DoYouYoga. Thank you for sharing.
3 Ways To Reconnect To Your Kindness
Kindness is an intrinsic quality of our nature. It’s not uncommon for people to say “I have to develop my kindness,” yet it is true that kindness is often veiled by the many inner identifications we rely on as our sense of self. In this sense, kindness becomes more of an inherent potential that can be rediscovered. Continue reading
7 Ways To Make Lifestyle Changes Stick
Making life changes isn’t always easy. There are a number of different internal “thresholds” that will keep you from expanding and changing in a lasting way. These thresholds will be different for different people, and so part of the process is finding out what makes something really work for you. Continue reading
6 Things You Should Know About Your Heart
The heart is at the center of inner development. It is for many of us unchartered territory, and until we directly, with awareness, connect with our heart, this inner “companion” on the journey will not reveal its treasures to us. Continue reading
6 Essential Practices To Get More From Your Experiences
Every experience you have has something to teach you. You may not know in each moment what that might be, but for sure if you dig a little deeper within yourself, you will find the interconnectedness of all experiences. Continue reading