We all want to be happy and to avoid suffering. These are the two tendencies that characterize the entire living world. Every life form will strive to satisfy its needs and thus be content, but also to avoid any form of suffering.
Although being self-aware and highly intelligent, we humans are also unable to avoid pain. Whether it be physical or emotional, pain is inevitable even to the most mature or spiritually developed people.
However, Buddhism claims that one can become entirely free from suffering. That final stage of human existence is being called Nirvana, or Enlightenment. It is not our topic here, at least directly. Still, if we cannot completely transcend suffering, at least we can diminish it.
I will describe here instructions for dealing with various difficulties. These guidelines are based on three stages related to the hardship:
Note that it’s essential for your inner work to accurately recognize at which stage you are at that point in time.
Here are the three-stage instructions:
1. Prevention - the crucial stage
In your normal, everyday life conditions, in which you don’t feel any pain or suffering, you must take some time for the work on yourself. It is not only the work on preventing the hardships; it is rather the work for achieving inner transformation in a positive sense.
In other words, we must face the negativities of our life, but it is not good to focus on them too often and too much. We could define it only as a preventive work, but that would imply avoiding something negative. Instead, to be more aimed at a positive transformation, we will also call it the happiness work.
It should include:
We must face the negativities of our life, but it is not good to focus on them too often and too much.
This work should be well organized and scheduled. It would be great if you could create an everyday habit of meditating twice a day, at least 15 minutes in the morning and the same duration in the evening. These sitting sessions should be scheduled for the same periods of the day, if possible. This regular practice should also include loving-kindness meditation.
It would be great if you could create an everyday habit of meditating twice a day, at least 15 minutes in the morning and the same duration in the evening.
There are countless types and variations of meditation out there. For example, you may practice vipassana, breath meditation, body awareness, walking meditation, pure awareness meditation, Kriya Yoga or something else. Or, you can concentrate your mind on something, e.g., on a single dot on the wall, on a figure of Buddha or another divine being, on a flame of a candle, etc.
However, the Reintegration System has several meditative practices to offer, too:
In all of these methods, you don’t ignore or suppress the emerging thoughts and emotions during the sitting. On the contrary, you reintegrate them entirely with your whole being. Check out the above links to learn how to meditate.
An essential part of your sitting practice should be the loving-kindness meditation. So, don’t forget to include at least 5 minutes of this practice into your regular meditation sittings, preferably at the end of each.
An essential part of your sitting practice should be the loving-kindness meditation.
Meditation brings you:
These are not claims; these are the facts. Scientific research has confirmed them, and you can check it out on the Internet and numerous scientific magazines.
What’s more important for some practitioners, meditation, together with mindfulness, will expand your consciousness and can ultimately lead you to spiritual liberation or enlightenment. The veils of ignorance and suffering will gradually (or even suddenly) lift up, and you will eventually experience Pure Consciousness as a permanent state of being.
Another vital part of your regular happiness work is mindfulness. It simply means to live in the present moment consciously. If you want to be mindful, you will have to do any activity in such a way that you are fully conscious of yourself and of the activity itself.
Although many people don’t consider mindfulness as strictly spiritual, it is indeed a spiritual practice. It leads you to your True nature while dissolving your inner conflicts softly and imperceptibly. Moreover, conscious moments in the Now will gradually accumulate and make your whole life easier.
When mindfulness becomes your natural way of living, you will enjoy every task; you will become light and, in a strange way, even transparent. You will start sensing some inexplicable joy and deep inner peace. You will feel love more and more, both for yourself and for people around you.
Mindfulness will abate or even prevent challenges.
Author: Brad Krause
"It’s my calling to help people. We all have the potential to be the best versions of ourselves we can possibly be, but it comes down to prioritizing our own wellness through self-care."
We often hear of self-care as a complement to other areas of our lives, such as supporting a fitness goal or reducing our work-related stress. Self-care can also be instrumental in helping us make personal growth decisions. Much more than pampering, self-care methods such as mindfulness, meditation, and yoga helps us see deep inside ourselves to find answers to important questions. Here are some of the benefits of mindfulness in personal development and ways to harness the power of meditation in your life.
Personal Development Challenges
There are many hurdles to growth and happiness in life. One of the biggest obstacles is indecisiveness. Because of our difficulty in making decisions, we often stay in situations or avoid changes in life that can provide us with more joy, income, and opportunities. There are several ways to seek guidance in personal development, including self-help books, discussion with mentors, scanning online forums and practicing mindfulness. Mindfulness is particularly helpful because it doesn’t return generic advice, but rather insights directly related to us. Mindfulness lets us know who we are, what we want, and what we need for happiness.
What Mindfulness Accomplishes
Introspection unlocks some under-utilized powers of the brain. It changes the way you handle stress by putting life’s challenges into perspective. Mindfulness helps people of all ages deal with life’s struggles, from a child having problems at school to a retiree struggling with senior life. It’s been effective in lowering anxiety, countering depression, aiding in addiction recovery, and dealing with eating disorders. Meditation has also been found to stimulate brain development, so your memory and cognition improves -- both of which help you make informed decisions in your quest for personal growth.
Meditation is also recognized for its ability to boost career growth. In addition to relieving stress -- which can kill productivity -- meditation improves focus, creativity, and emotional intelligence. This emotional intelligence helps people collaborate more effectively with others.
How to Meditate at Home
A home mindfulness retreat is easy to create. Ideally, the space should be separate from your work and living areas. A quiet room with minimal decoration is a good starting point. The area should be away from the noise and distraction of your home, too. If you do not have a room to spare, you can create a mindfulness zone in any room -- just make sure it is quiet and distraction-free. Meditation requires concentration and a low-stress environment, and we are profoundly negatively affected by disorganization and clutter. If you want to meditate in your home office, for example, it would be helpful to clear away papers and work materials that will draw you away from introspection and back into outside noise.
Meditation is Not the Only Path to Mindfulness
Although quiet contemplation and inner reflection is the easiest way to attain mindfulness, there are other methods for those who do not like meditation. The following are additional tools to tap into calm self-knowledge when you cannot (or don’t want to) meditate:
Mindfulness opens us to possibilities that are often closed off to us when we are scared and in the dark about ourselves. Meditation and other techniques help us find answers that propel personal advancement in all areas of our lives.
Photo Credit: Pixabay
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