“This too shall pass.” - Unknown author
Why should we work on ourselves? What is the ultimate goal of such work?
It’s simple: to achieve permanent happiness. Or at least, to become much happier than our “normal life” offers. Even if our reason is curiosity or spiritual drive for the Truth, that’s again sort of happiness.
One might say that there are so many other methods to become happy, at least for a while. You can be happy by falling in love, exercising, eating, playing football, talking with your best friend, or doing countless other things. But, the emphasis here is on “for a while.” It won’t last long enough. And when such happiness passes away, there comes its opposite – suffering of various kinds. But that’s kind of expected result. Falling in love or eating – that’s not inner work at all.
On the other hand, even the sincerest self-improvement work will bring about some amount of pain into our lives. These difficulties are often unexpected so that we can talk about the side effects of inner work.
What is the inner work in the first place? It is a broad and fuzzy term. Many teachers and practitioners differ significantly on its meaning; however, I will describe it as conscious effort invested into achieving an ultimate spiritual goal or psychological development, on a regular basis.
True inner work must be comprehensive. It should include investing efforts toward spiritual liberation, developing love and presence, fulfilling and harmonizing goals, doing psychological work, and adhering to ethical standards. Otherwise, the achieved happiness won’t last much. Or all achievements will be accompanied by a lot of suffering.
However, even when you think you have covered all these areas with your work, you will still suffer from time to time. That’s inevitable until you reach the final liberation, or Nirvana as Buddhists call it.
Difficulties of Meditation
Some of the approaches mentioned above are in fact paths to Pure Consciousness, or Presence – meditation sittings, mindfulness, self-inquiry…and they all are inevitably accompanied by many unpleasant side-effects.
Whether you are trying to experience Truth through the process of self-inquiry or to empty your mind and live in the here and now through some form of meditation and mindfulness, you will unavoidably encounter many difficulties along that way. You will be uncovering a lot of previously suppressed emotions, long-forgotten decisions, deep-rooted beliefs, traumatic childhood experiences, fears, resentment, or other hidden mind contents. Even if you are simply trying to wake up pure love in your heart, you will also meet various unpleasant reactions from within.
During the meditation and mindfulness work your mind and body purify progressively. But there is a problem. As more and more layers of the subconscious mind are being removed, old, deeper structures that were mentioned above, emerge inevitably. As you are digging ever deeper into the microcosm of your psyche, any of these can be exposed to the light of your consciousness and triggered off unexpectedly.
As more and more layers of the subconscious mind are being removed, old, deeper structures emerge inevitably.
These unconscious structures can appear in diverse ways. They might manifest within your mind or physical body, so you could, for example, become depressed, anxious, over-reactive, or even physically ill. But if you are very stable mentally and fit physically, these long-suppressed subconscious contents will instead emerge in the outside world. You may experience all kinds of troubles, such as sudden accidents, serious disputes with your loved ones, or even attacks by total strangers.
It’s like the stillness within is telling us: OK, you are able to remain calm during your meditation sittings, when you walk, or during your chores. But are you able to maintain your stillness in this situation?
Or: OK, you can feel deep love of these people in those circumstances. But is your love really that well-founded? Can you love this person in this situation?
And you get the challenge to deal with. Only when you become able to deal with them appropriately, such people and circumstances will not appear in your life anymore.
Difficulties of Goal Achievement Work
Generally speaking, work on goals is even trickier than meditation or mindfulness. For a goal or intention to be fully accomplished, it must be:
2) Without much resistance from your other goals and various parts of your personality, and
3) To be “immersed” into the state of Presence or Pure Consciousness before its manifestation.
Therefore, you have to be very careful during any goal achievement work. Almost every goal carries with it a cluster of various desires, negative beliefs, emotions, and decisions, that are in fact obstacles to the goal’s manifestation. Also, there is always some amount of misalignment or disharmony with other important goals that you want to achieve or with many other parts of your personality. This conflict will produce friction and pain.
To attain the goal, most of these subconscious obstacles and all disharmonious tendencies must be removed peacefully, for example through some form of the Reintegration process.
Difficulties of Psychological Work
This is also a wide area. Psychoanalysis, Transpersonal psychology, Personality psychology, Transaction Analysis, NLP, Reintegration System, etc. – all have quite different approaches, but demand a lot of work anyway. Typically, these types of inner work are not about Pure Consciousness, nor achieving goals. They direct you toward the transformation or integration of various parts of your psyche. Still, they may also trigger numerous disturbing side-effects.
During such work, some aspects of personality are changing, realigning, or reconfiguring. There will be a lot of friction among them until a new mutual equilibrium is established. That friction unavoidably generates suffering, which can be expressed in many ways, too.
Any kind of unexpected physical or emotional troubles may appear. All sorts of unpleasant experiences may arise in your external reality, in forms of aggressive people, sad events, dangerous accidents or anything else.
Author: Larry Mager
Readybrain.net | firstname.lastname@example.org
“How are you doing?” That short and simple phrase is one that is both overused and underappreciated. However, do some soul searching and ask yourself that question sincerely. If your inner wellness could use a shot in the arm, there are little changes you can make to your mental and physical health routines that can spark big spiritual outcomes.
Upgrade Your Sleep Environment
While our dream lives can be interesting, we often give little credit to our slumber. Sleep actually offers important mental and physical health benefits, such as better problem-solving ability, improved mood, maintaining a healthy weight, and stronger immunity. Without enough sleep, we can experience brain fog, unstable emotions, reduced productivity, and increased stress levels. Simply enhancing your sleep environment can mean getting better sleep, reduced stress, and improved quality of life. If your shut-eye could use improvement, think about adding blackout window treatments to keep the room dark, add sound-dampening insulation for quieter nights, and adjust the room temperature for optimal comfort.
Amp Up Meditation
Are you engaged in a regular meditation practice? Psychology Today cites research indicating that meditation can produce significant positive changes in health and well-being. It’s a tremendous stress-reduction technique that offers measurable outcomes, such as lowered blood pressure and heart rate. Meditation can also be an effective tool for reducing the risk of depression, anxiety, and pain, and it even appears to add years to your life. What’s more, it’s a time for spiritual introspection and focus, recharging your energy and improving your outlook on life. If you are already participating in meditation routinely, consider trying a different method, changing your meditation space, or adding crystals to your practice to amp up your results.
Participate in Yoga
Yoga has existed for thousands of years. Yet as Yoga Journal explains, only relatively recently did science begin unveiling the powerful benefits from regularly practicing yoga. Engaging in yoga can mean improved flexibility, stronger bones and muscles, better circulation, and a stronger immune system. Yoga promotes a better outlook on life, helping you feel more relaxed and happy, reducing your stress levels, and keeping you more at peace with yourself and the universe. There are several types of yoga, and depending on your situation you might want to alter your method, experiment with something new, hire a private instructor, or take a class.
Savor the Great Outdoors
In our current culture, many of us spend the bulk of our lives enclosed in four walls, under artificial lighting, and sitting in front of electronic screens. If any of that sounds all too familiar, consider making more time for communing with nature. As Hyperbiotics explains, studies indicate that engaging with the natural environment is good for us in many crucial ways. Our nervous systems relax, we are more inclined to maintain a healthy weight, have better immune function, and are more apt to keep a positive outlook. Try upping the amount of time you spend outdoors, whether you’re sipping coffee, hiking, birdwatching, or meditating. Also, think about bringing nature to you by adding houseplants to your working and living areas. They not only provide a bit of green to your interior, but they can also help clean the air you’re breathing.
Examine Energy Flow
Being in harmony with the world around you can be a key to improved health. The arrangement in your work and living environments could be interfering with your wellness in important ways. Consider looking to feng shui principles to do some rearranging, allowing your space to keep the positive energy flowing. Also, consider the air flow in your home, and ensure your furniture is arranged to promote good health, comfort, and energy conservation.
Sometimes, the smallest things can pack the biggest wallop when it comes to our spiritual side. With that in mind, consider some little changes in your lifestyle to improve your inner health. The next time someone asks you how you are doing, you’ll be able to give a positive answer from the depths of your soul.
Sometimes we say life is hard, and it would be much better if we were born as a cat, dog or some other animal that does not have problems and worries in its simple life. Still, if we really had that opportunity, very few of us would actually accept it. We admire our minds and appreciate our self-awareness greatly.
But what is self-awareness in the first place?
It is the capacity of an individual to recognize oneself as a separate entity, distinct from the environment and other individuals. While consciousness means to be aware of the environment, self-awareness purports the individual’s ability to fully comprehend their permanent self and the environment.
It is worth noting that some sources make a distinction between the terms self-awareness and self-consciousness, where the latter is defined as the capacity of the individual to see oneself not only as a separate being, as seen from a first-person view, but to understand that other beings are also aware of them. However, self-awareness and self-consciousness are used as synonyms in this article.
While consciousness means to be aware of the environment, self-awareness purports the individual’s ability to fully comprehend their permanent self and the environment.
Number of Living Beings
Think about this: What is the chance of existing as a self-conscious being, among countless other living entities? Can you get an even slightest idea of how many other beings exist in the universe (or maybe multiverse), and how enormous that number is, even compared to 7.2 billion humans currently living on earth?
Animals, plants, bacteria, viruses… they are all conscious to some degree, meaning, aware of their surroundings. And considering the vastness of space of the cosmos, the number of living creatures with some level of consciousness is truly incomprehensible.
Let us see what would be that number for this planet only. According to some estimates, the total number of prokaryotes (e.g., bacteria) on earth is 5 x 1030 (five billion billion trillion), which is 5 followed by 30 zeros. This is just a rough estimate. As the biomass of all other species is by several orders of magnitude smaller, we could assume that this number covers the vast majority of biomass on earth, including oceans.
The number of living creatures with some level of consciousness is truly incomprehensible.
Who am I? …or… What am I? ...or even… Am I?
These are the ultimate questions of our existence. Is there anybody on this world who has not asked themselves one of these questions at least once in their lifetime? Anyway, for most of us, it would be awesome to reveal answers to these most profound questions.
But why should anyone bother with such questions at all?
The self-inquiry should be self-sufficient per se, with no external benefits. There is no goal to it, except for revealing our true nature. The practice of self-inquiry naturally occurs when an individual reaches spiritual maturity, which genuinely accelerates their pursuit toward the ultimate Truth. An inner urge for self-realization spontaneously arises. Enlightenment is going to happen, of its own accord and that should be sufficient as such. However, there is even more to that.
The practice of self-inquiry naturally occurs when an individual reaches spiritual maturity.
Are There Benefits of Self-Inquiry?
Yes, there indeed are significant side-benefits of such a practice.
If you are doing the self-inquiry on a regular basis, you might experience some profound changes in your life, similar to those of “normal” meditation sittings or mindfulness practice. For example, you might:
If you are doing the self-inquiry on a regular basis, you might experience some profound changes in your life, similar to those of “normal” meditation sittings or mindfulness practice.
But the most precious gain of this practice could be out of any concept of benefit whatsoever: The Ultimate Truth.
The Technique of Self-Inquiry
Now, let us dive into the nuts-and-bolts of self-inquiry. You may be doing it by following these steps:
Here is a more detailed explanation of each step.
1. Enter the state of Presence. Just be here and now. Accept any external impressions, or internal sensations, emotions or thoughts that may arise. For that purpose, you may apply the Dissolving the Temporary I technique, which will take you directly to the boundless state of Pure Consciousness, or Presence.
2. Turn your attention inward and ask the question: What is present?
Note that the question begins with what instead of who. Of course, you may ask the “classical” question Who am I? and might end up with the same result. However, what doesn't imply any identity, while who does. In this process, identities are the obstacles to the Truth, so we aim to release all our identities to experience the essence of our being.
Author: Larry Mager
Readybrain.net | email@example.com
If you’ve been laid off or your boss gave you a negative review, it’s not unusual to experience low self-esteem, frustration or sadness. You may not even know how to move forward after a career setback.
Sure, you can find another job. Maybe you’ll even find one that offers the same pay or benefits. But when some people suffer a career setback, they decide to start their own business. Read on to discover why starting a business venture may be one of the best decisions you ever make.
Why Starting Your Own Business is a Smart Move
When you start your own business, you’re the boss. You don’t have to worry about getting laid off or fired. No one’s ordering you to do mandatory overtime, and no supervisor is taking the credit for all your amazing ideas. Since you call the shots, you get to decide when you work and how long you do it. Even better, owning your own business may eventually lead to more time with family and friends. At first, you may put in long hours, but once your business gets off the ground, you may enjoy more down time. Some business owners even get to work from home.
When you’re a business owner, you decide how to guide your company and create your own company culture. As an entrepreneur, you experience each day as a new challenge. Whether hiring new employees, learning about taxes, marketing your company or designing a website for it, every day offers new experiences and opportunities. That means you’ll rarely ever be bored. You can’t always say the same when you’re working for someone else.
Another benefit of owning your business is the joy you experience building something from your dreams. You may even start a business that springs from a hobby or side job. Making a full-time living doing something you love makes owning a business even sweeter.
How to Get Started
You’ve decided to create your own business. Now, you just have to get started. First, think about what interests you and the fields where you have the most experience. If you’re an accountant, maybe you could start your own accounting firm. Do you enjoy baking? Maybe you could start a bakery. Are you a writer? Consider starting a content marketing company. If you like sales, maybe it’s time to consider a job in real estate. Many people love the freedom and flexibility that come with being a real estate agent.
No matter what you decide, find out how much it will cost to start your business venture. If you don’t have the funds in your savings account, you’ll need to find investors or score a small business loan to get started. Some organizations may even offer grants to people who are starting a new business. It’s also important to check out your competition by going online to view websites run by businesses like the one you want to run. A great business idea gives you a greater chance of receiving backing from investors, banks and grant organizations.
Also think about ways you can use the resources you already have to launch yourself on the path to success. Making the most of what you already have access to is a great way to save on startup costs. For example, working from a home office rather than renting office space is a huge money-saver. You will, however, want to invest in quality equipment to make sure every aspect of your venture runs smoothly and that you stay productive in a home office, so be sure to factor this variable into your startup budget.
Experiencing a career setback hits at your self-esteem, but that doesn’t mean you can’t move forward and achieve success. If you have a passion for something and have always dreamed of making it your career, consider creating your own business. While starting any new venture involves risks, there’s also the chance to experience a myriad of benefits when you take the leap and create your own business.
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