Of life and how we live it

From the moment we are born, we are subjected to endless and persistent ‘education’. Schools, families, media – all bombard us with tons of information. We are told…everything. And we are taught nothing. What this so called education does, is shape us and fit us into a mould, that defines for us what is and isn’t acceptable, what we should and shouldn’t do, say, eat, wear, what dreams to dream, what goals to chase. It defines for us success and failure, happiness and unhappiness. And we are brainwashed into thinking that there are things we have to do/have/possess, in order to feel the way we want to feel and see our lives the way we want to, so we can be who we should be. This way of thinking and living creates nothing but misery. We try our entire lives to obtain that which we are told we need, we strive to change or control our physical environment. And we foolishly believe, that if we can control everything around us, we will feel better about ourselves and we will become the person we are supposed to be. But we can’t control it all. We will never have it all figured out or put together as we want it. So we spend our lives fighting life itself, and then we wonder why we’re unhappy, unfulfilled and downright depressed. Something is missing.

Now here’s a thought, that some of you might find…well, ridiculous. What if life is supposed to be lived the other way around? What if we change who we are, so we think a different thought, so we can feel about life in a different way, and as a result experience life differently? Thoughts leading to feelings leading to actions leading to changes.

Nah, I hear you say. How am I supposed to think differently, when everything around me prompts a completely different response? The answer is simple, yet profound. And it’s not the first time you come across it. Do not react, rather create. Easier said than done? Think of it this way. Whenever exposed to or confronted by something, do you react instinctively, do you do or say the first thing that comes into your head? Most of us do exactly that. The response is formed without us even being aware of it. It is calculated and created by our subconscious mind based on everything it holds – memories, past experiences, hopes, doubts, fears, ‘education’. It takes shape, it comes to the surface et voilà, the reaction is unleashed upon the world. Sometimes followed by satisfaction, but quite often by regret. We’ve all been there – “I shouldn’t have done that, I could have reacted differently, Now why did I do or say that instead of something else….”.

What it really comes down to is choice. Choice to speak, act and choose differently. And that begins with deciding, first and foremost, who we are, and more importantly – who we want to be. To decide what kind of life we want to live, what kind of world we want to see around us. And then make the choice as if we already are that person. Decide to be kind and act out of kindness, decide you are generous and display generosity, decide you are at peace and shine that peace onto others. For we all carry within us a spark of divine light, a grain of the universal goodness. It is ingrained in us, in fact, it makes us us. Years and years of fear-based ‘education’ will make us think of us and them, dividing us from the world around us and closing us off to all the goodness we could experience. We choose to act out of fear, where we are here to express and experience nothing but unconditional love. It is within that duality, that contradiction, that all of life’s choices arise. Do you live your life from a place of fear, or do you live it from a place of love? All other thoughts and emotions are a byproduct of these two.

Fear makes us hate, control, envy, imprison. Love sets us free, inspires, motivates and expands our souls. To live out of love is to live the highest life of all. But how do we learn to live that way? It’s nearly impossible to consciously condition ourselves to do that. The solution, as always, lies within. We must make the expression of love – towards ourselves and towards others – our highest priority. And to do that, we have to open not just our minds but before all our hearts, to pure unconditional love. And the best way to do that is through meditation.

When we close our eyes and sit in silence, when we shut off the world and go within, we open ourselves up to the very source of love, and of life itself – our divine nature. We let in the light, energy and unconditional love of the universe and allow it to settle deep within us. The more we do that, the more of it we have to give. And the more of it we give, the more of it there is in our world.

So start your every day with a pat on the back, congratulate yourself for making it to another day. And looking at your reflection in the mirror, declare to yourself and to the world who you are today. Not tomorrow, not a year from now. Today. Smile at strangers, help an old lady cross the road, give small change to a homeless person. Say Thank you and Please. Do this and you will have a totally different experience of your world. And you will feel happier. Because you are not here to please anybody, to impress the crowd, to win it all. You are here to become, each day and one moment at the time, the best version of the highest vision you can possibly have of yourself. The most important thing you can give yourself and the world is that, which you have always had and what you always were – unconditional love and light.

Get up, go forth and shine…

Namaste.

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Let it flow, let it flow, let it flow…

I’m sitting down, determined to write tonight. And I’m scratching my head, trying to think of a topic to write on, and words to express it in. Nothing’s coming to mind. And that suddenly takes me back in time. Back to when I was a young student and I had to prepare for, and write, dozens of exams every year. And it always went the same way….

I would study for weeks, reading thick books, full of information that was neither interesting nor easy to remember. I would go through the material, take notes, try to soak up the knowledge on the pages. Only to forget it all, as soon as the leaf was turned. Days later, in the exam room, I would stare at the question in front of me, without the slightest idea as to what the answer is. Drawing a blank, I think they call it, yes?

Yet, I always got myself out of it, doing something that I neither understood nor could explain. I would sit back in my chair, close my eyes for a few minutes and not think of anything. No desperate searching for the right words, no frantic attempt to remember what I had read just days ago. Just sit, in silence, eyes closed. And then I’d let my imagination go back. Back to the day when I read the exact passages and pages I need to remember right now. Seeing myself in my mind’s eye with book in hand, paging through, reading those exact sentences. And I’d let my mind wander and think freely, starting a silent discussion in my head, as if I’m in a hall full of students and I’m the one lecturing them on the subject at hand.And then I would open my eyes, and put pen to paper, and pour out everything that comes back to me. No strain, no hesitation. It’s like I’m taking dictation in my head and all I have to do is transcribe it.

I did this every time, and every time I passed with highest marks. And even stranger than that, I would read my paper again and realise I had written things I didn’t even know I knew, things I couldn’t remember reading to begin with.Later on, when I started dabbling in the world of metaphysics, mysticism, meditation and even quantum physics, I found the explanation for this wondrous phenomenon. I understand now how and why it was possible to do the things I did.

You see, our mind is a phenomenal thing. On conscious level we can be a complete klutz, failing to remember where we put our keys five minutes ago or what we had for lunch yesterday. But our subconscious never sleeps, never stops soaking up and recording everything we ever see, hear, touch, smell, taste or feel. It knows everything, because it remembers everything. It can remind us how we felt on that Sunday morning when mom made us that breakfast, and how the kitchen smelled and how warm the plate of food in from of us was. Or where we saw a book in a shop window years ago, while on a trip abroad. Or how to breathe, how to walk, what songs make us cry. We don’t think for a minute how to do these things. They just happen.

When we close our eyes, take few deep breaths and let go of our thoughts, we let in, or let through, something entirely different. A force, an energy that sparks the creation of music and books, of paintings and sculptures. It helps us make decisions, otherwise impossible to figure out. It guides us to do and be more than we ever were before. There are many names for it. Many attempts to define it and describe it. We are in the zone, Things flow, Divine inspiration, Intuition, Inner voice, Guiding light – it doesn’t matter the name you attach to it. We all know what it is, when it comes and how it makes us feel.

Athletes will tell you, they go out onto the field and let the force flowing through them guide them to make that jump, run that fast or make that shot. Writers will say, it feels like their hand is gliding across the paper, scribbling the words without even managing to read them. I think it was Johann Sebastian Bach who once said “The music arrives in my head, already fully composed. And it flows so fast, my hand barely manages to write it down”.

We tend to think it’s only the great creators of things that get divinely inspired. We, mere mortals, we have to be humble and acknowledge our shortcomings. And achieve everything through effort and hard work. Forgive me, but that is nothing but a meme. We all have the potential to tap into that infinite source of inspiration and let it flow through us and guide us to be more than we could ever dream of being. Our cultural conditioning is the only thing that stops us. In mystery schools they have a term, from Greek – skotomas. The blocks and bricks that make up the wall that we put around ourselves. Within that wall is everything we think we know, everything we’re comfortable and familiar with. It keeps us safe, we don’t have to think what’s out there. But as safe as we are, we are keeping our minds in a prison. For out there, there exists the endless, boundless, eternal light. The energy that makes and shapes and moves everything. And if we want to break the mould and fly, we need to take those bricks down, one by one. Challenge ourselves, think the unthinkable, do the impossible. And open up more and more to that light.

I’m not a religious person in the conventional sense of the word, but I do believe wisdom comes in many forms and from many sources. Paging through the Bible once, I found these words “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me” (Revelation 3:20).

That knock on the door, it’s for each and everyone of us. We don’t need to toil to find the light, it is always there. All we have to do is answer and open the door. And let it in.

Until next time, love and light!

Namaste.

A quick guide to meditation – Part I

I remember people talking about meditation 20 years ago along with practicing yoga and to me, this was some odd and distant world. In my mind back then, people meditating meant them twisting their bodies in impossible yoga poses and entering into some trance state, repeating the sound of OM again and again. It all seemed to be intended for people, who have completely rejected the physical part of their lives, focusing on nothing but the spiritual world.

Later on, from yet another trend, meditation had gradually become a lifestyle. The perfect means to fight stress in our everyday routine, so they claimed. All of a sudden, there were meditation classes, articles on the matter, various advice on meditation practices, etc. It became more and more popular among the general public, drawing the attention of ordinary people (if I may put it that way), including mine.

As time went by, I felt the inner urge to practice it myself. I made a few attempts, but quite inconsistently, I must admit. This is the time to say that one of the key aspects of meditation is persistence. Every day, we have our crosses to bear, we are all incredibly busy and have our schedules to meet and agendas to follow. But if you really want to go deeper into meditation, you must find a few minutes to practice on a daily basis. If you think about it, 5, 10, or 20 minutes a day would not be such a great impediment to the agenda, right? One key question arises here, though: Why? What is the purpose of meditation? Why even put the effort and take the time to look inward, when there are so many more important things to do in the outer world… like, all the time? All the time, you are busy being somewhere, doing something – there’s the work, family, duties, obligations, bills to pay. The list goes on and on. We are all so consumed in our mere physical survival, that it’s really hard, sometimes even impossible, to actually take the time to stop and look inside of ourselves. Because that’s exactly what meditation is all about. Taking a break (read, taking the time) to slow down in that ever-changing environment surrounding us. Literally, stealing a moment or two for yourself. Because you know what? You are important. And what is more, you are the most important thing in your life. Peace and light are like a bouncing ball. If you have them deep inside and let them guide you, this is going to show, no doubt about it. The same goes for stress and negativity. By practicing meditation, you raise your vibration to a higher frequency. Raising your vibration means raising the vibration of everyone else in your surroundings. Raising their vibrations means them doing the same for everyone else in their surroundings. To put it simply, when you are happy and peaceful, that enlightens everyone around you. Imagine you’re standing in front of a mirror and everyone else is your reflection. Just remember that peace, smiles, and happiness are all contagious in the best sense of the word. Working on your inner peace every single day enables you to deal with your physical life more easily. In the long run, you will be more focused, satisfied, full of energy, and able to deal with everyday stress with ease. Not always, of course, for life is quite challenging at times, but still often enough to keep your peace of mind intact much longer.

So, where to start? From where I stand, meditation doesn’t need to be complicated. Quite the contrary, in fact. The ultimate goal is to reach for that inner peace (not find it, just reach for it, because it’s there) inside of you and start using it to your own benefit. To the benefit of your higher consciousness. When practicing meditation, you may want to use some aids for background music for example. Or if you’re just starting, a guided meditation would be a good choice, too. The proper music could help you relax and get you in meditation mood much faster. I started a few months ago with a wonderful Android app, called Insight Timer, which provides me with the best solution for various situations so far. They offer a really wide range of guided meditations divided into topics and also the option of customizable timers, which I deem a great plus. All you have to do is just find a few minutes for yourself. But before you start, don’t forget to switch your phone off, as well as any other ringing and beeping devices, which might interfere. Because this one is for you. This is your moment. It’s all about you and to your own good, so enjoy it. Just put the headphones on and take off on that great journey to your higher inner self.

 (To be continued.)