It's a busy world. You run to work, have a jam-packed day and an even busier evening. But in the rush to accomplish your day's "To Do" list, you are...
The modern world is a manic place, juggling family life with work, keeping on top of the housework, the endless barrage of paperwork, not to mention keeping up to date with technology! There are so many things that demand our time and attention. And very often it leaves very little time for getting our own needs met.
Mindfulness meditation is a wonderful tool, supported by a growing wealth of evidence which demonstrates the many benefits of the practice. However, recently there have been a few articles in the press which have highlighted the 'dangers' of meditation. Therefore, it seems a good time to look deeper into what could be considered meditation dangers, and how we can not only address them but also learn from them.
The key message of the day was that negative emotions are predominantly driven by our egos - ego defined as an attachment to a self-image, particularly one that we seek to achieve or protect. This could be material success - house, car, job, bank balance.
Practising meditation sounds like it should be so simple. But there's a reason they call it 'practice'. It took me several years before I had a solid, daily practice of sitting meditation. That's not to say that I didn't get huge benefits from practising mindfulness informally, in my life - I did.
Maintaining a yoga practice whilst on the road and being mama to a little toddler is not easy to say the least but it is possible. Just like that impossible yoga posture it requires patience, courage and a little bit of determination.
Travel is being independent and going along with my gut instincts. It's about trusting and building a relationship with myself. Travel is about finding myself as a person.
Lately 'I'm busy' is all I seem to say, and I've just worked 13 days without a break. So what's the deal? Why am I so busy when it's me who controls my workflow? Between you and I, just thinking about the word 'busy' makes my stomach churn, I'm already feeling the adrenaline kick-in. Oooouffff...how has this become the norm?
Are you over scheduling and overloading your to-do list? Keep over scheduling and overloading, and you'll end up feeling overwhelmed. When overwhelm happens, it distorts our reasoning and response-ability. It also clouds the mind from clear thinking and, as a result, not much gets done, even though we may have lots to do.
The breathing techniques were great for those moments of complete chaos; like when you're trying to put a toddler down for a nap as the older one shouts through that they've "missed the toilet".
I have built an ego, yes, and society loves me for it. I really fit in with my judgments, with my set ideas, with my seductive patterns. And when it does not work as it should, we get upset, nervous, anxious... all of it!
Is this something that could benefit you or your organisation? As I learnt on my retreat - don't do it because you read somewhere it's a good idea, or someone told you its good - do it because it works and the only way to determine that is to give it a fair trial as they have within the government.
As a person whose life has been transformed by meditation, I love the 'time' excuse. If you can't find 20 minutes a day to meditate then you need two hours to meditate. I empathizse; I was very busy most of my life running in circles. It certainly took up all my time and, interesting enough, never seemed to break.
Maybe it is like the old adage better to have loved and lost than never have known love at all. Except it isn't really lost - according to the Buddhists, I just need to remove the obstacles that get in contentment's way. Happiness is our natural state, maybe I need to stop trying quite so hard, in every direction.
I haven't spoken a word in eight days. From my agonizing half-lotus position in the meditation hall, I watch William the English monk draw finger-circles on the table in front of him. 'Life is an uncomfortable business, but we suffer because we turn it into a 'me' experience,' he says.
So, I went to Australia to meet the Dalai Lama, as you do. I was asked to speak at a conference called, "Happiness And Its Causes", like I know? I told them this was not my specialty as I am a cynic but they held out the Dalai Lama as bait, and I bit...