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The modern mind is always in a hurry.
Slowing down helps the process of witnessing immensely. Lama Surya Das says (jokingly): “Hurry up and meditate.”
When I slow down, observe, make time for silence, and witness my urge to hurry, it brings me back into my body and breath—it amazingly helps my aches and pain.
Then there is the emotional body. Once I feel home inside of myself, tension doesn’t increase because I become more aware.
I can physically feel my back pain decreasing as I bring my awareness to the areas that need more breath, acceptance, and unconditional love.
My past pain still arises at times, but now that I witness it, I’m no longer bound by it. A new way of being has been born, but it isn’t so much new as it is a shedding of sorts—shedding the parts that maybe were never really me, to begin with.
Emotional pain makes an appearance sometimes, but now I gently hold it and witness it with kindness, whereas in the past, I would be hard on myself—especially when anxiety paid me a visit.
Sometimes, anxiety knocks on my door, and I can’t help but be extremely hard on myself. Other days, anxiety gets the best of and hurts my feelings.
Sometimes I feel I give too much—sometimes I don’t give enough. Now that I’m aware of who I am, I care for all the visitors who knock on my door, and I’m not angry at them for interrupting the flow of the moment. The truth is, if they are knocking, then that means that they have become the moment itself.
I know now that it’s compassion that my anxiety and pain are craving—not neglect, as I was used to as a child. Now it’s my opportunity to change the fork in the road within every moment and to take care of me in the way that I’ve always been deserving of.
This new chapter that we are in comes with great challenges, yet also brings great blessings. We are all being asked to heal our broken parts into the whole, to awaken, and evolve—to keep our connection inside of the heart, while uniting the mind, body, and spirit.
As overwhelming moments arise and different emotions come to pay a visit, may we be gentle with ourselves. It’s okay to freak out, maybe we have, already. Even though our soul knows that we’re okay, the “human” part of the “being” picks up on the collective fear. But we have each other and the tools to work through it.
With courage, we can work through our challenges and calmly center ourselves into our bodies. When I need to solve a problem, I sit and observe what’s present, without changing anything or even finding a solution—just witnessing. During meditation, when I observe from my head to my heart, my mind becomes less busy and solutions to problems arise from a calmer, more balanced place.
I find that when my mind is left on its own to solve a problem, complications based on old excuses and interpretations—that are not my truth—are introduced. Now when I witness my mind, I hear my inner voice asking me whether I’m anchored in thoughts and images, in the body, or in the space outside, and whether I’ve entered a higher space where the ordinary mind can be witnessed.
But how do we maintain a practice like this? For me, I forget so easily, but if I get up just for a few minutes, several times in a day, moving around enough to embody my body, all feels okay in the world. Sometimes, it’s by feeling the sun’s rays on my face, sipping some tea real slowly, or petting my dog, and I’ll remember my practice again.
Once we’ve experienced this space, we don’t have to blindly accept our belief systems or other’s opinions, thoughts, and judgments about things. See for yourself what’s true. When your thoughts and emotions vanish, when you are in direct contact with the actual nature of your mind, then no one’s opinions, judgments, or views will sway you.
Realizing who we are allows for direct perception of our own natural state of mind. A huge part of all of us is ageless, beyond time and space.
If ever there is a time, this is the time to meditate.
Let’s sit down, breathe, and be grateful for the beauty and love in our lives.
“Keep it simple,” said the Dalai Lama. “There is no need for temples; no need for complicated philosophy. Our own brain, our own heart is our temple; our philosophy is kindness.” This quote really spoke to me the other day when I ran into it.
Together, we can choose to calm our fears and steady our hearts as we face the ever-unfolding, uncertain unknown.
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