Tag Archives: Breath

Inner peace: the best companion

inner peace is bestThe path of mindfulness meditation leads to a deep appreciation of life, a real joy that rises from just being what you are, where you are. But on that journey there are difficulties, and it’s useful to recognize that this will happen and accept it in advance. It’s not all heavenly light and bliss! A lot of the practical work of mindfulness is sometimes painful, sometimes boring, but it’s all worth it because the payoff is huge. It’s a simple observation that I have found very encouraging when I feel like I’m drowning in a raging sea.

Often the path of mindfulness is about trying to be aware as possible and then simply dealing with what happens next. This is easy when the awareness is one of contentment or self-love, because what happens next is wonderful. But as we increase our awareness we increase our perception of things we have often gone to a great deal of trouble not to think about. The suppressed, the painful, the embarrassing, the feelings that burnt us so badly we swore we’d never feel anything if it meant feeling that again. They all come up; it’s part of become more mindful, more sensitive.

So a sign of deepening awareness is the bad stuff coming up, and if we sit with it then it will be healed. And of course there’s also the bliss, the revelations, the ‘yes’ moments. And then after all that comes the abiding deeper sensitivity to daily life. I’m more grounded, more in my body. I’m less lost in thoughts, more present with what’s going on around me and within me.

That’s the practice. Sit with as deep an awareness as you can muster and let the awareness erode away the confusion. Trust that what’s coming up is being brought into awareness to be released, and hang on. Let mindfulness carry you out of the madness and into the clear light.

Trust mindfulness. In any situation (internal or external) trusting a fresh, vital awareness of what you are feeling, sensing and thinking will always be of benefit. You will deal with difficulty better, and enjoy things on deeper and deeper levels. Ultimately, you will experience more moments of inner peace.

The experience of inner peace is the best teacher, the best medicine, the best companion for the journey of life.

“Take a Deep Breath…

…and connect to your body. Surrender to what you are experiencing in this moment.”

Breath____by_mechtaniyaSounds simple doesn’t it? “Get grounded, feel your body, let the breath flow through and let go of mental chatter. Surrender and witness to this.”

Why is this so challenging to remember? Why is it so easy to get lost in memories, plans, fantasies and distractions? I’m not sure. I do know I spent many earnest years trying to understand why and ended up with more mental chatter, not less. Now I’m trying to let go of the need to understand certain things like “Why is Life the way it is?”. It’s an obvious question but the process of coming to a conclusion seems to take me further away from the experience of life.

Recently someone gave me a great gift. She was talking about questions to ask in therapy and she suggested avoiding “why” questions and ask “what” questions instead.

Instead of “Why do I get so frustrated with her?” try “What is it that makes me so frustrated with her?”  ‘Why’ takes me into the head and trying to understand intellectually. ‘What’ tends more to discovering an experience and letting insights come from that, rather than theory or memory.

Both ‘what’ or ‘why’ are useful questions depending on the situation. The art is asking the right one at the right time. And then engaging with the answer with the body and the mind.

So… take a Deep Breath…