meditation, mind boggling, Stark Reality, Wise things

A Really Interesting But Often Overlooked Aspect of Consciousness…

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Hold on to your hat, we’re going to talk about the open nature of consciousness…

Er what?

Yep, it’s a big concept but actually one you live with all the time.  A good example is hearing sounds. This is a tricky idea to get your head round because it’s such a normal part of your experience.  But here goes…

You hear stuff all the time, right? But try not hearing things.

We’re not talking about your ability to control sounds: putting your fingers in your ears or playing the trumpet. We’re talking about how you receive sound.

You can’t make make sounds last a second longer than they do. Noises just come and go as they damn well please.

Hearing is effortless, you don’t need to do anything.

Your awareness (another word for consciousness) is always open.

There is no effort to be made. Likewise, you don’t control your ability to taste, touch or see.

Once you stop thinking all the bloody time, meditation makes the unstoppable nature of this river of sensation ever clearer.  You can relax with the constantly changing input from your senses.  Like really relax.

Eventually you’ll see that all experience is like this. Sensations, thoughts, sights, emotions. They all come, do their thing and go.

You don’t have to respond to everything you receive. The effort you make to control all this information is why you are tired, frustrated and scared. So relax and let them pass instead.

 

meditation

FIVE helpful wee things to remember about meditation

Some useful thoughts that will comfort reluctant meditators…

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Where does all that stuff in your head come from?
  1. Be really nice to yourself.  This isn’t optional. If you’re shouting at yourself when your meditating you’re kinda missing the point.
  2. Accept that your brain talks nonsense most of the time.  Getting comfortable with just how much crap is in your head makes it easier to deal with.
  3. Lighten up.  Everyone has a shed load of problems, major personality defects and oodles of shit that they haven’t processed’.  It’s okay, that’s why we made this place.
  4. Don’t expect something to happen.  Meditation isn’t about achieving a blissful state or being all ‘spiritual’. It’s about noticing without judgement what its like to be you, moment by moment.
  5. Stop reading about meditation and you know, actually do some.
meditation, suck it up

Fuck it

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We get it; sometimes you’d rather clean the oven than meditate.

You’ve got stuff to do!  A company to run,  a house to organise and lies to tell your children.

You don’t have to feel like it to meditate. Yep, you in your ‘oh fuck this I’d rather unclog the drains’ state is ideal because if you waited for a window where you feel calm, motivated and serene, well you’d never do it at all, would you? Waiting on a good mood, or for the perfect five minutes to arrive is a really good way of not doing any meditation at all.

Not In The Mood For Meditation, Meditation

  • Accept your mega-strop and sit down
  • Fold your arms, think to yourself ‘this is ridiculous’
  • Roll your eyes and REFUSE to meditate
  • Focus your attention on one breath
  • Breathe in. Breathe out
  • When you get distracted, go back to your breath
  • Repeat for 10 breaths

Meditation isn’t about being calm and happy.  It’s about accepting when you’re not.

It’s actually better to do meditation when you don’t feel like it because you learn that tolerating, or getting interested in your massive sulk is excellent training. It teaches you that any emotion is a good object for meditation, and the worse the mood the easier it is to focus on!

Just bloody do some

meditation, messy mind, mindfullness, selfhelp

What’s The Point Of Focusing On Something Anyway?

20156D03-4167-4B66-8F31-6D08455682E5When you focus on anything in meditation: your breathing, walking or the sounds in your room, it’s not because those things are in any way special. You’re doing it to become aware of all the batshit crazy nonsense that’s going on in your mind.

Trying to focus on something makes it really obvious how repetitive, insecure and exhausting most of your thoughts are. Having a focus helps you become more consciously aware of what you’re saying to yourself.

Your thoughts aren’t your boss – you can tell them to bugger off

Whatever messages you’re brain is bombarding you with, thoughts are just thoughts – you can choose to ignore them, take them deeply seriously and follow them into a dark place, or just decide to laugh at them.

Your thoughts are not The Truth. They’re just your mind trying to make sense of your world, but it usually makes a right arse of it.

Meditation helps you decide what to do with those thoughts, and soon you will realise that, weirdly, you are not your thoughts (more about this in another post!).

 

meditation

It’s Easy To Get Back Into Meditation

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Meditate like a pig!

So it’s been a while since you last meditated.

A few weeks, maybe a month. Okay – it’s been over four years. That’s alright. Getting back into it is really easy.

You just do it.

It’s that easy.  Stop overthinking it.

Sit for three minutes and focus on your breath. Then when you get distracted just start again.

There you go, you daft sausage, now do it again tomorrow.

 

 

 

meditation

Suck It Up!

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Sometimes meditation rubs your nose in painful but ultimately helpful truths.

Inescapable realities:

  • Your mind talks rubbish: anyone who tries to focus on their breath for five minutes knows this.

  • You’re insatiable: have you had enough food, sex, praise, comfort, holidays? Has anyone?

  • Because everything changes, you can’t rely on anything.

  • Your chimp-based evolution has wired your brain to see threats everywhere.

  • You’re going to die (okay, meditation doesn’t show you this directly but it’s true anyway).

You were shielded from most of these certainties when you were young but if you ignore them when you’re an adult you’ll create problems for yourself.

Gimmie the numbing distractions!

Popular methods for avoiding awkward truths include: working too hard,  taking drugs, over exercising, procrastinating, pornography, self-loathing and checking your phone every two minutes.

Meditation removes some distractions so you are gently forced to see how things really are. This can be daunting but sometimes your coping methods cause more problems than facing the truths themselves. Late night drinking to avoid the fact that you chose the wrong career might be causing you more difficulties than actually changing your job.

Of course in many ways drinking will seem like a much more fun option than acknowledging that you’ve wasted time in a job you don’t like.

But before you throw your meditation cushion in the skip…

Remember you can only deal with something if you acknowledge it exists in the first place.

When you accept How Things Actually Are it will be much easier to find a happier way to solve your problems. In the same way you don’t become furious at gravity when you fall off a ladder, accepting that life is a bit shit sometimes, helps you come up with better solutions.

You can also take comfort in the fact that everyone you know, and will ever know, also has to deal with the same crap. It might even bring you closer together.

Meditation can feel a little brutal sometimes but life is tricky enough without deceiving yourself.