Deep breath in to the tippy top, holding briefly and a strong exhale out the mouth. Allow a sigh. One more time – inhale and exhale. Now, just breathe normally noticing the rush of air coming in and going out. Just noticing. At the beginning of a practice, meditation students are often instructed to silently ask themselves three simple questions.
Now, in your mind, as you breathe ask yourself, ‘who am I?’ breathing in and out, ‘who am I?’ very gently offering the question – breathing in and breathing out. Next question, ‘what do I want?’ And, again breathing in and breathing out, ‘what do I want?’. Ever so easy, ever so natural ask yourself ‘what is my dharma/purpose? What is my purpose/how may I serve?’ And then, let the questions go, breathing in and breathing out. Inhale in the luscious air, savoring it and then exhaling out what no longer serves you.
How easy is that? Very! Now you have launched your practice for the day. Enjoy the peace of natural breath for a few minutes more. Make the best of the rest of your day and watch what comes. ‘Seek (the good stuff) and ye shall find.’ It’s only natural.
We all know the process. Look for and identify your negatives, make amends and then move on. What typically happens though is we forget to move on. Once those self admonitions are pinpointed we tend to bring them up over and over again. They become excuses. We rarely let ourselves off the hook and usually stay in that disconcerting feeling of unworthiness. It is quite common. Even the 12 steps, as well meaning as they are, keeps one in the swirl of self-deprecation. We are well trained into believing that this is life and without the constant recognition of our pitfalls we are doomed to repeat them. Unfortunately, that mind game constipates our thinking and literally makes us sick. It’s time to recognize your worthiness.
Incorporating a good quality source of fiber into our diets really moves things along, doesn’t it. We are relieved and feel much better as we go about our day. When our physical-ness is well nourished life takes on a whole new lilt. We feel free and easy and light and productive and worthy. What usually happens though is we gradually slide back into our old habits. We regress without noticing that our bodies are starting to return to its familiar lethargic pace. It’s only when we struggle to move that we consciously take action and begin the process all over again – back and forth, back and forth.
Meditation is like fiber for our mind. The movement that is mindfulness tends to maintain a wonderful ease and flow that we all appreciate. In meditating for just a few minutes every day we become equipped to recognize when we are returning to the usual grind. Once mindfulness kicks in we never again go back to our old ways without noticing. Life improves, our worthiness and value grows and enhances. The load is lifted and progress comes to us with regularity. Our sense of self continues to brighten and lighten.
Enjoy a balanced diet with mind fiber by adding the simple act of silent, breathing meditation, 5 to 20 minutes a day. The resulting mindfulness flushes out all that stinkin’ thinkin’. It mucks out the stalls and makes room for healthy advancements. We never again feel obligated to bring up all the old stuff. We truly forgive ourselves and let it go. Our bodies respond in kind. Meditate and enjoy your daily dose of mind fiber. It’s only natural.
‘Improvement is steady’ had been my main mantra for the past several years. It is amazing how powerfully it has served me. Life breezes along and the direction of thought is the steering wheel. Improvement from what you may ask. Improvement from how I feel now. I’m a happy person most of the time. It is fun to beat the drum of happiness. Happiness has momentum. Allowing happiness into life comes with a feeling of exhilaration. It’s only natural.
Shifting of thought becomes self evident. Once we’re used to feeling good the only work left to do is to feel even better. Practice being mindful of your train of thought and consciously steer toward the better and better feeling. This leads to even more happiness. Like the folding of a sheet of paper 45 times and reaching the moon, the exponential effect, even with any temporary contrast, is way more than palpable; it is divine.
When we commune within for just a few minutes a day, it is like tasting a spoonful of the most delicious delectable you’ve ever had. Go for it! Happiness is absolutely safe.