Hi my people!
Welcome once again to the annual time change. This Sunday we turn our clocks back an hour. We “Fall back.”
Our brains seem to “fall back” constantly, because we all have an inner memory clock. Our brains land on an event in the present and it gets triggered, and then you get flooded with memories, yes? Those memories create emotions, and those emotions create chemical cascades in your body.
The phrase brain scientists use to describe this is: “Like thoughts link to together; like nerve cells fire together.” That means that your thoughts create the reality you experience, because you are constantly in your own mind, experiencing what goes in your life from your own point of view, your own perspective. Your thoughts create the reality you experience. So if you’re entirely happy with that reality, why not take a moment to sit – and listen to your thoughts? And get some control.
How can you do that? Begin at the beginning and learn to listen to your thoughts or use hypnosis to meditate.
But first, what is meditation? A better question might be “What’s not meditation?”
Meditation is not finding a bearded guru and heading off to India to sit on a lonely mountaintop. It’s not paying $1000 for a mantra. And it’s not clearing your mind until it’s empty. (That, by the way, is impossible.)
Meditation is simply going inside yourself. Paying attention to what’s going on with you. Observing what’s going on in there.
Following your own breathing is a time-honored, simple technique that works just fine. Meditation is “focused concentration,” much like hypnosis. In fact, hypnosis is a form of meditation.
No one, not even brain scientists, could tell you exactly where mediation leaves off and hypnosis begins. They are almost one in the same – focused concentration.
All of my work with clients involves learning to meditate. That is, learning techniques that help calm down the obsessive, racing thoughts that might be caused by trauma or OCD. Buddhists call these thoughts the “Monkey Mind,” but I feel that’s not a compassionate way of thinking about yourself.
Meditation isn’t thinking about nothing. That’s absolutely impossible. Meditation means allowing yourself to focus on “what your brain” is thinking, just calmly watching your own process: Observing your own thoughts like a kind, compassionate listener. No judgment.
Mediation helps you to understand that you are not your thoughts. Your thoughts become like clouds floating through the sky. You simply watch. Clouds are “of” the sky, but not the sky. Your thoughts are “of you,” but your thoughts are not you.
Observing thoughts without judgment might seem like an easy thing to do, but it’s not. That’s why there’s so much misunderstanding about “mediation.”
In 1968, when I was an undergrad at Berkeley, I remember when the Maharishi came to town. He filled a huge auditorium with adoring disciples and gave out mantras to recite – in Sanskrit. From then on, hordes of young girls in flimsy, flowing dresses glided through the streets with a copy of “The Prophet” pressed to their chests, and spiritually superior smiles on their faces.
That became a booming business: Transcendental Mediation was born. Now, many years later, it costs almost $1000 to learn to go within and get your mantra.
You don’t need a mantra. You just need to take the time to sit and listen to your own thoughts. You can meditate while you walk. You can meditate while you do dishes. Most people seek me out because they want to find a purpose in their lives.
Do you want to change the world? You can. Just begin where you are.
For instance, if you’re here in Los Angeles, you can meditate while you drive. Just focus on how amazing it is that cars exist.
Then silently bless all the other stressed out drivers, those fabulous sentient beings behind the steering wheels. Especially the ones who really piss you off. Those are the drivers who give you an opportunity to behave as your own higher self. Instead of getting mad, don’t let them ruin your day. Bless them, meditate, and send them compassion. Turn yourself into a Bodhisattva while you drive. Don’t let anyone make you lose your temper and ruin your wonderful day. Now that’s power!
If you need help to find your own path, just give me a call.
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