Meditation

If I say, don’t think of a flower, definitely not a rose, what are you going to think of?  First a flower, maybe even a rose, then definitely a rose.  So what do you think will happen when you are told that you need to be thoughtless and that is meditation?  Your mind will run rampant as you try to not think of anything, and you will be frustrated.  So how to meditate?

With meditation being cited as the universal cure-all and solution to every problem in every religious and spiritual discourse, without ever being told how to go about doing it, dissemination of unhelpful one-liners like it being ‘a state of no-mind’ or ‘being thoughtless’, and worse still spiritual elitists saying it is not something one does but rather something that happens, it can be confusing and frustrating to the point where one just gives up.

Thought substitution is more doable, as in exchanging negative thoughts for a relatively pleasant one.  Just like we distract ourselves by watching a movie.  I find thinking of something I like and which scenario I can play in my head works very well for me to go off to sleep.  In day-to-day work, it is easier to be mindful; single-mindedly consciously thinking of only the performance of the task at hand and not what I am going to do next or another such stray thought, but that is definitely easier said than done.

The second technique is ignoring.  The thought comes, you know it is detrimental, so for example, I would say, “Okay, hello thought, thank you, but I need to move on”.  That way I am kind to myself, not reprimanding myself for the thought and not dwelling on it either.

Meditation is the third technique.  Now I say technique because the practice of instructions to train oneself to be in a meditative state is commonly referred to as meditation.  Hence the debate about what meditation is.  The purists say, “meditation cannot be done, it happens”, and mock those trying to practice a discipline.  That is not helpful; it is demoralizing.  Recognizing that meditation is a commonly used term for a practice and not for the meditative state itself helps bridge the gap – just as ‘medicine’, while a discipline, is a word commonly used in place of ‘medication’.

Meditation is not the exclusive domain of people who consider themselves spiritually accomplished either, just as breathing is not.  It is not difficult; just different from the other two techniques.  It is observing.  So, say you close your eyes and these random thoughts begin.  Observe the thoughts like a third party witnessing the goings on.  Being thoughtless, in a meditative state, should follow as a consequence of merely being that observer.

One cannot really try and meditate.  One can reach a meditative state by observing one’s thoughts.  Such a meditative state is a temporary respite.  In that sense too it is a practice – towards constantly being in a meditative state, being an observer, whereupon the practice is no longer needed.

If you are lost in thoughts, then that is agitation.
If thoughts are lost in you, then that is meditation.
— Swami Tejomayananda

“Although you may not always be able to avoid difficult situations,you can modify the extent to which you can suffer by how you choose to respond to the situation.”
— His Holiness The Dalai Lama XIV, The Art of Happiness
“Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional…
We have bigger houses, but smaller families;
More conveniences, but less time;
We have knowledge, but less judgement;
More experts, but more problems;
More medicines, but less health.”
― His Holiness The Dalai Lama XIV

Divorce

The mantra about ending a marriage based on, “It’s better for children to not grow up with their parents in an unhappy marriage”  is typical feminist pork for putting one’s happiness before that of one’s children, to divorce women from the responsibility that comes with being a parent. Despite anti-male activism and exalting pro-divorce, anti-children values, these feminists call for mother-headed households!

Marriage and children are a commitment — it can be joyful, challenging, stressful or even downright miserable; but that is life itself. When there are marital troubles such feminist-minded women seize the opportunity to manipulate the man to believe that it is his fault, then capitalize on his guilt to broker a deal on marital assets to become financially independent and exit the marriage to lead her dream life built upon the graves of the well-being of her children and ex-husband.

Why

“Why is this happening to me?”

My answer is, “Drop the question”.

Why do we ask Why?  It’s because we want an explanation to justify to ourselves why we need to accept a certain happening.  However the pursuit of an answer overshadows and envelopes us, keeps us engrossed to the point where we lose sight of the reason we asked Why? in the first place.

We get entangled in a quagmire of questions in the pursuit of answers.

The question Why?, while thus starting out as a means to an end – the end being, getting an answer in order to be satisfied, and as such being able to move on – ends up becoming an end in itself – as in getting an answer becoming our focus, preventing us from actually moving on – and thus becomes an impediment to our happiness.

Any way we justify them, all explanations are just that; explanations; and are worthless as their pursuit detracts from being happy, regardless of what the answer is to the Why.

Success

The definition of failure follows one’s ideas of what success is. I believe that success is being happy, yet unhappiness isn’t failure; it’s a temporary, passing condition, so recognize it for what it is.

Love vs Money

Money may not be the answer to all problems but it does make life a bit easier. Knowing that you don’t have to choose between feeding your kids or yourself, you aren’t one paycheque from being homeless and your car won’t be repossessed, has to make you feel a little happy. But beyond that, there are completely miserable and bitter wealthy people. Many truly believe (even if it’s subconscious) that the diamond ring will make them happy, that luxury goods will make them happy, the big house will make them happy. It doesn’t.

The problem is that people don’t seem to realize that no amount of money or “things” will ever bring any kind of real “life satisfaction”. It will bring some comfort, luxury and ease of living (maybe), but nothing more. Not even if money is simply considered a form of security, because they are tons of financially secure miserable people.

While arrogance or lack thereof is all about character and not how much you have in your pocket, money and/or the stuff, anything from a 2-carat diamond ring to placate the wife at home to the women at the strip club that you buy with that money, does exacerbate the problem. He who has the gold, makes the rules. Sometimes the money maker is not arrogant, the people (family members, friends) around the money maker, using his/her money are arrogant.

Then people crave something more, something priceless that money can’t buy. Like love. But unfortunately, once they find love, they forget why they sought love in the first place; because money and everything it could buy, bought them no happiness. So they look for money to complement the love, which is reasonable to the point it fulfils one’s basic needs, not numbs one to reality and brings one back into the situation where one was willing to swap money for love.

Do not seek to be loved at any price, because love has no price.

— Paulo Coelho

“A genuine, affectionate smile is very important in our day-to-day lives.” ― His Holiness The Dalai Lama XIV
“We can live without religion and meditation, but we cannot survive without human affection.” ― His Holiness The Dalai Lama XIV

“I believe the twenty-first century can become the most important century of human history. I think a new reality is emerging. Whether this view is realistic or not, there is no harm in making an effort.” ― His Holiness The Dalai Lama XIV

“If you want something you’ve never had, you must be willing to do something you’ve never done.”

“Often, you can tell a lot about people not by who they say they are, but by the chasm between what they say they stand for, and what they do.”
“Your beliefs don’t make you a better person. Your behaviour does.”