Personal Note

My most valued possession is my family. Even if you are living in a box somewhere, and you have the love and support of your family, you will always be wealthy. Love really is all you need. From love, great things will emerge. From your thoughts, you can create greatness.

This is what I need to remind myself of everyday to be the best person that I can be. Live your life with gratitude. Be thankful for all that you have everyday, even if it is your eyes to see or your ears to hear or your feet to walk or your hands to create. Understand your place in this Universe; how infinitesimally small you are, but how huge a contribution your Spirit is. Don't wear blinders to the world around you, you're not the only one here. Be kind, considerate, don't be judgemental, love others, and yourself. Know that you are perfect inside; that you are love.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Sundays With Buddha


Week 7
Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment



Very straight forward, this quote reminds me of what I learned when I first started reading about strengthening my Spiritual Being. I see now that the teachings of Eckhart Tolle and Wayne Dyer, as well as others with the same message, are very much influenced by Buddhist teachings. This is not to say that they encourage others to follow one certain path or another, but offer all that they've learned that they find beneficial to all humankind. That, I am finding out, is the essence of the Gautama Buddha's teachings, though I have so much more to learn.
In all of the books I've read, by multiple authors, the main tenet has been, "Live in the Now. It is no use looking to or living in the past. It is gone. Replaying past events in your head will only most likely torture you. You can't change what was done then.”  I understand this to mean that you can’t go on being reminded of all the regrets you’ve caused yourself in the past, whether it is huge life altering decisions or wishing a confrontation went a little bit differently.
Don’t we all do the replaying in our heads of how we would have liked a conversation to go—doing a sort of reverse rehearsal in our minds? “Oh, I wish I would have said this” or “I really should have done that.” I know I did. I would run myself ragged with regrets of things I wished I had done differently. Of course this does not mean to ignore all of your past mistakes and never learn from them. But constantly being ‘unconscious’ of the loop of tape playing a stream of events in your head that you can no longer change is maddening. If you really want to change something from your past, as long as it’s a positive change with the intent of a positive outcome, I don’t see anything wrong with that, as long as it does not become a type of obsession that redirects your attention from your present moment. Otherwise, for our own sanity, we must try to learn to let go of things that are nonconductive to our peace.
The second half of this quote is instructing us not to worry over the future, for it has not even happened yet. Preparing for your future is one thing, but projecting always into the future, especially to turn your everyday life or present situation into a "means to an end" just to pass the time to get to that point when something better comes along (which may never come, as expected, by the way) is a waste of your time and life that you should be focusing on.
 I have finally realized in the last few years that I have wasted so much time just “getting by”. It makes me sad that I missed out on so much before I learned to really stop and pay attention to what was right in front of me instead of just going through the motions. This might be a hard one to sell, especially with the state of the world’s economy and unemployment rates right now, but we are wasting ourselves if we just go through each day waiting for next week to come.

I remember that I used to do this like a pro. At one point, there were aspects of my life that I found so unsatisfying that I projected so much into the future just to escape what I was going through. I missed all that I could have had or been doing and learning that was right there in front of me. Had I known then what I know now, I would have been better able to cope with my situation and not had to escape by always daydreaming of the future.
Just as you really have no control over the past, you can’t always rely on your daydreams, either. I don’t mean to stop planning and dreaming of a better future. Being proactive in manifesting your dreams is a key to happiness, as long as you can stay unattached to what you manifest. Using daydreams of a future you are really never actually sure of is a form of escape that just keeps you from being responsible for your present moment.
Believe me when I tell you that I know life can be pretty unbearable at times. When I got tired of always avoiding my present situations and finally faced them, I was so relieved to have that chapter closed and to be able to move on with my life that it was worth whatever I had to go through to get there. And most of the time, I realized had I not avoided it for so long, I would have had an even easier time dealing with it or they weren’t at all as bad as they had seemed in my projections of it in my mind.  Eventually, with time, as I started to lose my fear and attachment, I was able to face each situation that came my way with confidence.
The third thing this quote talks about is that by concentrating on the present moment you remain in the Now. If you keep your awareness in the Now, as often as possible, with practice, it will become second nature and you will start to notice all that is here for you. Focusing on the present moment is keeping your sanity, for your mind will not be running rampant with past events or future desires.
What does it mean to “concentrate the mind in the present moment”? To be present in the Now is to be aware of what is going on around you without allowing your thinking to over run your mind. No one expects you to walk around with nothing in your mind or no thoughts in your head. But getting in the habit of bringing your awareness back to the present moment, whenever you remember to, is a start.
It took me a while to learn to stop the spinning thoughts that were constantly going on inside my head, but it is becoming second nature. Once I realize I am off in a world of thoughts, I can bring my focus to something else in my present moment and create a space for myself that does not include incessant thinking. I got to the point of being able to do this by practicing with things I had learned from a meditation lesson by Eckhart Tolle like paying attention when I washed my hands such as noticing the smell of the soap, the warmth of the water, or the feel of the bubbles.  
These short little moments for myself throughout the day helped me to learn to stay centered and focused, and that helped me with all the exhausting wandering thoughts.
I have come so far in the last 5 years, thanks to the teachers and lessons that I’ve come across. In most cases, they couldn’t have shown up at a better time. Because of the wisdom of those that came before us, I am finally able to pursue true peace. And it isn’t “out there”, in the future events that I might long for or back in the past.
It's right here. In this moment. Now.
Thank you so much for taking the time to read today. Have a wonderful weekend.
To learn more about my discoveries while on this spiritual journey, click the link below:
If you are interested in Eckhart Tolle, you can search through a nicely packaged version of some of his lessons from his book A New Earth at  Even if you are not a fan of this particular website, I still urge you to browse through the material provided as there are some valuable lessons found at this link pertaining to this post.

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