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, July 14, 2013

Sundays With Buddha


Week 12

Awake. Be the witness of your thoughts.


This is one of the first things I learned when I started on my journey of self-discovery and what I needed to do to become a better person. It seemed to be the main focus, or ideal, in everything that I read. Awaken the mind by bringing your awareness to the forefront of your thoughts and be the witness of those thoughts. When you witness your thoughts, you no longer allow the chatter of your mind to control you—you begin the process of control over yourself.  

Starting a new process in anything can be exciting, but overwhelming at the same time. You want so badly to have something new in your life, and sometimes you become a bit too eager to do it perfectly. Starting the process of becoming the witness of your own thoughts, your own life, should never fill you with fear and trepidation, but joy and a sense of freedom. There is no wrong way to begin, no disappointment to be had for failure of accomplishment.
I learned to start witnessing my thoughts by first taking time to notice the little things around me. I started taking a few moments during simple daily activities to quiet my mind by concentrating more on what I was doing. When I washed the dishes I would take notice of how the water felt or the soap smelled. I would close my eyes for a brief moment and listen to the birds outside or feel the breeze coming through the window. When I walked the dog I would actually look at how beautiful my neighborhood was, really see the trees and flowers; listen to the nature all around me. It was then that I could also see the difference in my thinking mind before these changes, and after.

It was a huge difference.
Soon you will be in the habit of noticing your thoughts as you are thinking them; change your thought pattern before it runs away with you. Probably, and most importantly, stop yourself from saying something hurtful (and regretful) before it mindlessly slips out. 

Sometimes our thoughts go beyond just mindless chatter or a constant to-do list. We torment ourselves with a play-by-play or ‘movie reel’ of past events that we regret or wish we could change. Then we constantly create scenarios where we re-work the situation and try to foresee a different outcome. This, of course, is torture. And it is insane.

As I talked about in week 7, it is no good to dwell on the negatives of the past, for all you do is torture yourself longing for things you cannot change. Imagine what you could accomplish of you redirected the energy you waste in fruitless and mindless thinking into productive and witnessed thoughts. You would gain more calm in your life, for one. Gaining control of your incessant thinking is one step in the direction of a new peaceful way of life.  
Awakening, to quote Eckhart Tolle in his book “A New Earth”, is, “…a shift in consciousness in which thinking and awareness separate.” (pg.259)  Though to Awaken is most often considered a spiritual occurrence that usually results in a shift of consciousness and/or personal growth, I believe anyone, in any walk of life, practicing any religion, faith or philosophy can benefit from becoming aware of their thoughts. The small changes I began with have become a way of life for me now, and, though I am still challenged every day and some days I am more forgetful than others, I am grateful of the lessons I have learned so far because each new challenge I overcome and every negative thought I am able to take notice of and change is one more day I have accomplished treating myself and others with attention and grace.

You don’t have to make a major life change or convert to any religion or philosophy. The only real philosophy here is to become a better you. I haven’t made any new commitments to anything but myself; to become a better me. I’m merely trying out a new philosophy for living.
So far, it just happens to be the best living I’ve ever done.

Good luck and Namaste (I salute you).


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