Spirituality, Liturgy and the Tao of Inner Peace
“Finally brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable — if there is any moral excellence and if there is any praise — dwell on these things.” Phil 4:8
One of the most influential ideals I have received from the study of Buddhism is that attachments lead to suffering. The Buddhist precept says “Attachment is the origin, the root of suffering: hence it is the cause of suffering” The second greatest gift I received is meditation. I have often suffered from my attachments, a man in some form of romantic relationship many times the source. This is not to say a relationship of romantic nature is bad, but because I used it to measured my happiness and self worth it was an unhealthy attachment. In the same way, many of us are attached to our “things” our “possessions” a nice car, or home is what we equate with “Happiness!” As we reach a deeper understanding we know that these “things” or “people” do not bring us happiness. The Buddhist monk says my happiness is the same whether in a humble shack or in a lavish mansion because true happiness is within…it is within us all. Many Christians get this confused because then they say “THEY believe they are their own God!” Well yes, in a way, and we do too. After Jesus as risen and gone back to be with the father what does he leave that early church family? On the day a Pentecost they receive the Holy Spirit, to reside in them and work through them and help them in his earthly absence… A little bit of God inside us everyday, helping us see the right paths and speak the right words. SO you see we are not that different. So here we are living in faith, a little bit of God within us realizing that earthly attachments are not the way to happiness so what next?
This is where, for me, meditation becomes great means to center myself and keep me focused on things above and not earthly attachments.
First let me dispel some myths about meditation:
1) A blank mind is not a requirement, that one often got me in the beginning.
2) Meditation is not the same as praying, prayer is usually a conversation, a conversation where we talk, a lot! Meditation, on the other hand is about centering and listening.
3) It does not have to be a long time, sometimes I can only make it for 5 or 10 minutes and that’s okay!
So hopefully now you are ready. It doesn’t have to be long or involved and it can be a little as 5 min. You will be amazed at what 5 min in the morning will do for your day. An example of a simple meditation for me would be; I wake, light a lavender candle place it in my lap and simply turn on pandora “spa music” for 10 min and concentrate on my breathing….4 seconds in 5 seconds held and then let go breathing out 6-7 seconds. As you relax deeper make the counts longer. I like to visualize a beautiful flower, a Lotus flower -thinking of it blooming out of the mud, or you might think of God, a light, a beautiful cathedral, your favorite spot in nature.
As you master being able to relax through concentrating on your breathing, start a time of gratitude, gratitude makes us realize all that we have, instead of trying to keep up with the proverbial Jones’.
My latest meditation has been through an app offered by Oprah and Deepak Chopra the “21 Day Meditation Experience” is free and I highly recommend it! 21 Day Meditation Experience
Where we spend our mental time is important to our emotional as well as our spiritual health. That is why more than once the scriptures tell us to look above, exercise our thoughts away from these attachments to worldly things, people, and possessions that are fleeting, and that we rarely are able to control. I think a pathway to this understanding is to be grateful for the moments, the life, and the things of our here and now. When we are grateful, we are not wasting time wanting more, we are spending our time in peace and happiness content with our station, belongings and people in our lives. A few years ago I was really desperate, I was in love with a man that would never be mine, I was losing my business I had worked for, and honestly I was not sure where me and my two children would live. These attachments were causing me much pain and at that time I had no peace within me. My worth was centered on a man loving me and choosing me for his life partner. My eyes were not set on things above!! They were set on the things of the world. “If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth.” Col. 31-2 I because of grace and family soon did find a path, and now I live a very simple life in a Tin Can Cottage I call it, known to the world as a trailer. Many people will say to me “well trailers are really nice these days” LOL Yes some of them are, but this is just your garden variety, but I love it. I went from a big home and business to almost homeless. Yet now more than ever, I genuinely look at my things, my children, the flowers in my room and my heart bursts with joy. All because my eyes are not on the things of this life I can accumulate, but on the things that mean so much more. My friend and I were having a wonderful birthday dinner when she said “I just don’t post my thoughts on social media,” she said “What good will it do? It won’t change the world?” I had to disagree, I know that I can’t change the world, but my hope is through God I may change the world for one person. It’s the same with meditation or cultivating a spirit of gratitude, you may think “What will 5 minutes of breathing do? It can’t change the world?” I tell you it can, it can change you, it can change where your mind is at, and there is NOTHING more powerful! You can change your world. My trials now I see as a blessing, because it was there that I had to turn in, meditate, find my peace, my happiness. You can find it too because just like Dorothy in “The Wizard of Oz” you had the power inside you the whole time.
I challenge you to start living life with gratitude, start meditating, set your eyes on things above and watch how things here below blossom like you would never believe!
#namaste #loveoneanother #loveyourself #findyourpeacewithin