Although meditation is a word in common usage these days, it is still not something fully understood. There are many different types and styles of meditation, from simple relaxation exercises to the most profound practices of Insight Meditation (Vipassana), but whatever the style, they all require the same thing from you. Effort !
If you really want to change your life you yourself must make the effort, no-one can do it for you.
It is a fact that meditation established in the practices of awareness, love and acceptance, is the key to changing our life, because only through awareness and love can we transcend the stubborn illusion of ‘self’, and therefore the unhappiness that is part of this illusion. With awareness we are able to see and know the reality of this being that we call ‘self’ and with love and acceptance, we are able to be with this being without continually limiting it by applying conditions in every moment. The moment we apply conditions to ourselves we apply conditions to all beings.
Awareness then, is the tool we use in the direct and personal investigation of the cause of our unhappiness, often manifesting as stress, anger, fear, frustration and other unpleasant manifestations of mind. When we understand from our own direct experience, exactly where these things begin, we are in a position to finally do something about them, namely, let them go. Release ourselves from their grasp.
All our unhappiness and suffering comes from ourselves. It is always the reaction to a situation that causes our suffering, never the situation itself. The situation is just the situation. It is the reality of the moment. Our reaction or response to that reality will dictate our experience of peace or anxiety, happiness or unhappiness.
In other words:
The world we experience is the one
that we create for ourselves,
moment after moment,
and this world is unique and personal to us.
No-one has the power to make you angry. Anger arises within us. No-one has the power to make you happy. Happiness arises within us. It is the same with all our mental states. With the cultivation of the practice of Loving Awareness we can begin to experience anger as something that is happening in the moment, but is not what we are. We can experience anger and not be angry. We can experience fear, and not be afraid. We can experience depression and not be depressed.
Loving Awareness is the path we each have to walk. To see the mind and not be afraid. To know the mind and not to judge ourselves for its content. To let go of our continual, habitual and limiting identification with this mind as being who, and what we are.
The mind is not what we are, it is only that which we become.
When we stop ‘becoming’ these endless and ever changing mental states we will be free, and our lives will express that freedom. A life where we no longer feel ourselves to be the victim, but rather the master.
A life of love, joy and peace. A life that is a blessing to ourselves and all the beings, human and other that we share the world with.
May all beings be happy.