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sábado, 8 de julio de 2017

Free Yourself From the Prison of Your Mind





Most of us interpret life based on events we have experienced in the past. It may not be apparent to you, but at the back of your mind, you are constantly comparing, judging and evaluating everything that comes through your senses with something that took place seconds, days or even years ago.
Consider how many times in a day you utter sentences or brew thoughts that go along these lines:
“Coffee shouldn’t taste this way.”
“Why does she treat me so differently from other customers?”
“Why can’t you behave more like your brother?”
“Marriage doesn’t work.”
“I’ve got to butter up my superior in order to get promoted.”

The Bane of Memories

While memories help us to maintain a sense of continuity in life, it can also hold us captive as we used them to build walls around us, imprisoning our mind and seeing life only through a small tinted window.
… we perceive reality through memories from the past and worries about the future, creating a distorted version of reality.
The result is, we no longer experience reality as it is. Instead, we perceive reality through memories from the past and worries about the future, creating a distorted version of reality.

Since everyone’s life experience is different, the reality perceived by each individual is also not the same. That is why two persons who went through the same event can have vastly different interpretations and responses.
That is great, isn’t it? Doesn’t that make the world more exciting and vibrant? Yes to a certain extent, but unfortunately, that is also the source of most of our miseries.
If everyone knows that his (or her) reality is just a subset of the real thing, then it would not be so bad. But most of the time, we don’t.
We believe that our reality is the only right one, and we even force it on other people, who in turn see life through a different set of tinted glass. Suddenly, life is all about proving who is right and who is wrong.
From the choice of home curtains to the way you think you should be treated, arguments and conflicts play out everyday due to differences in perspectives and beliefs. These unhappiness only isolate us more and erect thicker, impenetrable walls that trap us further in our own prison.
We end up living in a cell that determines how we will feel and how we will react to any given event. If something fits into our way of seeing things, we feel satisfied and happy, and desire more of it. If it does not, we become angry, anxious, depressed or stressed.

Breakout From Your Own Prison

How then can we pull down our prison walls and set ourselves free? How can we use memories and thoughts intelligently without being trapped by them?
The answer is surprisingly simple. Be present in this moment. Not a half-hearted presence like the way you slump on the couch and channel-surf each night, but a complete mind, body and spirit presence.
… now is where reality is. The present moment is the only thing you have got now.
Why the emphasis on this moment? Because now is where reality is. The present moment is the only thing you have got now. The past is gone and will never come back. The future is elusive and is beyond anyone’s grasp. Whatever you can do now happens at this moment.

All your self-defeating stories about the past, and/or worries for the future are taking place in this moment. But why live in the past or future when you can live now and enjoy the spontaneity and surprise that each moment offers?
When you surrender completely to now and put all your attention on every moment, your full awareness connects you to the flow of life. That is when living becomes effortless and intuitive.
You will begin to respond to each moment instinctively without worries or anxieties, because at this moment there aren’t 101 things you need to do — there is only one thing to do, now.

Meditation as An Anchor to Now

One good way to learn how to live in this moment is to practice breathing meditation.
Our breaths born and die with every moment and they only happen in the now. When your breathing stops, now will also cease to exist.
In this meditation, you just have to sit comfortably and focus your attention on every in and out-breath. Our breaths born and die with every moment and they only happen in the now. When your breathing stops, now will also cease to exist.

If your mind drifts away from your breaths, gently bring it back and return your focus to where it should be. Do this simple meditation every day for about 20 minutes each time.
As you become accustomed to focusing on your breaths, it will become progressively easier to stay in the now. Your mind will become less distracted by haphazard thoughts and memories. By being able to focus on this moment, you bring greater awareness to your everyday life.
When there is full awareness, mental walls slowly break down. Instead of being limited by your conditioned way of thinking, you live life spontaneously and act according to the needs of each moment instead of living in the past or future.
Actions inspired by full awareness will no longer be driven by fears, angers, anxieties or stress. Even in the face of great difficulties, instead of dwelling in a state of bitterness, self-pity or cynicism, full awareness gives you the ability to focus on choices that bring happiness to you as well as others. And that is the taste of true freedom.
What are the stories that often replay in your mind? Are they deep-seated beliefs that keep you from living life fully?