Viewing entries tagged
meditation

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Distractions in Meditation: The Ground and the Dance

You sit down to meditate. Within a few minutes your stomach starts grumbling for some food. A moment later an iPhone alarm goes off in another room. There are a few moments of calm before the dogs take up barking at a rabbit in the back yard. A police siren screams down the street.

The natural, habitual reaction to all this is to label these things distractions to the peace and focus of your meditation. I believe the first step, however, toward really making meditation meaningful is just the simple observation that the dance of life is happening. Meditation is nothing more than resting in consciousness. It is identifying with with the formless, still base-point, or ground, upon which all of life springs forth. But what is consciousness without light/form/life, and vice versa?

There is the Ground and there is the Dance.
There is the Masculine and there is the Feminine.
There is the Source and there is the Expression.

Take it a step further and there is not even the polarity of opposites. Ultimately, even duality folds into one, singular non-dual reality.

These exterior sensations that come up while we are identifying with consciousness are not distractions; they are the very life that consciousness witnesses. They are that which dances while we remain still. So relax, and observe without judgement. It is only because life dances that we know any stillness at all.

By Trevor, The Edge of Spirit

 

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I (May) Have an Anxiety Disorder

For the majority of my adult life, the underlying feeling I have held in my body is: “Life is a pain in the ass.” 

It doesn’t always manifest outward and most people I know wouldn’t say that my countenance is reflective of that, but internally it’s a different story. 

There is Always Shit to Do...

The cat threw up on and in the shag carpet. I have to remember to pay my yearly insurance umbrella coverage. The kid needs dropped off at a rehearsal. I haven’t meditated in days. Hell, I haven’t worked out in days either. I gotta remember to call Sheila. If I don’t start checking off some projects, I’m never going to sell this fucking house.

It seems as though the weight of the world has always swung like a giant nutsack from the front of my neck… dragging my head downward and causing me to ejaculate toxicity on those who love and know me best. 

In a rare breakthrough this week it occurred to me, though, that it's not the “things to be done” that is the problem. Every responsible adult has shit to do. Instead I have begun to pinpoint it as an overwhelmed, panicky, buzzing anxiety that makes these very ordinary tasks into “problems.” 

See, after reflection and research I think it’s time to admit: I (may) have an anxiety disorder.

The question is, what does one do with that? Up until the point where I was able to “name my demon,” I did nothing. I would simply ride out the heaviness and let time soothe any severe flare-ups. But this did not improve anything over the long term and certainly offered no solutions in the midst of severe turmoil.

Now with a consistent eye on my physiology, I have started to make some changes and - beautifully - in just a few days I have felt a significant shift in my being. I share here today a couple of practical tips that have helped me in the hopes that you might implement and find some relief as well.

Anxiety Management Tips

1.) BREATHE: Nothing has been proven to reduce cortisol levels more directly and quickly than diaphragmatic breathing: Breathe in through your nose (from your belly) for 5 seconds, hold for 4, release for 7. Pause everything and do this several times at any time you’re feeling stressed or overwhelmed. Or cut your anxiety off at the pass and practice doing this when you’re feeling fine - say, at a stoplight or briefly before starting your work. For fuck’s sake, stop reading and do it right now. I’ll wait.

2.) MEDITATE: I pride myself on being a meditator but in all honesty, I’ve not been making time for it. Why? Because I don't value it enough. If your day or to-do list has priority levels, what would happen if you made some form of meditation as essential and necessary as your most pressing tasks?

3.) CARDIO: I’ve always done strength training but spend almost no time really grinding it out and getting my heart rate up. Regular, ass-kicking, sweaty cardio is beneficial for all, but is nearly crucial for those with anxiety issues. 

4.) NATURAL CALM: I am not one to advocate magic-bullet supplements, but holy shit, this stuff works. Go read the Amazon reviews; see what it’s done for so many others. I stand with them in saying that I don’t know any product that has affected me more radically than this. It’s certainly worth your consideration.

The long and short of all of this is: Are you overwhelmed? Stressed? Constantly anxious? This may come as a surprise if (like me) your identity is wrapped up in your internal turmoil, but… you don’t HAVE to live that way. You can still be a go-getter, a to-do-er, a productive member of society… and have an internal calm, an interior peace, a more relaxed orientation.

Unless you look forward to a bright future as a self-soothing substance addict or don’t care about spewing toxicity on your family and friends, consider taking daily, PROACTIVE steps in combating that sneaky modern demon that’s eating away at your health and happiness.

By Trevor, The Edge of Spirit

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I Don't Have Time for this Shit

Transient

You wake up, you go through your morning routine. Commute to work. Sit and do a job. You're working for money; you're dying inside. Days roll into days, into weeks and months. At night is dinner and trash, pay some bills and shower your kids. Then maybe a little TV or wine or weed - whatever you need to unplug from the monotony of what happens between 6am and 7pm. You're surviving but if you're honest you're barely showing up.

When was the last time you did something for yourself? Remember how you used to play guitar and make up recipes? Remember how you wanted to learn how to paint? See all those barely-opened books right over there?

What the fuck are you waiting for? The kids will never be less demanding of your time. Your significant other could always use more of your attention. There are always bills to pay and checklists to do (mine currently has about 23 line items on it).

"I think what we're seeking is an experience of being alive, so that our life experiences on the purely physical plane will have resonance within our own innermost being and reality, so that we actually feel the rapture of being alive. That's what it's all finally about." [Joseph Campbell]

See, you can drown in a sea of tasks that will get you to tomorrow, but will get you no closer to "the experience of being alive." And you know that you're postponing and making excuses for following your deepest truth - those things that make you glad to be alive. 

Take a moment and think about things that you would love to do, or experience, or be. Maybe it's something expressive or creative; a sport; some form of meditation or yoga; playful sexytime with your significant other; a new business idea. Commit to just ONE WEEK of spending at least 30 minutes a day on one of your passions. Schedule it and just see what you feel at the end of the week. If you feel like going back to merely surviving, then by all means. (Also, don't bother coming back to this website; you'll find nothing of use here.) 

Here I am writing a post to help encourage you on a night where my heart and attention are scattered. I don't have time for this shit. I have a wife and a child and at least 23 things on a to-do list. And I'm tired. But goddamnit, I love to write and to encourage and to connect deeper with a creative force that's bigger than myself. So that's what I'm doing. And for a moment - this moment - it is bliss.

What possible excuse do you have not to do the same thing? Get to it, friends. 

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