How much do you live consciously? – Part One

How much we live consciously is a very important question to ask. We could also ask how much we live consciously every day too? The two need to go together. If you feel you have some level of awareness, that’s important. It’s being able to have this self-awareness that sees what we’re doing and can challenge it – and then raise it to a higher level. So what’s the big deal? The answer is that much of humanity doesn’t do it, and very probably doesn’t get the import of the question. Unconscious living is typical. We’re caught up in mind … Read more

When caught up in the ego mind, just drop it

Lotus flower - opening to our potential

We can get totally caught up in mind stuff and not be aware that we are. We can go round in circles, doing the same old number. It’s like we get attached to it, like it’s part of us. In fact we might actually, perversely, like doing it! We might even know we need to do something about it, but don’t, or won’t. Sometimes it takes another to say, “Just drop it. Let it go”. The frenzy of the ego mind I was reading yet another article this morning on some media frenzy about a particular event. They’d been going … Read more

A contented mind, a contented life

We can think we’ve got it, that we know how to manage our lives, that we know all about this stuff, inner contentment and having a contented mind. Then challenges come along that upend it all. We can be left wondering what it was all about and asking ourselves if any of what we learnt is of any use. Equally we can simply get complacent and old habits creep back in, and we think we don’t need our personal development learnings. You might think it’s there but you don’t really need it right now. Then suddenly it’s not OK at … Read more

Meditation is allowing yourself to simply be

“Meditation is what happens when you sit with the intention to meditate” What’s your image of meditation? What words does it conjure up for you? How might you feel? Many might imagine someone sitting on a rock with a background of a calm sea, with their legs crossed and arms extended and resting on their knees with each index finger and thumb touching. Or on a yoga course after a yoga work-out. Or do you get the idea that’s difficult and only for terribly spiritual or flaky people? You might have tried it and given up, with all those thoughts … Read more

Where the mind goes, the energy flows

The mind is powerfully creative, even when we’re thinking negatively. What we focus on is more likely to happen, even those things we don’t want. Understanding the power of the mind has great potential, not only to help bring about the things we want but also to make less likely the things we don’t want. We simply need to be aware of what we’re giving attention to, and make sure that that is being done with positive intent. On one occasion I was delivering some workshops in London, which involved a short tube journey from my accommodation to the venue. … Read more

Being happy with your lot

How much of your life is taken up by wanting, desire, lack, dissatisfaction and not being happy with your lot? This is about desire and there not “being enough”. Eastern philosophy gives a big role in its analysis of human suffering to desire. They say that being caught up in desire explains much of our inability to find contentment. Swami Muktananda when responding to someone who complained of always feeling dissatisfied, said, “You become dissatisfied with what you have because you are not aware of all you have. If you were aware of all that you have, it would give … Read more

The dark night of the soul comes to test us and teach us

Have you had hard times when things have been such that you’ve hit prolonged periods of pain, depression or illness? Have there been really hard times in your life when all has seemed to be going against you? Sometimes we hit really low points when we despair or feel utterly stuck and constrained. This is when life seems to close in on us and it appears that this is all we’ve got. Some people call this sort of time a dark night of the soul. The phrase “dark night of the soul” derives from the 16th century Spanish mystic, St … Read more

What you appreciate, appreciates

Recently helping someone to get their life back on track got me thinking about how much is possible when we deliberately focus on what we’ve got that we value, that we appreciate. So, when you feel like it isn’t happening, that you haven’t got what you want, that things seem not to be turning out as you intended, try this. Focus your attention on what you do have. Think about all the people in your life that you love, value and respect. Think of the things in your life that you value. Think of your positive attributes, of your skills … Read more