“Who are you?” is one question, an important one at that. Critically though there also needs to be “Why are you?”
Without a why you get so lost, so easily. Don’t get lost – remember your why.
A wise man once said that the opposite of love is not hate, it is indifference.
If that is the case, and I believe it is, fear isn’t the opposite of love either.
Fear is actually more closely related to love than you know.
It is an emotional response to the unknown and the uncontrollable.
Some shut down in the face of fear. They try to grab and hold tight until the storm passes.
Others open up.
They know that fear only comes when something is important to you. If it’s not important you would be indifferent, you see?
Fear means it is important to you and therefore can be a reliable indicator to head in that direction, to investigate, to be aware.
When something requires courage to do, don’t delay, don’t dilly dally - therein lies your passion and your purpose. Therein lies what is important and where your love dwells.
Go that way. Don't let fear stop you.
ps. the top quote and the subject for this blog came from a cool book by Steven Pressfield which I just read:
I saw an article the other day - it’s from a few years back, but it’s still really fresh.
The author interviewed elderly people on their death beds as to their regrets. Although its about people who are dying, it is really advice for people who are living.
Read it here:
It’s a quick read, but something you might want to come back to again.
What did you think?
What I see is that the basis of all those regrets is not having balance, of not seeing what is important or making time for it until it is too late.
Not surprisingly, at least to me, the list contains many of the things that the people who come to the Ishayas’ Ascension meditation classes say they want from life.
You see, the people that I meet already know what is important to them, its just that they don’t prioritise it, or they don’t know how to prioritise it.
Actually I think everyone already knows these things, we just don’t do them.
Don’t wait until its too late.
You have to live a life so that when you look back on your deathbed you are filled with joy. That you don’t have a single “I really wish…”
You deserve the fullest of lives, in every sense.
Part of that comes from an attitude of finding the good in everything, of being present and not looking back.
The other part comes from making choices that are fulfilling, of finding a way to prioritise what is really important to you.
Meditation - to me the Bright Path Ishayas' Ascension is the simplest and most powerful of all meditations (I could be biased) - is the thing that enables both. It really does. It changes your approach to life, it helps you be the very best version of yourself.
Take the time every day to stop and go within. Close your eyes, rest. Discover what is there and how when you nourish it, it nourishes you.
It is the secret to living life versus Life.
Just practice - five, ten, fifteen minutes every day. Set a time, sit and don’t come up until the time is done.
You won’t regret it.
Any questions, send them to me, I would love to help.
How do you live your life? Here's part two of Arjuna's guide to a rich and fulfilled life:
Find ways to be of service
Give more, in all ways. This life isn’t about getting. Your peace and happiness stems from the ability to openly give.
Don’t complain, whine, whinge, bitch or moan. Don’t blame anyone either. It is the fastest path to misery ever.
Appreciate and be grateful
Go out of your way to speak about your appreciation and gratitude for everything. Through this your experience of life will be that the glass is not only half-full, but continuously over-flowing.
Seek for contentment, always
Your path in this life will be different from every body else’s. Rest assured, all will turn out fine. Don’t compare, live your life as it comes to you. Set lofty goals, but live now content in what you have.
Your purpose is intertwined with your passions
Do as much of what you love as possible. It is closely related to your purpose for being here.
Don’t be half arsed. Don’t wait for life to be given to you. Take 100% responsibility and make this how you want it. Someone once said: “When you were born you cried and the world rejoiced. Live a life so that when you die, the world cries and you rejoice.” Sounds like good advice to me.
Your natural state is freedom
You are a limitless being. Your awareness is unbounded by time or space. You are more than just your body or your beliefs. You are perfect, exactly as you are. Rest in the heart of your infinite being, be well, live, be free.
Eat your greens
Sleep well, exercise and drink lots of water too…
Excellent. Don't take these seriously now. Enjoy!
Life doesn’t come with an instruction book. You have to work out for yourself what works. For what its worth, and for your entertainment and edification, here’s how I think life’s guide book should go:
The past is completely gone and the future is beyond your control
Base your life in the here and now. Become alive to this. You cannot live in any other moment. Stop regretting the past and trying to predict the future. Its futile. Be right here. The only moment that matters is now. It matters not a jot what just happened or where your attention was. Where are you now?
It’s not so much what you do, it’s how you do it
Your impact on the world is less about what you say and do and more about where you are when you say or do. Your presence speaks louder than words. Being in the same place as your body, absorbed in this moment, means you can meet the need of this moment. Everything will be so much more than if you are in your head.
Do you want to be right or do you want to be happy?
Prioritise your peace and happiness. Humanity is crazy. There are so many people who would rather be right than happy. The end of all conflict lies in valuing happiness over everything else. You like happiness? Stop caring if you’re right or not. As my meditation teacher instructs, also take things a little less seriously every day.
You reap what you sow
You want a different fruit? You need to plant a different tree. Doing the same thing and expecting different results will never work. What you give, you get. What you focus on, grows.
Love people just as they are
Don’t insist that people change. You may be clear and honest in what you want, but after that step back and whole heartedly accept and allow every single person you meet.
Change what you can change, accept what you must accept
See the difference. Give yourself the wisdom to see what you can change or leave and what you must accept. Don’t push or force anything. Its a complete waste of time.
Call your mother
Part two coming soon...
My life has changed immeasurably since I came to learn a simple, easy meditation technique, and actually used it every day. It still surprises me, the power of sitting down every day and closing my eyes.
I really feel like I have become the person I always knew I was, but just couldn’t guarantee I could be.
In the past I would get stuck in these mental loops of thinking and worrying. I knew all about the worries and the fears, it was just that I couldn’t get out of them. They seemed to possess me. I would wake up worrying about something I said the previous day or worrying about what would happen in the upcoming, or about my bank balance.
I was constantly saying one thing to one person and another thing to another person. I was trying to be all things to all people. I would get stressed, so easily. I would lose my cool over the smallest things.
In no way was I a basket case, there was just plenty of room for more enjoyment and ease. Which I now have, which continues to grow.
I also seem to have found my purpose. I had a wonderful life, I had ticked all the boxes on my “to do and to have” list, and yet I was not content. It was a confusing time - my tick list said I should be happy and yet there was a growing unease which said I wasn’t.
The small act of closing my eyes every day and becoming more and more present has meant everything that I do is based in a satisfaction or a sense of wholeness and fulfilment.
There is no more idea that there is something else, that I’m missing out on something, the question “what am I doing here?” doesn’t appear. There is no worry, no fear, no unease.
In many ways, nothing has changed. I literally have gotten nothing from meditation - but everything that is not me has fallen away. In one word, meditation has given me authenticity… and freedom from worry and fear… and purpose, meaning and satisfaction… and real enjoyment of life… and a million other things
It’s the smallest thing, to become present, to learn to meditate, to actually practice but it gives you so much.
Why not? What have you got to lose?
If you never did anything different, where would you be?If you never took a step into the unknown, what experience would you have? The same as ever, the same as everyone else.
Everything that you have done that is worth doing has required you to go beyond your comfort zone. Moving forward is rarely comfortable.
The mind hates progress for this reason. And it’s why you can use that feeling as a gauge to indicate what is truly important to you.
If the idea of doing something makes you nervous or brings up doubt about whether you are up to the task then that is an excellent indicator of importance. Follow that idea, do that thing.
You see, the opposite of love is not hate but indifference.
If it doesn’t require you to overcome some resistance to get it, it has little value to you. The more resistance, the more value it has to you.
I don’t think you will ever get to a place where courage isn’t required. You just get better at ignoring the “I can’t’s”, the even more subtle “I’m not ready yet’s”, and of course the “it might all go wrong’s and then what’s?”
Being bolder is a skill that you can practice. It starts with awareness of your mind’s limitations and setting your attention beyond these complaints.
What do you want to do? Expect resistance and jump anyway.
The first step before flying is to leap.
Happiness is a choice. When you realise you aren’t so much in control of the situation as you are in control of your reaction to the situation, then happiness becomes a viable option. It becomes in your control.
So how can you set your day up to be a happy one?
I have drawn up a little list for you. Feel free to add your own:
1.) Prioritise said happiness Wake up every morning with the intention of making the foundation of your day the choice to be happy (or whatever the most important thing is to you: peace, contentment, love etc). Put it first on your list.
2.) Meditate regularly Meditation - properly done - is the practice of being non-judgementally aware. Through practice a state of calm, connectedness grows within you. You also get to clearly see what choices serve you, and are able to make new ones.
3.) Accept Learn to accept the things you can’t change or leave. Don’t settle for complaining or blaming. Just accept and then you can work with what you have. Complaining is not the road to happiness.
4.) Live with your glass half-full Not an invitation to live in the pub, but rather an invitation to choose to appreciate: to see the good and the positive. You can do this in any situation or with any person, you just need to decide to.
5.) Be Grateful Happiness isn’t provided by the people and the things in your life. Happiness comes from the gratitude that these people and things are there. Gratitude is the fastest path for more.
6.) Give Find a way to give to other people. Even if it is a smile or the intention to make someone’s life a little easier, do it. You cannot be self-absorbed when you are giving. And if you find yourself ‘stuck’, get going and give.
7.) Hang out with happy people Spend as much time as you can with people that make you happy. It is contagious!
8.) Live a life of purpose Every day, do those things that fulfil your purpose. If you aren’t sure what your purpose is, it is closely related to your passions.
Give them a try and see what happens…
Why would you want to spend precious time in your day with your eyes closed? What does it do for the real world?
Well... you know that person, that one inside you?
I do. I learnt to meditate because I wanted him to be around more.
You know... that guy or girl within you who is patient, open and friendly, happy, helpful, able to deal with life easily.
The one that doesn’t worry about their bills or get uptight about doing the things that they have to do.
The one who is able to stand up for themselves and be direct but who is able help everyone win. Who no matter what just lets it go, thinks of something funny to say and gets on.
That one that doesn't throw their dummy when everyone else around them is throwing theirs.
The one that doesn't take anything seriously, yet who is really clear and creative and gets stuff done with the minimum of fuss.
The one that really appreciates the people in their life and takes the time to let them know, who sees the beauty in their world, who is grateful for what they have.
The one that rests content at night in the knowledge that they have played a small part in making the world a better place.
You know that person, right? Inside you?
I know you live a busy life, but stop for a moment. Ask yourself, what is the purpose of your life? Not as in what do you want to do in your life, but how do you want to do it? Are the things in your life as important as the quality of it? What is it that is important to you?
I ask this because, in the pursuit of making the money to make life happen, that person inside all of us gets lost. We get tired, stressed, we make other priorities. We forget what is really important to us in the busy-ness of our day to day, we don't take time to get unstressed.
This is just one of the reasons why I continue to meditate. The more regularly I practice, the more that guy comes out – and the more I become him. I see this for everyone who practices regularly. It is just a matter of stopping and going within, and the knots of busy-ness are allowed to untie around that person inside you.
What would your life be like if he or she came out more regularly? What if you were her or him all the time? Isn't it worth finding out?
Life is so precious. You have no idea how much time you have. Please, whatever you do with your life, you don't want to waste it. Make the most of it, now.
Many people ask: "How do you be full of peace and yet live a full, rich life?", as if they are two distinct things.
They aren't two different things. Being peaceful and full of purpose actually nurture each other. You can't live a complete life without either. So many people sell themselves short, either chasing their goals at the expense of their peace, or chasing their peace at the loss of their goals.
It needn't be this way. All the great people of this world have both - they embody a seeming paradox of having an intense will and at the same time possessing a huge humility. They have direction and certainty and yet are open to more, open to learn.
Coming to know that still quiet place inside gives you a platform so that you can experience the same. Its two branches coming from the same tree: The ability to be completely calm and content and yet dedicate your attention to whatever you wish.
In other words, you can access a complete dedication to your goals, a one pointed focus on what you are called to do and not let anything stand in your way, and have an absolute ability to "let go" and "go with the flow", to be completely loving and present to this moment.
Its important that you know that this isn't an either/or option.
So many people have made it so over the years. Because of this common movement it seems that this idea has become "true". Luckily the Truth is not democratic.
The more you experience the quiet presence inside, the more you'll come to be authentic, to live life in your own way. And then the more you live your life, the more peace and the more certainty you will find in activity, in busy-ness. It will become so that you cannot live any other way.
You can have your cake and eat it too. Everything is right here, within you.
When you were born, you cried and the world rejoiced. Live a life so that when you die, the world cries and you rejoice - Anon Have you wondered what your purpose is? For what reason you are on this planet?
I got so excited when I met the Ishayas because I felt like I had found my purpose. The simple ability to be able to choose to experience that certain "something"... that spaciousness beyond my mind... that full, calm, clear "presence" within... that state of "Flow"...
...whatever you want to call it, it filled a hole in my heart that had been there for a long time. Committing my life to that choice was the only thing that made sense to me. Realizing that I could help others to the same experience just made my heart sing. I’ve always wanted to help others and here was the thing.
Have you wondered what your purpose is? For what reason you are on this planet?
Your purpose is exactly the same as your passion. Passion is the motor that gives drive to the GPS direction located in your heart. You all know what your passion is, the hardest thing is that we feel we should be doing something else. It’s that old chestnut of who we are is not good enough; what we want to do, we shouldn’t.
Everyone I’ve talked to about passion is almost always seeking permission to do the things that bring them the greatest joy. We know what we love to do, sometimes we’re just waiting for the acknowledgement that we are allowed to do that, that it’s okay to do that.
So here it is: You are officially allowed to do whatever it is that makes your heart sing. God definitely wants you to, that’s why she gave you a heart that could sing.
There’s a question that the Ishayas asked me once that never fails to align my life: “Where in my life am I compromising?” Some of you may remember that. Part of compromise is living a life that isn’t completely full. You know that in your heart of hearts. Time to have a look and see if there is something you need to be doing. Follow your passion, make a difference.
I don't believe people are looking for the meaning of life as much as they are looking for the experience of being alive - Joseph Campbell
Many people spend their life looking for their purpose. They want to find out why they are here. They want to wake up in the morning with a sense of contributing to something, of knowing that they are of use.
Do you know what I mean?
The answer to your life’s purpose lies in the question: What makes you come alive? What is it that you love to do?
The things that make you come alive are the very things that shape your purpose. Get clear on your passions and your gifts and you’ll find your purpose.
Quite often people don’t think that what they love to do is enough, as in “useful” enough. They think it’s too simple, not important or grand enough to make a difference. Or they want to do it more, but they doubt their abilities, or they doubt they can make a living doing it, or whatever.
But when you do what you love to do, what state do you enter?
Aware, absorbed, excited, peaceful, complete, content, joyful, satisfied... alive.
You need to do the things you love to do because it makes your life worth living. Do what you love to do more, simply for you and you may find in the doing so you change the world.
“Don't ask yourself what the world needs - ask yourself what makes you come alive, and then go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” - Harold Thurman
That point of alive presence and stillness that comes when you're immersed in what you love will show you the real key to purpose.
All doubt about what we want to do is dissolved when we fully give ourselves to it. When you’re absorbed in your own presence and awareness, when you stop worrying and start being, there is no doubt.
That is your real purpose: To come alive to such a degree that doubt no longer exists, no matter what you are involved in.
Your being alive speaks volumes, far more than words or noble deeds. People notice your alive presence, and want to really live too.
Your purpose is to be alive, truly alive.
Seek first the Kingdom of Heaven and all else shall be added onto you- Jesus Since death is inevitable, why not do as the sages say and see if what they say works - Nisargadatta Maharaj
In every moment there is a choice: We are either turning towards or turning away from peace.
Why do you constantly delay your peace? Do you realise that you do?
So many people postpone. First of all, there is a basic equation that we believe works: “When I have x I shall be y.” When I have my new job I can be peaceful. When I find my soul mate I shall be content. When I lose a few more pounds I will be happy.
Humanity believes there is a middle man to peace. We believe happiness lies in things. Find the right person, possession, pet etc. etc. and all will be well.
The second thing is that we say peace is the most important thing in our life, but it is the first thing out the window. It’s a priority, but how much time do you spend in your day making sure you have peace? Not relative, “I’m okay, I got through that day” kind of peace, but nothing but absolute seamless perfect peace?
Even when you have a simple, effortless meditation technique such as the Ishayas' Ascension that makes peace a direct, continuous and unconditional lived experience, you still delay.
Many don’t use it. Many don't practice like the teachers tell them to. They treat it like an aspirin, taking it off the shelf when times are tough. Or when times are tough it’s the first thing to get dropped.
I don’t want this to be an excuse to beat yourself up, but a chance to see what your priorities are. You don't have to give anything up, just realise what is the most important thing to you. When you do, keep it constantly as the first thing and the last thing in your life.
My teacher once said that for anyone to experience all the wonders of the world that the sages have talked about for millennia is “never a case of can you, but will you”.
What if everything the sages say is true? And if not now, when?