Seeds for Meditation … Be Present

be present


Be Present …..In the state of mindlessness, our mind is not free to think, focus and act. It is bound by images, thoughts, feelings and functions in a mechanical and repetitive manner. Each one of us at some point in life wishes to change either ourselves or others. However, we often remain stuck due to the all-pervasive impact of mindlessness that we are largely unaware of.

The first component of mindlessness is the desire to control. Everyone carries a fantasy of how they and the rest of the world should be. People are constantly putting intense pressure on their own selves as well as others to match up to this image.

Usually, there are reasons behind all negative and dysfunctional behaviours and these attributes cannot vanish until understood and dealt with systematically. If we try to suppress negativity, there is often a counterattack from negative forces. In our desire to control things, we forget this simple fact and end up creating more misery for ourselves and others. Mind power can be utilised only when we give up the wish to control and instead, work to build understanding.

Another element of mindlessness is our obsession with the past and future. There are individuals who relive memories of a happy past or mourn negative experiences. Some are petrified by possibilities of future uncertainty and focus their attention in fighting imaginary battles. There are still others who keep daydreaming about an ideal future. On the whole people spend a lot of their present time in either dissecting past baggage or imagining an ideal future. As a result, they are not anchored in their present and are unable to put it to good use. We need to understand that what really exists is neither the past nor future but the present. We can grow only when our complete attention is anchored in the present.

The third component of mindlessness is greed for quick enlightenment. Several people experience disillusionment because they commit themselves to superficial perspectives for instant nirvana. Another set of people are those who commit to a valid perspective but leave it halfway as they are unable to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Both types of individuals experience intense suffering due to their attitude.

It is important to remember that no one can give you enlightenment. The wise can guide you but enlightenment will come only gradually with your own consistent efforts. When even the most revered masters got enlightenment after years of hard work and patience how can there be a short cut?

In order to grow and blossom it is important to become aware of our mindlessness and gradually change it to mindfulness. Mindfulness is very liberating as it requires us to notice and understand all kinds of thoughts, feelings and actions without judgment or criticism.

We should try to keep our attention in the ‘here and now’ and observe all that is happening around us without clinging to either the past or future. In this journey, we need to move at our own natural pace with perseverance and without greed. Although mindfulness appears to be simple and trivial at the outset, it is,in fact, the essence. About mindfulness Buddha said-‘Mindfulness, I declare, is all-helpful.

All things can be mastered by mindfulness.’

  ~ Zuli Masih


Meditate on Gratitude Today


Always start your day with gratitude.

Quite often we take our blessings for granted. Too often, we forget to appreciate the people or things we already have in our lives as we rush to strive for other things that we do not have. But, by doing so, we do not enjoy the beautiful people or things that are present in our lives NOW.

** So, take a moment of your busy schedule every day to be thankful for the countless blessings that God has showered on each of us. You will notice that it will bring you so much peace when you know that you already have so much blessing in your life.

JUST FOR TODAY … Go Through A Check-up From The Neck Up

praying at mosqueAlan Watts had a singular way of dispersing our illusory convictions about infinitely important dualities, such as belief vs. faith … or, money vs. wealth … or, productivity vs. presence … or, ego vs. true self … selfishness vs. gratitude … or, stimulation vs. wisdom … or, profit vs. purpose … or, the notions of hurrying and timing. In his essay “Does It Matter? Essays on Man’s Relation to Materiality (1970)”, Watts said:

“Just exactly what is the “good” to which we aspire through doing and eating things that are supposed to be good for us? This question is strictly taboo, for if it were seriously investigated the whole economy and social order would fall apart and have to be reorganized. It would be like the donkey finding out that the carrot dangled before him, to make him run, is hitched by a stick to his own collar. For the good to which we aspire exists only and always in the future. Because we cannot relate to the sensuous and material present we are most happy when good things are expected to happen, not when they are happening. We get such a kick out of looking forward to pleasures and rushing ahead to meet them that we can’t slow down enough to enjoy them when they come. We are therefore a civilization which suffers from chronic disappointment — a formidable swarm of spoiled children smashing their toys.”

He later addressed the last duality related to Timing thus: “there is indeed such a thing as “timing” — the art of mastering rhythm — but timing and hurrying are … mutually exclusive.”

Check in to yourself, BE PRESENT with what’s going on inside as you go into your day or relate to others …

“The prevalent sensation of oneself as a separate ego enclosed in a bag of skin is a hallucination which accords neither with Western science nor with the experimental philosophy-religions of the East.” ~ Alan Watts


Just For Today … Focus on Personal Connection

be present
Nurture kindness through personal connection.  Try to bring awareness to those moments of disconnectedness. Or, alternately, why not designate an hour of your day to go ‘hands free’ instead?

Years ago, we didn’t have to try so hard to stay connected. People lived in neighborhoods, and there weren’t many strangers that didn’t ultimately become friends. We watched over one another with relationships built upon a foundation of shared interdependence, ensuring plenty of kindness to go around. Sadly though, through our own scientific progress, we now live in an age of ‘connected disconnection.’ Even the most basic of needs are provided by faceless entities. But, at what cost?

“We are all so much together, but we are all dying of loneliness.”  — Albert Schweitzer


This is how nurturing kindness through personal connection looks … how ’bout it?

Zen story ~ “Two Monks and a Woman”

two monks and woman

A senior monk and a junior monk were traveling together. At one point, they came to a river with a strong current. As the monks were preparing to cross the river, they saw a very young and beautiful woman also attempting to cross. The young woman asked if they could help her cross to the other side.

The two monks glanced at one another because they had taken vows not to touch a woman.

Then, without a word, the older monk picked up the woman, carried her across the river, placed her gently on the other side, and carried her across the river, and carried on his journey.

The younger monk couldn’t believe what had just happened. After rejoining his companion, he was speechless, and an hour passed without a word between them.

Two more hours passed, then three, finally the younger monk could contain himself any longer, and blurted out “As monks, we are not permitted a woman, how could you then carry that woman on your shoulders?”

The older monk looked at him and replied, “Brother, I set her down on the other side of the river, why are you still carrying her?”

This simple Zen story has a beautiful message about living in the present moment. How often do we carry around past hurts, holding onto resentments when the only person we are really hurting is ourselves.

We all go through times in life when other people say things or behave in a way that is hurtful towards us. We can chose to ruminate over past actions or events, but it will ultimately weigh us down and sap our energy.

Instead we can choose to let go of what doesn’t serve us anymore and concentrate on the present moment. Until we can find a level of peace and happiness in the present circumstances of our lives, we will never be content, because ‘now’ is all we will ever have.