Are you ready to break free from the patterns of self-sabotage that keep you stuck in cycles of misery? If so, it’s time to give meditation a try. Meditation has been around for centuries and has been used by countless individuals as a tool of liberation and transformation. By learning how to meditate, you can clear away the fog of programming and mental chatter that keeps you from accessing your true gifts and potential. It is time to embrace Zen—the punk rock of the old world—and set yourself free!
What is Meditation, Really?
You’d be hard-pressed to find someone who hasn’t at least heard of meditation. The last few decades have intertwined this ancient practice into our culture, but how many of us have actually experienced its true power?
Basic Meditation is a practice where an individual focuses their mind on something like a mantra or an intention. This allows them to bring awareness to their thoughts, feelings, and emotions without judgment or attachment. The goal is to be mindful rather than reactive. To observe our inner landscape with clarity and objectivity. Through this process, we can begin to dismantle our own broken thinking and create space for new perspectives and ideas that will help us live more authentically.
But is that all of it?
Surely, there is more!
Well, the good news is that there is. Often, meditation is thought of as a tool to clear the mind of clutter or to bring us peace, but is it more than this? In my experience, the popular view of meditation is severely limited. It isn’t just a tool to help us go about our day with more ease, though it is stellar in this regard.
Meditation is the key to total liberation!
We suffer needlessly, in nearly every day of our lives, because we have become out of sync with our true nature as beings that only live in the present moment. Yet we fixate on the fickle memories of the past, clinging to the “shoulds” and the “coulds”. Or we frantically grasp at straw men, trying to divine the future.
It is tiresome, and it delivers no reward. Take a moment to think about the countless thoughts you have. The mindtails we follow lead us to strange places sometimes places that grant us a particularly intriguing insight into the nature of our story. But essentially, our overworked minds lead us to one end: overstimulation. This overstimulation can generate quite a list of side effects, including frustration, anxiety, listlessness, and depression, just to name a few.
This vicious cycle continues, day after day, week after week, and then we either collapse under the weight of our overrun minds or decide to tackle the core issue. That we have lost total control of our mental faculties. In fact, someone else seems to be running the show.
Who is this someone else? Well, that’s a tricky question with a multifold answer, but for the sake of this article, it is our “runaway ego”. This aspect of self is not bad, it is just incapable of fully running the show by itself. It needs a teammate; it needs us to reclaim a bit of our lost power. Because, guess what, the ego is tired too.
But what if we could interrupt this cycle?
Well…For only three easy payments…
Excuse the humor; the point is that it is simple. We need to slow down, sit, and be present with our thoughts.
The Benefits of Meditation
The benefits of meditation are numerous; it can help reduce stress, improve focus, increase creativity, reduce anxiety and depression, improve sleep quality, increase self-awareness, boost confidence, cultivate compassion for yourself, and increase resilience in challenging times…the list goes on! But perhaps the most significant benefit of all is the sense of freedom that comes from stepping out of our own limiting beliefs and into a space where anything is possible. When we practice meditation regularly, we open ourselves up to a world full of possibilities.
Ultimately, what we will find in our meditation practice is that our mind has become a complete mess of tangled narratives and mixed messages. Life is challenging, and we’ve been doing our best, but it’s time to step up and try a new approach. Our problem stems from our addiction to attachments and aversions.
We either cling to the things we want or our pleasures. Or we push as hard as possible against the things that make us feel yucky. The key is to sit with these things and allow them to happen. This is where meditation is genuinely adept.
Our mind is the world’s grandest stage, the cinema of cinemas; it’s our life story. When we approach meditation as a non-judgmental space to view the silver screen of our lives, we begin to detach ourselves from the equation. This detachment has an incredible value; it takes us outside of our reactive nature and gives us a new perspective. It even gives us an opportunity to untangle some of the narratives that keep us fixed in a state of suffering.
For instance, we might view a situation that makes us angry. But as we distance ourselves from it or simply allow the anger to be processed without trying to control it, we might find a different perspective. Perhaps the event could be viewed differently. Is there another way to view this? Or maybe this anger dissipates on its own if we allow it to process and release. This is the gift of meditation.
Now, as we sit, the anger leaves us, and one of the many tangled knots in our minds has been released. Here comes another. And so on. We sit, we breathe, we allow, we do not judge.
In this radical acceptance, we begin to find more power, purpose, and presence. We do this through the power of practice.
Zen as Radical Acceptance
At its core, Zen teaches us radical acceptance – accepting ourselves fully with all our flaws – even those parts that we would rather not confront or acknowledge. It teaches us how to be present with our experiences without attaching any meaning or judgment. This helps us become more resilient in the face of change to stay focused on what matters most in life – joy, connection with others, and personal growth – instead of getting lost in fear-based thinking patterns. The power of Zen lies in its ability to show us how we have control over our lives but don’t have control over everything else – which ultimately leads us back home toward peace within ourselves.
Meditation is an ancient practice with modern-day applications; it’s a powerful tool for liberation and transformation that can help us break free from cycles of self-sabotage so that our true gifts can shine through the messiness of life’s programming. Zen provides an opportunity for radical acceptance – accepting ourselves fully with all our flaws – which helps us become more resilient when facing challenging times.
If you’re looking for a way out of your shitty life, look no further than meditation; it might be the key you’ve been searching for!