I’ve prepared a series of posts and interviews for you, all around the topic: What is a meditative life? There are many simple but effective methods that can help us to live in a more meditative way. In the coming weeks I will write a series of posts sharing experiences and ideas from myself and people I’ve interviewed.
In my own life I’ve studied and practiced various methods in many different arenas: at the university, in schools, hospitals, during many years in full-time meditation retreat, and in my life after retreat. Throughout I’ve been interested in the ways we naturally function; less in how to change myself or others, but in how to find a ‘good life’ in our life as it is. Also I was always interested in a far perspective, in what our life looks like if we see it from a point much later on.
Now I’m going to write something that I write all the time and which my husband (my editor) tells me people might be tired of hearing. But life is just like this: Daily we follow along our patterns and paths. We have duties and wishes, there things that we like and other things that are challenging. We meet people and situations that we love or that we shy away from. In all of that we move along as well as we can. It’s important for us to recognize that our life is variable like this, and that it will be like this! Chances are we will not “break through” into some other life in which ups and downs don’t exist and all our reactivity is gone. Not right away, anyway.
Acting and Reacting
We have gifts and limitations, good and difficult conditions. Sometimes we are lucky and other times not. How do we act and react to all of that? Do we feel that this situation is normal and even good or do we conclude that this variability means that life is tiresome and difficult? Do we expect the good or the difficult? These expectations determine what our daily life feels like to us.
Our inner approach will strongly color how we react to what’s coming our way. I feel that it’s a big help merely to know this. We all have our character and our conditions, but we are not simply exposed to our inner weather like a person naked out in the storm. We have (can have) a conscious inner approach that we know is ours and that can act like a well-protected place in all sorts of weather. We can choose that approach and we can refine it.
Our mind and our external influences
For a mind that frequently experiences space, trust, confidence, and peace, everything is easier. But these qualities are not necessarily available for us at all times. Instead we are generally trained to always have to decide, act, and even intervene and that just trusting is naïve or even weak. Also we often learn that there are specific things we need to do if we want to affect what is going on. However, at some point in life we discover that our ability to control things is not as great as we might have been taught. We might suffer from things that just happen to us. These are moments to develop new qualities.
These new qualities are already existing within our mind. We are using them daily. If we learn to be more aware and focus on them even more, we can train and refine them. Maybe you would enjoy observing this within your own mind. For now you can find some inspiration here and some more information and exercises here. Also I wrote about my own reflections on a meditative lifestyle.
For now I wish a wonderful week for all of you!