From my new blog A Mindful Union –
Let’s look at an overview of meditation itself
For me, I believe we don’t meditate to find peace. We meditate to be at peace with what we find – in Mindfulness meditation we develop the ability to accept the emotions and feelings that occur during the meditation.
For meditation, we need to develop the ability to stay present. What I mean by that is to stay in the moment, without reliving the past or having expectations about the future.
Imagine yourself meditating half way down a long hallway in a house, from the front door to the back door. The thoughts come in the front door, you note them and accept them (for they are you) … then you lightly move on, without engaging in the thought itself, (it will go, once you don’t validate it) the thought then moves on down the hallway and out the back door, it may come back, each time it does follow the same process, it will lose its urgency its .. you need to engage with me.
The thought may be about the past (depression, regret or shame perhaps) or about the future, such as anxiety or fear about a forthcoming event, or perhaps the fear of loss. We cannot invest or follow the thought (no matter how important or urgent it seems), for the moment we do, we drop out of meditation, because we are no longer present, so we can no longer be mindful.
Once we regularly meditate, we develop mindfulness, in part it allows us to understand what we can change, and what we can’t – to detach from things we cannot control, for instance, other people’s action (or any influence outside of us) that effects us. I find now, that mindfulness itself is not difficult, but what is difficult is to remember to be mindful in our day to day lives.
Note; Mediation is not something to be achieved, it is something we have to be the person to properly meditate – it can be a slow process of becoming, but take heart, even sitting on a mat for 30 seconds with a clear mind, is worth celebrating, remember little steps forward – often. Each day if you truly wish it, it will get better it – but it does takes time – remember nothing worth having is a easy fix.
Sleep – the great restorer
Once I regularly meditated, it affected my whole life. Sleep, became deep and restorative. Sleep, especially uninterrupted sleep can be elusive, yet mindfulness meditation assisted me in getting more restorative regular sleep, without medication.
Mindfulness meditation can allow us to gradually develop greater control over our emotions, which leads to clarity of thought in difficult situations. For me the revelation was that once I realised that everything changes, nothing seems to be that imperative in the moment, remember it’s not the situation that is causing you pain, it is your thoughts about the situation.
We go through life, one foot in front of the other, focusing on the next goal, the next thing, always the next thing …. then … life happens.
In my case I had been in a relationship for years, we were deeply involved, when all of a sudden she said "David, I can’t do this anymore" … do what I thought … the most monumental challenge of my life was about to begin – I had to face it head on.
I know the more widely accepted model is the Kubler-Ross model, but I felt this was was more applicable to my emotional or spiritual challenge
Stage One – SHOCK & DENIAL
We may react to learning of the Challenge with numbed, uncomprehending disbelief. You may deny, frantically try to rationalize the reality of the loss in order to avoid the pain. The shock is normal, experience it, as it provides the emotional protection from being overwhelmed all at once. This may last for weeks or longer,
Stage Two – PAIN & GUILT
As the shock wears off, it is replaced with the suffering of profound pain – this is normal, please try to experience the pain fully, and not hide from it, at this point is is incredibly important not to escape from it with alcohol or drugs.
Life feels chaotic, uncertain and scary at this point ..
Stage 3 – ANGER & BARGAINING
Frustration increases and may give way to anger, be aware that you may project this anger and anxiety onto family, friends or medical professionals – be aware and try to control this, as permanent damage to your relationships may result. This is a time to look outwards and find ways to release the bottled up emotion.
You may shout at the rain, Why Me ? You may also try to bargain in vain with the powers that be for a way out of your despair ("I will never …. If… )
Stage 4 – "DEPRESSION", REFLECTION, LONELINESS
A relatively long period of reflection may overtake you. This is a normal stage – flow with this, do not be "talked out of it" by well-meaning friends or family. Encouragement from others does not penetrate and serves no function but to increase the self doubt. For during this time, you finally comprehend the true magnitude of your loss, and it depression deepens, you may isolate yourself on purpose, reflect on things you did with your lost one, and focus on memories – this may be exacerbated by feelings of emptiness, despair and frustration and self doubt.
Stage 5 – THE UPWARD TURN-
As the reality of starting life without, your life becomes a little calmer and more organized. Your physical symptoms lessen, and your "depression" the feeling that your head feels like a sponge with no ability to think begins to lift.
Stage 6 – RECONSTRUCTION & WORKING THROUGH-
As you become more functional, your mind starts working again, and you will find yourself looking for realistic solutions to the life challenge posed by life without your loved one. You start to work on practical ways of reconstructing yourself and your life.
Stage 7 – ACCEPTANCE & HOPE
During this, the last of the seven stages in this grief model, we learn to accept and deal with the reality of our situation. Acceptance doesn’t necessarily bring instant happiness.
Given the challenged face and the pain and turmoil you have experienced, you can never return to the carefree, untroubled YOU that existed before this tragedy. But you will find a way forward.
You will start to look forward and actually plan things for the future. Eventually, you will be able to think about your lost loved one without pain; sadness, yes, but the wrenching pain will be gone. You will once again anticipate some good times to come, and yes, even find joy again in the experience of living
I can see a light at the end of the tunnel and that light is me
I later went into meditation, mindful meditation and movement therapy such as Thai Chi and Chi Gong (Qigong) … it was the initial reason why I give to others by teaching mindful meditation and movement therapies like Qigong and Tai Chi. online and in person http://mindfulunion.wordpress.com
Writing meditation is an exercise that I have used on many occasions – The purpose is to help direct our mind to change our behavior, by understanding the causality of that behaviour.
The way I have understood it is that any challenge we have undergone, in the past or even a current challenge is often not understood at a feeling level – because we are face to face with it.
Hence by writing we can forge a connection between the conscious mind and that part of our mind that houses feelings. Now do correct me if I am wrong but feelings are placed in the mind in the mammalian brain, referred to as the Limbic system … its where feelings are, it where all decisions are made … so I have found by writing every day we gradually form a link between the feeling part of the mind and the rational mind … we convert the feelings into something we can understand … we have to do this as the Limbic system does not have language hence, we have to understand its messages another way …. gradual and regular journal writing did that for me, perhaps it can do it for you?
Gradually over time, we form a link between the parts of the brain and will understand that a frustration we might be feeling may be something like a past regret, a depression or some level of anxiousness about something in the future …the quickest way to start to understand this is to say …. if you are feeling depressed or shameful then the event you are thinking about occurred in the past. If you are feeling fearful or anxious then the event you are concerned about will occur in the future.
Many of the common feelings come from fear … control comes from fear, aggression comes from fear … even conformity is based on control which comes from fear, there can also be fear that non-conformity will hinder us in attaining their goals or being accepted … Governments love it, but conformity is a pipe dream as it is quite unattainable.
Take a few minutes a day … find a quiet place and start writing …
I have found that after about a week of being quiet and writing, you will find yourself becoming more in tune with your feelings, you will become calmer … this can help with your day to day relationships —- My experience is that the changes in your understanding and behaviour will take place without any conscious effort, no matter how old, or what has happened in the past in the normal course of your life, writing a journal will literally calm and bring understanding to your life in just a matter of a few weeks.
This is not the usual content for this site, and I suppose this is a little subjective … but here goes … for years I used Seagate drives and Hitachi (formerly IBM ) drives ….
After the failure of a batch of Seagate drives I thought I would do a comparison …
Exactly 54 weeks ago, I bought the following drives at the same time … used in the same way, stationary on a desktop as a general backup drive.
Qty One Seagate Expansion Disk Backup drive – 2 TB capacity USB 3.0
Qty one Aldi (Supermarket) Disk Backup drive – 1 TB Capacity USB 3.0
All seemed well then exactly 53 weeks, the Seagate drive failed … it just stopped … one week after warranty expired.
The Aldi drive which was cheaper than the Seagate, but is still going strong ….
Some investigations I have done showed the general failure rate of Hitachi and Western Digital Drives in between 1 and 3%
… the failure rate for Seagate drives in over 9% peaking over 13% …
I just thought that this was worth sharing … I guess the learning experience for me .. is what good is a backup drive that fails on such a high and regular basis … taking with it important files…at the end of the day, Seagate though cheaper, followed the old adage that you get what you pay for …
Needless to say I will not be buying Seagate or any of their brand names … no matter how cheap they are.
For an unbiased view point on drives see here http://www.pcworld.com/article/2089464/three-year-27-000-drive-study-reveals-the-most-reliable-hard-drive-makers.html
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At times in our lives, circumstances bring us to a junction, we delay, we rationalise but eventually we face an excruciating decision, that in all cases, asks the question, do I stay on the path that I believed would lead me to my destiny, or do I take the road less traveled – sadly in this case I feel the decision has been made for me.
Life when lived in the present moment, begins in Acceptance, for life is all that we create in the present .. the future; is yet to be made … the past is history, or our personal version of it, it is really a personal memory, it’s only use is to learn from, the memory will all to soon become a fading life lesson or joyful experience of the past – be grateful for all life experiences … then in the present, that overpowering moment will come, you dread it, but the letting go begins, eventually in the future at some point that will transition into “moving on” … at this time a place is created for synchronicity to enter your life again … for new experiences, and yet still we wonder, especially if it is a fondly held desire or experience …. maybe its not over!
I believe that letting go is always an intention we must have in the present moment, it is not state to be reached on a mountain to be climbed, for after a while, what was once a cherished experience, or an ambition or a person .. we struggle, we seek to try to triumph over the obstacles, we try … but at some point an awareness comes that perhaps the gap between you and your beloved is so vast, you don’t know the way, you can’t fix what is wrong yourself – you need help, but it does not come, you are adrift in a fog at sea without a paddle or compass … the gap between you widens, the relationship begins very slowly to wither, perhaps because of lack of thought, kindness, or even empathy for the others experience, or perhaps for your own … these are the little deaths by degree, we fear, we doubt – especially when we reflect on the wonder of what was – but it withers before our eyes, we should engage to heal, but if that isn’t possible, we fight – we tenaciously hold on by our finger nails, but inevitably we will accept what is clear, it’s over. Eventually we will emulate that well trodden historical meme … “time heals” … we detach, and we have a space in our lives, for something to come at some point … and suddenly we are in a strange place …. we are free, that kind of scary freedom, where we are truly responsible for our lives, hold true to your values in choosing what may come … eventually that once cherished dream, becomes a memory which eventually we will place at the back of the dark bookshelf in the archive of our mind – from this we can draw some comfort from the understanding that without forgetting life would be impossible.
We then begin the hardest task of all, for its time to go on alone, we feel someone is strangely absent, but strengthened that the world didn’t end … we process the loss and in some cases even the expectation of what never came into our present … and we begin at first with the most tentative baby steps, we step by step create the future from what comes into our present at that future time. We forgive the past, we smile lovingly at those that visited for such a short time, then eventually we are free to begin again, we do this so we don’t carry the past with us, and so the past does not affect our future … but still even after all this, in the solitude of the moment we reflect, perhaps whilst we wait in line for coffee, or in solitude at the park, we wistfully muse on what might have been, and wonder !!
Much, much later, we wander through our senses and you discover that life has a different taste … a sense of wonder for what may come … for me, I want the present I have to manifest in its full glory, if not I wonder what is to come, but I know that whatever comes, I will be open to it and flow :)
I wrote about the principles of Socrates Fundamental Principles – on this blog – http://bit.ly/qW3zgk
Here I am writing about Gandhi and his 7 Dangers to Human Virtue … the 7 things that will destroy us.
- Wealth without work
- Pleasure without conscience
- Knowledge without character
- Business without ethics
- Science without humanity
- Religion without sacrifice
- Politics without Principle
We as a culture and a society fail in every single count. We need change in our society.. because we are not living in harmony, we are living, or trying to live alone … I coined the term “Social Intelligence” — a crowd sourced consciousness and intelligence
If we can somehow live the life for others, which of course means that others live their life for us .. what is wrong with that or we could encapsulate it by saying “If we all lived for others – sounds so great, as remember that means that others are living their life for you”
Remember what Martin Luther King Jr. said in 1955 … “Christ gave us the goals and Mahatma Gandhi the tactics.”
This has to be brief, as when you look at what is going on, one could fill a bookshelf …
Well since I wrote the last one in 2013 – here – a lot has happened … I feel the paradigm is in it’s death throws, though those in power don’t know it yet, much could be ameliorated if only we would learn from history – even looking at the British even the Roman empires, but as Hegel said, one thing we can be sure of is that humanity never learns from history.
I feel that the problems are profound that beset this paradigm, half way through 2014 … much of it comes to the maturity of the paradigm, and the inability to see outside of the current beliefs .. except for some rare counties, like Iceland for instance … for most however the centralized command and control will disintegrate to transition, eventually to regional even community based priorities, I am not sure the change will be without issues, even assuming that Gaia herself, who is not passive as she is after all a life form, or should I say the pre-eminent life form, so far as we are concerned – our activity has taken her out of balance – hopefully she does not say enough is enough and issue an event on the world to get rid of the pesky humans … assuming she does not then we have a few problems that will come as a result firstly as the United States, withdraws from the world, leaving a power vacuum .. Which will be filled by the likes of Russia and China … however the contraction of the USA will have an effect on both Russia, whose major income source (in USD$) is energy (Oil and gas) and China manufacturing … both economies are at risk from a weakened and contracting America – much of this relates to the USD$ itself (whilst it remains a reserve currency, which may also change) – worldwide, there will likely be a huge adjustment in global economies, where millions, perhaps hundreds of millions will be at risk.
Worldwide we are in a state of crisis, with those in Government being driven by fear as they run to control us … with the total invasion of the internet as detailed in the Snowden revelations .. through legislation, through money, through our beliefs, through manipulation by fear and scarcity, through blatant power .. the hang onto the past, the strangeness here is that they think they have the right to take these actions … this of course brings us to a whole new subject, that of our underlying belief systems which is another post I am working on … mind you if we closely look at the basis of many beliefs, those which we have so far chosen to accept, many are without foundation – but like every choice we are nationally and individually creating our future with it!
Governments further with a typical head in the sand approach from Politicians, denying what is happening all around us to the climate and continued pollution to the land, the water and the air we all breathe … meanwhile the still major driver at this stage of the paradigm, the USA is self destructing as consensus for a way forward cannot be reached, for my money, the main protagonists is the Tea Party, a section of religious fundamentalists, who believe in the ideology of the bible .. but have little faith and zero love and compassion (strange when Jesus said “love one another” ), for anyone including other Tea Party members as the organization is tribal in nature – appealing to the lowest common denominator of thinkers and those who believe in the America of old, mind you it is strange when you consider that the whole Tea party structure, although it originally began as a grass roots movement, in response to the Global meltdown, has been hi-jacked and is now running the agenda of Corporate America, under the visible guise of the Koch brothers, that at the very least. Seriously, tell me what is the difference between the Taliban in Afghanistan and the Tea Party in the USA, that is beside the name – the desire to control women and their bodies is extreme ignorance … please note we have already had a time when the world was ruled by superstition, continuous warfare and religious ideology, it was a 1000 years ago and was called the dark ages for a reason.
The USA the hereto main driver of the world economies is financially compromised, still spending more money than it is earning, and more on defense that the next 10–15 countries combined .. strange when most of them are friendly .. I suppose because war and the weapons of war are a profit center – and of course a way to project the influence of the USA itself … Politically the US Government is incapable of passing any legislation to control Corporate power … such as making Corporations and individuals taxable on their entire world wide income .. because Corporate power is the true Government of the USA and indeed many other countries … I hope that the USA can find consensus and make the necessary changes in its priorities and ultimate direction as currently there is no will to do this, further examples such as with the EPA which knows that Fracking is a disaster as there is more than sufficient evidence, but is doing nothing .. visible .. both fresh water (essential for life) and land are polluted … similarly with GMO’s whose long term generational effects are unknown, is treating the whole population of the USA as Lab rats … sensibly some countries including Russia (which has a very large home grown food production base) which has made these genetically modified organisms illegal … if GMO’s are so great why the huge campaign to stop the labeling of them on food supply – that is surely what an open free and transparent Government would do … I am shaking my head here … does humanity have a death wish! … you have to wonder if these proponents of GMO food, are true believers and eat it, or it really is just about the money, power and control .. it would be interesting to see what is on their dinner plates.
Tensions break out all over the world in countries that are aggressive and fearful, this now includes a fearful America, and the thing that fear generates is aggression .. the use of drone strikes, disregards justice and the rule of law and the worst part is that it is now bureaucrats that decide who lives and who dies … I would not be surprised to one day see a drone strike within the USA – a desperate response from those in power to maintain control, even as the structure itself dies.
A cause of conflict in the future, may be centered on food and fresh water, so food sovereignty is a huge priority, second to that of course is fresh water … efficiency of food production is also an issue with the Institution of Mechanical Engineers confirming that up to 50% of all food never reaches a human stomach see the link here – the full 36 page PDF Report is here
Where I live, the Government is also following the command and control paradigm into the abyss … just a step or two behind – mind you there is a huge amount of controversy and response from the people at the direction the Government wishes to head, so I am not sure how much will be implemented .. for I can foresee that the Prime Minister of Australia, will again be sacrificed for political survival of the party itself .. really I’m not in favour of Political parties at all .. all representatives should be accountable only to those who elected them, no one else.
Change is one thing it seems, it is all pervasive as the world moves on, but acceptance of that change is clearly another thing, for Governments clearly have no idea of what to do, they are stuck with the greatest illusion, the one that says money has value, when it is just paper, backed by nothing more that the belief that it is has value – my old accountant Arthur told me that money is just squiggles on a piece of paper nothing more .. this will become abundantly clear after the next global financial meltdown, which will happen … from which there will be no way back .. actually the planet and us will not survive unless the current economic system does fail.
Energy is the foundation of our society, it insulates us from the reality of climate and distance .. it powers transportation, refrigeration, heating and communications, everything in fact … it is mission critical to our survival in our current numbers … while many are in agreement, that humanity in the current numbers and way of life, is a plague on the earth .. for the future will require us to seek balance with nature, renewable (only) energies, working with her to create a harmony – working from what we each need, not what we might want .. also by not trying to control her, so we can have an ideal way of life – we need to compromise.
The world should be running towards a totally renewable energy sources, with the total scaling back of non-renewable resources, such as oil .. but it’s not … such a decision requires vision and foresight, and of course courage, something that most politicians do not have, as they are only looking at ways of being re-elected .. to say Politicians are out of touch with the average citizen is a true understatement.
I am thinking here of the quote by William Pitt, a former Prime Minister of Great Britain “Necessity was the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It was the argument of tyrants; it was the creed of slaves – William Pitt” – we see this every day in relation to “security services” – the supression of the independance of that media that is not control by the Corporates … in the USA, the Military / Industrial / Intelligence industries are in charge and of course the Patriot Act and other controls that are being placed on the freedom of ordinary citizens … I have spoken before about the likelihood of civil unrest and possibly the cessation of an increasing number of States from the Union, even as far back as 2009 the prospect of Civil war in the USA … not sure that this is as likely anymore as many people are generally without hope, and distractions of the Gun debate, Blame, War, politics, gambling, the media, beer and sports are distractions and their world view is blatantly manipulated by the media and by Governments, who blame anyone but themselves and control through fear and scarcity … if however an event occurs, that triggers a confrontation between citizens and Government, then there is a huge amount of firepower available to Governments to “maintain order” – a that time the dream of freedom that was America will truly be dead and will be consigned to legend along with the legend of Arthur and Camelot … mind you a method of controlling citizens will work until the first soldier says no to killing an unarmed fellow citizen.
The once powerful middle class has been decimated and are scared of what is happening (of course) those is power, who are at fault (of course) because of their inability to navigate the new circumstances will blame anyone but themselves (divide and rule), the current favorite, totally unjustifiably is that Politicians blame Americas woes on the homeless or the out of work, who are of course the most vulnerable in society, some states have it together, for instance Utah who has given homeless people a place to live, no strings attached … but elsewhere they are seeking to deny the issue of homelessness even exists by outlawing feeding these, the most vulnerable in a society, including children, .. together with the recent revelations about the Veterans Administration, and their total inability to treat with honour those who fought for their country … my feeling about the future is guarded to say the least.
But there is hope, if we change what we value, to disregard the media and their manipulation driven by their Corporate owners and focus on our neighbours, decide and support what you value and disregard what you don’t … most importantly our local communities are where we should create. Worldwide we should be looking to ourselves for survival, turning green spaces over to growing food, recycling and conserving water… .. truly it’s not that far away, I imagine, where we will be digging up parking lots to grow food – perhaps check out the Incredible Edible Todmorden a visionary free food project that has been replicated worldwide – http://bit.ly/1oEMO05 & http://bit.ly/1ih3ftR
It will be a little while yet, but we are definitely in transition from the old paradigm of conflict, command and control to one of love, collaboration, community, co-existence and communication .. and of course balance … let me be just one to say welcome! – I hope we make it, I hope you make it, and I hope I make it as well … but the most important thing is that our children do.
By the very nature of this medium, this has to be an outline, not a point by point detailed exposse .. but If you feel I have this wrong, please do not hesitate to contact me …
Hugs … Please have some Empathy and understanding for the lives of others – for everyone is doing their best they know how …
For me, what is real, comes down to Love, compassion, sharing and Kindness, for these are truly of value