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Awakening Meditations for Life

Updated on November 21, 2014

Awakening to Choices

You make choices all the time, right? You just never stop making choices.

It took me a long time to get to it, but I eventually found that awakening meditation makes choices juicier, alive with what I now matters to me. Knowing more about why we do what we do gives us some interesting tools to play around with.

All the Same Thought, Over and Over

Years ago, when I was first feeling my way through my own awakening, I heard Wayne Dyer talk about how we have something like fifty-thousand thoughts every day. I had no idea there were that many.

The trouble is all the thoughts though. He says it's that you have the same fifty-thousand you had the day before and the day before that. Funny though that isn't the worst of it.

The real bummer is that, with your mind stuck that way, you see the same things in the same dull way and make the same dull choices about them.

The up side is that this is just a bad habit we can easily break.

Changes

But I learned that if I approach life a little differently, I shift deeper into things that feel good. The changes are invisible to anyone but you.

So, you don't even have to explain anything to your hypercritical boss or your opinionated in-laws. The only thing they'll notice is that you are happier than they are. That is a whole different, but easier problem.

It's great to have deeper, exciting experiences, even the simplest ones. Awakening mediation is one way, but you might find something else that pops your cork.

Settling for anything less than awakening is like sleeping on the job, the ideal job of being you. This one really matters.

Guides Always There

Source

Awakening, Simple and Personal

Meditation With White Butterflies

Do you get excited when you imagine standing on the snowcapped peak of a great mountain, looking down at the crags and sharp valleys below you?

What about digging your cleats into freshly turned soil on the pitchers mound at Yankee Stadium, thousands of fans waiting for your next move?

If you could hear music born in your head come to life in instruments playing around you, would that get you up in the morning?

Or is your awakening likely to be more subtle and private? Most of our passions are not so grand, are they?

The most together, memorable single moment in my life coalesced around watching white butterflies dancing over wild grasses and flowers in an abandoned field behind a motel in Pennsylvania. How about you?

By then, I had begun meditating every day and awakenings came at me in rushes.

Awakened, Meditating, Right Now

Where we stand, right now, awakened, meditating, we have a fair chance to reach the peak of joy.

I'm not talking about the airy, find your bliss joy used to sell New Age books.

I'm talking about really doing something, getting the mud squeezed up through your toes, feeling an uninhibited embrace of love, singing out loud, touching a tree, kissing a child, eating the best new food you have ever tasted, a million other things and you get the picture.

Passive joy is for the birds. No, wait. The birds are not passive either. Joy is always active. You do something. That's where the joy is.

Awakening with meditation or getting involved with art or sumo wrestling, it makes no difference. We do. Getting better at it is what we want.

Our lack of awareness, our not being fully awake, is the obstacle in our way. Better, it is the fog we need to melt.

But how the heck did we get there?

Meditation, Awakening & Conscious Awareness - A Book About Being Amazed

It surprised me that I ever wrote a nonfiction book, but once it was done and out in the world, one more came to me. It was satisfying, although I can't say I'll ever do it again.

Maybe nature will surprise me.

Amazing: Truths About Conscious Awareness
Amazing: Truths About Conscious Awareness

Sometimes, a book just pours out of you, and then, you get surprised when you got back to edit. Where did that come from?

 

Curating Fullfilment

Some Good News

Here’s some good news. It is impossible to have a genuine hunger for anything that you cannot get in your life.

Ours is not a cruel world. Just the opposite.

Indulge me for a minute while I talk about what I think is true.

The main reason we are here in the bodies we are is to chase adventures. And not just to chase them, but to get everything we can emotionally, spiritually and physically from doing so.

We are assigned our own territory on the canvas of the universe, and what we put on that surface matters. It matters a lot. We all know this, whether we think about it or not. Otherwise, we would have quit long ago.

There is a story I read about long distance runners.

About a third of us, no matter how determined, will never keep up a practice of jogging because we are not chemically equipped to get that soaring runners’ high that keeps you going, mile after mile. And without that juice, running long distances is too damned hard, no matter what the other benefits are.

Altogether, our lives are just like that. We need the kick, and that kick comes only from trying, from effort.

Think of it as curating the pursuit of boundless fulfillment. A sensible reflection on the continuation of our species shows that it works.

We have kept at it, growing bigger brains, longer bodies and petunias because we have been excited and satisfied in our funky dance through the centuries for a million years.

Okay, maybe it wasn't always funky, and sure, it does not always look like a dance.

But it has always been enough to keep us going through fire, flood, bubblegum music, Tennessee Ernie Ford, Trickle Down Theory and the Temperance Movement.

Stuck Half-Asleep?

Our passions get stuck and tangled, these days, because the things we win at are less visceral. When life doesn’t hit you in the gut, it is hard to stay tuned in. Immediate survival no longer an issue, with few rare exceptions, we are more easily swayed and manipulated. Surfeit fills advanced societies with spiritual anesthetics. Material abundance is one big sleeping pill, a soporific that holds the status quo steady.

Does it matter who the enemy is? It advances our adversaries interests to have us asleep.

Wakefulness is the way out, and wakefulness means alertness to as much of everything around us as we can consume, an awakening to the suggestions always arising in our minds and the accumulating choices demanded by emerging values.

More simply, my suggestion is that if we hope to relieve the expanding emptiness in our deepest selves, a lack we’ve lived with so routinely we hardly feel it anymore, if we want to step out of that rut, our choice is simple. It's like everything else; it was never meant to be hard.

Through easy meditation or something else, we just wake ourselves up. Our other option is to continue as we have been, making one choice after another, half-asleep, to accept less.

Awakening Mediations On A Million Different Things

The ideas in the lens were originally developed in my book about becoming the world's happiest man.

A Million Different Things: Meditations of The World's Happiest Man
A Million Different Things: Meditations of The World's Happiest Man

The meditations are short segments about becoming more alive and loving it.

 

Keeping Your Awakening Simple In Meditation

We can step up to what we want, if we still know what it is.

For many of us, our passions are buried beneath so many layers of denial that only a backhoe can dig them out.

Undoubtedly, there are other effective methods, but it's hard to imagine a simpler way of awakening to the fire inside and maintaining it than a regular practice of meditation.

A guy I know brags about meditating for six hours every day. He says this is his path to enlightenment.

Buddhist monks spend their lives perfecting meditation. Extreme practices are not what I'm talking about.

What I'm suggesting is that we take fifteen minutes to a half-hour each day and dedicate it to becoming awake through silent meditation.

Standard guidance recommends listening to your breath as it flows easily into and out of our lungs. Fresh air enters. Used up gases are exhaled.

It’s not that there’s anything magical about breathing.

It's that when we silence the chatter in our minds by focusing on the simple, repetitive act of breathing, we are given a respite from our repetitive thoughts and the million other bits of information flooding in from our senses in every instant.

In the silence, we may be able to see an expanded vision of ourselves emerging from the recesses.

Wake Up To Find Out That You Are At The Wheel

It's not too radical to suggest, as others have, that we are neither our bodies nor our brains.

Our bodies and brains are magnificent structures designed by evolution and kept whole by our evolving genetic blueprint. They are tools, and our chromosomes are the factories making and replacing them.

The more we know about our physical presence, the more amazing it becomes, but it's still not all of who we are.

We are the managers of all these soft factories we call you and me, and maybe we can do even better when we become more aware of being in charge.

We think some external force is calling the shots, but that force seems detached from us only because we've gotten used to the idea that we are somehow separated within ourselves.

By the way, we can't - separate any part or parts of ourselves from the rest, I mean.

We can doze off into a waking sleep, slumbering in a slough of inaction, but is that any way to appreciate the gift of actualizing ourselves, the chance to power up a vehicle more amazing than the most finely tuned Indy car?

Wake up and grab the wheel!

Waking up simply means figuring out who we are and beginning to saturate the world with inspired choices. The easiest, most risk free and natural road to awakening follows a well-worn trail called meditation.

Putting It All Back Together Through Awakened Meditation

Why not take the easy way to joy?

It's easier for cats, dogs and other animals to drift in and out of meditation.

Most never learn disconnection or get into the human habit of detached observation. Thought practiced while standing apart has increased our knowledge immensely, but it is addicting.

It separates us in a way that scrambles and confuses our evolutionary roots.

That's why most of us benefit from a deliberate practice like meditation that reorients us around penetrating and connecting with our fuller selves.

Because we are so conscious, we have to learn to do what other animals do naturally, and we have to know about it. Humans are walking, talking paradoxes.

Since each of us is unique, individual in how our spirits inter-operate within our bodies, no one knows what will happen when we close our eyes and let ourselves be taken into the webs of connection.

It isn't wise even to estimate in any detail. Meditation awakening works best when we surrender and let our hidden resources emerge.

A consistent observation heard from those who regularly practice is that they get a new peacefulness, a calm more profound than any experienced in daily life.

That much we can be confident of finding, and for some, it alone is pleasure enough to keep them repeating it, day after day, years on end.

Are you one of them?

Will awakening, through meditation or something else, launch the next great adventure in being you?

If it is, be ready. You are in for a deeply joyful ride.

© 2014 David Stone

What do you think?

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    • David Stone1 profile image
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      David Stone 3 years ago from New York City

      @Brite-Ideas: I was certain your experience would be unique, Barbara.

    • David Stone1 profile image
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      David Stone 3 years ago from New York City

      @smine27: It's the road to health in all its iterations, Shinichi. Thank you for commenting.

    • smine27 profile image

      Shinichi Mine 3 years ago from Tokyo, Japan

      This was a very entertaining lens and a reminder for me to meditate more often. Meditation definitely helps me in so many positive ways and many times, the only way to get myself out of a funk.

    • Brite-Ideas profile image

      Barbara Tremblay Cipak 3 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      enjoyed every word - have to say, I'm certainly on the same page with your expressions here - especially loved your point 'we are not our bodies or our brains' (I have a grasp on that), and as you say so well, this life in body and mind, this human life, is to be lived, tasted, experienced..contributed to. Actually your article has reminded me to DO what I know, live a little. I do meditate - also do breathing exercises - when I can't calm my mind, I use the 'one word technique' - repeat one word over and over in your mind (selected that word long ago) - useful when I need to get some rest - works so well that the word has become a bit hypnotic and if someone repeated it to me, it could knock me out (lol))

    working