Looking At Painful Emotions Without Judgment
Everyone, as they travel down their life’s path, has had situations or incidents happen to them that caused bliss, trauma and everything in-between. If an event is traumatizing, it often gets buried into the subconscious part of your mind. When we bring these events back into our conscious mind, during times of reflection or as part of a healing process, we need to look at them without judgment.
Whatever is unconscious has to be made conscious. Otherwise, you won’t be aware of your truth.
Being mindful means that you can accept both the positive and the negative as it arises. We often operate with unconscious guidance in our daily lives, meaning that the painful events from our past, influence our current life in ways we are not aware of. Whatever is unconscious has to be made conscious. Otherwise, you won’t be aware of your truth.
Mindful Meditation As a Healing Tool
When your life is in turmoil, it can feel like the waves on a lake stirred up by a howling wind. If you begin to meditate and bring mindfulness to the table, the waters are calmed enough for you to see clearly. Think of the metaphor of a boat on that water. Once the waves have died down, all the rubbish that people have thrown in there (your past hurts and painful events) is revealed. At first, you probably won’t like the pollution that you see! Meditation shines a light on our suffering, along with the cause and effect of it. It may be difficult to face these things and make the changes that are called for, but that is the gift of mindful meditation.
Four Stages of Meditation
There are four stages of meditation.
The first stage brings with it doubt and conjecture. You may think you cannot start a practice, both in terms of setting aside time, and in hesitant anticipation of all that may come to the surface for you, yet your willingness to embark on this expedition into your mind is the key.
The second stage of meditation brings with it reasoning and pondering. It is natural to question what we find along our journey and how that fits into self-discovery.
Once you have committed to the path that makes sense for you, the third stage of meditation brings with it joy and a sense of calmness and quiet. You stop reaching and grasping and begin to sit in grace. You experience just “being.”
The fourth stage of meditation encompasses a sense of omnipresence and expansion. You become the bird singing to yourself, the tree that the bird rests upon, the food that it eats, and the air that it breathes. You are everything at this point.
When you begin a mindful meditation practice, be still and be consistent, but don’t beat yourself up that you are doing it wrong. Just live your life, be happy, and listen to the birds. This is what it’s all about!
What Is Mindfulness All About?
Mindfulness allows you to focus on thoughts and feelings without putting positive or negative value on them. They are all valid. Your mind has many thoughts flitting through it. A master or teacher who has overcome suffering has learned how to liberate their thoughts. The same thoughts arrive in the master’s sphere as they do yours, except the master has practiced and put the teachings into action. When you catch your mind having a negative thought, do you grasp on to it? If you acknowledge that thought for more than it is – just a thought – it will bring you suffering. When the teacher has the same kind of thoughts going through their head, do you think they spend a lot of time grasping or pushing away? No. They sit in a centered space where all is invited and all is welcomed to leave. There’s the difference! When you practice mindful meditation and apply it to your life, you begin to see it shift your perspective. Your thoughts will just flow through you.
Derek O’Neill, fondly referred to as the Celtic Sage, inspires and uplifts people from all walks of life, offering guidance to influential world leaders, businesses, celebrities, athletes and everyday people alike. Distilled from his life work in psychotherapy, a martial arts career and study with wise yogis and Indian and Tibetan masters, Derek translates ancient wisdom into modern day teachings to address the biggest challenges facing humanity today. For additional insights listen to his free radio archives or order his books on Mindfulness, Anxiety, Stress and Depression.
Image courtesy of Ansley Ventura.