Focus on Meditation,Turn the Attention Inward

This is week 9 of a progressive blog. Join us each week as we create our meditation practice.

                 We all have people in our lives we want to teach a thing or two and in my past I was no different.  Ages ago I let an alcoholic in-law sleep on my couch for a year because they were homeless.  I wanted to help them create change but nothing ever changed.  Finally I turned the attention inward and realized I wasn’t helping them at all, that my actions were enabling them. 

                 With a push I did the hard thing and they moved out.  The good news, their life did change and they came out on the winning end.  I was so proud of them, so happy that they were doing well, but still every time the phone rang I found myself full of the same resentment that I had for them when they had been living on my couch.  What was going on?  Why was I so angry, where was my lesson in all this?  Okay, time to meditate!
                 I sat down thinking I would learn something new and unique about how I saw my in-law, to my surprise I learned something very interesting about myself.  The whole time they had been on my couch I had been mad that they were so selfish and irresponsible.  Why  did they repeatedly choose this form of self destruction?  All they had to do was say NO.   This in-law did pretty much what ever they wanted for that entire year unless pushed to do otherwise.  I was so self absorbed in my judgment that I didn’t even see what I was angry about.  I was mad because this person did exactly what they wanted and I did everything for everyone else putting my needs last.  Did you catch that?  I was mad that I didn’t have the freedom to choose my own desire over the need of someone else.  WOW!    Meditation was bringing me a lot of insight.  Turn the attention inward even further and I realized that I was in denial about the help I was giving people.  I was doing things for others that they could do for themselves.  I needed to learn boundaries and guidelines, I had to learn when to say NO just like my in-law!  No wonder I was so angry, the lesson was right there in my face and judgment of another had blinded me.  Meditation had opened the door to a very important step in my life.  (if you want the whole story you will have to come to class one day 😉
                 The more we look out the less effect we have on the world.  Turn the attention inward.  Look at myself, my life, my emotional boundaries, my communication skills, my desires, my understanding.  Here is where meditation can bring me back to who I am.  It is in my true self that I realize all things are in balance, all things are for my benefit, all things are 100% about me all the time. 
                  How does this understanding help?  The more you look outward in meditation the more you see others.  Meditation is suppose to guide your life.  Turn the attention inward.  Find in yourself the things you want to be aware of by allowing meditation to bring you your truth, the information of your lessons, the life changes that you need.  Focus your meditation on you.  By creating change in your life you have the best chance of creating change in the life of others.  Now, whenever I feel that I am bothered by someone I turn my meditation in even further and ask to see what am I unaware of, what is bothering me about myself?  My meditation clarifies in my life the mirror of others.

Questions and Answers:

What is this weeks practice?  Continue practicing Progressive Relaxation Diaphragmatic Breath while reducing the distractions of your conscious mind 2-5 minutes three times a day (or 5 minutes twice a day).  If you use a Mantra choose one that turns the attention inward.  If you choose silence take a moment before your meditation to think of just you and what you want from your life.

Can I go longer than 2-5 minutes with my meditation?  If you are enjoying your meditation at this point and want to do more with it I would be thrilled for you to lengthen you meditation time.  The time suggested is a minimum.  The goal is to work up to a practice of 30 minutes a day for one meditation or two meditations of 15-20 minutes. 

 
I added time to my meditation and now it is harder to get it done.   If you find the extended time makes you less likely to attempt your meditation reduce the time.  Always do your minimum.  On days you feel connected and would enjoy a longer meditation go ahead, indulge with this great gift of self.

What if the thoughts about me involve someone else?   If the thoughts of yourself involve someone else then they are not really about you.  Dig a little deeper to see how it is just about you.  For example “I want to stop having conflict with a loved one.  I find myself thinking of that loved one and how we don’t get along.”  Instead turn the attention inward.  “I want to stop useless conflict in my life.  Where in my thoughts, actions, and deeds do I contribute to conflict of this nature?”  When you turn the focus inward the answers that are clear and helpful for you appear.

What if I am getting bored with meditation?  Then make each meditation unique.  So far we have only discussed basic meditation.  Next week we will discuss ways to make each meditation unique.

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