Holiday season is here. Holiday is about resting, relaxing and doing something different from everyday routine, so that we can be ready to return to our ordinary, working life with charged batteries and rested mind. In practice it is not that easy to switch from a working day to a holy-day; the routine of working lingers in us disturbing joy of holiday. And we want the vacations to be vacations.

We all have various ways and tricks of getting to a holiday mood. I would like to suggest one more: mindfulness. Mindfulness is a skill that allows you to pay attention to what your body and senses are experinecing just now bringing your mind into the now as well. For example if you are on the beach, you listen to the sound of the sea, you feel the sand and its temperature under your feet; you feel the warm breeze on your skin. You redirect your attention from thougts about your work, your dog in a kennel or the painting of your apartment to what you feel where you are, your presence. And you don't think about it either, you don't judge experineces by being critical to the temperature of the sea water or despair the moment you will have to leave it. Do not think! FEEL! Fill your mind up with sensations that this lovely time offers to you. Be on holiday.

So wherever you are, allow yourself to be with what you feel when you feel it. Have a wonderful summer.

Some time ago I heard a man saying: "...when I walk I walk, when I eat I eat, when I read I read..." He was a mindfulness practitioner and I didn't have idea what he was talking about. It sounded very boring doing just one thing at the time. Multitasking not single-tasking is the mantra of our times. We praise and admire multitasking, we are proud of commanding that skill of doing things simultaneously. How efficient and effective we are. We attach great value to that illusion of doing many things at the same time. And the very same multitasking magician ends up burned out, depressed and nervous wreck. Can our attention be divided between two or more tasks or is it rather about moving it very quickly from one to another? So quickly that it is maddening, exhausting and even dangerous.

In a rush of a day, have a 10 minutes break, allow your-self to do one thing with full awareness of doing it. It is mindfulness and it will bring you  back where your body is, into the reality.

 

How to be happy? How to be successful? How to be rich? When these questions are put to the happy, successful and rich they will usually tell you: "-Be yourself", "-Follow your curiosity, your passion or your vocacion" But the question remains: how to be myself? Do I really know who I am? After all my identity has been formed and created by my parents, family, culture and country, religion and media. I had to adjust to so many expectations, duties, conventions and rules. (Be a nice woman, be a bread-winning man.) In the process of adjusting to the environment by accepting its rules or rebeling aginst them I might have lost the sense of REAL ME. Who am I really? Why do I feel this descomfort and dissatisfaction while wearing some king of identity in order to satisfy the society, family and my ego? The real ME is hidden, protected and guarded so well that even I can't see it. But there is a way of finding it again, connecting to it. It is enough to create a safe environment and start listening to the feelings and sensations in the body. This safe space can be created during meditation. It all starts there.  LEARN MEDIATAION 

Summer is here, with its long days, fruits and berries. And I would like my mind and body to be filled up with sensations of summer. Holiday season is here and I would like my mind and body to be filled up with sensations of holiday. No thinking and worrying about past mistakes; and no thinking and worrying about plans and difficulties which may or may not happen to me later. I want to be here, I want to feel and experience every moment of this precious time. So I move my attention from thinking about this summer to actually experiencing it through my senses. I feel the coolnes of the morning air on my skin and I stay with this feeling. I feel the taste of fresh raspberries in my mouth and I stay with this taste. I feel the touch of warm grass under my feet and I stay with this warmth. There is nothing erotic, poetic or banal about it because I don't give it any name, I don't judge it or describe it. I simply feel it, sense it and experience it beyond words and intelligence. I pay attention to the present. That's the magic of mindfulness.

" A brain without a body could not think" M. Feldenkrais

Our brain steals all the attention. If you pay any attention to a body it is always through the thinking mind; it tells you how to treat the body, how to tame it and control it. It is able to justify, hide and explain any abuse of the body. The mind has got all the authority, the body none. Still the body is protecting you constantly, carring out all the important functions; using air, water and food to keep you alive, changing these simple products into most complicated cells and organs. You don't need to instruct your body how to change a hamburger into nerve-cells. Still you are in awe for the brain, and in disdain for the body.

I simply would like to redirect your attention for 5, 10 minutes a day towards the body, listen to it without correcting it and judging it; accept it as it is. It may give you an answer to a question which your mind hasn't been able to answer these 20 years. The state of listening is called MEDITATION 

 

Meditation is a different state of consciousness from our habitual one. Habitually we think constantly. Any smallest experience provokes a stream of thoughts connecting us to the past or to the future. One thought is being followed by another keeping us somewhere else, but definately not in the present. I have nothing against thinking. It is a very useful skill, but it can cause stress, anxiety and nervousness when it is left unchecked. This useful habit of thinking has become our nature, it dominates us. But as any habit it can be changed. It just takes some retraining. No I don't suggest renouncing thinkig. I only suggest expanding our consciousness, becoming aware of other parts of our human nature on equal terms with thinking. How about being aware of feelings without judging them with the mind?

When you pay attention to sensations in your body, to what you feel and where you feel it, you allow your mind to rest, reset and to relax. This shift from thinking to feeling sensations in your body puts you back into the present, anchors you in the reality-where your life actually is. That's also called mindfulness.

Our mind has enormous authority. We take it very seriously and treat it with respect. We believe what it tells us; and it loves talking, commenting, assessing, comparing and telling stories. It controls us. We are scared of not listenting to it. We are convinced that it has a solution and answer to all and everything. We have been brought up and educated to admire and obey the intelligent, thinking mind.

Nevertheless it is only a part of a very complex being-the human being. There are areas and fields of human life where the thinking mind is not required; where it is better not to listen to it, where it should be ignored. We know it and would like to be able not to pay attention to it. The only problem is that habit of following the mind constantly is difficult to change. The best, gentlest way of changing this habit and using the intelligent mind when we really need it, is by learning meditation.

Be good, be grateful, be compassionate; forgive, love, help, respect... My FB is full of these beautiful advices promising that in return I will get peace, happiness and love; angels will protect me and people will respect me, law of attraction will fulfill all my wishes and I only need to think positivly.

Well, watching and reading all these messages I get a feeling of eating too many sugary things, and actually getting sick. OK, I agree that we need to see and pay attention to the positive, good and beautiful; nevertheless there are plenty of unpleasant things going on out there in the world. And I have no idea how to solve, improve and amend them. But I have to honestly admit that there are unpleasant things going inside me and I am sure inside you too. All so called negative feelings happen to me: fear, anger, regret, irritation, anxiety, depression, shame, jealousy, hatred, contempt, scorn, conceit... The list is very long and these feelings may have more than 50 shades each. Who, where and when decided that they may be negative and it was better not to admit to feeling them at all? From the childhood we suppress them and avoid admitting that we experience them.. We use a lot of energy to keep them under control, locked in the basement. Sometimes they come out like an explosion hurting us or people around us. The real challenge lies in finding a way of letting them out without damaging our lives. Nobody ever has taught me a healthy way of approaching them, until now. Yes, now I know how to handle so called negative feelings, I actually stopped calling them that, because they are not negative at all. They are important information about our position in the world. They feel uncomfortable, because they want our attention. So HOW to give them that attention? By listening to them and the best, safest place to do it is in meditation. LEARN MEDITATION.

"I THINK therefore I AM." Does it mean that if I don't think I don't exist? Thinking is about making sense from what we experience, describing the environment we live in. Thinking is a process of organizing, assessing and systemizing reality. It is important but is it truly the only valuable function of a human being? Why do we have bodies if we supposed only to think? Body is actually doing a lot of life-important things all the time without any involvment of intelligent mind. It is breathing, pumping blood, changing cells, digesting the food,guarding our safety. Is there no value in these functions?

We got so attached to this idea of thinking that the possibility on not doing it scares us. Or rather a part of us is scared: the little, thinking mind. We let it control us; it became the ruling factor in our existance and will not yield to anything. It is constantly canvasing and lobbing for itself emphesizing its own importance. That's why it is so difficult "to stop" thinking.

Meditation is about looking for some other important part of us worth paying attention to. Meditation is a practice that allows regaining the proper dinamic in life. It will not make you dumb and indifferent. Contrary it will allow you to feel without being scared of the feeling, it will help you to use a tool of intelligent mind when you really need it; it will help you to be present in your own life, present with your family, your friends, at work and on holiday when your body is actually there.

I AM does not need justification.

 

My life is full of tasks, obligations, duties, responsibilities and chores. They are consequence of the times and culture I live in. They are necessary to make me functional in the society. There are also tasks I do because I want to improve and develop. I go to courses, learn new skills and create projects and lists to fulfill. I believe that if I learn one more skill, if I fulfill one more duty or expectation I will feel valuable and worthy, and I will be able to finally stop proving myself. Do I really need to justify my value by fulfilling all these tasks? Could I be precious and dear simply because I am, I exist? How much do I need to do and achieve to feel self-confident and expensive? Where did I get this idea that I have to prove my value? It didn't come from me. I was taught it; it came from the critical mind, from the judgmental, thinking mind. I do not claim that learning and developing is unnecessary. Sometimes I am simply tired of this never-ending list of tasks. Sometimes I want to stop this rush; allow myself to be imperfect, full of errors and flaws, and still feel valuable, precious and important.

I have found a safe space where I can meet these feelings: in meditation. And if I ever suggest and encourage you to learn meditation I don't want to press another task on you. The need for it has to come out from you, has to grow inside you without being another obligation, has to  appear as a part of your nature.   

Page 9 of 14