Dienstag, 24. Januar 2017

Solving problems through mind control - meditation as self coaching

The problem about problems is: we call them problems.


After a really challenging time, including losing a beloved person and packing my beloved life of the last 7 months back into a backpack and leave without wanting it, followed by money and time trouble, a lot of frustration, stress and the fear to not be able to stay in Australia after all (and this all happend within this week), I discoverd how much better I deal with problems lately. I skyped with my Mom yesterday and when she very carefully asked, if I was okay, I just heard myself saying "No, not at all but I will be, no worries". The funny thing is: I meant it. I know it's gonna be alright, no matter how shitty the situation is right now. And this alone keeps a lot of stress away and let me function when I have to.
In this post I want to share my experiences and my knowledge about meditation, inner world, mind setting, mind control and self coaching/self therapy with those who are interested in trying but don't know where to start.
Start in your every-day-life!



What?

We all know that feeling: something is going on and we feel like a world is crumbling down. What if it’s not? What if the problem’s still there but it doesn’t affect us? Wouldn’t that be much better and more effective? I mean – thinking about a problem and suffer from it costs energy, right? What if we just put this energy into action to actually solve the problem instead of making the problem big in our heads? 
Carlos Castaneda, an American anthropologist and writer said once: “We either make ourselves miserable, or we make ourselves strong. The amount of work is the same.” Sounds great? It is indeed! 

And it’s much easier than you’d think. It is all about mind control.  Before I was into Buddhism my Mom told me an important lesson: I was badly in love and (even more) lovesick. She then asked me, how I think I would feel about it in one year. My first reaction was “the same of course!” But the longer I thought about it, the more I came to understand that I was creating this in my mind. One year later, I did think about that guy from time to time. But it didn’t make me sad anymore. I had found someone else. And the next time I got lovesick, I might have felt sad and forever in love again but some part in me was aware, that this happened before and that I survived it as I would survive this time. And so it went on and the more I grew up, the more I learned about feelings and myself, the more I saw that it is us, who make a decision. Of course we have problems from time to time. But if this problem affects us, makes us suffer in endless pain or just exist as a problem, which can be solved, is our decision. 

learn to accept and to be small, learn to listen to yourself,
stop the rush and breathe instead.
Photo: Buddha, Monk and Human (me). My first real experience with Buddhism in Thailand

Because the thing is: It is okay if things go wrong. It is okay to feel bad about it, feel anger, feel jealously, feel sad. You don’t need to be that superstrong controlled yogi to have a better life. You don’t need to let go of the ego. You don't need to be super relaxed instead of stressing as everyone around you. Just be aware that your mind creates these feelings. That a problem might be there but it is impermanent and it might be an annoying thing right now, but as soon as you fix it, you’ll start to forget about it because it actually isn’t that bad. And even if it is: who decides what is “bad” and what is “good”? Isn’t that you? After a relationship you can either think “ Oh I am so lonely now” or you think “Wow, I got freedom and a lot of time now!” Both thoughts come from the same situation. But it is you who decides whether you feel good or bad about something. 

How?
Of course, this takes a little practice. We need to work on our mind, get the control. And how do we do this? Meditation. Thinking. Reflection. You need to think about your feelings, check why you feel how you feel and tell yourself how you want to feel. It might take a while, but we are able to do that!  
You might now say something like: how do you know?  I know, because I was struggling. Struggling with emotions, struggling with problems, struggling with meditation and Buddhism as a solution. And this actually helped. You might think now “Wow but this whole Buddhism/meditation thing isn’t something for me” And the good thing about it is: no need to! What I love about Buddhism is that it allows you to take whatever you need out of it and make it your own (even Buddha said, his students should not just believe him, but check and test his lessons!).
I was talking to this high reincarnated monk once. I told him about my struggling to let go of the ego and to not feel bad about problems. His answer was as simple as true: “Then… don’t.” This might have been one of the most important lessons I’ve ever had: You don’t need to be perfect. It is okay to feel exactly how you feel. But be aware that it is in your own power to change not only your behavior and lifestyle, but also your way of thinking. Your thoughts are yours and you can control them. And if this is too much, you can control the affect your thoughts have on you. It’s all about the mind. 
A simple example in the end:

Shamanic healing in the most beautiful Tipi I've ever seen.
Renaissance Festival 2016, Melbourne

I recently received a shamanic healing to reconnect with energies and as I felt something could be pushed more I asked the shaman about a specific thing in my life. He gave me an advise and I doubtfully answered "Yes, I try that already." His priceless answer: "Try to breathe." I in- and exhaled. "No.", he said, "Now you were breathing. Not trying to. Try to." I tried to try to breathe without actually doing it and found myself stucking and not breathing properly. "Do you understand?", he asked and I think I have: simply the thought in my head (and even more the vocalisation) of trying instead of doing was holding me back from being able to do a simple thing as breathing. Just imagine what I would be able to do, if I'd believe in everything I do with the same certainty as I believe in my ability to breathe. 






I'll work on that. Who's in?
Any questions or thought about this post? Let's do it all together, let me know, what you think, in the comments below this post.

Kommentare:

  1. That's a really nice article, Leo! And it actually really made me happy.

    I don't know how similar our minds are. I guess we do have some common points considering how much I find myself back in a few things you wrote, but I've had all sort of problems to deal with and among them there sadly is mental illness.
    It's fine. It could have killed me but it's not anymore!
    What you could find with meditation, I found with therapy.

    A few years ago (even when we met, so not that long ago right? Or maybe... almost 3 years :O ) I struggled the way you explain and reached very very high levels of struggling against my own self.
    I'm lucky to have amazing friends and I made it alive though.
    Then in the latest years, in addition to these friends who make me the luckiest person on Earth, I was even luckier to meet some people I really admire as guides in the latest years and to find appropriate therapy.

    I know it's often seen as bad but with my mental condition, medication helped. Not as a total solution, not as "I take my pill and it gets better". But as my mind is able to go so high and so low, it helps stabilize a bit in order to reach the next level, the one you explain: "it is fine. It is not such a big deal. I'll be laughing that off next morning/week/month/year"...
    Maybe some day I won't need medication anymore, but with my illness I wouldn't count on it. It's part of the whole "learn to live with it".
    Along with this, the guides I found used keywords that allowed to unblock some things in my mind. The same way you describe that whole "try to" thing.

    So. In the end I guess I'm finding my way, not following the same path as you but we are all different with different experiences after all :)

    This article makes me particularly happy because I feel like I have really gone further and am on the right way now :)
    Plus the idea of "it is fine if it is not fine / it is fine if I'm not perfect" is a wonderful one to read from someone else. It really helps actually! Because these are things I know but I can't always make them work on myself.

    Thank you so much for this article, Leo :) I wish you go on and I'll conclude with something one of my guides told me: "You don't have to work on it. You have to remember it." :)

    Take care!

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    1. Lia you are such a beautiful soul!
      Thank you so much for sharing your story, it is inspiring and so courageous!
      You are 100% right, we all have different ways and I love to read that you found yours!
      Happy that this made you happy too! I really hope, it reaches some people and triggers the right buttons to let them find their ways in all the chaos called world.

      Thanks again for your words Lia, you are amazing! Really hope to see you in Europe in summer! 🙂 ❤

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