A wise man once said its all very well to sit on a hill and be a mediator but the true test of consciousness is how to retain that quality when in the market place of life. Meditation can be peaceful whilst sitting under a tree on a beautiful day with butterflies zooming around but then you have to get in your car or jump on the bus and deal with the petulant winging child who is screaming at their parent for ice-cream or the drunken boof head who has his iPod on so loud you’re getting polluted and invaded just by sitting near him and then you come to your door to find a bunch of bills that says that treat your were thinking of is blown as you wont have any electricity if you blow your last hundred, and on it goes….
You may choose to live in a monastery but these day you will have to pay your way. Monasteries are not an escape. There is hard work; discipline, practice and all those emotions that you may want to escape from will have to be dealt with.
If you have noticed monks do come into the market place as a part of their path to consciousness. Even they know that the true place of inner peace is in the midst of conflict.
A peaceful spiritual life may be wonderful if you have no responsibilities and can employ nannies, butlers, dietitians, driver’s…..and so on. I wont name certain celebrities that are flaunting their decadent lives in our faces but remember that in general these people are not looking to be conscious or be of service. They are hunting for materialistic food to feed their craving, starving egos.
It may be lovely to have all that they have, but there is a price to be paid. Some of the most fortunate in regard to finance and fame-based attention have chronic dysfunctions and many are not really living in the marketplace either. They are avoiding reality by wrapping themselves up in riches and keeping the truths a long long arms length away. Many have ended up in rehab, mental health clinics, on a multitude of prescription drugs and have no real sense of meaning. There is a long list of suicides to go with this kind of culture that they live in. There are exceptions to this and those are the ones doing as much as they can for those less fortunate in the world.
There are also the spiritually trendy orientated people who live off the most expensive mung beans, multiple shmick yoga retreats and meeting with the great wise ones with money being no object. What this culture could learn is how it can assist and serve those who have less rather than becoming precious and aloof with their spiritual perfecting lives. Being a wealthy spiritual yippy/yuppie doesn’t mean that your any further along than the man down the road who helps out the little old ladies in their gardens because he has a kind heart.
So how do we build our inner medicine in this ordinary reality when we are constantly confronted by the density of extremes whist living and adjusting to the so-called norms of this world?
When your life is full to overflowing it feels like ‘there is no time’. This is the most common phrase I hear in regard to self-nurturing and building inner medicine. You ability to see the bigger picture becomes clouded. Instead of the eagle you become the mouse scurringing around in the details and feeling stressed.
Time gets eaten away by life and all that it takes. Here are a few examples
- Kids eat buckets of time from parents
- The Internet eats truckloads of time from everyone.
- The TV eats up vortexes of time.
- Nagging eats up case loads of time.
- Picking on your partners faults with no end.
- Waiting for someone else to take action eats up vessels of time.
- Worrying eats up caverns of time.
- Procrastinating eats up whirl-pools of time.
E.g. With your kids in bed (having good enough boundaries to say:
“This is my time now, if you wish to stay up you can do that quietly in your room.” (In this regard you are teaching your children how to self nourish as well as good energetic boundaries)
Give yourself a different night for a change. Turn off the TV (from the wall) put on a few candles and write in your journal, do some recapitulation, perhaps a small ceremony giving thanks to spirit, sit out on the verandah for an hour and breathe in the night and be the watcher of your thoughts, read a book of inspiration, not trash, play an instrument and be as present as you can with each movement, have a long soak in a tub and let go all your stress into the water and when you pull the plug stay in there and feel the water drain away from your and all the stress with it. Experiment and play. Fill your own cup!
Some days it’s all on and time and overwhelm has taken over, in this instance you can use your mindfulness/ your witness and practice being in the moment E.g. your kids are in the back of the car yelling, or your on your way to work, you are late and get stuck in a traffic jam…..
Slow down your breath, feel your grip on the steering wheel, be aware of you bottom on the seat and your feet at the brakes…..just breath and watch and take note of your senses. What can you feel? what can you smell? what can you taste? what can you see? what can you hear? This assists in bringing you into the moment. Do this also when you are doing the dishes. Fill yourself up with being the watcher. This builds more space within and decreases overwhelm.
Cut cords and recapitulate from your children and loved ones. Those close to you can be needy and you may well need to re-fill yourself at the end of each day or the beginning, whatever suits you more.
All these time munchers of energy like worry, procrastination, TV, waiting, nagging and the internet have an energy that goes with them. The energy is often a draining of life force. They are the addictions that are getting in the way of you filling up your own cup. Yes, addictions. As you well know addictions tend to drain you of your life force.
If you don’t know how to be the witness of your mind, you might like to practice some ‘Cognitive behavior therapy’ or some ‘Acceptance and Commitment therapy tools. They are simple and helpful in working with a mind that rules over you in the area of worry, procrastination, impatience and self criticism.
Tools for building life force:
Building Star Manna From Within
Accepting Rather Than Fighting Your Intuitive Instincts
Clearing Energy Via Sage, And Dense Energy Breaking Tools
Spend Time In Your Sanctuary
Breathing In The Mother/ Feminine
Sensitive Mediation And Clearing Energy Attachments Even From Those Who You Love That You Have Absorbed.
Now is not the time to sit on the hill and detach from the market place. Sure if you can get time out for retreat all well and good, but when you come home the real practice is in every moment of every day as you swim through the channels and challenges of life. When you stop seeking outside and begin to fill your inner cup, you become the caretaker of your own inner world and this changes your relationship to the outer world. You can also access a never-ending abundance of energy available from the universe….. Step out of your own way and become a vessel that can be filled with manna, rather than using your own energy to conquer the journey of ordinary reality.
For Further guidance you may like to purchase my workbook @ http://www.contemporaryshaman.net