Mindvalley Team 2013

Tribute to Mindvalley: How to Be Happy at Work and In Life

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I first learned of Mindvalley in late 2011. This was soon after I’d started reading works by Seth Godin, Gary Vaynerchuk, and others.

While on Twitter, Vishen’s profile (founder of Mindvalley) showed up as a follow suggestion. Long story short, within a few months I quit my job at AT&T. Applied to Mindvalley and flew half way across the world from Atlanta to Kuala Lumpur to begin the adventure in May 2012.

Now, almost 2 years later – as I open another chapter – I’d like to share some stories and life lessons.

I applied to Mindvalley for a blogger position. But, given my work experience I was offered a project manager role for a new and upcoming project – Mindvalley Academy. I took the role. And after launching Academy with the amazing team behind it, I changed my role to a copywriter.

The last two years have been an incredible ride filled with adventure, discovery, and growth. There were highs and lows, ups and downs, laughs and tears. I am grateful for them all. They have allowed me to know peace, joy, and love that I did not believe I was capable of – maybe because I didn’t love myself. As the saying goes, “I had to go to that place, to get to this one.”

In the last few months, for the first time, I sought out professional help from a coach and then an intuitive healer. Though both proved helpful to some extent – I still believe that in the end any real change or impact must come from oneself. Others may be able to guide the process but the effort and discovery of Truth must derive from your own commitment, decision, and action toward the journey within. I learned that happiness is a choice, as is misery. We are the creators of our fate, masters of our destiny. But for the last 2 years I had developed the habit of living in misery. To change this I learned would take persistent, conscious effort.

First Day at Mindvalley

First Day at Mindvalley

First few months at Mindvalley were full of sheer excitement and enjoyment for the moment. It was the first time living abroad by myself. I was genuinely excited. I felt as though I was living my life’s dream. I fell in love. Traveled to new countries. Work was good and the people were amazing. I stepped out of my comfort zone at times. Tried new things. Took some risks.

But, somewhere along the way I gave up. I gave up on my dreams. I started to compare myself. Quite often. Thinking that I must be like others around me to be happy and succeed. That I must become this or do that because everyone else here is doing so. Comparing myself to peers I would constantly self-sabotage. What should I be doing? I need to do something else. All of this created more anxiety and stress.

I went through a period of about 15 months of living in fear and anxiety – blaming, complaining, gossiping, doubting, and resenting. I was hopeless. I felt like I had something to prove. To my dad. To the company. To the world. Not realizing it all stemmed out of a lack of appreciation, understanding, and love for my own True nature. I expected perfection. Of myself. Of my bosses. Of the company.

I hereby extend my most sincere gratitude and apology to anyone in the last 2 years who may have put up with my shit – you know who you are.

It wasn’t until my breakup in December 2013 that it really hit me. I was faced with the biggest and most difficult, yet most liberating lesson of my life so far – letting go and accepting uncertainty.

I began to see, “Hey, maybe it’s not this place or the people so much as it’s me and my own stories”. Maybe it’s some story I got in my head. I looked inward. I meditated in silence for 10 days. And continued meditating and practicing yoga daily ever since. I sought to be happy from within. Instead of always seeking excitements beyond myself.

How to Have the Ultimate Experience at Work and In Life

Be grateful.
When you want something more you can’t enjoy what you already have. Stop wanting things to be different. Just enjoy what you already have. See the beautiful things that are already there.

Seek guidance.
Any company is as weak as its weakest link and it will always not only benefit you, but your managers to empower you, to do what you want to do, to become who you want to become. Seek their guidance.

Don’t spread toxicity.
Don’t complain, blame, gossip, resent, etc. If you can’t – give yourself time to do so or get out. Do not complain about your own limited self-imposed view of reality. Propose and present ideas of growth, venture, and new possibilities  for the company and it’s employees. If there are genuine concerns or facts then by all means get them addressed.

Don’t take yourself too seriously. Seriously.
If you work at a place like Mindvalley you’re already in an incredible place. Appreciate it and enjoy it. Take risks. Be bold. Get uncomfortable. You haven’t much to lose. Do things that scare you. Practice things that interest you.

Travel often – without expectations or plans.
Do your research and prepare but be open to serendipity.

Remember that nothing is permanent.
This is not the beginning nor the end. You’ll only be here for a while – maybe a few years, maybe 20, but not forever so live like it’s not eternal.

Expect progress not perfection.
The World’s Greatest Workplace doesn’t mean perfect – but darn close to it. See leaders as humans, not saints, though wise they may be, they are not perfect. They too are human – prone to making mistakes as you and me.

See things as happening for you not to you.
Don’t label life’s so called troubles and problems as bad. See them as what they are. Change. Progress. Growth. Uncertainty. Beautiful things that are a part of life.

See yourself as equal to everyone else. Because you are.
You may have a different title or pay but begin to see yourself and others as the same level. You may have more experience or skill in some areas and they, in others. And this is how you can contribute. Remember, you are already here – congrats, you’re good enough – and always have been. That’s what matters. Focus on that.

Give. Give of yourself.
Be selfless in what you do as much as you have the capacity to. Give with your time. Give with your smile. Give with your work. Give with a genuine how are you. Give with your heart. Give with your integrity. Give nevertheless give.

Know that the work you do makes an impact. Never forget this.
You may not always agree with everything at your workplace but the work that you do makes an impact. Remember this.

Get out of the bubble.
It’s good to step away from the norm every once in a while to gain a new perspective. Make friends outside of any company you work at as well.

Live your Truth.
You don’t have to believe anything – but if what you believe isn’t giving you peace and getting you where you want to go – then question what you believe. Life is going to test you. Mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually. And when it does, I hope you do not shrink to your small ego. And even if you do I hope you move on from that too.

Be happy without a purpose.
We have desires and needs. The need to know. To plan and control our “future”. Wanting to know where you’ll end up or what’s your purpose. But if you’re not sure right now – instead of beating yourself up trying to figure out your purpose – try this instead: Let go. Let go of your need to know, control, and figure everything out. You don’t have to wait until you know your “purpose” to start being happy – remember this. And instead just do what you already know you enjoy – for the sake of doing it. Not to be an author, speaker, celebrity, blogger, entrepreneur, etc.

Let go of all the labels. And just allow yourself to be.
Accept and understand yourself for who and how you are right now. There’s nothing you need to fix because there’s nothing wrong with you – if you’re ready to accept this Truth. Improvement and progress are inevitable but don’t allow your desire to be “ready” to limit your actions.

Just to continue should be your purpose. When you do something, just to do it should be your purpose.Shunryu Suzuki

Don’t give up on your dreams.

You have dreams – I know you do – things you know you were meant to do. But some of us are afraid to even speak of these. I have been guilty of this. You may think you’ll be fake, phony. Thinking you’re not “ready”. You’re not “good enough”. You’re afraid of what others will think of you.

Remember – whether you can do something or be something has very little to do with what society, your parents, bosses, teachers, friends or anyone else has said. These are things of the past and the past does not exist. What exists is what you tell yourself now. If you have a dream – please convince yourself first and I promise you will be unstoppable.

For what it’s worth it’s never too late, to be whatever you want to be. There’s no time limit. Start whenever you want. You can change or stay the same. There are no rules to this thing. There are laws, laws of nature. But beyond this, there are only man-made rules. Ideas and perceptions of how things are or should be. All presented by humans.

You can make the best or the worst of it. And I hope you make the best of it. I hope you see things that startle you. I hope you feel things you never felt before. I hope you meet people with a different point of view. I hope you live a life you’re proud of. And if you find that you’re not, I hope you have the strength to start all over again.Benjamin Button

Live a life that embodies the Truths you’ve come to know. 

Not everyone has to be an entrepreneur or a business man or a doctor or a teacher. The world will always need artists – writers, singers, actors, painters, designers, speakers, poets, dancers – just as it will always demand doctors, engineers, teachers, entrepreneurs, and astronauts.

Some people were born to build radical companies. Some have an ear for music. Some inspire. Some are artists. Some swim. Some understand people. Some are builders. Some make apps. Some capture. Some are travelers. Some are inventors. Some know cars. Some know Rumi. Some are mothers. Some are lovers. And some people dance.

Keep dancing and become who you were born to be.

These words I have laid here before you – are me living my dreams.
Thank you, I hope they serve you – if even in the smallest means.

 

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Sepehr hosting Incitement

15 Things That Might Happen If You Work At Mindvalley: Your Results May Vary

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You might fall in love and travel the world with a girl who likes to travel.

You might give up on your dreams – thinking “it’s all just a dream”.

You might become lifelong friends with people from 33+ different countries.

You might realize you were great all along – even before you came here.

You might stop blaming your parents, your partner, and everyone else.

You might forgive yourself and others so that you can love instead.

You might come to know that life need not be an uphill battle.

You might launch a new platform with incredible people to transform education.

You might appreciate your bosses even if you don’t agree with them on everything.

You might join 4 different teams – each amazing in their own way – in less than 2 years.

You might pitch a winning idea that shifts the company’s culture forever e.g. Learn Day.

You might forever transform your new housemate by introducing him to CrossFit.

You might reclaim your dreams, not for your sake, but for that of others.

You might come as a project manager but leave as a writer.

You might leave with more love than you have ever known.

 

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Sepehr in Bali

Forgive Yourself

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I’ve hated. The world. People. Myself. I’ve judged. I’ve criticized. I’ve blamed. I’ve complained. I’ve clung. I’ve chosen not to let go. I’ve been needy. I’ve been greedy. I’ve been angry. I’ve been anxious. I’ve worried, every night, before sleep. I’ve let my mind and heart fill with fear. I’ve let fear guide my decisions. I’ve been selfish. I’ve discriminated. I’ve belittled. I’ve expected perfection. Of myself. And others. Especially relationships. I’ve been harmful. To my body. To my mind. I’ve chosen to be miserable. I’ve hurt those who love me the most. I’ve held a grudge.

I am sorry.
There’s no excuse.
But I forgive myself.

We can make ourselves miserable, or we can make ourselves happy. The amount of work is the same. – Carlos Castaneda

Accept and surrender to the uncertainty and the unknown that is life. Open your mind wide and your heart ever more so, to all that is always coming, and going. Life is a precious gift. And joy, peace, and love are the rewards of choosing to live life well. All of these are choices that we can make consciously. Even though sometimes it may seem impossible. Perhaps because we never learned how to. Perhaps because we’ve lived in ways that do not cultivate joy and peace. Perhaps because we’ve only been seeking pleasures and excitements. Perhaps because we were taught to be hard and tough and critical and judgmental of ourselves and others. Do not allow what you know to interfere with what is important, and that is peace of mind.

Accept who you may be – even if it is far from the sense of identity that you have held on to. Love yourself as your are. Gratitude is the remedy for anger. Faith is the remedy for fear. You are always responsible for how you choose to be. Not your ex. Not your parents. Not your boss. Not your colleagues. Not the flight attendant. Not the weather. Not the waiter. You. And what are you? Who are you? You are forgiveness. You are joy. You are peace. You are struggle. You are triumph. You are nothing. You are everything. You are love.

 

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The Rekindling - Gili Trawangan, Lombok, Indonesia

The Rekindling

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Smile for this is a new day,
Everything will come your way.

Venture where your soul dares go,
Pave the way for days to follow.

You are gentle. You are humble.
You make the ego fall and crumble.

You are daring. You are bold.
You carry a heart made of gold.

You are good. You are kind.
You must always keep this in mind.

Free of troubles past, may you be,
Open to the uncertainty and you’ll be free.

May you have peace, joy, and love,
That which you have always sought,
Deep within your heart.

 

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10 Day Silent Meditation Retreat at Suan Mokkh

What to Expect at a 10 Day Silent Meditation Retreat in Thailand: The Suan Mokkh Review

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Editor’s notes: This is part 2 (review) of a 2 part series of my experience at Suan Mokkh. Read part 1 (insights) here.

The most memorable experiences are those in which you gain a sense of knowing. An understanding of your own true nature and that of life and the world we live in. Recently, I was fortunate enough to have such an experience at the Wat Suan Mokkh International Dharma Hermitage in Chaiya, Surat Thani, Thailand.

If you Google “silent meditation retreat in Thailand”, one of the first results will be Suan Mokkh. There are many Vipassana retreats around the world by S.N. Goenka, all of which are free but spots fill up ahead of time. Going to a retreat was a last minute decision for me. I chose Suan Mokkh because there was no requirement to preregister online. I just had to show up the day before the first of the month and signup. There’s a small registration fee of 2000 THB or about $65.

Suan Mokkh was founded by Buddhadasa (Buddha’s Slave). A renowned and prominent Thai monk and teacher whose translations and interpretations of the original Buddhist Pali scriptures provided a new rather more scientific perspective of Buddhism. His teachings or talks have been translated from Thai to English, German, French, Russian and other languages. All of which are available as books – many of which will be available to you for free at the end of the retreat.

I was not expecting to learn so much about Buddhism. I thought the retreat would focus solely on the practice of meditation. But I’m grateful to have learned so much about Buddhism.

You’ll also learn about meditation through the daily Dhamma talks and early morning readings. The talks are given by Thai monks who’ve been practicing at Suan Mokkh for years. Some are a bit dry and mundane given the monotone speech but nevertheless always insightful. Some, especially ones by the English monk are quite engaging and filled with entertaining stories and metaphors that not only insight but will give you a good laugh every now and then.

My favorite time of the day was yoga at 5:15AM. Men are taught basic yoga that focuses on guided meditation, breathwork, and mindful movement through a series of different stretches and postures. Each yoga session ends with 30 minutes of Tai Chi – by end of 10 days you’ll have learned a pretty cool slow Tai Chi routine of 16 movements. The Tai Chi master is a very experienced teacher and has an incredible way of teaching.

The ladies have yoga as well in a separate outdoor hall facing the sun as it rises just over the perimeter of the retreat center. Quite the scene. Men can still catch the sunrise after their yoga session.

The first few days, I was amazed at the Buddhist teachings. Majority of people including myself have inaccurate views and understandings of Buddhism. Concepts like Non-Self, Karma, Suffering, Impermanence, and Rebirth are often greatly misunderstood. These are well explained throughout the retreat.

The first days of practice there is often restlessness, or sleepiness, some boredom, laziness, doubt, and perhaps regret about getting involved at all. The spiritual quest we are embarking upon is a rare and precious undertaking, so be gentle yet persevering through any beginning difficulties. – Joseph Goldstein

As excited as I tend to get with new experiences I was thinking to myself “This is the way. OMG. I’m gonna come back here next month!” That lasted for maybe 2 days.

On day 4, I started doubting and questioning things, feeling lost and confused. I thought to myself, “Well if one is to believe this stuff then it sounds like the only way is to become a monk – there must be a middle way.” And there is – one which I’m learning to practice in my life. Then I thought to myself “Alright, chill out, you’re learning some useful information and skills – take it for what it is and just focus on being here.” I still think that was good advice.

When you’re at the retreat – be there – that is the goal of the whole experience, not to be meditating while your mind is “in Paris” as one of the Nuns put it. Not in the past, not in the future. Not reading. Not writing. Not talking.

Days 7 to 10 began to feel somewhat longer. A sense of excitement arises when you long for the end as it is so close. Even though you know you need to be present and focus on your practice. You start to think of all the things you’re going to do when you get out. All the people you’ll want to talk to and the things you want to share with them. All the foods you’ll want to eat.

Being with Nature

One of the key advantages of Suan Mokkh is its setting. Set in the town of Chaiya right in the middle of what once used to be a jungle and parts of it still are. Being close to nature is instrumental to the overall experience and learning. You’ll run into all sorts of creatures and critters – in your room and on campus. Spiders, centipedes, snakes, scorpions, geckos. I actually had 2 gecko roommates who’d show up when it was hot outside and leave around sunset. I found myself calling them Fred and Fred Jr. and talking to them in my head. Naming the lizard or bug actually allows you to see it as someone, not something – a technique that allows you to be more at ease.

We are each going to die alone. It is necessary to come to terms with our basic aloneness, to become comfortable with it. The mind can become strong and peaceful in that understanding, making possible a beautiful communion with others. - Joseph Goldstein

You’ll be surrounded by magnificent trees. You’ll relax in natural hot springs. You’ll hear the honey bees buzzing their wings every morning as they pollinate the flowers on the tree right next to you as you meditate. Birds chipping, crickets cricketing, geckos making whatever loud sound it is they make.

Program & Structure

Throughout the retreat men and women have separate dorms, sitting areas, yoga hall. This is meant to avoid distraction. The schedule consists of roughly the following activities: meditation (sitting & walking), yoga, monk speeches, eating, chanting (optional), chores, and resting.

Days 1 to 8 follow the same schedule, though from day 5 there’s more focus on the practice and less on the speeches. Day 9 will have no speeches and is solely focused on practicing meditation (sitting or walking). Day 10 has a few talks, practice, and ends with a wonderful 2 hour session where participants can share their insights. Everything was well organized and thoroughly explained. For a full schedule refer to Suan Mokkh site.

Packing, Getting There, & Registration

For the retreat, take a flashlight, yoga mat, and maybe another saran or something to cushion your bed (if you wish), take a small pillow, take a fleece it’s cold in the mornings, mosquito spray or buy it there.

From Surat Thani airport taxi to Suan Mokkh dharma center is 500 or 600 bhat.

The retreats begin on the first and end on the tenth of every month. Registration is in person the day before. It is first-come first-serve. If you’re going during a high season: January to May I recommend getting there either 2 days before the first of the month or no later than early afternoon on the day before the first of the month.

There are 2 centers. One is the International Hermitage Center (public center) and the other is the retreat center. They are across the street from one another. You are always welcome to stay and sleep at the Hermitage Center for free before or after the retreat.

Early morning on 30th or 31st you walk across the street to the retreat center and register.

If you ever decide to attend and experience a 10 day silent retreat for yourself – I mindfully recommend Suan Mokkh.

 

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Sunrise on Day 11 at Suan Mokkh in Surat Thani

7 Truths You May Encounter About Yourself & Life After Being Silent for 10 Days in the Forest with Thai Monks

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Editor’s notes: This is part 1 (insights) of a 2 part series of my experience at Suan Mokkh. Read part 2 (tips & review) here.

There was a tranquil sense of energy to the place. One that I can only try to describe. You’d have to be there to know it. Peaceful. Calm. Serene. The monks, strolling around. One here. Another there. One sitting. One walking. One sweeping. All at peace. Everyone had a sense of curiosity in their eyes. Or maybe it was just me.

I remember thinking. Why did I come here? How did I end up here? Where will I go from here? Who will I be after the experience that was to commence in 2 days? Am I here to face something or am I here to escape something? I wasn’t sure. But I knew this was exactly where I needed to be. And for that I am grateful.

I was at The Suan Mokkh International Dharma Hermitage, in the small village of Chaiya, in Surat Thani, Thailand. It was a hot sunny afternoon on February 27th. I’d come to register for and attend the following month’s 10 day silent meditation retreat. The retreat always begin on the first and end on the tenth. Registration is in person the day before. It is first-come first-serve and it was high season. So I wanted to make sure I get a spot and thankfully I did.

Some Truths I encountered during the experience and shortly after:

1. Happiness is a choice and you’re always the one who gets to choose.

What if we made happiness and peace of mind our intention? Instead of trying to overcome the so called painful past. What if you decided for yourself that you will begin to train yourself starting now and today. To set love and compassion, peace and joy as your way of life? With the foresight that change is going to take deliberate effort and time but it is possible.

Go a whole day without complaining – then a lifetime! – Timber Hawkeye

The bell would ring every morning at 4AM. First few days I would get up with a tough minded attitude of “okay, let’s go, you gotta do this!”. Next few days I would almost curse the bell in my mind, “oh, what’s the point of this, why do I gotta get up at this time.” Last few days, you learn that everything is an opportunity to practice mindfulness. So at 4AM I would deliberately not react to the bell as I had been. I would instead respond by getting up as fast as I could washing my face brushing my teeth. Before you know it, you don’t even feel sleepy or tired. This showed me that like everything else in life we always have a choice of how we see things. And how we choose to react to them. Even something as simple as the process of getting up in the morning. You can victimise yourself thinking “Why do I have to go through this?” Or you can just pick yourself up, get on with it, and be grateful that you even have the opportunity to do so. You always have a choice.

2. You should not give too much meaning to anything in life because NOTHING is worth your peace of mind.

Things don’t have meaning to them, intrinsically. Nothing does. Not a sunset, not the look in a puppy’s eyes, not our relationships. We give them meaning based on our perception and sense of self. Do not mistake this for worthless. Things are not worthless but intrinsically speaking, from a Buddhist point of view, everything is meaningless. You give things meaning by how you choose to see them. And how you choose see them are a result of your habitual conditioning.

Take a step back and you’ll see that all of our anguish is self-inflicted. We assign meaning to everything, and simply refuse to accept it all as impermanent.” – Timber Hawkeye

Your sense of self is a making up of the mind. Clinging and attachments are behaviors that give birth to your sense of self and ego. Such as identifying with past stories that you tell yourself causing you to remain in the past and be who you tell yourself you are based on the past. This sense of “me” and sense of self-identity is something that arises as a response to any sense experience. At which point “me” is that which is experiencing something. Be it a cool drink on a hot summer day. Or an “awful” breakup. Shift your perspective toward things in life.

Buddhism is about relinquishing yourself of dependencies on anything and anyone. It is not about being happy and honkey dory. It’s a path of discovery of your own true nature and that of everything else. It’s about having the mental discipline along with kindness of the heart and love to to say enough is enough – no longer will I depend on circumstances to feel joy and be at peace. Realize that happiness, joy, success, peace, are all qualities of the mind and their cultivation in life can only come by choosing and deciding for yourself that you will not have it any other way.

3. Three words: trust the process.

One of the most memorable lessons came at the times leading up to lunch. And lunch time itself. The retreat provides 2 simple vegetarian meals a day – morning and noon (rice, vegetables, hot water). After day 4 I chose to have only one meal a day – lunch.

So, coming up to lunch time… The bell rings. You’re hungry. You begin to fear what will happen to me. To my body. Will I pass out. Food is laid out and everyone begins to walk toward the dinning hall. The food is always just about enough, not too much not too little. You line up to serve yourself. So much mental energy and dilema goes onto this process especially the first few days. How much should I take? Will there be enough left for seconds? During the orientation session before the retreat they ask you to take just enough so that the first and the last person in line could get the same amount of everything. So you then feel guilty if you took too much food or even think that you did.

And best part, you can’t begin eating until everyone else has served themselves, sat down and we’ve read the food reflection. It’s amazing to observe the storm that the mind puts you through just for its own desire for something (eg. food), but also out of fear, greed, and worry. Fear that you won’t get enough. Greed that you want more than you’ll need. And all the worry that comes with it. This was an excellent lesson on observing how the mind can mess with you. And learning to not allow your thoughts to draw you in. Because after the first couple of spoons just as your senses are satiated you begin to calm down and after lunch it’s as though there was never any need for any mental battle.

In the long run, we shape our lives, and we shape ourselves. The process never ends until we die. And the choices we make are ultimately our own responsibility.” – Eleanor Roosevelt

You see for yourself that circumstances in life, even things such as eating 3 meals or no meals for a few days won’t be as awful as you may think. Things can seem awful depending on how you choose to react to the thoughts that arise during the experience. You observe your thoughts when you get a little hungrier and when you eat you realize that any negative feelings or emotions were all merely a game of the mind. On day 9, I did not eat anything. This was very interesting. During meditation I found myself often thinking of foods I’d eat and restaurants and places I’d go to eat in the near future.

Things are going to happen and go on regardless of how you choose to feel about them. Choose love. Choose faith. Choose peace. Choose joy. Choose gratitude. Choose change. It’s the fear and worry of things that can hurt and even kill you, not the actual circumstances of your life. During the retreat I experienced this in simple things such as daily lunch.

4. We tend to talk more than we should – often saying things that are better left unsaid.

Being silent was rather easy and proved to be a valuable exercise. You see how we waste or expend so much energy just talking. You learn to deal with whatever is going on in your head by yourself. Not by complaining, gossiping, whining, blaming, or else.

Silence is a source of great strength. - Lao Tzu

You come to realize that you can figure things out on your own even if you didn’t think so. And even if you don’t figure something out – you accept that you’ll be okay. You gain a great level of appreciation for the spoken word and the power your words have on everything.

5. Do one thing at a time and be mindful at all times.

The retreat showed me that mindfulness does not end when you get up from your meditation. It continues at all times. When getting lunch. When walking to your room. When walking to the hall. When opening your room door – checking for spiders and the like. You can always practice being mindful. One way to do it especially in today’s “multi-task” age is to do one thing at a time. When you’re eating, eat. When your reading, read. When talking with someone, give them your undivided attention. You do this because at that moment in time that is the only person you are dealing with and that makes them – for that moment at least – the most important person to you.

Mindfulness is so powerful that the fact that it comes out of Buddhism is irrelevant. – Jon Kabat-Zinn

There is great value in slowing down. There is no hurry, no place to go, nothing else to do, just a settling back into the moment. Take your time when doing simple things like chores, washing the dishes, walking to work, folding laundry. You don’t do this just for the sake of spending a lot of time. You do it to train the mind to break habitual conditioned behaviors. This mental discipline of mindfulness will then empower you to more easily change other habits that are harmful, e.g. smoking, gossiping, etc. All our behaviors and so called things we’ve come to consider normal are conditioned behaviours that have become habits. We can and must unlearn them if they are causing us harm.

6. Meditation is not meant to make you thoughtless – that’s not possible.

Think of the mind as the sky. Thoughts are then clouds that pass through. Meditation is the practice of observing these clouds, or thoughts. Without judgement, without commentary, without attachment, without possession, without reaction. Simply being there. Observing. That is all. You are not your thoughts. How you alter your thoughts is a process of training the mind through meditation. It’s also through letting go of the self-identifying stories you tell yourself that have kept the same thoughts coming back, again and again. Meditation helps you detach from your thoughts so that when certain negative emoting thoughts arise you do not cling onto them. Get sucked into them and start hurting yourself and others.

Happiness is your birthright and your mind is your most powerful ally in attaining it. – Dr. Srikumar S. Rao

This is why it is so important to train the mind or practice mindfulness meditation. The mind is a sense response to seeing or experiencing something. The mind senses an experience which for that moment gives it birth then it goes away. Every sense experience creates a new mind affected by all the previous sense experiences. You learn how to simply observe when a feeling or vibration arises. Meditation is the training required to be able to wisely respond to feelings and thoughts that arise instead of foolishly reacting to them. Gaining control of the mind empowers you to experience more peace and joy.

7. Happiness is not what you think it is.

True joy and peace do not come from mental stimulation type of experiences. Be it the next exotic vacation, the next adventure thrill, the next promotion, the next drink, the next meal, the next smoke, or what ever else you’ve got lined up. Nor do they arise from material possessions of any kind. These, according to Buddhisim, are all still forms of suffering or unsatisfactoriness. They are stimulations or excitements that are impermanent, like everything else. They come and go. Buddhism doesn’t ask us not to enjoy pleasurable things, just know that they’re impermanent. Don’t try to hold on to them and repeat them over and over again. Instead learn to control the mind and your response to life so even when you cannot control what you get or don’t get – you can be at peace. When making changes in life, approach things with a void, empty mind. A mind free of anxiety, hate, and frustration. Welcome the sense of adventure and surprise that comes with the unexpected, the uncertain, the unknown.

Be happy for this moment. This moment is your life. – Omar Khayyam

It will come from a knowing that the rut you may find yourself in sometimes or feel that you are in now is a result of your conditioned thoughts and behaviors. All of which can be unconditioned or reconditioned and replaced with new habits that will lead to joy, peace, and happiness. Not over night, not over a month. But can and will with persistent effort. Practice and training. Training of the mind. Through mindfulness meditation. Stop searching for answers beyond yourself. Sit down for a moment and read your own book. The book that lies in the mind. That’s where you can hope to find the answers you’re really looking for.

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The Greatest Company in the World

The Greatest Company in the World

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This is the greatest company in the world.

This company is like no other. There’s only one like it. And there will never be another.
If you have the privilege of being at this company you are more fortunate than you could ever imagine.

This is the greatest company in the world.
But, like everything else in life – this company is not perfect, neither are its employees.
And its greatness is limited to that which you choose to see in it.

This company can make you complain, blame, gossip, hate, and pity. It can make you feel like it’s all a drag. It can make you not give a damn thinking that everything’s against you and is happening to you. It can make you curse the Fates and just want to leave.

This company can hurt. It can make you bend. It can make you stretch. It can make you work. It can make you cry. It can make you uncomfortable. It can make you afraid. It can make you wish you were never here. All to make you evolve.

This is the gift of this company.

This company can make you laugh. It can make you love. It can make you grow. It will make you learn. It can make you charter into the unknown and give you the courage to go there. It can help you know what you want and don’t want, but still leave you lost, wondering.

This is the gift of this company.

This company lets you adventure. It lets you travel. To see things that amaze you. To feel things you’ve never felt before. To meet people with a different point of view. To do things you’ve never done before. But, only if you dare. And I hope you do.

This company can make you dream. It can make you question what you thought there is.
It can make you wonder of the possibilities of what could be. It can make you question your own dreams and goals to see if they’re really yours.

This company can make you want to dance. It can make you want to sing. It can make you want to drink and get as high as can be. It can make you want to run into the open sea. It can make you want to be who you would only dream of being in your fantasy.

This company is here to make change. It abhors mediocrity. It will push the norm and set its own norm which it will then push and keep on pushing further and further and further.

This company will go on. It’s built for progress. Whether you choose to be a part of the joy or be a self-pitying victim — is completely up to you. But this company will go on.

This company will not need you forever. And nor will you need it. You too will leave this place.
But while you’re here, be patient. Don’t rush. Be here. Seize the moments. Open yourself to the opportunities and give of yourself. For only then will this company reward you with magic.

In this company, everything will come and go when it’s meant to.
And so will you. Hold on to nothing – but this simple truth.

In this company, you can be anything you choose to.
All I wish for you is that you enjoy the journey of your becoming.

 

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