Tag Archive | Love

On Meditation and Meaning

Fragments from imaginary dialogues

There are two aspects to the practice of meditation. One is about the mechanics of the practice – what to do, and how. The other aspect is about meaning. You can make the practice more powerful by making it meaningful.

How can I make meditation meaningful?

You’re essentially imbuing it with meaning and connecting it with your values. You’re weaving a personal story around it. Here’s a glimpse of my own personal story:

Meditation is Mental Training. You mind requires training just like your body does. On the Path of Mastery, meditation is a fundamental aspect of that training.

Meditation is Self-Awareness and Self-Knowledge. Meditation is a playful exploration of your inner world, and through that, a fundamental means of learning about yourself.

Meditation is Ritual. Meditation is a gateway into the universe of The Sacred.

Meditation is Self-Love. Meditation is a profound act of Self-Care and Self-Love, thus an expression of Love. The practice of meditation is the practice of Love.

Meditation is Peace and Joy. There’s a quote I love by Thich Nhat Hanh:

If you feel happy, peaceful, and joyful, you are practicing correctly. (Thick Nhat Hanh)

Meditation is the practice of coming home to yourself – a sacred Homecoming. Peace and Joy are the sign that you’ve arrived.

You can get inspiration from my story and shape your own.

Non-Judgment

Fragments from imaginary dialogues

“What do you mean by judgment?”

“Judgment is a kind of evaluation.

Reality is neutral. We view reality through a filter of meaning. Whenever we evaluate something as positive or negative, we project meaning on it.

Evaluation is interpretation.

Viewed in pragmatic terms, some interpretations are empowering, others disempowering. I call disempowering interpretations, judgment.”

“What is non-judgment?”

“Non-judgment is a practice.

It’s a self-awareness practicenoticing when you judge yourself and others. I call the process of directing attention to notice judgment, the lens of judgment. For me, using this lens was a revelation. I hadn’t realized how often I did it.

It’s also a self-love practice – lovingly breaking the unresourceful thought pattern by gently letting it go.”

Self-Love as Practice

If you loved yourself, truly and deeply, would you let yourself experience this? 

If you loved yourself, truly and deeply, what would you do? 

(Kamal Ravikant, Love Yourself Like Your Life Depends On It)


Fragments from imaginary dialogues

“Inspired by Kamal Ravikant, I created a mantra for myself that I repeat often:

I love you, Dani.
I love you, Dani-who-I-was.
I love you, Dani-who-I-will-be.”

“So you’re expressing Self-Love as self-talk.”

“Yes.”

“Saying it is a useful practice. However, you can enrich the practice by showing it through your actions.

You show it through Self-Care, in how you take care of your Health and manage your Energy, in your Nutrition, Movement, and Recovery.

You show it through Self-Gratitude, in appreciating your beautiful BodyMind and never taking it for granted.

You show it through Self-Awareness, in how receptive you are to the signals of your BodyMind.

You show it through Self-Control, in not giving in to harmful impulses.

You show it through Self-Trust, by your degree of trust in the genius of your subconscious mind and in your BodyMind’s capacity to heal – by your ability to get out of your way and let your inner genius do its magic.”

“I often struggle in most of these aspects.”

Above all, you show it through Self-Kindness, Self-Compassion, and Unconditional Self-Acceptance in every struggle and in your most challenging moments.”

Loving Breath

Fragments from imaginary dialogues

“What is a loving breath?”

A breath imbued with Meaning.

We’ve talked a while ago about macro-meditation [<link; short read].” 

“I remember. Seeing your life as meditation.”

“Yes.

Just like in regular meditation you have a point of focus – an anchor – you keep returning to, in macro-meditation you have an anchor for your life which you keep returning to throughout the day.

For me the anchor is Love. 

Whenever I notice I lost sight of my anchor, I take a deep loving breath and a smile. I often follow it with a love mantra [<link; short read].”

Three expressions of Love

I Love x. – Love as directed feeling: eg I Love Life.

I Love. – Love as undirected feeling

I, Love. – Love as identity: I am Love.

Love Mantra

I love you Life. (Memento Mori)
I love you Day.
I love you Moment.

I love you Dani.
I love you Dani-who-I-was.
I love you Dani-who-I-willl-be.
I love you my beautiful BodyMind.

I love you my dear parents.
I love you my dear brother.

Viewed as a template [<link; medium read], the structure is “I love you x”. This is a modular mantra. You can add as many things as you wish and swap them around at will.

The highest-order practice 2

Fragments from imaginary dialogues

“What is your highest-order practice?”

Love

Loving Play [<link; short read]
Loving Meditation
Loving Kindness
Loving Compassion
Loving Gratitude [<link; medium read]”

Self-Care

Fragments from imaginary dialogues

“Self-care as a model?”

“Think of what you mean by self-care, try to articulate it.” 

“Taking care of myself, of my body… health… I find it hard.”

“That is your mental model of it.

Unless you’ve spent some time reflecting on it, it’s likely something vague, unclear. By gaining clarity on it, you enrich (and beautify) your model. The clearer your model, the more clearly you can articulate it – and practice it.

For instance, you can think of Self-Care as an act of Self-Love.

Self-Care is Self-Love.

You’ve thus connected it to your central value. 

And you can expand from here by connecting it with other values:

Self-Care is Self-Awareness.
Self-Care is Health.
Self-Care is Movement.

By thinking of it as a Sacred Ritual, you connect it with the realm of the Sacred.

Self-Care is a Sacred Ritual.

By thinking of it as an aspect of the Beautiful Practice and gaining clarity on what each of these practices entails, you further enrich your model.

Self-Care is the Beautiful Practice.

Taken as a whole, this web of meaningful connections and practices is your refined model of Self-Care.

Playing with Connections

Two things in life make you feel alive: growing and giving. (Tony Robbins)

True love is a love of giving, not a love of receiving. (Abraham Twerski)


Fragments from imaginary dialogues

“As you know, one of my favorite pastimes is playing with making connections [<link; short read] as a means of discovering beautiful ideas.”

“What’s your process?”

“I like to do it mind-mapping style.

Let’s take those two quotes as an example.

From the outset, a beautiful idea jumps at me. Giving can have two meanings:

Giving is Love
Giving is Contribution

Representing it visually, another beautiful idea jumps at me: Growing itself can be seen as an act of Self-Love.

Growing is Love

Building on it, we can say Love is the essence of both Growing and Giving.

This is the starting framework which I build on by making new connections. Each ‘is’ statement represents a meaningful connection expressesing a beautiful idea.

Growing is essentially Learning. 

Growing is Learning

The highest level of Learning is Mastery.

Learning is Mastery

By extension:

Growing is Mastery

The best way to Learn is by Teaching.

Learning is Teaching

As I see it, Teaching and Creating are the highest form of Contribution.

Giving is Creating
Giving is Teaching

I see both Learning and Teaching as creative endeavors.

Learning is Creating (Creative Learning)
Teaching is Creating (Creative Teaching)

Since Love is the essence of both Growing and Giving, we can say:

Creating is Love
Learning is Love
Teaching is Love

All these beautiful ideas combined form a beautiful model:

On Centering

The ancestor of every action is a thought. (Ralph Waldo Emerson)


Fragments from imaginary dialogues

“How can I optimize my centering practice?”

“You initiate and guide your practice with thoughts expressed as meaningful words – I call them word-thoughts

In attempting to optimize the process, you’re essentially asking:

When centering, what do I want to think?

You’re creating an optimal sequence of word-thoughts.”

“I have a tendency to overcomplicate it and create too long a sequence.”

“Make simplicity your mantra. Make the process three steps at most.

I call the first item of the sequence, the access-point. Make the access-point something deeply meaningful to you. Your highest value, your Center.

What is your Center?”

“Love.”

“That is your access-point.

Whenever you initiate the centering practice, think Love.

Let’s make it a three-step process.

What do you want the next two steps to be?”

“Breathing, and a body check.”

“So we have a sequence:

Love
Breathing
Body Check

This is the macro-sequence. Every item of the sequence can itself be a micro-sequence.

For instance, you can just breathe. But you can make it more powerful by smiling as you breathe and thinking ‘Peace’ –  the beautiful practice you’ve learned from Thich Nhat Hanh. 

Se we have a micro-sequence:

(Conscious) Breathing
– Smile
– Peace

What are the key aspects of the body check?”

“Noticing and adjusting my posture, noticing tension, accepting, and letting go.”

“So we have another micro-sequence:

Body Check
– Posture
– Tension
— Accept
— Let go

Visually, the process looks something like this:

Breathing, body check, posture and tension are essentially self-awareness practice.”