An Expanding and Contracting Being

I heard a nice thing in meditation group last night.

I’m paraphrasing but this is what was basically said:

“The more you practice meditation, the less focused on your breathing and thinking you are. Eventually you just become an expanding and contracting being.”

I’ve experienced this sensation for a few moments here and there. It’s interesting to see how the mind reacts. Usually something along the lines of  “Wow, I’m not doing this (breathing)…something else is.” The I here is the thinking self that assumes it does everything!

Have you experienced this?

Overcoming Shyness – A Spiritual Approach

UrbanMonk.net has been kind enough to publish my guest post about shyness – Thanks!! This is based on my own personal experience in dealing with and working with my shyness.I hope it provides some help and inspiration for others of the shy persuasion 🙂

What Is Your Personality Trying To Tell You? Overcoming Shyness

What is personality?

While each of us is inevitably shaped by our backgrounds, culture, society etc, and we develop preferences, likes, dislikes, interests, and so forth, we also develop what we call personality traits. If someone asks what kind of person you are, you might say, “I’m outgoing” or “I’m shy” or any number of ‘good’ or ‘bad’ but equally identifiable qualities that indicate how we present ourselves to the world.

What about ego?

When discussing personality, the word ‘ego’ has it’s own set of connotations. “Egotistical” is in itself a trait that we associate with a certain kind of person that perhaps is very self-absorbed, requires a lot of attention and so on. For the purpose of this article, the concept of ‘ego’ is the false set of ideas and thoughts we believe to contain our “self”.

Head over to UrbanMonk.net to read the full article

Some other articles on shyness you may find interesting:

Think Simple Now – 20 Ways To Attack Shyness

Pick The Brain – Overcoming Shyness

Zen Habits – 8 Essential Tips To Overcoming Shyness

Thinking Small To Act Big – Instant Inspiration

Lately I’ve been finding that just sitting on my balcony for a few minutes, looking at the trees and the sky and the birds, is very peaceful for me. It’s almost like a meditation because it stills the chatter of my thoughts. I get out there and I’m always struck by the vibrant colors of the trees and plants; the unthinking ease with which the hummingbirds fly around, and the beauty of the hills in the distance. Just a few minutes a couple of times a day has proved very calming and inspirational for me. The same thing happens if I am to look at the night sky. This has been a pattern since I was a child. The night sky always inspires a sense of wonder and awe in me as I ponder the impossible vastness of the universe. I was reminded of this the other night. I was sitting in my car waiting for a friend and I took the opportunity to roll down the window and just gaze up at the night sky. The neighborhood is a particularly quiet, suburban one so I could see more stars than when I’m in the city. For me, there is nothing like acknowledging the enormity and beauty of our universe, the stars, planets etc to create a sense of calm. Continue reading “Thinking Small To Act Big – Instant Inspiration”

Stripping Away The Ego and Dealing With The “Unconscious” World

Since reading Eckhart Tolle’s A New Earth, I’ve definitely been more conscious of my own ego. The thing about it is that, the more you start to peel back the layers and recognize the ego, the more you realize just how ego-driven you are, no matter how conscious, shy, kind etc you may think you are- and therefore just how much work you have to do to become truly ego-free! So I’m realizing just how driven by ego I still am and how vigilant I must be in order to stop it taking over at every turn.I do generally consider myself to be more conscious than average. I consider other people’s feelings, I’m respectful of others, I try to treat people without judgment etc. However, what I’ve noticed about myself is that when I encounter people who are blatantly disrespectful or selfish, it really gets to me and elicits a lot of angry or annoyed thoughts. It’s not just because it represents an attack on my identity in some way because these things anger me even when they are not directed AT me, for example, when I see them happening around me to other people. Continue reading “Stripping Away The Ego and Dealing With The “Unconscious” World”

What Is The Ego?

What Is The Ego?

I’ve been reading Eckhart Tolle’s latest book “A New Earth” and it’s been very inspiring. This man is truly enlightened, and once you begin to delve into the book and his ideas, it becomes clear that there is a distinction between true spiritual leaders like himself & Dr Wayne Dyer, and the “motivational coaches” such as James Ray and others. The distinction I would make is that while Ray and others focus on helping you get what you want in your life, in a spiritual manner, Tolle is talking about a much deeper understanding of spirituality and the connection between yourself and the world and the rest of humanity. I’m not knocking one approach over the other – I’ve found a lot of Ray’s writing to be very helpful and motivational and for me, as I’m sure with others, it provides a gateway into a deeper spiritual life which Tolle & Dyer discuss in more depth.

One of the main concepts that Tolle discusses in the book, is the distinction between our ego, and our true self or spirit. In order to break it down, I hope I’m not butchering his concepts too much 😉

Continue reading “What Is The Ego?”

5 Ways I Know I Am Changing For The Better

Well let me first warn you, I don’t have one of those ‘sales letter’ pitches where I can astound you with tales of how much money I’ve ‘manifested’ in the first several weeks of following x, y or z regimen. No, nothing so glamorous.

But what I’m realizing is that this personal development stuff is work which pays off with small victories at first, and the more you notice them, the more rewarding it becomes. Sounds ironic because I believe the ultimate goal is to just let go and return to ‘being’ which by all accounts is the most effortless way. But the path to it – not so easy when you’re fighting against 20+ years of programmed thoughts and behavior! Some days you just don’t want to do it. Sometimes you want to wallow in a lazy, de-motivated mindset, because it’s just easier – it’s the way you’ve been programmed. And sometimes that’s ok.

But, as I always say, it’s like going to the gym. The more you use certain muscles the easier it becomes and once you start seeing results the easier it is to motivate yourself. So while I can’t point to some huge quantifiable change, I can see the pointers along the way.

I’ll share some with you here – perhaps they will help you be more observant of your own small victories which will fuel your motivational fire.

Continue reading “5 Ways I Know I Am Changing For The Better”

10 Tips For Getting (And Staying) On The Path To Positive Change

10 Tips For Getting (And Staying) On The Path To Positive Change

Writing this blog has helped me become a little more analytical of my own development – for the purpose of my own clarification and also to perhaps provide more solid reading for others. So as I sit here today and think about how I’m becoming a different person – more organized, more productive, happier, more motivated – I’m trying to pinpoint the things that have helped me along the way. So here are some tips to help get you and keep you on the path.

1) Read– I’ve read, and continue to read inspiring books (you can find some here) and keep up to date on relevant blogs (e.g Steve Pavlina, Zen Habits, Trizle, etc) that help me keep my thoughts on track. These should not be an excuse to procrastinate but the opposite – a motivational tool. By immersing yourself in new ways of thinking positively, you’ll challenge your mind and also find the things that resonate the most for you. After a while you realize a lot of personal development stuff is repeating the same ideas over and over, but its about finding the ideas and ways of expressing them that have the most impact for you. Continue reading “10 Tips For Getting (And Staying) On The Path To Positive Change”

Are you seeing 11:11 ?

This is weird. For the past couple of months I’ve been happening to look at the clock at times when the numbers are all the same, e.g 2:22 and in particular I’ve been noticing 11:11 a lot. I’m not one to be overly superstitious or read meaning into every little thing, so I didn’t think much more of it than a quirky coincidence. Then, a couple of days ago, this article was delivered to my Inbox via the excellent DailyOM. I’ve never been that much into numerology, but this definitely has piqued my interest. Anyone else noticing such repeating patterns?

The Meaning of Work, Life and God

Pretty ambitious title huh? And the answer I have is perhaps anti-climactic: the meaning is whatever you say it is, for that is what becomes real for you. Once it’s real for you, your words and actions make it tangible in the external world also, impacting others. So choose wisely and with good intention.

Sounds simple enough, right? But it’s taken me a while to really come to this realization. As I’ve mentioned before, I was always searching externally for something to change my mind and my life, to impact me in a transformational way and was frustrated when it didn’t happen. I read a lot of books people had claimed to be ‘life-changing’, heard motivational speakers and so forth, and while I found those things interesting, and resonated with them to some degree, it didn’t go much deeper than that. Continue reading “The Meaning of Work, Life and God”

Introduction, or Am I Really Doing This??

For a brief overview of what this blog is about, check out the About page.

Here’s a little more background about how I came to this point in my development. It started I’d say maybe about two and a half years ago. Well, in reality it started probably 20 or so years ago…. Let me explain.

Since a very young age I’ve always been drawn to spiritual things. I grew up with a Jewish father and Catholic mother, neither of whom were particularly strict in practicing their religions (fortunately…can you imagine the guilt? 😉 ). So thankfully neither was forced upon me. But I was always in search, whether I knew it or not, of some type of spiritual belief or meaning. When I was young I was particularly drawn to eastern philosophies and religions, Buddhism, Taoism etc. I read a lot about them but nothing really changed my mind or my life as I had hoped. As I grew older, I still retained this interest but in a less active way. I was casually spiritual but still disliked using the term ‘god’ or anything that seemed vaguely religious. The problem was largely that I was looking externally for meaning or something transformative. What I didn’t realize, that I do now, is that the meaning I was looking for comes from within and can be whatever I want it to be. More on that in a separate post. Continue reading “Introduction, or Am I Really Doing This??”