meditation for Freedom

Meditation for Ultimate Freedom

We Want Freedom but Can’t Control Life. Can Meditation Help?

Loss of Control often Causes Anxiety

Over my decades of meditation I have made it a priority to study myself, my behaviors and human behavior in general. I have always felt a deep longing to maximize the good parts of life and minimize the bad. One glaring truth has come to the surface. People crave freedom!

I have also realized that people define freedom in different ways. One very popular definition of freedom is the notion that I can do anything I want whenever I want. On first glance, this seems like an ideal life. But in reality, living that kind of free life is bound to affect the freedom of others.

For example, if I want to blast music at 3 am regardless of people around me, I might feel free. But what about my family and my neighbors? My freedom of expression interferes with their freedom to sleep peacefully.

It appears that true freedom means taking into account the freedom of others, not just my own. In this way, the spiritual teaching that we are all connected comes into play. My choices and my actions affect others. If I pursue an action that excludes an awareness of others, I am actually limiting the freedom of my fellow brothers and sisters.

This creates a dilemma as I can’t help but feel there are many factors out of my control. With the lack of control, I may conclude that my freedom is not complete. I would say that there is truth in that statement.

In the early phases of spiritual development, this causes tremendous conflict as we want to be totally free but also we don’t want others to have their freedom limited by our actions.

romance ending

What about when a romance is coming to an end? Most of the time, one of the partners wants to break up because they want more freedom to do something else or see other people. The one being left will feel that life is out of control because they still want the relationship to continue. In this case, one partner’s freedom means the other partner is restricted. How can this be resolved?

It can be resolved using meditation. Meditation is the act of entering a deeply relaxed state of consciousness followed by an active choice of where you will put your attention. As you progress, you gain greater control of your thoughts and thus you can choose what you want to do with your mind once you have relaxed.

Let’s say you wish to explore the relationship to your own personal freedom. You may ask yourself questions such as;

Do I feel completely free in my life?

Does my freedom infringe on the freedom of others?

Am I trying too hard to control my life and others in order to feel free?

 

It is rare that a person will say they feel completely free. I believe this is because of two things. First, we are not taught what freedom is in terms of a collective group such as the souls on our planet. We are fed the idea that freedom is the ability to do whatever we want when we want with no negative consequences.

In this model, I should be free to drive home a little drunk because I want to. But if I hurt someone or damage property, someone else’s freedom is affected.

Or this notion that life would be perfect if I didn’t have to work. I would be free if I had a ton of money and could live a life of leisure. Ironically, if you investigate the lives of people who don’t have to work and have an abundance of leisure time, most of them are restless, not content and often become extremely self-centered.

It is pretty well known that most lottery winners don’t do well with the sudden influx of huge amounts of cash. In contrast, people who find a type of work that engages them are more likely to feel fulfilled and this is because working and contributing to society is one of the secrets that leads to feeling free.

The second reason is that we don’t know how to integrate the balance of aspects of life that we can control and those aspects we can’t control.

Getting back to meditation, begin to explore this idea of your own freedom. Start by defining what you believe ultimate freedom is and also explore if your ultimate freedom infringes on others. Most of us are not close to finding a clear path to freedom.

Would You Consider Private Counseling to Learn how to Use Meditation for Anger Management? Click Here.

Meditation to Reduce Anxiety

Meditation to Reduce Anxiety is an Excellent Compliment to Traditional Therapy

Anxiety has become an accepted norm in many cultures. It shouldn’t be. Using meditation to reduce anxiety is the most recommended way as it can preclude the need for pharmaceuticals.

The challenge is that for those who haven’t yet learned meditation, there will be some time lag as far as the results they are seeking. Nevertheless, the sooner you get started, the sooner you will feel positive changes.

You might curious how exactly to use meditation to reduce anxiety. It begins with the premise that the presence of anxiety is a signal from within yourself that something is concerning you.  Anxiety is a form of fear that creates a negative emotional state because either something happened in the past that you are worried about or something coming up is likely to be a problem for you.

Whether or not your assessment is true meaning something is genuinely wrong, you often don’t really know. In fact, if you don’t examine your conclusions, your mind jumps to negative possibilities and these stimulate feelings of anxiety.

Try this simple meditation exercise when seeking to reduce anxiety

Sit quietly, close your eyes and  let the feelings of anxiety surface. Don’t try to block them in any way. In order to use meditation to reduce anxiety, you first have to own the feelings.

It is possible as you let the feelings rise that you will be tempted to get freaked out and pulled into the feeling. However I want to assure you that there is a higher aspect to your being. This higher part is not phased by anxiety because it knows anxiety is often generated based on faulty conclusions. Now is the time to explore these unexamined conclusions.

Engage your mind and analyze your assessment of the situation. Your thoughts might sound like this…

I’m very worried about what’s going to happen in my job. I heard rumors that my boss is getting fired. If she does, I could lose my job and then I won’t have enough money to pay my rent. Trying to find a job in this economy is almost impossible. I’m going to be in a whole mess of trouble.

Try to identify the unknowns in your mental dialogue and approach them from a more mature and reasonable mind set. In the above example, there are several false conclusions. The person doesn’t know for sure if their boss is losing her job. This negativity could be totally without foundation.

In this case, your reasoning mind guided by the more mature part of you (think of this as your soul) would interrupt the anxiety tapes playing and say, ‘Stop. Until we know what is happening to our boss, we’re not going to give it any more attention.’

This is a discipline and it requires effort however once this decision is made, you cut your thinking off any time the mind wants to go there. If you need some kind of mantra to cut that thought, you might repeat ‘I focus on what I know to be true at this moment’. A mantra like that means you can’t speculate and take yourself into a funky state.

Even if you are quite sure your boss is getting fired, the other conclusions you have allowed (I could lose my job, I won’t have enough money, I can’t find another job in this economy) are gross exaggerations. There is a part of you that recognizes that you are projecting dire outcomes without any evidence to support them.

The solution is moving your thinking into proactive planning mode. It might sound like this…If I am let go, I have 2 months of savings to carry me while I find another job. I will need to act quickly to begin looking right away. The last time I looked earnestly for a job, I found one in just over a month. I will put a plan together and stick with it. I am confident that something will come through as it always has in the past.

This is a meditation process because it is an active use of the mind to first examine your feelings and then use the mind to devise a reasonable solution. Meditation to reduce anxiety requires a confidence in your ability to take action. Since we all make mistakes, don’t aspire to be error-free. Instead, aspire to have a process to deal with situations that create anxiety.

Would You Consider Private Counseling to Learn how to Use Meditation for Anger Management? Click Here.

reducing anxiety woman

Considering Lack of Love as a Source of Anxiety

I often think of what’s on TV as symbolic for what we long for, relationship and connection. It seems a fundamental aspect of being human. We are created to relate to each other and find connection in recognizing shared experiences, not live in constant anxiety.

Have you ever stopped and noticed how much TV is about murder and killing others? It’s a lot. As well, there are constant Dateline-type shows that highlight premeditated murders and how the trials played out. I can assure you, there was little to no meditation in these pre-meditated killings.

Do you have anxiety

What is this insatiable draw to seeing so much death? And how does it affect you emotionally?

These are good questions to take into meditation. Even if you clearly realize that watching reality TV about a manipulating husband or wife who plotted to kill their spouse so they could have an affair or cash in on inheritance is not good for you, it can be hard to resist. It’s not because it is human nature to kill. In fact, I am a strong believer that it is not at all in our nature to kill others, but a learned behavior.

All this ‘entertainment’ about death and killing leads to a gradual shift in consciousness and desensitization. After a while, one kind of just accepts that people kill each other and then lie profusely to try and get away with it. And in those shows like Law and Order where there is a trial, often the climax is when the attorney triggers the defendant to spill their guts. They get all emotional and reveal an intense anger and hurt that led to their decision to kill.

In fact, I am quite certain that the anger which leads to decisions to be selfish, mean, vengeful, greedy etc is so rampant in our society that most everyone is affected. Some of us take it all the way and plot to kill someone who we can no longer stand. But most of us relate to the anger. We wouldn’t kill but we can identify with either the killer in their passion or the victim in their helplessness.

These shows thrive because we relate on some level to the struggle and we get an emotional charge from seeing just how far someone else could take things. This phenomenon is an indication of the consciousness of our modern day society. Not very high.

The human soul is incredibly sensitive. We are created to care about each other as though part of one global family. But take a look at an everyday family. When the kids hit adolescence, they can be super-touchy, vicious in their language and highly reactive with each other. Our society seems to be in an adolescent stage of evolution. Anger is prominent and when you know there are people about who, when angry may go so far as to really injure and even kill, this will leave you on edge. Hence the root of much anxiety.

In teaching meditation for over ten years, I have counseled many, many people who declare themselves anxious, as if anxiety is there true nature. I feel our true nature is love and relaxation but living amidst rampant anger in a culture where taking revenge is encouraged, anxiety breeds.

Try not labeling yourself as an anxious person. You may experience strong anxious feelings at times but this doesn’t make you a naturally anxious person. Also monitor your intake of entertainment. Notice your day to day relationships and note how much anger, be it demonstrative or passive aggressive you experience around you.

It is normal to feel anxiety if constantly around a lot of angry, volatile people. And TV would have us believe that these people are all around us. Yes, angry people are all around us. Imagine living in prison where your most basic rights of freedom are denied. People are caged up and they grow furious in time. This is where a lot of weird stuff goes down. Most if us would be chronically angry  and highly anxious if locked up in prison.

Anxiety is a response to the lack of love in our world. It points to the fact that we as humans need love. It is a basic survival element which allows us to relax and feel ok. Day to day, it can be hard to find. The goal is to give more of it and trust in the law of karma. The more you give, the more you will find flowing to you. Have faith in this law.

But also don’t be naive or like a person who tries to force positivity. I am very optimistic but I try not to be foolish. People can harbor anger and concoct mean revenge plans. Or even just hurt others because they were hurt. In order to counter that anger, use meditation to see the truth. Recognize how you are coping with the difficulties in the world. This is the first step to reducing that anxiety. Stop seeing yourself as an anxious person and begin doing all you can to give more love.