5 Reasons to Explore Your Inner Self

Meditation and meditation practices are commonly thought of as essential insights into East Asian, and particularly Buddhist, mind structures or psychology. But this is not necessarily so. Anyone, anywhere, can adapt these insights into their daily lives and routines in ways beneficial to their mental and physical health, and to achieve more fulfilling interactions with others—and yourself.

 

It is true that Buddhism focuses on self-mastery and advocates a path that enhances inner awareness achieved through self-reflection and meditation practices. But these ideas and practices are not the sole purview of Buddhism, they are now universally taught and practiced (with Western adaptations), even in your own local shopping mall. There is no reason for or lack of opportunity to explore these concepts related to understanding aspects of our inner life. Hundreds of books, articles, and YouTube videos exist that explain and teach meditation practices.

1. Understanding Duality: The word “duality”, as used in this context, involves many of the paradoxes we grapple with throughout our lives, such as birth and death, darkness and light, sadness, and joy, good and evil—they are each side of the same coin. For example, we cannot know happiness if we do not know unhappiness, and so on. When you achieve a deep level of meditative concentration, you are open to new realizations that move you beyond dualities to their underlying unity.

2. Understanding Wisdom: As defined in Buddhist terms, wisdom is generally accepted as “insight” or “inner sight,” a mind state beyond the dualities and uncertainties inherent in our physical reality. People who embody insight can maintain that awareness while functioning simultaneously on their sensory reality. In other words, they are practitioners who operate in the “marketplace” of daily life while maintaining consciousness of wisdom gained through insight. Meditators, at any stage of their practice, can achieve this metaphysical understanding. In turn this insight/wisdom leads to self-reliance through self-reflection and self-control to align and balance many psychological states.

3. Understanding Compassion: Compassion can be universally understood as kind-heartedness, sympathy, empathy, all emotions related to the wellbeing of others, as well as for ourselves. Compassion can help form individual and cultural mind structures. In your life strive to achieve a level of balance and fairness in your mind and hence in your interactions with others. This is the step that requires placing your attention, psychological energy, and other inner resources into training your mind.

4. Training Your Mind: Meditate several times a week, if not daily. Sit in a comfortable position on a cushion on the floor or in a chair with both feet in the floor. Build up your concentration slowly, like training a muscle, several minute at first, then longer and longer. A ten-minute meditation break during the day is more beneficial than thirty minutes of fidgeting and waiting for the signal that the time is up. Concentrate on your breath, try to cease clinging to your thoughts swinging wildly through your mind. Begin to acknowledge them and name thoughts as thoughts, feeling as feelings, sensations as sensations; and so on.

5. Understanding Meditative Concentration: Once you can calm or train your mind as suggested, meditation practice gradually brings insight, inner stillness, and eventually unbreakable concentration. This infuses your daily life as you filter a sense of equanimity, mindfulness, and objectivity. There are other more developed stages of meditation where all sense of duality fades. Master meditators can achieve these awareness states at will and often their minds operate on complementary tracks, a state of inner concentration and calm, even as they go about their daily tasks. You become a spiritual warrior.

 

The battle a spiritual warrior wages is not external and physical but psychological and spiritual. The mind structure of a spiritual warrior includes all humans under that rubric.

 

 

Janet Levine has decades of writing experience as an author and freelance journalist. Author of four published books, see details on www.janetlevine.com, her fifth book, Reading Matters: How Literature Influences Life, available in early summer 2022, see www.arminlear.com. For 29 years (1986-2014) she taught in the English department at Milton Academy in Massachusetts. She leads workshops and presents programs internationally on the psychology of personality, as well as on writing workshops. Levine is the founder and leader of several successful non-profit organizations. For many years an anti-apartheid activist, Levine remains committed to activism on behalf of universal human rights.

5/24/2022 11:29:19 PM
Janet Levine
Written by Janet Levine
Janet Levine has decades of writing experience as an author and freelance journalist. Author of four published books, see details on janetlevine (.) com, her fifth book, Reading Matters: How Literature Influences Life, available in early summer 2022, see arminlear (.) com. For 29 years (1986-2014) she taught in the Engli...
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