Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Serenity of Mind .........


We enjoy inner peace and feel happy and satisfied when life flows smoothly, and we have good relationships, good health, a good job and a good financial situation. We are usually at peace when there is nothing to worry about, no tension and no need to hurry.

Everyday life it isn't always like that. There is always something that causes worry, tension or fear, and which does not let us feel peaceful and calm. Nevertheless, we can enjoy peace, regardless of the state of our outer circumstances. Peace of mind is an inner state, and is independent of outer conditions. Why wait for never, for circumstances to be "right"? Why let outside circumstances decide for us the state of our mind?
Inner peace is within reach of everyone. It is not dependent on outer conditions, riches or poverty, health or sickness, physical freedom or lack of it. Everyone possesses the potential to enjoy it here and now. It is independent of outer circumstances, and a trained person can enjoy it even under the most trying circumstances.

Thoughts arise in us and we think them. We may choose to ignore them and experience real inner freedom, or we may choose to water them with the power of our attention and make them grow.
When you have to think, choose only positive, happy and uplifting thoughts. Think about and imagine only what you really and truly and desire and that will come to pass. Always remember that life is shaped according to your thoughts.

When the mind is silent there is happiness inside and happiness outside. It is a great asset and advantage to be able to silence the mind when its services are not needed.
The attainment of serenity of mind, which is actually freedom from the compulsion of incessant thinking, is open for everyone, provided the proper training is undertaken. Just reading this article you will not bring you peace of mind. When you understand its value and have a true desire to succeed, nothing can stand in your way. Though this is an inner state, work, time and persistence are required, just like the attainment of any other tangible goal.

Most people are enslaved by their predominant thoughts and habits. It does not occur to them that they can become free from their grasp. From the moment they wake up in the morning, to the moment they fall asleep at night, the chatter of the mind continues incessantly, giving no moment of rest. The habit of constantly thinking futile thoughts that prevent inner tranquility is very deeply ingrained in the human race. Nevertheless, this habit can be undone. The mind is a great and useful instrument, but it should not be allowed to rule our lives. It has to be obedient to us.

To change or get rid of an undesirable habit, we have to be aware of it, and consciously and attentively act in a different manner. Whatever new skill we develop, we have to train ourselves, until it turns into second nature and becomes easy to use. The same is with control our mind and thoughts.
True control the mind is not just the ability to concentrate on one thought and disregard other thoughts. It is the ability to cleanse the mind completely and make it silent. When one becomes really free from incessant thinking, he or she becomes free from slavery to the mind, as both thoughts and mind are one and the same thing. One then also comes to see and understand the ellusiveness of the mind.

When the clouds hide the sun, it is still there, beyond the clouds. Our Essence, our inner Self, is always here. We only need to remove the sheets and covers that envelope it in order to experience peace and calmness. These sheets and covers are our thoughts, ideas, habits and beliefs. I do not mean to tell you that you have to stop using your mind. You need it in order carry on your life. I mean that it has to be under the control of the Self. It should be your servant to serve you right, and not your master.

Everyone can learn a new language, but not everyone can reach the same level of expertise. Everyone can engage in bodybuilding, painting or writing, but each will reach a different level. It depends on the inner aptitude, the earnestness, and the time devoted to these activities. Yet, everyone will make some progress. So it is with training yourself to become free from the compulsion of incessant thinking and attain peace of mind.

Try to calm your mind when you feel agitated. Mentally, take a step back and watch your mind, as if looking at someone else's mind. This has the tendency to calm and relax it. Develop concentration power and meditate. All these actions calm the mind and make it serene.

Try to watch your thoughts during the day, as if they are not yours, without being sucked into them. Become conscious of the fact that you are watching your thoughts. Then this awareness of watching will increase.
You will have to remind yourself incessantly to practice watching your thoughts, as your mind will probably make you forget. Do not give up and you will succeed. If you practice as often as you can, you will be on the way to success. It may take some time, but the effort is more than worthwhile.

You can also increase your peace of mind by developing the power of concentration, by meditation, by physical exercise and by correct breathing. Remember!

You are not your mind!
You are not your thoughts!
You are not your ideas!
You are not your beliefs!
They may be yours, but they are not you.
They are instruments that you use. Do not let them control you.
What remains after they are rejected, is you, the real "I".
When thoughts cease, you still exist. There is no vacuum. When the emptiness of no thoughts is reached, you begin to feel your existence, your being. This emptiness is filled with something great, wonderful, powerful and sweet. You start living in Peace. You sail on the water of the calm mind.
This is Pure Existence.
When you realize this state you are free from thoughts and worries.
Then you are really free.
In this state nothing can influence you.
You stop acting instinctively on the prompt of each passing thought.
You become a completely conscious being, alive, strong, beyond everything.
Think of serenity of mind as a feasible possibility. Calm your mind with concentration, meditation and affirmations, and start enjoying peace of mind.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

~ Beneficial Lies – Are There Such Things? ~


We are taught from an early age that honesty is the best policy, but are there situations in which lying is beneficial or acceptable? That is the question many of us ask ourselves all the time. Sometimes we are faced with an impossible dilemma that causes us to have to choose whether or not to be 100% honest. Most of the time these situations involve matters of the heart or other factors that may lead to harmful consequences, either for ourselves or for someone we love. Unfortunately, there does not seem to be an easy answer to these questions. Any form of dishonesty could have lasting consequences, no matter what the original intention may have been. For this reason it is very important to think carefully about everything we say or choose not to say for that matter. Let us examine some of the most common situations in which we feel as if we have no choice but to lie.

Lying to Your Children .........

Parents find themselves lying to their children all the time about a number of different things. But where do we draw the line?  However, there are other lies we tell our children that are much more serious. For example, we may lie about something as important as our child's paternity or the circumstances of his/her birth. We may tell ourselves that this lie is intended to protect our child but the problem is that these lies often come back to haunt us. When considering which information you want to tell your child or keep from your child, play the tape all the way through. This means visualize how detrimental this lie could be if your child ever discovered the truth about it. Parents also lie to children about specific skills in order to boost their child's self-esteem. For instance, you may tell your child that he is very good at playing baseball when in fact he doesn't play very well at all. This may be a perfect example of a beneficial lie because it helps build the child's confidence.

Omitting Painful Details .........

Some people do not believe that withholding specific details is necessarily considered lying. Any time you omit any of the details from a story you are telling, in essence you are lying. It is important to realize that withholding information is actually considered a form of dishonesty. However, there is not always such a clear line as to which details would actually do no good were they to be told. For example, a husband confesses that he has had an affair. Is it necessary for him to tell his wife that the woman he cheated with was much more entertaining in bed? Withholding a detail such as that would spare his wife's feelings. This is the sort of detail that when left out could be considered a beneficial omission. The reality is that it is entirely possible to be too honest in some situations. It is very commendable to want to live as honestly as possible but it is also very important that you always consider the way specific information could affect someone. As a rule of thumb, if nothing good or useful can come out of telling the truth about a specific circumstance, sometimes it is better to leave it out.

Helping to Cover a Secret to Protect a Loved One .......

Knowing a secret that could hurt someone you love can be a very difficult position to be in. Chances are you may be confused by whether or not you should reveal the truth or whether you should help keep the secret.

While it may be admirable to want to protect the feelings of someone you love, withholding information from them could very easily backfire on you. When faced with a situation such as this, there are several things you will need to consider. Is the secret you are helping to keep from your loved one something that could put him/her in danger or injure him/her by not knowing? A good example of something you could help keep from a loved one that may put him/her in harms way would be to assist in concealing a sexual affair. No matter how much it hurts, everyone has a right to know if there is a possibility they could be exposed to a sexually transmitted disease. On the other hand, what if the secret you are keeping is about a harmless crush that never went anywhere? Is this the sort of secret you would find necessary to tell someone? Again, if the truth will serve no purpose other than to hurt someone's feelings, it may be best to leave it unsaid.

The truth of the matter is there are no simple solutions and no quick fixes to these issues. Everyone must follow their hearts when it comes to being honest with someone they care about. Our lives are filled with trials and errors and no one is perfect. The only thing we can do is strive to live as guilt free a life as we possibly can. If at the end of the day we can live with our decisions and we have gone without hurting another human being, perhaps that is the best we could have done.

The best thing to do when faced with a dilemma about a secret you are being asked to keep or a lie you feel is necessary, is to consider the consequences should the truth ever come out, and you are the one who withheld it. You are the only one who can decide how far you are willing to go to protect someone you love and how many risks you are willing to take in order to do so.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

~ Criticizing Others ~


 " Man does not like to admit his wrong attitude to himself. He is afraid of his own faults. But the man who looks his own error in the eye, the man who criticizes himself has no time to criticize others. It is that man who will prove to be wise. But human nature is generally such that one does something quite different. Everyone seems to be most interested in criticizing another. If one would criticize oneself there are endless faults, however saintly or wise one may be. There are no end of faults in a human being. And the consciousness of correcting one's faults, of making oneself better, of taking hold of the right attitude, is the only secret of success, and by it one attains to that goal which is the object of every soul........."

If you are guilty of criticizing others then this is a big problem that you need to work on and something that can have many negative consequences for both you and those close to you. Often we feel entitled to criticize people we know, or we can't help but to feel that others are doing something wrong or that they are less clued in than us. Sometimes we even criticize with good intentions because we want to encourage change and think that our advice can help. Whatever your reason for criticizing others though it is important to change and it's important to realize that constant criticism is only ever destructive and that there are far kinder ways to help someone grow.

Why Criticizing Others Is So Bad.......
The first reason that we should put an end to our criticizing is that when you criticize other people you will of course open yourself up to criticism as well. People don't like being judged, and so if they get the chance to put the shoe on the other foot they are of course going to jump at it. So unless you are genuinely perfect, you really shouldn't open up those flood gates. At the same time if you are critical then it will simply make you less popular – no one wants to be around someone who is constantly negative and telling them what they can't do, and so if that describes you then it's important that you change unless you want to push everyone away. Even if they aren't offended by your comments, if you are someone who is critical then you are going to eventually become associated with problems as it will seem that that's all you talk about.
These are the ways that being critical can come back to haunt you, but you should also think from a conscience perspective about how being so critical is simply unpleasant and can hurt others. Do you really want to be responsible for lowering the self-esteem of your friends and family? Because that is eventually what you will do.

Ending the Criticisms ......
So if you know yourself to be critical then it is time to stop. One of the most effective ways to do this is to simply learn to accept people for who they are and accept that different people go about things in different ways. Sure you might not like how someone is doing something, but equally you will probably find that they don't like the way that you do things either. There is no officially right way to go about things, so really you shouldn't judge people because you think their way is wrong. Be a bit open minded, have a really hard think about your own views and what they're founded in, and then decide if you are really fit to pass judgement on others. If you think that someone spends their money carelessly and shake your head at it, then perhaps they think that you are tight fisted and not living life to its fullest? There are two sides to every story. Ever heard the saying live and let live?

Likewise you need to remember that people might always have other things going on in their lives that you don't necessarily know about. In other words they might be overweight because they have a weak thyroid, or they might be might be miserable because they've had a recent death in their family. Again, you shouldn't judge until you know the full story – and you never know the full story.

Finally you should remember that if someone is moody or stupid or selfish – then that is their problem and it will come back and bite them in the rear eventually – it's not your job to tell them off. Apart from anything else criticizing other people simply isn't classy, so keep your opinion to yourself, smile and learn to get on with others.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

~ Never Give Up ~


Man is limited in his thought, in his speech, in his action. Therefore naturally he is liable to follies and errors, and his progress through life can only be made as a little child learns to walk. 

The child falls a thousand times before he can stand, and so many times he falls again when he begins to walk. We human beings are not more than the child before God. If we take this attitude in life, not considering that if yesterday we failed today we shall fail, and if we always hope that some day we shall walk aright, that hour will come. Imagine if the child thought that as he had fallen so often perhaps he would never walk! That would make a mental impression on his soul, and he would never be able to walk. But there is the natural impulse, with the hope, "Next time I shall walk", that makes him walk. So with us. Our follies, shortcomings, errors, are natural, but when we defend ourselves, hiding our errors from others and making virtues out of our shortcomings, it is then we make a mistake. 

It is just like nurturing our errors and wanting to err more. We must always develop the sense of justice, and that sense can never be developed if we judge others. The only way of developing that sense is to judge ourselves continually and see where we are in fault, and then in prayer to ask pardon and to ask for right guidance.