In these days and times it can sometimes feel as though we are surrounded by negativity. Our own negativity; that which
other people convey and also the negativity that we see going on around us in the environment.
Yet, it is said that 'all of our moods and emotions arise from the mind', which basically means that, to find any peace and happiness in this world, it is essential to understand what the true nature of the mind really is.
To do this, however, requires a high degree of weariness with the trappings and ways of our usual habitual reactions to life and what we perceive happening around us. Most people are not quite at such a stage in their dissatisfaction levels as yet, to bring about the kind of focused inquiry needed for this sort of investigation.
We can, however, keep certain things in mind as we go about our daily routines. These shifts in attitude can greatly assist us in dispelling any negativity while at the same time helping us to generate a far more positive mental atmosphere, which in turn, can make our living environment so much more pleasant for us and all those around us, to live in.
In the bad moments and on the bad days we can turn the mind outwards to take in a much vaster perspective. We have only to look up at the sky in order to do this. Remembering that countless worlds are circling around in the universe, that we are so much more than we can ever think we are. We may not be able to understand fully what this really means just now, but we can take it on good faith that it is true. After all, how could we exist in the first place? This is truly a mystery beyond anything the mind is capable of comprehending!
2. Investigate and ask yourself, 'is this true?'
Whatever is happening in and around us is always changing. Our moods and our thoughts are constantly coming and going. Happy one moment and sad the next. How can we trust in any of these transient things? We can look into and ask ourselves, again and again, 'is this real? is this true?' What seems true and real in one moment can appear to be quite the opposite in the next.
3. Remember the basic goodness of beings.
We hear about so many bad things in the news, we are constantly barraged with negative advertising and images and such brutal and awful news. The media seems to have become a monster for endless negative regurgitation, and it can be such a 'downer.' Yet we have only to look around us to see how much beauty and goodness there is as well. In fact, if we are open to it, there are so many things in our environment that can bring us joy and they are simple and free and abundantly available. We have only to stop a moment and notice.
4. Be the witness at the centre of all happenings.
Being a witness of our lives and of our thoughts, we can create a little space between what is 'going on' and who and what we really are. As the 'witness' we can be in this world and yet not of it...
5. Give yourself moments of deep quietude.
If we can give ourselves the gift of moments when we do not engage our mind in any kind of thought activity then, in the very midst of life, we can experience a deep silence and peace which is very refreshing. Even just a few moments spent inquietude can change our whole mood and perspective.
6. Put aside some time each day to do something that you find uplifting.
Some people get immense pleasure from gardening, others delight in their particular work, some are transported by music, still, others take enjoyment in swimming, or running or sailing...
Whatever it is that lifts our mind out of the drudgery of daily routines and thought patterns and reminds us that often the greatest joys can be found in the simplest of pursuits, we are blessed with a gift which is far more precious than anything that money can buy.
7. Smile at someone or extend a helping hand.
It is so easy to miss an opportunity to bring a little happiness or ease into another beings life, yet these chances can appear at any time and invariably they require little more than a slight effort. I remember one of my teachers telling me, 'if you see a beautiful flower, take note of it and offer the merit born of your delight, so that all beings may find peace and happiness.' This simple gesture can be practised in a whole multitude of situations and in an instant can transform the ordinary mind into a positive creator for the good.
8. Think about and remember impermanence and change.
Our world and everything in it is subject to the law of impermanence and change. This is a fact that we encounter every single day of our lives. Somehow we learn to live on in spite of it and yet how much more beneficial might it be if we could but remain alert to this fact with a freshness that makes each day matter and each moment count.
If none of the above tips really resonates with us then at the very least we can remember...
Which just about sums it all up!
Have a great day and put a smile on yours and somebody else's face. Go on, its easier than you think...