In these days and times it can sometimes feel as though we are surrounded by negativity. There is 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 embark upon this huge undertaking however, requires a high degree of weariness with the trappings and ways of our usual habitual reactions to life and what we perceive to be happening to us and around us. Most people have not quite reached that stage in their dissatisfaction levels, as yet. To bring about the kind of focused enquiry needed for this sort of investigation, it can require nothing short of a massive crisis to rip apart the our preconceptions.
We usually need to be shaken to the very depths of our being before we can begin to wake up and look around us and question the reality of all the things that we usually take completely for granted.
Most of the time we just grind along in our little world of preconceptions, routines and general undefined negativity and the years rush by as we dig ourselves deeper and deeper into the mire.
Not all of us however, are destined for a 'crisis,' whatever the crisis may be... We may instead be fated to the much greater danger of a comfortable, predictable existence which lulls us into the belief that nothing more is possible. With such an attitude we run the risk falling into the zombie like state of sleep walking our way through life.
Even though we all know that one day we will die, nevertheless, like one who has been hypnotised, we continue to walk along the precipice, until suddenly one day we fall off the cliff. In the split second of the resurgence of our awareness, as we are being flung into the abyss, it is all a bit too late.
We can however, keep certain things in mind, as we go about our daily routines. We need not necessarily rush off to a cave in the desert or in the mountains. A simple shift in attitude can greatly assist us in dispelling 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 pleasanter 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, we are forced to remember 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 actually exist in the first place? This is truly a mystery beyond anything the mind is capable of comprehending!
So turn your gaze upwards and open your heart...
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. Rather it would serve us better to 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 brutality and violence. 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 how we perceive ourselves to be. This 'space' opens up a supreme opportunity to encounter 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 'silence' in the 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 profoundly refreshing. Even just a few moments spent in quietude 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 and in assisting things to grow, others delight in their particular field of work, some are transported by music, still others take enjoyment in swimming, or running or sailing...
What ever 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, then, we can be 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 good.
8. Ponder over, 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. Some how we learn to live on in spite of it and yet how much more beneficial might it be if we could remain alert to this fact with a freshness that would make every day matter and each moment count.
If none of the above tips really resonates for 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 someone else's face. Go on, its easier than you think...