Every time you meditate you learn something new, about yourself, about the world, about life in general. As I’m in a mood for reflecting, I’d like to share the top ten things I’ve learnt from twenty years of meditation.
Ten Life Lessons from Meditation
1: I’m full of crap
Yup, I’m totally full of crap . . . and so are you. Our minds are full of so much junk. Simply observe some of the things you think about every day. Sometimes we think we’re god’s gift to the world, other times we think we’re pathetic. Sometimes we think we’re going to become billionaires. Sometimes we think we’re going to end up on the street. Sometimes we think other people are assholes, sometimes we think they’re awesome. . . we’re constantly thinking irrelevant crap. Meditation makes you aware of the crap and then makes you stop thinking it.
2: We are all one
We are one with the universe and with everyone and everything in it. A lot of people don’t agree with this. Far too many people are obsessed with the idea of the self, that thing which is uniquely THEM, uniquely individual. But really, your experience of your life is influenced by everyone and everything in it. We are all one.
3: Hate is always ignorant
Oftentimes we think we have the right to hate someone. Most of us have at least one person in our lives that we really cannot stand. And we have our reasons, no doubt. We feel justified to hate. The thing is, hate does no good for anyone, not for the hater nor the hated. It is always better to try and understand others, to try and be compassionate. If only we could get over our animosity for one moment, we’d probably discover that actually, that person we can’t stand really isn’t so different to us.
4: Now is Everything
This moment right now is all you will ever have. This might seem strange. So many of us are caught up on ideas about the future. How many things do we put on “Tomorrow?” But, of course, tomorrow never comes. When we learn to focus our minds 100% on the present moment, we become more alive. Life is about the moment. Live in it.
5: Compassion is key
Compassion is possibly the most important trait anyone can possess. Put all the money and possessions aside and you realise that the number one reason we’re on this planet is to help other people. If only we can get passed our obsessions with ourselves we can open our eyes to other people and truly make a difference in our corner of the world.
6: Your religion should be kindness
Akin to compassion is kindness. There is nothing so great, so noble or so rewarding as being kind to another human being. When we are kind not only do we make someone else’s day but we make our own day too. Acts of kindness leave us feeling good about ourselves, feelings as though we can make a positive change in the world. Kindness should be practiced as a religion.
7: Twenty minutes of meditation changes your life
I’m sure I am not alone when I say that practicing meditation for twenty minutes a day changes your life. The effect of meditation has to be experienced first hand to be believed. When you meditate you create inner peace and calmness, you feel at one with the world, you let go of stress and find the freedom to simply enjoy life. Twenty minutes of meditation goes a long long way!
8: You don’t exist
I don’t exist. Shucks! Sounds a bit dramatic doesn’t it? Truth is, though, that everything you think about yourself is nothing more than delusion. Perhaps you think you’re smart or stupid, attractive or unattractive, rich or poor. … whatever you think about yourself is only in your own mind. The universe doesn’t give a flying fudge about your delusional sense of self. Everything you think about yourself is merely that: thought, nothing more.
9: Silence is Golden
There is nothing so freeing as sitting somewhere quiet and simply listening to silence. Focus your mind on silence for 20 minutes and you will experience a state of freedom like no other. Seriously, do it now, if you can, just close your eyes and focus on silence. Silence connects us with the infinite creativity of the universe.
10: Heaven or Hell
A man can make for himself a hell out of heaven or a heaven out of hell. It is all in the mind. You can delude yourself into believing whatever you like. You may think you have the worst life ever lived, or you may think you have the best life ever lived. You are capable of perceiving yourself, your life and the world in any way you choose. Are you making your life a heaven or a hell?
UPDATE: Scratch That. The number one thing I’ve learned from meditating is this:
Long story short, there are a ton of life lessons learned when meditating.
But the single most important life lesson I’ve learned from meditation is this: consciousness is the single most valuable commodity in the world. Forget trading shares. Forget selling gold. The real investment is in your own consciousness.
When you use your consciousness correctly you become powerful. When you use it incorrectly you become a slave—more on that in just a sec.