by Ron Atchison
We're all looking for the right answers, aren't we? We look in self-help books and churches and seek out teachers and therapists and gurus and astrologists and some folks even hire fortune tellers. But what if I told you the best way to find what you're looking for is to stop looking?
Sometimes we look and search too much. Our minds are filled with knowledge, facts and philosophies but we never find peace because we can't stop thinking!
Many Buddhist teachers refer to this phenomenon as 'monkey-mind' because it's similar to the way a monkey will swing from tree to tree tasting a banana from each one before dropping it and moving to the next tree. Like these monkeys, we often jump from thought to thought without ever really being in the present moment.
The cure for this is to make a conscious effort to quiet the mind. Or take what I like to refer to as a 'mental vacation.'
There are many different techniques for this but the easiest way is to find a quiet place, close your eyes and simply concentrate on your breathing. That's it. You don't have to be a yogi or a meditation master and you don't need any special equipment. If you have eyelids and a pair of lungs you are properly equipped!
Now, when your mind starts to wander (and it will!) do not be overly-concerned. Let that thought float away like a cloud in the sky and bring your attention back to your breathing.
The goal is to quiet your mind as much as possible... to be totally aware of your thoughts as they come in and go out, understanding that they are just thoughts... just clouds passing through on an otherwise sunny day.
With a little bit of practice you'll get good at this! When you first start out try it for five or ten minutes. Even in this short amount of time you'll notice a difference in the way you think and feel. But with extended and daily practice you'll see major improvements in your health and overall well-being.
There are many reasons for this but all we really need to know is that a calm and uncluttered mind is a vibrant mind. It is fertile and alive with creative energy. It has the ability to perfectly regulate millions of simultaneous activities without any conscious effort and in this same way can bring us everything else we desire.
So the next time you feel overwhelmed or you just can't find the answer you're looking for, remember to stop swinging from tree to tree. Take a deep breath, quiet your mind and enjoy every precious minute of your mental vacation.
For more inspiration visit Ron's fabulous Inspiration Peak
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