Tag Archives: Deepak Chopra

The 52: More on Lesson Nine — You Are As Happy As You Want To Be

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People are just as happy as they make up their minds to be.

Abraham Lincoln

That Abraham Lincoln!  With everything else he did, I never knew he made comments on happiness — and profound ones indeed.  So you see, happiness doesn’t just happen.  It has something to do with how you think  and how your mind is responding to your life and world.  You can make up your mind to be happy.  How liberating is that?

One of the yoga classes I teach focuses on being light and happy.  At the beginning of class, everyone takes one of those sticky smiley faces. You know the ones that are usually yellow and they used to be plastered in all kinds of places.  “Have a nice day,”  might go along with them.  They were ubiquitous at one time. I stick my smiley face on the front of my shirt so everyone can see it.  I encourage students to stick them on their bathroom mirror, on the dashboard of their car, on their computer, wherever they will see it.  It’s a reminder to lighten up and be happy.  We need all the help we can get!

Sure, some may think that this idea of happy faces is a little trivial, silly, syrupy, and sentiments like that.  I don’t care because I would rather be reminded to be happy than be politically correct or cynical about it.  I tried that way (the cynical way) for a long time.  All I derived from that was pain and separation. It does not work, especially if you want any happiness in your life.

Many of us say to ourselves, “Well, I will be happy when I find a partner or make enough money or have a new car or buy that special pair of shoes or get my child into the best school.”  Think about it.  You will always have another “as soon as” and then happiness just passes you by.  Happiness is not something that comes from the outside.  It is an inside deal.  Remember Lincoln said, it is in your mind.

I like this quote from one of the great texts on yoga, the Yoga Vasistha:

One who is happy with whatever clothing he is given,

whatever food he is fed, and whatever resting place he is given,

shines like an emperor.

  • Think about times when you were especially grateful or happy.  What triggered that response? Maybe it was something simple like making it on time to your child’s school play or getting the last seat on an airplane or seeing a squirrel scamper across your yard.
  • Go way back in time, to your childhood.  Something very simple might have been the impetus.  I remember being in elementary school and, on the first really warm spring day, how much happiness I felt at going outside to swing on swings and run across the grass.
  • Look around you.  Really look.  I know you will find something around you that can elicit gratitude  and happiness.  Just sitting here in my office, I am happy that the sun is streaming through the window, that my computer is working, that I have my cup of green tea right next to me.  Remember, I said simple.

You can “make up your mind” to be happy, to find something that evokes happiness.  You are not tossed about by the circumstances of the world.  In fact, you are the world you construct.

With happiness, I wish you a wonderful day!

With love and namaste, Deanne

Check out www.deannemincer.com

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The 52: Lesson Nine – Why Meditate: Some Thoughts

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The gift of learning to meditate is the greatest

you can give yourself in this life.

Sogyal Rinpoche

These are the words of a Tibetan Buddhist Dzogchen Lama.  He describes meditation as going home and revealing our true heart.  His most prominent writing is a book I value greatly, The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying.  His words resonate with a Truth that transcends any particular path, which is one of the goals of my own work — to show the commonalities between the many spiritual paths.

One of the most renowned and respected Christian writers of this or any era is C. S. Lewis, a favorite of mine.  In England, he was an Oxford don who converted from doubt to devout Christianity.  He even engaged in fantasy works of fiction.  You may know him as the author of The Chronicles of Narnia.  He said:

We live, in fact, in a world starved for solitude, silence and private:

and therefore, starved for meditation and true friendship.

And this from The Holy Bible:

Sing unto him, sing psalms upon him,

meditate upon his wondrous works.

Psalms 105:2

Some may see the last quote more as a contemplation rather than meditation but the idea of meditation is frequently mentioned in Christian writings.

Yet meditation is more associated, to many of us, as an Eastern teaching.  It is true that many of Western faith are less familiar with the concept of meditation.  In most cases, meditation is a solitary practice.  Even while I meditated in the company of thousands of others, it was still my meditation.  Its great benefit is the promise of  an authentic experience of God consciousness. one to one, if you will.

So this is the purpose — Divine Consciousness,  Yes, as other benefits, we can experience less stress, being more centered, lower blood pressure and many other healthful results, which are not a small thing.  But meditation can bring about union with a higher power, with Divine Love, with God, with Eternal Life.  Now THAT is something really big!

As we conclude this week on meditation, though we will return to it again soon, do this:

  • Follow the earlier suggestions for meditation.  Now, as you prepare to meditate, ask for guidance and Truth.  Ask for Grace.  ASK!  Let your meditation be encircled with love and kindness.  Then just meditate.  Stop thinking.  See how this feels.
  • Come to a place of acceptance.  Let the meditation just be what it is.  If your mind went off on a grocery list or a bill to be paid or the next action of the day, be accepting.  Okay, that is how it was today.
  • Don’t give yourself a grade. “Well that was a lousy meditation, I might as well give up.”  In truth, just about everyone thinks that at some point.  Let it go.  Just keep meditating in whatever way you can.
  • If you just can’t meditate, for whatever reason, be okay with that too.  Even long time meditators may hit a patch where they have trouble.  Be kind to yourself.  Everything will unfold just right.

Keep me posted!  Everything about these lessons is about reaching out with love.  If this has helped even one person, my heart will sing with joy.

With love and namaste, Deanne

For more, go to www.deannemincer.com

The 52: Lesson Nine — Breathe and Meditate. Try It!

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Meditate:  Interrupt those fifty thousand daily thoughts.

This was the title of a blog post I wrote last year.  It is worth repeating.  Can you imagine that your mind is rambling away with that many thoughts a day?  What are we thinking?  How could we have so much chatter going on, just filling up our minds (and emotions and feelings too, by the way)?  Wouldn’t it be nice to take a break from all that blabber, most of which is repetitive and non-productive?  Well, you are in luck, you can take that break.  It is all within your power.  It is called meditation, and it could be the most important activity you will ever encounter in your life.

At the beginning of these weekly lessons comprising “The 52,” I promised I would offer you practices that would be simple and include reflections on the body, mind, breath,senses, and the loving spirit within each of us.  I hope you have realized that spending even a little time on any one of these lessons can have surprising results.  If you experimented with being quiet and stop “doing,” you may have felt your life make some subtle shift.  Keep at it!

LESSON NINE

BREATH AND MEDITATION

Here are some words to ponder, written by the renowned medical doctor and gifted spiritual writer and teacher, Deepak Chopra:

Meditation is not at all a way of making your mind be quiet;

rather it is a way of entering into the quiet that’ s already there,

buried under the fifty thousand thoughts an average person has every day.

What a relief!  The quiet is already there.  It is just waiting for you to slow down enough to notice.  And in that silent retreat, when you step out of the world for a bit of time, miraculous adventure awaits you. If you already meditate, you know this.  Good for you!

Meditation is, by the way, not some difficult or mysterious thing.  Millions of people meditate every day.  It does not require miraculous skills or even deep spiritual wisdom, yet it is life changing.

Here is the plan:

  • Choose a time, usually first thing in the morning, just before dinner, or at bedtime.  Make it known to anyone around you that this is to be YOUR time.  No interruption.  No TV.  No phones or IPads.
  • Choose a place to sit where you are not slumped over but with your back straight. If you are in a chair, place your feet flat on the floor. In yoga, we would say, with the head, neck, and trunk  in alignment.  Rest your hands on your thighs or fold them together in front of you. Have your thumb and first finger be in contact.  This keeps the energy within.
  • Close your eyes and pay attention to calming the muscles in your neck, shoulders, and lower back.  Imagine a stream of warming light moving down your body. Softening…
  • Now pay attention to your breath.  Feel the rising and falling, evenly inhaling and exhaling through your nose.  If the breath seems restless or agitated, try to imagine and feel it becoming smooth.
  • Keep focusing on the breath or on any comforting sound, like so ham or om, or any mantra you have used.  Now let the breath and the sound join together in a seamless path drawing you into silence.
  • Continue this for at least five minutes, once or twice a day.  Don’t be discouraged if you miss or your mind wonders (it almost certainly will).  Avoid feeling impatient or judging. Expand the time if you are comfortable doing so.
  • Just be.  Nothing to do.  Nothing to improve. Just be.

Remember, there is no such as a “bad” meditation, but each one may feel a little different from the others.  Just go with it.  Try this and see what happens.  There will be more encouragement in a few days.

Of course, in the meantime you are loving yourself completely NOW –as you meditate — and in every single thing you do.

With love and namaste, Deanne

For more, go to www.deannemincer.com

Are You Loving Yourself Completely NOW? Lesson One

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Love is the beginning of the journey, its end, and the journey itself.

These are the wise words of Deepak Chopra, a renowned medical doctor, prolific author, and spiritual guide.  Have you begun the journey of love?  It starts with you, no one else.  By loving yourself completely and unconditionally, the love spills from you and, like a fragrant flower, is enjoyed by all those around you.  You share that love secretly,  like a gift that only you can see.

But maybe you want to share it openly. Perhaps you would like to bring another on the journey with you, like a traveling companion.  Sometimes sharing spiritual practice has a special pleasure all its own. Maybe you want to invite someone — a friend or neighbor, a co-worker or spouse, a parent or a child.  Then you have the chance to support one another.  You can ask “Are you loving yourself completely now and reminding yourself of this as often as possible?”  If conflict arises or it seems hard to remember to stay on track, you can talk about it with a kindred spirit.

Of course, you know I am on this journey with you as well.  You and I are traveling together.  Even though I have followed this practice for a long time, I am giving special attention to this all week.  A few people have remarked on how happy I seem right now.  Could it be the practice?  Who knows?  Perhaps our combined effort is lifting all of us.  I do know that I am having fun! So, if you need to ask me any questions or make comments, I am here.  You do not nor will you ever travel this road alone.

In 1 Corinthians 4 of The Bible, NRSV, it is written:

Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant or rude.  It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice in wrongdoing; but rejoices in the truth.  It bears all thing, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

The strength and power of Love is our gift and our blessing. You can count on it, always.

I LOVE MYSELF COMPLETELY NOW!  There, I said it again.  If you could see me, you would know I am smiling

Be sure to “Follow” this blog so you miss none of the lessons.

With love and namaste, Deanne

For more spiritual thoughts: www.deannemincer.com