The Serenity Prayer
I ask my Indwelling Divinity to grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change;
the courage to change the things I can;
and the wisdom to know the difference
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Here are some of the major benefits of step ten:
· Reduced Stress
By detaching from the field of activity – thoughts and actions – we become an impartial witness to life. From this dissociated perspective, worries and anxiety pale into insignificance: we observe them rather than own them. This practice radically reduces stress and promotes harmony and balance.
Spending twenty minutes in a meditative state gives us the equivalent of eight hours sleep.
Clarity and Concentration
Our ability to concentrate is affected by the constant chatter of our inner dialogue. Meditation promotes one-pointed awareness. In our normal state of consciousness, our thoughts are scattered and diffuse, which leads to confusion and irritability. In meditation our awareness becomes laser-like: supremely concentrated on its object of focus. Focusing solely on the present moment clears our mind, increases productivity, improves our memory, and enables us to become effective decision makers.
· Health Benefits
Numerous studies have proved that meditation improves our health; for example, lower levels of stress and anxiety due to meditation diminish the probability of heart disease significantly.
Mind and matter are inextricably linked. Emotional turmoil often translates into physical ailments. Meditation promotes equanimity of mind which reflects in a vast improvement in physical health.
· Control Your Mind – Don’t Let Your Mind Control You
Man has conquered some of the most difficult terrain: high mountains, the moon surface and the North Pole, to name but a few; but has he truly conquered his inner domain? How many people live life unconsciously, propelled by rigid conditioning? How often do we fall under the spell of social hypnosis?
Meditation presents an opportunity for self examination; a space in which we can review and challenge our thought processes and belief systems. This practice gives rise to the actualization of our true potential.
Get Out of Your Mind and into Your Senses
Being consumed by a chaotic mind often leads to anxiety, stress, insomnia, mood swings, and depression. One method of vacating a busy mind is to concentrate solely on your immediate surroundings: look, listen, smell, taste and feel the world around you. Concentrate supremely on the present moment and allow your senses to absorb the scenery.
Meditation does not necessarily have to be an inert process; it can be achieved in a waking state. If possible go to the country and practice raising your awareness using all your senses in tranquil surroundings.
Happiness is the goal of all goals. Whatever people do, the underlying objective is to attain happiness, and happiness is an intrinsic state: we are innately happy. It is our inner dialogue which detracts from this natural state and breeds discontentment. Meditation transports us from cognitive chaos to a spiritual sanctuary that exudes peace. The result is pure, unadulterated happiness and contentment.
When our chaotic thoughts abate and silence prevails, we tap into the infinite reservoir of intelligence responsible for all creation. Great thinkers and geniuses have made all their important discoveries in this state. Remember, creativity is not the process of regurgitating that which is already known; it’s the birthing of new ideas. In the silence of non-thinking, the Universe relays novel ideas. They arise spontaneously and set us alight inside. We experience the joy of becoming collaborators with God (Universal Mind, or whatever other term you prefer). Go into silence, discover your inner genius, and unlock your creative potential.
During insight meditation we transcend the mask of matter that shrouds the material world and gain first-hand experience of the true nature of reality. To relay this experience using words is impossible, so I’ll conclude this step with the following statement from the Tao Te Ching:
‘Those who speak, do not know;
and those who know, do not speak’
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