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Man is lost and is wandering in a jungle where real values have no meaning. Real values can have meaning to man only when he steps on to the spiritual path, a path where negative emotions have no use. –Sai Baba

The Chinese philosopher, Lao Tse promotes the philosophy that our being is always connected to an Infinite Being – a transcendent consciousness that is behind all. It is not the active manifestation of the created universe, but the original consciousness behind it. It is that which, in stillness and unchanging perfection, always was and always will be.

The secret to a satisfying blend of mindfulness is to realize that there is a natural flow of influences at work in all parts of the universe, due to this interconnection to the original consciousness. Once you can accept this you can begin to sense the natural flow of universal movement and act within that flow. If this moment is not right for a certain type of action, then an aware person can choose to slow the task or simply postpones the action. An easy way of recognizing that a moment is not right is when feeling resistance for a task. When the same aware person senses that the right moment has arrived, then they act and easily accomplish the task.

In Stoic Philosophy the thought is to accept the current circumstances and instead focus on your choices what can you do that is within your spiritual ideal. It means not forcing a situation to be what it isn’t. Look for a better choice to achieve your objective, and/or wait for your innate sense of timing to feel right.

Let’s shift gears and consider our focus and concentration when looking for satisfying mindfulness. Consider that to some degree, we all concentrate or are mindful. Ordinary levels of concentration steady our mind as we read a book or perform tasks such as cook a meal. Because concentration is a neutral quality, it can be used for both skillful and unskilled, or even positive or negative purposes. Those are all choices. Our concentration/mindfulness develops from our wholehearted dedication to a subject or action.

Taking that thought deeper let’s look at meditation as the ultimate mindfulness/concentration exercise. In meditation, the methodical development of concentration brings access to deep inner states and insights. Meditative concentration grows as we become fully focused on one experience to the exclusion of others. Our consciousness becomes engaged and united, one with the subject of our concentration and the influence of the universal transcendental consciousness.

The subject of meditative concentration can be simple. We can focus on visualization, on the breath or a prayer. We can even reach a meditative state when we allow our concentration to carry us away with the flow of music or poetry. The subject of our focus flavors our consciousness, concentration, and choices. If we focus on love, the consciousness will be filled with the quality of love. Our inner states can become filled with their particular qualities of peace or compassion.

All of these schools of thought move us toward understanding our inner states and our connection to a greater consciousness. This, in turn, brings us a sense of virtue, happiness, and emotional resilience.

David Bennett a contemplative life spokesman, energetic healer, and transformational life coach. Author, of Voyage of Purpose and A Voice as Old as Time.
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