Finding your inner love through Meditation/Buddhism
In my lifetime I have been through some pretty horrific things. Many of the things I have been through have left me wondering if I could ever feel whole again. Even at age 41, I still struggle from time to time with it, however I am in a much better place than I have been in years. One of my biggest steps in the wrong direction was my allowing alcohol to help me escape the life I was trying to avoid. In quitting drinking, this past year has really shown me the kind of emotions I haven’t dealt with over the last 8 years or so.
I have gotten to a point in the last year of being so emotionally down that I honestly considered suicide. While a fleeting thought that passed as quickly as a bad mood, and no action was taken, it brought a sense of reality to me about where I set in this life, and how I am dealing with things. I had so many emotions couped up from years of not dealing that now, they are flooding out, raw, and painful. I am learning all over again how to get through things and not allow myself to be consumed by the grief and pain of the past. Some days are harder than others, but in the process of trying to get right with my own being, I found passage to emotional and spiritual stability in Buddhism and meditation.
About 2 years ago, I went on a date with an attractive man who really held great conversation. In the process of sitting together and having dinner, he brought up a book that he had changed his life that he really loved. The book was Buddhist Bootcamp by Timber Hawkeye. I had not really spent any time in life looking into Buddhism and the idea of religion in any form (even though Buddhism isn’t religion) was such a turn off due to the people in the world who make organized religion so ugly and hateful. I had spent the last 20+ years a spiritual person, but not necessarily truly believing in anything. I always felt as if religion was something people needed to get through things instead of just believing in themselves. I always believed in myself, that wasn’t my weakness, so the idea of any “religion” just didn’t make a ton of sense to me.
As we sat talking, this date said that no matter what my beliefs, this book was legitimately great for anyone in their path in life. That it was really meant to help strengthen any beliefs and morals that you already had pre-existing. In listening, he expressed that one thing that the book really pushed for in his interpretation was living a life of kindness. That really struck a cord for me. In my life, I have made some bad choices, but one thing I always strive to be, was kind. I believed that people could live a life of honor, morality and spirituality without setting foot in a church or putting a chunk of their paycheck into some passing bowl. Why did anyone need to label just being kind as anything but that, kindness?
The date ended, and after a day or so, I decided to check out the book. To be honest, I can only thank the universe for its guidance, because I had truly never thought about looking into my spirituality ever again. I am also not the kind of person that would listen to someone talk about a book and be like, oh man, I gotta give that a shot! For whatever reason that discussion hung with me, and his words regarding how the book had effected him. I got the message. I went online to Audible.com and joined for $14.99 (which gives you two books a month, click here for a free 30 day trial) and downloaded the audible version of the book.
The book was amazing. So easy to understand, and Timber was like sitting and talking with a friend. His heart was clear, he wanted to help others in life to find their inner peace. He had been through his share of poor life choices and been seeking his center and his words really rang through to me mentally, emotionally and spiritually. His book made so much sense that I went back into the Audible website and downloaded many additional books. This was the beginning of my spiritual journey, and the beginning of my helping others on their journey as well.
Before I forget, thank you Timber for your words and taking the time to share your story. You have truly been an inspiration to me, and many others I have shared your books with. P.S. I can’t wait for my new car decal to get here! #timberhawkeye #buddhistbootcamp #faithfullyreligionless
In the time since I listened to Timber’s book he has written another called Faithfully Religionless. Again, this is an amazing read. I highly recommend it, and in referring it to my best friend, it was his favorite over the first book. Either way, the journey shared and the journey they will help you on in your life, are well worth the time to listen or read the books.
Since my introduction, I have now gotten deep into the world of Deepak Chopra and his teachings about meditation, yoga and Buddhism, and then several others like Russell Simmons.
In all of the books I have listened too, I have learned several things.
1. Life is hectic and our minds need shut down time outside of our normal sleeping hours. In keeping the kids on schedule, making the dinner, paying the bills, and working full-time or more, there is little time for our minds to rest without thoughts. Meditation has brought me to a personal space of awareness, a center where I enjoy myself again, and has given me the answer many times to problems that were so daunting prior to my 15-20 minutes of quiet rest. It has invigorated me with additional energy during the day, and enhanced my ability to sleep soundly at night by allowing time to flush the excess thoughts that used to keep me up.
My focus is better and my mind is clearer.
2. Being grateful is your key to happiness. In the worst days in this life, there is always something to be grateful for. It may be something as simple as the warm cup of coffee that you wrap your hands around while facing a difficult decision or task. The sunshine glowing through the window warming your shoulders, or the soft sound of a bird chirping or a cricket in the dusk. We are surrounded by constant beauty, this life is truly a gift, and if you open your heart to the love that is present all around you, and accept it with gratefulness, the universe will share with you abundance and happiness.
3. No person, place, or object in your life will ever make you feel complete. The only thing that will make you feel complete is you, and reaching into yourself to be at peace with who you are. Even with the meditation and Buddhism, this is a journey I am still on. I am accepting each day that I can be only the best I can be, and that who I am is perfectly acceptable. In listening to a book recently, the author said, “You must forgive yourself with at least as much regularity as you condemn yourself.” This is my biggest work currently. I spent a lot of years allowing someone I love to condemn me, and doing even worse to myself because of his actions and words, and so this is my biggest self improvement goal.
I don’t have all the answers, and I can tell you, no one does. Honestly each of us has our own path to follow, our own enlightenment to find, and no set of answers is a cookie cutter set that will be right for all of us. We all have to find our own way. With that said however, there are some brilliant people in this life who have found their path and have shared their wisdom in order for others to take a step in the right direction. Today, that is what I am truly grateful for.