I’ve just put up a FREE hour Zen Mindfulness Meditation class on youtube and below for you to download.
This class is a blended mindfulness meditation as well as a Zen acceptance based meditation class. This area i always embrace in my work. It’s about letting consciousness be both attentive but not focused, aware but not limited. I talked a little about this in another article –‘Mindfulness or Mindlessness’. This issue can be confusing for many people who might be trying to get a hold of issues such as anxiety, insomnia, depression or PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder). I believe within that last sentence I identified the issue much of society is based upon and why in fact so many people suffer with some form of psychosis, symptoms of depression, sleep problems or stress.
As a recent client asked me – ‘How do I get rid of these emotions’ – I said don’t get rid, invite them inwards. Make them feel welcome in your heart. She responded ‘but then I can’t stop myself from crying’. Why do you want to stop yourself? And in lies the conflict, or the paradox I so often refer. We are living in a culture that encourages us to suppress our emotional problems (especially here in the UK – stiff upper lip and all). The trick is never to suppress, but to do as the Universe does, accept. Yes of course when you feel unhappy, depressed or even suicidal the last thing you want is to accept the emotions, you just want to forget about them, find a distraction. Many people at this point turn to alcohol or become dependent upon some other form of drug. They might even turn to another form of distraction such as sex or gambling, to try stem the stress of having to face the pain of the feelings.
All meditation is based around the acceptance of emotions. If you’re meditating to try and ‘rid’ yourself of the emotions so that you can move on then I’m afraid you are in for a shock. For as you meditate there will be a movement of yourself, towards yourself. For it is only when you get close enough to the issue, to the depression, to the stress, to the trauma or fear, that you can remind it (and yourself) it’s actually a part of you, you birthed it and you must now embrace it back into the fold. This WILL remove its control over your life, but you have to forget that for the moment, because you’re attempt to get rid of it will interfere with your ability to surrender to it. I know it’s kind of a head mash but does make sense if you try LESS hard to understand it.
For those of you who are film fans, it’s like the last scene in the new Tron Legacy movie where Jeff Bridges has to rejoin with the alter ego self. You can run as far as you like but you are moving in the wrong direction. All running does is give you time and time till you return back round to where you started. No amount of rejection can bring you peace. Peace comes from the joining of all the issues into one and surrendering through the pain of the ‘rejoining’ into a harmony of self. So the mindfulness meditation part of the courses I teach are about bringing your awareness to the depressive, painful or stressful memory or emotions that exists. You can do CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy or cognitive behavioral therapy) as much as you like but this is not about changing your view of something FIRST. The counselling (or again counseling) is great but it can allow for the approach of things in the wrong order. The first step is acceptance. It’s like mourning a death.
The first stage in letting go is denial – so the next step must be acceptance. Your traumatic stress emotions are blocked energy that has not been allowed to be expressed and released. They have been denied. You have been denied, by yourself. So in other words, you’re holding onto the emotions you so dislike. Your very attempt to avoid them enables them to remain! We see this in particular in cases of anxiety and PTSD where repression turns into rejection of breath. The holding of breath is common in people with anxiety and can lead to more acute issues of depression, bipolar and other psychosis. We are designed to feel emotions. Everything we can feel is natural and the only thing these emotions want is the space to be heard. They simply want to feel valued and honored. When we hold the natural flow of emotions back we create issues like insomnia, stress, social anxiety, depression etc. The Human system is very clever and will try to avoid anything painful. It will offer distraction any way it can. It will try to remove your attention from the pain. This is where the mindfulness part of the meditation comes in. One must engage in attention to that which one wants to shift. This attention in the mindfulness practice is not to change it, but simply to observe. Be the watcher without any need to manipulate. This, of course, is in total contradiction to most of society that says you must fight, fight, fight for your freedom and anything worth it’s salt must be worked for. Yes, that’s true but try being mindful, it’s the hardest no-thing you’ll ever have to do! So the mindfulness brings your awareness to the issues without any action, great!
The next part which is why I call it ‘Zen Mindfulness Meditation’, is equally interesting. The Zen is taken from the teachings of Buddha directly. This is the least Buddhist thing you can get out of Buddhism. You see even Buddhism has lost it’s way into a religion, but Zen was and is the original BEingness of the Buddha. It’s the notion that there’s actually nothing to teach, that anything learned is actually wrong. Zen is the BEing, the presence, without tactic, without stress management, without anger management or anxiety management, it’s the simple acceptance of NOW. Zen is so indescribable that as soon as you form the first words to explain how impossible it is to talk about zen, you’ve already gone too far. That being said, there have been hundreds of books written on the topic of Zen. I recommend you look into and listen to Alan Watts – an excellent philosopher who describes the pathless path to the gateless gate eloquently.
So the second part, the Zen part of the meditation practice is a kind of self hypnosis method of surrender. It’s an allowing of neutrality to be present and you sit in a complete (at first pretend) euphoria and joy for the moment. Yes, you’ll have to first off give yourself permission to be there. This is an important step. To give yourself permission to just BE, without having to do anything. The stressful life you led outside of this practice should be allowed to melt away from your attention and you simply notice your consciousness, not bounded into the body and its sensations (as you might get caught into in mindfulness practice). Instead allow your consciousness to float free, limitless, edgeless, like water, or better still like steam. This means you let go of any idea you have about your diagnosis, officially or by you. There is no clinically diagnosed depression, no bipolar disorders, no PTSD, no social anxiety disorder. Everything is neutral, unlabelled. You become the mental version of a ‘stem cell’ undefined. Making a combination of attentive consciousness (as in mindfulness) and present neutrality (as in Zen) allows a particular union (what ‘yoga’ means, and incidentally the word ‘faith’) of self.
A re-defining by unfolding your limiting belief of what and who you are. You only exist in this seemingly fixed pattern of personality and ego because you constantly tell yourself you are that. Yes, given we have a certain set of vehicles we’ve acquired over our lives and a Porsche can’t be a Range Rover (as I talk about in my book evolve) we have limits. However, within your design there are vast possibilities to morph and change. You don’t have to stay and hold the label either you or someone else has given you. Your depression is nothing but happiness waiting to flower. There is no fight, nothing to achieve from your life. Life is not a goal based activity. It’s a song to be enjoyed as its played. To be danced to with euphoric joy. The zen mindfulness meditation class I have given you here is a deep relaxation and anxiety releasing tool. You are part of the process, you ARE the process. Although there is an element of you surrendering your stress, there is the up most empowerment of your self esteem and self worth. This is not about giving yourself away, this is about discovering yourself, behind what you thought you were. In that place there is nothing you need to do, no weight loss, no suppression of anger, no fear, no loss, there is just simply presence, your presence, your perfection.
The first step is giving yourself permission to explore your pains. The next step is becoming aware of the emotions that cause the issues (mindfulness) and the third step is the dissolving of the limits that you thought were facts (zen practice). So you can see the paradox at hand. You’re both the empowerment of yourself and the thing that’s in the way! I know a nervous breakdown causing paradox. Don’t think too hard about it, feel your way into it. It’s like playing an instrument. Yes you need to learn how to breath, how to relax, the meditation techniques, then you need to learn the mindfulness techniques of awareness, then you need to surrender your intensity and float down the river of your soul into your bliss, into your joy, into your already happiness. Dance like you know you’re perfect, because you are, and the first step is to give yourself permission to realise it! Your zen mindfulness meditation practice is your key to any sleep problems (insomnia), stress, anxiety, depression, anger, concentration issues. It is how to embrace positive psychology, positive mental attitude, joy and happiness.
Practice and in-joy. If you liked the above free video you can download the audio version of Zen Mindfulness Meditation for just £3.99 by clicking the button here.