In December 2017, I was lucky to be selected to participate in the Peace Revolution‘s “Peace Architect Training”. It’s basically a 3-week intensive meditation retreat and training for experienced meditators to become Mindfulness and Meditation Trainers, that’s taking place in Thailand.
During the course, I had a chance to experience a bunch of meditation sessions guided by some of the wisest Buddhist monks from the biggest temple in Thailand. I also learned how to guide a meditation session for beginners and also got the confidence to do it. During the training, I enjoyed hanging out with other participants- kind, creative, compassionate adventurers from all around the World. Yet for me, the most valuable, most cherished part of this experience was the teaching that our Monks delivered in a stunningly simple, comprehensible and humorous way.
I love how “down to Earth” these spiritual creatures are. I love how caring and gentle they are through the process of teaching us profound Universal Truths.
It was a true privilege to learn about the Nature of Life, Nature of Our Mind, Creating Loving Relationships, Overcoming Suffering, Work-Life Balance, Stress Management, Universal Goodness, Right Livelihood and most importantly How to be Unconditionally Happy.
Seriously, I learned How to be Unconditionally Happy. Not even kidding.
Because all this privilege and honour that I received I think is fair to share some of the stuff with all of you my dear readers, friend and Well-Beings.
I will start with the most impactful Precious Piece of Wisdom that I have received from dear teaching monks ( I learned from 5-6 monks on 3 occasions ( one in Belguim and 2 times in Thailand).
1.Life is Impermanent, Always Changing and Out of Control
Basically, we are all going to die, everything that “is” will turn into something else at some point, even our beloved planet Earth, even the mighty Sun. We don’t know when will this happen and what will be after -and there is nothing we can do about it. Life is a creative, unpredictable force despite its rules, laws and patterns.
Accepting this powerless position in regards to the Nature of Life allows us, as humans, to stop controlling the things we can’t change so we can focus more on the ones that are in our circle of influence.
For example, we can ask ourselves some crucial questions: what time did we wake up ? how much hours did we spend on social media today? how forgiving are we to ourselves and others ? and are we seeking problems or solutions? etc. And do something about all this.
2.There are Steps We Can Take to End Suffering
It is well known that Buddism promotes a life of non-attachment. A way of living that is free of desire and tendencies to attach to things, places, people, experiences and anything that Ego cares about.
Monks taught us this using the Dhamma (teaching) called 4 Noble Truths.
Truth 1. There is Suffering in the World
Truth 2. The Origin of Suffering is Desire
Truth 3. End of Desire is Cessation of Suffering
Truth 4. There is a path leading to the cessation of Suffering ( spoiler: it’s lots of meditation, bunch of rules, self-discipline, responsibility, commitment, doing good deeds, dedication- nothing that most people who are suffering want to hear about that is why they continue to suffer )
The main wisdom in this teaching, for me, comes from the perspective that monks use in order to detach from the “worldly matters” more easily. They look and the World and see it in its Duality.
“Duality teaches us that every aspect of life is created from a balanced interaction of opposite and competing forces.”
If we attach to the “good” things in life we need to accept the “bad” stuff that comes along with it. If not we will suffer. If we decide to love someone for their sensitive, kind nature, we need to learn to enjoy their darkest moments of irrational fear, insecurity or depression. If not we will suffer.
Whatever we decide to choose, whoever we decide to choose we need to be aware that we will get the “full package”. Not just the cherry on the top. This includes ourselves. If we decide to love and accept ourselves then it’s an all-inclusive deal.
If not we will suffer.
3. Our Mind Thinks a Lot, Thinks in a Loop and It Never Stops
Turns out that most of us have a “messy mind” something the monks call “a monkey mind”. This mind of ours likes to wonder, to travel fast and far, to switch between thoughts and run in circles.
Some of us are still identified with our own mind, so we think WE ARE THE MIND. This is an extremely a dangerous “state of being” that leads to an unconscious, unexplored life that isn’t worth living as it is likely full of -before mentioned- suffering.
If you think you are your mind please STOP THINKING THAT.
The nature of our messy mind makes it easily distracted and heavily attracted to external objects. Besides being all over the place, our mind is usually not here at all. It is in the past, in the future or in the present thinking about other people or things.
Damn you monkey mind. How do we even manage to go through a single day with a mind like that?
Here is the answer: we get by because WE ARE NOT OUR MIND. We are so much more than this “operating system” that we have instaled in us. We are pure consciousness that, awakened, has power over the mind and uses it as a tool.
Last wisdom suggests that if we keep putting our mind at peace and at ease through meditation we will straighten and awaken that consciousness so that we can make better decisions and create a life of unconditional happiness for ourselves and people around us.
It is the mind that thinks happiness is conditional and comes from the outside. If we stop listening to our mind we can overcome this horrible illusion and embrace the wonders of our inner world, wisdom and peace that comes from within.
The bottom line of this article is: YOU CAN BE HAPPY AND CONTENT WITHOUT ANY EXTERNAL REASON. And that doesn’t even require you to be completely crazy.
If I can experience bliss just like this ( former chronic victim and drama queen) so can you.
The road to there might be long but it totally worth it. And it all starts with 1 simple step.
30 minutes of meditation every day.
I am totally hooked up to meditation at the moment (as you can see) so if you have any questions I will be happy to answer them and support you in starting your inner peace journey.
If you live in Cork you are very welcome to “The Well-Being” club meditation sessions. They are donation based and they come with short introduction to stress management, work-life balance, mental wellbeing, conscious relationships and money mindset advice.
Let’s Find Peace Like This.