A New Year. A New Outlook

by meditative - January 12th, 2015

We can change things simply by the way we look at them…

Attitude, attitude, attitude! How we look at our situations is vitally important to how we ultimately handle them. In the right light, problems- challenges- and difficulties are valuable opportunities for learning. We should expect them and be ready to cope and adapt. Our ability to stay with our troubles is dependent upon our attitude. In our practice, if we can openly embrace the obstacles experienced here, we can take that skill and confidence into our daily lives. The obstacles represent material- objects of attention- that we work with in our practice- the grist for the mill. Like anything in life, we cannot transform what we do not honestly examine, confront, and come to know. It is this process of inquiry that brings us revelation and understanding. It is a genuine understanding of our troubles that is the source of our liberation.

Facing our problems and the periodic unpleasantness associated with these experiences is a pragmatic form of optimism. We realize that pain is inevitable, but suffering is a choice of free will. Learning to deal with our occasional pain and discomfort is the only way we can be readied for the unexpected. The resistance to face our troubling and unpleasant situations is a highly patterned force of habit that only holds us back from experiencing the fullness of our lives. Fear, trepidation, and anxiety are conditioned by our resistance-and it takes genuine courage and openness to penetrate and dissolve what limits us. Self-imposed patterns to either avoid or repress what we find unpleasant can be overcome with mindful intent and awareness.

Relax your mind… Psychic disturbances have a tendency to tighten and restrict us psychologically and physically. A tense mind closes us down even further. It is awareness that can help to create a sense of “ease” and “space” to cope in difficult and challenging situations if we allow it to. Again, it’s “attitude” that allows us to sustain our attention through difficulties. A mindset that is mindfully attuned has the power to be a barrier breaker, a transformative mechanism that illuminates our troubling events of mind as they arise, unfold, and come to pass. With relaxed alertness, we are ready to see the true nature of how we really are and how the “things” or “events” we experience are.

The more calm and stable we become in our observation, the clearer we see the workings of the mind and what energizes our reactionary tendencies toward them. Problems are what we make of them. To come to understand the fullness of our being, we need to see our challenges as seeds for continued growth. In the light of mindful awareness, our difficulties hold inherent opportunities for us to become more deeply connected with the essence of our nature… and to emerge with an outlook that embraces the fullness of life whether pleasant or unpleasant.