Keep expanding your horizons

Only thing limiting us are the barriers in our minds. Our minds can be like prisons holding us captive.

But these words are easier said. How do we expand our horizons? If we have been used to living constrained, letting go of those barriers is not going to come easy. The thing is, these barriers have helped us in some ways in the past. Longer we have had these barriers, the stronger the ‘Stockholm syndrome’ is. As a meditation instructor once said “you have held these beliefs for decades, it will take sometime to change them”.

It was only after over an year of meditation, that I was finally able to see a magical new way. Now after almost 2 years, I am settling into this way. Before, my ability to function normally under certain emotional states was limited. Anxiety, anger, fear would be too much to risk getting into. A fully functional human being goes through a range of emotions. That is the natural flow of life. But many of us try to run away from certain emotions. It can become so deeply rooted inside, that we don’t even realize it. Result, as we grow older, we become less and less open, and our life becomes tougher. We hate more things than we love. We become cynics instead of optimists.

We never got to understand how our bodies and minds work together. We were so stuck trying to live life externally, we forget the one sense we have. The sense of perceiving what is going on inside. Over many years, it happens so fast, in a snap, that in the beginning we don’t even realize how our mind and body went from A-Z.

The magic is not a one day magic. It requires some perseverance in the beginning. We did not learn to ride a bicycle immediately. It takes some practice. Similarly, meditation requires an initial breaking into. It is building strength in this one sense that we have mostly ignored. Sense of perceiving our state of being.

When we are beginning to learn to ride a bike, it feels great just to be able to balance. But after a while, it is not about just being able to ride a bike. The bike is now a way of experiencing more things. With meditation, you learn to find balance in your mind, which is quite powerful, if you think of it.  We experience everything through our minds. With that balance comes new experiences, not just now, several years into the future.

Way to the heart

One trait that has eluded me is genuine compassion. Compassion is the core of Buddhist meditation. More life experiences, more meditation, compassion feels more and more real.

It turns out my best meditation experiences have been when I felt heart broken. May be that is the way to the heart. We are too often caught up in trying to run away from heart break. No one likes rejection. Nearly every rejection in the past, I have tried to come out thinking how to not run into that rejection again. But I feel rejection much less than before. Before I would feel rejected trivially. More self confidence, and ability to find inner happiness, I guess.

So when I came back home lost in a sea of weird emotions, I did my usual routine for such situations. Breathe … and notice the feelings in my body. This time the storm lasted several hours. When it disappeared, what remained was interesting.

I felt like clear water, with a little more flavor.