Observant Meditation

Inspiring change from within

Focus on your one purpose

- Japanese motto

The Way of the Warrior

Be the Observer

We all face challenges that are not particularly pleasant from time to time in our lives. There are those who say that we come into this life to learn lessons. I'm not one of those who believes this. I believe that we come into this life to find and express joy, peace and happiness. The challenges are just the wonderful opportunities for us to learn to work through them still expressing joy, peace and happiness. Sounds a little PollyAnna, doesn't it?

Try looking at your life's challenges from a different perspective and maybe this isn't such an unrealistic viewpoint.

When we are faced with unpleasant circumstances -- perhaps a difficult relationship, a job that is unsatisfying, poor health or money problems -- consider that the only way to get out of this problem is to get through the problem. Wish as you might that it will just all go away, it won't. But determine that you will get through it to the other side, and you begin to feel a different level of strength supporting you.

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One of the most difficult aspects of a challenging situation is that we get ourselves wrapped up in it emotionally. That is we react and become deeply involved to the point where we don't feel we are in control any longer. However, if you can pull yourself just to the side of the issue and become the observer rather than the player, keeping your emotions at bay, you will find yourself more in the middle of the road and able to find some inner peace regardless of what is going on around you.

Our meditation this week is designed to give you the opportunity to pull away from a difficult circumstance you find yourself trapped in and allow you to observe without the drama of the uncontrollable involvement. As you become successful in your visualization in this meditation, you will find yourself experiencing a greater sense of stability in the actual physical world situation. I promise.

In preparation for the meditation exercise, take several moments to relax, controlling the breath and releasing the stress and tension resting in pockets of your body. As you reach an acceptable level of relaxation, sit up comfortably releasing all tension in the shoulders, back and neck.

Return your attention to the breath without controlling the breath cycles. Simply observe the steady breathing pattern of in - out - pause, in - out - pause and so on. As your body awareness begins to diminish, close your eyes and turn your attention inward. Feel yourself pulling up and back as if the You that you are is now separating from the shell of the You you think you know. When you open your inner eyes with your outer eyes still closed, you can see yourself sitting straight but relaxed in front of you. This is a very natural feeling and you enjoy watching yourself breathe.

As you watch You, you see You beginning to move. Standing, You shrug and come to life, walking toward the door to answer the doorbell that just rang. There is slight sense of uneasiness as you near the door with the expectation of someone behind it that you are uncomfortable with these days. But you take another deep breath and open the door ready for the encounter.

Standing outside the door is that person you are struggling with now. This person is coming to you with an even approach that gives you an opportunity to find a level of balance between you. But in order for this to be so, you have to remain calm and unemotional. Still separate and observing, you invite X in and lead them into the living room where you both sit comfortably in two easy chairs.

You turn toward X and smile into their eyes, remembering the feelings you once had when things were more comfortable. Ask them to explain their position in this situation and pledge to X that you will listen with open ears and an open mind with no judgment whatsoever applied. You speak this to X in a way that they cannot deny is the open truth. But more importantly, you are watching You in this conversation; you are in the conversation.

You begin to hear X explain their position as they have before. But somehow, their words are actually closer to your way of thinking than you thought. And you begin to see the situation from a broader perspective; you can see the other side of the coin and it is not all that disturbing. You are able to hear the other side without the need to jump in and defend your position. You are beginning to see both sides of the issue and, surprisingly, you see value in both positions. This is not to say that you don't still have your position, but rather that you are beginning to feel a true respect for the person's viewpoint, even if it doesn't match your opinion. And it begins to feel more comfortable that adhering to your position only. The broader perspective is energizing and is more attractive than simply being comfortable.

You see yourself looking into their eyes again and begin to feel, coming from your heart chakra, a warm sense of appreciation. Remember, it is the experience that is uncomfortable that is the means for finding your own center. The situations that are rather unpleasant carry with them the opportunity to find absolute joy, deep peace and true happiness. As you see their eyes looking back at you, you feel their appreciation flooding you from head to foot. And your inner self is smiling. And you can feel a laughter from deep inside emerging.

Close your inner eyes again, feeling the smile on your face sincerely feeding your sense of well-being. When you are ready, you will come to full awareness of your surroundings. And the challenge you are dealing with seems a lighter load to carry.

Do this meditation when you are struggling with a situation that wants to defeat you. Nothing can unless you think it can. By seeing life differently, it will become what you want it to be. I promise.

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Chesa Keane has taught meditation and self-help for more than 30 years. To learn more about Meditation tools and techniques and an introduction to a unique meditation tool, the TAO Totem, visit: www.TaoTotem.com .