10 August 2020

The secret to less doing, more being

 Doing, doing, doing. With so many people busy doing this and doing that; doing, doing, doing; how is it we call ourselves “human beings” rather than “human doings”?

This week we go Out on a Limb once again and explore the differences between human doings and human beings, and examine how a simple mind shift can have us being more and yet actually doing more. Also news of the first weekly meditation Zoom gatherings for those using our Allevi8 App, but first

Thought for the day

Love thy neighbour

As thy self

Mark 12 : 31

Love this quote. It points directly to a common misinterpretation amongst Christians; and having grown up deeply steeped in Christianity I can speak from experience. 

The problem? Putting the focus on “love thy neighbour” and overlooking “As thy self”. 

The image of the Christian martyrs is both heroic and compelling. Giving up all, even their own lives for the sake of others; the love of others. Compelling. And many completely noble and without fault. Yet so many people I have spoken with over the years, inspired by that ethos have given freely and fully of themselves while neglecting themselves only to end up exhausted, often disillusioned, burnt out and dissatisfied.

The injunction in the quote is clear… “As thy self”. 

So the first thing to clarify is that all of us do want to help others. Of course. However, what is also clear is that to help others we need to start with ourselves. Once we have some inner stability, strength and resources, then we are well placed not only to help others but to sustain our efforts, be effective long-term and to enjoy the process, even if it entails hard work. We then have a good chance of ending up both accomplished and satisfied. This much is reasonably obvious.

But then we can go further… “As thy self”… Which self is being spoken of? The active self? The ego with all its plans, hopes and fears? Its infinite capacity to become distracted, to complicate even simple matters, to surreptitiously put itself ahead of others under the guise of service – and so on. You probably get what I mean.

But then there is that more essential part of self. Now to be clear, nothing wrong with the active, ego driven self. We all have that and it is a part of who we are. But does it drive us, or does it take us for a useful ride – as in we control it and use it for good purpose?

For the essential self - some call it soul, some call it Atma, or the true nature of our mind – this self is inherently pure and filled with love, clarity and wisdom. It is like saying a lemon tree produces lemons and an orange tree produces oranges. Both are useful, but they are different. The essential self can only produce love, clarity and wisdom. That is a fact.

So here is the thing; the simple shift that leads us to be less ego-centric and more true self-centric. Meditation. When we meditate we have this opportunity to get to know our mind, and our self, better. All aspects. The active mind and the still mind. The ego and the true self. 

And when through meditation we begin to glimpse something of that Still Mind, we come to experience something of its innate qualities and we come to know something of this true self – quite naturally. 

The fruit that flows from the meditation tree is love, clarity and wisdom. Simple really. Just requires some technique and regular practice. And not allowing that mischievous active mind to get in the way too much and block the flow. 

It is all about letting go of the doing and allowing the being… And paradoxically, it turns out the more we “be”, the more we can “do”. Win – win!

Happy Meditating

Allevi8 – our new, free meditation App

Ruth and I have been heartened by early responses to Allevi8. If you have not sampled it as yet, it contains specific practices designed to alleviate stress and anxiety, build emotional and mental health, relieve pain, foster healing and help find meaning amidst tough times.

It is free, there is a choice of Ruth’s voice or mine. You can pay it forward if you find it useful and want others to benefit. Simply search Allevi8 in your App store.

And for those who are using it, we start the first of what are planned to be weekly Zoom meditations this Monday, 9th August from 8pm EST to 8.45. Once you join the App, within a short while, an email will be sent with the link to the weekly meditation meetings. Join us?

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