From our e-book “We are Here to Celebrate”

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The breath is the most effective tool to bring your attention back to your body. The rate and depth of our breathing change with our emotions. By observing our breath, we can make an inference about our current state of mind.

If you are being enveloped by a negative emotion, place part of your consciousness on your breath and another part on your heart centre. It is at the centre of your chest. Wherever the feeling lies in your heart centre, place your attention there. The heart centre is where an emotion is strongly felt. Continue to focus on your breath and the feeling in you heart centre. Give it attention and truly feel it. Don’t brush it away, don’t fight it. Feel it, understand it and then, watch it fade. We do not intend for the feelings to fade, they do so on their own accord like everything else. Nothing is permanent in the world of duality. From the observation of our emotions, we experience
impermanence rather than just knowing it intellectually.

The same applies to our mental formations. If images are appearing in our minds constantly, we place our attention on our breath and focus on our forehead area so that we can really pay attention to the images. We  then observe whatever images that appears in our minds. We watch them without judgement. If they are scary images, shift your focus between the image and your emotion of fear, and continue to maintain awareness of your breath.

Once while I was meditating, scary images kept appearing in my mind. Instead of trying to block the images from my mind, I observed the image closely to see how scary it can get. In a matter of seconds, the images disappeared. I did not try to block the images in any way. I just gave them attention.

Wherever we place our awareness on; there is where we choose to send our prana or life-force to. The flow of prana to any parts of our body will heal any negative energy that is present there.

We use the same technique with our self-talk. We listen to them with attention; without resistance. When there is awareness, we can look at our thoughts, reactions and emotions in an unbiased way. With that, we get an understanding of the Self. We understand our habitual patterns and they fall away, one by one until there is nothing left.

No self but Reality. We have already discussed this in the article on meditation. The goal is to bring that intention to understand ourselves right smack into our daily lives; where the real battleground is. Our ego loves for the ‘I’ to feel superior and special. The self loves a story and in any story, the self wants to be the hero. When we watch a movie, the hero always gets the attention. The self is always trying to create a story, a struggle, a fight and then a victory. Once the victory is achieved, the self moves on to another story. No wonder we cannot have peace of mind easily.

Sometimes, the ego also seeks to strengthen the sense of self by creating an image of one as a victim. The mind just wants to create an image of itself so that there is something to hold on to or something to think about. Without the ego, thoughts are unnecessary and the mind becomes redundant. When the thoughts cease to arise, only pure consciousness remains. Here is where we can find inner peace and ease.

When we face a stressful situation and get lost in the circumstances, we often take two approaches. We either find someone to lash out at or we find something to distract us from the situation temporarily. Both methods are not healthy as they only reduce our ability to face difficulties in the future. The best approach is to step back from the situation and watch ourselves.

One way to know the state of mind that we are in at the present moment is to observe our emotions and the feelings in our body. Our feelings do not lie. If we are feeling uptight, then you have been caught in negative thoughts. Our mental body is very closely connected with our emotional body. A good exercise to do at that point is to breathe and
place our attention at our heart centre if we are burdened by some negative emotion or on the parts of our bodies where there is tension.

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