Your abilities to help you succeed
“The obstacles and weaknesses you have in your material life are the same,
or stem from the same root as your obstacles and weaknesses in your meditation practice.”
Do you know what your strengths are?
Do you know what your weaknesses are? Do you know what slows you down or holds you back? Do you know what your excuses are?
These are all questions that can help us find out who we are, to discover and contemplate what it means to “know thyself.” Knowing yourself is a key part of the path to higher consciousness.
Your innate skills and abilities
It is important to contemplate, reflect and meditate on your ability to meditate. There is also an important link to recognise between your abilities to live your life and your abilities to go within and find the answers that you are looking for.
The following is a list of abilities that are innate to us. We have these to draw from when we go within. They help us to go deeper. They will help us to overcome any of the many obstacles we might encounter. They help us succeed in meditation and in daily life.
The 15 abilities
1. The ability to change your state of consciousness from closed to open, from negative to positive.
2. The ability to connect to a Higher Power.
3. The ability to release and let go of pent up feelings (such as anger or resentment).
4. The ability to just sit and be still without expectations.
5. The ability to feel love and compassion for self and others.
6. The ability to calmly hold your attention on one subject (either a question or a problem that you want to solve).
7. The ability to relax.
8. The ability to empty the mind.
9. The ability to let go and to detect a change in your consciousness.
10. The ability to know the difference between your true self and your ego self, and how to detach from the ego self (also called letting go with awareness, or witnessing).
11. The ability to listen, and to know when to act on what you hear.
12. The ability to know when something is true or not true.
13. The ability to open your heart.
14. The ability to get through an obstacle, like fear for instance.
15. The ability to feel your spiritual desire is the most important of all because it is how you become more open to inner assistance and guidance. This sets forces in motion that help you use any of the other abilities.
Read over the list of abilities again and decide, which ones are your 2 weakest and which are your 2 strongest?
Overcoming your obstacles
Understanding the common obstacles that can arise during meditation can help you navigate and overcome them. We have addressed most of them, but here are a few challenges you may encounter:
- Restless Mind: It's common to experience a restless mind during meditation. You may find it challenging to quiet the constant stream of thoughts and distractions that arise. It is important that you persevere and do not give in to what your mind tells you. For instance after much discomfort, your mind might tell you “it is not my night, I think I am better of finishing my project”. Do whatever you have to do to not give in to the minds “better ideas” and stop your meditation. Stay with it. Become stronger than the excuses and the discomfort. They will pass. When you succeed at staying in meditation anyway, you break life long sub-conscious patterns and programming that are part of the cause of your suffering in life. This is so important, and it must be conquered.
- Lack of Consistency: Establishing a consistent meditation practice is a must yet it can be difficult due to life's demands and busy schedules. However, consistency is of key importance, because as with everything in life “practice makes perfect” - to get the most out of your meditation practice, do it often, every day if you possible. Try setting aside a dedicated period of time for meditation each day, even if it's just a few minutes. Gradually increase the duration as you build a routine that works for you. We will talk on how to precisely succeed in this later on.
- Physical Discomfort: Physical discomfort, such as back pain, stiffness, or restlessness, can arise during meditation. It's important to find a comfortable posture that works for you. Explore different positions, use props if needed, and listen to your body. At the same time listen carefully to your body and it gives us signals of what is going on inside of us. Sometimes the pain is part the healing process. And most of all, move when it feels like you need to move. Sometimes your body might naturally move into stretches, stretch. Or you feel an urge to stand up and dance, dance. Your body has its own intelligence and it knows how it needs to move to free itself. There is a way to persevere through discomfort that can show your determination and grit. Always trust your own instincts with your body and if you have an injury or a medical recommendation, take that into consideration so that you always protect and take care of your body.
- Impatience and Expectations: It's natural to have expectations and to desire immediate results from meditation. However, it's important to remember that meditation is a journey, not a destination. Practice patience and let go of any attachment to specific outcomes. Embrace the process and trust that the benefits will unfold in their own time.
- Difficulty Letting Go: Letting go of attachments, judgments, and expectations can be challenging. During meditation, thoughts and emotions may arise, and it's important to approach them with an accepting, non-judgmental attitude. Cultivate mindfulness and self-compassion, allowing yourself to observe and let go of any clinging or resistance.
Remember, your meditation practice is unique to you. Overcoming these obstacles will strengthen your practice and allow you to experience the transformative power of meditation.
- The 15 abilities will help us to overcome any of the many obstacles we might encounter. They help us to succeed in meditation and in daily life.
- When thoughts distract us in meditation, and you succeed at staying in meditation anyways, you break life long sub-conscious patterns, programming, that are part of the cause of the ways we suffer in life. This is so important, and it must be conquered. This is a victory as so much of our suffering will fall away.
1. For the next week, have your spiritual focus be on one of your weakest abilities. Put this ability ‘in the gym’ so to speak. Be creative and find ways to strengthen this ability. How can you practice it more.
In the evening, do some journaling. Contemplate and write down about questions like: How did I apply this ability today? Where did I strengthen it? What can I do to further strengthen this ability?
2. What obstacle keeps you from meditating or going deeper into your meditations?
Meditate on this obstacle. What is true about it, what is untrue? What can I do to overcome this obstacle?