“If you dare to fail,
You are bound
– Sri Chinmoy
Life is hard. Feeling depressed about it makes things infinitely harder. Life is then precisely about this tug of war, where circumstances try to pull us down, while we struggle to remain upright. The worst that can happen to us is to give up, first mentally, then physically.
A weight-lifter, who must lift a heavy weight above his head, never thinks of the weight before him as a problem. At best, during a competitive event, the weight-lifter thinks of the weight as a challenge, a welcome challenge that may eventually pave the way to success. Before the competition, the weights are his best friend for he knows that without them he cannot win. He also knows that to prevail over his competitors he must lift, first in training, then in competition, more weights, and heavier weights. So why do the rest of us think of problems as problems?
This change in perspective is welcome. Can problems be our stepping stones to success? Can problems be regarded as beneficial and even be sought after? Can problems beget success and the more of them the better? Rather than avoid them, can problems be allowed to shape us into stronger weight-lifters in the matters of life, so to speak? Problems are then life’s training blocks, universally available and freely accessible.
Just as in any physical training routine, a gradual approach to increasing one’s exposure to problems as well as their intensity, coupled with the right attitude, are the key ingredients to winning in the battlefield of life. It may not be always possible to influence the former, i.e., their amount and strength, but that can be often compensated by the latter, i.e., our mindset.
Mindset, as the term goes, is a collection of habits and assumptions that happen to be firmly rooted in one’s mind. Uprooting them and replacing them with a winning, can-do attitude may actually do the trick, turning us from a weakling into a power lifter. Are we aware of all the habits and assumptions that form our mindset? Hardly at all and not to any great depth.
A mind set is a mind fixated. A set mind is like concrete that has set and become hard and durable. Indeed, sometimes we catch ourselves feeling as though we are carrying around a heavy stone, not realising that we could do away with it.
Meditation is like a torch light that illumines the depths of our being. It makes us more conscious about our own set mind and the limiting influence it exercises upon us. Becoming aware of our limitations allows us to deal with them and become stronger as a result. Awareness powered by firm intent has the power of the fire; it can burn obstacles and clear the way.
Now roll in the heavy weights please!
For more articles on integrating meditation into the present-day lifestyle and for more information on starting a meditation practice of your own, visit www.GenevaMeditation.ch.