We know that wherever we are, whatever the circumstances surrounding us, we are always in the right place at the right time to further our relationship with the Divine. Implied Exercise: It is never what we are in a hurry to win that makes us real winners in life. Real victory is always the discovery that we can't give ourselves away to negative states and experience a positive outcome. Detect and reject any feeling that wants to put its rush on you. Do this by realizing that your True Nature awaits you within, so where is there to get to in such a hurry? I could follow Aristotle's example by hanging around the city and engaging in philosophical discussions. Perhaps I could take a chair out to public places, sit there, and just think. I thought it appropriate to use a deck chair--the only piece of furniture that Ludwig Wittgenstein had in his rooms in Cambridge. Carl, October 4 Was this what virtue felt like? Slowly walking up and down the aisles of a cut-price supermarket looking for the cheapest food? On my way home, I listened to another podcast about effective altruism. One of its most vocal defenders explained that, if you happened to be inside a house that was on fire, and you could either save a child or a painting by Picasso, you would have to save the painting. Once you sold the painting, the money could be used to save thousands of children's lives. Later in the evening, as I was making a bland potato soup, I told my wife about the dilemma of the burning child. Analyzing won't work: the linear mind can't viscerally grasp what the knower behind the thinker can. In this centering meditation I'll describe ways your body can intuitively sense the heart's nuances, a sanity saver to utilize whenever you're upset or tired or when you start mentally flogging yourself. Activating your heart turns the tables on negative feelings. Emotional Action Step APPLYING THE SECOND SECRET: UNCOVER THE SPIRITUAL MEANING OF YOUR EMOTIONS

A Heart-Centering Meditation to Counter Negative Self-Talk Settle down. In a tranquil setting, sit comfortably and close your eyes. Take a few long, deep breaths to relieve tension. Even if your negative thoughts are going a mile a minute (you know that broken record: I'm not good enough, smart enough, spiritual enough, yada yada), keep concentrating on your breath as best you can. I was raised in a Christian home. The counselor nods without speaking. She lets his words hang in the room. I feel you, says an older man, nodding. He begins to read from his own timeline. I was born. I graduated high school. Went into the air force 1984. Became a drug addict 1985. My addiction kept me going back and forth to penitentiaries. She said no, and I briefly explained the relational nature of emotional disorders. When I finished, she asked again, So what do you think about medication? She shook her head sadly. It won't work. Her despair caused her to totally avoid the relational part of my answer.

However, after the meeting broke up, several people approached her to say they wanted to understand her fears. Right there they were inviting her into relationship. And so, not only did the woman realize her avoidance, but some caring people stepped in to begin the remothering process. While we are interacting with our remothering friends, we can also do some repair work with our biological mothers. If mom is alive and available, we want as much healing for that relationship as she will allow. Only by exposing fear to the truth can you dilute its strength and loosen its grip. What opens up in the place that fear once occupied is a whole new sense of freedom, and with it, possibility -- freedom to live authentically, to speak truthfully, to pursue your most audacious dreams, and to step away from the naysayers and towards a new future, however uncertain. By asking yourself what's the worst thing you fear may happen and then sitting in the place of it happening, you come to know that even if it did happen -- which is unlikely -- it wouldn't kill you. Rather, you'd reveal yourself to you. You build your own brand of brave every time you consciously choose to move towards what inspires you, rather than away from what scares you. Whether it's something small such as inviting people over for dinner or introducing yourself to someone you look up to, asking your boss for support or confiding a struggle to a friend. Or whether it's something bigger, such as leaving your secure job to go out on your own, having another baby, moving abroad or acknowledging a broken marriage. The more you face your fear, stare it down and then step right through the heart of it, the more you strengthen your faith in yourself and your courage for life. It's why I encourage my children to do what inspires them, even if it scares them (and me! Acting bravely in small ways when it doesn't seem to matter so much is what enables you to build your courage for when it does. Promoters are positive. They cheer you on through the tough times and celebrate the good. They rave about you, make connections for you and open doors. They stretch your thinking to become more than you are or ever thought possible. PUT SIMPLY, PROMOTERS BELIEVE IN YOU AND

THEY WANT TO SEE YOU SUCCEED SO THEY TELL THE WORLD ABOUT YOU. Your Promoter raves about you even when you're not in the room: `Hey, have you spoken to Jack? He would be great at that. I reckon you need to pull Jack in on that project. However, a logical connection does not compel us to take action. It validates the action, but it doesn't motivate us. The challenge is that because we don't achieve immediate success or we make only limited progress, we begin to question the benefit of making the effort. Our subconscious plants seeds of doubt because our focus is on losing 10 kilos, not the feeling we can experience moment by moment, day by day. We fall into the trap of focusing on the goal or outcome, rather than the activity that carries us towards the goal. So why don't we invert this model and start with how we want to feel? Each of us is driven at any one time by one to three emotions. Let's start with how you want to feel, whether that is across your lifetime, this year, this week or just today. Then let's determine what action you have to take today to achieve that feeling. From there you gain a result that leads, step by step, towards the achievement of your overall goal. Anterior Cingulate Cortex (ACC) A star in the show as far as self-regulation and paying attention is concerned. It detects when your focus has drifted away from where you want it to be. Whenever you notice that this has happened, this area grows stronger, making it easier for you to switch focus from the thinking mind to the feeling mind. It is the master of being able to hold focus and not be torn away by distractions. It encircles the amygdala, so it can control our distress and divert attention to somewhere else that's safer.

The strengthening of the ACC with regard to attention regulation by the practice of mindfulness could prove promising for those who suffer from Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), and, possibly, bipolar disorder, though there isn't any specific evidence yet. However, there is evidence of improvement in attention. Temporo-parietal Junction As mentioned earlier, mindfulness produces a greater sense of bodily awareness when you move your focus into the body. This can be witnessed in brain imaging by the fact that, during mindfulness practice, grey matter can be seen to have increased in an area known as the temporo-parietal junction, which is where you get your sense of bodily self. This is key to helping individuals with borderline personality disorders and is also relevant to people with eating disorders and those suffering addiction. We are spiritually free when not one part of us harbors any hatred or resentment for any other human being, regardless of how badly that person may have once treated us. We have seen for ourselves that giving any dark state of hatred or resentment any reason to exist is the same as supplying it with a hidden refuge in ourselves. Implied Exercise: Once we can understand that everything we resist in life increases its weight by the magnitude of thought spent not wanting it, then we realize that it isn't our enemies who are burdened by those black wishes we hold for them, but it is we who are held hostage in the darkness of our unenlightened self. To see that it is hatred that hates is to let it go. We are spiritually free when we have no fear of shouldering those moments when life brings more challenges than we have ever had to handle before. We understand the spiritual law that holds we cannot be harnessed to any load without being given the subsequent strength we need to succeed with it. Implied Exercise: Always accept a little more responsibility whenever conditions in life ask you to step up and test your spiritual strength. Just as our willingness to risk failure is one of the prerequisites for learning to live without fear, so too is our willingness to reach the end of our power an invitation to realize a source of a power within us without end. The next and last five lessons in this article's section are higher insights rarely discussed among the spiritually uninitiated because of the measurable effect that their strong medicine causes in the soul. But I have chosen to include these teachings because not only do they help summarize our prescription for a free life, but they also present the case for why we need such a healing. But that's just sick, she said. I later read a wry response to this utilitarian line of thinking by the philosopher Kwame Anthony Appiah. If you would see a child drowning in a shallow pond, he said, you should not save him but let him die, take his clothes, sell them, and use the money to donate to charity. Andre, October 6 Emerging from the tube at Bank Station, I chose a spot directly outside the stock exchange.