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Rebalancing thoughts likes this creates a shift of emotion and starts you thinking differently long-term and so has a deep-rooted effect on your approach to life. Why it is that we revere our tangible accumulations more than our spiritual growth and development? Why do we judge a person by his economic status instead of the purity of his heart? There are no right or wrong answers to these questions, but some answers are more in tune to the Universal Guidelines than are others. The answers determine your spiritual development, whether it is on a mundane or profound level. Your answers will establish how you go through life and the experiences you will have. If you follow Truth, you should realize that everything has a purpose and design and nothing happens randomly. Martin Luther King Jr.'s words, "We shall overcome" were not a philosophy of hope addressed to one race of people. Rather, his words were a vision of hope addressed to the only race of people on this planet: us, the human race. Look into nature's treasure chest and observe intently why peace, order, and harmony exist. Nothing happens for the sake of sport. Everything happens for a purpose. Whether instinct or intelligence prevail, Love is the key. It is one of the main ingredients in the "Recipe to Become Human." Incorporate the phrase "bare knowledge" into your mental vocabulary, and repeat it at times of difficulty in your mindfulness practice. This phrase should act as a reminder every time you catch yourself in a cycle of overanalysis of any given object of your perception. Repeating the phrase reminds you that your awareness only needs to go far enough to establish "bare knowledge" of the object (its basic physical features, whether it causes a pleasant or unpleasant feeling in you, etc). Bare knowledge without any added anxiety (about meaning, purpose, future conditions, and so on) frees up the mind to more consistently maintain simple awareness. Separate objects of perception into the object itself, on the one hand, and the feeling or sensation brought about by that object, on the other hand. Seeing how the resulting feeling is actually wholly distinct from the object serves to minimize the weight that we tend to give feelings when we perceive them as entangled with the object itself. Understand that the presence of an object does not necessitate that we become consumed by any particular sort of feeling that we have become accustomed to associating with it in the past.

While medical treatment for depression can serve as a stepping stone toward being healthy mentally, and it has its place regarding some of the more severe psychiatric illnesses, it is not yet a solution. And it's not the only way to treat these problems. Depression, anxiety, panic disorders, and other mental conditions can be overcome without the use of medication. This is not a race. This is not a quick fix. This is an investment that, over time, will lead you to continued healing and growth. Here's to a happy and healthy journey. A new life lays before you. Try to split your mental concept of mindfulness into three components: mindfulness of body, mindfulness of thoughts, and mindfulness of feelings or sensations. At any given moment, based on the particular perceptions we are subject to at that exact time, the degree of difficulty in maintaining mindfulness with regard to each of these three components can vary. For example, some may have great difficulty achieving mindfulness of feelings or sensations in a situation characterized by relative sensory overload (think of an amusement park, for instance). At times like this, an ingrained conception of mindfulness into three distinct components can serve as a reminder to redirect awareness to one of the other components that may not be so challenging at the time (mindfulness of the body, for example). Understand that no activity, feeling, sensation, perception, or cognition is "outside" of mindfulness practice. Mindfulness can be applied to the most minute of each of these, and the most seemingly trivial and repetitive experiences can be the foundation for a wealth of awareness. On the other hand, there is no major life event, no trauma, and no dramatic emotional event that can be too big for mindfulness, either. Pick several repetitive aspects of your day-to-day life, and make an effort to increase mindfulness during these times. Repetition and familiar circumstances can dull awareness over time, so it is important to put extra effort in to increase mindfulness when it tends to be weakest. Habituated mindfulness during these routine times can in turn greatly strengthen mindfulness when facing unexpected perceptions and sensations. Change by adding: see your scary boss with polka-dot boxers over his pants. Take away: in a stressful and hectic office, picture your desk on a sunny, deserted beach.

See behind a facade: hear your worst enemy confessing how insecure he or she is. Put up a barrier: think of yourself surrounded by a bubble that protects you from problems. The things you envisage in your mind's eye will not automatically happen, but changing your inner view of reality will make you feel better and more able to achieve a good outcome. Don't get caught up thinking about your mindfulness practice in terms of long-term results, tangible accomplishments, status achievements, and so on. The richest practice of mindfulness comes when it is utilized moment by moment, without regard for what has been "gained" up to that point, or what will be "gained" in the future. Notice the way that you are cognizing objects of your perception, and focus on the parts of your cognitions that are manifestations of either desire or aversion. When you think about something in terms of what you want out of it, or what you want to avoid about it, you go too far beyond simple awareness of the object, and you make the attainment of clear mindfulness exponentially harder in the midst of the mental clouding that is inherent in desire and aversion. When you have a moment of awareness of a pleasant feeling, take the mindfulness a step further by reminding yourself how the feeling itself can lead to overwhelming desire. Conversely, when mindful of an unpleasant feeling, reflect on how that feeling leads to a powerful sense of aversion. Recognize that these debilitating forces of desire and aversion arise out of such simple things as these feelings. Mindfulness of minute pleasantness and unpleasantness, with the added knowledge of how an unaware mind could build them into unproductive forces of desire and aversion, trains the mind to experience these feelings more simply as they are, with "no strings attached." This key of Love unlocks the door to a higher form of morality. It's a code of ethics not predicated on the color of one's skin, economic status, or prejudices. No, this code's values are as simple and fresh as the morning dew. This dew is the sweet nectar of godly Love. A most prophetic question is, "Are you truly a human?" I will help you with the answer. You are not until you can demonstrate, effortlessly and naturally, the twelve ingredients that make a human. Understand that aversion to an object, a sensation, or a thought can act as a hindrance to our ability to be mindful, in any capacity, of that object of our perception. When we have built up a habituated resistance to something, that resistance, over time, trains our mind to pull away from even just the mere awareness of that thing. It is as if we teach ourselves that, since the object is only understood as something to be resisted, we may as well save ourselves the trouble and not even be aware of it at all.

By learning to comprehend these feelings of aversion and resistance, and label them simply as what they are, we can in turn boost our mindfulness of the object that has been conditioning those feelings within us. One characteristic of a refined practice of mindfulness is the ability to remain open and accepting of different feelings and objects of perception, without any resulting attachment or resistance to the feeling or object. One way to practice such openness is to direct it towards suffering, whether it be suffering of your own or the perceived suffering of others. Suffering is tied in directly with aversion, a mind state that can cloud bare awareness and mindfulness. If we can substitute openness and receptivity in place of aversion, even in the difficult circumstances of suffering, we are more likely to be open and mindful in less intensive and demanding moments as well. Many people have a fear of doctors. I do. I'm fortunate, though, as I have a wife that helps me combat that fear. She's happy to schedule my appointments and then all I need to do is show up. If you have a friend or family member that's willing to do this, there's no shame in asking for their help. Nobody will ever know if you don't tell the world about it, like I just did. If you're on your own and struggle with using the phone, you can make appointments with many doctors online now. Start by checking within your insurance network to find out who you're covered with. I'll begin here with the protest I hear most often. It goes something like this: People with clinical depression can't simply pull themselves up by the bootstraps. Hooray and good for you if you were able to do that, but the big issue behind clinical depression is that it's not quite that easy! And without help, it's impossible. Recognize when you are being overwhelmed by the idea of attaining increased mindfulness. Sometimes we want mental clarity and awareness so desperately, we actually get lost in the wanting process itself, and have no capacity left to undertake the actual practices that would get us to the mindfulness that we are striving so deliriously for. When you are practicing any kind of mindfulness (mindfulness of the body, mindfulness of thoughts, and so on), don't mentally "build up" the practice into something bigger than it really is.

When you construct a whole, additional "story" to go with your practice, and are caught up in what the grand purpose is, or what the benefits are, or any kind of metaphysical debate, you lose sight of how simple the task at hand is: pay attention to your body, your thoughts, and your feelings.What gives our lives meaning? What gives our acts purpose? Of course, we all must answer these questions for ourselves. For many people, it may take a tragedy or a life-threatening experience to awaken in them the curiosity to formulate such questions. But once brought to consciousness, questions about meaning and purpose in our lives can become an unfailing compass and a reliable companion on the journey of discovery that mindfulness and compassion support. How do you embody your values and intentions? While thoughts and views may be the basis of all intentions, the actual action you take is important. Whenever possible, try to examine and label the motivations that underlie, and bring about, certain actions of the body, speech, and mind. This can be done for any range of actions, from the most mundane, routinized ones all the way to the most momentous and impactful. Was the action motivated by anger? Greed? Desire? Aversion? Labeling the motivating factor in this way contributes to increased mindfulness of the action itself, particularly in the earlier stages of the "lifecycle" of the action. When wrestling with particularly persistent negative mindstates, learn to take a moment to mentally recognize and label each of the specific emotions that you are feeling at the time. Too often, we acknowledge to ourselves that we are "in a rut," or "in a bad mood" for days at a time, but we don't take the extra effort to be mindful of the number of specific emotions that make up that more general feeling. Perhaps your "rut" at the time consists of boredom, loneliness, and anger. Recognizing and labeling each of these individually encourages us to be more mindful of not only the emotions themselves, but also the underlying causes that could potentially be uprooted. But that help doesn't have to come from a pill. It can come in many forms, including a book such as this.