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Let It Go
By Bhuvana Mandalapu
iUniverse, Inc.Copyright © 2013 Bhuvana Mandalapu, M.D.
All rights reserved.
Knowing Briefly About Key Slogans and Pearls before We Start
Learn to ignore the negative forces; they will leave like unwelcomed visitors.
Strengthen your gains ceaselessly without giving up the practice.
Follow moderation in practice to sustain it forever.
The world will take care of itself and will go through its own cycles of changes; as long as we take care of ourselves, we do not need to worry about the world.
Trust yourself entirely.
Ignite your inner strength and positive attitude.
Cultivate your mind for better results.
In this ongoing process, setbacks are just stepping-stones and blessings in disguise that add to lead to opportunities and success.
Imagine yourself with more positive forces within. See yourself as you want to be, and beyond.
Be the best artist and architect of your own life. Just like Darwin's theory of individual variation, each mind is fresh, and only your mind knows how to reach your goal.
Imagination is more important than knowledge.—Albert Einstein
The only devils in the world are those running in our own hearts [minds]. That is where the battle should be fought [started].—Mahatma Gandhi
Have no fear, but have self-confidence and keep aspiring to higher goals and bigger standards to achieve them one by one.
The greatest danger for most of us is not that our aims are too high, and we miss them but that our aims are too low and we reach them.—Michelangelo
Whose Job Is It?
This is a story of four people named Everybody, Somebody, Anybody, and Nobody. There is an urgent job to be done, and Everybody was asked to do it. Everybody was sure that Somebody would do it. Anybody could have done it, but Nobody did it. Somebody got angry with that because it was Everybody's job. Everybody thought that Anybody could do it. Nobody realized that Everybody would not do it. It ended up that Everybody blamed Somebody, and then Nobody did what Anybody could have done. --- Anonymous
So please, let your "body" do the job for yourself; only you can reach your goals, change your life, and give a better life to you and your beloved family.
Do not become obsessed by the idea of "me and mine," but as far as doing good to yourself, there is no Somebody, Anybody, or Everybody; it is only you that will do it for yourself.
Components of Practice
One splendid evening, a father and his five-year-old son went to watch a movie. During the show, the son became hungry and wanted some popcorn. The father bought him some and innocently added too much butter to the popcorn. The son ate the popcorn, and after the show, they went back home. After dinner, they went to bed. After a few hours, the son woke up with stomach cramps. His mother usually took care of him, and she knew that he did not prefer and could not handle a lot of butter on his popcorn. The son continued to vomit and have discomfort. Finally, the day that had been so splendid ended with discomfort and pain for the son and guilt and unhappiness for the father. His innocent mistake of adding too much butter, not knowing the child's tolerance, led to the mishap, just like a car accident that follows a few seconds of negligence or absent-mindedness.
So moderation is the key to avoiding the consequences of making mistakes. Anything in moderation, either food, speech, actions, or responses, will lead to good or excellent results. Practicing moderation in any given activity will deliver consistently successful results.
This also applies to food intake and meditation. Do not remain in extremes, not too tight or too loose; just keep enough tension, stress, and concern, and it will take care of itself well. You will endure tension longer, sustain stress, and preserve concerns by practicing moderation.
He that loveth books Will never want a faithful friend, A wholesome counselor, A cheerful companion, An effectual comforter. —Isaac Barrow
This is true, and even though there are many other sources available for data, still try to read on a regular basis. Focus on reading about the magnificence of the universe and nature; about the world's magnificent creations; and about the world's great people and how they struggled, went through difficulties, and succeeded without giving up their goals. Humans have progressed from living simple lives to the advancements of today. In the past, we baked bread and wove cloth; today, we make electricity, rockets, satellites, cars, and cell phones. It is so astounding to me how much we have evolved on this earth. We are so lucky to be part of this planet. Finally, we are here to stay happy and make our loved ones happy with our presence, our acts, and our behavior.
Reading can help you appreciate the gift of life that we have; it can also boost your determination.
Remember, famous people did extraordinary things and achieved great goals while suffering from illness and other shortcomings. They ignored those problems and focused on their goals; they used their genius and their minds to create something worthwhile for the whole world, which brought pride to their families and glory to themselves.
Take the time to read on a daily basis. After a while, it will become a part of you. The lives and ideas of famous people will stay with you, and from time to time, that will help you when you are vulnerable. Reading adds a lot of spirit to your heart and motivates you.
So do not allow illness or disease take your mind and willpower away.
Health Is Wealth
It is best to be healthy, but if you have a disease, it is best to deal with it adding your willpower.
Take the best possible medical care. Steve Jobs, who was a genius, refused modern medical care for a while. Medicine is based on advanced sciences; there is nothing wrong in having confidence in it. It is not possible now to treat every disease, but the future looks so bright with gene therapies, stem cell transplants, and other advances. Science has so much to offer to the future generations.
We should do our best to control and rewire our minds and thoughts; this can defeat illness and keep it subdued. A strong mind can keep disease under control better.
The mind often shows symptoms that are as common as the disease itself. Studies have proved that many symptoms are psychological or psychosomatic. If we have will power and gain insight into our problems, we can easily defeat those symptoms and remain disease free.
Be cheerful to yourself and to your family.
Keep up with the practice of meditation to strengthen your mind, fight disease, and keep it away.
Be a pleasure to those around you.
Discover the power inside. Unlock the secret and pursue happiness and success. Do not go back in time; only look forward and see what can change. Do not let your mood and emotions hold you back.
A man who dares to waste one hour of time has not discovered the value of life.—Charles Darwin
The world does not go anywhere by you being different from what you are now.
The world does not change much in a year. A year is not much time in the span of your life, when you are working for a better self, for a permanent change. Darwin's comment about wasting time is right and was in a different context probably. But as long as we know the importance of life, we can spend years practicing for a better life. To achieve balanced feelings with happiness is not a waste. Every minute put into it is worthwhile.
Spending time consciously, with every movement counted, every event memorized, enables you to live in the present, mindfully. Yesterday has gone, and tomorrow is not here, but today, right now, you can be mindful. Capture the moment, mind, and body in one space, and practice to make every step today a sincere and mindful one. Gradually, you will begin to live right "here and now," and the ruminations will slowly fade away.
You will start enjoying every movement you are alive.
I know in my heart that man is good, that what is right will always eventually triumph, and that there is the purpose and worth to each and every life.—Ronald Reagan
After their enlightenment, the Buddha and Confucius lived lives of peace, but they still practiced meditation every day. They not only enjoyed the tranquility of meditation, they reaffirmed the importance of a positive attitude and regularly practiced their values.
Darwin, Newton, and other famous people achieved remarkable discoveries while facing personal tragedies and overcoming depression, attention deficit, social phobias, and anxiety. They focused all their curiosity and positive energy toward a worthwhile goal, and they never gave up on their targets. This type of meditation is little different from Buddhism.
The end results are different yet similar. The Buddha and Confucius produced extensive philosophical and behavioral approaches for a righteous life, whereas Darwin and Newton unraveled the secrets of nature and creation with their goal-oriented research as meditation, and they did this while overcoming personal difficulties.
Steve Jobs and J.K. Rowling are similar to them. They changed their feelings and overcame their sufferings by producing innovations of technology and literature. Their inventions benefited generations; Rowling changed her emotions into creativity, producing characters that thrilled and amazed the whole world.
They went through so much physical discomfort, mental stress, and suffering, even thoughts of suicide, and one succumbed to cancer. Until the last day of his life, Steve Jobs was doing meaningful thinking and working, ignoring his own suffering and the fear of leaving this world.
Change to See after Practice
There are no time guidelines here; remember, Buddha practiced meditation every day until his last moment on earth, despite being enlightened permanently.
You will soon see a change in yourself that is permanent. You will be more mindful during every movement; you will enjoy situations and conversations consciously and mindfully. You will be involved instead of having your mind be somewhere else.
You will be more goal oriented and productive; your quality of life will improve far better than your expectations.
Overall, you will see the change that you always wanted but were never able to achieve in the past. Your new self will emerge for you to keep forever.
The change will be reflected in all aspects of your life. Others will easily see the change and admire it.
You will discover the absolute joy of walking with your child to and from school. You will enjoy every movement that you are with your loved ones. Every movement will be a joy-filled memory. If you are currently doing things with no joy, almost with your mind and thoughts somewhere else, you can improve that with practice. Your patience, presence of mind, and "living now" feelings will improve tremendously.
Look at your family in their beds every night and morning. How serenely they all look, with the impression that you are there and will take care of them. As long as they feel that you are there for them, they have no worries. Their comfort and support is a strong motivation to accomplish things, not only for yourself, but also to make your loved ones happy and proud of you.
Objects in Air
The mind that is not trained, does not practice, and does not maintain its practice is like an object thrown up in the air.
The object will find its way to the ground due to gravity. Similarly, the mind, if it does not practice or seek a positive attitude, happiness, and joy in a righteous way, always drops down toward unhappiness and gloomy, lazy ways due to the natural preference of sad thoughts. But to be happy and positive, you need effort and engagement. If not, your mind will naturally prefer sorrow, bad thoughts, and sad feelings, and it will ruminate over them and make them like the adobe.
An idle brain is the devil's workshop.—H. G. Bohn
Even people who meditate and reap the rewards of good practice and thoughts can go back to their old ways when circumstances make them vulnerable. Just like ripe fruit falls down to the ground when it is ready to drop, people can fall prey to negative forces and unhealthy attitudes and thoughts, pulling them toward depression, self-abusing behaviors, killing their self-esteem again during the vulnerable states of economic, physical, and social scenarios and peer pressure.
But unexpected physical, behavioral, and mental health issues also do the same, even if you take medication regularly. Sometimes circumstances and surroundings make us so vulnerable that we cannot endure without succumbing to them.
This is the time we need more courage and practice to sustain the gains of our days and years of practice. Steve Jobs and J. K. Rowling are two notable examples who won over their own illness, one over physical illness, and one over depression, financial burdens, and insecurity, which is almost as bad as cancer.
Live more consciously in those vulnerable times. When we are emotional, we lose logic and fall apart, which can make us lonely. Despite hundreds of people and friends around, you may battle with your own thoughts and emotions; you may not be reasonable or sustain the truth. In those particularly vulnerable times, practicing meditation, sustaining what we did so far, and having a positive attitude can only help you go further in the right direction. Even if it is the end of the line, you can cross the line with self-respect and dignity of the soul.
One day, when my son was five years old, he woke up complaining of foot pain. I thought he might have slept in the wrong position, so I applied a topical cream as he watched TV. Before I left for work, I asked him if he was okay.
He said, "Yeah, I feel better, but there's a storm in Bikini Bottom, where SpongeBob lives." Cute, I laughed.
That time has gone for us, and we do not worry about Bikini Bottom and SpongeBob anymore, we have storms in our own mind to clear up, and we have to develop the courage to face them. Your constant meditation practice can help you prepare for the storms from within and from outside.
A friend of mine who is a poet once wrote, "How good it feels just to fly away from every body and every worry, escaping all the struggles and problems, with the sense of peaceful mind all the time."
I met him one day and asked about this philosophy. I asked, "What is the use of flying away from everything. If your same mind carries the same worries?"
He was logical too and took it in a positive way .
There once was a man who had many outbursts of anger. He decided to try to control his anger with meditation. He left the village and stayed alone in the forest, meditating alone. Months passed. He was no longer angry and did not have any outbursts. One day, while he was meditating, a traveler who had lost his way came up to him and asked the way to the village.
He did not get a response, so he asked again, and again there was no answer. When he asked for the third time, the meditating man suddenly opened his eyes and yelled at him with an explosive outburst of anger.
"I am meditating to control my anger," he yelled, "and you came and disturbed me! How dare you? Go and find the way yourself."
How stupid was that? He wanted to get better, and he practiced meditation, but he should not have avoided people. Avoiding is not the answer. Escaping from circumstances, thinking you are going to get better, is not the answer.
You have to find where the battle is; the battle is in your mind. You can fight it by staying in the same circumstances and facing them rather than avoiding them.
This man spoiled everything that he had done for months; he had an easy opportunity to help the other person with joy. He did not help him; he showed his anger and made him unhappy. He lost his temper and totally lost the purpose and intention of his practice. His meditation was not useful. But if he had not given up and continued to face situations and exterminate his anger, with practice, he would have succeeded. That takes lots of practice in the right direction.
Patience is a virtue.
It does not matter how slowly you go, so long as you do not stop.—Confucius
Practice not reacting to other emotions or situations. At least do not react immediately. Even if someone neglects your company, is unhappy with you, dislikes your feelings, and does not interact with you, do not react with similar feelings in return. Let the flying egos fly freely from them, but do not receive them and do not take it personally. Do not reply with another arrow of ego or false ego. Enter the scene with no expectations or anticipation.
Until you know the true purpose of their behavior, and unless you are involved directly in the scenario, there is no reason to analyze another's feelings and attribute those feelings as directed toward you. Let time determine their purpose; just ignoring them will do the job of creating no animosity. It also gives you peace of mind. If you keep thinking about their behavior and feelings toward you, you create unnecessary ripples within yourself. This needs practice. Each day, when come across these conversations or situations, try to respond with a pleasurable expression.
Leave the scene or situation with no feeling to take out of it, if it's not a worthy or positive one.
Buddha said that if someone throws an object toward him and if he does not receive it, it does not belong to him. In the same way, if you hear harsh words from others but you do not react, they do not exist and will not create anger or a grudge.
Buddha used to practice not responding to any problem or conflict or rumor for a full week. This provides enough time to settle the emotional component involved in the problem. The egos will be erased, logic will come back to its place, and it makes the problem return to its actual size rather than be blown up out of proportion in the wrong direction. It will develop itself toward a better solution or resolve itself as if there was no problem in the first place. The problem will vanish by itself slowly. Patience is a virtue, but you must practice a lot of meditation to attain it.
Excerpted from Reveal by Bhuvana Mandalapu. Copyright © 2013 by Bhuvana Mandalapu, M.D.. Excerpted by permission of iUniverse, Inc..
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