As we practice this meditation, we help ourselves by understanding our internal conflicts, desires and problems, and find clear insights in the otherwise confusing set of chaos and floating thoughts. Problems don’t go away, but demystify themselves, becoming manageable.
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Self-knowledge is the ultimate knowledge, and to know yourself is to know the meaning of life. There are millions of things we could know about ourselves, ranging from anecdotal to emotional or psychological matters. There are certain key bits of self-knowledge that we think might benefit us, like our work talents, or a partner who would be compatible with us.
Self-knowledge provides us with a route to a happy and fulfilling life. A lack of self-knowledge makes our lives accidental.
We can get to know ourselves by conversing with others, but not how we think a conversation should be. The key to a great conversation is asking the right questions and then listening well.
Some examples: Think about what flaws of yours you want to be treated in a better way, or what compliments would you like to get; Ask about some incident they want to apologize for.
Be vulnerable, foolish and real. Talk your heart out.
Many of our mental processes, mood swings and irrational behaviour can be explained by simple facts like not being hydrated, not being fully rested, being stressed, or being hungry. These physiological reasons can be the real culprit and make tiny problems seem enormous, but it takes a higher consciousness to realize the same.
Example: Not having breakfast and going to a tricky meeting can have us considering resignation.
Without self-knowledge, we are vague about what we want to do with our lives.
Money always tends to be an urgent need, and we rush towards jobs that lock us into cages for decades, and we start to believe we are good for nothing, or not cut out for bigger roles.
Without self-knowledge, we have hunches on what makes us happy: We wrongly calculate what our purchases, or impulse buys would make us feel. We travel to a certain place and feel disappointed. We buy the latest dress, hoping to look good, but are only surrendering to consumerism.
Without knowing ourselves, we cannot spend money in a fulfilling way.
According to a Buddhist world-view, our anxieties and worries are not really important or purposeful but only seem so. Buddhist meditation wants our thoughts and anxieties to bother us less and tells us that these thoughts are nonsensical or meaningless.
Philosophical meditation does the same but does not tell us to empty our minds and discard the thoughts, as they are signals with complex clues that can help us develop ourselves.
We are always more inclined to believe in what we feel.
When we become suspicious of our feelings and try to trust data and our rational mind, we move beyond biases and prejudice that exist in our feelings and emotions.
Self-knowledge makes us understand how we impact others, allowing us to adjust ourselves, being more interested in the other person rather than just ourselves.
Strangers are surprisingly good at guessing stuff about us, though we find it difficult to grasp. We don’t realize what information we give out to others, or how our behaviour annoys them. They might find us hogging the limelight or only talking about our own struggles and experience, unable to be impressed by what others are doing.
An often overlooked but essential ingredient in a good life is spontaneity. Without it, we may suffer from an excess of orderliness, caution and rigidity. We haven't danced in a long while.
A more spontaneous life means that we will be more impulsive in expressing emotion and thoughts. In our work, we might embark on a potentially life-changing initiative sooner than we imagined. In our leisure time, we might start to write a collection of recipes or poems.
Straightforward people are easy to be around with because we know exactly what the issues are from the start. There is no need to guess or infer or translate.
If they don't want to do something, they will politely tell you it's not for them. If they are unhappy with your behavior, they will gently tell you how they view the situation.
Trauma is a distressing experience that affects our mental and physical well-being. It is the unresolved emotional response to a frightening event that occurred.
The concept of trauma was first observed in military contexts, but we can experience trauma anywhere from our childhood to adulthood. Traumatic events vary from witnessing your parents fighting when you were young to being involved in a city bombing.
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