How to find your spiritual path

Spiritual path

Find your spiritual path and purpose by learning to sit in silence. It develops your intuition and awareness.

If you live your life in a state of constant busy-ness, life is flying by without much meaning and you figure there must be more to life, I write this post for you.

Allow me to turn the clock back about 15 years ago, and explain that’s exactly where I was in my life.  Life was just busy and although I was doing fine, I did not feel passion for life like I envied in some people I observed.  Now that I’m able to look back to 15 years ago and clearly reflect on what I was feeling, here are the kinds of thoughts I had:

How could I find my path?  Is it a spiritual path I am seeking?  How would I even go about finding a spiritual path? How can I find things I’m passionate about and feel more alive?

For me, I was interested in finding a spiritual path, not necessarily a religious path, but to feel purposeful and connected to something bigger than myself.

I think this subject would be best served by writing a book, any maybe one day I will do that, but for now I offer the benefit of hindsight to you in this short post.

I’m deeply curious about all sorts of spiritual practices, and expect to be a constant life-long learner in this regard.  It doesn’t mean I will believe or follow all these practices, but it’s good to be open, curious and non-judgmental.  The reason I make this point is this:

Given all the various practices I have explored over the past 15 years, the underlying foundation to creating my path in life has been my meditation practice.

The benefits of meditation are many, but in the context of this discussion, meditation allows you to find stillness and to observe your thoughts.  As you cultivate the practice of observing your mind without judgment, you develop the ability to identify less with your thoughts and recognize them as just thoughts.  As such, your intuition develops, and you become more conscious.  You become more able to experience your life differently – even with the same busy-ness in your life, you don’t feel as busy or stressed, instead, you feel more aware and conscious of your life.

With this development of new way of being, you start to find a path that feels fulfilling and right.  You start to feel your spiritual path.  Now, you may or may not feel like calling it a spiritual path, but that doesn’t matter.  What matters is that you awaken to life, and live life with more intention.  This all leads to a happier life.

(With the above few paragraphs, I just felt that I wrote a summary of the last 15 years of my life in this one post.  Wow.)

path through forestEspecially since 2011, my path has become increasingly clear.  A snapshot of who I am now is reflected in my website: www.TheCalmMonkey.com.

The 2 books that I read early in my journey that helped open my eyes are:

I am deeply grateful for all the experiences I have had, and am excited about my life today.

Wishing all of you peace, love and light in your journey.

~Wendy Quan of The Calm Monkey.

Wonder if meditation conflicts with praying?

Hand mudraIs praying the same thing as meditation?  How are they different?  They do conflict or work as cross purposes?

These are questions that I’ve received over the years, and it has sparked many interesting conversations.

There are many descriptions of meditation, and there isn’t a universal definition.  Most people would agree that meditation is spending time in contemplation, active concentration and observing the mind. The benefits are vast, and the reasons people practice meditation are just as vast.  Contrary to popular belief, it is not necessarily about blanking out the mind or having no thoughts.  This unfortunate misconception often is a roadblock to people taking the step to learn meditation.

The way I see meditation and prayer is that some people choose to pray during meditation.  Here is another beautiful way to look at this:

Praying is about asking.  Meditation is about listening.

I do not see any conflict between meditation and prayer.  People who pray often see it as a type of meditation.

I hope this has brought a helpful perspective on the subject.  When I have offered this perspective to people who ask, they seem very satisfied and peaceful with the answer.

Have a wonderful day,

~Wendy

 

Spiritually quarantine malevolent thoughts

Marianne Williamson

Marianne Williamson is a spiritual public figure, an author and speaker.

I struggle to understand why people intentionally hurt others.  When I see the news about awful events such as what happened recently in Paris, I’m not completely sure what to do.

It is good to send peace and love to the victims and families of such violence acts. But would you do something for those who caused the suffering?

Marianne Williamson posted this on Facebook, and I like it.  Perhaps this will be helpful to you, too.

“Meditate every day for 5 minutes on spiritually quarantining all terrorists and would-be terrorists, placing them within a golden egg whose shell is built of an energy like titanium. Malevolent thoughts can’t extend past the shell to turn into manifestation, and within the shell a divine light is released that heals the mind that is thinking such thoughts.”

If you believe that we are all connected, and/or that intention matters, doing these simple practices would be very a positive act.

~Wendy

Living joyfully does not mean living in the clouds

Joy questioned

Is this what it means to live in joy? Not exactly…

Honestly, I did not understand (or really care) about what it meant to live life joyfully.  It has only been in more recent years that I ‘get it’.  The learning developed over time, and did not happen in an instant.

I would like to address the stigma that I think exists about this. When someone truly does not understand or care about living with an attitude of joy, they often label and joke that such people are hippies, tree-huggers, living in the clouds or my personal favourite ‘Woo-Woo’.  Some of my friends joke with me, calling me ‘Woo-Woo Wendy’ – we have good laughs about that and here’s why….

It’s funny because they remember where they came from before being open to living their life with awareness and intention. They can look at themselves now, and remember that before they practiced meditation and mindfulness that they would have looked upon such people as ‘woo-woo’.  Now they are basically ‘woo-woo’ themselves! And they look at me as the instigator  🙂

My point is that once you wake up to life, live life in the moment, and choose to find joy rather than living life through a lens of negativity, your experience of life changes dramatically.

To live joyfully means:

  • to pay attention to the present moment
  • to try to live without judgment
  • to be grateful for the wonderful things in your life
  • to notice even the smallest and seemingly mundane things in life, like appreciating how you have a roof over your head, or that you can enjoy your cup of coffee in the morning, or how your body carries you through your day.
  • to choose your perspective on life
  • there is so much more… what else can you think of?

And does not necessarily mean:

  • you are living in the clouds and are not grounded
  • a religious connotation
  • to ignore the bad things in life
  • that you are jumping up and down and happy all the time

We are all human and even people who live joyfully are not happy 100% of the time. To experience the ups and downs and emotions of life is to be human. But when we have a grounded perspective of life and choose joy over suffering, our human experience is so much better.

So if you ever scoff when you see people who live joyfully or when you see a touching quotation about the beauty of life, stop for a moment and be curious why you do that. Maybe, just maybe, there is something about this joyfulness stuff?

If you want to get into this subject in a much deeper way, here is a wonderful interview with Dr. Wayne Dyer called Seven Secrets of a Joyful Life.

Create a wonderful day,

~Wendy

How meditation helps in hard times

Meditation on the dock

Meditation is an important life skill that helps in hard times. In fact, it helps at any time. It brings more meaning and joy to life.

When you read this list of what life circumstances have been helped by meditation, I think you’ll resonate with at least one or two.

This post is about the many people I have seen first-hand who have learned meditation and made it a life practice.  Some meditate regularly to keep their lives more ‘even’ & enjoy life more, and some only meditate when life gets challenging.

There are so many reasons why people meditate, and for those of you who have not tried meditation, you probably have a preconceived idea of what it is – which may be right or wrong.

Here are some of the situations where meditation has helped people significantly enough that they told me about it:

  • Co-worker stress – dealing with people at work who are difficult, treat others badly or are just miserable to be around.
  • Work stress – dealing with changes in their job.
  • Work stress – managing high workloads and long hours.
  • Cancer – getting through the treatments, and the emotions during the treatments and afterwards.
  • Anxiety – calming themselves and lessening the feeling of panic and anxiousness.
  • Family responsibilities – finding some calm in the day-to-day running around taking care of kids and the household.  Taking care of aging parents.
  • Life events – finding peace in the stress of weddings, break-ups, loved ones passing away, accidents.
  • Depression – rising up from feeling like nothing matters and lacking motivation to do anything. Some have reduced or eliminated their medication.
  • And here’s one you may not expect to see….  having apathy for life. Doing ‘ok’ in life but not having passion for anything. Life just happens and is rather dull.  Meditation has helped them create a sense of identity to something bigger than themselves.

This is just a shortlist of the most common things people share with me where meditation helps them in hard times.  The benefits are endless.

There are many types of meditation techniques.  I find that in hard times, the type of meditation that helps the most are ones where you feel connected to something bigger than yourself.  When you feel ‘oneness’ with the world around you, you feel connection and energy that brings meaning and strength to your life.

Meditation is something that is best learned by being guided by a skilled facilitator. Most people do not find learning meditation easy by reading a book or listening to an audio CD.   Like most things in life, if you find the right instructor, your experience can be wonderful.

~Wendy