Thursday, September 25, 2014

What Makes You Who You Are?

What is your personal vision in life?  What drives and motivates you to think and do what you do?  In my 60+ years of life many influences and experiences have formed me into who I am.  In addition to these outside forces that have formed me, I have also tried to form myself into a certain kind of person.  My personal vision for the kind of person I want to be and for the way I try to act is rooted in spirituality.  I have found teachings in both western and eastern spirituality that I believe in and which I strive to incorporate into my daily life.  These are basically love, kindness, and compassion.  It is not always easy to practice and live these virtues.  One way in which I try to re-calibrate myself each day is meditation.  I generally do this in the mornings when I am more awake and alert.  These meditations are not complicated.  It does not involve a mental checklist of all my successes and failures.  My morning meditations involve silence, stillness, focus on my breathing, and a little reading.  The purpose of this time goes beyond just having a few minutes of peacefulness before I begin my day.  Meditation and other spiritual practices are like physical exercise.  You don’t necessarily enjoy the experience.  However, the daily experience, over time, gets you into shape for the demands of daily living.  The basic intent of my daily meditation is to keep me awake.  When I am awake, I am aware.  When I am aware, I am alert.  When I am alert, I can intentionally practice love, kindness, and compassion.  When I am not awake, aware, or alert, I will not always do these things.  Meditation keeps my personal vision alive and on the job.

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