Categories
Anecdote Guest Post Personal Growth Train of Thought

Guest Post: Peace is a Choice by Alleyn Kane

Under the guidance of a Tae Kwon Do master, I had my first profound realisation with meditation

Alleyn is a writer, martial artist, and meditation practitioner. He has lived in and travelled throughout east Asia where he feels right at home. Until he finishes the novel that will unite humanity, bring world peace, and enlighten the universe, you’ll find him online, grafting as copy writer.

Throughout my life, I at times struggled with anger and anxiety. Rather serendipitously, I found the Korean martial art, Tae Kwon Do, or rather it found me, in my youth and set me on a different path. Through Tae Kwon Do, I was first introduced to meditation. Like all martial arts, Tae Kwon Do teaches self-control, so meditation compliments training perfectly.

Meditation was always practiced at the beginning and end of each Tae Kwon Do class. Our teacher used it as a tool to help us focus on our training and self-control. As an overthinker, I found it almost impossible to quieten my mind for long, so meditation became a battle. I spent most of the time scolding myself for not having immediately mastered the skill.

About a year into my training, I attended a Tae Kwon Do camp in Wales where I was introduced to my teacher’s teacher – a Tae Kwon Do master. Each morning, before training, the master led us on longer, more complex guided meditation journeys. It was during one of his sessions that something clicked for me and I was able to experience the power of meditation for the first time.

As we lay on the ground, the master guided us through an energy light-field meditation. We imagined that we were surrounded by pure white light and as we breathed in, this energy entered and filled our bodies. I could see the light, I could feel it enter and revive me, I felt completely calm, and I was able to resist the urge to follow my thoughts. Like never before, I was completely focused and at peace. I knew that something special was happening. All sense of time and the outside world slipped away. There was only the blissful feeling of calmness and the image of myself surrounded by light.

Eventually, our master brought us back. He said something that I have never forgotten. He told us to register the feeling of peace, to put a pin in it. He said that whatever peaceful state we were in at that moment was always present within us. He told us that we had opened a road within our minds to this state and that the road was always open, no matter what is going on around us. It was an incredible moment of realisation for me.

In the years since, I have continued to practice meditation outside of Tae Kwon Do. And although I am more experienced, that moment still stands out for me. Understanding that inner peace is a choice is what made the experience so profound. Once we know and accept that, we can choose to return to it, we can choose how to act, and we can choose not to let our emotions control us. Realising that we have a choice is the key to empowerment, self-control, and growth. Of course, it’s easy to say and difficult to practice. As humans, we are driven by our emotions. We are all prone to panic and anger, it’s an easier route for our brains to take. But by practicing meditation we can open a path to peace and self-control. And the more you open the path, the more likely you are to travel it.

Just knowing that a calm and controlled state exists within and is available at any time is a powerful first step towards self-mastery and a happier, more peaceful way of life. It’s simply a matter of choice.

Categories
Anecdote Meditation

Random Driving: An Accidentally Discovered Exercise of Following the Heart

A majority of you are probably listening to spiritual youtubers(probably more so given this current era) and come across that annoying monthly Mindvalley advertisement 😉 This month’s amazing advertisement came from Jeffrey Allen’s course on what I call “Doing cool shit with energy”. Usually I would hit the skip button because it’s an ad. As usual, the Universe decided to speak in many ways and this time it chose to speak through a Youtube Ad. It goes to show that nothing is inherently evil and everything still contains the divine spark that imbued it with existence and life.

Back to the topic, Jeffrey Allen spoke of “Following his heart no matter what” and the most amazing experiences that followed. He cites that his decision to follow his heart has led to his career of teaching meditation. Basically, he was given a promotion in his engineering company, but they couldn’t not afford to give me a pay raise. So his manager told him to simply ask for something else. So his heart told him to get roughly around a “month’s vacation paid” and the month of May off. When he went to see his friend, another friend came. Lo and behold she taught a spirituality class and needed someone else to teach. Lo and behold, she needed someone for the month of May.

The Universe does really know what to give to you if you let it. The Universe respects Free Will, you have the right to be unhappy.

Learning to navigate from within

Just yesterday I was doing some shenanigans with my friend and when he dropped me off, I realized that my backpack was left in his trunk. So I had to drive all the way back to his house which has a very very very suburban layout. It was the kind of neighborhood that had to tune the speed limit down to 25, but should really have it at 20 or even 15 given some of the crazy antics the roads do to comply with the terrain.

I have always used a GPS to go to his house. And I have only driver there twice without giving much attention to which turns-not that I had the option to.

I decided to try an experiment and simply drive to his place without a GPS(was it because I was feeling pretty lazy after an afternoon of chilling? Likely). So I stood before the labyrinth and started moving. For some reason, my heart told me to take a left instead of right. The only thing I remember was that the GPS would tell me to go right. I followed.

The roads were unfamiliar and the terrain made me feel hostage but I refused to turn on the GPS. I simply felt that I should take this road or that. I could even feel alternative routes.

The interesting things is that I intended to use my heart and not just my mental instincts. I could feel that I should just take that turn and everything would be alright.

I make it to his house and get the backpack, had a nice short talk and started to head home. Getting outside of his neighborhood is generally harder than getting inside. It’s only of those places where the roads look completely different when you go the other way on them. Nevertheless, I made it in with my heart, perhaps I would make it out.

Just the same way, I felt which turns to take and when I should make them. It is rather odd both known what to do and feeling completely clueless at the same time.

Falling from grace

I decided to continue the exercise and start driving around to see some beautiful scenery. Unfortunately, I started overanalyzing and started getting further from being in tune with my heart and head to turn back.

To follow your heart is a rather delicate thing. You have to be there, but not be there too much. You have to let it speak(well, let you speak). You have to shut up(your mind) and see what infinite wisdom awaits you.

Basic Gist

This is a very simple exercise. Just go drive around and intend to go somewhere. Maybe you want to see a beautiful scene of nature or come across a lemon tree(when life gives you lemons). Perhaps you want to find a good restaurant or come across a friend or be at the right place at the right time for something amazing to happen.

Then take a deep breath, silence you mind and feel from your heart. You’ll feel a certain tug to a certain road. Don’t analyze it, just follow it. The moment you start analyzing and second guessing yourself, you are losing your connection with the wisdom of the heart.

Since you are no longer navigating what is likely unfamiliar roads with the wisdom of the heart, you should probably use your mind or a GPS and call it a day. The more you practice, the more skilled you will become at following your heart.

Also, if your “heart” tells you to crash the car, for the love of all, double check! Chances are you’re not diving deep enough. Expect to have a pull to go down that unfamiliar road, you might discover something beautiful.

Life is a Highway

Life is like a really long drive. There are so many crossroads, highways and hazards. Despite the power of the GPS and the mind, it is best to simply follow your heart from a state of love because it will lead you to more love. As you forge on and gain experience, you will be able to drive yourself in daily life where everything just works perfectly. Even things that bug you turn out to be a blessing in disguised-even that blown radiator cap.

Cool public domain picture sources:
Awesome highway into the Amazing Sun
Cool pic of road with sun