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FEATURE - April 2017
Daily Practices to Build Sustainability From Within
by Aneta Baranek
Most often, sustainability is associated with making sure that our physical resources are used in the most proper and efficient way. Yet, there seems to be the inner realm of human existence that has not been included in the sustainability movement.
Long ago, scientists determined that we use less than 10% of our brains. How sustainable is that? How can we be going about our whole lives using only a fraction of our physical command center?
According to studies of Metaphysics and Mindfulness, it is the mind that actually controls our brains (not the other way around). To use the computer analogy, our mind is the software and the brain is the hardware. This is reflected in the first verse of the recorded teachings of the Buddha: “Our life is shaped by our mind. We become what we think.”
So, how can we use our most precious inner resource, our mind, more sustainably? Daily practice is the key. As we are able to hone our mind more and more, and produce larger gaps between our thoughts, we are able to more fully utilize this often untapped resource.
Here are three sustainable actions you can take, starting today, to utilize more of your inner power:
Once we set our full attention, including all of our five senses, on a single point, we experience undivided attention. When we hold the undivided attention for a prolonged amount of time on that same object, we then experience concentration.
Practice now if you would like. Use a timer (perhaps on your phone) and for one minute put your whole attention on a single point on the wall.
What did you notice? Was your mind racing and wanting to process thoughts not related to the present moment?
Concentration allows us to be fully vested in the now. With the undivided attention fully focused on the task at hand, you can complete anything in shorter amount of time and more efficiently and thus, become more productive, more relaxed, and more aware.
Meditation is a form of inward concentration based in listening and experiencing the inner self. Practicing meditation for at least fifteen minutes daily allows you to experience deeper connection with yourself and also with others. Through meditation, we often find answers for many deep questions. To begin your meditation practice, sit in a quiet place for fifteen minutes. After some deep breathing, concentrate your full attention on the point between your eyebrows and hold the attention on this point. Each time your attention drifts, simply bring it back to that same single point. Observe what comes up.
Meditation frees our mind and brain to be more tranquil and allows for any perceived stressors to dissipate. It also helps us to feel reenergized and more aware.
Recently, more and more studies are being published on how sport teams and individual athletes repeatedly use visualization to accomplish their goals. In fact, Dayton Moore, the General Manager for Kansas City Royals, confessed to visualizing a World Series parade through the Country Club Plaza in downtown Kansas City many years before it occurred in 2015.
In visualization, we hold in mind an image, a vision, of what we would like to accomplish in our lives. We use our imagination and feelings to project ourselves into circumstances we want to experience in real life. Visualization does not need to be elaborate. Ten minutes a day of concentrated efforts will go a long way. Create a believable desire and use your imagination to see it come to pass. The more you practice, the greater the probability of manifesting your desires.
Tapping into the inner resources of our mind increases our overall sustainability. As we stay connected to our inner self, gain more peace, and become more conscious and aware overall, we can then channel that expansion back into our outer expression. As we experience more inner care and love, we yearn to give it back to our environment and those around us. As within, so without.
May these practices, or at least one, bring out more inner sustainability within your life!
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While pursuing her Doctorate of Divinity degree through the School of Metaphysics, Aneta Baranek continues her research and study of self-actualization and self-realization. She also holds Master’s Degree from DePaul University in Computer Science. She has been serving as a spiritual teacher through the School of Metaphysics for the past eight years. She currently resides in Kansas City where she directs one of the branches of the School of Metaphysics. To find out more information about the School Metaphysics visit: http://www.som.org.