A practical mystic is someone with both feet firmly on the ground yet actively involved in their daily spiritual practice. My spiritual teacher Walt Baptiste often said that he wanted his students to be successful in both the material world as well as the spiritual. The idea of balancing both the material and the spiritual was integral to his teachings and he was a great example of this himself.
After reading my book The Tenth Door, many people ask me: How did you find the kind of discipline that was required to do what you did? At first, I was taken aback because I didn’t think of my love of yoga and the love for my teacher as discipline.
Who doesn’t enjoy belly laughing? What’s more fun and bonding than having a good laugh with someone? This spontaneous expression of joy turns out to have a cascade of positive effect on your mind as well as your body. And more good news is that there are no negative side effects.
You may have heard the saying “the mind is a wonderful servant, but a terrible master.” Well the same can be said for our emotions. One of the ultimate challenges in life is to learn to master our emotions so that they enrich our lives rather than rule our lives.
We all have had first hand experience of stress. It effects us on all levels: physically, mentally and emotionally. It can wreak havoc on the nervous system and zap us of our precious life force. It depletes the adrenal glands and can leave us exhausted coloring our world view and affecting our emotional state.
Did you know that in a typical day you think approximately 60,000 thoughts? What is even more astounding is that 90% of those thoughts you thought yesterday. Most of us would like to thinks we are constantly expressing creative thoughts and ideas, but apparently that is not the case! Psychology reveals that the majority of our thought patterns and beliefs are formed at a very early age and repeat themselves over and over throughout our lives.
The word Health comes from the old English word Wholth. It refers to the well-being of the whole person: body, mind and spirit. With the advent of mind-body medicine, the western world is embracing what Eastern Wisdom traditions have been teaching for thousands of years–that mind and body are inseparable. They are one. As you work toward healing the physical body by accessing the mental and spiritual realms, you will be activating healing energy on every level of your being.
How can we expect the world to be peaceful if we are not examples of this within ourselves? How can we expect the world to be at peace if we are not at peace? When we experience the deep peace at the core of our being, we become one with it and naturally radiate peace out into the world. As peacemakers, it is our responsibility to make a connection with our inner peace daily. Meditation brings us to our inner stillness.
Through cutting edge research in neuroscience and what we have learned from the most successful leaders of our time, we now know that self-mastery practices such as meditation are strongly linked to unprecedented levels of achievement. Studies show that consciousness-based practices actually change the workings of the brain, for significant shifts in how we perceive goals and challenges, focus our attention on solutions, and influence those around us. Extraordinary leaders master their inner environment in order to achieve greatness in the world around them.
Do you look for happiness in the achievement of your goals or by living true to your values?
According to happiness research 50% of our happiness quotient is a setpoint–what we are born with. Some people have high set points and some have low setpoints. Only 10% of happiness comes from the achievement of goals. The other 40% is under our voluntary control. This would include attitudes and values.