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Life Lessons for a Modern Peaceful Warrior

Most of the battles we have will be with ourselves. The strength to fight and win these battles can at times be very elusive: torn between what we should do and what we want to do, can leave us exhausted.

We strive to live the life we want but giving up the pleasures of the moment can seem like a high price to pay for what we want in the future. The extra time in bed, not training, having that little bit more food all seem so tempting at the time, but when you review your day you wish you had had more willpower.

At times I fight with myself, all be it in my head! Unhappy with the choices I make, but then who is the ‘I’ that made the choice! It certainly wasn’t me!!

So it seems like we have two parts to us all: the person we are and the person we want to be, and the secret is to align both and end the struggle. But how does that work?

When I meditate i have 100’s of random thoughts enter my mind. Sometimes I get caught up in them and follow them, engage with them and then snap out of them - only to ask “what was that all about?” If you have tried meditation you will have had the same issues. Most people quit because it’s too hard and they don’t see the point.

Well it is hard, but that’s the way life is. It’s hard and it’s unfair and, of course, bad things do happen to good people - so what should we do?

I have read many books taken a lot of courses and lectures on meditation and mindfulness and the simplicity is - all you do is clear your mind and the complexity is “that is so hard to do.”

But you’re trying to get your mind to do something for 10 minutes that you don’t do the rest of the day - in fact the rest of your life!! - and you expect it to work??

You just can’t switch thoughts off and on. If you have an agitated mind through the day, you will have it while you meditate. It’s always there; it’s always on - it’s just that you don’t see it until you sit quietly.

So it’s not about being mindful for 10 minutes its about integrating it into your life.

10 minutes all at once can be difficult, but 10 x 1 minute mediations may be just what you need to train your mind to ease back a little. Just 10 minutes of doing nothing just breathing 10 breaths in 10 breaths out. If a thought comes in (and I know it sounds odd) just thank it and let it pass. If you get caught up in it, then no big deal - there’s always the next time. Slowly it will become easier.

Don’t beat yourself up if you make a mistake. There’s enough people out there to do that for you - just know that it will get better. People overestimate what they can do in a day and underestimate what they can do in a lifetime.

I’m always unsure if I get across what I want to when I write. I try to simplify what I found quite difficult when I started. Any comments from those in the know would be gratefully received.

David Toney

Teacher/Author

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