In a recent online workshop I took from Deepak Chopra, “Healing the Whole Self”, he ended the program with a meditation focusing on four questions for the soul. I found these questions to be very impactful and important as I continue to follow and discover My Path to Zen. Everything I read, each class I take or meditation I sit for enriches and deepens my spirit and my life. I enjoy learning new ways to expand, grow and connect to the universe, but the really fun part is living and putting it all into practice.
Deepak’s 4 Questions for your soul:
Get comfortable, sitting or laying down as you would for meditation. For each of the questions below relax and be receptive to whatever comes to you. For the first question try to be in the presence of your Being/Spirit which is different from your ego. For the other questions, be open and allow any sensation, image or thought flow to you. Breathe and repeat each question until you feel satisfied and are ready move on. You might want to record your answers or write down what came to you afterwards.
- Who am I?
- What do I want?
- What is my purpose?
- What am I grateful for?
I hope you find this as helpful as I did. As a yoga teacher once told me, “We’re perfect just the way we are, we just need a little work.” ♥
Finding joy in the present moment is a big part of finding Zen.
Living in the moment and not letting our ego get in the way of our true self is a key to a fulfilling life. But sometimes ego trips us up. For me, it will pull up an unpleasant memory or be so focused on the clock or what’s next that I’m not living and enjoying what’s in front of my face. When I’m in my grove and tuned in, it’s been kind of exciting & liberating to live from a deeper level where I am open and truly connected to the present. But of course I’m far from perfect, I slip up. Taking a stumble is normal and a wonderful opportunity to take a look at what happened and find out why. Below is a perfect example…
Another Costco Story…
A week or so ago my husband and I were at Costco. It’s kinda my place, and he usually doesn’t go with me. But lately we’ve been stopping by on the way to or from the beach. If you know Costco, you know there are rules of the road, so to speak. He is a novice and I’m trying to help him learn…some days go better than others. On this day he didn’t really want to be there which I was sensitive to and trying to hurry (note to self: next time ask if he’d rather wait in the car). I’m navigating the aisles like a pro being as efficient as possible. As I head to the checkout, I scope out and choose what I think will be the fastest line. As I settled in, there was a woman on her phone, earbuds in, not paying any attention. The space between her and the counter was getting wider and she wasn’t putting her groceries on the belt, so I gently tapped her on the shoulder, smiled and motioned her forward, which she did, no problem.
My husband quietly asked me why I asked her to move and suggested I didn’t need to do that. I explained why and that I didn’t think I was rude about it (which he agreed). He felt it would have worked out if I had just kept quiet. For some reason what he said irritated me. When we got to the car we talked it through and I thought we had it resolved. Seems it was resolved it for him, but not for me. Why? It seemed like such a silly thing.
What the heck!?!
A few days later I was driving to my son & daughter-in-love’s house to visit and felt this lump in my chest and tears on my face. I knew it was around the Costco incident but I was confused as to why. Buddhism teaches that we must examine our unpleasant emotions to understand them before we release them. I asked why was this affecting me like this, it’s ridiculous!! But it wasn’t ridiculous and it had very little to do with my husband. I realized that his comments brought up feelings of being controlled, manipulated and my judgement questioned. Holy cow! Once I recognized that’s what it was, it was such a relief and I released it. It was gone. I am NOT controlled or manipulated by anyone. And I usually have pretty good judgement. It was my ego that absorbed the comment and turned it into something different. It was like a light went on and I went back to being MY TRUE SELF!
One More Thing…
I’ve been out of commission for a while getting our taxes ready (yuk!) so now that’s done, you may be seeing me a little more. Stay tuned for a possible guest author about the mental health benefits of self-care.
Till next time…
Peace & Love,