Spring cleaning for the mind

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By Ingrid Crane

A worried mind lives in the future. An unhappy mind lives in the past. A peaceful mind lives in the present. Or, to add a little lighthearted wisdom from the Jewish Buddhist: “Be here now. Be someplace else later. Is that so hard?”

Spring signifies rebirth and rejuvenation. What better time to follow Jesus’ injunction: “Do not conform to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind.”

One way of renewal is to let go of the tendency to want to control and to release our attachment to outcome. Make time to be in nature and watch how life unfolds anew. There’s a trust and a knowing that the universe provides without our having to interfere.

All we have to do is appreciate the beauty and the order of things by elevating our senses and tuning in to a higher frequency, whether that be praise, prayer or meditation. Right now – pause. Take a slow, deep breath, relax and smile. This one conscious act provides fresh air, mental clarity and inner lightness.

Meditation renews the mind. It’s not something you do. Rather, you create a favorable environment for meditation to arise.

Find a place with the least distraction. Be comfortable and steady in whatever sitting position you take, with the spine erect but not stiff. (If sitting still is too challenging, walking meditation is a perfect option.) Be still and focus your awareness on the breath with determination. As soon as you notice the mind wandering off, immediately return to the sensation of breathing.

Suzuki Roshi said, “Just sit!” Whatever outside disturbance exists, let it be part of the meditation without resistance! Practice religiously!

First thing in the morning is the most auspicious time. You might even hear the music of the soul, and from this deep place within, you find the greatest source of strength and inner peace, so listen carefully.

Lao Tzu said: “To the mind that is still, the whole Universe surrenders.”

As spring unfolds, reflect upon the last four seasons. Perhaps our health was compromised. Maybe we lost a loved one. We can learn from these life lessons that this human experience is fleeting and precious and if we cling, we suffer. We can then make wiser choices, taking better care of ourselves and resolving to do the things that are fulfilling rather than through obligation. (“To thine own self be true” – William Shakespeare).

Just as we prune shrubs and rake leaves, we can spring-clean our minds, letting go of attitudes and beliefs that clutter our consciousness: fears and prejudices that prevent our seeing reality as it is. These are limiting beliefs and contrary to the laws of nature, which are ever-expansive and inclusive.

When we are clear and present to receive each moment, our light shines brightly and we are able to manifest the glory of God that is within us and life unfolds in the most harmonious way. May peace be yours in all ways.

Ingrid Crane is a certified yoga instructor, Reiki and Thai massage practitioner and can be reached at 854-7950.