Tag: buddha

05.21.2020 /

How meditation has saved my life

I woke up at 7am. Brushed my teeth. Sat in my meditation spot. Set the meditation timer (calm app) for 20 minutes and closed my eyes. The same routine I’ve done for the last 3 years of my life.

After completing my 1304th+ session (252 hours 44+ minutes), I received a text from my long time friend, Kevin.

“Happy World Meditation Day” he said.

I didn’t even know this day existed. But to honour what it has done for my life, it is only fair that I share with you how it has saved mine.

It has become a daily ritual that I must do everyday. Just like physical training has changed my body, meditation has strengthened my mind. Learning to find the calm amidst the noise has helped me with my anger, depression and anxiety, the most.

How so?
By helping me become present in the moment, where the past and future don’t matter. I used to live in the past AND present. I would relive painful situations/memories and recreate the same emotions over and over and over. Sometimes still do.

But what is that actually doing for me except create disease of the body and mind? We aren’t truly living until we can be present. In this moment. Right now. I learned when the Dr. told us that my father had 4 weeks to live. Sitting in the hospital with him, everything became so clear. Nothing else mattered, the money, recognition and material things. The only thing that mattered was each moment that we had left with him.

You are not your thoughts,
You have thoughts

This really changed my world: I am not my thoughts. Meditation gave me the space to seperate myself from the thoughts in my head. Learning to let them pass by like the wind and not let them take me away and spin crazy (untrue) made up stories in my head.

It has also really helped me tone down my anger. I am by no means perfect and have lots of work to do, but I have come a very long way. And for that I am so proud of myself. It has helped me build a buffer around my thoughts so that I can respond, instead of react to situations or things that would normally have made me explode in anger.

It also really helped me slow down. To be present with each conversation, each task without trying to multi-task 5 different things at once.

There are some good sessions. Some really hard sessions. Some sessions where I wasn’t present at all. But what I learned is that it is not about how ‘good’ you are at meditating and understanding that everyday is different. The most important part is just the simple act of sitting down and spending time with yourself. Building self awareness through quieting the mind.

I used to get mad at myself. Ruminating about the past. Worrying about the future. Then the timer goes off. But now I know that it is part of the practice. Just like anything, it’s the consistent, disciplined repetition of a simple habit that has profound change.

The stats of my meditation practice I mentioned up above is to not brag. It is to show you how one simple act, everyday, adds up. Daily training of the mind compounds and can truly rewire the brain and change it for the good.

It doesn’t take much:

  1. Set it in your calender: Same time everyday. I do it first thing in the morning, which I found works best for me. All you need is 5 minutes.
  2. Make it easy: have a spot set up for you to do it, so there’s no excuses.
  3. Start with guided meditation – Apps like (calm, headspace, waking up) are amazing to get you started.
  4. Have an intention and purpose of why you’re doing it – Commit yourself to it.

Now here we are, 3 years later, after my first 2 minute meditation session. And I haven’t looked back. Again, by no means am I perfect. I have my good days and my bad. But I’m human. And as humans we all make mistakes but, in my opinion, it is our duty to learn from them and make this world a better place. Internally and externally.

I am beyond grateful for meditation. It is hard at times, very hard, but this is a practice I am dedicated to continue, everyday, for the rest of my life.

The best part of it. It’s FREE.

Grateful,
Steve Ramos

02.27.2020 /

Happiness

Where do you find happiness?

For the longest time, I had been searching for happiness.

I thought that if I got to a certain job, made a certain amount of money and got a nice car I’d be happy. I thought that if I got my body to look a certain way, if I could get a certain girl and if I got respect from others, then I’d be happy.

I had been placing my happiness in someone or something else, expecting that it would give me the happiness I had always searched for. The funny thing is, once I got those things I wasn’t any happier. In fact, I felt even worse. 

I was truly fed up with my life. I was fed up with how I felt. I was fed up with my job. I wanted change so bad because I knew I was destined for more.

Most of all, I just wanted to be happy. I prayed to God everyday and asked him for help. Asked him to help me find happiness.

What I came to realize was that I had been searching for happiness in everything else, except myself. 

“(un)Fortunately, life puts us in a corner where we can’t run anymore and we have to look within.”

– Jay Shetty

I couldn’t run anymore. I had to face my own shit.

I had to learn to love myself, first. It was hard. Really hard. I had to learn to let go of the past that was holding me down. I had to learn to forgive myself of all my past mistakes. I had to learn to forgive all those I blamed and understand their side. Have empathy and compassion for them and know that they they tried their best.

We are all humans who make mistakes and sometimes the decisions we make, whether we are aware or not, can affect someone, positively or negatively, for the rest of their lives. To continue to put blame on them was childish. What happened, already happened. It’s done.

“I can’t change it.”

Is what I repeated to myself. So I stopped beating myself up and decided to change how I thought and I felt about it. 

We have the choice to relive an old painful moment over and over. This can give our mind and body the emotional response that it is still happening. The body doesn’t know any different. This can cause disease and chronic pain. 

Or we can actively choose to live in the present moment, where nothing is wrong. We can choose to focus on the positive in our lives, all that we are grateful for which can have the opposite effect. It can give us joy, peace and happiness. It can give us the space we need, to let it go.

Once I accepted the problem, forgave myself and others and decided to take ownership, my world changed. It felt lighter. It felt like I shed the weight of carrying the world on my shoulders. 

The crazy thing is, the whole time I was searching for happiness it was there the whole time. I just had to move past the clouds, walk through the storm. And at the end of it was sunshine.

Happiness is a choice, not a result. Nothing will make you happy until you choose to be happy. No person will make you happy unless you decide to be happy. Your happiness will not come to you. It can only come from you.

Buddha said it best:
When the Student is Ready, the Teacher Will Appear

When you are ready to look inside and really dig deep, you’ll find the happiness you’ve always searched for. 

I believe in you.

Love,
Stephen Albert Ramos
#teamfitpak

Grateful for you.