In order to explain how our minds work and what happens to the mind when you meditate, it is common to use the metaphor of the pond.
Your deepest self is at the bottom of the pond and, during your normal life, you try to watch it; however, the water in the pond is full of waves and moving sand due to the flow of life, so it is not possible to see anything. With meditation, the mind begins soothing, the water starts being calmer and calmer, so the waves and the sand gradually go away, allowing you to see deeper and deeper.
A basic explanation of this metaphor is that this movement of the water represents our mind that, absorbed in the daily tasks and issues, never comes out from a structured set of continuous thoughts. Only when you soothe your mind, you can start realizing how this flow of repetitive thoughts drives the manner you perceive reality; then, with relaxation exercises and meditation, you begin controlling this flow and discovering your deepest self.
This metaphor of the pond can be extended to explain the first five steps of the Centered Life Model:
Step 1: understand and train your mind
In order to improve your life, you want to move to the other side of the pond, so you need to see clearly your deepest self at the bottom of it, in order to be able to walk across. To do it, you need to understand and train your mind and to make the pond calm and clean. You can achieve this with relaxation exercises, meditation and other tools.
Step 2: discover who you are
The pond is deep, so you have to find some stones to walk on. These stones are a picture of your deepest self. In the Centered Life Model, these stones are represented by the discovery of the self and of the ego. Each one of these stones has a precise meaning.
The stones representing the self are:
- Your values
- Your preferences
- Your talents
- Your flaws
- Your inner self
- Your life objectives
- Your relationship with others
The stones representing the ego are:
- Your representation of reality
- The images of you imposed by others
- Survival and escape from suffering
- Research of power and pleasure
Actually, it took to me more than ten years to build and validate the Centered Life Model, and almost 100 pages of my book are dedicated to explain the meaning of the list above with examples from everyday life. So please take this list as it is, and everything will make sense later-on following the blog and reading the life-transforming book “Brilliant well-being”.
Step 3: live in the moment
While walking on the stones, you realise how your mind is conditioned by your instincts and by your cultural background. Free from this conditioning, you start experiencing life as it is, in the present moment, looking at things from a brand new perspective.
Step 4 and 5: decide where to go -> take action
What do you find when you have finished walking on the stones? You are the only one who will know the details, because the path is yours and only yours. However, the metaphor is very helpful to explain what happens.
Once you have walked on the stones, you will have to decide amongst different possible life paths:
- You arrive to the other side of the pond. You find a better place to live, you build your house there and you come back to admire the beauty of the pond whenever you like.
- You are able to see deeper and deeper, so you decide to dive and to explore life under the water.
- You build a shelter on the beach and you often walk to the middle of the pond, enjoying the clear view of the bottom and helping the new people, who arrive to the pond, to find the stones and their own path.
Step 6 – continuous development toward finding your way in life
In this circumstances, your deepest self and your path match, so you live your life mindfully. The direction you have taken allows you to express your potential, in line with your values, so each new step you take is in the direction of real success and happiness.
Step 7 – bring value in your relationship with others
Along this path, your being becomes so fulfilled, that it becomes natural for you to give something positive to the people around you, you help everyone who arrives to the pond, you convince people to visit the pond.
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