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Shift From A Life Of Desire To A Life Of Appreciation

A life of desire is a fearful life, one in which the mind is always whining, "What about me?," "When am I going to get what I want?" We defend this fearful orientation, not realizing it presupposes a pitiful vision of who and what we are. A life of appreciation is not fear oriented.I recently read about someone who had a day when he felt scattered and couldn't relax. He tried exercise. Friends suggested several meditation techniques -- breathing, visualizing, chanting -- all presented from the perspective of satisfying the desire to feel comfortable and to relax. Nothing worked, perhaps, he thought, because he forgot some steps.

He had a terrible time.What if he had given up all hope of feeling comfortable? ("Forget about it!") When practicing appreciation, desires, ironically, get satisfied effortlessly. This means he would have more easily relaxed if he had appreciated the breath instead of trying to use the breath to relax. If he had appreciated the movements called "exercise," instead of trying to use exercise to relax, he would have relaxed.

If he had done the steps of the meditation with appreciation, even though steps were forgotten, he would have relaxed. Treating objects around him with appreciation as if he had encountered them for the first time would have relaxed him.In each of these examples, the focus and effort is on appreciating something versus trying to use something to satisfy a desire. When we extend out in appreciation and communication, not just to others, but also to this body, this mind, and to objects dropping the notion of "me" and "mine," we connect with life, and life's response is balancing and healing.As an exercise, pick some task in your life - an easy one, and do it every day with full attention at the same time of day if possible.

Appreciate that you are infusing the task with your precious life force -- your energy and attention. If you wish, take the attitude that you are blessing the objects and the activity with your attention and life force. Appreciate that your effort is an act of creation. You may want to keep a journal of your thoughts, discoveries, and evolving experience.


Jack Elias, a Clinical Hypnotherapist in private practice, is founder and director of The Institute for Therapeutic Learning, a licensed Vocational School in Seattle that trains and certifies Transpersonal Clinical Hypnotherapists. Jack presents a unique synthesis of Eastern and Western perspectives on the nature of consciousness and communication, teaching simple yet powerful techniques for achieving one's highest personal and professional goals. Since 1967, Jack has studied Eastern meditation, philosophy and psychology with masters such as Shunryo Suzuki Roshi and Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche. Before beginning his teaching and counseling career, Jack worked for 20 years in sales, marketing and financial planning.

Jack offers dynamic experiential workshops and seminars, and his Finding True Magic courses are eligible for credit at various universities.

By: Jack Elias


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