Self-knowledge and mindfulness gives you control over your life. Because to a large extent you determine yourself what your life looks like. We are however not always aware of our choices. If you want to change something in your life, but you keep on doing the same thing you always do, nothing will change. Gain precious self-knowledge because it enables you to make better choices in your life. Because if you choose consciously then you can choose for a more valuable and happier life. Can you only acquire this valuable self-knowledge with great difficulty?
How do you gain self-knowledge?
In many spiritual movements the focus is on hard and long-term work. Because acquiring the desired self-knowledge is difficult. Some monks fast for weeks and meditate for 20 hours a day. Drinking, good food, sex and everything you can enjoy are strictly prohibited. If you immerse yourself in pleasure then that is very nice in the short term. But since you are busy with all those nice things, you no longer make conscious choices. You know what you like and what music you like to listen to, but do you also know why?
However, the reward for making truly conscious choices in your life is very large. The person who is aware, mindful and knows himself, really knows, has total control over himself and his life. Such a person can do anything. But how do you gain self-knowledge if 20 hours of meditation a day is not entirely your thing?
Self-knowledge is the beginning of all wisdomSocrates
Is life a problem?
My meditation teacher Osho once said that life is not a problem that needs to be solved, but instead it is a mystery and you are invited to live it. Being mindful is a matter of a change of perspective. Problems are by definition difficult and cause you to stagnate. They cause unrest and anxiety that blocks you.
Mysteries, on the other hand, are interesting. They make you move because you want to know what’s behind it. It stimulates your curiosity. If life is a mystery and not a problem, then perhaps there is no reason to stand still and doubt your way of thinking and your way of life. You travel through your life as an adventurer. Being mindful in this way isn’t difficult. You will live your life to the fullest and no longer need to be reserved and lukewarm! Read more about an inspiring meditation exercise in this blog about the chocolate meditation.
Life is not a problem that needs to be solved, but instead it is a mystery and you are invited to live it.OSHO
Is developing self-knowledge always difficult?
It is certainly valuable to invest time and effort in acquiring self-knowledge, but is it always necessary to take the difficult path? Sometimes a new insight can arise in a fraction of a second. Days of hard work in which nothing of interest seems to happen and then suddenly for no reason (it seems) there is an insight. A hallelujah experience. Suddenly something important has been learned without it seeming to have taken time and effort. Do you know this feeling where you can suddenly see things from a different perspective? Why couldn’t understand that before? An insight that feels like a revelation? Where does such an experience come from?
Thoughts on the racetrack.
Time, effort and 3 weeks of fasting can definitely help you gain more self-knowledge, but you can also get stuck in it. Giving too much time and attention to certain thoughts can lead to thinking in circles and the more time you put in it, the more laps on the track are made. The thoughts are not new. They are like horses on the race track. No new horses are added to the track. The only question is who is going to win and at the end everyone is tired. If someone tells you not to think about it, it really doesn’t help, because if I say now “don’t think about your work after the weekend”, what do you think about? With grinding thoughts you do not acquire much self-knowledge.
Change your perspective.
What can be a great help is to change your perspective. As an organizer of sailing vacations, where reflection and meditation are important ingredients (link to agenda of catamaran Yemaya), I know that our sailing vacations can be a big help in this. Because when while sailing the wind blows the mists out of your mind, there is room for something new. However, there are also many other ways to change your perspective. For example, do something you have wanted to do for a long time, but you think you have no time or money for it. Give it to yourself as a gift. Enjoy it and enjoy yourself. The moment you enjoy yourself, you will automatically forget your grinding thoughts. Enjoying yourself is an important step to self-knowledge.
To be able to see clearly again, you often only have to change perspective.Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
Only if you are enjoying yourself you are able to look at yourself without convictions. You can you only really see yourself if you can look at yourself without judgements. Unfortunately this is not always as simple as it sounds. Seeing yourself “as you are” gives you a lot of self-knowledge. Acquiring self-knowledge is not difficult if you make a play about it. It can even be fun. You can search for the mystery within yourself. You can then let go of your judgements for a little while.
So I automatically acquire self-knowledge if I enjoy myself?
Do you gain self-knowledge by jumping out of an airplane with a parachute? Everything you can do to break through your regular patterns of life can help you to acquire self-knowledge. However, your mind or ego needs time to process the experiences. A new or exciting experience ensures that your thoughts are reset. However, if you do not do anything with the reset, then as a computer program, the thoughts will just restart when your life returns to normal. Your mind needs time and a method to process new experiences and insights. Sleep alone is not enough here. That helps to equip the horses on the racetrack. But after that the race just starts again and there are stil no new horses added to the race track.
Open the doors of the racetrack!
Instead of just resting, the doors of the racing track must be opened. Meditation (extensive article in wikipedia) is a good way to create space in your mind. That is why we offer meditation on our sailing holidays. These meditations are meant to bring yourself back to your source or core. However, you can also start meditation yourself by sitting in silence for a while every day. Let the thoughts pass like clouds in a clear blue sky, but do not follow them. Don’t stop them and don’t keep them in your mind. Every now and then there will be a moment without thoughts. These are moments of great value. You are very welcome to share your experiences with us! There is a space to do so on the end of this article.
Acquire self-knowledge in a joyful way.
New, unusual experiences in combination with meditation can give a huge acceleration in gaining self-knowledge. This is not at all heavy. On the contrary. It can even be fun! And without having to fast for 3 weeks. Wake up, enjoy and live the mystery!
Let the wind take you to the right place.
We have set up the Yemaya mindfulness journeys because we want to help you find the mystery and the pleasure in yourself. With sailing catamaran Yemaya we can discover the most beautiful new places together. Because the great thing about sailing is that nature itself, through the wind, takes you to the right place. A place to unwind. The opportunity to rediscover yourself. A place to enjoy each other and especially yourself. Allow yourself this pleasure! You are very welcome to contact us if you have any questions. Or check our agenda for a suitable trip.