This is an excerpt from one of my new chapters – The Five Secrets of the SweetSpot. Enjoy. Keep meditating. And I’ll see you in the gap!
I’d like to share with you a powerful set of tools that I use
right after I meditate to provide me with an evolving foundation for reflection, growth, and deeper understanding. Essentially, I have crafted my own set of personal sutras from the myriad translations of the teachings of the Old Testament, the New Testament, the Buddhist treatise of the Dhammapada, and the
ancient Vedic texts known as the Upanishads.
I use these sutras every morning in a process that is akin to planting intentions
like seeds in the fertile soil that rests within. By implementing
this post-meditation ritual over the past few years, I have had
a transformational shift at my core and learned to make more
conscious, nourishing choices in my life. I refer to this set of
meditation tools as the Five Secrets of the SweetSpot.
Here’s how it works. After I have sat in stillness and silence for
about 30 minutes, I drift my awareness to five personal expressions
of the universe that I would like more of in my life:
• Compassion, and
And I repeat each like a sutra—over and over and over for
about a minute and then drift to the next. Sometimes I find myself
in thought and then I’ll gently drift back to the sutra and begin
repeating it again. Sometimes I get lost among the sutras. That’s
okay. It’s sort of fun. When it happens, I’ll smile and start again
with whichever sutra appears in my awareness first.
I have found that silently repeating these sutras after coming
out of stillness and silence is a gentle process that eases my transition
from a state of restful awareness into more active awareness.
One powerful, tangible result is that these affirmations ripple
through my awareness all day long and before, during, and after
every interaction I have with the world outside of me—especially
in all my interactions with humans and animals. I also believe
that placing my attention on five principles that will help me grow
and will lead to a better life for me and everyone I touch. Whatever
happens, it’s five minutes of connection to principles that I
honor as core to a life of happiness.
Each of these “Secrets” also provides the perfect closure to
my morning meditation practice and have helped me to evolve
my transition into waking state. And at the deepest level, they
connect me to more universal aspects of myself so that I can more
fully experience life outside of meditation. In their most essential
way, the Five Secrets of the SweetSpot express the qualities I would
like more of in my life. Let me explain further:
Patience. The ability to be physically, emotionally, and mentally
restful yet alert while your senses ingest, your mind absorbs, and your
intellect digests, and then to intuitively act from a space of stillness.
Patience is not about being dogged in any sense of the word;
hence it is not about patiently persevering. It is about surrendering
to see what will unfold in a detached way . . . orienting yourself
away from the Self filled with expectations to the Self who is the
witness of the magnificent unfolding of life. Repeating this sutra
has allowed me to become a better listener.
Acceptance. The state of being open and receptive at the intellectual
and heart level so that whatever arises is welcomed and appreciated.
Acceptance is truly welcoming something into your being as a
friend would invite another friend into his heart, with arms wide
open, owning every moment of the experience. Accepting is
different from tolerating, which is more like allowing something
to enter your space rather than inviting it in. Do you see the
subtle difference? Repeating this sutra has allowed me to be more
open-minded to others’ points of view and receive love without
Defenselessness. The state of universality when there is no need or
urge to defend or promote yourself. When you are defenseless, nothing
can be taken personally because there is no person or ego to defend.
Being defenseless is not about being weak, and it’s not a state that
can only be experienced in meditation. It’s about not feeling
the need to impose your will, your personality, your persona, or
your point of view on something. It’s trusting so completely that
you realize tat tvam asi—“you are that”—every face you see is a
reflection of yours and ever thing you see is an expression of you.
You have no sense of I. You are simply the pure witness. Repeating
this sutra has allowed me to be more vulnerable and more secure.
Compassion. True compassion is the ability to be sympathetic and
empathetic, as well as have the desire to alleviate another’s pain and
suffering. Beyond living life at the level of “Do unto others as you
would have others do unto you,” compassion looks to heal others
even in instances when you would not heal yourself. There are
many people we like, even love, yet the depth of our compassion
for them is shallow. Perhaps fear, jealousy, resentment, guilt, or
anger color our perspective and each carries with it a certain
attachment that prevents true compassion.
There are many people and things we think we love, but often
it is because of our current relationship to them. Most likely, if the
relationship changed, so would your feelings about those people
or things. For example, let’s say you “love” your boss and he treats
you really well. But, if your boss fires you today, your feelings
about him or her would change. You might not be as forgiving
of previous actions you blessed because of your “attachment” to
him. You might even say that you don’t like him anymore since
you were fired. If your partner, fiancé, lover, or spouse came home
today and told you they were leaving the relationship, you might
not look upon them with the same level of forgiveness, support,
and sweetness as you did previously. Most likely, that’s because
you have more attachment to them rather than compassion for
them. Or perhaps you are confusing loving-kindness with a more
attached definition of love.
How can we know if we are feeling compassion about something
and are not simply attached? In the examples above, the
moment the relationship changed between you and your boss or
you and your partner, most likely so did the level of rooting for that
person. You stopped feeling the way you had. True compassion
is independent of attachment. Imagine if our compassion could
transcend our relationships and the attachment we have to them—
pure sympathy, pure empathy, and pure desire to help others heal.
Repeating this sutra has allowed me to be more empathetic.
Abundance. The perspective in which you realize that you are an
expression of the expansiveness of the universe. When we look to our
most genuine selves—beneath all life’s drama, and the moment-to-
moment conditioning we have self-imposed—we see that we
are rich in every way. We are open to wealth consciousness. We
are unconstricted, ever evolving, and pregnant with possibilities.
When we look really deep, we see that the fear, lack, and poverty
consciousness we embrace are indeed self-imposed or projected
upon us by what we read, what we hear, and what we see, but
that’s not who we are. We are open conduits for the magnificent
flow of the abundant cosmos. We are designed to experience our
most expanded universal aspects of Self. Repeating this sutra has
allowed me to feel more worthy in my smaller moments without
resisting out of fear.
Acknowledging these five characteristics as part of who I am
right after I have quieted my mind for 30 minutes allows the seeds
of these affirmations to settle into the stillness of my heart and
flow through my day with greater grace and ease. It’s one thing to
plant a seed in turbulent soil; the results are somewhat predictable.
But planting seeds in fertile, rich, still soil provides an entirely
As the remnants of the vibrations of those words continues to
ripple through my being at the most subtle level, they flow into
every fiber of who I am—my words, my thoughts, my deeds, my
beliefs, my stillness, my silence, my pure unbounded consciousness
. . . my essential being. And they become more of me as I
open my eyes after each meditation.”