Journey #94 – Latvia

In Tele2, Latvia which is a branch of one of a large telecommunication provider in Europe invited me to guide meditation and talked about Digital Detoxification, Mindfulness in Daily Life and Enhanced Creativity.

This was a full day training with 3 sessions in Riga, Latvia. There were in total 77 people joining the program. In brief, I talked about the nature of the mind and problems that might occur when the mind had to face different circumstances in our daily life, which are caused by how the lifestyle of people in the modern era has changed so much. 

If we don’t practice mindfulness, clean the mind through meditation, fix our bad habits and develop good habits, our mind will never be able to find peace and happiness and the overall working performance will decline.

But if we keep developing the quality of the mind by practicing mindfulness and meditation, we will also acquire wisdom from a still and peaceful mind that will lead to creativity, ability to make proper and effective decisions, confidence and no fear in any consequences. Participants felt peace and happiness when their mind stopped thinking for a moment. Many felt surprised that the meditation time was much shorter than the actual mind.

They felt relaxed, weightless, refined breathing as if they were not breathing, movements of the mind when it was still and inexpressible amount of love during loving kindness part of the meditation.

This is my forth time to be invited to BITE, which is also a telecommunication company in Latvia to speak about mindfulness and mental fitness.

I shared that the mind of everybody still has some impure elements, which can be called with different names: defilements, kilesas or viruses of the mind. If we don’t clean the mind, the mind can be controlled by these viruses and become weaker finally.

To improve the mental fitness, we need to do something the opposite like practicing generosity, self-discipline and also meditation.

 I guided a short meditation session to the employees for 35 minutes. Many of them felt peace, relaxed, light, spacious and warm from within. They said the session felt like 5-10 minutes although the actual time was 35.

Some had the feeling of floating. Although they were unable to move their body, that didn’t feel bad because their mind felt inner bliss.

Those who came on the previous years are still practicing until now. Some also recommend family members to meditate. The company also will provide a meditation room for their employees to relax and release tension during their intense working hours.

In the Digital Freedom Festival, which is an annual event of Latvia, I was invited for the 3rd time in a row to teach meditation for higher working efficiency. 

I explained that this is not about working harder but smarter. We’re going to work less but achieve more. But in order to do so, there must be a systematic way of working. This is what many people lack.

They have so many things to do in life and unable to organise their living including cleaning, tidying up and organise their bedroom, bathroom, working space or even files in their computer resulting in a huge mess in their working style. 

They will unable to organise the files, their working priority and their time. Those who lack organisation typically have an unorganised mind that works the same way as a malfunctioning computer without proper reliability or even functionality. 

Meditation is there an effective way to organise our thoughts, create more clarity, give more space and bring more happiness to the mind. And this is thus a true digital freedom we who live in a digital era look for.

After the meditation practice, all participants felt relaxed and surprised that the meditation time was actually 30 minutes. 

They felt light, peace and warmth from within. Some shared that they had started regular meditation practices since my workshop in the previous year and got different experiences like body disappearance, expansion, or refined breathing.

At Zikurāts, Riga, Latvia, I gave a talk “finding happiness through inner peace” for 33 participants. This is my third time in a row that I came to this place. I shared that normally happiness of people comes from being wealthy, being able to spend, having no debt and doing righteous work.

These sources of happiness, however, are still limited and can be expired. When we look at people or things around us, we usually compare who we are and what we have with them. Having much more wealth does not guarantee more contentment.

Thus, we should look back inside and find inner stillness. This allows us to experience a moment of clarity that the three viruses of the mind can’t control it resulting in a liberated mind that does not endlessly crave, get angry easily and become delusional.

This leads to a state of true freedom, which is a kind of more refined and unexpired happiness. If we keep meditating until the mind becomes brighter, the mind will understand the truth of life, accept and let things that are not critical to our life go away.

This gives us unconditional happiness that we can find on our own from within.

The participants felt relaxed and peaceful during the meditation. Some felt light like flying. Although they meditated for 40 minutes, they felt 15. Some felt that the body started to dissolve and disappear … only brightness, pure and peaceful energy remain.

I went to guide meditation in the Latvia National Library (LNB) for three years in a row. This time there were approximately 100 people overbooked the seats so we had to move from their meditation room to a seminar room. Some participants also came from last years as well.

This time many felt relaxed and got various positive experiences. Many people felt relaxed. Some people felt less time. Some said the moment of inner peace was excellent. Some felt that they were not breathing.

Some didn’t hear the monk’s voice or the voice was fading away. Many could imagine sun clearly, brightly. They could also feel the peace energy flowing and expanding to the whole space around them. I also present about creativity that when we meditate our mind becomes cleaner and more organised. As a result, we will have more space int he mind for better idea to come out.

The mental clarity or at some point brightness also shows differences between what idea is right and what is not. The relaxed feeling during meditation also gives us proper mood to unleash better ideas with ease.

And the ability to let go helps us detach from old ways of thinking that do not work. When we meditate regularly, we will develop “intuition” naturally both when our eyes are open and closed.

Latvia University (LU), I guided a meditation session for people who are interested in the topic “how to become a better version of myself”. I shared that normally we all want to change but changes do not come easily.

That’s because many people try to focus on solving external obstacles but the real obstacle that prevents us from changing is an internal one. We have two kinds of inner enemies we have to overcome 1) viruses of the mind 2) bad habits that we created on our own. Both can control our mind when we are weak.

Meditation allows sediments in the mind to settle down until the mind becomes clearer and develops strength and wisdom that are critical to overcome both internal obstacles (the viruses and the bad habits) and external obstacles in the forms of sight, sound, odour, taste and touch. Overcoming internal obstacle also helps reduce the size of external ones and big problems seem to be smaller with clearer eyes.

Then I guided the meditation for 40 minutes and many felt surprised that they meditated that long.

They felt very relaxed as if they were not breathing at some point. Some felt intense energy. Some didn’t feel their head. Some felt the body become bigger. Some felt movement on different directions. But all shared the same feeling that they were fully rested.

Now they are ready to restart anytime when they face tough challenges and more confident that they will eventually become a better version of themselves.

At the Delphi room of the 2019 Digital Freedom Festival in Latvia, I was invited to guide a meditation session before the opening ceremony of this signature event that will discuss the latest trends and discoveries in digital technologies, as well as their impact on startups and corporations, policy making, and modern lifestyles.

This year the event also added a theme about digital detoxification and the use of mindfulness to create a present moment “right here right now”.

This will enables digital citizens to have a peaceful mind although they are overloaded with information that try to get our attention and take space from our mind. I shared that although our mind can be distracted easily and think about hundreds thoughts in a hour.

But it will only think about one thought at a time. If we can lengthen the moment and stay with one thought longer, that’s going to bring us the life back.

But to do so, we need to find the balance between relaxation and concentration. With this principle, meditation helps us develop concentration and let go of unnecessary thoughts from the mind. Then I guided a short meditation and the audience felt peace and relaxed although the meditation time was only 20 minutes.

LP John a.k.a Monk John, who once a pianist, a photographer, and a computer programmer, has become a Theravada Buddhist Monk for 12 years after finished his PhD in Telematics. With the knowledge from his tech background, he has pioneered in developing the biggest free online self-development and meditation platform that has users from over 200 countries and territories. He travels the world and gives his insights on mindfulness, meditation and Buddhist philosophy for detoxing, balancing and enriching life of the modern world to individuals, NGOs, government agencies, universities, and companies (such as Google, Orange, Ogilvy, Teamwork, etc.) in 65 countries.

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