The Compass Blog

Easing into the New Year with Awareness

Kathi Noaker

I had the pleasure of ending 2017 with a wonderful 6 week online meditation class taught by a Tibetan Lama I’m very fond of – Mingyur Rinpoche. I know that not only do I feel better when I meditate daily, but I’m also more patient, kind and compassionate – and way less reactive. But I get lazy, and don’t always stick to the daily routine, so classes like this really help me to find my discipline and commitment again.

One of the teachings included a quote that has really stuck with me: “The world that we see is the mind that sees it.” This quote encompasses different levels of understanding. One interpretation brings an old expression to mind: “waking up on the wrong side of the bed”.  I doubt any of us are strangers to that occurrence. A state of mind that many times we can’t track back to it’s arising. It’s a state of mind that certainly can color the way we see the world that day!

The mind – trickster that it is – can have a mind of its own it seems, and can lead us down sunlit paths or dark hallways. Meditation helps us to see that all those thoughts and emotions that seem to be the captain of our ships are actually ephemeral and ever-changing. Spending time sitting quietly and being the watcher of our thoughts and emotions takes away their power to control us.

Regardless of religion, spiritual path, or none of the above, we all want to be happy. And learning how to be less reactive and more kind and compassionate leads us in the happiness direction. And even better than leading us towards that sunlit path, a study done in 2008 by researchers at Harvard University and the University of California, San Diego found that when a person becomes happy, a friend living close by has a 25 percent higher chance of becoming happier. And THAT could come in quite handy during your summer/winter season when you’re living and working closely with all your new friends!

Summer employers are pouring into the site with thousands of opportunities from Maine to California, Montana to Alaska. Now is the time to start applying!

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Tip: Make sure to keep a log of who you applied to, what job you applied for, and the date!