2023 Reflections: Nurturing Inner Light

Written by Tobi Warzinek

As the festive season envelops us in its tropical warmth, we’d like to take a moment amid the hustle to extend our heartfelt gratitude to each of you for being part of our journey. Over the past 14+ years at our center, we’ve had the fortune of meeting many wonderful people, collectively dedicating time to nurturing character, mind, and energy, approaching inner peace together.

As 2023 draws to a close and the holiday season approaches, many immerse themselves in connecting with loved ones and reflecting on what truly matters. To us, it’s always been a time for introspection, silence, compassion, generosity, connection, and love. However, it’s often quite easy to forget that as we get pulled into the Christmas rush, isn’t it?

How have things been for you? Have you found time for introspection and a review of your year? With 2024 on the horizon, do you plan to set any specific intentions for the new year? Are you happy with the way things have turned out this year? Both Parn and I would be happy to hear from you.

The Power of Conscious Awareness

Over the last year, I’ve been fascinated by how regularly focusing on certain thoughts and ideas about myself and the world strengthens them into mental habits. These habits gain more depth through emotional experiences, shaping the way I act. Eventually, these actions form a personality that operates beneath my conscious awareness, just like a computer program.

I, therefore, try to ask myself often: ‘What am I doing in this moment, right now?’ It reveals my direction, shedding light on my orientation. Without consciousness in this process, I find myself impulsively repeating past patterns, much like a programmed response to triggers. Push my buttons, and I do my thing… if this, then that.

I believe that without awareness, we’re akin to unconscious dreamers who mistakenly assume they hold control, yet it’s the dream itself dictating the experience. This dream is a complex interplay between our conditioned perceptions of ourselves and the world.

If we genuinely seek to benefit ourselves and others, it’s crucial to recognize the lucidity of awareness and wake up. Knowing that unawareness binds us to personal mental, emotional, and physical conditioning prompts a return to the inner light of knowing. This, I believe, is the only true revolution, leading us to resolve our problems.

“Knowing oneself” doesn’t involve merely acquainting ourselves with thoughts about our constructed personality. It’s an invitation to explore beyond the confines of concepts or thoughts directly. This exploration becomes more accessible when our mind attains stability and stillness. Serenity and stability naturally arise as we align ourselves with compassion, sincerity, and the practice of meditation.

Embracing Personal Responsibility

At the most basic level, this means organizing our lives and not blaming others or the world for our present choices. Suffering stems from unawareness and self-centeredness, while all goodness arises from awareness and compassion. When we truly take responsibility for our evolution and halt harmful behavior, amazing things start unfolding.

This light of awareness and compassion must first blossom within our own hearts before emanating outward. It can’t be imposed or demanded of the world. Rather, by prioritizing our personal growth, our inner work gradually influences our environment. When we liberate the world from our own ignorance and pain, we become a blessing to it. This is not an easy job at all – but I believe it’s one of the most important things we can work on.

Living in an era of mistrust, division, and overwhelming noise, it’s hard to see how I contribute to what I dislike by giving it all my attention and energy. Fighting against “this” or “them” often perpetuates the problem, doesn’t it? Perhaps, embodying the actual solution is a more impactful approach than solely resisting what we dislike.

Golden Rule: The Path to Harmony

Therefore, let’s focus on fostering peace, wisdom, and love within ourselves, our families, and our wider circles. Embracing the “golden rule” in our interactions acknowledges our shared desire for happiness and our fear of suffering. To me, it seems like a good idea to treat others the way I’d like to be treated, to regard them as I’d like to be regarded. What do you think?

In the spirit of Christmas, we send you much love and warmth, hoping to see you soon. May this season envelop you in joy and tranquility, enabling you to share your inner light with those surrounding you. Wishing you a wonderful holiday season and a year filled with health, happiness, and the fulfillment of your wholesome aspirations.

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Phuket Meditation Center

Tobi Warzinek

Tobi Warzinek

Tobi Warzinek - Meditation Teacher

About The Author

Tobi Warzinek has been working as a spiritual guide and mentor since 2009. His journey started in early 2002 when he entered the Tibetan Buddhist monastery of Rabten Choeling. He spent approximately 7 years in the community and studied the Tibetan language, mind-training and various meditation methods. Additionally he trained in traditional monastic debate and Buddhist philosophy. In 2011 he subsequently began practicing within the “Forest Tradition” in Thailand. Altogether he has dedicated his life to the exploration and refinement of introspection throughout the past 18 years.

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