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Meditation, mindfulness, personal growth, anyone? If you’re interested, it’s because you think it will help. You definitely need something, and you know a new pair of shoes, a phone, a TV, a holiday — whatever — will lift you, but not for long. So you look inside yourself for inner balance and peace of mind. And you find an activity that suits you — might be yoga, might be t’ai chi, Alexander, Pilates, or any one of a multitude of meditation techniques — because you think it will improve your life.

You want to be a more effective, happier and stronger person. You want to become grounded or centered. You want better focus, freedom from stress, negativity and anxiety, the ability to remain calm, a clearer sense of who you are and where you’re going, mental and spiritual strength, flexibility and fitness.

We seek all these benefits because, subconsciously, we know they are our natural attributes. It’s just a question of returning to them, re-awakening them, re-discovering them.

What most people don’t immediately see is that these qualities are all rooted in that mental and spiritual strength — call it power — of which we speak. Truth is, our natural innate powers have been depleted, and this inner focus is the way to re-awaken them.

That leads us to the Seven Powers of the Ecology of the Soul. When you think about it, it makes perfect sense. The natural world is an ecosystem of ecosystems, from infinitesimally small to globally gargantuan — many of them in crisis or under severe pressure. Why wouldn’t there be a direct parallel in the inner world of consciousness?

Here are your seven powers, the basic ingredients of your inner ecosystem:

  • The Power of Nature
  • The Power of Creativity
  • The Power of Endurance
  • The Power of Love
  • The Power of Communication
  • The Power of Focus
  • The Power of Connection

Each Power carries with it seven long-form meditations, which lead to Power Seeds — simple phrases or insights you use to generate new thought patterns and mental habits. Plant one a day in your mental garden, and bed it down, feed and water it, in a Magic Minute — just 60 powerful seconds of daily, active meditation. That then expands and repeats on you throughout the day. It gives a glimpse of the power and peace inside you, and as it comes up again and again, it creates a new level of awareness. That, in turn, gives you the power to control your thoughts, and change your behavior. It’s a beneficial closed loop.

Remember: 60 seconds is all you need. You’ve planted it. Now watch it grow. Here are a few Power Seeds to get you going:

  • Your breath is the starting point for your inner journey. Go quiet, watch your breath. Listen to your own energy; who is listening?
  • Energy is power. You are energy, but energy is not you. Are you breathing? Then you are making and using energy. Are you thinking? Feeling? Dreaming? It’s energy. Our personal energy crisis is that we are disconnected from our internal power. To connect, go inside.
  • Create a beautiful mind.
  • Design yourself. Redesign your Self.
  • It’s your non-physical nature. You are silence. You are light. You are peace.
  • Center on your Self. To be Self-centered is not such a bad thing. If you’re centered, you’re rock solid. Balanced. Your Self is at your Center, but your Center is not your Self.
  • You don’t actually have to have thoughts. Your mind isn’t going to suffer irreparable damage if it’s turned off for a while.
  • Silence: Solitude. Your Magic Minute is a minute of solitude, of your journey alone into your own inner space. Not the solitude of loneliness, but the solitude of aloneness, of solo awareness. Often people are afraid of silence and of solitude because there are no supports, no distractions. It’s true. You are alone with Your Self, and this can be scary. Mostly because Your Self is someone you haven’t met before.
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Aidan Walker’s lifetime study and practise of Hatha Yoga and Raj Yoga has led to the synthesis of spiritual insights that he calls the Ecology of the Soul: A Manual of Peace, Power and Personal Growth for Real People in the Real World (O Books) — a practical way to achieve the balance of inner peace and power. Visit www.theEcologyoftheSoul.com and follow Aidan on twitter: @aidan_e_walker.

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