Is your mind peaceful? Are you at peace with the people around you, with the world, and most of all, with yourself
Peace, as we all know, begins within ourselves. Meditation is one of the simplest ways to achieve inner peace.
Meditation is often seen as an esoteric discipline guided by rigid rules like proper posture, position, and breathing. But, in reality, meditation is just the exercise of calming the mind for a few minutes so that we can connect with the present moment.
The present moment means everything that is going on inside us and around us, pleasant or unpleasant. And normally, we react to things emotionally and instinctively. Life experiences and situations have taught us to react with anger, fear, sadness, or excitement.
Meditation lets us be aware of our present reality without emotionally engaging in it or reacting instinctively to it. In a state of mental and emotional calm, we begin to simply observe and acknowledge things as they are.
Without the obstacles of emotions and instincts getting in the way, we gain more clarity in the way we look at things. And with clarity, comes a better perspective on life and the world, ourselves and others. This translates into real ways of finding inner peace in our daily life.
1. Becoming less overwhelmed by unpleasant emotions
How do you deal with negative emotions? Are you a bottler, a brooder, an escapist, or do you explode? Fear, sadness, regret, shame, anger. All these are troubling emotions that destroy our inner peace. Meditation protects us from getting easily overwhelmed by these emotional disturbances.
Meditation helps us find inner peace by showing us a healthy way of dealing with our emotions, issues, and life in general. It teaches us to feel our emotions without panicking and without judgment. This allows us to face them and accept them. Acceptance puts us in a better position to understand these emotions. And understanding those emotions leads to important realizations about ourselves and about life.
The problem with happiness and other pleasant emotions are that there’s not much you can learn from them. All they can do is make us feel great, without teaching us anything.
Pain and unpleasant emotions provoke questions. Why am I angry? Why am I feeling frustrated? What is the cause of this sadness? And by asking these questions, we start looking for answers. And those answers lead to useful information that helps us grow and become a better person.
2. Accepting life and the world as they are
Inner peace comes from the ability to accept things that can’t be changed, and the willingness to let go of expectations and embrace reality. There are many things that upset us on a normal day. Horrible traffic, that rude remark, the awful weather, and in today’s world, COVID-19. Complaining is just one way of dealing with them. Meditation teaches us a better way. Through disengaging or stepping back from situations, we learn to just let things be. Without demands, or resistance. Meditation is about knowing how to respect instead of imposing our own standards.
We can only hope that life and the world will get better soon. But in the process, we must become wiser, stronger, and better at dealing with whatever comes our way. There are things that are out of our control, but we can always do our best and tweak our attitudes and our perspectives.
3. Becoming more grateful
Do you often feel grateful for the blessings that come your way? Do you acknowledge them? It’s often easier to remember the awful experiences of life and to forget those many, little wonderful moments like the thoughtfulness of a friend or the patience and understanding of a colleague. All we remember is the bad memories!
Meditation helps us appreciate every side and aspect of reality. And reality includes all those beautiful, inspiring incidents we often miss or take for granted because we are too busy focusing on the negative.
Meditation helps us become mindful of our blessings. Even simple chores such as washing the dishes can remind you that you have able hands or that you just had a good meal or simply that you’re still healthy and alive.
4. Remembering that the world does not revolve around you
Being too full of ourselves prevents us from being more sensitive and understanding toward the needs and circumstances of those around us. And failing to understand others leads to discontent and frustration.
With meditation, we become attuned both to ourselves and our issues. We also become more aware of our surroundings including the people in our lives.
5. Becoming more gentle and compassionate
How forgiving are you towards yourself? How forgiving are you towards others? The way we treat ourselves often dictates the way we treat others. If we’re unforgiving towards our own mistakes, we become more inclined to be unforgiving of others. Being kind to ourselves makes it easier to practice kindness toward others. You can only give what you have.
Meditation opens us to a world of self-awareness and self-understanding. When we understand ourselves better, we become less judgmental and more compassionate toward ourselves. And when we realize that others are just as human and as vulnerable as we are, we learn to extend that compassion to them.
In an age beset by alarming issues, perhaps a little meditation is what we all need to make more considerate, thoughtful, and humane decisions. The benefits of meditation can not be enjoyed overnight. Like most things, it takes practice. But if we try just a little bit of meditation every once in a while, then maybe this crazy world will become just a little bit better.
Stay healthy, stay safe :)