Meditation has been catching on more and more, and is steadily becoming more acceptable as a way to clear one’s mind and work on existing stress. However, there are so many different ways and methods to meditate that may be confusing people as to why they should even bother. When things get complicated, people often back away and look for something else to satisfy their itch or need or craving. The best thing to do with meditation education is to help people realize the WHY of meditation, rather than worry about the how. The HOW will come, as meditation begins and continues.
Why do people meditate? The answer can be very convoluted. Some are trying to clear their minds of thoughts that don’t suit their current lifestyle; old habits such as judgments of self and others, negative soundtracks that play over and over, and the daily grind of living in big cities, driving in heavy traffic and working with over stimulated people can cause the brain’s voice to go into overdrive. Taking a few moments each day to calm that voice down has been really helpful to people.
Another good reason to meditate is to begin the journey of seeking inwards. It is believed that every person has the answer to every question they might ever pose, spiritually, mentally or emotionally. Not everyone can calculate long formulas and equations, or decipher the legalese of politics and business or corporate law. Taking a moment to look inward though can be clarity to the external and internal details of any of these problems. A mathematician who is struggling with solving a problem might benefit from taking a break and looking inside at his or her own skillset, realizing and acknowledging what they already know, and learning to let go of what is on the outside that is preventing them from using their great skills towards the problem’s solution. A politician or business person might benefit from meditation by being able to exclude all the constant negative talk that happens in the board room, and giving up the power of their position or rank for but a few moments in order to sink inside of the ever-equalizing ‘self’.
Meditation can be all of these things, do all of these things; however, there is another very important reason to meditate that seems to be falling to the wayside. It’s simple, not complicated at all, and the more one studies this notion, the easier it becomes to meditate.
What if a person could meditate purely to experience a brief and pausing moment of peace in their life, each and every day? And what if, by dipping into that peaceful memory when life gets hectic, they were then more able and capable of surviving the harsher moments that seem to come with modern day living?
If people were able to spend thirty seconds in quietude each morning or each evening, sitting up with a straight back but with little tension to the body, and working not on clearing their minds or fighting off vicious bad thoughts but instead on letting things be – maybe they would be able to call upon that singular thirty second moment when the baby won’t stop crying or when the person driving the car behind theirs has found his hand glued to the horn. It could be the last little piece of peace they have had recently, and being allowed and able to recall that one little tiny moment of freedom, calm and serenity might be the escape in the moment that they require.
Meditation doesn’t have to be the chanting of a mantra or an affirmation over and over again until it has been hammered home. It also doesn’t have to be a conversation with the self about existentialist ideals and philosophies. It could be that meditation can merely be a moment of peace. Of quiet. Of serenity.
How is such a moment achieved? Easier than most people might believe, actually.
Meditation can be the tool used to achieve a state of blissful nirvana. It might be a method of regaining a sense of focus lost over years and decades of hard living. It can also be merely quiet.
In a darkened room, in a quiet place, try taking a few moments to simply sit. Allow the thoughts to come and to go, let them pass along on their own time, and have only gratitude for them. Try to avoid fighting or fending off what comes up, and simply accept that whatever that moment, those thirty seconds, are is exactly what they are.
There can be an ideal state reached via meditation. There can be great health and mindful benefits received by meditating regularly. However, the key purpose of meditation that seems to be getting lost is that when life gets really hard and difficult and is incredibly trying, the last meditation session is there as a reminder that yes, peace does exist, and will exist again – the next evening or morning in fact.
Enjoy meditation. Make it not work but relaxation. Find ways to simply be calm and at peace, with fresh or rejuvenating scents, a quiet space and no real stimulus for the ears and eyes. Allow the body to relax. Allow the mind to sink back a little. Then, when life gets harder later on, IF it gets harder later on, that moment of peace is there to recall and to remember.
Meditation can be many things, but it doesn’t ‘need’ to be anything more than a simple reminder that in everyone’s life, there is a moment of peace. Take that moment and own it, and use it as needed, several times a day.