“Give me a place to stand, and I will move the world.”
Though not intended to be a philosophical remark, Greek mathematician Archimedes tapped into a deep spiritual truth: where there is stillness, there is power.
Meditation teaches us that when we silence our mind, we gain insight into what truly is. It enables us to go beneath the surface of our daily lives, beyond the layers of emotion and reaction, and equips us to confront and manage the roller coaster of our moment-to-moment experience. Through practice, we learn to pay attention to and receive whatever arises in our mind without judgment, allowing us to pull back and get a macro-view of a situation, without attachment to circumstance or outcome. When we can see the truth for what is, rather than what we want it to be, we’re in a position of clarity and personal power, which allows us to stay level-headed, and make better decisions.
As we enter into the last remaining months of 2016, many of us are feeling pressed, pushed and pulled in many directions, and by many outside influences. With an election looming and the holidays hovering, we may feel there’s no time to stop, sit and practice silence. If this sounds like you, consider this Zen proverb:
You should sit in meditation for 20 minutes a day. Unless you’re too busy, then you should sit for an hour.
Meditation is simple, but not easy. Below are four core pillars to meditation that make the practice feel a bit more achievable.
Sit, close your eyes and simply focus on your breathing. This very simple act allows us to be more calm and present in our day to day life.
After you’ve focused on your breath for a few minutes, set an intention intention specific to you, based on what you’re personally dealing with in your life.
Contemplate a word or phrase that gives you a positive feeling. Relax into the sound as you repeat the calming mantra. This helps release deeply held stress.
Yoga helps prepare our bodies for meditation. Incorporate asanas into your day and feel yourself become more grounded in your meditation, and in your day to day experience.
Find personal time to practice silence this season. Indeed, it will lead to better decision making, clearer thinking and stronger integrity, which is crucial to our peace of mind.