The Mind, the Fight, and the Tool
What is meditation? How is it done? What are the benefits, and why should you (and I) do it? It’s simple. Meditation can change one’s life from the inside out. The memory of my first meditation remains with me, and it has evolved from a 5-minute meditation to an hour meditation, twice a day. Since the first time I sat up in bed to meditate, I have become more conscious of the changes inside my mind, spirit, and external physical life.
What is meditation and its history? Meditation is suggested to have a base in religions such as Buddhism, Hinduism, and Jainism. It was believed that meditation existed 5000 years ago in India (Giovanni, n.d.). Meditation is any technique that can bring one’s attention from the outer world to focus on the inner world of the self. Many practices use concentration and focus to bring more consciousness. Confusing, right? It can be if one has not practiced it. The results of concentration and consciousness are peace, calmness, love, compassion, and joy.
Many people have asked me, “What is it that you do when you meditate?”, “is there a right way and wrong way to meditate?” and “What do you focus on, and why is it so hard?”. I have had many meditation questions thrown at me, but it has always been so hard to describe something that only the actual practice can show one what to do.
When I practice, I’d typically do it straight out of bed in the morning and right before bed at night. Whether there is a right or wrong way to meditate is hard to say because everyone has a technique they discover overtime or a learned set of techniques from other meditators. The key to meditation is to concentrate on one particular thing. Some people concentrate on their breathing. Some people concentrate on an imagined object. Some people concentrate on their chakras regions. Regardless of your focus, the key is not to get lost in your thoughts.
Only during meditation do most people realize how noisy their mind is, incapable of shutting off the thoughts or “the voice” in their head. What was most surprising for me when I realized this was also when I realized that my thoughts were creating the stress my body was feeling. This realization was a huge breakthrough because it meant that if I could turn down, quiet, or shut off my thinking, I’d have little to no stress in my life, regardless of what I was going through.
We often wonder why we are angry on the road, at each other, ourselves, friends, family, and the workplace. It all comes down to the stress level that we feel each day. We are often pulled in many different directions, having the burden of making money, looking good, being successful, raising families, having assets, and on and on and on. Each of these dynamics brings minor stress, and when added together, they become significant stress on our mind, body, and spirit. Stress makes us act out in frustration, anger, fear, and insecurity. We become more susceptible to arguments and fights. Some people fight within themselves, while others take the fighting outward toward other people. It is through the outward fight that we become a violent society.
What is the solution for a world that is becoming increasingly violent? Meditation. It is a tool we should all learn to use. Meditation can take one’s attention from the noisy mind to a place where peace can be found. The amazing thing that occurs when one’s mind is quiet is an immense feeling of peace in the body and the mind. Calmness ensues. Somehow, love for oneself increases over time, and love for others also increases. We become more compassionate to others’ suffering, and this ability to feel for others will open the doorway to kind and selfless acts. In a world where only love, kindness, and compassion reside, violence will not and cannot exist.
We are blessed. It doesn’t always feel that way, but we are blessed. We are blessed for our families, friends, the things we have, and even those we don’t have. We are blessed to have ourselves as ourselves, but there is always room for peace, love, calmness, and joy. When we can find this within ourselves is when we can give this to others around us. Let meditation be a tool to help us get there.
Giovanni. (n.d). A History of Meditation (A 5,000 Years Timeline). Live and Dare