‘The mind is everything. What you think, you become.’ – The significance of meditation’s power on your happiness.1
12. July 2017 by Swiss
I have been talking about meditation a myriad of times and I will do so again today.
I started meditating consistently in November 2011 and haven’t stopped since. Achieving a still mindset and constant awareness were my life-savers and brought me to the happy place I am today.
Meditation is simple but not easy. Because nothing is in control and we like to control things. It takes discipline and consistency, even if it’s just 10 minutes a day. Most people I talk to about meditation and who are keen to try it, say:’ I can’t do it. I’m shit at it. My mind keeps spinning and churning.’ Amongst us modern people it is fairly normal that our minds want to multitask. One moment we pick up thoughts of the past, the next moment of the future. We distract ourselves from feelings of discomfort or fears with our thoughts. Meditation asks us to put these objects down while breathing – one after the other. We pick up the focus on the breath, the emptiness, the bodily sensations and the moment of peace and stillness. It’s like fishing for gold – you have to take out all the other elements and what stays in the end is – gold.
Achieving bare awareness requires constant practice. Practice gentleness and consistency with your mediation, daily. Try, try again. Come back, start again. Day by day. Use it, or you lose it.
Being with constant bare awareness seems difficult because we pay too much attention on what thoughts run through our minds all day, instead of what the thoughts and our mindsets actually are. A thought is a thought you don’t have to identify yourself with. You don’t have to like it, you don’t have to dislike it, you don’t have to wish for not having it – you may just let it exist and pass, because it will pass and it’s not on you to judge it. This is a relief. Letting go is a relief because it gives you two free hands and a clear mind. You don’t have to destroy all your thoughts either though; all you need to know is: It’s a thought – not self. Just a thought. Not you. Buddha says:’ You only lose, what you cling to.’ – so, make a wish and let it go.
In this concept, our mind is very tired because we keep craving the pleasant and having an aversion against the unpleasant – but craving and chasing the pleasant experience and running away from the unpleasant is very tiring – and you can never succeed. You can’t only have pleasure and you can’t avoid displeasure. Being able to be in the middle will allow you to restrain the craving and the aversion and find a state of mind that is open and calm.
In a modern and ephemeral world of ours, a calm and still state of mind is a luxury good. The mind may be fuzzy, weak and scattered – it’s time to cool it down, achieving tranquility, clarity and silence.
Go against the current of the world and trust that sitting and being aware of your breath, practicing loving-kindness and compassion will allow you to raise from negativity and find liberation, unshakable peace and clarity. The power of meditiation’s got a significant influence on your happiness and will allow you to uncover your emotions in raw and bare condition and feel. You will find how tremendously valuable this sense of peace and contentment is; don’t measure your growth by how much stuff and money you have, but by the absence of suffering. The less you suffer, the more space there is for positivity, joy and happiness.
Being rich in a materialstic way doesn’t necessarily mean more happiness. It surely gives a certain freedom in many ways, but a lot of headaches too. Because if we get what we want all the time, how can we be comfortable with relinquishment? And what happens if one day, we don’t get what we want? There’s a lot of heat, dizziness and intoxication hidden, letting alone vulnerability. Relinquishment brings stability and composure, especially in times of struggles. For hurdles, issues and struggles are not simply experiences but our teachers; our lessons. If we look closely and decide wisely, we learn from these experiences. Start contemplating with the lessons life teaches you and take out kindful mindfulness, strength and inner peace. Because the trouble is, we think we have time. But time goes by relentlessly, so savor it and use it wisely.
Text&Photograpy: Lucie Pfaendler