“Meditation means dissolving the invisible walls that unawareness has built” – Sadhguru
There is so much going on throughout the day of our new, but temporary, reality. The boss demanding more than you can presently give; a child requesting assistance with a difficult homework assignment. There is laundry needing completed and dinner to start. There is the discord in politics, in the news and within our relationships. Too much! We look forward to the end of the day in hopes to enter into a space of peace only to find that what lays waiting is a noisy internal dialog that we cannot seem to escape. This internal dialog can produce anxious and depressive moods that only compound the sense of uneasiness that we are experiencing.
There exists a desperate need to become reacquainted with ourselves. We have become so lost in the “do” of our lives that we have disconnected with our true and essential selves. If ever there were a time to acknowledge the immeasurable value of meditation it is now. Mindful Magazine defines mindfulness as “…the basic human ability to be fully present, aware of where we are and what we’re doing, and not overly reactive or overwhelmed by what’s going on around us.” Buddha taught that our attempt to escape direct undesirable experience is the source of suffering. Mindful meditation is a mental training practice that teaches us to be unconditionally present. Instead of trying to get away from difficult experiences we show up for our self and are present without judgment.
The practice of mindful meditation allows us to nullify the mind and body’s response to stress. Mindful meditation consists of two components; attention and acceptance. Attention involves directing awareness to the present moment by focusing on your breath, your thoughts and the physical sensations you are experiencing. Instead of responding to, reacting or judging those experiences you simply acknowledge them without judgment. We don’t label them good or bad; right or wrong. We allow them to momentarily exist and then fade. The practice is a powerful tool in alleviating stress, anxiety, and depression.
Your practice may initially feel odd or unnatural, but practice makes perfect. Mindfulness-based interventions are widely available in a number of settings including online classes and through Smartphone apps. Some of the more popular apps offer free trials or free versions without the commitment of a paid subscription. However you begin, know that the time and energy spent in the investing in the development of a new and healthy coping skill is worth the cost both emotionally and physically.
Remember, your practice of meditation or mindfulness is not to become an enlightened guru at one with the universe. Your goal is to be present in yourself and in your experience so that you have a weapon to begin to fight back against the world which threatens to overwhelm.
Whatever practice you choose remember that you are developing a new habit. It takes time. Be kind to yourself and don’t give up.