Approximately wisdom months ago, I began to explore a new means by which I could bring about a deeper level of refinement in my life. The practice I undertook in order to actualize this determined idea was meditation. Although it was something I was vaguely familiar with, I can’t honestly say that I knew much about it. I recently heard an expert say that sleep is unconscious meditation, and meditation is conscious sleep. If I were to describe it in my own words, I’d say it’s an exercise through which one can quiet the mind and achieve inner balance. The most critical element that underpins meditation is mindfulness. Mindfulness constitutes the degree to which we are mentally rooted in awareness of the present. When one begins to examine the way that the mind functions, he or she will find that much of its erratic nature is attributable to our fleeting connection with the now. As we maneuver through each day, our thoughts are diluted, mixed, and tampered with by worry over what the future will bring, and agony over pain we’ve experienced in the past. This being the case, we really only call upon one third of our available attention as we carry out tasks which deserve a far greater focus. The resulting travesty is a universal span of attention that is dangerously divided. Our society ruthlessly preys upon our vulnerability to fear by urging us to obsess over everything from our children’s college funds, to the planning of our own funerals. How the hell can we possibly enjoy enriched and fulfilling lives if we’re losing sleep about where we’ll be buried and what type of fabric our coffin will be lined with? If that’s not enough, our subconscious minds, which act as mental DVR’s, constantly feed repeats of the most traumatic experiences of our lives into our conscious stream of thought. This explains how out of nowhere, you can be overcome with sadness over the death of a loved one that happened years ago, or abuse you suffered as a child and thought you had long since gotten past. Aside from sleep, intoxication, and distraction it would seem that we have very few options as far as escape routes from the madness. Meditation is a wonderfully effective tool that we should all add to our arsenals.
Let’s go about debunking a few of the more popular myths surrounding this practice. First of all, there’s nothing mystical or weird about it. It simply involves sitting still in a comfortable position with your eyes closed and following your breath. Although there are numerous approaches which are more nuanced and advanced, that pretty much covers the basics. Secondly, it’s not religious and you don’t have to be a Buddhist to do it. Although meditation has long been associated with the practice of different forms of Buddhism, it is not restricted to any one school of thought or worldview. Anyone from a small child to a senior citizen can reap its many rewards. One of the most awesome things about introducing meditation into your life is that you can do so in a way that works for you. There is a wealth of information on the web about it and there are tons of free apps available for both the iphone and android smartphones which include timers, background music, and guided meditations so you customize your practice to your liking. Additionally, there are meetups held all over the country which you can seek out and participate in if you prefer the kinship of a group experience. Most major cities have a local meditation hall and if there isn’t one located near you there are some great online communities out there.
So what are the benefits of meditation you ask? I’ll answer that by speaking of those which I’ve experienced during my “new born” practice. The first change I’ve noticed in my self is in my temperament. Although I still get bent out of shape just like everyone else, I don’t hold on to things nearly as long as I used to. As quickly as that anger-laden current of air makes itself manifest, I acknowledge it, let it go, and watch it dissipate. I’m also getting better at maintaining deep focus during work, which is imperative, as my job demands it. If I had to identify the most significant change that meditation has brought about in my life, it would be an increase in overall mindfulness. I find that I’m now keenly aware of what’s going on at virtually all times because my mind is almost always present. I do very little drifting off into space and when I do, it’s only for a short spell. I’ve come to realize the importance of setting aside a few minutes each day to center myself in preparation for whatever I may face in the so-called external world. When I’m in a calm and peaceful state of mind I find that I’m most effective at whatever activity I’m engaged in.
The Gods and Earths may be wondering if mathematics, mindfulness, and meditation can co-exist in symbiosis. They most certainly can and do tremendously well, at least within my circumference. The perils of being true and living necessitate formulaic methods of keeping self firm on a square and living out 120. Along with the knowledge of self and the duty of the civilized comes a host of trials and tribulations. It’s not a pleasant sensation to be ridiculed by those who misunderstand your way of life. It can be tremendously disheartening to know that the majority of destroy powers you attempt to add on with won’t recognize the value of what you desire to offer them, and won’t accept it even in the most light and fluffy of forms. That being the case, we need an outlet by which we can reconcile these aspects of our reality and purge ourselves of the baggage that they saddle us with. I’m of the mind that meditation is that outlet. I strongly encourage everyone to look into it and give it a try. You have nothing to lose and tons to gain.