“Soon silence will have passed into legend. Man has turned his back on silence. Day after day he invents machines and devices that increase noise and distract humanity from the essence of life, contemplation, meditation… tooting, howling, screeching, booming, crashing, whistling, grinding, and trilling bolster his ego. His anxiety subsides His inhuman void spreads monstrously like a gray vegetation.” -Jean Arp
If the above quotation doesn’t resonate with you, then I suspect you’re one of the lucky ones who have escaped the spiraling madness of most modern lives. For the rest of us the “monstrously gray vegetation” is what we see outside the window of our offices and passing us as we drive down the roads of our modern landscape and its noise fills our ears.
If like me, you’re not okay with this ever encroaching bedlam, this sonic infection that’s attacking the flesh of our lives. I invite you to consider the practice of meditation.
Meditation is rocket fuel for lifestyle design.
Lifestyle design and meditation is a match made in heaven. Lifestyle design focuses on shaping your own path in life, rejecting the road more traveled and making conscious decisions about the life you choose to lead. Meditation teaches us to focus inward and become more in tune with our bodies and minds.
Lifestyle design looks inward at the life we’re living and helps us break outdated assumptions so that we’re able to get from our lives what we are most passionate about.
Meditation does exactly the same but looking at our inner lives. Internally, the biggest outdated assumption we have is that we’re our thoughts.
Our thoughts tend to run on auto pilot and we make decisions based on what we’ve experienced before and what we want to experience in the future. The problem with this is we end up trapped in repeating “safe” patterns. We avoid the tough decision and continue merrily on the path to mediocrity.
Meditation tunes out our chattering ever-thinking internal voice, that voice that keeps telling us what we can’t do. The one that has an opinion on everything. Meditation allows us to pause, reboot and return to our lives free of the baggage of the past or fear of the future.
We often find external factors influencing our behavior and moods. Meditation can become the route to our deep inner self that breaks us free from our patterns of reaction to everyday life. When we meditate we tune in on our body.
Meditation clears our mind and puts us in touch with our feelings. Meditation increases our self-awareness and puts us in touch with our goals and the burning “Yes” within each of us, which has the power to subdue the negatives we face each day.
Ultimately, meditation is what clears our mental workbench and reminds us why we chose the path of lifestyle design and personal development in the first place. When we’re able to tap into that power often, we become very formidable foes of the monstrous gray vegetation.
“You can hear the footsteps of God when silence reigns in the mind.” -Sri Sathya Sai Baba
Meditation brings silence to our minds.
I’ve been practicing meditation for three years now, and I’m often surprised by how many people who have an interest in meditation are scared by the mysticism modern culture attributes to it. It was much the same for me when I began my study of meditation.
Meditation as you’re told over and over again, is the path to spiritual enlightenment, astral projection even conversing with deities; or at least that’s what Hollywood would have you believe. Mystical music and chanting fills the air as thin wisps of smoke from burning incense waft round, in a dimly lit room and a wise old man sits still in flowing robes contemplating the universe.
Wow! No wonder we poor average Joe’s and Jane’s steer well clear of this kind of thing. All that spiritual stuff is best left to the experts.
All of these wizened old masters of meditation started many years ago with the simple exercise of learning the discipline to quiet their minds. All we do when we meditate is stop thinking. We focus inward and allow our bodies to guide our thoughts rather than letting our thoughts guide our bodies.
You’ve probably been in states of meditation before without even noticing it. Moments at work where you are so focused on your task your thoughts fled your mind, as you become completely present in the moment. Moments with your loved one where your thoughts receded and you experienced only your shared love. Anytime in your life you let go of thoughts was time spent in meditation.
“Silence is as deep as eternity; speech, shallow as time.” -Thomas Carlyle
The many benefits of meditation:
Meditation helps the body regulate its breathing.
Meditation reduces anxiety attacks as it lowers the levels of blood lactate.
Meditation makes you more aware of your body and well being.
Meditation builds self-confidence.
Meditation gives your conscious mind a rest.
Meditation increases serotonin which influences moods and behavior. Low levels of serotonin are associated with depression, headaches and insomnia.
Meditation enhances energy, strength and vigor.
Meditation increases your mind’s capacity for creativity and problem solving.
Meditation helps keep blood pressure normal.
Meditation reduces stress and tension.
Meditation creates a state of deep relaxation and general feeling of well being.
Meditation helps with P.M.T.
Meditation increases concentration and strengthens the mind.
Meditation helps to reduce heart disease.
Meditation helps with weight loss.
”We must have reasons for speech but we need none for silence”. -Proverb