By Mira Khatib
“Silence!” I shouted at myself, as I so desperately tried to still my thoughts. I read the importance of meditation and how it makes you an overall better and happier person in all aspects of life and relationships. So I thought that is a simple enough task; 20 minutes a day to sit still, contemplate and breathe, shouldn’t be a big deal, right? Think again.
“To understand the immeasurable, the mind must be extraordinarily quiet, still.”
― Jiddu Krishnamurti
I found the perfect spot, very comfortable, not too cold not too hot, no clutter around, closed all doors, silenced all phones, avoiding unwelcomed interruptions…little did I know that the biggest interruption would be coming from me.
I closed my eyes and took in a deep breath, I felt the warmth of the sun settle gently on my skin and I wanted to take it all in and try to focus on nothing. Nothing was a much bigger challenge than I anticipated.
Every time I tried to clear my mind, too quickly did thoughts rush in and invade it. Thoughts of things from long ago, what I have scheduled in the next hour, chores and errands I needed to attend to…and every time I noticed how my mind was on its own roller-coaster, I would readjust, breathe, “focus!” I told myself, although I thought meditation should be effortless and no focus necessary, but I guess as a newbie a great deal of effort and focus to not to think was essential.
After my supposedly 20 minutes of relaxation it hit me, why was it so difficult for me to relax and clear my mind? From the moment we wake up to the sound of the blaring alarm in our ears, to allowing TV’s to stay on in the background, to bustling noise on the streets, we got accustomed to filling our lives with endless noise and thoughts. I asked myself if I failed on something as simple as clearing my mind for 20 minutes, how am I supposed to accomplish bigger and more significant goals in my life, how can I enjoy life?
Such mundane thoughts serve no good as they take away from more important capabilities and pursuits, as if a person becomes a slave to ones thoughts with no real control on what drifts in and drifts out.
If some of the most famous and wisest people on Earth follow this 5,000 year old mind training discipline then I believe they are on to something, and surely it is worth tapping into and unleashing valuable potential for meaningful causes and goals and an overall a happier self.
_Happiness is a state of mind, therefore the real source of happiness lies in the mind, not in external circumstances.
And although I failed in my first attempt to still my mind, but I know practice makes perfect and hopefully I would reach the peace and quiet that my mind and soul crave with time and practice.
I encourage you to give it a try and see what a difference a 20 minutes a day of mind stillness would do for you.
*Meditation is a practice where an individual trains the mind or induces a mode of consciousness, either to realize some benefit or for the mind to simply acknowledge its content without becoming identified with that content, or as an end in itself. Wikipedia