The Value of Meditation In Our Lives
We don’t have to look far to find suffering and confusion. If you are like me, it can feel overwhelming and heart breaking to watch the news or engage with the larger world. We live in an age where we are flooded with information. So much of this information can feel polarizing, confusing, or downright contradictory. So how are we to make sense of it all without collapsing into a pool of worry and fear or checking out completely? How do we decide who to trust or what to believe? When we are disconnected from ourselves these answers can be very difficult to find.
We live in complicated times and have done a lot of damage to one another, the planet and ourselves. There is still so much good, beauty and hope despite all of this. Perhaps we are going through a healing crisis as a nation and as individuals. For anyone who has experienced a healing crisis you know that in the beginning your symptoms often get worse as your body is pushing through and bringing to light blockages that have been in place for a long time. As your body goes through the release and healing process it needs extra support, love and gentleness. A healing crisis not only acts as a reset button but it also brings us into contact with the uncertainty of life.
Buddhists have known for centuries the fundamental truth of reality is that things are uncertain and always changing. For a long time we have been practicing control and domination as a way of feeling some ground under our feet. Many of us know these tactics, while they may provide temporary relief, never bring us the peace or certainty we are seeking. And so we continue to go round and round on the wheel of suffering. Our culture has oriented us to seek for understanding and for “things” outside of ourselves. We are bombarded by a million ways to distract and pull our awareness away from being present with our own heart, body and experience in the moment. Connecting with our breath, heart and body are actually what we need the most to heal and all they cost us is a little effort.
Making contact with our breath and bringing our awareness into our body can dramatically shift our experience. We can choose to disconnect from all of the voices outside of ourselves and even within our own mind that pull us in a million directions and feed into our fears. Instead, each day and throughout our day we can practice calling our attention within by taking three deep belly breaths. Perhaps you start by counting to 4 as you inhale and counting to 4 as you exhale. This simple practice will not only shift your experience in a moment but it also begins to break the habit of seeking outside of oneself for security and stability. Instead as you sit with yourself for longer periods of time you will find a vast resource of nourishment that feeds a connection with your own heart. When we are able to connect with our heart we tap into a clarity and trust that breaks through the outer confusion of the world. We begin to discern where to focus our attention and energy and where to lovingly disengage.
The world needs more open and attended hearts. There are many meditation techniques that can help you re-establish this connection. I suggest that you find one that works for you and practice it daily. I am so grateful for my teachers and the meditation practices they shared with me that have transformed my life. From this place of gratitude I am happy to share these gifts with you. The healing and revolution that the world needs now is not out there, it will happen one heart at a time as we each wake up. Namaste.