From Turbulence to Tranquility
It was a beautiful Saturday evening when my parents happily planned to visit my aunt. Not so long after the plan was made, I heard my mother say, “Let me meditate for a few minutes and then I am ready to leave,” after which she excitedly left with my father on his bluish-grey scooter. On the way, a truck running at a speed of more than 100 kilometers per hour hit them from behind. My parents and the scooter were thrown in different directions. My father was hurt badly and it was a tense situation. My mother who managed to remain unhurt gave me a call, peacefully explaining what had happened. In spite of all the turbulence, she was unruffled. She was able to respond to the situation and think clearly as to what needed to be done next. Later at the hospital when I asked her what kept her calm, she answered smiling, “Deep down, I know my meditation helps me remain calm even in such turbulent situations.”
When such situations arise,have we observed our minds? These situations trigger powerful emotions in us. When emotions are on a high, the tendency is to react and be impulsive. Further, we can get very easily carried away by our emotions and our awareness of the present moment is lost. We start thinking, why did this happen to me? What have I done? and so on, instead of focusing on the action to be taken. We also worry and are anxious about the future-of how things can return to normal again. This continuous bombardment of thoughts reduces our ability to think clearly and we often end up reacting to the situation, instead of responding.
A turbulent mind filled with such uncontrolled thoughts drains out the energy called prana (life force energy), leaving us completely tired, exhausted and frustrated. So how do we move from this turbulence to tranquility? How can we respond to such situations with a calm mind? Explains Shriram Sarvotham, senior Sri Sri Yoga teacher, “We cannot directly force or demand the mind to calm down but we can prepare the mind to become still.” Meditation prepares the mind to calm down effortlessly.
Meditation releases the stresses that are accumulated in our mind and leaves it fresh and clear. It brings the mind to the present moment which is the field of action. See, can we smile yesterday? Can we smile two hours later? We can only plan for it. But, we can smile NOW. That is in our hands. Any action is possible only in the present moment. When we act with complete awareness of our action, when the mind is totally attentive to the moment, the action is perfect and mistakes do not happen.
Spread the waves of peace
An interesting aspect is that we have the ability to influence our surroundings- When we enter a room where a fight has happened, we feel a little uneasy; whereas when we enter a room where a baby is playing, the enthusiasm and joy catches on to us even if we are tired. Similarly, even in a tumultuous situation if we are peaceful within, we can spread the vibrations of peace around us which can help reduce the turbulence. A few minutes of meditation daily helps remain calm during any situation.
A few minutes just for you- your meditation time
Wondering how to break the knots of daily work along with other responsibilities, to find just a few minutes of meditation time? A good time to meditate is in the morning, as it will help you remain peaceful during the day. You could meditate when you wish to take a break from your work, for instance, before your evening coffee. This is the time you can just be with yourself, shutting down the doors of daily chatter in your mind and just relax completely. You can make the most of this time and enhance your experience of meditation with a few quick tips.
Meditation made easy –Follow these tips
- Comfortable surrounding– It is advisable to meditate in a quiet place. This saves you from distraction and helps you go deeper in your experience.
- Be regular with the practice– It is a good idea to meditate at least twice a day and be regular with the practice.Only then will you be able to observe its positive effects with each passing day.
- Meditate with your buddies– You could get together with some of your close buddies and meditate in a group. This will enhance your experience; it will also help you to be regular with your practice.
- Try some stretches before meditating –This helps release the stress and tension in various parts of your body and helps you relax to have a more enjoyable meditation.
- Observe your thoughts– Do not make an effort to resist your thoughts. Let them flow. Meditation is effortless.
- Take it easy– Make sure you meditate for at least 10-15 minutes. Do not be in a hurry to open your eyes.
- Make sure your stomach is not full– This will prevent you from falling asleep!
By Divya Sachdev and Graphics by Niladri Dutta