Mediation and Balance

mediation, self help, mindfulness, balance, happiness, live better

A man travels to a Buddhist monastery. The man is pursuing enlightenment. He seeks out the head monk, the master. Once he gains an audience, the man asks him how long it will take to reach enlightenment. The monk thinks for a few minutes, and responds, “ten years.” The man is taken aback. He thought he would be able to reach enlightenment much faster. He thinks, then asks, “What if I train really hard, commit myself fully, live here, at the monastery, and practice meditation all day every day—how long will it take to reach enlightenment?” The master thinks again for a few minutes, then replies, “Oh okay, in that case, twenty years.”

After observing Buddhists meditating, a visitor asked what they are doing when they meditate. In response, one Buddhist replies, “When we sit, we sit. When we stand, we stand. When we lay down, we lay down.”

meditation, self help, mindfulness, happiness, growth, balance, peace, presence, calm

Focusing on the Present

When we only focus on the goal of our action, when we think of our action only in terms of what we want to achieve, we never allow ourselves to be present.

Living with our minds always ahead of the moment, we fail to recognize what we are actually doing and don’t take any pleasure in living. Life is lived neither in the past nor the future, but in the present moment. It is in the moment that we experience what we are doing, that we learn how to live a happy, honest life.

Meditation is an excellent practice to incorporate into your daily life. Through regular mediation, we learn how to find balance and work through difficulties. Meditation is all about existing in the now. When we meditate, we learn to be, to breathe, to exist…

Mediation is not about achieving anything, about reaching a goal. The more you focus on the goal, the less likely you will be to realize it.

When you meditate, you cannot stop thoughts from coming—they will come—just as you might experience physical discomfort. Let the thoughts come. If discomfort comes, let it come. Try your best not to attach to anything, to hold onto thoughts or pain, to make them the center of your attention.

In my own experience, I’ve found that I benefit most when I let thoughts come and go while meditating and practicing mindful breathing. After I finish meditating (for ten or twenty minutes), I’ll reflect on the thoughts that arose and why. I find these are often sources of stress, ones I may not even consciously identify. Practicing meditation helps me identify what’s on my mind, what’s distracting me from the moment. Once I identify them, I’m able to take steps to address them in a healthy way.

If you don’t already, try incorporating meditation into your daily life. Set aside 10 or 20 minutes each morning and evening to work on mindful breathing and stillness. Begin and end your day with a healthy, positive practice that reinforces living in the moment.

Thanks for reading.

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Want to discover more? Please check out my related articles: The Only Proof of Strength, Lessons Learned from Ancient Cultures, A Formula for Happiness, The Habit of Thinking, Death & Meaning, Creating Opportunities, and Comparisons & Mistakes We Make.

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2 Comments

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  1. Meditation is a great practice indeed, and I find that even though I don’t feel immediate benefits—it takes as much time as healthy eating does—I still feel somewhat bolstered by the surprises of life thanks to the practice. Nice post!

    Liked by 2 people

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