As first published in BrigtherCraft.com
Practising meditation can be great for you and your wellbeing. Meditation is not, however, just about sitting in silence and mindfully paying attention to your bodily sensations, thoughts and feelings. Meditation, when supported by a good teacher, is a way to expand your awareness and self-knowledge. It is a vehicle that can allow you to go deeper and deeper into your consciousness and learn more about yourself. Such thing is not an easy task and that is also why many people avoid or say they cannot meditate. Nonetheless, if you ever peeled an onion, you know it has several layers and that you will eventually cry a little (or a lot) in the process. If you like onion though, you also know that it is worth the effort and that you will enjoy your food a lot more once you peeled it.
A good meditation teacher will also tell you how important it is to cultivate certain psychological attitudes beyond your practise. These attitudes, in combination with meditation, are the keys to transform the way you approach and live life. They are essential to make meditation work at its best for you and to live a happier, more joyful life. Curious to know which attitudes am I talking about? Here they are:
1. Celebrate life and the “little things”
We have much more than any generation behind us and yet we remain unsatisfied and empty. Some of us rarely celebrate our small achievements. As soon as we reach a goal, our mind is already thinking about what is coming next. We rarely pay attention to what we eat or rejoice in the company of the people who sit next to us. We may complain about the rainy weather, but we do not appreciate fully when the sun comes out either. Our psychological attitude should be one of celebration and appreciation towards everything. Is it raining? Good, you may play in a puddle. Are you having your favourite dessert? Great, savour each bite and chew your food mindfully. Did someone hold the door for you this morning? How awesome! In our “modern” lives there are a lot of things we can celebrate and be thankful for. We just need to bring our meditative awareness wherever we go.
2. Voice and express who you truly are
Life is messy when we try to be someone we are not or when we try to be who we think others want us to be. There is nothing more liberating than being yourself and being the authentic expression of who you are. Meditation will allow you to be connected with your core and as time goes by you will gain even more insightful answers to the question “Who am I?”. The more intel you gather, the more you have to work with. However, don’t be fearful or scared to be you and to accept yourself entirely. People always know when we are being ourselves and the quality of the relationships we have with others can only improve with authenticity. Sure, some people may walk out of your life, but new people can also enter in your life as a result. More often than not, those people are much more aligned with your values and way of being – that is, definitely, the bright side of this process.
3. Create beauty around you and transform the bad into something better Celebrating life and being yourself are already two ways of creating beauty around you. You can bring even more beauty into your life by consciously choosing to live with that intention. Decide for yourself to live and appreciate beauty as much as you can. Polish your life and your own being. Make your life sacred and aim to learn from each setback. There is a quote attributed to Fernando Pessoa, a Portuguese poet, that says: “Stones in the way? I keep them all, so one day I can build a castle”. No one likes pain or hardship, but they are certainly good teachers if we become aware of their lessons. I know it is hard to survive the bad things that happen to us and to the ones we love. We need, nonetheless, to grow beyond the pain, because we never know how our own life may be someone else’s reason and inspiration to choose life over death.