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The Subtle Delights of Meditation
“Simplicity, patience, compassion.
These three are your greatest treasures.
Simple in actions and thoughts, you return to the source of being.
Patient with both friends and enemies,
you accord with the way things are.
Compassionate toward yourself,
you reconcile all beings in the world.”
- Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching
It could be said that simplicity in action is the way to wisdom. When one is not caught up in a frenzy of possessions and things to do, one can reflect, self-reflect, and attempt to find a sense of calm in regular life.
I find simplicity in everyday actions, actions that may not be immediately recognized as meditations. When I think of meditation, I see myself sitting cross-legged in front of my small altar, back straightened and eyes almost closed with a stick of incense burning below a painted statue of Lakshmi. I don't think of the little things I do that have the same effect on my mind that meditation has.
A little more than a week ago, I found that I had accidentally slipped into a sort of meditational state. I was spreading layers and layers of Mod Podge over collaged necklace pendants I had made, and I suddenly realized that the repetitive and simplistic action had made my mind free of almost all thoughts. Of course, when I realized this, I stopped being in that meditational and calm state, and I started thinking. But what I was thinking was if that felt like meditation, then perhaps many other regular things in my life were disguised meditations, too.
The more I thought about it, the more I realized it to be true. There are many things that I get completely caught up in, things that make me forget to pay attention to the thoughts in my runaway mind. Like cooking, for example. I get so caught up in mixing things together, toasting spices, rolling out roti and chopping vegetables that I don't think about what I am obligated to do in the future or what I should be doing. I am solely focused on the action before me. It is this focus on the immediate moment and my task that helps me to maintain a relatively calm mind.
For me, calmness is essential in everyday life, especially as a teenager who lives in a society that puts pressure on teenagers to succeed educationally and then go on to succeed as an adult with a regular job. I think about things a lot, I think about everything. Like how I need to have my textbook for class or else I'm going to fail at life. Or how I need to work on my math skills, how I need to read more classics, how I need to sit down and have a set time for meditation more often, or how I need to stop worrying. And I find that I can't clear my mind of all that unless I have been sitting in meditation for a very long time or I am completely focused on an action before me.
I think that calmness and simplicity is essential for everyone's lives. In order to be able to accomplish things and get done what needs to be done, we need to have the ability to focus, not procrastinate (though as a writer I am rather prone to procrastination), and be motivated. Surrounding ourselves with simplicity, whether it is in the way you look at things or your physical surroundings, can help with feelings of stress and of fatigue. Even just going outside away from the Wi-Fi and electronic devices can help erase frenetic feelings or lethargy. In the summer, especially, I liked to go outside and pick flowers to put on the altar in my bedroom. Even just this small action made me feel happier and calmer for the rest of the day.
In simplicity of action, one can practice the "renunciation of the fruits of action". In my own experiences, I take this to mean not being attached to, or expecting, a reward or gain from work and actions. I have not reached this point, but I hope to someday soon be able to do compassionate and selfless work without being attached to the outcome.
Surrounding oneself with as much simplicity as one can will help to bring calmness and, eventually, greater wisdom. Allowing yourself to become immersed in a task before you can calm the mind and prepare you for dealing with stressful situations, and can sharpen your ability to practice even deeper meditation.
#Real #Meditation #Simplicity #Peace #SimplifiedLife #Calm #Stress #Happiness #Health #Positivity #GoodFeelings
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