It’s easy to be relaxed when we’re on vacation but how can we keep our sense of balance in the midst of all the pressures of our stressful daily life?
In many countries, after the summer holidays people are now back to work. Hopefully they have had a refreshing break from the usual stress, in a calmer environment. Now there are the challenges of going back to work, or for children, the challenges of going back to school.
In the modern world there is a constant pressure to be active and productive. A lot of the stress we experience comes from ruminating about the expectations of others and the expectations that we have of ourselves. What a relief it is to step back and just be with our own mind, in the present moment. In our meditation we would like to come to the clarity of just being fully present, and find some freedom from projections into the past and future, but that is not so easy.
In a still lake, unruffled by the wind, everything is reflected perfectly: the landscape, the clouds, the sky. When the surface is perturbed by strong winds there are waves and the clear reflexion disappears. In the same way our mind, disturbed by constant rumination, has difficulty in having a clear vision.
Wanting our mind to be perfectly clear and stable is a beautiful aspiration but probably we have to deal with a lot of turbulence. The trick is to accept the turbulence, to accept the movement and be simply present with the movement as much as with the stillness. In the same way we can deal with the movements in our environment without getting lost in them.
We can be simply aware in any situation, but we have strong habits of following our constant ruminations, our projections and fears. Most people imagine these projections to be reality, but they are like the waves on the surface of the lake, driven by the winds of our habitual patterns.
Pianist Maria João Pires starts each day with meditation. Every day she goes for a long walk, simply being present with her mind, her body and her environment. She tries to bring that presence into all of her activities, interacting with people, making music or doing simple daily tasks, listening to the inner world and to the outer world. As she puts it:
What you can call consciousness is being present and not being outside of yourself, or outside of your environment, because ideas are projections of your mind and are often very far from reality.
By offering ourselves regular moments of meditation, and creating spaces within our activities to just be present, we create the basis for making that sense of nowness a constant presence in our life. This requires training but even a little stability can make a big difference.
Whether you are an experienced meditator, or just discovering meditation, you can find reliable guidance with Imagine Clarity’s highly experienced meditators:
Matthieu Ricard: Clarity, Compassion and Genuine Happiness. Matthieu explains the fundamentals of meditation. Through training in caring mindfulness, we can develop fgenuine happiness and a contribute to a better world
Charles Hastings: Meditate Day by Day. With these accessible daily meditations, anyone can learn to meditate and unlock their inner potential for kindness, clarity and compassion.
Alan Wallace: Insights Through Mindfulness. Alan guides us to develop a clear attentional focus and use it for a deep exploration of the mind. A voyage of discovery both for beginners and experienced meditators.
Even if you are not a musician yourself or have no knowledge of classical music, you can can discover Maria’s vision and refine your sensitivity with her beautiful Creative Journey.